Mailbag: How Much Can Freelance Writers Charge for Blogging?

How Much Money Can You Make Blogging? What Do Freelance Writers Charge?

Carol Tice | 79 Comments

How Much Can Freelance Writers Charge for Blogging? Makealivingwriting.comToday, I’m answering a reader question about how to earn more as a paid blogger. But first, I want to apologize — I’ve been neglecting the Make a Living Writing mailbag, which is now bulging! Promise to make mailbag a more regular feature again, starting now.

So — today’s question is on negotiating an ongoing blogging contract. It comes from freelance writer Don Sadler:

“I have an opportunity to become a regular monthly blogger for one of my magazine clients and am trying to figure out a good pay rate for this. The audience is corporate meeting and event planners.

“The client wants to pay by the word, just like they do for regular magazine and  e-newsletter articles. This will be for 2-3 blogs per month, I’m guessing 300 words or so, plus one more in-depth e-newsletter article like I’ve been writing. I’m looking probably at about .40/word, so $250-350 for the blog portion.

“Does this sound decent to you for 2-3 blogs a month? This is my lowest paying client — I don’t make less than $.50 a word anywhere else — but it’s steady, monthly work. Thanks for your input.”

My general rule as a paid blogger is that I try not to take less than $100 a blog, no matter what. Yes, even if you’re looking for freelance writing jobs for beginners you don’t want to get in the habit of undercharging. I’ve made as much as $300 per, depending on what they require. So on the face of it, your rate sounds fine — about $120 per post.

But I see a lot of potential problems lurking here. In the months since you originally sent me this query, Don, I’ve had many small-business and publication blogging clients. And I’ve learned a few things about what makes paid-blogging projects successful, and what makes them fail. My suggestions:

1. Define your project.

You sound like you’re bidding in a bit of a vacuum. You’re guessing how long the posts will be and what they will require. I’ve found that when you guess about blogging gigs, you always lose. Find out and get a commitment on your expected post lengths.

Do the posts require interviews? If so, the rate is definitely too low. Will they hand you the topics, or will you have to run Google Alerts daily and scan them to develop post ideas? This latter makes a real difference in the time you’ll spend on this project.

Do they really want them 1,000 words long? Many outlets don’t really understand blogging or the advantages of having short posts — you may have to sell them on that. If the length is longer than 300 — and in my experience, it often is more like 400-500 words — your per-word rate is too low.

To sum up, don’t imagine you know what your publication thinks of as a blog post. Find out, and then bid accordingly.

Final word of warning on this — I’ve discovered that some publications and companies like to call assignments “blogging” so they can pay less, but what they really want is fully reported stories. Be sure you know which one you’re signing up for before you price this gig.

When you assume about pricing writing jobs…you often make an ass…out of your bank account.

2. Sell them on more frequency.

There’s a real dark side to this offer, Don. It’s that blogging twice a month simply won’t accomplish anything. In my experience, anything below once a week just won’t get any traction. It’s not enough frequency to build an audience, get subscribers to the blog, or ultimately, paying customers. It’s a proposal that is doomed to fail.

I’ve often had small businesses approach me with this premise — that I should post for them once or twice a month. I always turn it down. The most important thing as a paid blogger is to be associated with successful projects. You want projects where you’re able to drive traffic, get retweets, and the client will give you a testimonial about how great you are. So I consider these twice-a-month type proposals to be loser projects from which I run swiftly away.

From hard experience, I’ve developed a minimum blogging contract. It’s for one post a week, or four posts a month, for $500 — for a minimum of two months. My feeling is you have no chance of getting results in less time or with fewer posts, so that’s where I’ve set my bar. Just my personal philosophy on it.

Bonus: Often, clients will buy your logic and commit to more frequent posts — and that means more money for you, and a greater chance of an ongoing, successful gig.

3. Sell them social-media consulting.

Here’s the final problem with this proposal: There is no social-media component.

This is where many blogging projects fall apart. Either the client is imagining you will promote the posts without additional payment, or (more often) they simply don’t understand how blogging works. They think once the posts are up, the Internet will magically bring them new customers.

