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How Much is a Blog Post Worth? – Paying Bloggers

How much would you write a blog post for?

I’ve had two emails today from bloggers asking how much they should charge per post for their blogging services and one email from a blog network asking how much I think is fair to pay bloggers per post.

note – all are asking about ‘per post’ payments and not revenue share which is another model of paying bloggers which I won’t cover in this post in much depth. I’ll keep this to the question being asked about ‘per post’ values.

I thought I’d open it up for discussion. What do you think?

All my answers to the emails were fairly vague because in my experience the value of a blog post varies depending upon a variety of factors:

  • Post Length – not all posts are equal and one differentiating factor is post length. While sometimes shorter posts can actually take longer to write than longer ones a general principle that most blog employers and employees factor into their agreements in terms of payment is post length.
  • Type of Post – another obvious different between posts is the type of post that is being written. There’s a big difference in the amount of work that goes into a newsy/link post and a longer opinion piece of tutorial. As a result I’d expect the value associated with the post would be different.
  • Topic – some topics are more commercially viable than others and I would expect that this would factor into many blog payment negotiations. This relates both to the type and value of advertising and affiliate programs available on a topic but also the responsiveness of the audience to these commercial aspects of the blog.
  • Post Frequency – how often the blogger is expected to post will no doubt factor into negotiations on the price of a post. If there’s an expectation of multiple posts per day I’d expect that the payment would be different to the cost of paying someone to post once per week.
  • Expertise of Blogger – some bloggers bring specialized expertise on a topic and would be able to negotiate a higher fee per post than other bloggers with less expertise or expertise on a less specialized topic.
  • Profile of Blogger – some bloggers have an established profile either within or outside of blogging circles. This means that they’re more likely to kick start a blog with traffic from their established fan base/readership and should mean that they can expect a higher per post fee.
  • Ownership – some blog networks or owners allow the blogger to keep full or partial ownership of the content that they write – others take full ownership of the content. I would expect that this should come into play when negotiating a fee. If the blogger can use the content later or in other mediums this might mean a lower fee but if they give up complete rights to the content I’d expect the blog owner should pay a premium (to some extent) for this.
  • Incentives – Some blog networks build incentives into their payment systems (some operate on a completely incentive based system where there is no ‘per post’ payment – but that’s another topic). These incentives may be based upon traffic, revenue, incoming links or some combination of these (and other) factors. The incentives offered (and the chance of them coming into play) will obviously impact the ‘per post’ payment that bloggers receive.

Ok – so how much is a blog post worth?

Obviously there’s going to be quite a large variation in terms of dollar values paid for a blog post but from chatting with many bloggers from many networks and business blogs I’m hearing that the going rate on a ‘per post’ basis seems to be ranging from as low as $2 per post up to $20 per post (and on occasion I’ve heard of payments as high as $100 for one off or less frequent columns).

Of course ultimately the value of a post will be determined by the market (ie demand and supply and the budget of the blog owner and where it intersects with the situation and willingness of the blogger).

It’s a difficult question but I’d love to hear your thoughts on how much you think a blog post is worth. How much would you (do you) blog for? Feel free to share your experiences anonymously if you’d like.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Martin says:

    I think a lot of it has to do with the profile of the blogger and the topic covered – as you said how commercailly viable it is has a big bearing.

    A higher profile blogger should bring with it a premium.

    Also, I think an incentive scheme as a mix of payment is a good thing – I’d base it on traffic and link ins.

    For short, newsy items I’d go for $5-$15 an item with a incentive attached to it.

    For longer pieces, anything from $10 – $30.

    It does seem quite low, but it’s all about supply and demand – if the publisher makes say $10 a year from the one post there’s no point in paying $15 for it to be written.

    When publishers can start to better monetize their posts the sooner the rates will go up.

    I know at ePublishingDaily, I was often approached to do posts on a particular product/service direct from a company or pr firm. I never did it but it was tempting – especially when they say $75 for 3 posts over 2 weeks.

    The catch: don’t disclose and must be positive. Not my style but I’m sure many would do it.

  2. As I read your post, the number that first came into my mind was $1/post but that could be because I am basically earning nothing per post and just writing for the enjoyment in my niche so any dollar amount would be welcome.

    But as you mention, there are many variables that come into play when trying to place a price on a per post basis. It doesn’t seem like there would be one answer that would apply as the value of a post can really vary.

    Being new to blogging, this is the first I have actually heard of people being paid per post. It is an intriguing concept though and I am interested to see the feedback of others.

  3. Interesting.

    I know one blogger paid per post I recently interviewed told me he wasn’t getting rich, but he was paying the mortgage from blogging.

    Personally, I’d need more than $20 – I’ve got so much other stuff to do!

  4. Glenn Wolsey says:

    Blogging for Gadgetell.com, I get $3 per post (can make as many as I like)

    For my personal blog, it works out at a very nice price per post when I take in the advertising revenue and divide it by the posts per month ;-)

  5. To be honest, I would say that blog posts .. of course depending on their quality .. are worth around $2 or $3 each, but not much more.

