4 Freelance Bloggers Tell How They Earn $200+ Per Post

Editor

Do you think all you can find are $5-per-article blogging gigs? And those stories you hear about this or that freelance blogger earning $50, $75, even hundreds of dollars per post are nothing but fiction?

Bottom-of-the-barrel rates are definitely *not* all that’s out there. I’ve compiled the stories of four freelance bloggers who are earning $200 and up for blog posts. No joke!

Here’s how they landed those gigs — and what better-paid blogging gigs are really like.

$250 Writing about gems & jewelry

Leslie Jordan Clary, an experienced writer in the jewelry and gems field, was approached by a wholesaler to write posts for two of their blogs. They found her through a targeted writer site that focuses on Clary’s work in this field, which began in the 1990s, when she was living in Asia and began writing about gem mines for a trade journal.

The company initially offered $100 for 1,000 words, says Clary, but she negotiated with them to get that $250 rate. Though many of the posts allow her to draw on her own experience, she does Internet research to fill in the blanks. Clary says each post takes her about four hours to write, so it averages out to $50-$60 per hour.

A $500 relocation-guide post

A self-storage company hired Sherri Ledbetter to write “20 Things You Need to Know Before You Move to Tulsa,” a quick guide to some of the highlights of living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ledbetter had written similar posts before, and the samples on her website convinced her client that she was good fit for the gig.

She was initially offered $400 for the post, but she negotiated a $100 rush fee, because the post was due in less than two weeks. The post, she says, was fairly easy and took only two hours to write. At a $250 per hour rate, Ledbetter is definitely looking for more work in the same vein.

$300 Per post in tech and healthcare

Amy Dunn Moscoso comes from an agency background, and she has used the skills she gained there to target companies in the lucrative technology and healthcare fields. As a result, Moscoso is earning high blogging rates for a variety of companies, earning between $50-$110 per hour.

Some of the blogging gigs she’s had include condensing a highly technical health care technology white paper into a 500-word blog post, 1,500-word buyer’s guides for a software-as-a-service company, and an ongoing blogging gig with a Chinese school looking to recruit North American teachers.

She found the buyer’s guide job through the ProBlogger job board, but says the other work has come through networking and inbound marketing.

Construction software: $225 per post

By her own admission, Angie Mansfield knows nothing about construction. But that doesn’t stop her from earning $225 a week writing for contractors. Her blogging gig for a company that provides software to contractors started at two $125 posts per week. As she learned more about the audience and the company decided to go to one post per week, she convinced them to begin paying her $225 apiece.

Each post requires about an hour of work, she says, and runs between 350 and 500 words. That puts her at about $200 an hour. Mansfield has been working for this client for a year, and has proven her ongoing value: “I don’t just sit back and wait for them to send me stuff. I suggest topics and stay up-to-date,” she says.

How you can earn these freelance blogger rates, too

Do you have what it takes to earn pro blogging rates? If you’ve been writing in a specific field and have a few clips, probably. Here are the keys to make it happen:

  • Be confident. All of these writers had the guts to ask for good rates — and not second-guess it. Moscoso says the barrier between earning crappy content mill rates and earning good pay “is not as big as you think. Push through the fear and believe that you can get this type of work.”
  • Specialize. Clary has been writing about gems for years, and this helped her command higher fees for her work, she says. Her gem-focused writer site and a separate Twitter account just for gems and jewelry ensure that potential clients see her as a highly skilled and specialized writer.
  • Highlight your location. Ledbetter’s writer site brands her as a Tulsa-based freelance writer, and that’s why she got a plum gig writing about the city for a national company.
  • Use inbound marketing. Moscoso uses LinkedIn to connect with potential clients — and she finds clients that are “desperate to find writers” who want to write about the product or service they’re trying to sell. She suggests spending about 40 percent of your time on marketing. Make sure your LinkedIn profile, writer website, and portfolio are a good representation of the work you want to do.
  • Provide value. Each of these writers bring specialized knowledge to the table, but Mansfield ensures that she’s an active participant in her blogging gig. She has Google alerts set up so that she knows what’s happening in the field she covers, even though she came into the gig far from expert. This allows her to make her clients’ life easier by suggesting topics.

Jennifer Roland is a freelance writer and Make a Living Writing’s guest-post editor. She focuses on edtech, lifestyle topics, marketing, public relations, and content creation. Her latest book, Pacific Northwest Writers: Perspectives on Writing, comes out in June 2015.

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58 Comments

  1. Fred

    Several years ago, I had online writing gigs for $250 each for 500 word articles. I told my contact that I could do two a week. He said he could take all I could send him, so I was happy to oblige and did five to seven a week. They were investment related, and unfortunately the stock market crashed and that deal ended after a couple years, but it was great while it lasted.

    How did I get it? I went to other investment related sites and signed up for the free to join memberships. When I joined one particular site, I got an email from the website owner saying “You are my favorite blogger.” (I blog regularly.) Then the conversation started. One of these days, I will write an article about this experience.

    • Carol Tice

      I love it — thanks for sharing this story of how you connected with better-paid blogging work!

      I do find these better blog contracts come and go — when they say we can take a lot, I always say, write as fast as you can!

      I once had a big contract to write for Lending Tree at $100 a post, but I had a feeling it wasn’t going to on forever, as they didn’t seem to have a strategy behind it…and it didn’t. They reportedly developed $1 million in content before suddenly pulling the plug and going to the ‘write for exposure’ model. Often, sites invest a lot in content at launch, and then slack off.

  2. Jon Lee

    It actually makes a LOT of sense to target companies with financial resources at the outset, as opposed to just taking any assignment while hoping something more lucrative comes along. If you take a look at magazines for example, (using Writer’s Market as a reference), you will see that it would be challenging to piece together enough articles in a month to make ends meet.

    By contrast, if one could average $50 an hour (not a ton for a specialized freelancer) and line up 20hrs a week of work, he/she would probably be at least treading water.

    Which begs the question….if one were to focus on a couple of specific niches, then target companies with a specific revenue range, is there a specific title or titles WITHIN those companies to at least initiate communications with?

    • Carol Tice

      Just look for the marketing manager, Jon.

  3. Sarita

    Hi gang,
    Lots of great info here.
    One of the things that has really helped me with boosting my earnings is asking “Who has the money?” I’m primarily a business and personal finance writer….and yup, you guessed it – banks, investment firms, and insurance companies have A LOT of money for great website content.

    Now I used to be a financial advisor for a large bank, so I already have experience in the field, which helps. The highest rate I’ve earned to date is $1.00 a word – $500 for 500 word blog posts (I’ve written ten so far) on personal finance topics for a big bank. Because I know the topics inside and out, they take between 1.5 hours and 2.5hours to write. And at that rate, I’m earning a lot more writing about money stuff than I ever earned talking about it when I was a bank employee!

    • Carol Tice

      NICE Sarita — thanks for adding your story of specializing and earning great blogging rates!

      I’m with you — follow the money. Who has money? Stop writing for cheesy online startups that are staking their business model on (shrinking) online ad revenue, and find clients that you know have big money coming in. Financial services is a GREAT blogging niche — I got $300 a post once for a bunch of posts for Dun & Bradstreet, and $100 a post in the launch phase of Lending Tree’s blog. And last I checked, American Express OPEN Forum was $300 a post — I wrote a few things for them as well.

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