A large base salary or high traffic bonus at a blog gig may seem great, but to know how much you’re honestly making as a blogger you need to evaluate your hourly wage.
For bloggers, figuring your hourly wage is something you should do frequently; at least every couple of months, because things change quickly. A job that was worth it when you started, may not be worth it now. On the upside, a job could be worth more now then when you started. Good news or bad, you won’t really know what a blog gig is worth if you ignore hourly pay.
Example 1 – figuring hourly wages for a low task blog:
At one blog I make a flat rate of $600 a month. Posts there take me 15 minutes and I’m not required to network. That’s 15 mins x 19 posts a week + about 1 hour per week answering comments which = 23 hours of work a month which = about $26 an hour. That’s not bad. Once in a while this blog client tosses me some extra work at $50 an hour (which I consider a pay benefit).
Example 2 – figuring hourly wages for a task heavy blog:
At blogs where I’m expected to do a variety of tasks it can make computing an hourly wage difficult. For blog gigs like this I usually divide up tasks by:
- Blog maintenance – comments, blogroll, link checks, and so fourth.
- Posting – finding leads, finding images, writing
- Networking – leaving comments on other blogs, submitting to social network sites (or hanging out on them), and promoting the blog in other ways. I usually include things like staff meetings or editor meetings in networking.
To figure my hourly wage for a task-heavy gig, I set a timer (once in a while) as I work, just to see how long, on average, all the above tasks take me at a particular blog.
Calculate total hourly pay averages:
After I figure all my monthly hourly wages, I compute my total combined hourly wage. To calculate your total combined hourly wage simply take your average monthly take home pay and divide it by all the hours you work in a month.
Why bother with the total hourly wage average – because overall, either blogging is a good career choice for you money-wise, or it’s not. There are folks in between I’m sure, but calculating your overall wage allows you to consider that, “Hey, blogging is working out for me” or, “Wow, I only average $8 an hour – I could make way more if I went back to tech writing.”
Adding it all together:
Honestly, I don’t just focus on hourly wages in order to decide whether to stick with a blog gig or not. I look at my stress level and enjoyment related to each blog. For example, I make about $37 an hour for one blog gig, but it’s a little stressful, because I really have to focus on writing perfect posts; I stay because it pays so well and it’s only a little stressful. I write for one blog where my hourly wage is only $10 an hour (which is too low), but I love the darn blog, it’s easy for me, and my other gigs make up for it; so I stay. On the flip side, I had a blog client once who paid me, on average, $17 an hour, but said client was a major pain; although the hourly wage was decent, I quit.
When it comes to choosing blog jobs, or choosing to stay or leave a blog job, it’s a good plan to start with your hourly wage as a jumping off point, add in the other factors, and make a decision.
Do you know what you’re making per hour blogging?