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6 Steps to Get Your Company to Pay You to Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 26th of June 2009 Business Blogging 0 Comments

Today Alexandra Levit shares some tips for getting your company/employee to pay you to blog.

I recently read that for every person who starts tweeting, another blog dies. But here’s the thing. Back in 2004, blogs were dismissed as a fad, and today there are billions of them. Blogging is not going away anytime soon.

You might be interested in blogging yourself, but don’t have the time or inclination to write one independent of your day job. What if you could be like the hundreds of people at Microsoft who count blogging among their daily responsibilities? Here are a few steps to proceed in that direction:

Develop your area of expertise:

It’s not realistic – or even a good idea – for every employed person in the world to have a blog. For one thing, the blogosphere is cluttered enough as it is, and blogs that have no real purpose for existence will just muck things up even more. You should write a blog because you have a unique opinion on an industry issue and can establish yourself as a credible expert. Hone your perspective by reading literature and other blogs in your field and determining where there’s an unmet need.

Get your writing up to par:

Not everyone has the natural ability write and/or maintain a blog that requires a concise outpouring of coherent thought several times a week. If you want to blog but sense that your command of the written word needs a little fine-tuning, consider a writing class and study how the top bloggers construct their most popular posts.

Test launch outside of business hours:

Your first foray into corporate blogging should not discuss the company you work for – that could get you in trouble. Instead, become involved with the blogging community in your industry, and make your blog as general and helpful to readers as you can. Piggyback on recent news, cite other writers’ work, and watch the accuracy of your facts. While you get the ball rolling, make sure you research/write your posts and do your commenting at home.

Showcase your blog to marketing:

As your blog is gaining traction, study the social media efforts (hopefully there are some) being conducted by your company’s marketing department. Determine the most logical way that your blog could fit into the mix, and then, once Google Analytics says that your platform is flourishing, meet with marketing to discuss it. Make it clear to all involved that your blog is currently independent of your job.

Work out the details:

Marketing may feel that you can add value as an official blogger for the company. This may mean continuing your own blog with company sponsorship, or forming a partnership with a senior executive or group of employees who are already blogging. Ask marketing if they would be willing to contribute to your salary in exchange for using your blog as an outreach tool.

Approach your boss:

Even if marketing offers its support – keep in mind that it may not – you will need to approach your boss about your proposed new responsibility. When you do, talk in terms of value provided to the company. How can allotting you an hour a day to blog pay huge dividends in terms of organizational awareness, genuine customer engagement, and search engine real estate?

As you undertake this process, remember your patience and your humility. I know several people who turned blogging as a side project into full-time gigs at their companies, but all of them started with the heartfelt desire to provide useful content that creates a win for both the reader and the organization.

Alexandra Levit is an internationally recognized expert on business and workplace issues. She writes for the Wall Street Journal and is the author of They Don’t Teach Corporate in College, How’d You Score That Gig, and Success for Hire. Follow her at @alevit.

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. Thanks for this information. This quote is the most meaningful, “heartfelt desire to provide useful content that creates a win for both the reader and the organization.”

    The content and intention is the most important factor in building trust.

  2. I was one of the lucky people who followed many of the steps you describe. More than 3 years ago, my boss asked me to explore the world of blogging to see if there’s something we ought to be doing out there. I worked for Midwest Airlines. I researched and researched and researched. Learned about blogs, who was blogging, what they were blogging about and how often. I learned the “rules” of good blogging. And along the way I found a niche market that was underserved at the time. I found a CMS, learned it, then presented it to my boss, his boss and then the senior leadership. They liked it and girlfriendsgetaway.wordpress.com was born. A year later I transitioned it to Joomla to get a better URL and more site flexibility — travelswithtish.com. Still running it even though my copywriting job at Midwest was cut last year.
    I think you have to be in the right place at the right time within a company — and have access to the right people.

    I say “go for it” — Corporate blogging is a blast.

  3. This is a good idea. But like most good ideas it would take a long time to bear fruit especially if one has not started writing on the domain specific topics.

  4. Once you have the blog perfected you state a very good point. You need to approach your boss. You will never be able to achieve anything unless you ask for what you deserve. Having the guts to approach your boss about important issues will lead you in the right direction.

