4 Freelance Bloggers Tell How They Earn $200+ Per Post

How to Earn $200 for writing a blog post. Makealivingwriting.comDo 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.

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58 comments on “4 Freelance Bloggers Tell How They Earn $200+ Per Post
  1. Nida Sea says:

    I love hearing about writers/bloggers that earn more than $100 per post. Makes me feel happy. 🙂

    • Carol Tice says:

      Me, too – I was thrilled to have Jen put together this post!

    • Good rates are definitely out there! I’ve written some dollar a word online articles, and I’m currently earning $250 for posts in the ed tech field.

      • Carol Tice says:

        What?? Then you should have put your own story in here, too, Jenn!

        That’s awesome to hear! I really am hearing this more and more, writers getting more like REAL money for specialized blogging.

        • It wasn’t about me, though.
          Jennifer Roland recently posted…What should come next?My Profile

        • Yulia says:

          Carol,
          I would credit your hearing more and more about decent earnings for freelancers to your own efforts on this website. Thank you for educating us, writers and freelancers, and businesses on how much professional writing is worth. Your content is brilliant and helps a lot. Really, really appreciate all the effort you put in the posts and comments.
          With gratitude,
          Yulia

      • That is fantastic to hear, Jennifer . . . especially because I’m currently trying to break into ed tech right now (connecting it with the business/higher education niche I’ve already worked in).

        This was a great post to read! I love all the details of how they got the gigs. Super helpful.

    • Deb says:

      I recently received $1200 to write a ten page report on relationships. It took me about 10 hours to write, and now I’m afraid it may have ‘spoiled’ me for lower pay. LOL! How do I top that??

  2. Allen Taylor says:

    I recently earned $300 for a 2,000-word blog post on WordPress plugins. It took me about 3-1/2 hours to write. Half of that was off the top of my head since I’ve worked with WordPress every day since 2006. The other half was simple research. I think I undercharged.

    Even better, I wrote two 800-word articles for $300 each for a tourism marketing company. I got the gig because I live near Gettysburg and have written about Gettysburg before. Total time to write each article–an hour-and-a-half. That includes the two rewrites.

    Yeah, I’m confident I can get more of these gigs.
    Allen Taylor recently posted…Case Study: Nathan Meunier Profits With Low Budget Kindle PublishingMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Awesome Allen — thanks for adding your own story of getting more for blog posts. I want to spread the word about this far and wide. Real pay does exist for blogging!

  3. John Soares says:

    These are excellent rates. The key is landing enough long-term clients who pay at a high level. This post is proof that it can be done.
    John Soares recently posted…Leave Freelance Writing for a Full-Time Job?My Profile

  4. @Allen, Those are good per hour rates! Your experience was similar to mine then- location specific. We live in or near the cities that we’re writing about.

    • Tara says:

      Hey, Sherri! I thought your name sounded familiar, and then I remembered you were an editor for the Stanford Historical Society’s oral interviews. I was, too!

      Congratulations on landing well-paying writing gigs. Awesome!

  5. Laurie Tam says:

    I am somewhat jealous of the rates that these writers get but I know that they deserve it because of their specialized skills within their own area. As of this point, I am definitely interested in improving my writing skills since doing promotions definitely somewhat messed me up. I can’t sit down still long enough to write a lot of articles, blog posts and so forth.

    Other than that, I definitely love this article. Thanks for posting this up. 🙂

  6. Makes me happy to see freelance bloggers earning good rates for their work. And proud to see some of my students mentioned here, too. You rock!

    Yesterday I wrote a $500 post — it took about three hours if I include briefing time, so that’s $166 an hour. Writing for 15 hours per week at this rate, I can make $100,000 a year AND take 3 months of vacation. Freelance blogging kicks ass. 😉

  7. Halina says:

    One additional key to making these kinds of blogging rates is to stick with mid-size and revenue-generating companies, not individual bloggers or Mom-and-Pop shops that would never be able to pay more then $50/post.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Oh, definitely! Most writers don’t know how to qualify clients, and then wonder why they’re earning low rates. It’s because…these are not the clients you’re looking for, Luke.

  8. Excellent post! Very insightful. I recently escaped from the content mill chaos, and within 2 weeks found clients willing to pay my rates (yayy!). They’re no way near a dollar per word, but I’m getting there!

    I feel that guest blogging helps A LOT. Plus, the LinkedIn publishing platform has worked miracles for me, too.
    Maham S. Chappal recently posted…3 Simple Steps to Increasing your Blog Traffic and Wooing ReadersMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Wow, awesome to hear how quick that switchover was out of content mills and into better pay, Maham!

