You must have wondered: just how much money can a freelance blogger really earn?
What do you think, is $50 per post a good rate? What about 20 cents per word?
Think bigger. And, more important, think differently.
As a freelance blogger, it isn’t just your income that matters. The amount of time and effort you put into your business is crucial to determining how well-paid you really are.
It’s simple: if I asked you to choose between a job that pays $50 per hour for 40 hours per week, and one that pays $100 per hour for 20 hours per week, which job would you pick?
Yeah, I thought so. 😉
No matter which job you choose, your pay works out to $2000 each week. I’d choose the one with fewer hours, too. And we’d all be earning a six-figure income working part-time!
So, um, why hasn’t that happened yet?
Well, I have a confession to make: my average hourly rate is around $100. But I spend less than 20 hours per week freelance blogging, so I’m not super-rich.
You can earn more than me, if you want to. Many freelance bloggers do, especially if they work at it full-time.
How to Be a Highly-Paid Freelance Blogger
How much do you charge for a blog post?
When I first started freelance blogging, I had no clue how much I ought to charge.
Worse, I didn’t know whether my blog writing skill was above or below average, so I wasn’t even sure about comparing myself to the professionals whose rates are listed on freelance websites.
In other words, I had no idea what I was doing.
So I did what a lot of new freelancers do: I figured that if my hourly rate was at least as high as my last day job paid, then that would be fine.
My first blogging job paid $50 per 500 word post, and I was OK with that. I’d seen some other bloggers being paid a lot less.
After a while, though, two things became clear:
- There were worse writers making better money than me online. Lots of them.
- If I wanted to make more money, all I had to do was demonstrate my mad blogging skills and then ask for more money. If those writers could do it, so could I!
The moral of this story? Know your value, and never be too chicken to ask for it.
Know Your Value (To Other People)
You need to know the value of your work, out there in the world. How do you find that out?
There are a few places you can look up rates for freelance writing work, but if you’ve ever tried to research this before, you’ll know that few include rates specifically for freelance blogging.
So let me say this straight:
$100 or more for a relatively short post (250 to 500 words) is a fair rate for an expert freelance blogger.
In case your brain doesn’t compute US dollars, that’s roughly £60 in the UK, $95 in Australia, 5500 Indian rupees, or 75 Euro.
A short post should ideally only take you an hour or so to write, leaving your hourly rate around the $100 mark and your annual income over $100,000 if you blog for 20 hours each week.
If you provide something extra with your blogging service –your own photos and video clips, promotion on your social media, original source interviews—then you can charge more.
And if you’re an expert in more than freelance blogging, your value is higher still. There are some blogs in my free Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs that pay a few hundred dollars for a single post on a specialist topic. One pays a thousand dollars!
How to Become an Expert
Those clients who are happy to pay hundreds of dollars per post: do you know why they pay more?
They’re paying you to know what you’re doing.
Some new freelance bloggers jump right in and make $100 or more from the very first post. Others take time to build up their skills, experience, and confidence before they start to make more money.
Educating yourself about the art and science of blogging is part of your job as a successful freelance blogger. You’ll need to understand the business side of freelancing, too. People call me a freelance blogging expert, but I’m still learning every day.
To become an expert, all you need is practice and the ability to learn.
No set of rules dictates precisely how much experience you need. One facepalm-simple way to find out is to put yourself forward for a selection of freelance blogging jobs that interest you. If you win a gig then you know you’re expert enough!
Any relevant specialist knowledge or experience you have is valuable to the people doing the hiring. Price your work according to the value you bring to each project, and never be afraid to ask for what you’re worth.
Don’t Be a Starving Writer
Now, I’m not suggesting that all writers are destined to be broke. But some types of writing give you predictable regular income that works out to a decent amount per hour, while others don’t.
A traditional novelist or non-fiction author might spend an age researching before submitting a book proposal. If they get accepted and paid an advance, they have to go and write. A lot. Then when the book’s published, they do a huge amount of marketing for months, and hope it sells more than a handful of copies.
For a freelance blogger, on the other hand, online research is the norm. Other writers can take weeks or months to research their next piece, but you can research a short blog post in no time if you know how to search the internet efficiently.
Because freelance blogging is usually an ongoing gig, you get to know your clients and topics so well that you never run out of ideas. Often, you aren’t expected to pitch stories anymore but simply write them up and submit them, knowing they’ll be accepted.
You can write faster on these familiar topics by now, so you earn more in less time. And with a steady flow of income from your regular ongoing projects, you don’t have to spend so much time chasing new clients.
If you look at a lot of successful freelance writers like Carol Tice, or entrepreneurial bloggers like Tom Ewer, you’ll notice that they’re making several thousand dollars each month through freelance blogging in addition to their income from other writing projects.
My point is this: you can make a good income from freelance blogging even if you only work part-time. All it takes is a commitment to learning your craft.
This is your freelance blogging career. Now let’s take it somewhere awesome.
Get Help With Your Next Steps
I want you to succeed as a freelance blogger. And to help you do that, I’d like to talk with you live and one-to-one about how you can take a step up in your freelance blogging career (yes, even if it doesn’t exist yet).
There’s no way I can do that for every person who reads this post, so I’m offering it as a special free gift to just 3 people. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post, and I’ll choose 3 winners. Bonus points for radical honesty.
Here’s what you get:
- You’ll spend an hour with me on Skype or phone, talking over your freelance blogging career and getting my advice on how you can move forward from where you are now to where you want to be.
- If you’re within travelling distance, you can come and meet me in person and we’ll have cake!
- Plus, the least experienced of the 3 winners will get a bonus prize: a free copy of Tom Ewer’s excellent ebook, Successful Freelance Writing Online, to help keep you moving after our session is over.
This contest is now CLOSED, but you can get your own freelance blogger mentoring session here.
Feel free to leave a comment anyway – I’m still reading them! 🙂
Photo: Tax Credits