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Bloggers need to be realistic about Blogging Rates

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Be realistic about your Blogging RatesSetting your blogging rate is something that many freelance writers and bloggers have difficulty setting, particularly when they first start writing on the web.

We have touched upon the subject many times here at Blogging Tips. More recently, Yuwanda Black wrote about the subject in her posts ‘Freelance Writing Rates: How to Stick to Your Pricing Guns‘ and ‘Blogging Jobs: How Much Should You Charge to Blog?‘.

Yesterday saw the end of a series of articles on Mens With Pens entitled ‘Why Bloggers Should Be Paid More’. I recommend reading all the articles before moving on 🙂

I really enjoyed this series of articles. There was some great points raised however I disagreed with some of the advice so I thought I would go through each article and give my opinion on the points raised – Aren’t you guys lucky!! 🙂

Part I: Blogging is Tough

In the first article Taylor talks about how writing 30 blogs posts at $50 a post is more mentally draining than writing a website with content worth $1,500.

I do agree that blogging is mentally draining however I don’t believe that it is any more draining that writing copy for a website. Writing content for a static content website still requires thought, research and proofreading, much like a blog post. Perhaps some people find blogging harder but if that is the case then in my opinion, they are blogging about a subject they are not passionate about.

I know this from experience. I stay up to date with the latest mobile phone, laptop and gadget news frequently and I find writing about the subject a breeze because I enjoy talking about it. However, I have written about some other subjects in the past which didn’t interest me as much and it took much longer to write because of it.

I also think it’s not very realistic to assume that a website with 30 pages of content will sell for $1,500. I know that there’s a lot of splogs out which means that original content is valued much more but that won’t affect the value of a site greatly. Bottom line, if a website isn’t making money then it’s doubtful anyone will pay a lot for it. Buyers couldn’t care less how much time you spent writing the content or much value you put on your time, they don’t just spend cash on websites which aren’t going to make them money.

Taylor does raise some good points though. It is hard to mentally switch off sometimes if you have a lot of blog posts to write. Perhaps some people do find blogging more difficult in this respect though in my experience, the pressure is the same from writing content for websites too.

Short Posts Do Not Equal Short Hours

I really enjoyed the 2nd article. Taylor was 100% correct in saying that bloggers should get paid the average value for all posts. As someone who hires bloggers on a regular basis, I have to agree with this. You simply cannot get mad at someone for doing a short post if their previous post was incredibly long, you need to give a little bit of leeway.

Though it’s worth pointing out that many bloggers take advantage of this. Many bloggers who have written for me start off with long detailed posts. They then write much shorter posts and because I give them a little leeway, they take that as a sign that thats all they need to do. Same old story, give someone an inch and they take a mile!

Generally speaking most authors do not do this and usually follow up a short post with a longer post the next time. However, I have had to part ways with a lot of writers because, to put it bluntly, they started taking the piss. A blog owner has to look at all of a bloggers posts and judge them on that collectively rather than singling out a single article.

Taylor also points out that whilst one blog post might take 15 minutes to write, 10 posts might take much longer than 3 hours. Put simply, the longer you are sitting down writing, the more tired you get and the harder you will find it to concentrate. This is why it’s important to frequently take breaks people!

Not Everyone Blogs Right

In the last article of the series Taylor talks about the difference in quality that you will get from a professional blogger compared to an amateur. This is something that most blog owners are aware of. It’s simple common sense. Generally speaking, you’re going to get a much better article from someone who charges $25 per post than someone who charges $5.

At the end of the article Taylor wrote something which really surprised me, something which spurred me on to write about all of this in the first place :

Everyone is out there blogging, but most of them are telling bad jokes and bad stories. Most of them are boring the pants off people. When you find someone who can actually blog with real power and insight and intelligence, you want to pay that writer whatever he wants to represent you.

If that means paying him $100 a post, do it anyway. He’ll be worth it. Because it’s worth it to you not to look dumb.

I completely disagree with this last comment. Infact, I would go further and say that it is incredibly bad advice!

Be realistic about your Blogging Rates

The majority of bloggers reading this will never get the blogging rate they deserve or the blogging rate they think they deserve, they will get the rate which the blog owner can afford to pay. That is a cold hard fact which I believe a lot of bloggers need to realise.

It doesn’t matter what a blogger writes about, the fact is the blog owner needs to get a return for his money.

In speciality niches, such as medicine, law etc, bloggers can charge a lot more for their content. This is because only certain experienced people within the industry can write about certain subjects. A bigger factor is the product which is being sold. If, for example, the website is selling a product which costs in excess of $5,000, then clearly it’s worth spending good money on bloggers and copywriters to promote your product.

When you find someone who can actually blog with real power and insight and intelligence, you want to pay that writer whatever he wants to represent you. If that means paying him $100 a post, do it anyway. He’ll be worth it. Because it’s worth it to you not to look dumb.

Most bloggers aren’t writing for websites which sell products though, they are writing for content based websites and blogs whose primary source of income is advertising. These sites cannot afford to pay very high rates. Seriously, you would be surprised how little some of the top bloggers earn.

