Advice on Charging for Writing Blog Posts

One of the issues writers always struggle with is what to charge for their writing. Here’s how I advised a friend recently. She was contacted by someone asking her to guest post for a set fee and wanted to know how to respond to them, as the money didn’t seem huge but she wanted to build up the paid blogging side of her business.

Here was my initial advice on average rates for writing blog posts:

What you can charge for posts depends on your profile and their budget. Small blogs may only pay $15-20 a post, while corporate/big blogs may be anywhere upwards of $50. ย So the fee offered (about $30) sits right in the middle. (I also know bloggers who don’t do posts for less than $100-$150 apiece for corporate clients. )

Then I suggested that another consideration should be the work involved in writing the post:

If it’s a topic you’re expert in and you can write without thinking about it too much, then that would be ok (just) for a short post (400-500 words). If you have to write a longer, more detailed post and provide images, upload it yourself and so on, then you could ask for a bit more if you think they want it badly enough.

I followed this up with thinking about how the job sat with her personal productivity:

One way I work out a rate is to think of my hourly rate and halve it because I can easily write two 500 word posts in an hour, if it’s a topic I know inside out. (Update:ย but most people would expect you to take an hour to write a post and more time for associated tasks, so keep this in mind as well.)

Finally, I provided a short script for a response that left room for a future price increase:

You could also respond positively to the offer and make it clear that you will do it for $30 as an introductory rate, but would want more if it turns into something regular.

I always believe in leaving room for negotiation. ๐Ÿ™‚

New writers, would this work for you? Experienced writers, what other advice would you add?

Update: If you’re considering writing sponsored blog posts, then Annabel Candy has an excellent post on the rates you should charge.

About Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall has been mentoring writers here at Get Paid To Write Online since 2005 to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Check me out on Feel free to connect with me online on Google+.


  1. Thanks for this heads-up, Sharon. This advice is exactly how I like it – with a guide to answer scenario-based questions and specifics on starter pricing a newbie writer can charge.

    You know, a lot of writing blogs skip giving specifics on rates newbie rates but doing that, anyone reading this will be confidently armed to start a negotiation – and may even be lucky to get a higher rate.

    I love the script especially.

    Thanks again for these tips – just as though you wrote it specially for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. One comment I would interject is it is reasonable that a client should pay more for someone with the expertise to write on a specific topic.

    Like any position, the greater the experience and expertise, the higher the compensation. Because that person can produce a quality post in a shorter period of time doesn’t mean a client shouldn’t consider all that experience.

    I find the fees on the low side, but that’s largely due to the fact that I blog for corporate clients and have many years of industry experience – which is just another way of saying i’m old. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Agreed, Cathy, which was why I added the update – the client should compensate writers for their expertise not just their ability to turn things around quickly.

      I had a conversation with someone the other day and he thought a fee of $100 was reasonable for writing a post (with no additional responsibilities). In my experience outside the corporate arena, most people won’t pay that kind of rate unless you are an A-lister and will bring your substantial audience with you.

      Thanks for weighing in; it’s good to have your perspective on this issue.

      • I wouldn’t disagree with your friend’s assessment of the corporate rate as a good ballpark or starting point. And I totally agree it’s not real outside of the corporate client setting. That’s why my perspective is off and doesn’t mean diddly squat outside that arena. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi Sharon

    Thid level of fee structure seems very reasonable to me and it shows me how worth while it would be to enlist a writer rather than struggle to write myself, as I do. It takes me a half day to put something together.
    What if the subject is not in your normal sphere of knowledge and you have to research it? Would it then depend on whether you wanted to learn about that particular topic or would you keep to your niche in orde r to be more cost effective?

    • If I know a topic is going to take more than the usual amount of research, I build that into my quote, Julia. Then it’s up to the client whether s/he wants to pay the fee I suggest. My guiding principle is that my time is valuable and, as Cathy said above, anyone who hires me is getting the benefit of 20+ years of writing experience in a range of niches and genres.

  4. Interesting topic Sharon!

    I think most freelance writers would want to know the answer to this tricky question! I feel each writer would eventually charge depending on their years of experience, kind of work, and their budget- either depending on the hour or fixed price.

