Are you tired of writing blog posts for tiny money? If you want to earn money blogging — real money — this post is for you.
There are several ways I’ve been well-paid for blog writing.
And today, I thought I’d run down three great ways to leave terrible, $5-$25 blog post pay behind.
What does it look like, to get paid $500 per blog post?
How does that happen?
All my tips are below.
I’ve been earning well writing blog posts for a long time, and there’s never been more opportunity for bloggers to make serious money.
We’re going to begin with the biggest obstacle to being well-paid for blog-post writing.
It’s not content mills, or Upwork, or Craigslist ads.
It’s between your ears.
First, change your mindset
The top problem I see with low-paid bloggers is that they don’t believe there is professional-rate pay for writing blog posts. I get emails all the time, accusing me of making it up.
If you’ve been making $30 per post for years, it may be hard to buy. But while you were slaving, trying to crank out two blog posts per hour, 9 or 10 hours per day, to make a decent wage…others got $300, $500 and even more for a single post.
You have to believe good pay is out there for blog-post writing. Not just for me, but for lots of writers. If you don’t believe it’s real, you won’t pursue it.
Maybe this will help: I asked my coaching grads who earn $500 and up per blog post to weigh in. Here are a couple responses:
Once you understand that this is real, it should unleash your hunger to earn money blogging for real.
Now that I’ve opened your mind, here are the three basic ways to grow your blog-writing income:
1. Think longer
It’s probably not a surprise to learn that most of the higher pay in blogging comes from writing longer posts for deep-pocketed clients. There aren’t a lot of $500 assignments to write 350-word posts.
Makes sense, right?
Most of the $500+ blog-post writing gigs floating around are for posts of 1,000 words and up. Many are for 1,500-2,000-word posts.
If you’ve never written longform, try to find an opportunity to get some samples into your portfolio. Start learning how to outline and execute blog posts that have multiple sections.
Business blog editors are craving ultimate guides, long resource lists, and other lengthy, authoritative content. Why? Because Google rewards it in search. A long, detailed post can be a great way to rank well for your chosen search phrase.
These are the sort of blog posts that are more like articles. There may be research or interviews involved. They make great portfolio clips, and they pay well.
This leads to the next big question. Who can afford to commission long, $500 posts? Not your typical internet startup solopreneur who’s working from his couch and advertising on Problogger, or some such.
2. Think bigger
In freelance blogging, there’s a basic truth: Bigger companies have bigger budgets, and more regular, ongoing blogging work.
This is the type of client that commissions $500 blog posts. They do that because they understand the power of content marketing to drive more sales in their business.
A few bullets to flesh out this ideal-client avatar. Target clients for big-money blog post assignments:
- Have worked with freelancers before
- Have a marketing budget
- Have a marketing plan that includes ongoing content
- Know that blogging can help drive sales
- Have employees — usually, 50-100 or more of them
- Understand the value of high-quality, longer posts
If you’re earning tiny paychecks per blog post, this probably isn’t a description of your current clients.
And yes, I know — pitching up the ladder to real companies scares the crap out of you.
Can I help you get over that? Because many of these mid-sized and larger companies are hungry-hungry for blogging help. They’re deep into content marketing and wish they had the time to find more talent.
Shoot them a pitch, lather, rinse, repeat. If you’ve blogged for small biz, you’re ready to move up. The biggest reason you’re not earning more is that you’re simply not going after better clients.
3. Build expertise
Want to make it easy to get hired for the top-paid blogging assignments? Then you need a track record.
You need to show how your blog posts connect the business to more money. The more companies can connect the dots and see your content leads to more opt-ins and, ultimately, more sales, the more they will happily pay.
When you blog for clients, be sure to screenshot any posts that have obvious, visible great results, such as 100+ comments or thousands of social shares. Those are your proof that you are worth that serious pay.
If it’s not obvious, ask about results. What’s the most popular post you’ve done for them, could you get a stat on that? Gather all the ammo you can.
Because when you can hit those better-quality prospects over the head with solid proof that your blog posts draw readers, they will want to hire you.
If you did a post with a content download or other opt-in offer, and you can show you made readers take an action…that’s even better.
How does this work? Here’s how I get hired for real money to ghostwrite posts for CEOs on top business platforms: I share the stats from my 3 years of writing a Forbes blog channel:
That’s right — 2.5 million visitors to Forbes, from just 164 posts.
Prospects see that… and boom, I’m hired.
I realize it’s hard to get this level of authority proof. But start scheming NOW. And use anything you can.
What’s the most popular place you could appear, where you could harvest some proof you know how to draw a crowd? A place that would impress your target client? Start networking and figuring out how to get on there.
There’s one final factor to consider, as you strive to move up to $500+ per post. That’s whether that longer post takes you so long to write that your hourly rate doesn’t pencil out.
Efficiency is key here — got a few final tips on that.
Optimize your hourly rate
How can you write long posts faster? Since these days, many of our posts here on the blog are 2,000 words or more, I’ve gotten to be an expert in quick execution of longform posts.
Remember one big rule: your hourly rate is all that really matters.
You were excited when I said ‘$500 blog posts’ — but if it takes you 15 hours to write that post, you’re not getting ahead.
In fact, your hourly rate might be higher writing two $30 blog posts per hour (if you’re one of those outliers who can do that, in any sustainable way), if you write longform real slow. Efficiency is key!
Keep in mind that the point of getting higher blog-post pay is to make your hourly rate go up, not down. If you can efficiently write longform, it’ll be your ticket to the $100-per-hour earning club.
Ready to go there? Here are my tips:
Strike when inspiration hits
Ever get an idea for a blog post, but then don’t write it down? Maybe you just jotted down a possible headline for it.
When you come back later, you’re horrified to see that you no longer remember what points you wanted to cover in this long post! Now, you have to start racking your brain all over again to remember your great tips.
Don’t let that happen. When inspiration strikes, stop what you’re doing and write down all your ideas!
The relief I feel is huge, when I look at a post draft I tossed out months ago, and see it’s already pre-outlined.
Those posts always get written quickly. Don’t reinvent a wheel — it’ll really hurt your hourly rate.
Work in batches
When I write long posts for clients, we plan out the content and decide on the topics all at once. I just plotted out 6 months of posts and got them all approved, for one client I’m ghosting for on Forbes.
One meeting, and I’m locked and ready to go. You gotta cut the admin time down!
Ideally, I’ll then pick a block of time and write several of this client’s posts back-to-back. It’s easier to stay in the client’s voice and keep going. It’ll be less efficient to come back another day and write another of their posts.
Write the barf draft
One of the big problems in writing long is that you want to start editing yourself as you go. Or you stop to look up facts or exact quotes.
Skip all that, put your finger down your throat, and spit out the ‘barf’ draft. Leave blanks for things you need to go find.
Then, come back later — ideally, the next day — and polish it up. Give yourself a time limit for finalizing, and don’t overthink.
I learned this one the hard way — used to try my hardest to make my first draft all polished and perfect. It took about three times longer than the barf-and-polish approach!
Accept that it’s a rough first draft. Create, return tomorrow, edit, finalize, done. That’s how long posts get written in just 2-3 hours, and hourly rates stay great.
Earn money blogging longform
If you’re ready to get out of the $25-post blog ghetto, get to work on these three changes.
Start writing longform. Find bigger, better clients to pitch your blogging services. And learn how to efficiently write longer posts.
If you can get those three elements going for you, your blogging income is set to explode.
What’s the most you’ve been paid for a blog post? Tell us about length, topic, and how you found that client in the comments.