  6. I blog for free, but in saying that, I do it for my business and we have earned thousands of dollars in sales because of it. So maybe I’m not writing for free?
    I’m not sure if blogging will ever be about paying per post, or about indirect benefits/advertising (which is not so cool).

    Maybe payment should follow along the lines of a freelance magazine writer. Some people are natural, you love to read them, the value of the number of eyes they draw is immense. The price per post is high.
    I don’t think this whole $1 a post means much?

  7. When I started it was $3 a post. I was hungry so I jumped at the chance. Of course, when a better offer ($20+pp) came along I jumped at the chance (and they didn’t try very hard to keep me at the first place either, because they weren’t necessarily looking for high-quality but for freq updated, keyword rich content).

    Now it’s evolved to mostly rev share, with one exception.

    I’ve actually embraced a lower income now in order to blog on topics I enjoy. The freedom of writing about what you love shouldn’t be understated. I’ve made alot of money blogging on stuff I hated and I’ve made very little blogging on what I love.

    I’ll take the ‘very little’ with the joy over the hard work with lotsa money any day…

  8. Andrew Wee says:

    being paid to post is definitely an incentive, especially if you’re within your niche.

    beyond just the monetary value of that one post, consider too the intangible benefits.

    i guess you might be blogging on your own blog, or possibly on an external blog (as listed in the ‘blogger jobs’ section)

    if you’re on an external blog (especially if it’s high PR and traffic), you can do trackbacks to your own posts, especially if your own blog is a content rich one.

    Secondly, you raise your credibility in the community, especially if you’re just starting out.
    I guess it’s a validation of sorts, if a reputable portal chose you to blog on their behalf.

    Thirdly, yeah, i’d stop short of obligating myself to say positive stuff. i think it adds more credibility to give a balanced view, and the readership will be more aware of a balanced slant to the post. it’s a win-win for the advertiser if they choose to go beyond the ‘overtly positive’ route.

    I do paid posting for forums, and i’d say the value i’ve generated in terms of traffic, adsense and affiliate income i’ve generated for my blog has far outweighed the payment i’ve received.
    for me, paid posting (whether blog or forum or other) is just one piece in my overall strategic plan of growing my Internet Marketing business (of which the blog is one component).

    Andrew Wee
    http://www.WhoIsAndrewWee.com

  9. Angela says:

    I have a friend that has a small-time gig blogging and charges $10.00 per post. I think that’s fair, don’t you?

  10. I like Andrew Wee’s comment the best and wish that his was the majority attitude towards this topic.

    I’ve got 30 blogs .. of which about half of them are under “nourished” with blog posts. There’s only so much time in the day for me to do my other offline and consulting work, manage and maintain my current blogs, family life and dogs, putzky’ing around the ‘net commenting and having fun surfing my Bloglines, people’s sidebars and Liz’s open Mike nights! That’s not to mention just maintaining my other 15 blogs to keep my lousy traffic levels where they are.

    But – I don’t have 100,000′s of traffic or 10,000′s of subscribers and I’m not earning enough to quit my dayjob or even pay for my hosting accounts .. I can’t recall if I’ve ever received affiliate commissions – although I know I’ve sold and earned commissions .. Yes I do try to monetize and sometime get payments from adsense every 2-3 months. But text-link-ads brings opportunity to small fish fry like me now, and you bloggers out there wanting to get rich from writing.

    I’m only approved at the moment to have text-link ads on 5 of my sites .. and I’ve been earning ~ $120/month with potential (if all ads sold) up to about $250/month. Now .. I’m impatient working hard to build the other 25 blogs to be eligible .. and they will be eligible soon.

    I would reinvest my text-link-ad earnings right now thoughout my 15 blogs but – at $1/per relevent post. If I got $120 last month.. my budget would be to pay for 120 entries next month for ALL 15 blogs as a whole. When individual blogs becomes eligible for text-links.. I would split 50% prorata with whoever posted on it that month. And, yes I would be greedy and keep all the adsense for myself and my Papillon dogs :) but the blogger would be able to do (like Andrew mentions) network links and traffic back to his/her own blog and even embedded affiliate products inside the posts, stuff like that. I haven’t much thought about other issues but common sense has to prevail without both sides being greedy.

    I’m just saying.. this is in conversation only – and where my mentality is at the moment (be it right wrong or clueless). I am too busy. I have to either keep it as a hobby and regain my insanity and time – or go for it with ‘baby steps’ to the next level. $10/post? $20/post? Listen .. I’m an accountant/consultant – if you think you are worth that – you probably are and you should hold your ground. Just remember that others have to agree to that value too.. and I don’t think so.