    I remember when I had started writing it was for peanuts, but I gradually increased my rates and now clients easily pay the rates that I ask. However, I have never touched the $100-150 range yet ๐Ÿ™‚

    My advice to new writers would be to charge less initially and build your portfolio and then gradually increase your rates.

    Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I think many writers start like that, Harleena, and you also raise an interesting point – the project rate. Sometimes writing a blog post is only one part of a bigger project. In that case, you need to keep in mind what each different piece is worth so you don’t under-charge when you quote a project rate. For example, you could have a research component, a writing component, a social media sharing component – all of those have a value.

      • Yes indeed, sometimes writing a blog post is only one part of a bigger project and you do need to consider other things as you mentioned like a research component, a writing component, a social media sharing component and not under-charge in such cases.

        Another aspect is if writing blog posts is part of a bigger project and you have many to cover in a month, you should offer discounted rates as it would be win-win situation for both sides.

        • Discounts are a whole other issue, Harleena. Sometimes it can be a way of gaining goodwill from clients, but you have to be careful not to discount so heavily that you end up resenting doing the job for a low fee.

          • This string of comments prompted another thought. As you gain experience, many bloggers incorporate a minimum number of posts (or fee) into their contracts to avoid the “post here,” “post there” approach. For example, a minimum of 2 posts/month for at least 3 months or some other variation).

            There is so much content needed, A good blogger is worth their weight in gold. Of course, I’m a tad biased. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Hi Sharon, I tend to work it around how long it will take me to write the post. Like you said, if it is a post on a subject I can write with my eyes closed, I will give the client a reasonable price; however, I won’t sell myself short. I’m always happy to work with clients as much as I can. I think the most important thing to consider is whether it is going to be a long term relationship. No matter what, as a writer we should always bring our A-game.

  6. Very sound advice, in my opinion. The matter of experience is extremely important – if you happen to be an expert it can raise the pay level nicely (even if it’s just because they’re paying per post and you can write a lot more, quicker).

    There’s another thing I’d also mention, which is whether you enjoy the subject. For a few guest posts it won’t matter too much but if you end up doing a long-term gig it can make a huge difference. I’m in this situation with one of my clients: two years of work on the same subject that I don’t dislike but which, well, I can take or leave, really. Digging your way out of that kind of pigeonholing can be a rough ride.

    • I agree, Spike. I sometimes wonder, if you don’t enjoy the topic, whether any rate is enough. It’s one of the reasons to embrace variety in your blogging and writing life, so there’s always something that feeds your creative spirit and not just your bank balance (though the latter is important, too).

  7. Sharon,

    I think your advice is dead-on. I would like to make two comments though:

    1. If i do not like the topic I will not take the assignment, my head and heart will not be in it and the post will be terrible (fortunately I have enough work that I can occasionally decline a project)

    2. Writers new and experienced should consider some value added services to set them apart. I always include meta-tags with my work. It only takes five minutes by using a tool such as addme, I believe the extra service has helped in securing clients long-term.

    • Thanks, Alan. In my case, I’m interested in a wide range of things, so I try to find an angle that makes me want to write. And there have been a few projects where I’ve decided that I just don’t have the mental fortitude to carry on.

      I like your idea of adding value. If I’m writing bylined posts – and sometimes even if I’m not – I’ll share them via social media – that’s part of the added value for my clients.

  8. I base my price primarily on research involved since the writing part is generally pretty easy. I have some clients that give no direction on what they want, no subject expertise or anything else, so I basically fly blind. I charge them more.

    It also relates to frequency and long term commitment. I may discount if I know it means frequent posts and/or a long term commitment.

    I also agree with what Alan says about value-add and meta tags. I often load directly to a site (almost always WordPress) and use the All in One SEO plugin. Of course, I think they’re nuts to let me just post, never proofing what I’ve written, but that’s how some of them operate.

    On the other hand, I suppose it’s nice that they trust my material will be good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. ntathu allen says:

    Sharon, real useful to see the rates and fee scales and to read the comments. Am fairly new to writing and blogging and its good for me to know it is possible to earn from writing and to have a framework on which to base (hopefully) paid work. Thanks for posting.

  10. Well thought out, Sharon. I’m like you and can generate 500 words in about 30 min. provided I know the topic.

    I just got hired to do 3 posts a week at about the rates you’re talking about… nice for me ’cause a lot of it will be top of the head.