A quick cautionary tale about this: I recently signed a small-business client to a twice-a-week blogging contract. Unfortunately, they were a startup with a small team, and no one had time to focus on the blog. In the six weeks I worked the contract, they only bothered to put up about half the posts I created. They changed the focus of what the blog should be about twice, and changed its location on their website once as well. No one focused on promoting the posts.

What did I hear next? No surprise — the client wanted out of their two-month contract because “The blog isn’t building traffic like we expected.”

I like to describe paid blogging as creating a tool for clients. The next step: Someone has to use the tool. They — or you — have to get out there on LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter et al and let the world know the posts exist.

At this point, unless the client tells me they have a social-media-savvy marketing team ready to go out and socialize the posts, I insist on at least one hour per month of social-media consulting work in the package. I bill it at $100 an hour, which is my general hourly rate. Then I have a chance to offer some training to their team on promoting the posts. Now, the project has a hope of succeeding.

So to sum up — ongoing contracts are desirable, so that’s definitely worth some modest discount on your usual rate, Don. But find out what this blogging gig really entails before you bid.

Do you have questions about how to earn more from your writing? Learn more in my freelance writer community — 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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79 comments on “How Much Money Can You Make Blogging? What Do Freelance Writers Charge?

  1. Jenn on

    Not sure if I’ll get a response on this one since it’s been a few years since the original post but here I go–

    I have an interview for a blog writing gig. Here are the details:

    -Create Keyword related title, picture, and relevant content posts
    -*Topic Ideas will be provided for you.
    -500-700 word posts; 6 per month
    -Weekly reports, submitted by Sunday night
    -Research examples of desired post content

    I am just starting out as a freelance blog/content writer, and got the interview based off of an e-mail newsletter copy writing campaign I did for another company.

    My question is- how much should I charge for this? I think they absolutely need a social media component- so how do I incorporate that in my proposal?

    Again, I’m just starting out and don’t have a lot of examples of work or “ROI” numbers to give them- but my time is valuable nonetheless.

    • Carol Tice on

      I’d need to know more about the client size and industry to have really useful feedback, Jenn.
      A general rule of thumb around my Freelance Writers Den community is we don’t do any blogging for less than $50 a post. It will never pencil out to a viable hourly rate.

      These are long-ish posts…I used to charge $500 for a package of 4 a month, and that was without a socializing requirement.

      But if you’re brand new and just need samples, your rates may be different. When you start, it’s more important to just do some work and get your portfolio together. But hopefully that gives you an idea of professional rates. You might also want to check out this post:

  2. Leisa Good on

    How does a daily blog post (Monday through Friday) at 1,000 words for $20 a day sound? I think it sounds low for the daily commitment, but would love to hear other people’s thoughts.

    • Carol Tice on

      How does it sound to you, Leisa? To me, it sounds like a fee you can’t possibly live off of.

      As I’ve discussed in another post, I like to see $200-$300 for 1,000-2,000 word posts. I certainly wouldn’t write them for less. But think in terms of hourly rate, needing that to be $50-$100 an hour to sustain your business, because so many of our work hours are unbillable.

      But it depends a lot on your available time, financial needs, and the goals you have for your business. In general, any client asking for 1000-word posts for $20 is wanting quickie, SEO keyword-driven content. This is a type of writing that’s quickly vanishing, because Google is excluding these low-value posts from search results. So not only is it low-paying, but it doesn’t give you very useful clips for your portfolio. You want to look for better-paying clients who want more sophisticated writing — they’re what you can build a successful freelance business on.

  3. Timothy on

    Glad to see this. A company is asking me to blog for them. It’s a industry I know very well and still keep up with.
    They want 2 blogs a week at 500 words each. I know that’s a lot of writting. It’s a lot coming up with material and research to write that much. Specially in a industry where the readers now days know more and more. I will tell them 100 per blog and see if they still want to do this or not.

  4. Mimi on

    Hi Carol,

    Thanks for the great advice! I normally like to charge by the hour so not too happy when client asks to be paid by the word. Although charging by the word is easier to keep track of amount due, I use this site that helps me keep track of the hours and the amount.

  5. Rebecca Byfield on

    Once again, brilliant advice. I am in the process now of quoting on a blogging project, and your simple non-nonsense style has really made it clear what I need to consider in that quote. Thank you so much.

