Jonathan Leger – SEO And Internet Marketing Blog Internet Marketing Blog


What is your time worth?

In the Internet Marketing industry, new tools come along all the time. Many of them have great sales letters full of all kinds of compelling reasons why you need to buy them. I personally have created numerous tools designed to save time by helping you perform routine tasks faster (from link building to content writing to content spinning).

But these products aren't free, and sometimes they are far from cheap. So how do you know if a products is worth the investment? The only way to know is to figure out how much your time is worth.

Calculating What Your Time Is Worth

If you're already earning an income online, then calculating how much your time is worth is pretty easy. If you're a freelancer that charges by the hour, then your time is worth whatever your hourly rate is.

If you don't charge by the hour, but make a pretty steady monthly income, simply divide your monthly income by the number of hours you work each month. So if you're currently earning $4,000 a month from your online business, and if you're working 120 hours a month to earn that, then your time is worth about $33 an hour.

If your work is more long term (that is, you invest a lot of time now for a big payoff later), then using an annual calculation is probably better.

If you're not already earning a living online, or if your earnings goal is much greater than what you're currently making, then you need to decide what you want to be earning and use that as your hourly figure. Be reasonable here. Everybody wants to earn $1,000 an hour, but if you're currently closer to the $10 an hour mark, using a goal rate of $25 an hour is far more realistic!

So you've done the math, and you now know how much your time is worth. Great! That gives you a way of determining if any tool is worth its sticker price, and can help you get past the hype and salesmanship of the product vendor.

Is The Product Worth The Investment? An Example.

For example, I've got a tool that I'm currently letting people use for free while it's in beta testing, The tool is designed to help you write articles much faster by having you work with templates that give you a starting point for your content.

The feedback so far has been incredibly positive, with people saying they are writing much faster and giving me the numbers to back that up (e.g. 1,000 words in an hour, 600+ words in 18 minutes, 300 words in 10 minutes, etc.).

But Jiffy Articles won't always be free. My goal is to release it on Monday, November 21st, at which point people will have to pay for the tool to keep using it. For the first five days I will be letting people buy access to the tool for $77 a year (that will go up to $127 a year after the launch promotion is over).

So at that point you will have to make a decision: is Jiffy Articles worth $77 a year to me?

If you don't know what your time is worth, you have no good way of determining whether or not that's a price worth paying. But now that you do have your hourly value calculated, it's a snap.

Let's say that you can normally write one article in an hour, and you've determined that your time is worth $25 an hour. If Jiffy Articles helps you write an article in 45 minutes, saving you 15 minutes per article, then for every four articles you write it's "earned" you $25. That means that the tool will pay for itself after you write 12 articles.

In this situation, if you write at least 12 articles a year (who doesn't?), Jiffy Articles is worth the money for you. You can use that same kind of reasoning with most tools that promise to save time or earn you money.

Of course, not all products will give you a chance to use them for free in advance so you can determine just how effective they are for you. But they pretty much all have a money-back guarantee of at least 30 days. So just use the product for a couple of weeks to determine what its actual time savings (or dollar earnings) is for you. If it doesn't stack up to your hourly value, ask for a refund.

Think About The COST, Not the PRICE

What's the difference between the "cost" of a product and the "price" of a product? A lot, and it's important that you change your mindset from thinking about price to thinking about cost.

If a product will take $77 a year out of your bank account, that's its price. But if that same product also earns you $77 a year, it doesn't actually cost anything. If it earns you $1,000 a year, then it's actually an investment, not a cost.

Any product worth purchasing should be an investment that actually earns you money. It's easy to get sticker-shock because a product appears expensive at face value. If you know what your time is worth, though, and if you use the product long enough to know how much time it saves you, then you can calculate the actual cost of the product and determine whether or not its an investment worth making.

The distinction between "price" and "cost" is an important one, because you may pass on a product that appears expensive at face value that would actually be a great investment. Knowing what your time is worth can make that decision a much easier one.

Please post your thoughts, ideas and questions in a comment after this post.

