Do you think all you can find are $5-per-article blogging gigs? And those stories you hear about freelance writers earning $50, $75, even hundreds of dollars per post are nothing but fiction?
Bottom-of-the-barrel rates are definitely *not* all that’s out there. I’ve compiled the stories of four freelance bloggers who are earning $200 and up for blog posts. No joke!
Here’s how they landed those gigs — and what better-paid blogging gigs are really like.
$250 Writing about gems & jewelry
Leslie Jordan Clary, an experienced writer in the jewelry and gems field, was approached by a wholesaler to write posts for two of their blogs. They found her through a targeted writer site that focuses on Clary’s work in this field, which began in the 1990s, when she was living in Asia and began writing about gem mines for a trade journal.
The company initially offered $100 for 1,000 words, says Clary, but she negotiated with them to get that $250 rate. Though many of the posts allow her to draw on her own experience, she does Internet research to fill in the blanks. Clary says each post takes her about four hours to write, so it averages out to $50-$60 per hour.
A $500 relocation-guide post
A self-storage company hired Sherri Ledbetter to write “20 Things You Need to Know Before You Move to Tulsa,” a quick guide to some of the highlights of living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ledbetter had written similar posts before, and the samples on her website convinced her client that she was good fit for the gig.
She was initially offered $400 for the post, but she negotiated a $100 rush fee, because the post was due in less than two weeks. The post, she says, was fairly easy and took only two hours to write. At a $250 per hour rate, Ledbetter is definitely looking for more work in the same vein.
$300 Per post in tech and healthcare
Amy Dunn Moscoso comes from an agency background, and she has used the skills she gained there to target companies in the lucrative technology and healthcare fields. As a result, Moscoso is earning high blogging rates for a variety of companies, earning between $50-$110 per hour.
Some of the blogging gigs she’s had include condensing a highly technical health care technology white paper into a 500-word blog post, 1,500-word buyer’s guides for a software-as-a-service company, and an ongoing blogging gig with a Chinese school looking to recruit North American teachers.
She found the buyer’s guide job through the ProBlogger job board, but says the other work has come through networking and inbound marketing.
Construction software: $225 per post
By her own admission, Angie Mansfield knows nothing about construction. But that doesn’t stop her from earning $225 a week writing for contractors. Her blogging gig for a company that provides software to contractors started at two $125 posts per week. As she learned more about the audience and the company decided to go to one post per week, she convinced them to begin paying her $225 apiece.
Each post requires about an hour of work, she says, and runs between 350 and 500 words. That puts her at about $200 an hour. Mansfield has been working for this client for a year, and has proven her ongoing value: “I don’t just sit back and wait for them to send me stuff. I suggest topics and stay up-to-date,” she says.
How you can earn these rates, too
Do you have what it takes to earn pro blogging rates? If you’ve been writing in a specific field and have a few clips, probably. Here are the keys to make it happen:
- Be confident. All of these writers had the guts to ask for good rates — and not second-guess it. Moscoso says the barrier between earning crappy content mill rates and earning good pay “is not as big as you think. Push through the fear and believe that you can get this type of work.”
- Specialize. Clary has been writing about gems for years, and this helped her command higher fees for her work, she says. Her gem-focused writer site and a separate Twitter account just for gems and jewelry ensure that potential clients see her as a highly skilled and specialized writer.
- Highlight your location. Ledbetter’s writer site brands her as a Tulsa-based freelance writer, and that’s why she got a plum gig writing about the city for a national company.
- Use inbound marketing. Moscoso uses LinkedIn to connect with potential clients — and she finds clients that are “desperate to find writers” who want to write about the product or service they’re trying to sell. She suggests spending about 40 percent of your time on marketing. Make sure your LinkedIn profile, writer website, and portfolio are a good representation of the work you want to do.
- Provide value. Each of these writers bring specialized knowledge to the table, but Mansfield ensures that she’s an active participant in her blogging gig. She has Google alerts set up so that she knows what’s happening in the field she covers, even though she came into the gig far from expert. This allows her to make her clients’ life easier by suggesting topics.
What’s your highest-paying blogging gig, and how’d you get it? Tell us in the comments below.
Jennifer Roland is a freelance writer and Make a Living Writing’s guest-post editor. She focuses on edtech, lifestyle topics, marketing, public relations, and content creation. Her latest book, Pacific Northwest Writers: Perspectives on Writing, comes out in June 2015.