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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Don't Be Afraid to Talk Money, Part 3: Know Your Daily Nut

Welcome back to the Blogathon! We're back to talking about money. On Friday, I posted about the importance of knowing what a market pays before you write for it; yesterday I described four ways to determine your hourly rate

There's another figure you should have in mind as well, especially if you're writing with an end goal of making money (and if you're reading this blog, I assume that's the case!). It's what I call your daily nut, or the amount you have to make to reach your annual income goal. 

To determine your daily nut, you do two things: number one, determine what you want to make this year. Then divide that number by the days you'll work this year; the result is your daily nut. 

Here's an example. Let's say your income goal is $60,000 this year (that in fact is my goal this year, working about 15 hours/week). And let's say that you're planning to work 240 days out of the year. That's Mondays through Fridays, with four weeks off for holidays and vacations.

Grossing $60,000 a year comes to $5000 a month, or $250 a day. So your daily nut is $250. If you want to make $30,000, your daily nut is $125. And if you're shooting for six figures, your daily nut is $450. 

Every day, you should average your daily nut, or you won’t hit your financial goal at year's end. So, a content marketing assignment that pays $1,000 should take you about four days' worth of work. A book proposal that pays $4500 should take about 18 days' worth of work, total. Of course, not every project will work out exactly like this--some will take more time, some will take less. The idea, though, is that you average a certain amount each day.

Readers, your assignment: determine your daily nut. 

**As always, if you want to make money as a freelancer, I recommend these three books:  Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Marketswritten for brand-new freelancers in search of their first clips. Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money, Second Edition is a freelancing classic that helps both new and experienced writers boost their bottom line. And my latest book,Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs and More, Second Edition, shows how to break into the ghostwriting/content marketing field. 


  1. I though I had a daily nut when I started f/l six months ago but I really didn't. Today I worked on it again. I have the nut. What do I do when I have a day where I don't have the work on my plate to get the nut? I'm thinking devote that same time to marketing and finding new work. Or do you have other suggestions?

    1. Hi, Holly--thanks for your comment! I'd use a daily nut from another day to cover that one. For example, let's say on Monday, I market all day but don't have paying work. Then on Tuesday I get an assignment worth $500 and start working on it right away. I'd "count" the $500 as $250 toward Monday and $250 toward Tuesday. Does that make sense? You have to kind of think backwards or forwards depending on how much work you have. Let me know if that makes sense to you. (Your other option is to use a weekend day to market, when you don't have a daily nut, or count it as a vacation day when you make $0.)