It’s a common struggle that many new bloggers run into. What is that exactly?
Moving away from crappy paying blog jobs and onto better paying projects so that you’re not a starving artist.
When you’re first starting out as a blogger, landing those first couple of paying gigs feels amazing. For many, including myself, it felt like validation for everything you have been trying to do.
But does this sound familiar?
You contact a potential client (or vice-versa) and land the job, but they will only pay you $15-$25 and they expect you to make your posts 1,500+ word count? Plus, you have to find pictures for the post, edit it thoroughly, and pimp the post on social media.
Sure, it feels great to land a job that pays you to write, but all those warm and cuddly feelings of validation quickly fade away as you realize that you really can’t make a living from those sorts of jobs.
I know this feeling because when I started out blogging, some of the first jobs that I landed were like the ones I mentioned above — big mistake!
My Experience With Low Paying Clients
Ah, the Low Paying Client…
All bloggers who have been in the game for awhile have had a few of those. The lowest I was ever paid for a post over 1,500-word count was $25.
That post required research, image sourcing and editing, editing of the post and social media sharing. It took HOURS to finish that post!
On top of that, the client forgot to pay me and it took over a month before I saw that money. The other downside to that was since most of my payments are taken through PayPal, I really only made $22 off that stinkin’ thing (*facepalm*).
Not my best business decision.
At that rate, I made less than minimum wage, which is unacceptable. How was I or anyone supposed to pay bills and feed their family on a couple bucks an hour? I had more success and made more money from selling stuff on Amazon! (I’ve done that on the side too.)
My resolve at that point was to never work for that low of a rate again. However, I had no idea how I was going to find work that paid me better or how I was going to raise my rates with the current clients I had landed up to that point.
How I Raised My Rates as a Freelance Blogger to Make Over $100 Per Hour
“Raise my rates?” You ask as your heart skips a beat. “But won’t I lose my clients?”
This is an understandable fear for many bloggers — it was a fear for me. See, I found my blogging niche from the get-go (which has since then expanded), but many of the clients I landed knew each other in one way or another so raising my rates was a bit gut wrenching when I thought I could lose all those valuable connections that I was building.
But you know what I did? I raised them anyway.
Bold? Sure. Gutsy? I’ll take it. Stupid? Nope.
Want to know how I did it? Below is a list of steps I took to work less and make more as a freelance blogger.
The first question I had was, how much other longtime bloggers I knew that wrote on similar topics were already making from the niche I was in. In hindsight, I realize that I should have done this long before I ever started down that road to begin with, but live and learn right? (You can’t tell this, but I’m shaking my head at past me.)
It was a little hard to narrow down, but I figured that many of the top bloggers in my field made of minimum of .10 per word. That meant a 1,000-word post would make them $100.
That was 2 to 3 times more than I was making at that point!
After I realized how much others were making, I had to determine whether or not my skills measured up to theirs. Did I write well enough? What did I need to work on to boost my value?
I made a list of strengths and weaknesses and figured out what I needed to work on to get to the point where I was worth what I was going to be charging.
I realized that I had some things to work on and so I got to work turning those weaknesses into strengths.
3) Setting A New Rate
To be honest, setting my new rate was easier than I thought it would be.
On my Hire Me page, directly before the Contact Form there, I wrote the following:
[asg-content-box boxcolor=”blue” boxtitle=”” boldtitle=”false” boxexpand=”false” showcontent=”false”]Please note that my price for blog posts starts at .10 per word and goes up from there. I do not write for free, so please don’t contact me to inquire about free work. Thank you.[/asg-content-box]
To some, this may seem a bit… forward, but stating this does 2 things:
- It tells people my starting rate
- It acts as a filter to keep the low-paying clients out
The amount of people I had contacting me for work through my page dropped quite a bit after that, but the clients that started to contact me already knew my rate and were willing to pay that. Therefore, I was landing better clients with better pay.
Therefore, I was landing better clients with better pay.
Since I can usually write 1,000 words in under an hour, I now make around $100 an hour (sometimes much more) and have even made $400 in a day’s work.
Not bad for a stay-at-home mom.
What Raising My Rates Taught Me
First of all, raising my rates and sticking to them was something I just had to do and I’m so happy that I did. I couldn’t make a living from low paying clients and I didn’t want to build my business on being the cheap person on the block.
Secondly, I look at my current minimum rate for blog posts as something I’ll raise again in the future. There are others in my field of writing who make much more than I do, but they’ve paid their dues.
They make more because they’re valuable (i.e. experience, connections, skills, knowledge, etc.) Not to say I’m not valuable as a blogger, but I know that I can always be and do better.
If you’ve been struggling and scraping by on low paying writing gigs, just know — we’ve all been there. However, there comes a point where you need to move on.
You have bills and taxes to pay, you need to put bread on the table, and build a business that can grow. Raising your rates and making more is all part of being a successful business owner and freelance writer.
Do you have fears or questions about raising your rates as a blogger? Ask and comments below.
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