The age old question: How much should I charge? // The age old question: How much should I charge?

Jennifer said, “So… what should we charge then? I always see these types of posts on blogs and people will say “Don’t charge x amount because that’s too low!” But they’ll never actually say what you SHOULD charge. I realize there are a lot of variables when determining a price, but a ballpark figure would be helpful.”

The reason I and other designers can’t tell you what to charge is because, you’re right, there are too many variables. It depends on the amount and type of experience you have, if you have a degree, who you want to work with (bloggers, small businesses, big businesses), how much you want to earn, how long it takes you to complete a site and how many sites you can fit in your schedule each month.

To complete a Blogger site it takes me about 10 hours – that includes creating a design concept, building mockups and nailing down the design with the client, time spent on email, creating, saving and uploading design elements, coding the template, and installing everything.

So, if I want to make $3000 per month and I charge $150 per site I would have to build 20 sites. Personally, I don’t have time to build 20 sites in one month, therefore I adjust my prices so I’m only working on 3 or 4.

Now, if you’re thinking, “My designs aren’t good enough to charge more than $150 per site.” Then you have two choices, find time to build more sites or keep working that 9 to 5 job until you gain the skills to increase your prices.

So first, figure out how many hours it takes to build a site – let’s say 10 hours: if you want to be making $5/hour then charge $50, if you want to be making $50/hour then charge $500.

You can also look at the prices of other designers and use that to adjust your hourly rate. If you think your designs are better, charge more than they are and if you think your designs aren’t as good, then charge less.

Don’t be afraid to adjust as you go. If you get to the end of a project and you feel shortchanged then raise your rates a bit (maybe by $50 or $100) or if all of your price quotes are getting turned down because they’re too high maybe lower your rates a bit. But remember – not everyone will be able to afford you. This is where “Who do you want to work with?” comes into play.

Lastly, listen to your gut – if you don’t feel slightly nervous about hitting send on a price quote then you’re charging too little. Add $50 – wait for that “Oh man, is this too expensive?” feeling to arise and then hit send. You’ll be surprised how many times you’ll get a quick response saying “Perfect, let’s do it!” And realize your skills are worth a little more than you think

I wrote about pricing here as well >>>

Have a design / blogging / coding / freelance question? Send it over!

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  1. says

    I’m looking into doing freelance social media consulting, but I’m really struggling to make my prices affordable, and being able to afford my bills without taking on 100 clients to make it all add up.

    How much would you (and any of your lovely readers seeing this) pay for someone to run all of your social media channels and PR for a month? :/

    • says

      I guess that would really depend on what exactly that service entails, how many Social Media Channels it covers, how much work it saves me, how much correspondance with you would be required for it to work properly and still represent my brand and I’d probably want to see some decent references first. At the moment I wouldn’t be in the position to be able to pay for such a service and it wouldn’t be worth it for me anyway, but if say at a later date when I’m more into the Social Media it saved me loads of work and I had the money to spend… hm… maybe 200 – 300$? As I said, I’m not exactly sure what your service entails, I’d need more information if I was interested in hiring you.

  2. says

    Thank you for sharing your financial insights with us. As a freelancer myself I find it very hard to obtain hard information on pricing. I’m always very grateful when people open up to talk about money.

  3. says

    It’s so hard to find the perfect price. I jumped my rates last month because I felt I was working harder and that my work was worth more. Unfortunately, I have seen a huge drop in clients. It’s difficult when everyone is looking for “cheap and easy” now a days!

  4. says

    Excellent answer! I especially like, “Add $50 – wait for that “Oh man, is this too expensive?” feeling to arise and then hit send.” I learned all this stuff in design school, but still have paralyzing fear when hitting the “send” button. I always feel like I’m charging too much, even though I’m not even remotely in the ballpark of “real” designer prices yet. I think I need to stop thinking of this as a hobby and instead start treating it like a business – psychologically-speaking, I hope that will help me be more confident when bidding jobs.

    I think part of the problem for me comes from the fact that a lot of “normal” people don’t understand what a designer does, or why a logo design should cost $1500+. I quote them $350 and they panic, so the thought of charging them real prices seems absurd. You are probably correct though that those are probably not the clients I want anyway.

    • says

      You got it! Sticking to your guns and charging what you’re worth will bring in more of the type of clients you actually want to work with. And, if people are questioning your rates, it might help to explain a little of your process and the amount of work that goes into it as well as what they’ll get out of it.

  5. says

    Oh my other question is… wanting to make $3000 and actually making $3000 are two different things. It’s one thing to ask someone to pay what you’re worth, but what if they don’t want to? How do you find the clients who will pay what you’re worth? (Maybe this is another post topic! Lol.) I always come back to this question in my mind when I’m doing research about pricing. People say, “Well how much do you want to be making? Charge accordingly!” yet I seem to still be stuck back at the “can’t find any clients” stage, let alone finding the ones who will pay a decent amount.

  6. says

    Omigosh! I think you’re my new favorite blog! I just started freelancing and I’ve been looking for posts exactly like this. I love that your blog is a beautiful mix of life and business. Amazing.