How much can I earn?
Your earnings will depend on what you charge, how fast you work, and how many hours you put into the business. For example, a reasonably successful freelance writer would typically charge £200-300 per thousand words and would expect to research, interview and write up at least one 1,000 word feature per day. So they could earn around £1,000 or more a week.
From this, they’d deduct various costs – say, telephone, fax and computer use at £20 for the week, research materials such as magazines and reports at £10 per week, stationery, postage etc at £10 a week, plus an allowance of £30 a week for travel costs for meeting people, getting new commissions etc. They’d look to clear around £930 a week.
Remember to take your holidays into account when calculating your potential income for the year. If you plan to take five weeks’ holiday in the first year, this will cut nearly 10% off your annual income. Bear in mind too that you may not be fully employed, week-in and week out, especially when starting off.
Freelance copywriting work, as an example, often falls away in the summer and at Christmas when fewer marketing campaigns are run. Freelance children’s entertainers tend to have less work in the summer too, but more in the run-up to Christmas!
One way of generating income during holiday periods and business lulls is to pitch for some sort of royalty deal. Avril Harper explains, “Part of my work involves writing home-study courses for which I negotiate a slightly-reduced, flat fee based on the number of words written plus a small royalty based on the number of copies of the course that are sold.
The flat fee is roughly in line with what I like to earn each day, and the royalty is a bit of a bonus that brings in some extra income now and then which I use to cover holiday times.”