  11. Sharon,

    Fascinating post. In particular I appreciate how you show the range, and what factors might impact the fee. Also the fact that the price may change over time.

    What is your opinion on a fee that is part fixed, and part based on new traffic generated? Is that common?

    • Hi Nicole, some people offer those deals. I tend to avoid them because that makes me dependent on others’ efforts to get paid, and how do I know what they will do? When I write on my own blog and promote the posts, traffic generated is due to my own work; I can’t say the same on another blog. In addition, often those deals are used as an excuse to get quality work for next to nothing.

  12. Nicole,

    I have never been paid on traffic generated, so my response may be off.

    I think it is appropriate for you to charge based on the worth of your writing. If a client wants to pay based on traffic generated you are no longer in control of your earnings. How much traffic does the site receive? How can you measure how much new traffic is attributable to you. By traffic do you mean visits or performance (ie. signing up for a newsletter, clicking to go to another part of the site or a purchase)?

    I guess if I thought there was potential with a client I would charges the low-end of my scale and accept the traffic generated portion as a bonus.

  13. The problem I find with some clients is, they are happy to work with a lower price initially but don’t want to work once we raise the offer! I would rather go with the right price from the beginning. Its worth waiting to work for the right client.

    • That can happen, Raj, but I’ve recently had the experience of working with a client who asked for a trial rate for a particular job. I agreed (as I had an existing relationship with that client) but made it clear that it was a one-shot deal. The next time around, I billed at the full rate.

  14. I am glad to see this subject being discussed because it affects so many copywriters and bloggers and there is usually so little awareness of the difference between writing an article and creating a well-crafted blog post.

    I have worked with professional copywriters hired to provide content for blogs and in most cases it was not worth the money even though they charged very little – usually $15-$20 per article.

    There are several reasons for that:
    1) Taking the format they supply and getting it pasted into and formatted for a blog can take longer than it took them to write the article.
    2) If they don’t understand SEO well, even if you provided the target keyword phrase they may not have used it well so the content requires rewriting to fix that.
    3) An experienced WordPress blogger can include appropriate images, fill in SEO data, and format their post to be easily scanned which is necessary because people do not tend to READ online – they skim.

    Editing inexpensive articles is especially challenging if you need American English content and hire a UK English writer and vice versa. I had no idea how many words are totally different between just those two countries and how much time finding out what the writer meant and changing the wording takes.

    Just a few examples:
    An elevator in the US is a lift in the UK and Australia
    What Americans call the trunk of a car is a boot to them

    There were dozens of other specific words that did not translate well – those two I already knew about because I have had many friends in the UK, AUS and NZ for decades – but others I had no idea about until I spent more time finding out what they meant and editing them than hiring the writer saved.

    The going rate for blog outreach posts given to small blogs which are usually more like Press Releases and often of mediocre quality is $30 per post where the content is provided or suggested and the blog is required to have a particular reach or pagerank.

    The sites I know of that pay for quality posts pay $50-$75 and they are particular about whose posts they accept. Posts that include images and links to supporting information are worth that at the very least.

    The best bloggers I know rarely do paid posts that don’t pay at least $65-$75 and their top content is $150+ because it takes so long to do well. My posts take hours and sometimes days to complete depending on the amount of research and supporting information I include.

    We would rather contribute a guest post on a high profile, high quality blog than accept $30 for hours of work because we just don’t write typical content.

    There is something else that matters, too, and that is reach. New posts on GrowMap are tweeted by over two dozen bloggers and many of them have 20,000 to 40,000+ followers so they can send 100-250 viewers per tweet.

    I encourage writers to consider whether their time is best spent writing articles or creating collaborations who can be paid to do high quality posts with a built-in audience. I write about this continually and I assure you that creating niche and location specific collaborations will greatly increase the value of your writing – and when you can reach a specific geographic audience it makes sense for small businesses to advertise with you and hire you to do blog outreach.

    The post I published today elaborates on why we need to be focusing on quality over quantity. That post includes links to some of the other points I’ve made in this comment.

    • Hi Gail,

      I am a content writer. I write articles and I write blogs. I am adept at WordPress so when I write a blog post I use it. I spend the amount of time researching for either genre. I feel that I am darn good at SEO and tend to include images in both articles and blogs.

