Here’s a recent email question from a Blogging For A Living reader…
I’m currently blogging for free for a startup business. I’ve been writing for about 6 months for this site. I think now I should at least get something for each article posting, having proven myself a valuable commodity to bring in regular traffic. What is the average fee for writing one blog article? Is $25 – $50 reasonable? Thank you for your help.
I’ll break it into parts.
1) Six months, in my opinion, is far too long to write for the same client for free. Technically I’m leery to even call this set-up a client since no pay is involved and I’m not on board with working for free in general; but I digress. IF you’re a decent blogger then yes, you should be getting paid. Actually let me rephrase that, if you’re blogging for someone for six months NO matter if you’re a decent blogger or not you should be getting paid. If they didn’t like you they could tell you to quit blogging for them and find someone they do like. The fact that they haven’t locked you out of the blog says they want you to blog.
2) The question states, “I should at least get something for each article posting, having proven myself a valuable commodity to bring in regular traffic.” Traffic is a moot point when it comes to pay for a start up.For one thing, traffic is not a fast deal. It can take a long time to build up traffic. Yes, a good blogger should work on writing traffic worthy posts, but since there’s likely no contract here stipulating that you have to spend time networking or using smart SEO, then the traffic issue is secondary. What you should be getting paid for is the time you spend blogging.
3) As for pay, without knowing the client or the scope of the work I can’t state an “average” pay rate. There are people who make $1 per post, people who make $10-20 per post, and people who make $50+ per post. Some bloggers are paid a flat fee and some are paid traffic only, while other bloggers are paid a mix of the two. Additionally, as shown from this email there are also people who work for free. There is no set average.
What I suggest: Every blogger should sit down and calculate their own personal going rate. It’ll vary for everyone based on goals, lifestyle, type of work and time available. After figuring out your rate you’ll need to decide if a client who pays less than your rate is worth keeping.
In the end how much you make as a blogger is far more up to you then the client. You don’t ever have to work for free or for low wages unless you want to – it’s a choice you’re making.
Overall: While I do think it’s up to the blogger to ask for decent pay and not work for free I do think a situation like this sounds super sketchy. Without knowing the full scope of this situation above, I do think that anyone who has accepted free work from someone for too long without offering pay (minus very specific situations) is probably sort of lame and you likely shouldn’t be working with them anyhow.
Learn how to ask for a raise – or as in this case some pay.