  6. Tia on

    Hi Carol!

    I thought your article was very incitful on what to charge clients. I however have a very peculiar situation. I have a personal blog that I turned into an online magazine. Things have really begun picking up for me and I recently got the attention of an online retailer. The company contacted me through an outside PR agency and wanted me to review some of their offers on sale free of charge if I wrote a great story about it on my blog. So I did that and I was so excited I didn’t even think twice about rates or any of those things. I am still fairly new to this realm and still building up my following.

    So when I was asked to do another piece on just promoting a sale they were having on their site I had to stop and think should I start charging them for my services? All of the posts I’ve written has been shared and retweeted through the company and the PR firm so they are definitely using it but at the same time I’m using the content on my own website as well.

    Should I start charging them? If so how can I go from writing for them for free to implementing some pay out of the deal without them fleeing?

    Thank you bunches if you get to answer this question! 😉

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Tia —

      It’s a little out of my area because I do not do product reviews in exchange for product.

      I did have one guest poster do it and write about it here:

      Hopefully you disclosed in your posts that you received free products in exchange for the guaranteed “rave” review.

      Those of us like me who come out of journalism think that’s unethical, by the way. Your readers deserve unbiased reviews, and you endanger your reputation as a blogger if you’re not straight with them about the post being sponsored by that product maker, so they understand why you are so enthusiastic about it. Because you’ve been bought off for a little free product.

      See the problem?

      Here’s the bad news about getting these companies to pay: They probably won’t. Too many bloggers are willing to do these kind of posts in exchange for free merchandise.

      You have to decide what your blog stands for and whether you even want to take these kind of deals. If you do, be sure to disclose them fully. I haven’t received free gear from anyone, but I do affiliate sell some products and services — all of which is clearly disclosed on my Products I Love and Useful Books pages here on the blog. If I mention those products in a post, the link goes to that page so that readers see my disclosure about my relationship to the product.

      It’s not worth trying to pull one over on your readers. They are the whole basis of your business, and they may ditch you fast if they find out you aren’t honest with them and that your opinions have been bought.

  7. Diana on

    Hi Carol,

    Right all the way! I have just discovered your blog. All that you describe, I have been through. Feels great to know someone’s been in my shoes. And thanks for disclosing useful figures that I will certainly take home! All the best,

  8. Chris Evans on

    It entirely depends on the freelancers said skills and proficiency as the charges that i get on 99hours are much more than what i used to get over elance.

    So its also freelancing sites that make the difference in my case i can experience that working for 99hours has given me job security even when i am a freelancer as they pay me bonuses also for good work.


  9. Shaks on

    Hi Carol,

    This post has been so helpful for me! I’m just starting off in the blogging world and I was just wondering what was the reasoning behind your $100 per post rate? Is it just that it’s not worthwhile to do it for less? Or is it that you have so much experience? I would love to hear back as I am trying to decide on a base rate at least, that I will not go below (unless under certain circumstances). I’ve got copywriting/content writing experience but not so much on the blogging unless we count my personal blogs.

  10. Nicholas on

    Hi Carol,
    your article is just what I was looking for today, it’s informative and useful for me as I am trying to compare current writing rates from writers in the USA to what we could quote to clients over here in Malaysia. Unless a writer is well known here, free lance writers over here can barely match the rates you guys are earning. The closest is about 60% of your rate. All the best.

  11. Sally Lauterstien on

    Interesting article. If you’re keen on maximizing the financial benefits of the freelance copywriting work that does come in, pricing your freelance copywriting services correctly is key. I recommend checking out this article which should help those of you who are currently copywriting on a freelance basis to optimize your earning potential as a freelance copywriter. Just some simple tips to stay in charge of your service:

  12. Jana on

    Hi Carol,
    Pricing is one of the questions my writing friends and I struggle with the most because we deal with such a variety of clients. I also find that some clients who really should be prepared to pay reasonable rates, don’t value writing and editing (they think they can do it). So selling and educating is definitely an important skill to refine.
    Thanks for all your valuable tips and insight!

