I freelanced in college, and because at the time I had never worked for an agency, I had absolutely no idea how much to charge. So, I went with a rate that seems like more than enough. In fact, it was three times as much as I would make at any part-time job at the time: $25/hour.
That's a lot, especially for some college kid, right?
After a few years, I came to realize that $25 in the freelance world is pretty close to minimum wage, or event lower. After higher taxes (U.S.) and the non-billable hours needed running your own gig, $25/hr is chump change.
So post-college I decided to give freelancing a try full-time. I mostly figured I didn't have enough billable clients to earn enough, and still didn't realized that I wasn't charging enough. So I worked, and worked, and worked. I landed more clients and made more money -- but it was still a laughable amount -- about $20,000 per year.
I finally faced facts, it wasn't enough.
I decided to enter the agency world because 1) I was broke and going nowhere and 2) I wanted to learn how they did it so successfully.
Between working for successful agencies, meeting other successful freelancers, and trying again, here is what I learned about pricing yourself for web work.