If you want to boost your freelance blogging income, you’re probably doing all the things you’re supposed to do:
- Regular marketing
- Checking in with past clients
- Asking current clients for other projects
But here’s another income-boosting approach I stumbled on: Pitch extra services on the same work you’re already doing for clients as a paid blogger — in a context that matters to your client.
Those of you with sales experience already know this “want fries with that?” strategy. When I saw how well it worked, I about smacked myself in the forehead, because I didn’t think of it sooner.
Why my original offer flopped
I have a long-term business blogging client I write for quite a bit. The company — an established business-to-consumer (B2C) service business — has invested a lot of time, money, and effort into developing its blog. They have several writers posting regularly.
When I was hired, I offered two blog post rates, $220 with expert interviews and $165 without interviews.
The client went for the no-interview option — still a good rate, but not the premium rate I was hoping for.
Why didn’t the client bite?
- At the time, the company was hiring several writers and wanted to stay within budget — not much I could do about that.
- I failed to spell out how the interview option would add value by increasing the likelihood of shares and visibility on social media.
Even if I had elaborated on the value that expert interviews add, budget considerations might have trumped potential shares while the client was ramping up its blog. But I didn’t try, so I don’t know.
The revamped offer that made the sale
About six months after I started blogging for this client, I was researching topic pitches for them. Scanning their existing posts, I noticed that many weren’t getting as many social-media shares as I’d expect.
I decided the time was right to pitch the interview package again — this time, as something that costs a bit more but adds value to a blog that client invested a lot of resources into developing. My approach:
- I mentioned that my posts for other clients get many more shares when there’s an expert quoted, because the expert and their colleagues, PR team, and friends share the link with their networks. For a bit extra, I said, I’d be glad to provide the same service for this blog.
- I also offered to tweet each post through my professional Twitter account, with a shout-out to the interviewee to get the ball rolling.
Turning one raise into many
My client agreed to try it out with the next few posts I write.
So I’ll be getting 33 percent more per post and making my work more valuable to the client, without backbreaking extra effort on my part.
If it works, I hope the client will see the value in continuing with the interview approach, and I’ll earn more on every post in the long run. Hopefully, I’ll also have a success story on traffic growth and social-media sharing to market to other prospects, when I pitch the interview option for their blogs.
Anyone who blogs for clients can use this method to raise their rates — without the discomfort of raising your rates based on experience alone. You’re adding immediate, measurable value for the client. Who wouldn’t expect to pay more for better results?
How have you negotiated a raise? Tell us in the comments below.
Casey Kelly-Barton is a business, travel, and parenting freelance writer based in Austin.