It’s impolite to answer a question with another question, but in this case, I have to do it.
How much do you think it’s worth?
During the 12 years I’ve been doing this–blogging for business–I’ve been asked the “how much” question enough times to have developed a variety of answers. They start with a series of questions.
The first question to the question of how much is a blog post worth is: “What are you selling?”
The second question is: “Who’s buying?”
The third question is: “What do they get for it?”
Let’s look at some previous posts on this blog to highlight the issues around this topic. In May of 2012 (quick, who remembers 2012? Yes, it was a long time ago and yet… here we are, talking about the same thing; it’s called renewable energy, I guess), I wrote a post about “charging for stuff”. The stuff we do on our blogs including ads, posts, and sponsored content. My thoughts back then, and still today, centered around question #3: What are you offering the brand and how much is your time worth?
How does this strike you?
A magazine ad costs thousands. A TV spot – millions, depending on when it airs. So, while you may not be able to claim to be in the hundreds of thousands of pageviews or connections, if you’re in the thousands, think of it as at least a dollar an eyeball. Is that worth negotiating for? You can always charge less than advertised on your site, but you can never charge more.
Less is not more in that case.
In July of 2014, our own Carol Bryant wrote a post on monetization that included a comment I need to share. The comment to Carol’s post was from DOGthusiast Jen Dehaan. Here’s what she said that bears repeating:
Also don’t underestimate the overall look and feel of your blog. Does it look like a trust-worthy resource? Do you have a media kit and bio available? Can I easily find your social media accounts? When scanning your front page quickly, do I know the overall purpose and niche of your blog or am I overwhelmed or confused? When I put my business hat on when considering the time/labor investment of working with a blog, these are other questions I ask.
Moving on to other ways your blog and blog posts can earn you money, we look at another post from the talented Carol Bryant. In this post, she talks about ‘gigs’. What does gig mean?
Over at Dollars & Sense, they define gig as: “Growing numbers of Americans no longer hold a regular “job” with a long-term connection to a particular business. Instead, they work “gigs” where they are employed on a particular task or for a defined time…
For our purposes, your gig can be a single blog post or a series of posts for a particular brand or company. Carol covers a variety of gigs in her post.
What happens when you become part of a gig economy, which is what we’re in right now with many Americans doing short term work on a regular basis rather than holding down a set corporate job, is you need to be flexible and focused. Your work, especially if it’s in writing a blog post or providing other online assistance to a ‘client’ must stand the test of time. It must provide value and authenticity. And, only you can decide what you should charge.
I leave you with this: a valuable post describing the reason you should not devalue your work or your time. One Felicia C. Sullivan writes, “You Want to Pay Me $250 for a Marketing Strategy? That’s Cute.” Her post goes on to describe the time and talent she provides and why an offer of $250 is not acceptable. She outlines in her conclusion the time and effort she would put into that marketing strategy and why her years of experience and weeks of work are worth more.
Am I saying you should demand more than $250 per gig? Or per post? I am not. I am saying only YOU know where you are in the level of experience you bring, the talent you bring, the time you will take, and the effort you will share. We are at a crossroads, I think. We are learning how much a blog post is worth, and we at BlogPaws are teaching our bloggers how to determine that. In our niche, life is a bit different as the pet community is lagging behind other major industries. There is still skepticism in our work, but it’s being overturned every time we do a campaign and our bloggers perform above average.
There is no mention here in my post, or the other posts referenced, to having an agency, like BlogPaws, represent you. That’s a whole other ball game and well worth exploring if you want to monetize your efforts online. Your agency will work on your behalf to secure the payment, and you can focus on your work.
I think my work is worth more than $250 per post, but I often happily work for half that. I do it because I can and because I love animals. The animals I help by doing a post for less deserve it. I can always find the higher payment gigs, but… will they be with brands I like and want to work with or will they be ‘freelance jobs for hire’ where I have to write what the editor or hiring person tells me to write. I know that as time goes on, the higher paying gigs will come from my efforts – and they will be with the brands I want to work with. That’s how it’s always been, that’s how it will always be.
How much is a blog post worth? A million dollars. But, you’re never going to get that much so be realistic and understand who you are before you start wondering what to charge.
Yvonne DiVita is a Co-Founder of BlogPaws. She is dedicated to storytelling and the human-animal bond. When not working on BlogPaws, she writes at Scratchings and Sniffings and The Lipsticking Society. You may contact her at Yvonne@blogpaws.com .