How much to pay for blog/web site writing?
July 12, 2010 12:39 PM   Subscribe

I’m going to be very busy for a month or so and unable to create content for my blog. As an experiment I’d like to put an ad on Craigslist and try to hire someone to write two or three 150-1500 word articles about home machining and metalworking for me. What would be a fair price to pay that will generate some interest but not bust my bank account?

My web site doesn’t generate any revenue, but it’s a lot cheaper than some hobbies I’ve had, so I’ve decided to spend some money on it to keep it from looking stale.

I’m a little concerned that paying per word will encourage excessively wordy writing. And I don’t know what would be a fair but affordable hourly rate because I don't know how long it would take an average person (non-professional) to write an article.
posted by 14580 to Work & Money (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know about freelance rates, but I would be concerned about farming your blog out to a craigslist post. Do you have a community of commenters and readers who frequent your blog? Are there other bloggers who share similar interests and specialize in similar content? I would approach them for temporary blogging duties instead of a freelancer. If the author is passionate about the work, it will be of a higher quality, and you may not even have to pay them as much.
posted by Think_Long at 12:46 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

How exactly is posting two or three articles to a blog over the course of a month going to keep it from looking stale? A blog looks stale if you haven't posted in the last two days. Just take the month off; it won't appreciably affect the freshness of your blog.
posted by kindall at 12:53 PM on July 12, 2010

Best answer: I'd decide what you are willing to pay per post and throw it out there. See what kind of response you get. I occasionally guest post on sites under my own name and have under the site owner's as well. I usually do it for free because I like the person or subject matter. I've also been paid. $75 is the high end for something like this (for me) though I am sure you can go as high as you want.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:54 PM on July 12, 2010

Best answer: I'm a freelance writer who contributes to others' blogs for pay quite a bit.

The sites I work for pay anywhere from $15 to $30 per article, occasionally $50 if it's going to be prominently featured content that stands a chance of attracting a lot of traffic to the site.

If you're hiring a guest blogger for pay, my advice would be to come up with the number of articles you'd like the person to write, and offer a set amount based on that.

For instance if you just want them to do one short, simple post every weekday, $250 wouldn't be a bad deal. Maybe make it $350-400 if the uploading process is particularly onerous or if you're having them do any editing, modding, providing significant photos, etc. Hell, I don't know crap about metalworking, but I'd probably accept that deal.

If it's just a few articles and pretty much only writing work, you could just pay on a per article basis. The rates I mentioned above are fine.

It's also possible that you could ask a fellow blogger in your subject area to guest blog for you for free, as a favor. Better yet, if you know someone who is just beginning to blog on this subject, you might be doing them a favor by granting them some much needed exposure.
posted by Sara C. at 12:55 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

How about instead of Craigslist, you post a notice on your blog itself? That way the person who does it will be someone who is actually familiar with your blog instead of just a random person.
posted by spilon at 1:22 PM on July 12, 2010 [5 favorites]

I had a small (~1 hour) task that required a little creativity recently. As an experiment, I posted it 3 times to Mechanical Turk, offering $6. Two of the results were unusable (but of course I paid anyway, I'm not a total jerk). One result was astonishingly good, in fact it was better than I could conceivably do myself. No idea why total strangers are willing to work so hard for so little money...but there you go.
posted by miyabo at 2:04 PM on July 12, 2010

If you want someone to do this consistently for a month, and be reliable about it, I wouldn't go with Mechanical Turk. In my experience MT is more for monkey-work, like taking surveys or copy editing a sentence. I once spent an hour verifying ebay categories and searches and made like $3 or something.

I don't think I'd ever use that to make a living, but I've clicked over to it when I was really bored because if I'm going to be dicking around on the internet, why not get paid? It's a nice bonus for when I want to buy something on Amazon. "Oh, I get $2 off because I clicked a few buttons on a website once? Nice..."
posted by Sara C. at 2:11 PM on July 12, 2010

Best answer: You want someone who has domain-specific knowledge & interest, which will be difficult to find on something as generic as Craigslist.

I suggest acquiring one or more guest posters from places like CNCZone, the Sherline/Taig/Model Engineering Yahoo Groups, and other similar places.

For example, Jerry Kieffer, Flosi, Hoss, Tryally, or any of those folks.
posted by aramaic at 2:18 PM on July 12, 2010

You may have some luck trying TextBroker. They run a marketplace for small articles like this.
posted by jenkinsEar at 2:54 PM on July 12, 2010

How much of a back history of content do you have? You could set up a few repeat, err "best of" posts if you really want to make sure something pops up in your reader's RSS feeds while you are busy. I wouldn't pay a dime for content for a blog that has no revenue model. What is the point?
posted by COD at 3:06 PM on July 12, 2010

Throw $15 at and see what you get. You need to supply specific topics but there are people there who have expertise in everything. I've had variable results but been very surprised by the quality of the good ones.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:26 PM on July 12, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses. Here’s a little feedback. My goal for the last year and a half has been to add, on the average, one new post each week. That may seem trivial to some, but I’ve often struggled to meet it because I have a how-to web site, not one of news and opinion. My best and most popular posts are often ones that have taken me a week or more to produce.

I already have quite a few free contributors to the web site, but they don’t contribute on a regular basis. I realize now that I need to ask them if they will help me while I’m unavailable.

The site is just a hobby, but even so I’ve tried to make it as professional as possible. Which is why I’d like to find or hire some contributors who have actually done some machining. I'm not too optimistic about finding someone like that on Textbroker, but I'll take a look at it.

Again, this is just an experiment. I would like to find out what it will take to find and hire someone who can me add decent content for a short period of time. My reasons for doing so are not economic.
posted by 14580 at 7:07 PM on July 12, 2010

This isn't about pricing, but I'm a machinist who spends a lot of time waiting for long production cycles to finish. I'd love to write for you, and I've sent you a memail.
posted by wzcx at 2:02 PM on July 13, 2010

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