      You’re not the only person to tell me they’ve done well on LinkedIn’s blog feature, too. I know some people who’ve seen posts blow up on there! I gather you can re-post things, too, so it doesn’t have to be exclusively there, so that’s nice.

      • The reposting option is one of the best things about it. As a HuffPost contributor, it allows me repost the same blog to both platforms, broadening my reach significantly! 😀

        • That’s a neat idea. 🙂
          Angela Alcorn recently posted…Online Jobs Digest From Online Careerist May 24, 2015My Profile

        • Stephanie says:

          I don’t know if you’re still tracking comments here or not but Maham what advice do you have for trying to become a HuffPost contributor? Thanks

          • Hey Stephanie,

            I’ve created a guide for aspiring bloggers who want to publish on HuffPost. It’s on my website. Feel free to check it out, and let me know if you have any further questions! 🙂

            Cheers,
            Maham
            Maham S. Chappal recently posted…4 Perks of Personal Branding You’re Missing Out onMy Profile

          • Carol Tice says:

            I’m not sure why people are excited to be on HuffPo — there are plenty of high-visibility blogs that PAY. But maybe it’s part of a strategy to raise your profile?

            • Stephanie says:

              Thanks Maham & Carol for the replies. Carol I can’t believe how much you comment across all your articles especially this much later. I think my interest in HuffPo is for visibility. I know someone who drives traffic to his website from contributing there & he gets customers out of it.

              I don’t think I’m there yet & not sure I want that business model. I have a website & I like your idea of using it as an audition piece but I have learned a lot about how to do it properly since I first started & need to rewrite almost 150 pages amongst other things so I don’t think it “shows” well. I could be wrong, it might be good enough. I just included it this time-so embarrassed by the writing. I just finished the redesign & am now finishing up other technical aspects.

              I really like your idea of writing for others (for money)as a way to support myself until my website can. It would also allow me time to work on it as well which is another obstacle. I also think from a status standpoint I might “look” better if I can say I’ve written for HuffPo but I just need some sample pieces. Right now I have one I wrote for free for an online publication.

              • Carol Tice says:

                I personally think the ‘cred’ stemming from posting on HuffPo is diminishing by the hour…at this point, everyone knows there’s no editor and writers are unpaid, and that quality varies widely. It’s not a very prestige platform. Why not take a look at my list of markets that pay, and guest post on a site that has a better reputation AND pays?

                I’m baffled — you have to write 150 pages on your website? A good writer website only has about 5 pages to it, so unclear what you’ve got there. Keep it simple, so prospects aren’t overwhelmed.

                P.S. — for me, all the comments pop up in the same dashboard, so it’s no biggie to see comments on older posts! But we are going to be closing them shortly…too many pieces of spam getting posted on older posts, and it’s too much work to get those spiked off.

                • Stephanie says:

                  I understand Carol about closing this thread soon. I will check out the resource you mentioned. I’ve been reading your site voraciously during free moments the last day and a half.

                  Lol re: my 150 pages. I have that many because it’s an authority website about a niche topic on Oahu. I don’t have a writer’s website because I never really thought of myself as one before. 5 pages seems for a writer’s site about me seems doable. I’ll look into making a simple one. I guess it’s necessary these day to have that “online business card”. Thanks!
                  Stephanie recently posted…Jun 11, Oahu Events JuneMy Profile

  9. Jon Lee says:

    No doubt this is very inspiring to read. Speaking as someone who is currently on the outside looking in, the obvious void I see is just where someone gets a foothold to climb the proverbial ladder.

    Certainly, it wouldn’t be realistic to expect to generate earnings commensurate with what is listed above right off the bat, as those posting are both experienced and generally specialists.

    On the other hand, as someone who was laid off about a year ago, and while not desperate is looking for a pathway to generate income fairly soon, I understand the appeal of ‘content mills’ – relatively instant validation that your writing has at least some quantitative worth – meager though it may be.

    So, again speaking as a current outsider. . .is the preferred method for getting up and running generating a profile on LinkedIn? Business cards? Offering to write for free is fine for a while, but I can also see where doing that involuntarily typecasts you as a hobbyist.