  13. Neil Fox on

    If you are a writer, you might have done so much of your own proofreading and editing that you feel you really know what you’re doing, and it has likely occurred to you to try and pick up some work doing these things on the side. This is actually not a bad idea at all.
    Thank You for posting and let us know about this.

    If you have time you can also visit this site:
    Freelance Writers Guides

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Sally —

      Not sure what you’re referring to, but I don’t delete negative posts as a general policy. I usually leave them on…take a look at the many readers ripping into me on this post, for example.

      It’s possible you’ve accidentally ended up in spam — happens occasionally.

      I do delete abusive or rude comments, comments that do not relate to the post, link-stuffed posts, and negative posts put up by people who won’t state their names. People who’d like to slag on me need to stand behind their words, not hide behind a name like “online marketing maven” or whatever.

      Ultimately, this is my little blog kingdom and I do make the rules, just like every other blogger out there.

  14. Janet on

    Thanks for the great tips! I’m a new business and am starting out doing social media (FB & Twitter) for a local restaurant. It’s a win-win as I need the creds and he needs the help. I’m learning the ropes on a real client and he’s getting a professional who has a vested interest in things going well. I’ve agreed to the “donation” he’s going to pay me until I can prove to him that this stuff works. Once I’ve gotten a few more “believers” and customers through his door, I’ll feel more comfortable charging a “set up” fee as its quite time consuming to get Pages set up, etc.
    But, I agree… posting intelligent stuff takes creativity which equals time. Once I get faster, I’ll feel better about my dollar/hour rate. Thanks, again!

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Janet –

      Think about charging a flat project fee instead of an hourly rate when you’re launching a new service and unsure of the hours. That way the client knows what they’ll be paying.

      I personally have found doing social media for clients to be the lowest-paying gig out there in terms of hourly rate. I’ve switched to charging $100 an hour to train their team/secretary/college intern how to do it.

      The worst is when they want you to pitch sites to guest post on behalf of the company…huge time suck and the outcome is really unpredictable and out of your hands. Hard to quantify the win or determine the basis for getting paid. I just had someone ask if I’d do the guest-post hunt for them again recently, and I passed.

      If I were you, I’d get comfortable right away with charging a fee to set up Facebook pages…folks are getting good money for that.

  15. Di Mace on

    I so love your posts Carol. Always thoughtful, informative and inspiring to working circularly istead of linearly – to look around and open your eyes rather than peering out of a rutt.
    I have a question about your mention of “….or will you have to run Google Alerts daily and scan them to develop post ideas? “. Can you explain this a little more? Thanks

    • Carol Tice on

      Sure Di —

      If you haven’t discovered them yet, Google Alerts are a great way to scan a lot of headlines in a topic.

      If I’m going to blog for a client about, say, Surety bonds (which I have), I’m going to create an alert on that and some related phrases. Get 20-30 headlines a day on a topic, and you’ll never be out of ideas for what to write! But my point in the post is it takes time to troll for ideas. If you’re responsible for cooking them up, it should cost more than if they hand you a topic lineup every month, which some clients do. Sometimes they have plenty of ideas but no time to write them and they’re just handing off to you. But more often, they are looking to you to generate the ideas. If you need 12 or more ideas on a niche topic every month, one way to get them is by looking at what’s being written by others and reslanting, retooling, or commenting on what’s already been done.

      Need more ideas for how to get post topics? You can read my Copyblogger post on this subject for more ideas.

  16. Andre Hugo on

    I can’t help but laugh because as I write this, the old, 1960s, song ” Oh Carol” is playing on Last.FM.

    Carol, I love you blogs. You have such clarity and useful substance in your writing.

    Count me a dedicated follower.

    Best wishes,

    Andre Hugo

    • Carol Tice on

      Thanks Andre…wish I was one of those people on Twitter who make the little music notes and say what they’re listening to!

      Always hoping the info helps people earn more. That’s what it’s all about here.

  17. Max R. on

    Enjoyed reading this entry. The comment thread has also been quite informative! My question isn’t as specific to writing for blogs–as I have yet to see anyone specify any level of education desired for blog writer applicants…(but I digress)… how much is prior education (or lack of) a deterrant to pursuing this work?