  5. This is good advice, although probably best suited for folks who work at smaller companies.

    A lot of larger companies like to hand pick the corporate blogger. For example, I work for a company with 60,000 employees … someone in upper management is going to decide who the blogger is :)

    I actually did notify my boss about the existence of my blog, so that the company is aware of any potential conflicts of interest. However, I don’t hold myself out as a representative of my company, and I don’t even discuss my employer’s industry very often.

  6. Another interesting post Darren! I am thinking alot about this matter after reading. I know it is gonna take a while but let’s see whether I can follow your steps;-) thanks

  7. Yeah this is great idea especially for those who are still lingering about what to blog about ! you know your company well ! so why not blog about and for it ;)

  8. Good tips. More and more companies are blogging.

  9. Really great post.

    The main key here is to become a reliable
    source of information and have a large
    subscriber’s base.

    Than – your opinion matters and can get you a lot of money.

  10. Just a couple of thoughts, First analyze that blogging will be good for the business you are looking forward to. Also blogging for your boss and asking him to pay for the same wil require good persuasion skills…

  11. Nice post…
    I would have done it myself if I have been with a corporate company..!!!

    But, I am just a student right now…

    And, about that twitter thing,
    twitter is new…
    So, people would go for it…
    But would it be able to sustain those people..??
    That’s the question…


  12. Quite true what you said, thank you for sharing Darren. :-)

  13. Yeah, some good ideas. I just wonder how many people want to blog about their crappy job ;-D.

    I mean most of us are following a passion, aren’t we?
    To maybe some day make something that appeals a bit more to us.

    But well, if you love your job, it’s of course a nice way of enhancing yourself, if you have something to say.

  14. Technogati says: 06/26/2009 at 12:35 pm

    This is great idea to write about your company on blog.

  15. Salman says: 06/26/2009 at 12:42 pm

    Hi Darren
    Nice idea to find company that pays for blogging


  16. I blogged about my employer.

    He fired me.


  17. These are good tips, but I must say it’s quite hard to get non-webbies to ever understand the plentiful virtue (the money to be grabbed) that exists online.

    I was going to become a web designer and then I realized it’s better to make your own “fortune” online.

    In other words, I’d rather have someone else blog for me than I for them. Of course, we all can’t go from employee to employer like that *snaps*.

  18. great ideas/tips on the company blogs. and i agree, the death of blog (as a result of twitter) is very much premature. blogs certainly have a future, with twitter as a great tool.

  19. It would be great for my employer to pay me to blog. Now all I need to do is find someone to be “my employer!”

  20. needmoney.com – OMG… what did you blog about….?

  21. Expertise towards a topic is something I found I lacked so I decided to run a news sort of blog website. Is the easy out but I guess it will do me for now until I get in grips with a topic I would wanna niche about.

  22. What do I say? I’m still in college (16 as of now). I’m literally in love with blogging since I’m fifteen! Sure, I’d love to blog for a company that would hire me someday, but I guess it’s much better if I own that company. And I bet I can make that happen.

    To Darren, keep on blogging! You are my inspiration!

  23. Cool i don’t know about making business to your company using your blog

  24. I think Alexa’s advice about bringing your writing up to par is so important. To help bloggers and other writers who haven’t had the benefit of journalism school or mentors , I’m researching what their biggest writing challenge is. Love to hear from you at http://barbsawyers.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/whats-your-top-writing-challenge/#comment-32

  25. I liked this most because i am one of those who can’t write.

    “Not everyone has the natural ability write and/or maintain a blog that requires a concise outpouring of coherent thought several times a week. “

  26. It is very difficult to express your views to the same level of professional blogger.

  27. A very good idea, thinking of doing it with the company I’m currently working, but before doing it, I still have to consider a lot of things before deciding .. anyway, thanks for the tips.

  28. Great suggestions – and I think the writing skills/course suggestions is good for any type of blogger. I’ve been a writer for awhile, but I take a class every other month to stay up to speed. Tons of resources out there, even for free. Great post!

