If you would have told me, back in the late nineties, that I would someday be paid to blog for other people, I would have laughed at you. Not just giggled. We’re talking sort-milk-out-of-my-nose laughter. I loved blogging back in those early days, back when LiveJournal and Xanga were all the rage and all of us high school kids poured our hearts out online…of course, behind a protected screen so only our friends could see.
I never imagined that blogging could become a profession.
Yet, today, that’s exactly what I spend 99% of my time doing. When I first started freelance writing, I took on all kinds of gigs, but over the years, I’ve noticed that the majority of the jobs out there are for blogs. Some clients are hiring bloggers to work on an ongoing basis, where you’re required to help promote and build the brand as well as write, format, and otherwise prep posts for publishing. Others order groups of posts sent via email and they take care of the rest. Clients also order ebooks to sell or give away in conjunction with their blogs or sales letters to promote products based on their blogs. But the point is this: if you want to be freelance writer, you want to learn about blogging.
Blogging for other people is very different from creating your own blog, however. Most of the advice you’ll read online is for those who own their own blogs, and while some of that advice certain holds true, there’s so much more to it if you want to be a successful blogger for a client. And the truth about blogging for other people? It isn’t easy. Let’s go over some of the basic information you need to know about this blogging path to get started.
Okay, I’ll start with the question that everyone has but that is a little embarrassing to ask. How much do you get paid to blog for other people? The fact of the matter is, there’s no one easy way to answer this question.
First, there are a few different ways to get paid. Some bloggers are paid a flat fee per post (or a flat fee per month with a minimum post requirement). This is great for the blogger, since you can plan your budget more easily and schedule your time in a way that makes sense. You can also get paid based on performance. When your posts do better, driving more traffic, you’ll make more money. The advantage here is that many clients see it as more “fair” and affordable to work this way, and as a blogger, you have the potential to continuously earn more from posts you write, since posts can get popular even long after they initially go live. Some clients combine these two payment methods, paying a smaller flat fee and then monthly performance bonuses.
I recommend staying away from performance-only based payment unless the blog already has a track record of success. The main draw to blogging for other people is the guaranteed money; if you want to be paid based on how good you are at SEO and post promotion, you might as well create your own site and upload ads yourself. It’s almost as much work as doing that.
But just how much can you expect to make?
To be honest, I’ve seen clients offering gigs that pay anywhere from just a few dollars per post to hundreds. It depends on the content and nice, the blog’s current traffic/revenue, and what skills you can bring to the table. In general, you’ll be paid less for news posts and paid more for op-ed or how-to pieces. My non-scientific guess at average (once you dismiss all the jackholes that want you to write for free) is $10 to $20 per post.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should only take jobs paying at least $10 per post. It might make sense for you to take a blogging job that pays much less, especially if they can offer a ton of exposure to your personal site. If you spend hours creating long, thoughtful, heavily-researched posts, though, even $20 probably seems laughable – in this case, you should expect to be paid $100 or more. There’s no one right answer when it comes to what you should charge or what offer you should except.
When you blog for others, there are perks beyond a paycheck. These fringe benefits might make a lower-paying gig worth your time. Some benefits you might get include:
- review items related to your niche
- access to celebrities in your niche for interviews
- free travel to conferences and other events
- links back to your own blog if you have one
- links back to your freelance writing site/portfolio, which can help you get more clients
- free company products like t-shirts and tote bags
- name recognition in the niche
The perks really vary by blog. Once, I wrote for a blog and someone sent me free candy to review. Another time, the company gave me a complete profile page where I could post links to everything from my social media accounts to my writing portfolio. And of course, writing here at the BlogWorld blog allows me to go to the best conference in the world!
Click here to continue on to read Part 2, where I talk about freedom, tasks, and more.