    I’ve seen such a wide variety of backgrounds when reading about various writers. Some individuals have university degrees, some do not. I’ve noticed at least a few talented authors with degress in areas other than English or Journalism. Any freelancers ever been asked about their prior education? Or is it just the clips and writing work that matters?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Max —

      As it happens, I’m an (increasingly proud) college dropout. I think I was only ever asked when it involved getting a full-time staff writing or editing job. If you’d like to end up an editor at a reputable publication, I find the degree seems to be desired.

      When I realized I wanted to be a freelance writer, I took a few classes through UCLA Extension, to learn what I needed to know about ethics, magazine article structure, interviewing and so on. I could have gone on to get a certificate through the program, but didn’t. I seem to have learned what I needed, since a few months later I was writing for a section of the L.A. Times.

      My law for freelance writers is…it’s on the page, or it isn’t. You can write yourself some awesome places, no matter what your educational background.

  18. Katherine Swarts on

    Related to Point 3 is that many potential clients seem to expect everyone billing him/herself as a “writer” to provide a full range of additional media-related services as well. I even had one client who expected me to deliver her 500+-page project printed and bound at no extra charge! So in addition to social media consulting, it’s very important to establish early on who does–and CAN do–what. And what will be required for a project to actually accomplish its goals.

  19. terrell on

    What timing! I was just hired to do some ghost blogging and I submitted my first post today. When I asked about the posting schedule, I was told they were aiming for weekly posts. That seemed really low to me, and after reading this, I feel like I can go back to them and try to advocate for more postings, plus add the social media component. Thanks!

    • Carol Tice on

      Well, once a week can be OK, if they get out and promote it. Often small businesses don’t have the bandwidth to push out more content than that. And if you do it on a regular schedule — like every Tuesday at 9 am — it can help build an audience. I try and start them there and see if they can really support twice a week posts. I had one client who wanted 2x right away..and they never ended up posting half of the content. Like EVER. They couldn’t get it together.

      There’s no point creating more content if they won’t do anything with it. My ethical code is to try to not rip clients off by developing content I think won’t help them at this point in their blog’s development.

      I try to upsell them a free report download I create for their subscribers — now THAT’S a useful content addition that will really help their blog! If they want to go above once a week I try to talk to them about instant ebooks and other products that would better leverage their site.

  20. Kyrsten Bean on

    These are great examples. And this made me laugh:

    “When you assume about pricing writing jobs…you often make an ass…out of your bank account.”

    But it is so true. Often, I assume. The fact that I’m making pretty fair money doing something I enjoy doing and am good at is kind of disconcerting and I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth. I take on a lot of not-amazing-but-doable projects because I am learning how to find my niche and what I like. So that bad habit. But I’ve learned the hard way a couple of times. I’m getting better at asking for what I need. I like to conduct everything like a business, but some of the newer start ups out there are so casual with rates, contracts and the like. I’m learning that I can say thanks, but no thanks, and focus my stress on drumming up a better deal, because there’s always a better deal.

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Krysten —

      Yeah, they can be all the casual they want about contracts…but their signed contract and 25-50% up-front initial payment get me started writing… 🙂

      I try to stay away from startups personally unless they have venture-capital backing, where I know there is cash on hand.

      May I encourage you to look a gift horse in the mouth?

      I think many writers have had that experience of feeling like this is too good to be true. But in fact, everyone who is working in their right livelihood feels this way. Just because it’s something that is easy and fun for you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get very well paid for it — because not everyone really can do it at a high level of excellence.

      At my last staff job, for years when they handed me my paycheck I’d say, “All this — and a paycheck too!” It was like a miracle. It’s the miracle of giving your true, unique gifts to the world. When you do it, it brings you prosperity. Don’t feel bad about that…that is just the way of the world!

  21. Stephanie Mojica on

    Very helpful as always.

    I charge $100 to $200 a blog these days, especially in the personal finance niche. In rare cases I may charge less, but it usually depends upon how long it will take me to write the blog.


  22. Jen L on

    Thanks so much for this post. I recently communicated with an editor about blogging, and she asked me for my rates. I wasn’t sure exactly what to tell her. I was a little scared, I have to admit, to give her a set rate because I figured she would just say “no.” But this gives me the added confidence to stand firm with a reasonable rate. I’m a professional writer, with a lot of education and experience, after all; why should I work for minimum wage?

