Ask Me Anything: Payment for Blogging Gigs

An anonymous writer asks,

I was recommended for this blogging gig for a brand-new site (it launched about 2 weeks ago). I finally talked to the company president last week to discuss content, focus, all of those things. I asked him about pay. He said they’re still working on the best way to go about paying their bloggers. He said something about paying the bloggers based on the traffic they/I generate, and something about paying us with a percentage of the ad revenue? Have you ever heard of this? Is this common, and how worthwhile is it? I’m excited about my focus (green weddings and events), but I don’t want to put in a ton of work for something I may not be making much money from. Of course, since the site is so new, they may work out a better pay structure later, but I just wanted to do some initial checking.

To be honest, I don’t think the gig will really pay off for you. There are a lot of blogs and websites offering to pay writers a percentage of ad revenues these days — but unless the website already has something like 100k visitors a month, the payment works out to perhaps a few dollars per month. Another problem is that many sites using this payment model do very little promotion. They expect the blogger to do the hard parts in terms of social media and other promotions. One of the blogging networks I used to work for used this structure. A few bloggers were making a couple thousand per month through them, but most of the bloggers made about $25 per month for writing three posts a week.

Given that the site is so new, the odds of seeing much payment are fairly minimal. If you feel like the blog would be a good opportunity in terms of exposure, building a presence in the space, etc. you may still choose to pursue it. In that case, I’d recommend asking what sort of traffic they’re seeing so far, as well as what kind of traffic their other blogging projects bring in (if they have any). If the company has a proven track record for building great traffic fast, it’s up to you whether you’d be willing to take a couple of months of low payments in hopes of more money later on. You also would want to see what the company’s plans are as far as promoting the site.

Got a question about the business side of freelancing? Leave it in the comments and I’ll answer it on next week’s Ask Me Anything!

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