Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

Have You Got What it Takes to Become a Highly Paid Freelance Blogger?

Posted By Guest Blogger 30th of July 2012 Blogging for Dollars 0 Comments

This guest post is by Marya Jan of Writing Happiness

Ask any blogger what the going rate for freelance blogging is and you are sure to get a wide range of numbers.

Some might say $10 or $15. Some would say $30 is more appropriate.

Many professional bloggers and copywriters make in the vicinity of $100 to $250. Heck, Jon Morrow, Associate Editor of CopyBlogger, charges $3k for one post.

I have only been officially “blogging for work” since the beginning of this year and I make around $120.00 per 600-word post. So I am smack bang in the middle, and considered to be making a decent rate.

Most people don’t believe me when I tell them that. They think I am grossly exaggerating. Why would anyone pay this kind of money to have blog posts written for them?

Well, well established businesses and high profile companies do. Blogging is a part of their overall marketing budgets and they understand the value of getting a professional on board.

You might have caught this post earlier on Problogger—Jane does exactly the same thing, except she has gotten herself a regular gig. I, too, am a resident blogger for Open Colleges. I also ghost write blogs for two other businesses and this roughly makes half of my monthly income.

But what about you? Looking at the numbers, is freelance blogging something that interests you and piques your curiosity?

You too could potentially start earning money with the help of your blog.

Become a freelance blogger

Plenty of bloggers are doing it: Carol Tice of Make a Living Writing, Oni of Young Prepro, Joseph Putnam of 5 North Marketing and Tom Ewer of Leaving Work Behind are some of the names I am familiar with.

The idea is simple—but not easy.

You approach businesses that have substantial marketing budgets and ask them if they would like to hire a freelance blogger. Simple, yeah?

If they do need one, the question then becomes, Why you? Why should they hire you over others who charge $5 per post? Or why shouldn’t they get content from firms that provide them with posts for around $15-$20 apiece?

You’ll get hired as a freelance blogger—and a highly paid one at that—when you show your prospective clients that you are worth every single penny they spend on you.

You prove to them, beyond doubt, the skill and expertise you bring to the table. You explain how by paying you $100.00 per post, they are attracting targeted traffic to their site, converting those readers into leads, and further, into paying customers. You detail the return on investment (ROI) they get by hiring you.

Talk is good, but you need something back it up. And here’s how to do it.

You need to have a fairly successful blog

This one seems like stating the obvious, doesn’t it? If you don’t have a blog, how do you even know if you’d enjoy blogging for pay?

Do you know if you could do it, day in day out, on a long term basis? Can you remain committed to a topic of your choice? Do you know how long it takes you to write a 400-word post? A 900-word one? How much should you charge for them? Can you come up with topics on your own?

Really, if you have no experience of consistently writing for your own blog, you will have a really hard time even getting a response from the potential client.

You need to learn to write like an A-list blogger

What do you expect if you want to hire a service professional? That they have all the skills required to do the job, right?

Well, professional bloggers have skills too, even if they don’t have professional degrees in this department. They know how to come up with ideas that are unique and haven’t been done like a hundred times before. They possess advanced research skills to find all the content sources.

They craft headlines that entice people to look, and create effective calls to action. Their posts are scannable, concise, screen-friendly, and share-worthy. In other words, the content they create has the potential to go viral.

You need to show the client clearly that you understand the nitty gritty of blog writing for business. All of the social proof on your blog will help make your case stronger.

And the best thing you can do? Demonstrate your topic expertise. When you show industry know-how, clients know they don’t have to spend a lot of time training you. You know the ins and outs of the market place and hence have more worth than a generalist.

You need to land guest posts on influential blogs

So, for you to get gigs writing for businesses, you need to have some sort of a portfolio. And what’s better than showing off your links on authority sites like Problogger and Copyblogger?

Even if you are an expert writer for print media, writing online is an entirely different beast. While your published clips might impress people and pave the way for you, you still need to demonstrate your skills in writing for the web.

Writing on your blog in one thing; guest-posting on A-list blogs is another altogether. If your posts are good enough for leading blogs and social media sites, they are good enough to warrant adequate pay.

You need to be prepared to act in an advisory role

Can you answer these questions for your client?

  • Why do businesses need to blog? And how will you help them use their blog as part of their overall marketing strategy?
  • Can you offer a mini blog review as an added bonus? Advise them on issues like navigation/usability or freebie offers to increase signup rates etc.
  • Explain to them that by investing in blogging efforts, their ROI will increase significantly.
  • Have you got any data you can present that will back that up? Have you done any paid blogging before? If so, have you got any results that you can quote? For instance, you might say you blogged for so-and-so company and doubled their email opt-ins.
  • Can you advise your client with content strategy? Help them with editorial calendar and blog topics?
  • Can you help them track and interpret the results of blogging?