  23. Sean on

    Hi Carol – No question…yet. Just wanted to say this was a great post with great responses to questions that came from it. You gave answers people who are less experienced are searching for, but rarely find.

    Thank you.

  24. Susanna Perkins on

    Carol, I think you nailed it. Blogging in a vacuum = zero. Blogging without promotion aka social media = zero. Reputation if you take on a job like that = zero. . .

    Thanks for your insights!

    • Carol Tice on

      Right on, Susanna.

      I realize some writers are in a position where they really need to take any blogging gig they get offered. But once you’ve done it a while, I think it pays to get more selective and really look for winning projects.

      First off, when you sign on to loser projects they usually sputter out because they don’t get results, so the gig ends up short-lived. Where if you have all the pieces in place and it starts to really get the company new business, they’ll continue to pay for blogging.

  25. k.t. on

    Hi, Carol: Yes, I have a great question — although if it’s not specifically-enough geared towards making more money, please let me know. Recently, one of blogs Media Bistro follows discussed issue of a freelance writer who had pitched a political expose to his home town papers. They passed – then proceeded to assign the story to a staffer. It seems that once you trust an editor, this is less likely to happen. But, if pitching to editor you know not, how to help ensure that your crackerjack pitches aren’t assigned elsewhere — because, after all, they’re only ideas.

  26. Linda Abbit on

    “You want projects where you’re able to drive traffic, get retweets, and the client will give you a testimonial about how great you are.”

    Do you ask your clients to share their analytics results with you to see the traffic they get from your posts? Are they willing to?

    Do you do any promotion of the posts you’ve written for them without the social media consulting (i.e. commenting on relevant blogs) portion of the contract?

    Thanks, Carol!

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Linda —

      Great questions!

      I do get analytics from some of my clients. You should always ask for them — seeing which of your posts did best for them helps shape your ideas for future posts. One just started sharing data, and we’ve been able to just skyrocket traffic by focusing on the popular post types. we used to get maybe 100 RTs for this client and I recently had one get 400. The data really makes a difference.

      I’m willing to his Retweet on a post if I think it’s relevant to my audience, and often do for clients…once. That’s all I do unless I’m on a marketing contract to do more. I have been on marketing contracts to seek guest posts and leave comments on relevant forums as well — another way to add to your contract for blogging, though I’ve found it can be grueling work getting those wins…would rather they put a college student on it, personally. Lot of sending emails with successes few and far between…sort of a lot of grunt work. I know people who do paid facebook and tweeting activity though — that’s more straightforward.

  27. Susan on


    I thought you did a great job with this post,using Don’s question as a jumping off point to give the audience the benefit of your experience. As a result, the post was quite informative.


    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Susan —

      That’s why I answer these questions on the blog instead of in an email to the one person who asked them…I want everybody to benefit from the learning, not just one person. My goal is to help as many writers earn more as I can in the shortest period of time!

  28. Don Sadler on

    Thanks for the tips, Carol. I ended up more tightly defining the project with the client, and they wanted to pay $50 for a 300-word blog, twice a month. I countered with $100 and we settled at $75. I’m OK with it because they don’t take much time and this is just part of an overall relationship with monthly newsletter articles and feature magazine articles. As for blogging more often, they have other guest bloggers in addition to me so that’s not an issue. They are also pretty SM savvy.

    • Carol Tice on

      Sounds like you made the offer work for you, Don! I do find blogging for a publication can be a great way to be thought of first for other assignments, too.

  29. Tracie on

    I love the tip to require one hour of social media training. That way you know they are promoting the blog, and you are not having to spend time doing that all throughout the month on top of your writing.

  30. Deborah Lucas on

    I’m a senior. There. I said it. I wish it weren’t so, but I have to come to terms with it–with diminished eye sight, memory lapses dubbed “senior moments,” arthritis developing in my fingers, and fewer focused hours each day. Multi-tasking is definitely a thing of the past. So I have to make choices.

    Do I work on my own blog & webpage, with the added hours of social web interaction needed to promote them? Or, do I focus on queries to magazines to establish writing credentials?

