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.
I agree six months is too long to write for free. I would think three articles would too many to write for free.
How do you know if you’re bringing in traffic if you’re blogging for someone else? Do you just base it on the number of comments you’re getting or does your boss tell you that you’re bringing in traffic?
.-= Adrienne´s last blog ..6 Free Websites For Losing Weight =-.
A good client will give you access to stats. For example they’ll hook you up to the actual stats site (and give you log-in) OR they’ll mail you stats. However, mailing stats is pretty non-useful in my opinion. In cases where I take a job where stats are related to pay I won’t sign a contract anymore unless the client agrees to give me stats. Not only can that mess with my pay but without stats I’ve got nothing that can help me write posts that sell for that client. It’s totally insane when clients refuse stats – Deb and me discuss that often here.
James Johnson says
I have to agree with Jennifer. I run an online newspaper site called Indyposted and I pay my writers a base per article of $2 (Short 100 word posts – typically), or CPM profit sharing (amount earned per 1000 pageviews) if it’s higher than the amount of the guarantee and I open up ALL stats to my writers, including direct access to all analytics programs we use. We even show them all of our earnings from our advertisers. If a client says they aren’t making money, they should be able to at least prove it. If they are making money for your work you should be compensated accordingly. BTW, if they show ads, they are earning at least some money, unless they are running a low traffic site on an expensive server, which wouldn’t make any sense.
.-= James Johnson´s last blog ..Vince Carter Sets World Record For Longest Sitting Down Shot [Video] =-.
Thanks. I was wondering. And like Laura said, thanks for explaining it instead of listing a price. It frustrating to read tips that just state something but don’t explain it.
.-= Adrienne´s last blog ..Oven Fried Shrimp =-.
Laura Spencer says
I love the way you handled this topic.
Rather than throwing out a figure, you rightly point out that there are many variables in blogging (and in freelance writing in general).
Thanks for not just throwing out a figure!
.-= Laura Spencer´s last blog ..Are You Trapped in the Writing Web? =-.
Thanks guys – I try to never throw out figures. It’s just too hard for one, and also I really believe writers should be setting their own rates by figuring out what their time is worth. It’s helpful for goals and it keeps you from taking lame gigs.
Yes, this truly cleared up all my questions. I am in the market for bloggers but I want the post to have a specific tone and relay a specific message.