      If your posts take hours or days to complete and you are getting $65 for the post I feel sorry for you. I can easily write four well researched posts or articles of about 500 words in a work day. So, I can make $160 dollars in two days against your $65. I do not think 4 pieces a day is unreasonable or excessive nor do I think it counts as high quantity.

      By the way, it would seem to me that adding visuals if far more important than the writing of blogs because you claim they are generally skimmed not well read. If that is true, blogs are skimmed, why suffer and torture yourself to perfect your writing – no one is going to read it.

      However, if you were writing this post about editing, I could trade story for story who are worse, writers or editors.

      By the way, I read your post line by line. The only reason for my responding to it is that while I may disagree with you, you do write well and further discussion would be interesting.

      • Hi Alan,

        I probably should have indicated that I am not a content writer for pay. I primarily write for myself or for clients, sometimes for major blogs, but never write quick, simple content for such low pay.

        Honestly, I rarely work for pay any more, but when I did I charged $100/hr cash in advance to manage AdWords accounts. When I realized I could not control the distribution fraud and overcharging I stopped doing that and spend most of my time doing what needs doing that doesn’t pay anything.

        There are blog posts and then there are blog posts. If you pop into my blog you’ll easily see what I mean.

        • Hi Gail.

          I finally had time to take a look at your blog/site. It is interesting to me that I have written several articles and posts on social media and local search marketing, including yield optimization and VAST. These pieces at first took maybe two hours between research and writing including editing.

          The clients I wrote them for were quite pleased and I wound up writing a complete site for one of them.

          I am curious as to why research takes so long. Do you use any tools to help you?

          The blog post I read was about local Twitter, frankly I thought it was a bit long for a post and might have been a good article. The information was valuable.

          Like I said, just curious and enjoy discussing how other writers see and do things.


          • My focus is not on making money; it is on doing what most needs doing. The reason my research takes longer is that I want the Truth – not what others want me to believe – and I provide far more supporting links and documentaion that most people do.

            If I were content with just sharing the most popular opinions research would not take nearly as long – but believing disinformation is unwise. My posts are as long as they need to be to be complete strategies, but I do sometimes split them into parts when necessary.

            Formatting so that busy people can skim and get the major points which also provides Twitter length sound bites and finding appropriate images that link to related content are also important to me.

            As I told someone else, there are posts and then there are posts. What your intentions are and whether they are useful for the moment or intended as reference resources to be kept current over time makes a big difference in how much time you are willing to dedicate to them.

            That Twitter post isn’t representative of the posts that take the longest, although WHY we all need to HAVE geo-targeted Twitter accounts is not common knowledge and most still don’t understand the importance.

            Posts that reveal critical information that is being pushed down in the serps take much longer. My /food-rights and /small-business-economy-occupy-wall-street/ contain research that is not easily found in search engines today. They are based on new research as well as the links I have saved in over 3,082 keyword searchable notes.

            There is a huge difference between regurgitating popular opinion and determining where the Truth lies and then writing it in a way that people of all different backgrounds can understand. That is not the calling of every writer but it IS mine.

    • Thanks for this excellent contribution, Gail. There are so many great points in here I don’t even know where to begin with my response, but here goes:
      1. Yes, some people don’t realize that you get what you pay for – a professional, experienced blogger does way more than just write a post to order. Thinking about SEO (or at least being able to use SEO tools for optimization) is part of the package.
      2. A detailed, well-researched post is very valuable and goes on drawing in people months and years after original publication – that’s something for blog owners to bear in mind when hiring bloggers.
      3. I’ve written about the UK/US language divide a few times on various blogs. It’s not just about word choice; it’s style, which can be more difficult to change. Only a few of us can successfully bridge the gap and you have to be aware of the differences and keep up to date with language use.
      4. You’ve spoken about blog collaborations before and they are very powerful, especially with the wider social media audience thrown in. If anyone reading this hasn’t yet checked out Growmap, I encourage them to do that. (Gail, please come back and drop a link to your blog collaborations post.)

      • Hi Sharon,

        Since I haven’t made much time to comment widely lately I wasn’t sure of your policies on links. When I end up with a lot of related content I do a post that brings it all together. The blogging collaboration information is in my Blogging Collaborations Best Practices.

