Writing for Other Blogs

So, I’ve been thinking, this morning, about a question that’s been running through my mind/ life/ blogging experience.  That question is – whether or not it’s worth it to write for other blogs.  Should you do it or are you better off just concentrating on creating your own thing?


Now, I don’t mean guest posting – here, on WordPress – on another fellow blogger’s site.  For example, I also run Canadica and that regularly runs posts from a wide variety of bloggers.  Posting on someone else’s site on WordPress seems to be more of a fun activity than anything else.  At the very best of times, it drives some more traffic to your own site or widens your audience.


That can’t be a bad thing.


But, I’m talking about writing for other sites outside of the WordPress community and usually, trying to write these posts for money.


The writer/ per post rate out there seems pretty much abysmal to me.  I’ve been offered article writing positions for $15-30 per article.  The client usually says, “I know that’s low, but we want very short pieces under 700 words and that shouldn’t take more than an hour of your time.”


This picture has nothing to do with this post, but it’s an interesting way to fish…


Riiiiigggggght.  What amazes me about that low of an offer price is that it doesn’t take into account ANY of the research you might do for a 700 word piece.  For example, I had a site that wanted me to write about LA comedy clubs.  I know a lot about comedy clubs, so it should be easy, right?  Yes, but it depends on what kind of quality you want to put out there.  I can write a piece on comedy clubs in under an hour, no problem.  However, that’s not how I do things.  I’d want to go to each club, experience each one, note what I like and don’t like about them, and THEN write my piece in under 1 hour.  So, the whole “write 700 words in under one hour” doesn’t put into account all of the hours I may spend “investigating” the various comedy clubs.  Hell, I could do a post like this without leaving my house, I’m sure, but at the very least I’d still look up each comedy club and read their visitor reviews.  I have no doubt that I’d spend at least an hour doing that.  That’s an hour to write the piece and an hour to research it – 2 hrs minimum, equaling about $7/ hr.  That sucks.  Plain and simple.


I have also been offered about $50-75 per quality post by other sites.  And still, I’m not sure if it’s worth it.


My days of piecemeal income and spinning every plate I can to try and make a living are over.  I’m attempting to go for the “big kahuna” in some way.  I think the big kahuna only comes when you create it yourself for people like you.  Everyone who gets “it” and you and what you’re trying to do will enjoy it to no end and everyone else, well, “feck ‘em.”



That’s how you go from a plate spinning freelance writer to a brand-name, David-Sedaris-type.  At least, I hope that’s how it works.


The problem is that money is hard to turn down.  Regardless of how small it is, I have a deep work ethic and there’s a part of me that goes, “$15 in the hand is better than $100K in the imaginary bush.”


Like a lot of things in life, while difficult – I think holding out is the ultimate way to achieve something completely original.  Working creatively for yourself and experimenting until you hit a “sweet spot.”


At least I think that’s the key.  Today, anyway.


What about you?  Do you post on other blogs?  Freelance write for free or a low rate per post?  What’s your experience?


Inquiring mommas want to know.



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85 thoughts on “Writing for Other Blogs

  1. I used to get paid $25 per story in my beginning journalist days writing for the local paper. I think my best assignment was following around a 14-year-old goat herder at the state fair for an entire day so that meant getting up at 5 a.m., hanging out with the sullen teen until 6 p.m. and writing the piece. All in all, I probably was making a sweet rate of $1.25 an hour. Can’t beat that. I’m with you. Big Kahuna.