    What I really want to do is ignore the web and focus on my memoir. But without the other activities, I fear I’ll never be able to break into publishing. Have any insights that might help?

    • Carol Tice on

      Hey…I’m not exactly born yesterday myself, Deborah!

      I think you have to ask yourself why you’re blogging. Maybe once a month posts would be great — just show you know how to blog and give you an archive to show people of posts, and something to promote without it becoming a major time-eater. If you have a lot of success with queries, maybe more of your energy goes there.

      My bottom line is — it’s all trial and error. We experiment, we see what works, we keep changing the model based on results.

  31. Susannah Noel on

    HI Carol – I love this post, especially the point about insisting they know how to promote the blog so that YOU can be successful.

    My question is this: I was recently told by one of my clients that my rate of $1.00/word was way out line with what’s typical. He cited a very high-profile magazine where we live that pays less than that by way of proof. The problem is, I happen to know he’s wrong, about the rate in general and the rate for this magazine.

    What’s the best way to handle this?

    Thanks Carol,


    • Carol Tice on

      $1 a word — for blogs? That probably is high. $1 a word for a publication or corporation I think is not necessarily out of line.

      I’m getting a LOT of rate questions in this thread, and what I’ll say overall is — if clients don’t get that you need a fair rate, find better clients.

  32. Nancy Bobbert on

    How do you politely let a client know that you now need to charge them more for your work? Once you start becoming established, is it acceptable to increase your rate for a long time client. Or should you still accept a lower amount out of loyalty?

    • Carol Tice on

      I’m a big fan of raising rates, Nancy — we’ll be talking about that at the Webinar for sure! I try to review client rates in the fall so I can let folks know that as of the following year, rates are going up. Gives them plenty of time to digest the idea…and/or plenty of time for me to look for a replacement if they won’t do it. I made that offer to one longtime client last fall. Their rate had become my lowest, and I let them know I wouldn’t be doing any work at that rate in ’11. They said they couldn’t go higher, and I walked.

      It took about a week to find a better paying client. I find there’s sort of a zen where when you let go of the low payers, it creates space in your universe for better pay to enter. It gives you the marketing time to find those better clients.

  33. Mimi Plevin-Foust on

    This was such a helpful post – many thanks!

    I have two questions for you:

    1) how long does it generally take you to write a blog post? (let’s say 300 words or so)

    2) Do the rates you discuss include the time it takes to format (fix hyperlinks, etc.) and find a photo for the post? Doing that stuff for my own blog really does take some time (for me at least).

  34. Debbie Kane on

    Yet more questions! I just read that some magazines are succeeding at building large audiences through Twitter. There’s obviously an art to this. As a freelance writer, what’s the most effective way to use Twitter to: a) help develop an audience for a publication; and b) develop a following for you and your work.

    Thanks for the insight.

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Debbie —

      I don’t know if I consider myself a Twitter expert. I’ve avoided getting into scenarios where I tweet for clients because I just am not interested in doing it…not that creative. Sort of scut work any college intern could be handed, in my view.

      But in general, writers, and publications, use Twitter by…tweeting links to useful stuff a lot. Responding to people. Connecting with people. Sort of no magic to it…just hard work at 140 characters a pop.

  35. Alan Kravitz on

    Should ghost blogging rates be higher than traditional blogging rates? I have a ghost blogging possibility coming up, but I’m wondering if I should charge more because the “voice” will be that of the client’s and not mine.

    Great post, as always, Carol.

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Alan —

      I think it takes extra effort to ‘be’ someone else…and also if you’re not getting a byline, you’re not getting a link to your writer site out of the deal. So ideally ghosting should pay more…don’t know if it always does, though.

  36. Debbie Kane on

    Wow, this post is really timely. I’m proposing a blog for one of my publication clients. Carol, your recommendation about including an hour of social media consulting is great. My client has just hired a social media person but I’m not sure what that person does. We’re all meeting to discuss the publication’s social media needs next month. What is the most important question to ask them: what are your goals? Who is your audience and how do you hope to reach them?

    Is blogging among the topics you’re discussing in your Feb. 8 seminar?

    • Carol Tice on

      Blogging isn’t a specific focus of the Webinar, except that it’s a way to earn money as a freelance writer — we’ll be talking about how you find paying gigs, of all types.

