Performancing Metrics

How Much Per Post: The Figures

Some people were annoyed that my recent post was about the types of payment for posting, as well as a general overview of what paying for posting is like but not the exact values.

There were two reasons I left amounts out of the post, and they are because I’d receive probably many more negative comments by including the values, which even with the research I have done, and my own experiences would still be relatively arbitrary, and because I did not want to set a presedence.

But if that is what the public wants, that is what the public shall get. This post will be the second part to my previous post, and only talk about dollars and cents.

Salary
When paying a blogger salary, you are looking at either part time or full time most likely. For a full time salary, you should be paying them between $1200 and $1500 (USD) to start. Remembering that the person on the other end will have to pay taxes on this amount. This amount should also raise with experience and as the sites grow. Expect to pay a blogger with a year or more of experience around $1750 and up. Bloggers with higher credibility or even more experience deserve more, and could be making from reports that I have heard upwards of $3000 to $4000 a month.

If they are part time, you could probably cut all these values in half. Though it really depends on how much of a block of time per day or per week you want from the writer. I have one writer working for me for eight hours a month. I currently pay them $150 for that time. That comes out to be a nice $18.75 an hour. This is much higher than most blogs pay as most seem to top out around $10-$12 an hour, and an average starting wage seems to be around $6-$8 an hour.

I expect a lot when it comes to those eight hours though. With all of the posts being original content, with images, and so far, around half have been promoted to the front page of at least one social network, with a few being on the front page of more than one.

Per Post
Everywhere I look, per post rates vary the most. It really depends on what content the site wants the writer to deliver, and on what niche. I have seen rates as low as $2 per post, to upwards of $10 per post. The hardest thing to pin down for the writer is how many posts can you do in an hour?

If the type of posts they want are short, and you are highly knowledgeable about the subject, you might be able to do four or five posts an hour. So at $2 or $3 a post, that comes out to $8 to $15 an hour. If you are much slower at posting, and can only do around two an hour, then you will only be bringing in around $4 to $6 an hour.

This is something for both the blog owner and operator to decide as well as the blogger. Reaching a mutually beneficial deal can be very difficult.

On one of my blogs I pay $4 (US) per post, but I expect a little more from that writer, and knowing he can only produce around two of the posts I want an hour, he averages around $8 an hour. Who has the better deal?

Base Plus Percentage of Ads
Popularized by networks like b5media, getting paid via advertisement rates or base pay plus advertisement rates seems to be another popular method of determining a bloggers pay. Giving a blogger 100% of the first $100 of advertisement revenue, plus something like 60% or 70% of each dollar above that is a way to keep them striving for more, while being able to not go in debt paying the writer and later filling the publishers pocket a bit.

The problem can be, though, that you are writing six or more posts a week for half a year before you start seeing more than $100 a month for your work. Spending all that time and energy can be draining, but really there is no upper limit. If the blog you write on makes five hundred dollars in advertisement revenue, you can expect to bring home a good $380 of that, while the network gets $120 to continue promoting the site, paying a designer to make the blog look nice, or expand the features and blogs on the network which can in turn push more traffic to your blog and help raise advertisement income even further.

Some bloggers don’t think this is really fair, much of their work and effort is not seeing a decent turnaround for quite some time, but I have to say that if they went and did it on their own, it would take around three or five times longer most likely to see that $380 a month coming in.

Per Word
When doing a per word cost estimate, it really depends on the writer. Writers from traditional media think that they deserve five, ten or even twenty cents per word, but blogs are not newspapers or magazines. The readership, advertising, and other factors are not the same as print.

I would say that five cents per word is probably around the upper end for posting online, at least for starting. That would make a two hundred and fifty word article worth $12.50. You’d probably be more likely to see around three cents per word starting though for online publications.

Per Hour
This is pretty much like salary. You figure out what the blogger is worth, starting at around $6 to $7 an hour, and go up from there based on experience, and the amount of hours you are going to need on the site, and what kind of quality and time you want put into your posts.

I would say that many bloggers that I know are probably averaging between $10 and $15 per hour on their work, with some shooting up to the $25 an hour range when they are highly experienced, and they produce front page of Digg worthy stories every time they hit publish.

Really though, I think it comes down to what I said in my previous post.

Really, it all comes down to finding a passionate blogger that won’t break the bank, or run the site into the ground.

Don’t forget that bloggers will have to deduct around one third of what they are getting paid to pay taxes. So try to give them a bit more than minimum wage if possible. I’d hate to see bloggers living under the poverty line, just because of the lower end figures I have posted here.

Categories: Blogging Sense, Blogging Tips

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Comments

  1. Martial Development says: 11/17/2006

    These figures are surprisingly low! Many of my own posts take more than one hour to write, and I wouldn’t accept anything less than $15/hr to write them.

    I’d really like to see specific examples of posts that you think are worth $2, $5, $10.

    Reply

  2. Jenn says: 11/17/2006

    “Writers from traditional media think that they deserve five, ten or even twenty cents per word, but blogs are not newspapers or magazines. The readership, advertising, and other factors are not the same as print.”

    Perhaps not the same as print… but it IS extremely similar to the audience of other online media outlets – many of whom pay well over $.05 / word, and even well over $1 / word for high quality content from a respectable writer.

    Jenn
    SixFigureWriters.com

    Reply

  3. TDH says: 11/20/2006

    David,
    First of all, great follow-up. I’m certain that this post has helped a lot of people.

    Martial Development,
    Well, that is a problem that most freelancers – be it online of in print – face, low wages to start with. If your posts takes over an hour to write then you, as a writer, should obviously not accept per post payments. There are two sides of this, one being the writer struggling to make a living, and the other being the publisher struggling to make enough cash to pay the writer AND make a living. It’s not easy to make dollars on a blog, Adsense sucks and unless you’ve got a sales person you’ll have to be talented to sell dedicated ads.

    All in all, it’s hard to make money on blogs, and David points out a lot of problems in these two posts.

    Reply

  4. Martial Development says: 11/20/2006

    TDH, points taken. Still, I’d like more information on how publishers such as David estimate the value and earning potential of a particular post or author (preferably with examples).

    Most websites I’ve seen give worthless advice about creating “quality content,” without any attempt to quantify the quality. This post is a refreshing change.

    Reply

  5. HART (1-800-HART) says: 11/20/2006

    Great followup from TDH’s insistence! Now .. if I can convince TDH to insist for you to have a 3rd follow up on how you get those hired blogger posts to the front page of at least one social network … I know I’d be happy :)

    If you don’t mind my asking .. approximately how many posts does about 8 hours work provide? I’ve been seriously thinking of this route before Feb2007 reinvesting TLA & misc. inflows.. // HART

    Reply

  6. Easton Ellsworth says: 11/20/2006

    Nice job laying some detailed thoughts on this subject. Our network, Know More Media, pays most of its authors according to a mixture of per-post and per-traffic rates. We also offer several types of incentives for authors who bring advertisers to our network, refer other authors, win author contests, etc. It all adds up to where most of them are earning what equates to decent hourly rate for starters with unlimited earning potential down the road. I agree that each model can have its benefits and shortcomings and you’ve laid it all out very well here.

    Reply

  7. TDH says: 11/21/2006

    So you think I’ll run errands for you, waving my enormous power, HART? ;)

    That would be an interesting post though. Be sure to check out the interview with Muhammad Saleem, professional social bookmarker, over at Bloggertalks. I thought it was interesting, and would love to see follow-ups on the subject since it’s such a big part of the blogosphere these days.

    Reply

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