Related Internet Marketing Q&A

Comments (50) Trackbacks (0)
  1. now we know that every second in our live have a value, depend on us how to use it and make it useful

  2. Still talking about the value of time, I got a powerful tool today that saved me many hours that I usually waste. It was able to get the work done for me within 45 minutes. And what’s more exciting is that I don’t have to doing anything within the 45 minutes as it’s automated and works on my computer during the time while I can do something else. Brilliant.

    That’s the same value in your products, Jon. Anyone who values their time should really consider investing in your products, especially the new JiffyArticles. Awesome!

  3. Are you using SEOPressor? It’s hands down the best SEO plugin for wordpress. I use it on my sites and I am now getting hundreds of customers daily to my sites – it’s amazing!

  4. i would love this same product redone specifically for Press Releases… that would be absolutely monstrous :) And I’ll gladly be a test dummy

  5. Spot on! Many a time, people are thinking of ways to save money and by doing so they wasted a lot of precious time as well. The time if used to generate more sales will actually grow the bottomline even more. Cheers!

  6. You are absolutely right about the value of our time, Jon. Many people think they are saving money and wasting time doing things for many hours or even days that can be done with a tool for very little money. Thanks for sharing this, Jon. Loved it, :)

  7. I wear the best spinner of your product and very helpful. Can you other products more affordable, or is an annual membership?

  8. Many times people do not calculate the cost of their own time. This is especially true with a startup company or a person working from home on a project. Your points are excellent and worth reading.

  9. Building a website can be a waste of time and money in many cases if you are only doing it for profit. It’s always good to evaluate what your time is worth. Positioning yourself at the top of the money tree helps, such as where you are a product creator or service provider.

  10. Have tried out your Jiffy Articles. Actually is is very good but with limited categories for my usage at the moment. It certainly saves me a lot of time in writing articles. I will certainly consider buying it when it’s launched.

  11. There is no doubt software can save a lot of time. No wonder top rich people nowadays have fundamental in their companies which related of “software product”. BUT the problem here is people getting overwhelm with so many software been launch every week specially in internet marketing industry. So everytime the new software products come into your mailbox pls ask this question into yourself-How much time I need to learn how to use this software? If it takes time just forget about it. That’s from me. Anyway John I respect you with all your product/software till now…the one frustrated me I cannot afford to buy “Article Builder” since it very pricey!

  12. Hi Jon,
    Great article. Where were you when I was buying softwares left, right and center. Nobody told us newbies about our time worth.
    I’ve been using the article builder for about 1 month plus and I can have quality articles with a snap of the fingers.
    One thing though, lately I see that many of the articles that are created and passed through copyscape, have similar content published by others. I was really surprised, when 1 of the articles was from my original article in Ezine.
    Also the optional keyword box should be more utilized. What I mean is if we key in a keyword box, it does not appear in the article.
    Sorry for the long post, I enjoyed your post so much that I just had to give my 2 cents comment.

  13. Now I learned to understand how much my time is worth. I love most of your tools. I am also looking forward some new tools for keyword research.

  14. What you say is true – We should calculate how much more a particular product would allow us to earn instead of only focusing on the cost. But why don’t you consider having a one time license cost model to this application? A yearly recurring fee makes it slightly less attractive.

  15. I have just converted from looking at “price” vs. looking at “cost” – I just bought TBS yesterday! I now understand its all about ROI and NOT about the price :)

  16. You’re right, I usually use a software, especially to find backlink to my websites. And it’s help me much to reduce my working time.

  17. Hi Jon, I am from Indonesia. I have been using TBS for over 1 year and very helpful to me. I like your post jon.


  18. This is exactly what I do when deciding a new product. I also refer to the “opportunity cost”. In other words: what else could I do that have a better return if I don’t purchase this product right now.


  19. This is an excellent thought-provoking post. I have purchased some pretty expensive tools in my time. Not all of them have proven to be worth what I paid for them and some have been refunded, as you suggested. Some have been worthwhile and I continue to use them on an ongoing basis.

    I have also bought some cheap tools, and some have been very valuable to me, as they save me a lot of time, which is money.

