17 responses to “Dear WordCount: What should I charge for writing blog posts?”

  1. Tweets that mention Dear WordCount: What should I charge for writing blog posts? | WordCount -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by MichelleRafter and Sarah Moon, Jane Langille. Jane Langille said: RT @MichelleRafter: Dear WordCount: What should I charge for writing blog posts?http://wp.me/pEnRH-1De #writing #freelance [...]

  2. Jennifer

    Michelle, you are literally right on the money. It always takes longer than I think it will to write a quality piece–blog, press release, article, whatever. Better to keep that in mind upfront when negotiating so you get paid fairly and don’t develop any resentment down the line.

  3. Steve

    I totally agree with you Michelle, its very hard to figure out how much it will take to write a quality piece and I am sure all of has have been there. I think I will stick to my goal for many years quality of quantity.

  4. Jen L

    Thanks for the insight about this. I was discussing a possible blogging gig with someone recently, and I was debating internally about what to charge. I tend to underestimate the time it takes to write a (good) blog post myself, and I don’t want to lowball myself, if you know what I mean.

  5. Kathryn Lang

    Send me an email with the sites that would pay $50 for a blog post. :D

    I have figured out how many words I can write per hour and use that to estimate what a post will cost. I also figure in the topic, the specifics of the job (some clients want WAY more format and SEO), and even the particular client.

    The clients that like what I produce will counter if my price is too much. The ones looking for mill writers will usually not even respond.

  6. Tweets that mention Dear WordCount: What should I charge for writing blog posts? | WordCount -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Elizabeth S Craig , Kathryn Lang. Kathryn Lang said: RT @elizabethscraig: A freelancer question answered: "What should I charge for writing blog posts?" http://dld.bz/JZ7e [...]

  7. Chandra

    All of this just made it harder for me? I still have no clue what to charge. It can take me anywhere from 1 to 2 hours to finish one blog post depending on the subject matter. (and the topics are what I know very well, little to no research is involved!) Also, if one company is quoted lets say, $50 a post up front, the next one could be worth $100.00

  8. 5 simple math equations every writer should know | WordCount

    [...] common question from new freelancers – or freelancers branching into corporate work – is “What should I charge for a project?” The answer is part math and part art, and the math part is the easier of the two. Start out by [...]

  9. Peter Barnes

    Chandra:

    Maybe my experience would be informative. I have a great long-term client who publishes daily blog posts on news in a niche industry. You bring up an interesting challenge — one post may take much longer than another based on the subject matter at hand, so how do you figure out an average amount of time to base your quote on?

    I dealt with this two ways: First, I was very detailed in my bid, outlining that my fee of $X per post would cover news stories of between 140 and 300 words citing two online sources, with a photo included in every other other post, the associated formatting in the CMS and comment moderation when a reader asked a specific question about the story. I provided my best estimate for how much time this would take. I backed up my proposed fee with data, providing sample per-word rates from previous print clients and citing the average hourly rates for different types of writing listed in a Writer’s Market survey. My bid established a very specific scope of work that the client could accept, reject or negotiate before work began.

    We reached a set of expectations agreeable to us both. This finally brings me to my second strategy, which should answer your question about estimating time. The number of billable hours is always a guess. What makes it accurate is sticking to that amount of time once the work begins. Good writers always have an impulse to add more — more sources, more words, more analysis, more revision. But part of the business challenge in writing for different clients is to provide them exactly what they paid for and expect. If I order a hamburger for lunch, I have no expectation that the cook is going to throw in some apple-smoked bacon and artisanal cheddar just because he has a passion for making tasty burgers. Likewise, if a client wants, and agrees to buy, something short and simple, that’s what the writer should provide. That could mean narrowing a post’s focus or leaving out ancillary topics or omitting a couple of links or spending less time crafting the perfect narrative lede. It’s a tricky but crucial skill to balance a worthwhile eagerness to exceed clients’ expectations with your own business’ need to stay on time. Tracking hours and hourly rates for projects in the first couple of months can be helpful to that end. So can ensuring you’ve got enough padding in your original quote to stay positive about a project if it takes longer than expected.

  10. Susan Weiner, CFA

    I agree with Peter about being very specific about the scope of what your fee covers.

  11. Jacqueline Solivan

    Amazing post! Thank you so much this was an awesome and beyond helpful article. I am so glad I stumbled across your page, it is now a favorite! I’ll be back for more!

  12. Kathilyn

    Yup, I think that it is troubling, the whole low-pay blog issue. I’m struggling with that right now, and have been for years. Somehow, I’d like to get out from under doing for other”s blogs and build my own business of blogging, that has more foundation and legs, i’m not that coherent as it’s late. But, here’s the deal, I cn’t even hire a writer to do some of the writing or subcontracting for me, because the pay is too low and then i’m actually taking advantage of the writings and working for a system that is already undercutting top notch writers. what do you do. how to take bak power?! ……..

  13. Alberto

    To people who don’t know how much to charge for their writing. Here’s an easy formula to figure it out. As a freelancer, in 2014 dollars you need to get paid at least $75 an hour to make a basic living. Don’t forget you have to pay for your living expenses; software and upgrades; computer depreciation and repairs; taking people to lunch, booze for clients and otherwise marketing yourself; vacation time; training and continuing education; therapist; normal slack periods; motivational presents to yourself; Roth IRA; and time off for illness and other unexpected expenses.

  14. Man Cave Zen - men's lifestyle, whisky, Harleys and making money online

    I not only charge based on my time, I also charge on the pagerank/authority and pageviews of the site I’m putting the article on.

    I have a prepper/survivalist site http://graywolfsurvival.com/ that is a PR3 and gets currently about 160k pageviews/mo. I would definitely charge more for an article there than on my brand-new men’s lifestyle blog http://mancavezen/ I just started that has a PR of zero and gets a few thousand pageviews per month.

    The same goes for the complexity, as you mention. An article explaining how to properly plan and document a bug out route would be much more difficult to write than the same length article about the new Harleys that just came out.

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