        Today’s post on Quality over Quantity elaborates further on the power of RELEVANT links which can rank content for the targeted keywords – especially when combined with the social media sharing support of bloggers with related blogs.

        Few realize right now the influence and traffic bringing all of this together will have although the Cornell University / Yahoo Research study that mentioned a dozen of our closest collaborators as influencers on Twitter is an early indication. (That post can be found on that same collaboration link I shared at the link that says “writing compelling local content”.

        Bloggers who can deliver a specific audience provide content that is far more valuable than simple the words on the page – and they should be compensated for that ability just as advertisers will pay when you can reach their target audience.

        Thank you for the kind words on Twitter and inviting me back to leave that link. While I was here I noted that you are a DoFollow CommentLuv blog so I added you to the lists I am updating starting with my Top Marketing Blogs list from which I will populate all the others. Now that you’re on that list you’ll be added to the others that apply.

        • I’m always happy to include links which add to the discussion, Gail, so thanks a lot for sharing that one. I thought the case study you presented in the Quality Content post was interesting too.

          Returning to this discussion, your point about the value of audience specificity is one which many bloggers don’t even consider when assessing their value. It’s part of the reason I see so many ads for people wanting to hire bloggers with their own blogs in specific niches. Of course, they don’t want to pay what they are worth …

          • Hi Sharon,

            You see what other bloggers will discover: that it is the audience you can reach that makes all the difference for selling advertising and being paid to write content in a specific niche.

            Most people today are still focusing on links, SEO and getting organic traffic which I believe will prove to be a mistake over time as Google sends less and less traffic to small businesses and content sites and more and more to big brands.

            The wise blogger could be simultaneously building incoming links while growing a local niche audience of real people who will be far more likely to become loyal readers and to recommend your blog.

            When you are one of 1000s of blogs about any topic why would someone recommend you? But when you are “the” blog that provides both the best overall content PLUS content of local interest people are going to tell their friends, family, and co-workers about you – and if they have a business they are going to tell other business owners about you – and then those businesses are going to want to buy ads or have you write about them and it is YOUR LOCAL AUDIENCE that is what makes you valuable.

            Instead of trying to compete with the likes of Mashable or Huffington Post or any other major site, bloggers can be creating a local, targeted audience that small businesses need to reach!

            Here’s a simple example for bloggers who still aren’t following. A search for coupon blogs on Technorati returns 1813 blogs. What are the odds anyone is going to recommend YOUR coupon blog – no matter how good? But what if your coupon blog ALSO has LOCAL coupons? Then what are the odds a reader would tell someone they know about a coupon for a local business they frequent or a commonly used product?

            Having a local geo-targeted aspect to your blog takes nothing away from your national and international readership and it grows an audience that is where the money is for a blog – with LOCAL businesses!

  15. Hey Sharon, love this tip you gave to your friend. I think it is a great start for someone. Sure, some people can charge a $100 per post but not many will pay for it. If she is starting to blog for a company for example, and it would not require too much work on her part, that seems like a nice start.

  16. Some great advice on pricing! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Great thinking.You are encouraging the bloggers.But many people are not ready to pay 100$ for a post.It requires good experience then only achance of getting hired

  18. What service professionals (including writers, of course) should charge for “anything” is always a HOT topic, Sharon!

    I’ve read all the comments here and I must say …

    Seems to me there are more variables than definitives when it comes to what to charge for writing a blog post! Sheesh. I had no idea there were SO many factors to consider. Your post has certainly shed a bright beam of light on the subject.

    Same holds true for consulting fees. I’ve seen them range anywhere from $20 for 20 minutes to $400 an hour. It’s crazy.

    Please note I don’t get paid for my writing (well, not yet, anyway). ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ll be honest …
    I’m a gal who would have no desire whatsoever to write on a topic I disliked, had no vested interest in, one that bored me to tears, or one that required an entire afternoon of research.

    Thanks for an exceptionally enlightening post!!

    • Increasingly, Melanie, as Gail and others point out, you need to be able to do more than just the writing. When I manage a blog for a client, I don’t just write posts; I think about SEO, I add tags and categories, I manage and respond to comments and I share via their social networks (which I previously set up) and selectively through my own. All of that is part of my skill as a professional blogger, takes time and has a value. And even when I guest post for others, I do the same (if I have the right access level). A well written post by a knowledgeable professional builds authority (and traffic) for the blog owner. That has a value, don’t you agree?

