I'd like to do freelancing, but I am really bothered because I do not want to get into a mess, biting off more than I can chew. The way I see it one has about 10-20 hours a week, more like 10 if they have a family.

Is that a reasonable amount of time to provide a good, reliable product? I am not going to go full-time freelance. But I am not going to swindle people into hiring me by promising too much and hoping I can do it.

This is in the context of programming, typically web apps, most any language, capable. I know this is broad. I did not know a specific way to ask. The scope of projects would be on the smaller side.

  • 1
    This is like asking "If I decide to go out to dinner... how much food can I eat?" No one is going to have any clue what you are capable of. And my guess could be as wildly inaccurate as your own guess, and you know your capabilities. Every client and project is different.
    – Scott
    Feb 25, 2017 at 23:24
  • 'most any language'!! the world is continually coming out with new languages and new/revised features in those languages. I would be very careful about making the claim. Mar 3, 2017 at 0:49
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    Some very important documents need to be written and signed off before any estimate of time can be made. Of particular interest with web pages is the complete design (with comprehensive usage scenarios) of the data base. The next critical item is the design of each and every web page (colors, fonts, layout etc etc) and of web pages depend heavily on the specific application and the workflow and data flow through the application of each kind of user. Unless these details are in writing and signed off, you will spend all your time in meetings while the client nick picks the design. Mar 3, 2017 at 0:55
  • @user3629249 That last sentence I have experienced many, many times. It never ends.
    – johnny
    Mar 3, 2017 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


It depends on your area of freelancing. In programming, the normal weekly output is 30 to 35 hours. I once tried to have productive 8 hours and it took me 11h in time.

So 10-20h is NOT good for projects where you are running against the deadline. 10-20h is OK for programming projects where you work on non-urgent tasks.

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