  2. SM,
    I’ve been offered a few writing gigs lately on other sites/brands. I would personally consider the offers if I believed in the brand – in a collaborative effort – or even guest post if the brand was in line with mine. In my opinion, you have to ask yourself what the brand can bring you, and vice versa, even when money is involved. At least, this is where I am…

    This being said, Sweet Mother writing for another blog would be good for any brand.. There’s only one you, and what a YOU it is…
    Le Clown

    1. looool. some sites that i’ve been offered are interesting…other ones, i feel it’s just for the money, which is probably not a good fit. i don’t know, i’m so on the fence about it. i feel like i’m willing to write for a sort of in-house (or at my house, preferably) assignment that pays even approx 1,000 a month, but to cobble a whole bunch of gigs together to make it worth it… even when they are in line with my message… sigh…i just don’t know. i’m on the fence and pretty sure i’ll fall off on one side or the other, like humpty dumpty, eventually… loool. regardless, good to see you here, clowny. xo, sm

  3. I barely have the time to write for my own site, which is currently on hiatus until next month. After writing 350 posts I’m taking a break. I think that the proliferation of material available for free on the Internet is a large part of the low and no pay problem. Twelve years ago all I had to do was contact a magazine and ask if I could write for them. I might pitch an idea or they’d toss one at me. I’d write the story and collect $200. Easy peasy. Those days are long gone and even getting one’s essays published for no pay is a challenge since the competition is so stiff. Many talented writers are willing to write for free and in turn, that’s compounding the problem. Adding to this mix are all the bloggers throwing their writing out there on the web for anyone to access. Aspiring writers can be their own worse enemy because we write these sites, many like yours that are very good, but they devalue the written word, and are now much more like vanity projects. Even if your following is somewhere between 2 and 2,000, is it really enough to stand out in the vast ocean that is the Internet packed with millions of blogs and bloggers? There are a lot of Jenny Lawson wannabes out there and more starting new sites every day.

    In response to your question about writing for pennies on the dollar, my time is too valuable to work for slave wages and I agree with you that it takes much longer than an hour to crank out a quality post. Whether people like you or me participate on those sites does not matter for there will be someone out there that will do it. That’s as guaranteed as death, taxes and middle age weight gain.

    1. What she said! (No, seriously, what lameadventures said pretty much sums it up!) Due to plummeting freelance rates, I tend to the think the time is better spent focusing on what you want to write about rather than write something you really don’t care that much about for an extra 15 bucks. It may be worth it I suppose if you are very, very picky about the assignments you take so there’s at least a secondary benefit, like getting your name out there in a venue that that’s relevant to your theme, so to speak. But sadly, I think the freelance market has gone from “it has its perks” to “why bother?” It was worth it back in the day when you’d get a couple hundred bucks for an article, or at least 10-cents a word, but the rates are so abysmal right now, I just don’t see the point anymore.

      1. ugh, also well said. depressing, but i think you are both so right. spartan, thank you and lame, thank you too. i left you a comment below. okay, back to amusing myself for free… at least it doesn’t feel like i’m being taken advantage of when i take advantage of myself… loooool. xo, sm

    2. oh, lame, this is so well said. depressing! but, very well said. you have to love to write then, i suppose because the whole thing truly is just a vanity project in the end in a lot of ways. loool. or maybe you just garner up enough chops to get the book out there, but i’m not even 100% sure what that does these days. though, i’m praying mine happens. i’m definitely leaning the way you’re saying. even the higher end pay-for-post rates at $50/75 just don’t seem worth it for what i’d put into it. oh, lawd, well, back to making myself laugh… i just wish it paid more bills. ;0 seriously, lame, great and informative commentary and i’m really glad you left it here. xo, sm

      1. I definitely think you’re on the right track with the book! For whatever it’s worth, this conversation is exactly why I left the journalism profession. My father always told me if you get a job doing something you love, then it isn’t work, but in the case of writing, I found that all it did for me was turn something I love into work. I had bounced around being a full-time reporter on daily and weekly papers before I finally got a gig as a newswriter in radio (which pays infinitely better than print), but I still wanted to publish articles. So I tried to break into freelance. One day, while doing research on a fluff piece, I was halving a really bad day, and I walked right into a puddle of tar on the sidewalk down in the Bowrey! (I have no idea why there was tar on the sidewalk, but it was New York!) I was so aggravated at the shitty day I was having, and that’s when it hit me in the face–I hate my job! I was so burnt out and exhausted writing on assignment, I had absolutely no time left to write about anything I cared about. I would come home at night, and the last thing I wanted to look at was my keyboard. So ever since (and that was a long time ago!) my goal has been to make enough money doing something else so that I can eventually take time off to write about whatever the hell I want to. (The time off part hasn’t come yet, but it’s in the air, I can feel it! lol). I figured I would rather my dilemma be that I’m just dying to carve out an hour or two to sit down and write, than have the dilemma of spending all my creative energy writing about random nonsense.

