By Jennifer Chait
The question of how much money you should make as a professional blogger pops up a lot; at forums, in my emails from people, etc. The problem with this question is that there is no clear answer. It’s a personal question on top of an already extremely variable paying market.
Just how variable is the market? Well, I’ve seen blogs advertised lately paying $10 a week but personally I won’t blog anywhere for under $100 a month and that’s low end – the posts would need to be extremely manageable (or the perks stellar). I also have two blogs right now that require the same amount of time per month, yet one pays hundreds more.
You have to weigh options that are right for your situation and goals.
When you work as a blogger you’ll work for yourself (which we won’t be looking at right now), a client who runs blogs, or a network. If you apply for a network blog, say like a blog with b5media you aren’t going to have a choice about base pay but you can still control things like page view pay. If you work for a non-network client you’ll have a bit more wriggle room on pay.
To decide if a blog is worth the pay, ask yourself the following questions.
- How much work is required?
- How much time will it take me personally to do the work that’s required. Consider how well you know the topic. For instance, if I took a job as a blogger on a blog about cooking my wage would need to be higher than if I took a blog job about gardening because my cooking skills are more limited and thus I’d be researching more.
- Is the pay balanced with the work required and the time commitment on my part worth it?
- Are there other tasks involved that will take up my time? For example, you may or may not be required to network, garner page views, find photos, and run contests – all of which is time consuming so make sure your pay reflects that.
- How long have you been blogging? Obviously there are bloggers who come out of the gate strong but most of us start at lower wages and work up. Once your blogging resume reaches a certain proficiency you can choose not to go below a certain wage unless you feel the inclination to do so.
- Is this blog going to be a good time investment? If you take on an underwater basketweaving blog and a lot of your pay is based on page views you may have a problem. The growth for this topic may be slow. If you take on a topic that’s less popular make sure you are confident that you can make it grow or your wages are going to stay at a standstill.
Although I’m a huge advocate of writers (including bloggers) getting a fair wage for services I do think it’s fine to blog for free under very specific circumstances. These circumstances include:
- You are blogging for yourself; such as at a personal blog. OR you are starting up your own blog that may eventually be a money maker.
- You are blogging for other perks that are personally beneficial. Guest posting is a good example. Guest posts get your name and links out there plus you get experience writing for a blog topic that you may not usually get to write for which can look great on a resume. I know someone who blogs for free books. Really if you get some sort of perk writing one or two blogs for free can be useful. Just make writing for free the exception, not the rule.
- You are helping out blogging friends at their paid blogs. Even if a friend gets paid for a blog I’d help them out for free if they needed it. Such as they go on vacation or get sick – what goes around comes around folks.
Overall though; don’t work for free. Don’t work for pennies. If someone is making money on a blog or a blog network then you need to get paid. Just as you do for any other job.
How do you decide if a blogging gig is worth the pay?
In other news; thanks so much to everyone who left great comments on last week’s blogging post. I know I was absent from the comments. I did read them all — I’m sorry for not commenting back, it was just a really long week.