    I own just about every tool you have created. I am happy with those that I have and find them to be good value, even though I have not always used them to their maximum benefit, due my ‘busy’ lifestyle. If they were not good enough, I would not have used them at all and they would have been a total waste of money, so I still consider myself to be ahead.

    Thanks again for a great article. I am sure that many of your readers will benefit from these wise words.

  20. Great post. A nice way to look at what you’re worth when it comes to investing in something.

    BUT……..isn’t it cumulative? Let’s say I buy JiffyArticles for $77, and Article Builder for $196, TBS $47, IAW 47, Plus a keyword tool that’s $528..Total for 1-year $895

    (note: all prices are yearly and don’t include hosting and domain name renewals and nor anything else.)

    Sooo, if I’m at $20/hour I need to work these above tools for a combined total of 44.75 hrs for each year of the subscription ($895 / 20hrs). Let’s just round this puppy up to 45hrs/year

    With this magic number, I “only” need to work all the above tools for a combined total of 3.75hrs / mth. Again rounding the number up to 4hrs / mth now makes it only 1hr/wk.

    Hmmm, how about that. So all I have to do is use the tools either one of them or any number of them for combined one-hour-total / wk for creating content.

    Do you folks or Jon think this is a fair assessment?

    • Ken, look at this from a manufacturing point of view. There is no other possibility to expand your business than investing in people or tools. Internet entrepreneurs should not forget the laws of brick and mortar business.

  21. Hi, Jonathan! I am a big fun of you and love thebestspinner. However, I am not successful as a internet marketer. I am wondering which one to buy: the articlebuilder or JiffyArticles. I know you raise the price from 197 to 297 for articlebuilders. Can you give me a discount for that?
    I love you articles!

  22. Jonathan,
    Great post, I love your products and they have been helpful in saving time and money!

  23. The Best Spinner is one of my worthwhile tool that I ever purchased. You Rock! :)

  24. I have bought article builder and it help me in producing good content, as long as I can see the menu of Jiffy Articles is the same with that of article builder. My question is after I write article in Jiffy Articles, would be that article used in article builder? Thank you.


  25. Hi Jonathan,
    I am an ardent user of your products, I always run my articles past Copyscape™ and the good news is that I get the “Congratulation your article has passed Copyscape”. So as well as being time-savers, they are well worth the Bucks invested in them, and I would suggest to anyone involved in article marketing that these products “Jiffy” and “Instant Article” are a MUST purchase. These products are the bees-knees and do the job exactly as they say.

    Keep up the good work.

    Best Regards,

  26. u r right, and tbs for the special price $47 is crazy. i am lucky to buy @ this price.

    obviously it is good deal and worth my time

  27. I am a big fan of TBS and while I found jiffy good I much prefer to use TBS

  28. That’s a very thought-provoking post, thanks.

    What I’m interested in working out is how I can attribute earnings to any particular product. My earnings are pretty hit and miss so far and I’ve tried quite a mish-mash of different approaches, none of which has really hit the mark.

    Despite the obvious truth of what you say $77 is still quite a chunk in one hit for someone like me, doing Internet Marketing part-time and balancing it with family and other work commitments. (Yes – know that sort of proves your point…. LOL )

    But it would be fantastic if you had a quarterly or even 6-monthly option :-)

    Jiffy Articles is fantastic, and what I like about it is that it was so easy and obvious to use.

  29. Jon’s posts ALWAYS include good value not only because of the product or marketing strategy he might be covering but also always come with a good piece of advice that can be applied to our daily lives. Big fan of Jon since I came across his website and products.
    Thanks JL!

  30. Looks like an interesting tool, I think I will buy it.

  31. John,

    Love Instant Article Wizard! If it is upgrade will try.


  32. Great Post Jon, I really enojoyed this one…

    Eric Burnett

  33. Jon,

    I love TheBestSpinner. And using ArticleBuilder regularly.

    Love both.

    I hope there are more topics added to AB and JA soon.

    Other than that, no complaints.

    Good luck!!!


