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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  1. Shannon

    I think what you have decided to do is courageous and empowering. As a newer writer (and former victim of far too many content mills who refuses to let them shake my confidence) I thank you. And I will be pitching and grateful for the opportunity. 🙂


    Many days have gone past the years since you started this project.It is only recent that I discovered this wonderful blog for I have not been an online writer until I registered as an online Business and Finance student at Atlantic International University in Miami (USA ) that I wanted an extra fees to pay for my course that I wakened the love for writing in me.The question you posed where it is appropriate to pay 50 dollars to guest writers on your blog, works in developed countries where one could rightly say NO.Here in Africa and particularly Uganda where I live 50 dollars is a big boost, My question is is the offer still on such that I write as a guest? I have done it before with the government News paper,The New Vision for the purposes of marketability and promotion.Thank you Tice.

    • Carol Tice

      Alex, see the link to my full writers guidelines page up in that post for all the details on my process for accepting guest posts.

  3. Karshim Kanwar

    The idea of raising awareness of homeless people’s struggles through video and helping to inspire change is great one in deed!
    Hope you succeed and achieve your monthly targets!

  4. Margo

    I absolutely LOVE reading all that you have written here. I have been trying to find a way to really make money online for months now and I have always been told that I should write. I am great at it and I ma passionate about it. I think paying for guest posts is fair. It shows that you care about others and respect them as a writer and contributor.
    I have learned a lot from reading your blog. I personally am just starting out being paid to write and the hardest part for me is trying to figure out what I should charge. To be honest, I am working for a client right now, and I am really being ‘ripped off’, I figured that to get my foot in the door I needed to take the first job I could get on Elance. I am getting $0.50 for every 100 words, the person gets ahold of me randomly with an assignment, the last assignment was 5 articles, 500 words a piece, and a seven hour deadline. ALL of the topics were NOTHING I had any idea about so I had to research each and every article before I wrote it. 🙁
    I know my writing is worth more. I love how you say to try to find paid blogging jobs, but I am not very good at selling myself and how much I should charge.
    Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much

    Margo Johnson

    • Carol Tice

      Charge a lot more. Don’t work for mill or bid-site clients who pay pennies.

      Find the clients who are willing to pay more.

      Become good at selling yourself. It takes practice, but anyone can learn to market themselves.

    • Margo

      Thank you! After I posted my comment I went and started searching for piad bloogers wanted and came across probloggers, a list of blogging jobs available and found that the pay range for the jobs is between $12 to $100 per post. They even have a salaried job for $1500 to $2250 per month! I am applying for a few. I am also going to continue looking.
      I was wondering if I could put a link to your website in my next post on my blog(s). I think your information is very important for all writers to read and implement.
      You have inspired me, and made me rethink my value!

      Thank you so much

      I am also going to be publishing a blog later today that I am very proud of.
      Thanks again

    • Carol Tice

      Margo, looks like you were trying to link us to a blog post — please use my CommentLuv tool to make that happen…otherwise you may end up in the spam.

      And certainly you’re free to link to me in a post…everybody else does it, so jump on in. 😉

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