    1. Nicole,
      You’re fun! I’ve written this often, about blogging, and you encompass this well: your passion is palpable. You seem to have a good time, and it makes it all worth while, doesn’t it?
      Le Clown

      1. Thank you. I do genuinely love making the comics. It makes me feel like I am hanging out with my sisters the entire time I am cutting and pasting away. I write them all with the sole intention of making my family laugh. It’s worked well so far!

      2. nicole is VERY good at what she does. i’ve never been so enthralled by cutting and pasting in my life! loool. man, she’s like picasso with scissors!

  4. Apparently, you have to already have a gig writing – say, a show for HBO – in order to get the groovy Dave Sedaris gig. Yeah, I call him Dave and he’s calls me Psycho…in the most loving way possible. Check out this article if you really want to make your day:


    I like “Girls,” but how did this chick just get a show and then sell a book for 3.5 million dollars? One of my best friends has written a dozen novels and is all over the bestseller charts internationally, yet I’m pretty sure no one has ever offered her $3.5 MILLION for a book of essays. Sorry. I just worked out. Makes me grumpy.

  5. Eons ago, when I started working, being a secretary was an honorable thing to aspire to. It wasn’t just about taking dictation or typing memos, a secretary was, quite literally, a “keeper of secrets.” We knew where the bodies were buried, when to keep them there and when to exhume them. With the advent of technology and the boss’s ability to type his/her own correspondence, the role of the secretary has lost respect because, the perception is, anyone can do it. Gone is the appreciation for the skill, diplomacy, and nuance needed. In a long ago conversation, I referred to myself as a professional. “A professional what?” a cocky young manager sneered, “A secretary?” he spewed. “Why, yes.” I answered him, ” I do it for the money so I’m sure as hell not an amateur!”

    This is my long-winded way of saying that we don’t appreciate one another’s skills and contributions sufficiently when we perceive that anyone can do it. And even if ANYONE CAN do it, there is the question of time. What makes your (not you SM, but the figurative, collective you) time on this planet any more or less valuable than mine?

    It’s all about respect, it starts with self respect and grows to Self respect. xoxoM

    1. also, incredibly interesting and compelling commentary, margs. i hear what you are saying and i think there is A LOT of power in turning things down. but, then again there’s also a lot of power in eating and having your lights turn on. sigh. that is the rock and the hard place within which i stand. nevertheless, i am leaning towards turning everyone down. ;0 xo, sm

      1. Been there, SM. The lights do come back on. We still manage to put the next meal on the table and keep that roof over our heads. Sometimes just barely. Trust that you have the skill, talent, know-how, and connections to keep that bank account kachinging! All the very best to you. xoxoM

  6. I say do your own thing all the way unless it’s first class exposure; But usually when that’s the case you get paid a decent fee. The HuffPo thing is pointless unless you’ve got a book to advertise at the end of every article or you’re doing it for a cause. Even then I know some people put a ton of effort into it, their writing gets advertised for a few hours, then moved down the list and almost no one sees it. If they’d been cultivating their own audience instead, at least they would have informed/entertained/communicated with their niche.
    You didn’t ask me for advice, but I’ll give it anyway 😀
    Now you’ve got a big enough following and enough hits to marry this to your natural state: being a comedienne. You can teach, you’re funny, people want to hear how you do things (more so, how they could do it). I think it’s time to bring it all together. How about a live comedy experiment (blog + vlog) where you take a person (or more) and train them to perform. How about selecting the people you think have potential through your blog? They could post their vid’s on youtube and you could choose the best and then use your blog for a vote on who your readers think are the best. You can guide your readers and explain what’s important in the performing process… I think you’re ready for blast-off, you just have to do the countdown.

