How much should I get paid to blog?
July 25, 2008 5:34 PM   Subscribe

How much should I get paid to blog for a big, national magazine?

A few weeks ago, I was asked to contribute about 2750 words a month (broken up into daily posts) to a large-but-not-giant-circulation national mag's site, for $500. That's like $0.19 a word! If this were a print gig for the very same magazine, I'd get $1.50 per word. Is this normal for freelance blog work? Am I getting screwed? Is *everyone* getting screwed?

Please tell me how this stacks up to other work-for-hire blogging rates. I'm spilling my financials anonymously for your enlightenment/entertainment, and so that the answers will be more relevant/interesting/morbid. (And yes, I drive around in a solid gold Cadillac on that sweet $1.50-per-word rate, especially after paying for health insurance, contributing to my IRA, and eating food.)

Thank you very much in advance for your snarkless, pithy, and on-topic answers.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
bloggers get paid per post or according to traffic, not per word. how many posts a day are you expected to churn out?

(and yes, freelance blog writers tend to get screwed.)
posted by lia at 5:50 PM on July 25, 2008

Gawker Media payrate discussion.
posted by abdulf at 5:57 PM on July 25, 2008

If you are getting a flat per-month fee or a per post fee for blogging, it will in no way compare to print rates. $500 a month sounds average to me for that kind of gig.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:01 PM on July 25, 2008

If by "daily posts" you mean "one a day" then $500 is actually on the high end of "normal" but not outrageous, in my experience. $500 a month for two posts a day is a little low, but still not outrageously low. Anything more than two and, yeah, you're probably getting screwed.
posted by toomuchpete at 7:24 PM on July 25, 2008

Don't look at per-word, look at per-post, because that's how the blogging industry pays. $500 / 20 posts a month (1 per weekday) = $25/post. That's way higher than blog networks pay, and on the low end of the scale for corporate blogging. I help companies and writers figure this stuff out for a living so MeMail me if you want to get into specifics.
posted by _Mona_ at 7:32 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

One day soon - three words: National Writers Union.
posted by Gerard Sorme at 7:45 PM on July 25, 2008

Are they also letting you link back to your own blog in your bio and byline (on their website) as well as in print?

Then it might be worth it...kind of. Especially if you have your own ad deals on your blog.
posted by jeanmari at 10:11 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

$500/month for one blog post a day sounds about right, sadly enough. Blogging jobs tend to pay much less than print jobs, even for comparable writing.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 11:01 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Is it possible to build in bonuses based on traffic?
posted by LarryC at 9:27 AM on July 26, 2008

That actually sounds pretty generous. When I blogged for, a Nerve property, we were paid quite a bit less than that, with reciprocal linking that probably brought in a few extra visitors on my personal site, where I have ads through BlogHer. But that was a startup, I was one of the charter bloggers and they were paying me to write before they even really had any readers.

It's actually such a no-brainer of a job that to me, it was worth it and I'd still be doing it if it weren't for a combination of editorial instability and personal mayhem. It's an easy way to get your name and your tiny little picture out there in front of new eyeballs.

My recommendation would be to work out exactly how often they'd like you to post, and how long they'd like each post to be, and see if it would be better to ask for a per-post rate. My experience was with 300-500 word posts, which for you, would only be about 9 posts per month. If that's all they really want from you, then hey, that's free money as far as I'm concerned. If they want (or will eventually want) more frequent (or longer) posting, a per-post rate may be better in the long run.
posted by padraigin at 9:30 AM on July 26, 2008

Blogging is so fluid that I've found pay per post is the only way to negotiate. THat said, there's a lot to consider. Are your posts "off the cuff," or do they require interviews or research? Are you responsible for photos, and do these need to be professional photos? (Whether you take them or not, getting good-quality photos can be a hassle.) How much coding do you have to do, and how long does it take you to research, write, edit and post an entry?

I blog daily for a major women's mag. I interview sources, write, gather/crop photos and post everything myself. It's a slog -- a fun slog, but relentless. Unless you're a newbie writer who needs the credits, my job is not worth less than $50 a post, and I'd push for $75 and up.

The most useful thing I did was create a spreadsheet with sources, including their info, with notes on where they were in my pipeline: initial contact made, interview notes complete, written & posted ("on deck"), and live posts. That way I knew where to focus my workday.

And do your best to work ahead of yourself -- so that if you get sick, or your fam has an emergency, or you need a day off, you can do what you need to do with no worries. A 2-week buffer of scheduled posts worked for me.
posted by mdiskin at 1:47 PM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

If this were a print gig for the very same magazine, I'd get $1.50 per word. Is this normal for freelance blog work? Am I getting screwed? Is *everyone* getting screwed?

From my experience, what they're offering is pretty reasonable. Not exceptional, but not a ripoff either.

However, I'd say that paying $1.50 a word is probably one of the many reasons print media is going down the tubes. Unless you're writing to a specific legal or scientific standard, or are doing investigative journalism, almost any competent writer can put out 1000 words a work day (of course, being able to sell them is a different matter - but that being the case, the rate would be lower to increase demand). $1500 a day is an extremely high day rate for a non-famous writer of any sort.
posted by wackybrit at 2:12 PM on July 26, 2008

One resource worth looking at is ProBlogger Jobs. Not necessarily to actually get another gig yourself, but to see what people are offering in terms of pay. Put it this way, $50/post is on the extremely high side..
posted by wackybrit at 2:15 PM on July 26, 2008

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