      Most writers prefer to write on topics they are competent in. I know I do, but of the many topics I write about, some are definitely more interesting than others.

      • Gail Gardner says:

        This is an excellent summary of what a professional blogger does that goes far beyond being paid to write an article. It would make a good description on a services for hire page.

        We both know that all this takes more time than writing the original post, but it multiplies the value of that post – and the more time spent on blog post promotion and growing relationships the more value that will be.

        The quality versus quantity post I originally used in CommentLuv in my first comment here includes an example and screen capture of how a wise blogger can not only put content on page one at Google for a specific keyword but keep it there for years.

        We can not ALWAYS do that but often we can – and if three related posts linked to each other is not enough if we have sufficient access on other blogs available or connections who are willing to publish our content we can get on that first page and through additional link building and related content stay there. It appears that is not something widely practiced or known. It is something I assist bloggers in learning and doing – and yet another reason for the collaborations I keep encouraging!

        • I can feel an update of my ‘blogger for hire’ page coming, Gail. Too often we don’t spell out the value we offer. If we don’t, how is anyone to know?

          I don’t think the strategy you mention is widely discussed. Even if others know, you’re the first person who’s really spelled it out.

      • Given everything you’ve just shared with me …

        Whatever YOU’RE charging to write posts … isn’t enough!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I know I already commented but I just wanted to add another thought that occurred to me as I read the responses. It’s something I’ve noticed as a sort of “constant” in freelance writing for pay replies (you know, on all the blogs where the subject is mentioned and we all jump in to say our piece).

    The more you’re full of yourself, the more you get paid.

    Maybe it’s just me but the more “rate of pay” posts I read the more it becomes apparent. The people who want high pay for blog posts have a very high opinion of themselves and their work, even when it’s actually not that good.

    I don’t say that to offend anyone – it’s simply an observation that (perhaps) the biggest influence on a freelance writer’s pay is how important they think they are. Bigger mouth, more money.

    • Interesting, Spike. There’s no denying that if you’re prepared to ask for what you think you’re worth, you’re more likely to get it, especially if you refuse to accept less (a luxury some can’t afford). Not always, though, because some people think good writing should be cheap and don’t consider all that goes into creating something excellent. I’d love to hear what others think about this. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • That is, of course, true for almost anything – if you don’t ask, you’re not likely to get! I think there’s also an underlying “mindset” issue, though.

        For example, if I asked you to list five high-earning bloggers who are nice, modest, helpful and interesting, I’d be willing to bet you’d struggle. OK, so maybe asking YOU wouldn’t be such a good idea because you know a lot of people (and can count yourself on the list) but you know what I mean. They’re very, very rare.

        Most of the top earners think they’re the best thing since sliced bread, know all the answers and that the sun shines out of their…. keyboard. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Some of the best writers I know are underpaid and they’re better than the top-paid bloggers. Seriously. MUCH better. But they don’t go around with their nose in the air, proclaiming their awesomeness to all and sundry, so they don’t get the top pay. It’s like being back in the 1980s when how you looked and sounded was more important than what you said. I thought those days were gone but it seems I was wrong. ๐Ÿ™

        • There’s always an aspect of the playground/high school, Spike. Luckily, we don’t all have to live that way. Like you, I know some great writers who are unassuming, but you have to do a bit of trumpet-blowing or no-one knows you’re there.

  20. I am new to professional writing and I am always confused about the amount that I should charge for the articles. This post is very much useful to me as it has cleared many queries that I had. Thanks.

  21. George Angus says:


    some of the best advice I’ve ever seen on this issue. It is exactly the matrix I go through in my head when figuring out what to accept and what to charge.


  22. Thank you! You have just confirmed my suspicions that all of the article writing jobs on oDesk are equal to exploitation and are not worth wasting your time to apply. (they average between $0.50 and $5.00 per article, with many wanting about 100 articles (10 per day) on a single subject)

    • I tend to avoid those sites, April, though I have had the occasional decent job through them, including one that turned into a long term client. Most of the time, though, it’s not worth the time it takes to scroll through the gigs on offer. Freelance Writing Gigs, The Writer’s Bridge and others are much more worthwhile.

