Lately I’ve been seeing these sorts of questions a lot at forums:
- Someone wants to hire me for their blog – should I charge extra for networking?
- How much do you charge for moderating comments?
- How much do you charge for each comment you respond to?
- Should I charge extra for commenting on other blogs?
- The client wants me to Digg stuff! What the?
- I just want to post twice a week – what do you charge for that?
Here’s the deal. To me, blogging has always been a package deal. Frankly, if you’re a blogger, there are certain tasks you need to do to make that blog successful. When someone is hiring for a blog, in my experience, they aren’t just hiring someone who can get words down, they’re looking for someone who can actually make the blog work as a whole.
The first thing to consider is what tasks bloggers do to make a blog a success. For now, forget about tasks like setting up advertising, tech work, and other blog start up issues (like finding a host, purchasing a domain name, and so fourth). If you blog for someone else, 95% of the time these tasks are taken care of for you.
Think about it as if the blog was your blog – what would you do to make it wildly successful? You’d likely…
- Post daily, or more often. I’d say five posts a week is a minimum to aim for, and that’s extremely low.
- Moderate comments.
- Respond to comments.
- Clear out the spam.
- Add images to post when needed.
- Make a nice cohesive blogroll – if a blogroll is something you like.
- Link to other bloggers once in a while.
- Visit other blogs and comment.
- Add your blog to Technorati.
- Likely get involved with Stumble Upon, Digg, or other post promotion sites.
- Make sure to have an about page, a contact me page, and so on.
If you’re not prepared to do all of the above, then maybe blogging isn’t the career for you.
Anyone can have a blog. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a personal blog that you have simply because you love to post your thoughts. I have a blog like that, and believe me, I don’t do 1/4 of the stuff on the list above.
However, client owned and network blogs are different from your personal blog. While partially a client or network does want you to provide informative or entertaining posts, they always have an underlying (or right up front) goal of making money. For most successful blogs; blogs with decent to great traffic, the tasks above do matter just as much as what you’re posting.
That said, when it comes to work blogs, I don’t separate the tasks of blogging into little pieces, and I don’t separate the tasks from posting. I think of it as a package – I’m the package. If someone hires me as a blogger, they get me posting and me doing the above list of tasks, because otherwise, the blog is going to flop, and what kind of blogger for hire does that make me? A not very effective one.
This is what I consider when I quote a wage per month, or wage per post to a new client. Even if I quote “per post” – really, in the back of my head, I’m considering the time it’ll take me to not just post, but do the other tasks as well. This is also what I consider if I take on a network blog. While I don’t get to quote a price to a network blog like I might a client blog, I can consider what the network pays, and figure out if it’s worth it.
Most blog knowledgeable clients and almost all networks work these sort of tasks into their contract. I think the reason people are asking questions like, “Should I charge for comments” at forums is because there are also clients out there who know nothing about blogs, yet start blogs, and now they want to hire you. If you quote this client a set price per post, and include nothing else, no networking, comments, etc, the blog will flop, and guess who’ll be out a blogging gig?
If you’re looking around for blogging gigs, I highly suggest you turn yourself into a package deal. Don’t think of yourself as a “poster” think of yourself as a “blogger” – bloggers do much more than just post. By becoming a total blogger package, you’ll win more long-term gigs and make better wages.
Next up – how to handle a client who doesn’t know about blogs; who is more than happy to pay you simply to post and do nothing else.