Why I’m Starting to Pay Writers for Guest Posting on My Blog

Carol Tice

Why I now pay writers for guest posting on my blog. Makealivingwriting.comLast year, I started actively soliciting guest posts for this blog. My original idea was to find a few writers interested in guest posting regularly, once a month. I did that weekly for a year on WM Freelance Writers Connection, and thought it was a great experience for me…so maybe some readers would like to be regular guest posters on my blog.

You told me my idea sucked.

After all, I’m all about empowering writers to get paid more. How could I ask writers to regularly write for free?

I thought about it. I realized I had accomplished something.

I had created a brand on this blog.

My brand stands for something — it stands for fair pay for writers. That means I have to be true to that, always.

I immediately switched to simply soliciting single guest posts from writers. Which were done for free.

Because after all, guest posting is something we all do for free, as a marketing activity. Right?

But the free guest posting idea still bugged me.

Especially in the past few months, as this blog began earning a very modest but still meaningful income.

I’ve crusaded for three years now against $15 articles and $20 blog posts.

Why, I had to ask myself, do I still think free guest posts are OK, especially on sites that make money?

The answer is: I don’t.

I’ve decided that while I may continue to choose to guest for free on other sites, I don’t think it’s OK for me to ask writers to post for free here.

That’s why I am now paying for guest posts.

Yes, this is going to hit my budget. But I’ve decided it’s got to be done. Somebody has to take a stand and say that if a blog is a money-making business, writers should be paid.

I kept waiting for one of the big, popular blogs to start paying and start a trend, and then lots of blogs would pay for guest posts.

But that hasn’t happened.

I may not be starting a trend, but I’m going to start paying writers for guest posts. Because I feel it’s the right thing to do.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

For now, I will only be accepting two or three posts a month. I will be paying $50 $75 a post (as of fall 2015).

I realize that for some of my readers, this will make me a highly desirable market, while for others it will be an insultingly small amount of pay.

In either case, I pay $75 for each blog post I publish.

I pay on publication.

Writing experts or others who guest post in order to put a link to a paid product in their tagline remain unpaid. My aim is to pay working freelance writers for their success tips.

Interested in guest posting on my blog?

Here are my writers’ guidelines. Please read them carefully.

Make a Living Writing provides authoritative, helpful advice that doesn’t pull any punches. I’m seeking posters who can offer straightforward, practical, valuable, no-bull information that’s rooted in personal experience. Concrete examples are encouraged.

Please be a regular reader of this blog before you pitch me. Be familiar with the topics that have recently been covered on the blog. Propose something different.

Know how to write strong headlines.

Some particular areas where I am always looking for guest posts include specialized writing niches, time management, and the technical end of blogging and writers’ Web sites. I also like success stories about how a writer broke in, or got a great client.

I prefer posts of about 500 words or less, though a long-list type topic might need more space.

Proof relentlessly. Write concisely. Know AP Style.

Check the popular posts sidebar at right for a sense of what readers like.

Posts should be unique and previously unpublished. You will not include any lies in your post, or especially anything that slanders or defames anyone else.

I retain the right to use your guest post in future ebooks and other products. However, you may reprint/republish your post after 30 days.

Compose your post in your WordPress so that it formats well, if you can. Please suggest an image (either free or a cheap one from istockphoto) and provide credit link information.

Once your headline and outline has been approved by me and you’ve written your post, send me two things: a .txt or .rtf plain-text version of your proposed post for putting into my WordPress html mode, and a Word doc for easy read-through.

I offer two links in your tagline (or you can stick one of those in the post, if you prefer). That is all. Keep your tagline short – three lines max.

Have a passion for helping other writers make more money.

Do not send me finished articles without an assignment from me. They will not be read or accepted.

When you’re ready, email me your pitch. It should include the proposed headline for your blog as well as an outline of the points you would cover.

If I think there’s potential there, I’ll contact you on email and we’ll flesh it out.

I look forward to having some terrific guest posts on the blog, and to helping create more conversation around the idea of pay for guest posts.

For great examples of guest posts I’ve published in the past, see my permanent guest-post submission guidelines page.

What do you think — should guest posters be paid? Leave your opinion in the comments below.

Do you have questions about how to earn more from your writing? Learn more in my community Freelance Writers Den — take ecourses, attend live events, ask writing pros your questions in our forums, and use our exclusive Junk-Free Job Board.

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75 Comments

  1. Glynis

    Hi Carol,
    I just came across your blog thru Jon Morrow and I think your stand on paying guest bloggers is an excellent example of putting your money where your mouth is–pun all day!
    I am not a new writer but completely new to blogging. I am reading blogs, will continue to do my homework and if I am good and extra lucky, I may see myself here someday:>)
    Thanks for all you do–you are appreciated, especially by newbies like me

    Glynis

  2. Edwin Smith

    Hello there!
    I have been following your blog for quite a while and love the content and information that you offer your readers.
    I am reaching out today to see if you would be interested in a sponsored post for your blog. I believe I can provide value for your readers and share my knowledge.
    I will ensure the content is top-notch and provides a new look on a topic that your readers are interested in learning more about. Looking forward to hear from you soon.

    Sincerely,

    Edwin Smith

    • Carol Tice

      Edwin, I get probably 5-10 requests like this per week now…but I don’t accept sponsored posts.

      My guest posters are not paying link-seekers, but working freelance writers with useful, hands-on experience to share with my readers. I currently only accept guest posts from two groups of writers — members and grads of my Freelance Writers Den community, and of Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging course. Full guidelines are here:

      https://makealivingwriting.com/why-i-pay-writers

  3. Felicity

    Hi – Just wondering if you saw an increase in the number of guest post submissions after you made this decision? Thanks

    • Carol Tice

      OH, yeah, Felicity. It is amazing what happens when you wave $50 at writers!

      I get so many that later, I decided to limit applicants to grads/members of either my Freelance Writers Den community or Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging class. You can check out my updated guidelines for all the details at https://makealivingwriting.com/why-i-pay-writers

      I also do the occasional open pitch week where I look at posts from all comers.

  4. Felicity

    Just wondering whether you saw an increase of guest post submissions after you made the decision to pay for them? Thanks

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