  29. I was approached by a company to share my thoughts about my future perspectives. I hope it has a positive outcome. I was hoping a sponsorship. I am curious! Thanks for sharing.

  30. Great post. I had never considered going to my company and positioning a blog like this. I’m always looking for ways to improve my blog, or blogability, so thanks!


  31. I would have to agree with a couple of the posters already. Most blogs are built from an internal need within the person, when this passion is combined with knowledge – the ingredients for a great blog are made. I just couldn’t think of anything more boring than reading a corporate approved blog. If it was going to work I believe they would need to go out of the company and find someone talented and who has a passion for the area of expertise of the company, and then to leave the expert to do their job and not interfere in something that a corporation could never quite understand.

  32. wow, congratulation for tish, very inspiring story !

  33. Great post Darren, however I’m going to disagree with the order of events. I would communicate with my immediate boss first and foremost, before getting in bed with the marketing department if they happen to be different departments.

    You don’t want your boss thinking your going over his head and pissing him/her off. That might be bad.

    But each case is going to be different and the individual needs to decide what’s best in their particular case.

    Good stuff Darren, unfortunately I’m in a business where blogging wouldn’t mean a thing, nor provide once ounce of benefit. I’ve looked, there’s nothing there that I can see. lol

  34. I never thought of getting sponsorship from the company. It’s good if they want to hire people. But I prefer to build an exclusive website for specific company.

    By the way, trust is the most important thing. It’s a fact.

  35. approach your boss? Hoho..never try this method. I will do that soon.

  36. A good approach can do wonders. If you boss is convinced, 90% work is done there itself.

  37. Great post as always.

    I think corporate has some ideas and they think it is sometimes like journalism writing and wants to be edited like mad. I am sure this happened when I had an internship at LLS.

    They see the value but don’t participate fully.

  38. Laurence Burris says: 06/27/2009 at 7:04 am

    Excellent article! I am so energized about blogging and getting paid for it.

  39. Blog content should be more like win win situation for both, the writer & reader! That’s how one can achieve success I reckon ;)

  40. This is a great post, let me explain why, I have a site that recieves about 1500 pag views a month I wont reveal it for odvious reasons but I also have it linked to a twitter acount, one day I recieved an e-mail from some one in my field , at first I was sceptical but decided to markett there product, the first few hours I made 4 sales and around $60 well it’s now been 3 weeks and my earnings are $3000 I never would have found them on my own but I had a quality niche site with decent traffic nothing great but enough to generate some sales, they also offer me custom banners and templates and any thing else I may need. So my point is if your site is well built and well written and with a little bit of luck you can make some decent money, and they will seek you out. Thanks for touching on the subject Darren.

  41. If you can increase your companies internet marketing efforts in any way, you should go to the higher ups and let them know the plan(without letting them steal it). Good tips.

  42. I totally agree with Traffic Blogger’s word that If you can increase your companies internet marketing efforts in any way, you should go to the higher ups and let them know the plan(without letting them steal it). Thank you so much for the priceless information. I found it so useful. :smile:

  43. I’m doing just the same … but could you give us some more details about what things we could ask for in return ?

  44. This is funny as it kind of outlines exactly how I started blogging for my company. At first, it started as something I did on my own and slowly but surely (after proving its value) my company started to realize the potential. Now, I’m expected to keep up my blogging efforts and am afforded time at work to do so.

  45. Starting up a blog is very easy, and monetizing it with programs like AdSense or affiliate programs through places like Clickbank.com are all very easy to do.
    The hard part is getting enough visitors to your blog to earn real money.
    Yes, you have to do some blog marketing. This means writing about what people are interested in reading.
    The way to get a lot of traffic is to have backlinks — links back to your blog from other websites. This is easy to do if you find other blogs in your same niche and then post comments on them, with those comments leading back to your blog.
    Another excellent way to get high quality backlinks is to answer questions on Yahoo Answers!
    I hope this helps you get started making money with blogs.

  46. It’s a cool idea. Truly it’s a lot harder to get paid by your company to blog than it is to just get paid blogging during your off hours. This is all the more reason to spend your time blogging about something you legitimately love, instead of about something you think will make you money.

    It’s always worth a try thoug and these are some really good tips!!

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