This does not reflect on the quality of the blogger and it should not reflect badly on the blog owner either. It is simply because the blog owner cannot afford to pay out high rates to their writers. Simply paying someone $100 a post because they are apparently worth it is a one way ticket to going broke!

Think about it from the blog owners point of view. Say you ask someone to write 10 articles for your current blog and agree to pay them $100 a post. How are you going to turn a profit on this $1,000 expense? Do you think that adding 10 really great articles to your blog is worth $1,000?

I would personally love to pay my writers more than they are getting paid just now. I would love to be in a position to pay them $100 a post but unfortunately, that would cost me over $6,000 a month in staff wages. I would love to be in a position to pay that out, I really would. I wouldn’t grudge it if this blog was making $15,000 a month, but it’s not. And, just like everyone else, I have to live within my means.

I don’t mind spending money at the start of a project however if a website is costing you time and money month after month, you need to either rectify that quickly or sell the website on. And paying people any rate they think they deserve could definately put you in that situation.

Now, I have jumped upon Taylors statement about paying $100 a post to illustrate my point (it may have just been a throw away comment).

And my point is this : A blog owner doesn’t care if you took 15 minutes to write a post or 2 hours. All they care about is the end product i.e. good content. They also don’t care if some other website is paying you $xx a post or $xx an hour, they can only pay you what they can afford to pay you and what they think you are worth.

You all need to be realistic about your blogging rates. Blogging is not a high paying job, I hope you all realise this. There are some people who make good money from writing for others but they really are few and far between. I don’t want to discourage people from blogging as it’s something which I personally enjoy however most people, particularly those in the west (i.e. USA, Canada, Europe, Australia etc), would make more money by working at a minimum wage job.

The industry is very competitive as well. I usually get dozens of applications when I advertise just one blogging position. Without a doubt, the quality of the writer is very important to someone hiring, but price is a bigger factor. 9 times out of ten I would personally hire a good writer at $15 a blog post than a great writer who charges $50 a post as I know that the benefit from hiring the great writer is minimal when compared to the added expense of hiring them.

Finding your blogging rate

I won’t go into specifics about how much you should charge for writing. It depends on so many factors including experience of writer, quality of content, length of post, content topic etc. After applying for several jobs within your chosen niche, you will undoubtedly get an idea of the average rate which is paid.

I don’t want to talk too much about how you set your blogging rates in this article either as it’s something which I have spoke about before. What I would recommend you to do is be realistic.

If someone contacts you directly about a blogging position then you will probably be able to charge a little more than you normally do because the blog owner has shown a clear interest in you. It’s different from applying for a publicly advertised position as the blog owner will have dozens of writers applying for the job. Even if you are contacted directly about a position, you still need to be realistic about your blogging rate, as you can very easily price yourself out of a job.

If the quality of your posts are better than the average then you can charge more than the average. If you are well known within the industry then you can charge a little more too because writing for them will raise the blogs profile.

But you need to remember, the blog owner still needs to get value from your posts. You can’t just take it easy because you have built up a reputation and do the bare minimum, particularly if you are charging more than everyone else.

I once hired a very well known writer and paid the person more than my other writers but it was a big mistake. They had relied on their reputation to get the job but they never put in the effort and we quickly went our seperate ways. So be warned. Reputation and experience only gets you so far i.e. if you are charging more than everyone else then you need to illustrate why you do so through your posts.

Overview

You will rarely get paid the rate you want from blogging as most blog owners are trying to keep their writing expenses down. Usually, everyone meets in the middle with the blog owner paying a little more than they wanted to and the blogger taking slightly less than they wanted to.

I appreciate those of you who will not blog for a certain amount of money. If something isn’t worth your while then don’t do it. However, if you are trying to make a living from blogging on the web you need to be aware of the opportunity cost of not accepting a blogging gig – A job may pay slightly less than you would like but if the alternative is not getting any writing gig at all then it may be worth considering.

It would be great if bloggers were paid more but I don’t believe this is going to happen until blog owners start making more money. Therefore, I think it’s important that bloggers are realistic about their blogging rates and are aware of all the factors that will determine why some writing gigs pay more than others.

As always, your feedback is more than welcome 🙂

Kevin

* Note, I just want to clarify to everyone that I’m a big fan of Men With Pens. It’s one of the best freelancing blogs around and I read it regularly. On this ocassion though, I just happened to disagree with them on a few things 🙂

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Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

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3 Rewarding Benefits for Bloggers to Consider Joining An Honor Society

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Over approximately one million students are members of the National Honor Society (NHS). Many of which are likely bloggers, freelance writers, and/or have a passion for writing or pursuing their own path in life.

High school students with outstanding achievements are joining the organization every year. But you may not be familiar with the NHS and what it does, and also how it can benefit you as either a blogger, affiliate marketer, or an entrepreneur.

You may be asking, “should I join an honor society?” Is it really that important? Before you become an honor student yourself, you should weigh the benefits.

Here’s your guide to the benefits of the National Honor Society.

