A year ago, it was normal to see blogging jobs offered for $5 a post and lower. Much lower. Now we’re coming across ads for bloggers paying upwards of $10. Many are $25 per post or more.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of low payers, but they don’t seem to be offering jobs that last. When you think about it, just about all blog networks are lowering their wages and laying off bloggers. The jobs offering the most stability and the highest wages appear to be those for businesses and individuals.
Why Are Things Changing?
I don’t know for sure, but I have several theories. Keep in mind this is only my opinion:
Many Blog Networks Bit Off More Than They Could Chew
Many of the blog networks showing the most promise hired hundreds of bloggers all at once. As a result a few things happened:
- Too many blogs to promote at once: Even the networks with the best of intentions can’t adequately promote 300 blogs at the same time. Not without a huge support staff, and that takes money.
- High turnover rates mean blogs that don’t find a voice: Network bloggers are expected to handle the majority of their own promotion in order to bring in traffic. Also, many network bloggers have to rely on traffic bonuses to survive. Soon they realize the ends don’t justify the means and they move on. With blogs changing bloggers each month readers get confused. The blog loses its original voice and personality. As a result, many blog networks are turning into nothing more than content mills.
- Not enough traffic and revenue coming in to pay for such a large group of bloggers: Blog networks start out with the best of intentions. They’re sure they’re different, that they’ll succeed. However, Google Adsense isn’t enough to support a blog network. If you’re going to hire a bunch of people at once, you better be sure to have a means to support them.
- No standout blogs: Many bloggers join networks in hopes of being the next Darren Rowse or Liz Strauss but this rarely happens with indiviudal blogs, let alone networks. Because networks don’t pay so much, they don’t attract experienced bloggers. When bloggers don’t have experience, they don’t really know what it takes to propel a blog to the top of the genre.
Now more bloggers are realizing they can make the same money blogging on their own, or they’re setting their sites on higher wages. Bloggers don’t want to be paid slave wages and they want to make a name for themselves. They don’t want to put in 50 hours of work each month for $50 in return. By not accepting low wages, clients are forced to raise their rates.
Clients are realizing to receive quality they have to pay more
Blogs are not only journals or nichey tips and how-to’s. Blogs have evolved to become voices of business, corporations and communities. The employers who hire bloggers don’t want cheap web content. They want quality representation. They want people who are going to write engaging copy and build a community. To get this they’re going to have to pay a better wage.
Business are jumping on the social media bandwagon
Now that the terms “blogging”, “Twitter”, and “social media” are being bandied about in the main stream, businesses have no choice but to jump on the bandwagon. Corporations such as Molsen’s, Best Buy and others are hiring community managers and social media experts to create a voice for the brand. These jobs garner impressive salaries.
What’s Next for the Blog Network?
Five years ago web content sites were an inexpensive way for publishers to take advantage of the web’s advertising potential. Writers were being paid (and are still being paid) $1 to $10 to write articles to publish on content sites. Many blog networks are doing the same thing, and will continue doing so. They may not have as many writers as they had hoped when starting out, but as long as there are writers and bloggers willing to work for low wags, blog networks will continue on in some form or another. Blog networks are a terrific way for bloggers to gather experience and learn the business, but they’re not a wise long-term career choice.
Are Things Looking Up for Bloggers for Hire?
Yes. Experienced bloggers can earn an impressive salary or freelance wage if they’re willing to look beyond networks for the projects that pay. In fact, a look at this weeks gig’s show blogging jobs paying $10, $25 and even $50 per post. Finally, there are clients who get that blogging isn’t only churning out content. It’s building traffic, protecting a brand, and fostering community. “Community” “brand” and “conversation” are the buzzwords for 2009 and experienced bloggers are the ones who know how to bring it all together.
What do you think? Are things looking up for paid bloggers?
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