    Jon Lee

    • Carol Tice says:

      Jon, I’ve put all my ‘how to break in and get started’ tips into my Step by Step Guide to Freelance Writing Success ebook — you can check it out here: http://www.makealivingwriting.com/ebooks

      There isn’t one single marketing approach that is the secret…but matching your interests and marketing style to several effective strategies. This ebook goes into how to start from nothing, quickly build a solid portfolio, and begin getting decent-paid gigs.

      Yes, $200 a post is *not* a starter rate…but I know plenty of writers getting $50-$100 a post. See my list of 140 Websites that Pay Writers, linked in the sidebar, for some ideas on more approachable markets.

      • Jon Lee says:

        Carol,

        Thanks for pointing me toward both resources. I am reviewing the 140 sites right now, and will order the Ebook. I look forward to the information

  10. Beth says:

    Excellent insights here. It is great to see how creative people can manage to exchange their time for top dollars.

    Have you done a post about how freelancers get their assignments (word of mouth, some website, social media etc)? If yes, please point me to it. If not, this is the time for it 🙂

    Cheers
    Beth recently posted…5 Tips To Hire A Freelance Fashion DesignerMy Profile

  11. Awesome respond here wow! Thank you everyone for sharing! As a content marketer and writer, I also charge about $200 a small post. Larger ones of course cost more. We also run specials – right now we blog for $500 a month including 4 small blog posts, sourced images, basic SEO optimisation, schedule and publish + bonus 4 social media status update suggestions for the posts. Awesome value!!! Running out in June though.

    Carol, I like how you segment articles/blogs. However, we don’t thus this is something curious, would love to discuss with you and learn a little more.

    Great post. Thanks
    Anna Kochetkova recently posted…7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start BloggingMy Profile

  12. Rob S says:

    I still shudder when I think Of the hundreds of $5 and $10 articles I wrote when I was starting out. I shudder more to think I thought I’d reached my limit when I started getting $30 per article. I don’t get $200+ assignments every day, but I do get them occasionally and the least I get now is $60 for easy blogs that take less than an hour. Some of the best paying assignments took up to a day to complete when I started writing them, but that was because I had to do a lot of research. For example, I spent half a day on Google maps wandering around Malaysia so I could get a better feel for the country. Once I had that out of the way, they came more quickly.

    I have to thank Carol Tice for opening my eyes to the possibilities. I’d seen a lot of “how to make a 6 figure income” blogs before yours, but they didn’t ring true. Yours did and although I can’t say I’ve done all the things you recommend, I set my sights higher and the jobs started coming.
    Rob S recently posted…TDA Lingo versus William BlakeMy Profile

  13. Sam says:

    Anybody have any insights into how to use LinkedIn to promote your freelance writing if you’ve already got a profile related to your “day job”? You can only have one LinkedIn profile and for now I need to keep it focused on that day job. If I try to add in a side business as a writer it makes me look less focused on my current career and a bit of a jack-of-all-trades (and perhaps master of none).

    • Hey Sam, why don’t you publish posts related your niche (day job) on LinkedIn? That way prospective clients will know you’re a great writer and will approach you, and you won’t have to sacrifice your day-job reputation on LinkedIn either.

      Moreover, I believe that guest posting is an excellent way of finding clients. So instead of using your LinkedIn profile to get clients, why don’t you guest post on leading websites and use that platform to find clients?
      Maham S. Chappal recently posted…3 Simple Steps to Increasing your Blog Traffic and Wooing ReadersMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Sam, if you want to go after freelance writing gigs, you’ve got to change your LinkedIn to reflect that and put your day-job info into the background. I’ve got some LI tips here: http://www.makealivingwriting.com/ways-writers-find-gigs-linkedin/

    • Hi Sam,

      You can use your LinkedIn to position yourself as an expert/thought leader/authority and it doesn’t take away from what you are doing.

      If you publish your projects and articles it actually can make you more valuable to your company.

      I heard a speaker say think of yourself as a university professor who publishes regularly and in a variety of places.

      • Carol Tice says:

        Great analogy, Amy!

        I think some companies don’t take kindly to it, but hopefully it enhances your reputation at your company to know you’re creative and entrepreneurial. 😉

    • Sam says:

      Thanks to all for the LinkedIn advice from a variety of different angles. I wish they did let you have a profile for different career trajectories. So many people have to play a variety of fields these days (and sometimes pretend they’re not). Always good to show off your writing skills, however – whatever field you’re in.

      • Carol Tice says:

        I personally like LI’s rule of having a single profile — you look at all the multiple identities on Twitter and other places, and it’s a mess.