    1. oh, pinky, i always think you say such wise and interesting things. i did what you are talking about in new york. with a little bit less of a social media component (tho i did use social media), but it was pretty close to what you described. i taught classes, ran a comedy “school” of sorts and ran shows for newbie comics. one year i made 80k doing that. i’m not kidding. i shocked even myself. there was only one problem – I HATED IT. absolutely hated it. i am going to start something in december tho comedy wise that will have a blog AND video component. it should be fun and high quality, tho i don’t expect to make a dime off of it. i think i’m going in the right direction, tho i’m never sure. as far as huffpo, i SOOOOOOO hear you. i beat my head against the wall saying to myself, ‘why in the hell can’t i write for them,’ when really the true question is… why would i want to… i think – like you mentioned – huffpo IS just spinning my plates again. welp, i’m probably going to turn down the 3 post for pay gigs i’ve been offered. to much effort, not enough reward, i think. thank you for leaving this awesome commentary here. i needed to hear it. much love, sm

    1. and THAT is the bait that keeps one on the hook for such low pay. it truly is… you have to weigh whether or not the exposure will be great enough and i think 90% of the time, it’s not. unfortunately… xo, sm

  7. No one’s ever offered me money to write, but if the rates you described are accurate, and you’d certainly know better than I, then I likely never will. It’s not that I’m a financial snob, but I’m not working for pennies. I’m not efficient enough to ever make it worth my while.

    As long as I’m talking money, it’ll never be worth my while to draw pictures for a living either.

    1. loooool. it IS working for pennies, 1 point. that is the truth of the matter and i think to really make it worth one’s time financially, you’d have to write like some kind of goddermned machine. and -honestly- this blog is about as fast as I can churn anything out and to do this, but to ramp up the volume to adding 10-20 more posts a month even, i feel like it might burn me out on writing. and that i do NOT want to happen. xo, sm

  8. Hi, SM. Great post. I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments here. No one wants to work for pennies. My time is more valuable than that. It’s likely you would be writing things are of little interest just to make a buck. I suppose if you need to be formally “published” and it provides a stepping stone, then it may be worth it, however little the pay. But with all the free material out here now and so many people self-publishing, I wonder how anyone makes any money or a living at it. I certainly don’t have that answer.

    1. oh, bumbles, i do don’t have the answer either. i’m REALLY trying to concentrate on what i think will pay the biggest dividends in the long run. and i don’t just mean financial dividends, but more of ‘complete reward’ dividends like enjoying one’s work. so, i truly am leaning towards shutting everything out that’s not furthering my own ‘brand’. tho, i have to use such a crappy marketing term for it. voice, might be a better word. regardless of the term, i think if you can build that unique thing… it’s worth it. even if you have to struggle for a while until you get there… xo, sm

      1. SM. I wish the best in your pursuit of doing something you truly love and believe in. I think it’s the worth the struggle. The other reality is doing something that isn’t fulfilling. That’s not appealing. Are you still doing the NaNoWriMo? I have someone else who may be interested. I’m going to send a link of your post to him. xo, tbf

  9. I have written for trade pubs a lot over the years. It’s mostly been a trade for the publicity for my empoyers. Never made a dime for it. It’s the same with photography – they think giving you a photo credit is a big deal. I’m sure it is, but it doesn’t fill my pockets:) I think I would look at the opportunity and evaluate whether or not there are other benefits like exposure or new connections it can provide.

    1. i think the truth is that the exposure/ connections payouts are not big enough. couple that with the low rate of pay and the whole idea sort of goes down the shitter. it’s hard tho, as a creative type, when anyone likes what you do and wants to pay you for it… there’s a little insecure part of me that wants to jump at the chance, even if it really would just cheapen everything. that is what i’m desperately trying NOT to do. and i’m so with you – the credit thing gets old. i had a saying that i would use with other comedians. when a booker said a gig was, “good exposure…” I would say, “yeah, but you can die of exposure.” of course, i meant to the elements, but it felt like the same damn thing… lool. xo, sm

  10. Ah! I love this post. It’s so true and not just for writing, but for music (and probably comedy) too. The question of whether to focus on my music alone or play with other artists/on their albums is something I think about everyday. Do I work just on my music and give it all my energy to have greater success or do I sacrifice my time to do other gigs and make a bit of money. I always try to find a balance between the two. Sometimes I lean one way more than the other but I think it’s good to do both.