  34. I tried JiffyArticles and I loved it. Now that I know what it will cost after the Beta testing I can say that I am glad the price is affordable for this very useful & valuable tool. With hundreds of templates available it can surely become an indispensable resource for anyone that writes articles.

  35. Thanks, JL.
    You’ve hit the nail bang on. Even if the price was $127. $1O.60 (approx) per month is not an onus. Jiffy Articles is on my Chrissie wish list. From me to me. :)

  36. Thanks for this post Jon, it is a really a big help to me, as I had been looking at my value calculations completely wrong!

    Previously, I had only thought of them as what I was CURRENTLY earning; now I realize that there is so much more to it than that…

    I actually do not know that I would even be able to make my living on-line at all if it were not for your products. I may not have them all, but I would sure like to!

    Currently I am using JLForums(dot)com (major, major item + it’s free), Jiffy Articles (really a big help for writers), Article Builder, The Best Spinner (plus 10 for this one), Instant Article Wizard (a God send for research), Keyword Snatcher, Tip Builder, and Answer Analyst. And, I use most of these daily! And have yet to find even one that does not preform as you say it will.

    You can believe me when I say that I don’t know what I would do without you and your wisdom! I would probably be back in an office somewhere, still doing accounting and hating every minute of it…

    I don’t think you realize how much help you are to all of us, we appreciate you more than you know!



  37. Great post Jonathan…

    As someone who has purchased MANY products online this is a solid lesson a bit too late if I’m honest ;-)

    What I would say is this; IF you know the product will be put to good use and it is good value then the buying decision is an easy one when following your rules above. My fault in the past was in not taking the time to evaluate IF I would have the time to master the product and then put it to good use consistently..

    In the case of both Article Builder (which I have ;-) ) and Jiffy Articles (which I have tested ;-) ) both provide extremely good value because they are well priced, save bags of time AND (the major component) as soooooo simple to use a one-armed chimpanzee could create content using them (okay, perhaps a one-armed chimpanzee with an English Degree and a passion for Internet Marketing ;-) ..


  38. Take article submission software for example…. I can’t even imagine doing what I do without some automated software for that process.

  39. Good stuff. My biggest problem is buying something with a trial period and using up the whole trial period just trying to figure out how to use the thing.

  40. Jon, You are amazing! I have never thought about that before. I guess in my effort to make a decent living online I failed to put a few things into consideration. I can say that I work almost 16 hours daily, and can hardly have time to think.

    Well you have given me something to think about. Are all the things I do worth it?

  41. i would love this same product redone specifically for Press Releases… that would be absolutely monstrous :) And I’ll gladly be a test dummy

  42. Great stuff, Jonathan, and good point about buying products that will make you money. I kind of have a rule of thumb that I simply do not buy any product that I do not believe will first go along with my current business model and then also make me more money than it costs. I’m also learning some nifty tricks for using your best spinner to make my time even more profitable.

  43. JiffyArticles, is a great tool, but due to the offline nature of my sites and the health type template available on health articles it is very limited for my use at the time.

    Article Builder also is limited due to minimal health articles.

    However, IAW3 and TBS3, and Spin Wizard are a godsend for creating unique articles for my sites. Thanks for these great tools.


    • Your comment ties right in with my post, because what is a godsend for one (Jiffy Articles and Article Builder have both been hailed by innumerable users) is not of much value to another. That’s why it’s important to run the numbers for your own situation.

  44. Hey Jon,

    Thanks for this very enlightening post! I now can distinguish between “price” and “cost”.

  45. Great information. It definitely requires some thinking over and above the price of the product.
    Certain products will pay you back ‘ten fold’ if you can get past the initial price and treat it as an investment in which you ‘KNOW’ you will clearly save time and get a great return!

    Thanks :)

  46. Thank you for putting this down in writing. I have been calculating the value of my time, both as a freelancer and as an internet marketer. I find that some tools work well to help me save time while others use more of my time than they save. With the right combination of tools and outsourcing, you can really build the value of your time considerably.


  47. thanks jon for the calculations. Some of these tools can be really good – The bestspinner tops on that .

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