As you might already know, one of the ways I earn income is by blogging for other people. This practice is becoming more and more common as companies realise the benefit of having a blog but their staff do not have the time to keep up the content.
Companies can choose to go with a freelance blogger for many reasons
- Linkbait and search engine boost
- Having the credibility of a recognised authority blogging for them
- Constant content to keep client and prospect relationships warm
- Attract attention to convert to sales leads
For the blogger the benefits come down to increased exposure and pay. Payment can be per-post, word count based, or on a retainer. Obviously all fees come down to negotiation, expectations, article length, complexity and blogger experience. If you are just starting out do not expect to get more than $20 a post, while for a proven blogger in a competitive niche, with lots of research required, you can earn ten or twenty times that amount.
Added Aug 15th : Marshall Kirkpatrick has written a post where he quotes what he believes a company should be willing to pay …
top-tier bloggers that will be tied closely to your brand should be paid between $5k and $8k per month.
… so for those who wrote to me doubting what I say above you can see in fact I am undervaluing compared to the market!
The arrangement can work very well for both the blogger and the client providing everything is clear from the start, and the responsibility for making sure this happens is down to the blogger.
So what is the secret to freelance blogging? Asking the right questions
Some example questions you might need to agree beforehand are:
- What is the client goal for the blog? Who decides? Who is the boss? For example do they want a search engine boost or to grow readership? If you have two contacts, who makes the decisions?
- How will the goals be measured? Will your performance against metrics affect the contract?
- Which topics should be covered? Are there verboten topics?
- On what schedule and deadlines will posts be delivered? Daily? Only Wednesdays?
- Will posts be draft and edited or created and directly made live? You might get a login or you might email your posts. Some writers do not like to be edited while others are grateful for the polish.
- What payment method, arrangements and schedule will be used, including invoicing? I prefer to be paid in advance, many businesses like to pay after 60 days. Best to work that out before you start writing!
- Will it be adhoc, fixed or permanent contract? You might build up months of research only to not get paid and have the contract pulled.
- Who owns the content? Who owns unused content? In most cases you are “work for hire” which means the client owns published content, but in some cases there will be unused work that you will want to re-purpose.
- Will the blogger be responsible for promotion and housekeeping or just writing? If you are only being paid, say, $50 a post, you will already have to research and write fast for that to work out to a reasonable hourly rate. If you have to add housekeeping and promotion then the client should not be expecting long essays!
- Is there a budget for photography, advertising, prizes, etc? On some blogs you will need to include photography on every post, or create a buzz through giveaways. This should not come out of your own pocket but it is best to prevent disagreements up front.
I usually deal with this by having a telephone/skype conversation followed by a letter of engagement that the client signs and faxes back to me. This is just a one pager with bullets saying what I will do, when, for how long and for how much.
Do you blog for hire? Do you want to? Is it a good way to make money? Got any tips? Would you not blog for hire? Why? Please share your thoughts in the comments …