Last year, I started actively soliciting guest posts for this blog. My original idea was to find a few posters who’d like to guest post regularly, once a month. I did that weekly for a year on WM Freelance Writers Connection, and thought it was a great experience for me…so maybe some readers would like to be regular guest posters on my blog.
You told me my idea sucked.
After all, I’m all about empowering writers to get paid more. How could I ask writers to regularly write for free?
I thought about it. I realized I had accomplished something.
I had created a brand on this blog.
My brand stands for something — it stands for fair pay for writers. That means I have to be true to that, always.
I immediately switched to simply soliciting single guest posts from writers. Which were done for free.
Because after all, guest posting is something we all do for free, as a marketing activity. Right?
But the free guest posting idea still bugged me.
Especially in the past few months, as this blog began earning a very modest but still meaningful income.
I’ve crusaded for three years now against $15 articles and $20 blog posts.
Why, I had to ask myself, do I still think free guest posts are OK, especially on sites that make money?
The answer is: I don’t.
I’ve decided that while I may continue to choose to guest for free on other sites, I don’t think it’s OK for me to ask writers to post for free here.
That’s why I am now paying for guest posts.
Yes, this is going to hit my budget. But I’ve decided it’s got to be done. Somebody has to take a stand and say that if a blog is a money-making business, writers should be paid.
I kept waiting for one of the big, popular blogs to start paying and start a trend, and then lots of blogs would pay for guest posts.
But that hasn’t happened.
I may not be starting a trend, but I’m going to start paying writers for guest posts. Because I feel it’s the right thing to do.
Here’s how it’s going to work:
For now, I will only be accepting two or three posts a month. I will be paying $50 a post. That’s all I think I can afford.
I realize that for some of my readers, this will make me a highly desirable market, while for others it will be an insultingly small amount of pay.
In either case, I’m going to pay $50 for each blog post I publish.
Here’s my plan — I will send the writer a payment or, if you’d like to guest here but don’t want my lowly $50, I will instead donate it to InvisiblePeople.tv, an awesome nonprofit I learned about at SOBCon that is raising awareness of homeless people’s struggles through video and helping to inspire change, including construction of more low-income housing.
I pay on publication.
As this blog grows, I may take more guest posts and/or raise my pay rate.
Want to guest on my blog?
Here are my writers’ guidelines. Please read them carefully.
Make a Living Writing provides authoritative, helpful advice that doesn’t pull any punches. I’m seeking posters who can offer straightforward, practical, valuable, no-bull information that’s rooted in personal experience. Concrete examples are encouraged.
Please be a regular reader of this blog before you pitch me. Be familiar with the topics that have recently been covered on the blog. Propose something different.
Know how to write strong headlines.
Some particular areas where I am always looking for guest posts include specialized writing niches, time management, and the technical end of blogging and writers’ Web sites. I also like success stories about how a writer broke in, or got a great client.
I prefer posts of about 500 words or less, though a long-list type topic might need more space.
Proof relentlessly. Write concisely. Know AP Style.
Check the popular posts sidebar at right for a sense of what readers like.
Posts should be unique and previously unpublished. You will not include any lies in your post, or especially anything that slanders or defames anyone else.
I retain the right to use your guest post in future ebooks and other products. However, you may reprint/republish your post after 30 days.
Compose your post in your WordPress so that it formats well, if you can. Please suggest an image (either free or a cheap one from istockphoto) and provide credit link information.
Once your headline and outline has been approved by me and you’ve written your post, send me two things: a .txt or .rtf plain-text version of your proposed post for putting into my WordPress html mode, and a Word doc for easy read-through.
I offer two links in your tagline (or you can stick one of those in the post, if you prefer). That is all. Keep your tagline short – three lines max.
Have a passion for helping other writers make more money.
Do not send me finished articles without an assignment from me. They will not be read or accepted.
When you’re ready, email me your pitch. It should include the proposed headline for your blog as well as an outline of the points you would cover.
If I think there’s potential there, I’ll contact you on email and we’ll flesh it out.
I look forward to having some terrific guest posts on the blog, and to helping create more conversation around the idea of pay for guest posts.
For great examples of guest posts I’ve published in the past, see my permanent guest-post submission guidelines page.
What do you think — should guest posters be paid? Leave your opinion in the comments below.
Do you have questions about how to earn more from your writing? Learn more in my community Freelance Writers Den – take ecourses, attend live events, ask writing pros your questions in our forums, and use our exclusive Junk-Free Job Board.
Photo: Flickr – ba1969