Writers tend to be underpaid. As if that wasn’t obvious understatement, you could be even worse off as a freelance blogger.
For some reason, many businesses seem to operate under the mindset that bloggers are like enslaved robots who can pump out a crap-ton of writing for their robot-like readers [*cough*search engines*cough*] and who will accept a measly sum of cash in return for our robotic efforts.
(I may or may not have watched I, Robot last night.)
But being underpaid is not something you can afford as a freelance blogger, especially when blogging is so much more than just those short (or long) posts you type out.
You know that you have to blog the right way to attract readers, leads, and clients. And the “right way” involves more elements than your potential clients might realize, or more than even you might realize.
For example, do you charge extra if you need to find images? What about promoting your posts? These blog elements are things you can’t overlook if you want to be taken seriously as a freelancer and get paid accordingly.
Don’t Pass Up Getting Paid for These 5 Blog Post Elements
The point of being a freelance blogger is to provide not just a set word count, but a properly developed and structured post that provides lots of value to your clients and their readers. So what is this extra “value” I’m talking about beyond the word count?
These 5 blog post elements are part of the “right way” of blogging; keep them in mind when you’re talking to potential clients and figuring out your pricing.
Ignoring any of these could mean you lose not just your time, but some well-deserved money, as well.
A blog post can be perfectly and beautifully written… and yet a boring headline won’t draw in any readers. Part of your job as a blogger is to learn the skill and craft of writing headlines, too.
This expertise is something you bring to the table when you negotiate with clients. If you don’t charge for it or factor it into your rates, you’re selling yourself short. It’s like you’re saying, “I guess my knowledge here doesn’t really matter.”
But guess what? It does matter. So make sure you’re properly compensated for this knowledge.
Yep, this is the same deal as #1.
If clients want scannable, readable blog posts, they should be willing to pay you for all parts of these blog posts, which includes sub-headers or sub-titles.
Whether or not you factor your subs into the word count is up to you, though. I generally do factor them into my word counts.
However, I always try to go a bit beyond the word count to make sure that I’m giving my best value to clients. Cutting a 500-word blog post short for the sake of two 5 to 8-word sub-titles doesn’t seem fair to me, so I try to hit somewhere between 515-520 words.
It’s typical for many, if not all, of your clients to want images included with your blog posts.
However, if they don’t provide any assistance and want you to find your own images, you damn well better charge for this time sinker.
And it can be just that — a time sinker, especially when your client wants all images to be royalty/copyright-free and properly credited. If that’s the case, they shouldn’t be opposed to shelling out a few extra bucks to you to avoid the risk of being sued.
Don’t worry, though. As time goes on and you get more practice, you’ll get used to finding appropriate images more quickly, and you’ll be offering your clients a value that’s hard to find in the cheap, robot-like bloggers.
We already talked about how sub-headers or sub-titles help with formatting a blog post, but there’s more to it than that.
If your client has a specific style or formatting guide they want you to follow, don’t hesitate to charge for the time it’ll take you to follow it every time you post.
It will take you a few practices to get the style right, but you’re still doing billable work the client would’ve otherwise had to pay one of their employees to learn.
Feel free to charge even more if their guide is extensive and detailed. For example, one of my clients doesn’t mind the least bit paying me $100 per post, which I requested when I saw that he wanted every sub-header orange, every image 500px wide, and every paragraph besides the intro and conclusion indented.
Some clients will want you to promote your blog posts for them through your own social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.).
If they do, make sure to put it in your contract with them and charge extra for the time it’ll take you to promote every post, including any responses you might need to make or comments you may need to reply to.
This can be tricky. If you’re anything like me, not all your followers will appreciate reading about topics you don’t normally talk about. Most of my Twitter followers, for example, are bloggers and geeks who won’t give a shit about my HR blogs for a business client.
Promoting would be fruitless in this case. So develop your promoting habits wisely should you choose to share your work for a client.
Now Go Get Paid
If you’re not convinced that a blog post is more than its word count, and that you need to start pricing accordingly, re-read this blog post as many times as necessary until you start taking your freelance blogging services seriously.
Once you adopt this mentality, it’ll be easier to convince clients of your value, too. They’ll see you’re serious about your value and results, and will be more likely to want to hire you.
Note: how you price your services and rates is entirely up to you. Some freelance bloggers may feel more comfortable charging more compared to other freelancers, or you may feel like you can charge a lot for just one of these elements because you have solid experience in it.
No matter what you decide, the point is to get paid for your value.
Money shouldn’t be your entire goal as a freelance blogger, but it definitely doesn’t hurt anything! Factor into your pricing the time and effort it takes for you to do all the elements listed above, and don’t be afraid to ask for that price.
Which of these elements do you need to start charging for in your freelance career?
Image: Tax Credits