How One Paid Blogger Got a 33% Raise

Editor

business woman making money working on line on computerIf you want to boost your freelance blogging income, you’re probably doing all the things you’re supposed to do:

  • Regular marketing
  • Checking in with past clients
  • Asking current clients for other projects

But here’s another income-boosting approach I stumbled on: Pitch extra services on the same work you’re already doing for clients as a paid blogger — in a context that matters to your client.

Those of you with sales experience already know this “want fries with that?” strategy. When I saw how well it worked, I about smacked myself in the forehead, because I didn’t think of it sooner.

 

Why my original offer flopped

I have a long-term business blogging client I write for quite a bit. The company — an established business-to-consumer (B2C) service business — has invested a lot of time, money, and effort into developing its blog. They have several writers posting regularly.

When I was hired, I offered two blog post rates, $220 with expert interviews and $165 without interviews.

The client went for the no-interview option — still a good rate, but not the premium rate I was hoping for.

Why didn’t the client bite?

  • At the time, the company was hiring several writers and wanted to stay within budget — not much I could do about that.
  • I failed to spell out how the interview option would add value by increasing the likelihood of shares and visibility on social media.

Even if I had elaborated on the value that expert interviews add, budget considerations might have trumped potential shares while the client was ramping up its blog. But I didn’t try, so I don’t know.

The revamped offer that made the sale

About six months after I started blogging for this client, I was researching topic pitches for them. Scanning their existing posts, I noticed that many weren’t getting as many social-media shares as I’d expect.

I decided the time was right to pitch the interview package again — this time, as something that costs a bit more but adds value to a blog that client invested a lot of resources into developing. My approach:

  • I mentioned that my posts for other clients get many more shares when there’s an expert quoted, because the expert and their colleagues, PR team, and friends share the link with their networks. For a bit extra, I said, I’d be glad to provide the same service for this blog.
  • I also offered to tweet each post through my professional Twitter account, with a shout-out to the interviewee to get the ball rolling.

Turning one raise into many

My client agreed to try it out with the next few posts I write.

So I’ll be getting 33 percent more per post and making my work more valuable to the client, without backbreaking extra effort on my part.

If it works, I hope the client will see the value in continuing with the interview approach, and I’ll earn more on every post in the long run.  Hopefully, I’ll also have a success story on traffic growth and social-media sharing to market to other prospects, when I pitch the interview option for their blogs.

Anyone who blogs for clients can use this method to raise their rates — without the discomfort of raising your rates based on experience alone. You’re adding immediate, measurable value for the client. Who wouldn’t expect to pay more for better results?

How have you negotiated a raise? Tell us in the comments below.

Casey Kelly-Barton is a business, travel, and parenting freelance writer based in Austin.

30 Comments

  1. Rachel

    I couldn’t help thinking about how anyone can do this if only they try. Many moons ago I waitressed at a Steakhouse, and they ran a contest for upselling things like side orders and desserts. I never made a lot of effort on the upsells because I naively thought that if the customer wanted something they would just let me know. Because the prize offered in the contest was something I wanted to win, I upped my efforts in the contest and viewed it as a bit of an experiment. As it turned out, I won. I was by far not the most competent server in the restaurant, nor was I anywhere near as experienced as some of my co-workers, but I upsold EVERY customer, on EVERY item, EVERY time. I am still amazed when I think of it today that so many people do NOT know what they want until you tell/show them.

    • Carol Tice

      Well…if you have the wrong kind of clients (content mills, Elance) it’s hard to upsell the client — they pay a pittance and only want you for one thing. But with any decent client, there’s always room for upsell.

  2. Vicky Poutas

    Casey,
    Great post! The technique of selling the value added rather than the writer also helps newbies like me to ask for that raise. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Amel

    Thanks a lot for sharing your success story. I really appreciate posts containing actionable items that I can use in my own business and marketing strategies.

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