  14. This article gives wonderful tips for procuring high paying blogging rates. I live in Lancaster, PA where the tourist industry is front and center, also. We could use some ramping up of our reputation after Amish Mafia skewed perceptions about our peaceful Amish neighbors.

  15. Alicia Rades says:

    This is awesome to see! I particularly love the example of writing about jewelry. People seem to forget that you can bring your prior experience into your writing career and make a lot of money off that knowledge.

    If memory serves, my highest paid article was $250. I want to say that was for around 2,000 words, but it may have been less. A lot of my ongoing clients pay me around $100 per post (for around 1,000 words usually). It’s not as high as some of these examples, but I’m hoping it gives others an idea that you can realistically charge 10x more than what you’re earning at content mills.
    Alicia Rades recently posted…Here’s Why I Won’t Contribute to Publications on Your Behalf as a Freelance WriterMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Alicia — That’s a damn sight better than mill rates…but keep on moving up. I like to see $100 a post for 500 words or less, and $200 for 1000 words, at least.

      I wrote about the challenge of getting fair rates for longer posts here:
      http://www.makealivingwriting.com/how-freelance-writers-can-earn-from-long-blog-posts/

      It can actually be impoverishing to get these rates for longer posts, because they’re so much more work. You ‘feel’ like you’re moving up because it’s not $50 for the post, but only $250 for 2000 words? That’s not a living wage, in my view.

      There’s a point where these longer ‘posts’ really are articles that should be paying $.50 a word or more, but companies want to call them blog posts because they know the niche has lower rates. Writers need to watch out for that!

  16. Sarita says:

    Hi gang,
    Lots of great info here.
    One of the things that has really helped me with boosting my earnings is asking “Who has the money?” I’m primarily a business and personal finance writer….and yup, you guessed it – banks, investment firms, and insurance companies have A LOT of money for great website content.

    Now I used to be a financial advisor for a large bank, so I already have experience in the field, which helps. The highest rate I’ve earned to date is $1.00 a word – $500 for 500 word blog posts (I’ve written ten so far) on personal finance topics for a big bank. Because I know the topics inside and out, they take between 1.5 hours and 2.5hours to write. And at that rate, I’m earning a lot more writing about money stuff than I ever earned talking about it when I was a bank employee!

    • Carol Tice says:

      NICE Sarita — thanks for adding your story of specializing and earning great blogging rates!

      I’m with you — follow the money. Who has money? Stop writing for cheesy online startups that are staking their business model on (shrinking) online ad revenue, and find clients that you know have big money coming in. Financial services is a GREAT blogging niche — I got $300 a post once for a bunch of posts for Dun & Bradstreet, and $100 a post in the launch phase of Lending Tree’s blog. And last I checked, American Express OPEN Forum was $300 a post — I wrote a few things for them as well.

  17. Thanks Tara! Sherri

  18. Jon Lee says:

    It actually makes a LOT of sense to target companies with financial resources at the outset, as opposed to just taking any assignment while hoping something more lucrative comes along. If you take a look at magazines for example, (using Writer’s Market as a reference), you will see that it would be challenging to piece together enough articles in a month to make ends meet.

    By contrast, if one could average $50 an hour (not a ton for a specialized freelancer) and line up 20hrs a week of work, he/she would probably be at least treading water.

    Which begs the question….if one were to focus on a couple of specific niches, then target companies with a specific revenue range, is there a specific title or titles WITHIN those companies to at least initiate communications with?

  19. Fred says:

    Several years ago, I had online writing gigs for $250 each for 500 word articles. I told my contact that I could do two a week. He said he could take all I could send him, so I was happy to oblige and did five to seven a week. They were investment related, and unfortunately the stock market crashed and that deal ended after a couple years, but it was great while it lasted.

    How did I get it? I went to other investment related sites and signed up for the free to join memberships. When I joined one particular site, I got an email from the website owner saying “You are my favorite blogger.” (I blog regularly.) Then the conversation started. One of these days, I will write an article about this experience.
    Fred recently posted…Have Lunch with Warren Buffett for $25,000My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I love it — thanks for sharing this story of how you connected with better-paid blogging work!

      I do find these better blog contracts come and go — when they say we can take a lot, I always say, write as fast as you can!

      I once had a big contract to write for Lending Tree at $100 a post, but I had a feeling it wasn’t going to on forever, as they didn’t seem to have a strategy behind it…and it didn’t. They reportedly developed $1 million in content before suddenly pulling the plug and going to the ‘write for exposure’ model. Often, sites invest a lot in content at launch, and then slack off.