Really, when you think about it, blogging for business is more to do with online marketing, rather than writing. You are not creating content for them to amuse or entertain people, unless that’s the specific aim of the company itself. You are becoming a part of their marketing team. Gasp!

Still interested?

Marya Jan is a freelance blogger and online copywriter for e-learning, online education and training companies.  She writes at Writing Happiness where she happily helps small business owners revamp their own blog content (and copy). Grab her free book ‘How to Write Blog Content that Works’. Follow her at @WritingH.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  1. Thanks for such a clear and concise article Marya.

    What I would like to add is this:

    Start building a network if you’re serious about freelance blogging. Understand that it becomes a lot more easier for you to land a ‘paid blogging gig’ when you know the right people.

    I’ve got tons of ghostwriting work through my existing contacts so I think it really makes sense to go out there and make ‘friends’ in your industry. It’s worth it.

    It’s really baffling for many bloggers as to how freelance blogging really works and how high it can pay. They’re caught in their own assumptions, which stops them from building the basic foundation that would attract good opportunities. The trick is to go out there and take action, be patient and focus on quality clients.

  2. Yes the idea is simple—but not easy.
    I did not make an offer directly to many other web companies, but through the broker posting. Pretty tired when I have to offer to the company directly so I thought I better just through the sale of services, although the income should be share. It is simply an opinion. Thanks for sharing

  3. Hey Marya, Thanks for the great article! I am too looking for a writing gig and now focusing on my site and guest post to gain more ‘portfolio’. Hope I land a writing job soon :D

  4. Yikes. I’m not a freelance blogger, but after reading this it’s probably a good thing. Tough market.

    Is it really worth the time and effort necessary to put out good content for these rates? I know that making money on our own sites is not piece of cake either, but that’s rough.

  5. Hi Marya!

    Great post and advice as well to become a highly paid freelance blogger.

    I am totally agree with that you should have the answer of initial two questions. why you get preference on others and how you will prove better or worth while to the employer. These are questions which mostly people could not able to answer.

    Thanks for providing great information and knowledge as well.

  6. nice post brother..
    but i think is not possible for me

  7. An idea that I’ve been toying with for some time. I already get paid to assist one blog but I want to move up the salary scale. Thanks for a post that outlines some of the other skill that I’ll need to get paid even more.

  8. Jon, I am surprised by your response. You think $100 for an hour’s work is not good enough? Most freelancers I know would kill to average those rates. Including myself! :D (I haven’t crossed $100 per hour across the board yet – but fingers crossed.

    Thank you to everyone who appreciated or tweeted this post.


    • Indeed Marya! $100 should be the average rate for top bloggers out there! I’ve seen good writers charging anywhere between $10-$15 per posts which is disappointing as they are not familiar with the earning potential. Top writers should have a blog of their own as the names mentioned in your post. They should be updating it regularly so when the need arises, they can refer back to it. Guest posting is the way to go. Targeting websites which are set-up by businesses can bring in a lot of opportunities. It takes time and patience and dedication is the key!

  9. Some really interesting points on how to become a highly paid freelance blogger. I would be proud of myself if I earned $100 per hour.

  10. Marya,

    Very informative post. I certainly agree with the points provided.
    As a paid, professional blogger myself, I can attest that there is money to be made.
    I think that the questions that you have outlined here (in terms of acting in an advisory role for clients) are spot on.

    I would add that entering contests that afford blog owners greater visibility for their work is a great strategy for gaining new clients as well.

    Thanks for this post.

  11. Hey Marya,

    Great post and very infomative post! I’m too a freelacer blooger and its helping me out a lot. Your tips definitely is the key to maximize freelacer writer’s income.

    Thanks again.

  12. Well Marya what you are getting is really awesome. All this is because of your great writing style :) I have never tried freelancing but have approached to some sites.

  13. Yes Jon the buildup time may not seem worth it. But $100 for the actual article that’s amazing! Once you have the rep and a following $100 an hour without ramp up time is worth it!!

  14. I agree Vito. If you can spend some time building up your credibility in addition to what you already do, it won’t seem like all that effort took a long time. That’s what I did. I took it slowly. Some people are quicker – especially if you know how to hustle … Just saying.


    • Thanks for this Marya. I’m very new to blogging and had never actually thought about freelance blogging. That said I know there are all kinds of big businesses, including Universities, that employ people to blog for them so this is a great angle. Thanks for raising my awareness of this as it gives me more food for thought.

  15. This is such an awesome post! I loved the practicality of it. $100 per 600 word post is pretty impressive especially since you have guys on Fiverr or iWriter doing it for significantly less. I’m actually proud of the portfolio of site I’ve written or been quoted on but I know I need work. Thank you again for such a great post!

  16. Excellent Post. With competition from people willing to write for less, quality is all that matters. Thanks for the post.

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…