In Deb’s post, I Don’t Hate Blog Networks, she says,“My only concern about blogging for a network is whether or not the ends justify the means. Does the amount of money you’re being paid adequately compensate the work going into your blog? If you’re working your butt off for less than minimum wage, you may want to consider whether or not blogging for a network is a good choice for you.”
Which is so true, I’m pointing it out here again.
You can apply this thinking to any writing client, not just blog networks. No matter what sort of writing you do, the question above is still a smart one to ask yourself. Something I talk about a lot here is figuring your hourly wage, because it’s so hard to figure out most writing gigs any other way. When it comes to blog gigs, it’s super important, because you may be expected to spend time not only blogging, but promoting too.
Example – is the following gig justified?:
Client X offers to pays you $100 flat a month plus 2.00 per 1,000 page views at a newer blog. You take the gig because heck, another $100 is another $100. You learn that your tasks include posting five times a week (each post takes 20 mins), finding images (another 10 minutes at least), keeping up the blogroll, answering comments, and networking to drive traffic (another hour to three hours a week). BUT you’ll never grow traffic by posting just 5 times a week, so you’ll have to add in extra posts and networking at a cost to your time.
Say you’re spending about 5.5-7 hours there a week. Because it’s a newer blog, let’s estimate that you’re only getting 9,000 page views a month. Your pay would be $109 a month. If you work it out, that’s about $27 a week or $3.85 – 4.90 an hour.
What you can do:
- Decide it’s not worth it and quit.
- Ask for a raise either in base or traffic.
- Hope beyond hope that your low networking amounts pay off and will raise traffic (but face it, this could take years).
- Stick with it and work some magic networking – i.e run some killer contests, land on a top social site, etc.
- Lower your hours so that it brings your pay up to a decent amount per hour. In this case, if you want to bring your pay up to say, $15 an hour (not unreasonable – I make $15-37+ an hour at some of my gigs, and many writers make more than that), you’d need to cut back your hours to about 2 hours a week. At two hours a week, you will never raise your page views or establish the blog in any meaningful way though, so…
- Switch to another form of writing for a while, or forever – i.e if you blog, try tech writing. If you work in white papers, look at magazines. All writing arenas have high and low wage times. Waves are natural.
What I’d do:
Honestly, it depends on the blog and client. If I like said client and blog, I’d choose a couple of options. I’d lower my work time, and try some better networking tactics. I’d give it a few months and see what happens. If the client is a pain or the blog is dull, I wouldn’t stick around. I’ve made lots of cash per hour at some gigs and still quit due to annoying clients so I’m not going to stay if I hate the place.
If you’re figuring out your hourly wage for a non-blogging, other sort of writing gig, some of your options are different, because your tasks aren’t the same, but you get the idea.
Your task today: sit down, figure out your wages, and see which of your gigs are justified, both money wise and happiness wise.
P.S We’re working on a big ol’ list of good social networking arenas, so stay tuned.