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Freelance Blogging: How Much Should You Charge?

Over at the Authority Blogger Forum my friend and super forum moderator, Jen has started a great thread about freelance blogging rates.

What would you charge for freelance blogging?

As she says, while there is a lot of information out there about freelance blogging, the one thing people rarely talk about is how much you should get paid.

While in the thread I say

The reason I don’t mention rates in posts is because what I see as normal rates might not be for the people reading. I know what I charge, anything else is speculation. For beginners being made an offer is a victory, for old hands you need to know what you can manage to live on.

I have no doubt in my mind that the people present in this thread could make far more than the baseline $10/post, $25/post or more but it all depends on the particular gig, niche, research, word count, yada yada.

… I think it is fair to say there is a range of fees paid, per post, and more rarely salaried.

It seems the most common fee paid per post is between $7 and $50 per post, depending on all the usual factors. As your experience grows or the complexity increases you can go well beyond that.

Salaries tend to be low hundreds a month unless you are working for a super-successful blog or doing work for a profitable company. For example, say you worked for an electronics retailer, compared to a small gadget blog.

It’s like selling a house, it is only worth what someone is willing to pay. What you have to do is get some gigs then put your rates up until your rates are too high so you don’t get any work

I don’t think there is any right or wrong answer to this, what do you think is a fair rate? I would value your input over in the forum thread.

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Comments

  1. And then there’s the question of what we mean by blogging… Is your client just looking for blog posts to be written – which in my book is just one small part of blogging – or are they interested in investing in the bigger picture, the relationship and community building too… reading, surfing, networking, linking, replying to comments, checking out reader sites…

    Joanna

  2. And then there’s the question of what we mean by blogging… Is your client just looking for blog posts to be written – which in my book is just one small part of blogging – or are they interested in investing in the bigger picture, the relationship and community building too… reading, surfing, networking, linking, replying to comments, checking out reader sites…

    Joanna

  3. Mostly, it seems people are willing to pay no more than 5 cents a word or so, which is very very low for copywriting.

    Content is just not valued, even though it’s the life blood of a blog or website.

    Personally, I won’t do it unless I’m making at least $20 per hour of work, which means about $15 per 100 words. I *still* consider this a low rate!

    The better gigs I get are paying around 50 cents a word or more and I’d say for a professional writer that’s a minimum you should strive for.

    Good luck!

  4. Mostly, it seems people are willing to pay no more than 5 cents a word or so, which is very very low for copywriting.

    Content is just not valued, even though it’s the life blood of a blog or website.

    Personally, I won’t do it unless I’m making at least $20 per hour of work, which means about $15 per 100 words. I *still* consider this a low rate!

    The better gigs I get are paying around 50 cents a word or more and I’d say for a professional writer that’s a minimum you should strive for.

    Good luck!

  5. Isn’t it easier to just use Adsense?

  6. Isn’t it easier to just use Adsense?

  7. @Joanna – Good point, there is the writing then a whole bunch of other potential stuff

    @Jack – In magazines it was common to be getting around GBP0.15 a word, around USD30c so even in print fees can be all over the map ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Army – Depends. To be honest Adsense has not been too kind to me in comparison to affiliate and private ad sales, but it varies from niche to niche.

  8. @Joanna – Good point, there is the writing then a whole bunch of other potential stuff

    @Jack – In magazines it was common to be getting around GBP0.15 a word, around USD30c so even in print fees can be all over the map ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Army – Depends. To be honest Adsense has not been too kind to me in comparison to affiliate and private ad sales, but it varies from niche to niche.

  9. @Chris, thanks for highlighting the forum thread — it’s an interesting topic for discussion, and one that feels to me like an essential step in the “professionalization of blogging”…

    @Blog Angel Team (Joanna) – you’ve hit the nail on the head! “Blogging” is often taken as synonymous with “writing posts” only, but of course there’s often much more to it. Do we see an opportunity for client education, here?

    @Army Kate, apples and oranges! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. @Chris, thanks for highlighting the forum thread — it’s an interesting topic for discussion, and one that feels to me like an essential step in the “professionalization of blogging”…

    @Blog Angel Team (Joanna) – you’ve hit the nail on the head! “Blogging” is often taken as synonymous with “writing posts” only, but of course there’s often much more to it. Do we see an opportunity for client education, here?

    @Army Kate, apples and oranges! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. The problem with the question of rates is that few people I know get paid by the post — I mean I suppose you could break it down that way but networks and many of my private clients pay a set fee and most offer page view perks. Thus I’m being paid for being a social queen too; not simply writing the post. I don’t mind a lower set base if page view perks are good.

    Also sometimes a job can be worth it if it offers stability. With one job I have it’s flat 600 a month and when you break it down it’s not a super high per post rate but it’s steady — rare in my line of work so worth it to me. When I set my own rates (i.e not with a network) I settle on what I feel my time is worth for that particular project. I need to make enough to pay my bills and not work 80 hours a week. If the client walks they walk which is fine with me — I don’t have time for too much nonsense ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. The problem with the question of rates is that few people I know get paid by the post — I mean I suppose you could break it down that way but networks and many of my private clients pay a set fee and most offer page view perks. Thus I’m being paid for being a social queen too; not simply writing the post. I don’t mind a lower set base if page view perks are good.

    Also sometimes a job can be worth it if it offers stability. With one job I have it’s flat 600 a month and when you break it down it’s not a super high per post rate but it’s steady — rare in my line of work so worth it to me. When I set my own rates (i.e not with a network) I settle on what I feel my time is worth for that particular project. I need to make enough to pay my bills and not work 80 hours a week. If the client walks they walk which is fine with me — I don’t have time for too much nonsense ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. The problem with this thread seems to be the question. You ask what the compensation should be for a freelance blogger. Then we spiral into a discussion of cost per word tit-for-tat. The real questions, from my perspective, are what is the VALUE of the article contribution? I would pay more for something of more value or entertainment than just some blog contribution. Just as I pay more for the New York Times, verses The New York Post, I expect more and usually get more.

  14. The problem with this thread seems to be the question. You ask what the compensation should be for a freelance blogger. Then we spiral into a discussion of cost per word tit-for-tat. The real questions, from my perspective, are what is the VALUE of the article contribution? I would pay more for something of more value or entertainment than just some blog contribution. Just as I pay more for the New York Times, verses The New York Post, I expect more and usually get more.

  15. Bryant, the phrase “just some blog contribution” makes me a bit uncomfortable… One certainly can’t argue the reality of a value-differential in Times vs Post vs (gawdhelpus) News of the World, but a wide range of quality also exists among the millions of blogs on the net. It leads me to wonder… is it the perceived entertainment/information value of the article that we should be looking at, or the credentials of the writer, or the perceived status of the blog in which the article appears?

  16. Bryant, the phrase “just some blog contribution” makes me a bit uncomfortable… One certainly can’t argue the reality of a value-differential in Times vs Post vs (gawdhelpus) News of the World, but a wide range of quality also exists among the millions of blogs on the net. It leads me to wonder… is it the perceived entertainment/information value of the article that we should be looking at, or the credentials of the writer, or the perceived status of the blog in which the article appears?