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Weblogs Inc Pays $4 per Post to Bloggers

Duncan has an interesting post that sheds some light on the rate that Weblogs Inc pay some of their writers. The information was gleaned from a blogger who was given a Weblogs Inc contract but who decided not to sign up (see their account of events here). Duncan writes:

‘According to the contract, writers for Slashfood are paid $500 USD per month and are expected to write “125 monthly blog posts, along with monitoring of comments, responding to readers in comments, and deleting offensive comments. Posts under the goal of 125 will be pro-rated at $4.00 per post”’

I’ve seen the contract previously (or a different version of it) from another disgruntled but wasn’t going to publish anything about it because it’s not a public document – but I guess it’s all out in the open now after a link at metafilter.

Update: I’ve just spoken with another blogger who has had contact with Weblogs Inc and they told me that they’d been offered $5 per post to blog for them. I suspect the amount depends on a number of factors including the bloggers profile, the topic of the blog, the traffic levels already established on the blogs etc.

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Comments

  1. james says:

    Woof. $500 isn’t much for all that effort. I discovered many years ago that running with your own idea usually leads to greater success. It’ll be a harder slog, but at least you own 100% of your creation at the end. That said, nearly ALL of us give up huge portions of our revenue away to third-parties, anyway. Google, the new yahoo program, linkshare, and so on all take a healthy cut of the money we earn from our hard work.

    Of course, when our sites are small, this makes perfect sense –third party ad programs are easy to implement (even on low traffic sites) and provide quick cash.

    But when sites start to be really successful, people don’t seem to make the paradigm shift to “I can sell at least some ad space myself.”

    Perhaps they think it’s too hard, but companies like adspeed.com offer banner-server solutions starting at $10 per month. This lets you serve and monitor banner ad rotations on your site, without giving a huge cut to “the man.” Finding advertisers is as simple as posting some clever “advertise here” links on your site, or a banner, or a well-worded “I’m looking for advertisers” post.

    There. My slightly off-topic two cents.

  2. I agree. If you are interesting enough to write for someone else, do it for yourself. It may take a while for you to get up to cruising speed, but once there, you keep it all.

    To make a decent living at those rates, you’d need to make 2,000 posts a month – or around 8 every hour of a forty hour week. That doesn’t leave much time for quality, does it?

    Pure rip off, slave labor. Work for yourself.

  3. $4 per post is pretty low, but that payout scheme also seems to reward volume above substance.

  4. Stuart says:

    There are reasons (that others may see as valid) why some people will always choose to work for others. We have some very talented writers working for us who have no interest in trying to make a name for themselves.

    But $4.00 an entry is just sweat-shop rates and soon or later it must begin to impact on the quality of the blogs and when that happens readers will begin to drift away.

  5. Darren Rowse says:

    I’m not as offended by the $4 per post mark as some. While I’m not sure I’d sign up as one of their bloggers at that rate (because I can make more on my own) I think it could be a good supplementary income. I suspect that most of Weblogs Inc’s bloggers are not full time bloggers and probably don’t desire to be. They enjoy writing on a topic and their 4 posts per day probably take them an hour (if that).

    I’d also suspect that Weblogs Inc would have some sort of an incentive scheme whereby the $4 per post might well increase over time as they build their blog. I think $500 per month is decent for a new blog with no established traffic – especially if they are going to have more than one author per blog.

    If you look at some of their blogs their traffic levels are pretty low so its always a bit of a risk to start a new one up.

    Also there are some side benefits of blogging for Weblogs Inc – it’d be good for the resume, good for building profile, good for learning the trade.

    On the downside is that at the end of your time with them you’ve got no content to show for it – Weblogs Inc retains that.

    All in all I wouldn’t consider signing up with them – but then I’m in the lucky position of already having an established income from blogging. Just my 2 cents worth.

  6. Speaking from experience (both writing for WIN and for myself) it’s pretty hard to make that level of income on your own. I have a weblog that started in January and at this point it’s making nearly $3 per post from AdSense with 30 posts per month. Inside a year we’ll probably make more per post than WIN would have paid, but it does take time.

    More importantly, that particular weblog is on a high-paying topic. Some of WIN’s weblogs are very specific niche topics that certainly couldn’t make that level of income on their own.

    If you’re willing to run a business and devote your time to it, and wait for a year or two for the real money to start trickling in, you’re better off on your own. I think most of WIN’s bloggers just want to write and get paid rather than run a business, and it works for them.

  7. Thomas says:

    $4 may not sound much but getting $500 a month for writing only 4 posts a day is quite a lot. You have to consider that their writers don’t write huge articles. They get $4 for writing between 100-200 words on average!

  8. ChrisH says:

    Darren makes an interesting point when he says ” their 4 posts per day probably take them an hour (if that).”

    It’s not so much how much you get paid per post, but how long it takes.

    For example, a website I am paid to write for, I am paid to do only one feature per week of around 700 words or more. Sometimes I have written twice that, depending on the article. I probably average around 1000 words.

    Now, those articles can take me anywhere from 1&1/2 hours up to 6 hours or more. So when you look at it my hourly rate fluctuates wildly. Sometimes it’s pittance, sometimes it’s nice.

