How Much Should You Get Paid to Blog?

Are you new to blogging? Do you know how much writers typically get paid per blog post? Back before blogging existed, most writers would get paid by the word. The higher the word count, the better pay a writer might receive, the more prestigious the publication. For example, publications with national distribution models might offer $1.00 a word on up. Fiction, on the other hand, ranges from free to 5 cents a word on up. You can see a huge disparity in how fiction is paid even through the two, free fiction directory websites that I had listed earlier.

Taken from the perspective that writers should “charge by the word,” I’ve run into the challenge of explaining not only “what” blogging is to some of my fellow writers, but how much they can expect to get paid. One example of this, is that I forwarded a job listing for freelancing to a writer who was looking for work. The job was pretty decent: $10-15 per 300-500 word post on a regular basis. The writer responded by telling me that the company obviously couldn’t afford them, even though they had never blogged before.

This isn’t the first time I’ve run into this scenario. However, I’ve also run into the situation where some writers fundamentally disagree with me when it comes to blogging. It is my belief that blogging is a different form of writing, therefore — the pay scale would be different. I do believe that bloggers are writers, even if they do not have a traditional background in publishing. Not every writer shares my thoughts on the subject. But if a writer does embrace blogging, how much is too much to charge? What do bloggers typically get paid?

To answer this question, I turned first to Michael Martine who is a blog consultant and the author of WordPress SEO Secrets. Michael confirmed that $15 to $20 per post is about right, especially at 300 words. However, he had also shared with me that there is a difference between a “proven” and an “unproven” blogger which factors into the rates that you may charge for blogging.

If a blogger is doing a good job, she can charge more and expect to get it. Doing a good job doesn’t mean the writing is “good.” It means the post gets comments, gets traffic, gets backlinks, gets social media attention. In other words, the blogger has to be able to deliver traffic.

A blogger who can deliver the goods can charge more, and the blogger has to be able to show she can get results, which means that this information needs to appear on the “services” or “hire me” page of a blog.

Bloggers new to paid blogging can expect to spend a little time “in the trenches” at first.

Once a pro blogger has proven she’s no longer a commodity, then there is no standard. You charge whatever you can get away with, whatever your clients will pay. The better gigs are the more permanent ones for bigger blogs. If you’re going to get into pro blogging, be prepared to treat it as a business and modify your blog accordingly so you’re easy to hire. –Quote from Michael Martine, blog consultant

From Michael’s perspective, the rates that you should charge depend upon what your post effectively delivers. This is an important distinction for writers to consider, because in my experience not all blog assignments are the same. Some blog assignments may come your way because a company is looking to establish their brand; others may be necessary for search engine optimization purposes as a fast way of getting content on a client’s website. Charging based on what you can deliver is important, but it also comes down to knowing what you can deliver based on your expertise and experience. If you’re looking to establish yourself as a premiere blogger, Michael Martine’s role is to help you get there. On the other hand, if you’re looking for blogging as a freelancer, you might want to hear what fellow copywriter maven Meryl Evans has to say.

She mentioned that thinking of blogging in terms of a “per word” rate is off-target, and that $10 to $25 per post was more reasonable. Meryl writes that:

Blogging is not lucrative in terms of posting blog entries. Only owners of very
popular blogs get good money — mostly from sponsors. Sometimes you can get paid per hour depending on the client. I work with a client and do more than just blog for them, so I get paid per hour.

To make the most of the “low” pay — write fast. Just throw up content and then iron it out. It takes practice. If you don’t know the subject well — then you’re more likely not to do it fast. –Quote from Meryl Evans, Copywriter

You can see here that getting paid to blog can often range from lucrative, premier blogging positions to getting paid per post. Since your experiences are unique to you, you might want to consider finding like-minded bloggers and asking what they charge. Regardless, charging by word is not common and may alienate you from getting a position.

The key take-a-way here? Like any other field in writing, there are commonalities within any segment of the market for pay and for level of service. Besides doing your own research, ask yourself not only what you want to write right now, but where you want to go in the future. I’ve found that that helps a lot when you’re looking for work and negotiating pay.

You might want to check out different blogging services like Associated Content or Demand Studios. I’d also like to add a few blog posts that cover a lot more resources for you to check out. When you are checking out blogging networks, don’t be afraid to do a little homework and find out more about their reputation, too.

Agree? Disagree? Love to hear your thoughts? 😀

13 Responses to How Much Should You Get Paid to Blog?
  1. Thursday Bram

    I’d argue that once you’ve got a little blogging experience, it’s relatively easy to move past the $10 per post gigs. There are plenty of places online where you can get much closer to $30 per 300-500 word posts.

    It takes a little looking to find them — and a solid portfolio. In my experience, AC or Demand aren’t going to convince blogging clients, though: having a really great blog of your own is what actually does the trick.

  2. Amanda Evans Ghostwriter

    I totally agree with you on the price per blog post and yes there are ways to make more but in order to get to this stage you have to have the experience. If you want to get paid to blog on your own blog then sites such as PayperPost are the way to go. You can get up to $300 for a blog post but your blog needs to be very popular for this. You need good google PR and plenty of traffic to qualify for these posts. The bottom line is that blogging is different to writing magazine features or website content and therefore the pay scale is also calculated differently. My advice is to shop around and see what is on offer.

  3. Tao - board games Canada

    Interesting article – I’ve used the above services like PayPerPost before to generate quick traffic but found it not that worthwhile. It’s interesting how an entire category of employment has started around writing for blogs. Do you know if there are contract positions to write / mantain an entire blog? And do you know what the average costs of something like that would be?

  4. imoDOTcom

    Good write-up, and links and follow-on articles.

    I am neither a blogger nor much of a writer. But I have a website I was thinking of developing. Any insights on how does one go about developing an unique, niche-content site that has multiple 3rd party or contract bloggers? What does it take financially, legally and technically?

    This topic could be useful to many people I think (?) Any example or case studies would be helpful. Thank you. /raj

  5. Monica Valentinelli

    I can certainly help cover this, but it might take a bit of work to get the “case studies.” There are so many examples out there of sites doing this, it’s actually more common than you might think. Cost? Can cost next to nothing if you use a Content Management System like WordPress.

  6. imoDOTcom

    Thanks Monica!
    I will look into it.

    Any links to which sites make money, or the range of their revenues. For example, what does Mashable, Giga Om, TechCrunch or Politico make.

    Or, what does it Cost to run businesses like that? Educated guesses are fine with me. (I am looking for this info to develop a plan fr a niche site.)

    Regards, /raj

  7. imoDOTcom

    THANK YOU again!

    Lookery article was educational and clear. I guess this will become a topic now with the way the economy is going. I will keep checking for your posts also. /raj

  8. Response

    Haha ^^ nice, is there a section to follow the RSS feed

  9. Robert

    Very interesting post. I have been wondering about this for a long time now. I see adds everyday all day saying how you can make millions from home, so I never really paid attention to anything like this before. I actually started my first blog last week, just for fun, and to run an experiment to see if it’s actually possible to make even a little money. It’s a all-in-one blog to help beginners like me enter the world of blogging. I just started so I have a very long time before I start having large levels of traffic but this is a good blog to keep in mind for the future.

  10. Aaron

    Thanks for this info. This confirms another article that I found in researching what might be acceptable, regarding paying writers.

    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/how_much_do_top_tier_bloggers_make.php

    I have been researching what is the right price to pay writers for my blog (continuingeducationjournal.com), so all of this is very helpful.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work!



Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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