      • Although I hear it ALL the time, I still disagree with April’s point of view. oDesk (and the other bidding sites) have some very nice jobs and great clients – unless you have personally trawled through the 7,500 writing jobs on the site (that’s roughly correct at time of posting) and requested all the information from the ones without detail, you cannot say “all of the article writing jobs on oDesk are equal to exploitation and are not worth wasting your time to apply”

        I’ve used three of the bidding sites and picked up some GREAT long-term clients who pay very nicely, thank you. Don’t knock it just because you don’t like its face. Dig a little deeper.

        It takes a while to learn the ropes but I have my filtering down pretty well and can spot the nice jobs quickly these days. They’re there. Sure, you won’t find $100-a-post blogging offers but then how many of those are REALLY available to people who aren’t A-listers, anyway?

        • Spotting the gems is an art in itself, Spike, and it’s good to know someone is getting good work through those sites. They haven’t worked that well for me personally, with the couple of exceptions I’ve noted above, but I know of one UK copywriting firm that earned in excess of GBPยฃ100,000 a year from Elance alone. If you ever want to do a guest post on your filtering system for finding good gigs on those sites, I’d be happy to publish it. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • There’s a whole section on it in the book – though it’s impossible to put a precise system down on paper, since a lot of it is experience, I’ve got most of the basics, alarm bells, things to look for and so on. You’ll be able to paraphrase it once you get your review copy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. Great information and discussion, thanks for sharing. As a newbie in the freelance world, it is good to have an idea of how it all works; especially, when the advice comes from people who are already working in the field.

  24. This is in response to your call for comments regarding Spike’s observation that “big mouths get paid more” (Spike, just paraphrasing).

    I think he is on to something. But, maybe it is that folks who self promote in the blogging world make friends within the community. And Spike, I am old school in that I think, even in the online world, it is who you know that may count for more than what you know or you write.

    Now, I have a pretty big mouth on several writers boards, but I blog for the fun of it, not to gain creds or build a following. Sure I have my site with a blog, but it is basically a marketing tool.

    Yesterday I met a young woman who just moved into my apartment complex. She asked me what I do, I told her I write. Funny, she does to but for a newspaper and with a byline. While we were talking I said to her, well you are a pro – me, I am a content hack. Reading this blog I have come to realize again, that while I serve many masters and will never win a Pulitzer, the work I do is important because it is important to my clients. I admit that I think I have above average research skills and can pen a decent blog or article – and that is what I am paid to do.

    The question asked here is about how much to charge. Although writing and Social Security are my two jobs, I only write part-time. So, I want to earn at least $25 an hour, or $100 per day. Now that is not a lot of money, but on a full-time basis it would be $200 per day or over $40k per year. That is pretty respectable in my opinion for someone not schooled in writing. So, my advice is to first determine what you feel you are worth on an hourly basis, figure each assignment including writing editing formatting and the value added things such as tags, images and links. Then multiply the hours you need by the charge per hour you have as your goal. That should be your price, at least that is how I do it.

    • Alan, you make a good point here about determining what you need to earn and working back from there. It’s another formula I’ve used that I forgot to mention, so thanks.

    • I actually meant that people who have a high opinion of themselves seem to earn more, rather than opinionated people (of whom I am one!). I constantly run into second-rate writers (even by my very average standards) who think they’re God’s gift to the literary world and charge vast quantities of cash for short pieces.

      In my opinion, they do more damage to the overall rate of pay than the people all the snobs complain about – those working for low pay. In my opinion, a client who’s paid $100 for a crap article (from someone who’s blown their own trumpet extensively) is MUCH more likely to reduce their pay rates than anyone else.

  25. Sharon, just discovered Blogging Tips over the weekend and I can see that it’s a goldmine. I’ve read a number of your posts already and they’re so useful and easy to chew on. Well this post about rates is very interesting and a big Thank You for being so specific with numbers. I’m toying with the idea of doing some pro-blogging and so such info is so very useful.

  26. Great advice all the way around! I say do what you’re comfortable with at the price point you’re comfortable with.

  27. linda wilson says:

    Excellent starting point for those of us who have no idea about the ‘niceties’ of charging for our work. The naming of sites to look at for contracts is also much appreciated. Thank you one and all (UK newbie blogger)!