    1. it’s really a difficult challenge to figure out where to focus your energy, isn’t it? at least i know i struggle with it everyday. i am trying to evolve and improve and value my stuff more tho and unfortunately, i think the way to do that, just might be to turn everything down…

  11. I have really loved taking advantage of tiny opportunities to get published, albeit not in blog form. I write for my college’s newspaper at a whopping $10 an article, most of which I put several hours research into, whether its in meeting someone for an interview or just reading up. I get paid the same whether I phone it in (like some people obviously do for said paper) or spend an entire weekend reading the Worst Book Ever Written and its atrocious sequels so I can write an informed critique. I like to think, perhaps naively, that writing for a pittance will help me further my career. So, I would go for it, but only if you have time. At the very least, you’re building a portfolio, and some money is better than no money.

    1. hey there, bads, it was really nice to hear your perspective on this one. for me, it’s a tough call. on the one hand, like you say, ‘a little money would be nice’ — on the other hand, i think you can get stuck doing stuff like this quite easily. working for a pittance for stuff that doesn’t truly matter in the end, when really you could be building something unique and of value. that’s where my head is on the whole thing at the moment, anyway. xo, sm

  12. I think the $50-$75 per post is pretty good…no? I write for my own blog and I will write guest posts when asked as well as participate in flash fiction challenges. Also, you are already aware that I’ve written 2 books and have 2 more int he works (if they ever get finished). Not sure if I’d want to write for money. I think it would put too much pressure on me but I know that you are searching for a way to earn money. You should google open submission calls because there are always publishers looking for stories. Mind you, they don’t pay a fortune either. I sold a story from my first Bedtime Stories anthology for Readerotica 3 and it paid only $50.

    1. 50$-75 is on the higher end of that pay scale, yep. but, i’m STILL not sure if it’s worth it. wifesy and i are doing okay. but, everyday that i’m not bringing in oodles of cash makes me panic a little bit because i used to make good money and this is a BIG change for me. my worry is that if i take on this outside writing, sweet mother will get neglected or something else that i just can’t see the finish line on yet, but might have more value. i know this probably all sounds convoluted, but that’s because my thoughts are still a big muddy on the whole idea. well, one way or another it will all be fine. really great commentary, wends, truly. it’s been so interesting reading the comments on this post. every writer’s experience is so different. xoxo, sm

      1. Well, if you are not hard up for cash at this point then you can afford to wait for a better opportunity, then by all means! I hope the perfect opportunity comes your way soon. 🙂

  13. I think it depends on what you think the long-term value of the post will be. Sometimes the return on investment isn’t a dollar for dollar value. For example, you may only be getting paid what will work out to be $2 an hour, but you’ll get new readership which could benefit your main project monetarily in the future. Advertising is EXPENSIVE, and it would be like an advertisement you’re getting paid for. Of course, this is assuming the audience is right for your body of work.

    It also depends on the time. It’s far better to turn down something and save your reputation as a writer than churn out a crap piece just to get some exposure. Make sure that you have the time and energy to turn in a post that is reflective of your real writing style.