  11. Stuart says:

    Paying bloggers need not be so complicated — why not pay by word like many other media industries? At the end of the day, the publisher should be able to monetise everything that their writers deliver — be it long, short, fat or thin posts. Some posts will earn more than others, but as long as the writer balances their big ticket stories with the fluff one should subsidise the other — and if they don’t the author either shouldn’t be writing or should be taking a look at their mix of stories. US10 cents a word is a reasonable starting rate of pay — making the “How much is a blog post worth?” worth around US$75 — not an unreasonable amount and certainly an attainable target to monetise over say 12 months.

    PS Darren, obviously comments are displaying now — must have been a prob at my end.

  12. I think it depends more on the blog and the post. You should be able to look at your revenue and determine how much you make per-post. Then pay accordingly ;)

    - Bryan
    http://www.BryanCFleming.com

  13. Glen says:

    Getting paid to blog depends on the post. The relevancy of the content in your niche would determine the price. I honestly don’t think that any post should bring over $50 and that would be an article that contained higly sought after information.

  14. carotids says:

    I have been “rewarded” by tech-recipes.com for $5-$20 per post. They don’t publically say it, but they are excellent at compensating authors. I have been surprised at the bonuses they give as well.

    I typically blog and post for fun and to get my name out there for job hires. I never expected direct money for my tutorials and such.

  15. Joe says:

    Hey Darren,

    Not long ago I was offered an opportunity to write as many posts as I wished for a startup Business Blog. $7 per. I would do all of the research and verification.

    My problem as a blogger/writer was that I had no control over my content. They wanted full authority to change anything in an article to their liking.

    Sorry, but I just can’t relinquish my integrity for a couple of bucks.

    Didn’t mean to drift too far off topic, but some things are worth more than money.

    Joe

  16. Gayla says:

    I have had a few blogger-for-hire gigs and find that on average $5 – $20 per post is the norm.

    I’ve just landed one that is indefinate and have agreed to 5 posts per week, $10 per post.

    I’d also like to add that thanks to the many tips I’ve picked up from Darren and his commenters – I’ve just had my first $4,000+ month.

  17. Darren, you got me curious about what an average blog post is really worth, so I figured out a way to calculate this metric for my own blog. The answer might surprise you:

    http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/09/how-much-is-a-blog-post-worth-would-you-believe-2400-dollars-each/

  18. Smoove D says:

    A blog post is worth whatever a writer will accept for selling it. Personally, I wouldn’t boot up for less than $200. That said, I blog for free, but the purpose of my site is to experiment with information architecture, open source content management systems and the social aspect of blogging and site promotion. There just happen to be decent posts attached to this.

    Coming from the photography world, I would never agree to give up copyright on my posts for a fixed fee.

  19. yenjai.net says:

    One of the factor to consider is their deadline

  20. zzap says:

    On a personal blog; I don’t think you should be getting money for any of your blog posts — blogs (personal blogs especially) always used to be about posting your thoughts on certain aspects of things; but when you’re getting payed, you could be writing about anything just to get some money.
    If your readers find out that you’re being payed for what you write, then alot of them will think less of you.

  21. Csanad says:

    Well, translations generally cost about 1or 2 cents/character of so.
    I suppose that a fully new post could be say, around 5 cents/character. Of course as many have said before me it depends on many things such as the actual time it take to prepare the post (example: the amount of research it takes beforehand), or the more niche post it is the more it costs.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] How Much is a Blog Post Worth? Problogger.net has a post up trying to analyze how much blog posts are worth, in regards to paying hired writers to write on blogs. I am a hired writer, and get paid a variety of different amounts, depending on each factor that Darren lists, as well as the amount that the company can afford, let’s never forget that. You can charge whatever you want, but someone has to be able to afford it. chatting with many bloggers from many networks and business blogs I’m hearing that the going rate on a ‘per post’ basis seems to be ranging from as low as $2 per post up to $20 per post (and on occasion I’ve heard of payments as high as $100 for one off or less frequent columns). [...]

  2. [...] Recently I read Darren Rowse’s enlightening post about bloggers-for-hire being paid on a per-post basis.  Darren says the going rate being offered is around $2 to $20 per post… sometimes as high as $100 per post.  That’s a flat one-time fee with no residuals.  If such bloggers stop writing, they stop earning.  And apparently there’s no shortage of bloggers willing to work for such rates. [...]

  3. [...] $2,400 is a far cry from the $10 flat rate some “professional bloggers” are getting for their articles. [...]

  4. [...] He was sparked by Darren Rowse’s recent article on about how much a blog post is worth and wrote about using the formula to determine his blogs posts value. Turns out they’re worth $20 a piece. [...]

  5. [...] Resulta complicado determinar cómo y cuánto pagarás a un blogger. Son muchas las variables que influyen en el valor de un post. En Find a Blogger se puede enterar uno de cómo está el mercado. Resulta interesante el sistema de remuneración de Swebloo, convenientemente explicado en este comentario. [...]