    If I was being paid $4 per post on Weblogs, and I could write 4 an hour as Darren suggests, that’s a fairly healthy hourly rate of $16. But if I was writing 1000 words per post, it would probably work out to about $2 per hour.

    125 posts per month could be as little as 30 or so hours or roughly the equivalent of one day per week. Would you work a part-time job of one day a week for $500 per month?

  9. In my own journey to becoming a pro-blogger, I’ve just recently made the decision to go the hired-gun route instead of my own blogs. I’ve got some cool ideas for my own properties but I can’t justify the time-to-revenue waiting period at this point in my life. Meanwhile, I’ve got people making me offers, so I’m choosing to see where this path takes me.

    In terms of the numbers that WIN appears to be offering, they actually seem pretty much within the range of what I’m seeing elsewhere, at least for those types of blogs. If you compare it to what someone like Darren can produce at 20-24 posts per day, extrapolate the $500/month for 4 posts/day, you’re actually looking at $2500-$3000 per month. Not bad for working at home in your pajamas.

    The thing that bothers me about the purported WIN contract was the exclusivity clause. That I would have some issues with.

  10. duncan says:

    I’ve got a full copy of the contract but I did republish it out of respect to Jason Calacanis, but I thought primarily that the dollars would be of interest to people, but to be honest I’m surprised by the reaction of some people both here and in the comments on the Blog Herald. Honestly, if 18 months ago I’d been offered this by Jason I’d have signed up on the spot and I’d be writing for Weblogs Inc., as we speak. To say that its not a lot as some have suggested ignores the reality that 90% of all bloggers will never make more than a couple of dollars from their blogs, and the next 5% (even higher perhaps) will never make more that $100 a month. Sure, its not for everyone, and yes, with a lot of hardwork and perseveriance you can make more over time as well, but to be gaureenteed $500 USD upfront every month is still a pretty good part-time writing gig in my books, remembering that your going to be paid this from day 1, not 6mths, 12mths or 18 mths later when you may get to this level of revenue for your own blog.
    You’ve also got to remember that in terms of exposure and experience writing for Weblogs Inc is much more than the money. I leave it at this for now because I can feel a post coming on :-)

  11. yunasville says:

    Writing the post itself may not take much time, but you have to consider the time we spend on thinking, constructing the topics, researching, reading and researching in order to produce a quality post. I can write a post about my friend getting a new hair cut in 10 mins, that’d be considered as one post.. but who the hell will read it? Quality post does take time.. and 4 a day? well… that person better be a full time blogger to be able to produce 4 quality posts a day..In that case, 500 bucks ain’t gonna cut it..

  12. Mark Wade says:

    Hmmm, didn’t think I’d see the day I disagreed with Duncan Riley…

    Money is one thing, self-esteem and selling your soul is another.

    Way, way, way too many “you shalls” and “you shall nots” not to mention the discrepancy between your “pay” and what that network appears to bring in from Adsense alone.

    I gave up that “work my butt off to make someone else rich” mentality a long time ago – Thank God!

  13. Rick Abbott says:

    That truely isn’t that much money, but I’d do it, I need the money.

  14. One thing to remember: if you’re writing under a contract, you stop getting paid as soon as you stop writing. If you’re writing for your own site/blog, you can stop writing and you’ll continue earning income for a long time. Yes, your earnings will drop over time, but you’ll still be earning passive income without any additional effort.

  15. Matt Wardman says:

    The thing missing from this whole debate tends to be how long the individual posts are, and

    Posts reporting somebody else’s article, with a comment and a link can be done in 5 minutes.

    I guess that in the end it is a mixture, and the cost/benefit turns on the average time.

    Matt

  16. are there any standards which a blog or website has to pass, i mean in terms of traffic. If they are offering these rates even to new blogs then $4 is gold oppurtunity for fresh blogs and bloggers. If anyone know about the traffic and other requirements then do inform the community about it.

    Thank you.

    -Saurabh

  17. Naser says:

    Hmm.. I’ve just been offered a post on Downloadsquad, one of Weblog INC’s more popular blogs. I haven’t read the contract form throughly though, but from the looks of it I’m pretty much in. If I’m paid 500 USD (or 4 USD per post) for capitalizing on my passion (that is random, amateurish, tech blogging), then heck yeah!.

    But seriously though, can anyone confirm the whole payment deal?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] After the leaks of Weblogs Inc’s blogger contract Paul Scrivens has published the members agreement that members of 9Rules sign. [...]

  2. [...] Duncan writes an excellent piece in response to the criticism of Weblogs Inc’s $4 per post pay rate that was revealed last week. I’ve similarly had quite a few comments here at Problogger on the issue in the past few days – many of them critical at Weblogs Inc. I’ve been trying to work out how to respond to the criticism myself (although I’m not in the habit of defending Jason – he’s a big boy). I think Duncan says it well: ‘You see, if I’d been asked by Jason Calacanis to write for Weblogs Inc 12-18 months ago for a gaureenteed $500 USD starting rate per month I’d be writing for Weblogs Inc., today and I probably wouldn’t be writing the Blog Herald. Sure, if he asked me today I’d be wanting more money because I’m now making more. [...]