    My two cents 🙂

    1. your two cents is easily worth 4 cents. yeah, i think if someone like autostraddle asked me to write it might be worth it. or after ellen or after elton because they have such targeted lgbt audiences that might enjoy the content of this blog and -hopefully- my book. BUT, that ain’t where i’ve received offers. one is a movie site, the other a quirky sex site, and the third is a really cute and out left field “healthy lifestyle” site. and the site i talked about with the comedy club piece was a los angeles entertainment site. that one was $15/ post, so I turned it down. whereas the others are closer to 50-75. now, i can write about any of those topics, movies, sex, healthy living, but is it worth it? probably not. it’s a shame where gone are the days that you could get a column with a reputable publication and build your audience with your own unique, quirky voice like dan savage did. or like bloggess, who i think had a regular in the houston chronicle something or other… sigh. anyway, thank you for the great advice, jen. it is much appreciated. xo, sm

      1. Moms Who Drink And Swear is another personality who I think has a blog/column…maybe out of chicago? Similar story to the bloggess I think.

        Honestly, I think you’ll be approached one day by a good publication who will offer you a column. Your writing is on point, and by that time you’ll have a bajillion followers. It’s just a matter of getting your work into the right hands.

  14. Like Nicole, I want to comment on the fabulously random picture. This is the first time I’ve read the comments on a blog post so in-depth. Terrific. I don’t have much to input on the actual topic as I only started my blog about four months ago after twenty years of being too wussy to write ‘out loud.’ Probably should have started earlier if I ever wanted money or publishability hey? Ha! As a daughter and sister of entrepreneurs I have a lot of respect for those brave enough to go out and do it on their own. As a teacher, I have about a solid of a job/career as I can get – there will always be kids! So, to go out into the big world needing to be completely self-motivated and seek out money-making opportunities while also considering supporting others and not selling yourSELF short in the process is a HUGE undertaking that deserves respect regardless of the choices you make. All of it will move you forward in some way or another to contribute to what you pass onto others. Whatever the decision, it’s the right one. My reiki guy told me that once and I use it a LOT to get a decision made! 😀

    1. “whatever the decision, it’s the right one.” i so loved that kim. and i know i owe you an email! it’s acoming! i’m enjoying a day or two off with wifesy, so i’m a little slower than normal at responding, but respond i will. thank you for leaving such great commentary here, i so appreciate it. and i could stare at that odd mermaid all day long. i sort of love it. xo, sm

  15. This is why I’m working on a book. I am never going to be able to make money writing articles or blogging. There are too many good bloggers out there (myself included….look at me, tooting my own horn!) writing their stuff or free, that there’s no demand anymore. People will work for slave wages. Make no mistake, I am under no delusion that if I simply write a book, I will be able to sell it. LOOOOOL. But at least with self publishing, I can publish an ebook for nearly nothing and at least maybe make a little sum on the side. Plus, there’s the gratification of just doing it. Sure, gratification doesn’t pay the bils, but at least it gives you a sense of whats really important when your lights get cut off.

    Moms, have you ever thought of running ads on your blog?

    1. you know, i have thought about the ads thing. the only person who i see that does it on here is ‘my wife is german’ blog and i tried to ask him if he saw any benefit from it, but i didn’t really hear back. from what i’ve read. you have to have an audience of 2,000 views + minimum to see any even small amt of money from that. so, i’m not sure that it’s worth it. because when i hit even close to 1,000 views i’m over the moon. my numbers are decent, but not there yet. i feel like someone has to be pushing your site (a bigger site) for you to get those kind of numbers. i suppose you could seek out advertising, particular companies that might be a right fit for this blog. but, lawd, i don’t know if i have the time to wear an advertiser hat too. the book, tho. i’m all over that and i’m with you, it’s definitely the way to go. it’s looking more and more like i’m going to say no to this additional writing… the advice on here has been phenom. yours included. much love, sm

  16. Every word we write online stays around forever… and can come back to haunt us. Why write poor quality articles for peanut wages when it’s your long term reputation at stake?

  17. I used to get paid $100 for a 250 word post. It was golden. I think that’s almost as good as it gets unless you can cash in on fame ar a buttload of experience. Then I think it is worth it, because it helps pays the bills. I think it’s atrocious that anyone would pay 15$ for 700 words. Unless it’s for saving orphaned baby whales or some shit. Then it’s a labour of love and karma pays well. If you`re looking to build your CV than write for everyone for any amount, but it seems that`s not your goal. There`s got to be better work out there.

