The other day I posted: When someone hires you to blog, which tasks are they hiring you for? At the end I said I’d be back to discuss clients who don’t know about blogs; who are more than happy to pay you simply to post and do nothing else. There’s actually more to this issue than clients who are only looking for posters. You’ll run into a few general negotiation scenarios as a blogger:
- Clients who offer too much money for too little work (this actually is a problem, below I’ll tell you why).
- Clients who offer you joke wages but want the world with a cherry on top. (The worst IMO)
- Clients who offer low wages but really aren’t trying to screw you over – they honestly have no clue.
- Clients who offer you a fair wage at the time you sign on, but add on tasks here and there, until eventually, you should be making more money; of course, you’re still making the old wage.
- Clients who offer the right wages for the right tasks. Networks over private clients seem to be better at this. Although, I’ve had perfectly fair private clients. I’d wager it’s dependent on experience.
Obviously, clients run the gamete – there are tons of other in-between situations you’ll see. But the above are fairly common. It would be tough to cover all the above in one post, so today let’s focus on the first one; clients who offer too much money for too little work.
A client who offers too much money may seem like a dream come true; but there are some problems with this situation. Recently, someone offered me an excellent wage per post (very excellent – I was way happy). Then we started talking and the client told me his goals, his needs, and his ideas for the blog, and I realized that this was someone with no blog experience. None.
- Build a blog from the ground up.
- Make said blog very successful within a few months.
- Be a niche leader.
- And more – basically all the wishes surrounded creating the best blog ever (fine, we all want good blogs).
Here’s what this client wanted me to do: Post three times a week (maybe just two) and network a little bit, for a great wage. Keep in mind that I’d be the only blogger on this blog. How successful do you think a blog will be if I’m only posting 2-3 times a week? I think we’ll all agree – not very successful.
In this situation I can choose from two options:
- Take the job as is and be happy about the money.
- Attempt to renegotiate a fair deal for everyone involved.
The pro of going with option one is good short-term money. However, the cons of going with option one are many.
- A blog due to fail means that sooner or later I’ll be out of a job, and have to look for a new one (don’t like that idea).
- While this client knows nothing about blogs, they have hit upon a stellar idea for a blog, a topic I’d like to blog about, a topic that could be successful. If it fails I don’t get to blog it.
- If the blog does fail my name is still attached to the posts. That makes me look bad.
- I hate when clients try to play me. Taking on the position as is means I’m now playing the client, which makes me just like those clients I hate.
- Later, say the client does learn about blogs. I look really bad then, because currently I’m claiming to be a blog expert so he’ll hire me, yet I say nothing about the bizarre wage set-up. A pro should understand about fair wages.
Because my goal is not to screw folks over, because I liked the blog idea, and because I really do believe in karma, I attempted to renegotiate. On my side renegotiating is a risk – I could lose the job completely. I felt it was a worthwhile risk. I told the client that their page views would possibly never increase if I posted only 2-3 times a week. I told them we could try something flexible, say me posting once a day, plus we put together a better networking plan. (i.e I agreed to do a little more).
Since this client was offering me a pretty high wage per post, a wage he likely couldn’t afford to pay on a daily basis, we renegotiated pay as well. We worked out a fair monthly wage vs. a per post wage, with the option of a wage increase as as the blog becomes more successful. We agreed to discuss wages again in about three months.
This risk paid off. The client was very happy that I was honest with him, I look more professional than someone who would just take the gig, no questions asked, and my karma remains in the clear. I still snagged a nice wage for tasks required, and lastly, maybe this will be a blog that thrives, not dies.
If a client wants something impossible, and you know it, yet is willing to pay you handsomely for it, you can take the job and run, sure, but I really suggest you treat others fairly. Consider how you like to be treated and treat others accordingly. If you’re not sure if someone is offering too high of wages in the first place, read Deb’s post, “Network Blog Compensation – Let’s Break it Down.” Deb’s post will give you some ideas about what to consider when it comes to fair blog compensation.
What do you think? Is renegotiating in this sort of situation a good idea – or is it simply a case of a blogger being too nice?