How Much Should You Charge for Blog Posts?

One question I get repeatedly from writers is what to charge when giving a quote for blog posts. The answer? It depends.

You have to make sure you cover all the time you’re going to put in to write and research it, and still make it competitive. Your price per hour may be less for a fun blog that doesn’t take too much time to write. It might be more for those that require more energy. Here are some questions to ask so you can quote out your blog posts the right way.

What Is the Scope of the Job?

Not all blogging jobs are created equal. Some you write with little research, while others require that you do interviews, find photos yourself, or only use accredited websites for information.  Before you can give a client an accurate quote, ask them:

  • What’s the word length for each post?
  • Will I need to include a picture in the post? If yes, will you be providing a source or do I have to find these on my own?
  • What is the tone of the post?
  • Will I be highlighting news articles and including them in my posts? Or creating a mini-article for each post?
  • Do I have to interview anyone?
  • Will you need to approve or revise my posts or do they go direct?
  • Is there a social networking expectation?

Each one of these elements takes time, so when your client gives you the answers to these questions, put together an estimate on how long the entire process will take you.

How Much Time Will It Take?

If you’re new to blogging, how much time you spend on a post might be a hard thing to estimate. A good exercise is to do a few test posts that would be equal to the job you’re quoting and time yourself from start to finish. I always make sure I add on a little bump in time to account for unforeseen issues that always seem to crop up with blogging, like computer problems, Internet connectivity, and misc. client issues. When you figure out how long it may take you, then you can determine your rate.

How Much Do You Want to Make an Hour?

I’ve heard a zillion different answers to what is the “right” amount of per hour work. Bottom line? It’s different for everyone. My ideal rate is $100 per hour, but I do take gigs that pay less. When I started out, I took gigs that paid MUCH less. The point is, you need to do what is right for you and your family. Just be sure to include an estimate for taxes and insurances into your ideal hourly rate.

Be Careful of “Bonuses”

I’ve noticed a new trend in blogging the last few years, in that clients will offer you a per post (or PV rate) and then a “bonus.” The bonus could be for something hitting the front page of a social bookmarking site, a certain number of Tweets or Facebook likes, or getting traction on StumbleUpon. How do you take these into account?

The way I work it is this: I don’t include these bonuses as part of my estimate. They are over and above, and quite often are something you can’t make. I recently took a job with these type of bonuses, and the only reason I took it was because my per hour rate was in line with what I wanted. In reality? The client had a hard time determining what these “bonuses” actually came out to be, and I stopped putting the effort in to trying to hit them. (I can’t do it for free after all.)

The point is, a bonus is great, but it’s not the main scope of the job.

Take Your Time to Determine If a Job is Right For You

If you don’t take some time to fully determine the scope of the job, you won’t really know if it’s right for you. For example, I once accepted a job that paid me $7 per blog post. How does that fit with my rate, you ask? After all, on first glance, this looks like a low-paying gig.

I asked all the pertinent questions, and determined that I could write the required blog posts (12 for a month) in just one hour. For all of them. The word count was 75 words, and the subject matter was one I was very familiar with (in other words: no additional research on my part.) They supplied the photos from a service. Twelve blog posts in one hour equaled $84. Very close to my ideal.

There were other considerations. The job matched my overall brand (relationships and lifestyle), and the posts were fun to write. Hey, if I’m going to be a freelancer I might as well have fun somewhere. When I considered all that the job required, I determined that it was right for me.

The opposite is true as well. You can come across a job that looks like it’s well paying, but when you consider all that is required, it doesn’t meet your average hourly goal. The point is, you need to ask the right questions and get a feel for the scope of the job in order to provide a per post rate.

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