    1. “there’s got to be better work out there.” there must be, right? it’s so hard to see the finish line sometimes, i’m telling you. sheesh. i’m with you 100 for 250 is worth it. 15 for 700 is insulting. what is wrong with people? ugh. xo, sm

  18. I don’t think I have much more to offer after all this great advice/insight you’ve received. Plus, I’ve never written for money. I did once write a review about Capital One credit cards that was so scorching they called me up and paid my balance. That was sweet.

    I just finished a 700ish word piece for publication on Monday. It took me probably a total of 3 hours, with editing and finding pictures, etc. If someone wanted to pay me $20 for that I’d most likely try and find a way to kill them with said $20.

    1. ok, this is so funny, i almost don’t know where to begin. you are right, if i’m paid 7$ for this, i might find a way to kill someone with a 5 and two singles. i mean, it’s outrageous, although i think it is pretty much the going rate. secondly, you KNOW i want to read that capital one review. it sounds kinda awesome. xo, sm

  19. Gut instinct? Not worth it. Instead, I could see you submitting to the Huff Post or another large-ish (albeit free) vehicle and spreading your brand organically in a way that you control and guide rather than write for $15 per 700 word article. My $0.02.

    1. i thought the huffpo would be a good fit too. but, i’ve submitted a couple of things and nada. i’m to the point where i think they are not worth chasing down either. bottomline, tho, i think you are so right. in the end, i have to create and expand what i’m doing here. that’s got to be the right choice in the end. sometimes our gut is all we have, huh? much love, stace, much love. sm

      1. You’ve got it all. My gut also tells me that you’ll get where you want to go…you’re in the right place, have great contacts, and most importantly, are a fucking (sorry to use the NR version of feck) talent.

  20. Okay, I am going to put my RL hat on for a minute. If the publication has a wide audience and it is audience you are interested in reaching, the $$ is irrelevant, the audience that is the opportunity to reach a previously untapped source is what is important.

    Set your own limits. This means you agree, even if it with yourself to how many of these ‘opportunities’ you will accept and you track whether you are receiving benefits from these opportunities. Pick a number, lets say five (5). Clearly you also have to agree to some parameters, beyond the obviously low rate of pay, your profile must include whatever you want it to include. If after you have written your 700 word articles and received your pay you don’t see the benefits, the return on your investment (ROI) you set, stop doing it.

    There is a ‘but’ to this though. You also have to set some limits to your personal investment in time. Don’t run about like a mad woman, it is after all a low payout. So treat it as such. I am not saying you should submit schlock, but you should also not invest eight hours of your time for a $15 and 700 word submission. Your customer has established the value and the quality standard, stick to their requirement. Write from your experience, your knowledge; do not accept an assignment that would require significant investment in time for research!

    Now, track your ROI. Did you gain larger readership? More name recognition? Are larger publications beating down your door with bigger offers? This is what you want, to build a portfolio.

    1. val, this commentary along with a few choice others is what really is swaying me to just say no to some of this right now. ROI. you really nailed it with roi. the question is – am i getting a good return on my investment or not? and anyway i turn this over in my mind, i feel like i’m not. i also REALLY like the idea of ‘tracking’ any extra online project… that way if i do take one on, you can see if it is worth it over time. so, THANK YOU. this was splendid advice. advice that i’m grateful for and really taking to heart. much love, sm

  21. I do write for money on other blogs. I get paid a lot more than the fees you mentioned. I agree that it takes a lot longer than 1 hour to do a piece properly, mostly because of the research involved. I sat down with He – Who and tried to figure out what stuff should cost for me to be able to do it full time. We figured to make a decent living I would have to post 2 paid pieces per day, five days a week. Of course that is a dream world. Who doesn’t work 7 days a week now? I haven’t got that many clients and they only want to post once a week or every other week or once a month. So the reality is I am making some pocket money. If I was fortunate enough to have enough clients to pull it off it would certainly be a juggling act.