  37. Elizabeth on

    Thanks for answering these burning questions — and taking time to explain.

    I’ve slowly been moving up the pay scale, but now I want to focus my work and take it to the next level. How do I make the move to increasing my pay and getting better paying clients, while still making enough money to live off of. How to you make the leap? I’ve even done continuing education to help strengthen my credentials and hope that will pay off in the end.

    Also, which do you find is the best method for finding better paying clients? CraigsList? Job sites? Word of mouth?

    Thank you for all you do,


  38. Elizabeth Walker on

    Carol, this is one of the more useful posts for me. I can definitely see some promise to promote myself to clients for blogging in time – and your words of advice are essential. I appreciate the pricing discussion and hidden tasks. But more importantly is understanding the scope of work and selling the social media part that is critical. We are definitely in a new world of communication and marketing! Thanks.

  39. Debra on

    Carol, your responses are always full of meaty explanations and examples – very inspiring. Thanks.
    Question: As a newbie trying to break in, how would you respond to people who offer laughably low rates for my work – as in low enough to make free sound like worthwhile. I’m trying to do break in without being in a location where I can work face-to-face – should I give up?

    • Carol Tice on

      How do I respond? “I’m sorry that you’re not able to charge professional rates at this time. If you ever get to that point, I’d be happy to work with you.” And then I move on.

      It pays to be polite — many companies are trying the junk-content route first, and then once they see how that fails to get them clients, they’re coming around to hiring pro writers at real rates.

      As a newbie, you may need to do an initial gig or two at slave rates. But once you have clips where you can demonstrate you know how to blog, it’s time to move up.

      I think this post might be useful to you on the how to identify good-paying clients…it was discussing publications primarily, but the advice applies equally to getting business-blogging clients.

  40. Martin on

    How do you break into freelance writing while working a 9-5 job? Eventually, the goal would be to freelance full-time. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for awhile and I have gotten some experience with content mills. However, in order to be self-sufficient, the money would have to be better. Any thoughts on this?

  41. Ruth Shaer on

    Dear Carol,

    I just discovered you. What an angel you are for sharing your wise information. Whatever you did in your past lives, you are definitely burning off any karma daily! I feel so blessed to have found you! (e.g. If you were a serial killer, I imagine about 20 more of these helpful blogs and you’re done!)

    I have an idea for a blog for you (excuse me if you’ve already addressed this). I lost my fourth Great Pyrenees (beautiful white polar bear-dogs – angels on earth) over two years ago. I miss having a Pyr so terribly. The only reason I don’t have one now is because I need to have the financial stability to know I can afford my rent and stay where I’m living. Of late, this has been difficult to achieve as a freelance grant writer. I am now looking to write web content and blogs for businesses and create some financial stability. I loved the idea of the $500 monthly retainer for 1x a week blogs @ $125 per blog. Though that would take 5 clients at this rate for me to just scrape by so I need to up the ante somehow. I (and I’m sure many others) would love to learn about the best ways to create high monthly retainers for ongoing work so that we are not constantly having to seek out new clients (though of course this is a good idea to do anyway and an area where I tend to slack off).

    Thanks for your feedback, Carol! And thank you for reminding me that giving is getting. I’m sure you must get a lot out of what you do to help people.

    Big Hug!
    PS BTW, I also attended UCLA Extension classes and learned almost everything I needed to know for my 28-year career as a writer. I’m a published journalist (LA Times, LA Business Journal, etc.), have written public relations copy, business, marketing and communication plans, raised over $5 million as a grant writer (Center for Nonprofit Management), ghostwritten articles for CEOs, written business-to-business articles in trade publications. You name it and I’ve written it.

  42. Ruth Shaer on

    Whoops, I forgot to check the notify me of follow-up comments on “How Much Can Freelance Writers Charge for Blogging?” so I’m doing it now. :}

  43. Carol Tice on

    Ruth, I found through experience that these kind of blogging contracts needed to be only part of my mix. Someone like you with a strong journalism background ought to be able to find better paying articles and other work that will pay better.

    I haven’thad a lot of big corporate retainers myself, but if you build ongoing relationships with editors, it can lead to a pretty steady stream of work.

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