    1. i think it’s awesome that you get paid more, but i will say that that is the going rate around here. maybe it’s because you’re in canada? the people who i know that get paid more tend to write ALL the online content for an online site. so, they do all the blog posts, all newsletters, headlines, social media, etc. then you sort of become the ‘website editor’ and that seems to pay a lot more here, from what i can see. yeah, i did what you did and i worked out what blogs would have to pay me for it to feel worth it and it’s way higher than $75. i think i worked it out that for me to bring in monthly what i would a blog writer job to yield, i would’ve had to write for 40 blogs at the 50-75 rate and THAT is just insane. sigh. much love, sm

  22. Moms, I don’t know. You know the amount of time it takes to write an article/post and write it well. I’ve written stuff that gets my name out there in the early days to build up an online presence so that I can apply on paying gigs. Clients can then see that I can write about something and do that pretty well.

    It makes me a little angry to see writers getting paid so horribly. I don’t get it. And someone of your caliber should be getting paid more than $7/hour. But if it’s something that will help your writing career and you enjoy the subject, why not, right? I think you deserve way more than that.

    1. i think i’m leaning towards not doing it based a lot on what you and many fabulous people here are saying. i think it’s just not worth my time. but, you know how it is – that insecure writer part of me is like, ‘just take it. take anything.’ and that’s just not always the smartest route. it is sad how low they pay blog writers these days. really sad. xo, sm

    1. how can it not? you’re so feckin’ good. i love reading your stuff. and no one would ever pay me to bake for them. i am the world’s worst baker. cooking, i can kind of handle, but baking – fuggetaboutit. xoxo, sm

  23. You know what I think the answer is? Try it. Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely agree with “Lame.” You’re working for hours and often it’s not even 10 cents a word. But if you try it once or twice, then it’ll dump the waffling. You’ll either get fast, fast, fast at churning out info, or you’ll say, “Now I know and to heck with that.”

    I free-lanced articles, blogs, copywriting, etc. It was great to hone quick draw skills (kinda like mini-mini NaNoWriMo),. But at some point, you decide what you want to get paid for and what you want to give away. and there’s no regret or second guessing. Good luck chickadee.

    1. you know, barb. i was thinking of doing that… just giving a shot to see how it fit into everything else. can i handle it? or is it just a colossal pain? but, i think i have the tendency to take too much on and often, i don’t take on the right things. so, i’m probably not going to accept these gigs. i feel like i’ve got something bigger and better around the corner. it’s just a gut feeling, but that’s all i’ve got right now. great, great commentary/ advice tho. i feel so lucky to have received the smart and very accurate commentary that’s been on display for this post. very lucky. xo, sm

  24. My personal experience is that writing is one area where you can’t get ahead on volume. It simply requires too much time to do it right and well, so I don’t do low dollar value posts.

    On Sat, Oct 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM, Sweet Mother

  25. Sweet Mother,
    Actually, the price you were quoted was on the high side for writing content. I only do it to earn pocket change for blog posting costs on WordPress. So, do keep in your head the goal of working for yourself, and supporting yourself. The emphasis is “work”, as nothing comes easy.

    1. that’s very true, scrounge. and i so know it’s on the high side. i pointed that out, though some bloggers said they’ve been offered even more. i actually DID get one offer higher than this recently. and it’s the only one i think i’m going to take on. i’m sure i’ll be talking about how it goes on here… xo, sm

  26. Wow. I just sat down with a bowl of waffles and ice cream to read all of these comments. Good stuff. I’ve often tossed around the same question, but I’m nowhere near as capable of keeping multiple balls in the air as you are, which is probably why you are a good producer of other people’s work and your own, while I produce children and phlegm. Your skills are more likely to pay off.

    1. i don’t know… “children and phlegm” are pretty creative things to produce. lool. and talk about the time they take! in all truthiness, the comments on here REALLY helped inform my decision and i turned down all of the freelance gigs, but one. and that one has a really decent rate, BUT we’ll see, if my book goes and if i can’t get my pilot where i need it to be, then i may have to give that one up too… sigh. ’cause money would be nice. ;0

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