Should I Join an Honor Society?

In order to join the NHS, you’ll need to know what they do.

Established in 1921, the foundation recognizes students who have achieved excellence in several different ways. These include areas of service, leadership, character, and of course, scholarship.

Members need to meet certain criteria to join. Students who want to join should have at least a 3.0 on the GPA scale. They should also show great leadership and a commitment to volunteer work.

If you think you may be eligible, here are three rewarding reasons why you should join the NHS.

1. Making a Difference

One of the great aspects of the NHS is the opportunity to make a difference. Given the foundation’s emphasis on helping others, each student must meet a service hour requirement.

As a member, you’ll be a part of service projects whether individually or as a team.

This is not only an amazing way to get involved in your community but a way to meet new people. Volunteering opens up so many doors, personal and otherwise. It helps you find yourself and connect with people in the process.

The service you complete may also open other doors and interests for you along the way.

2. Building Your Resume

Every college and university knows what an NHS membership suggests about a student. This makes it a wonderful addition to your resume or college application. It makes you competitive and helps you stand out in a sea of students.

An NHS experience shows that you’re an outstanding citizen who’s engaged with the world. It shows that you have great academic standing and the potential to be a future leader. However, academics aren’t everything, and if you can compile all of your achievements and goals into an online resume website, you may win over some new audiences and personal opportunities as well.

Joining the NHS will help you turn your goals for the future into a reality and set your professional life into motion.

3. Developing Skills

To become an NHS student, you need to exhibit certain traits and character. But your experience as a member will also help you further develop your skills. The NHS is an excellent avenue for becoming even more well-rounded and capable.

The NHS helps students flex their skills as a leader and a part of a team. The volunteering component will help you develop great time management skills. It can also motivate you to maintain your good grades.

You’ll also learn a lot about networking and professionalism during the process. This will be indelibly valuable in the future.

Learn More

The answer to “should I join an honor society?” is a resounding yes. There are no downsides to becoming an honor student and so much to gain from the experience, and if you are thinking about launching a website or blog of your own, the experience and skills you will gain from such an environment and community will only help.

Not only does being in the NHS prepare you for what’s to come, but it’s also a nice way to celebrate what you’ve already worked so hard to accomplish.

To learn more about school and lifestyle tips, be sure to visit our blog.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Your Very First Blog Post

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The Dos and Donts of Writing Your Very First Blog Post

The Dos and Donts of Writing Your Very First Blog Post

Your very first blog post is a very big deal.

For businesses, it’s their way of attracting more clients by creating content that resonates with your target audience.

For hobbyists, it’s their chance to of sharing to the world your thoughts and ideas about their topics of choice.

Either way, nothing validates your online identity more than a well-written blog post.

Therefore, you need to make the most of this opportunity by writing the best possible blog post. Assuming that you don’t have much experience in writing, you can always keep things simple by following the basic do’s and don’ts of writing a blog post for the very first time.

Do: Come up with a topic that your audience would like

The success of bloggers stems from the ability to determine what their audience wants to read. To reach their primary goals, bloggers must appeal to the need of their target readers for useful and relevant information. Doing so allows them to attract lots of visitors with the content they publish, resulting in increased conversion rates.

Therefore, you need to approach blogging deliberately. You can’t just pull a topic out of thin air and expect your audience to come in droves. You must find out what makes your readers ticks and what their wants and needs are.

That means research, research, and more research!

First, you need to come up with a reader persona that you will target for your post and the succeeding ones. The persona you will develop will embody your demographic such as age, gender, hobbies, and others. Researching these factors will help you refine how you will write your post and what you will write about. From here, unearthing blog post ideas to write about will become much more convenient for you.

Don’t: Veer away from your branding and persona

Your brand is what defines you online. Your audience will associate all your online activity with the brand you’ve developed. Part of your brand is the persona you project from the blog posts you will write.

The best blogs exhibit unique voices that set them apart from the rest. The Onion is popular for its tongue-in-cheek humor veiled in satire. Lifehacker is famous for producing informative blog content geared towards readers who want to find ways to simplify their lives.

The brand and persona these sites exude help bloggers develop consistency in their writing. By observing their persona on all the posts they write at all times, they allow readers to create a level of expectation every time you publish a post. By meeting their expectations with every post you write, you can develop a sustainable stream of blog traffic over a period.

Therefore, it is crucial that you develop a writing voice that resonates with your readers and then sticking with it. You need to play your brand and persona across all your blog posts, starting with the very first post you’ll be writing.

Do: Edit before publishing

Before hitting the “Publish” button, you need to make sure that there are no grammar mistakes and errors in your writing. Your command of the language is crucial if you want to send the right message to your readers.

A post that’s filled with errors will cause readers to leave your blog and possibly not read another post from you. If you can’t write correctly, then why should your audience read your posts?

Double-checking your post and reading it again can do wonders for your edits. It’s best to take time between finishing the post and reading it for review. The time allows you to get your mind off from writing so you will have a fresh perspective on the post, which lets you spot errors easier.

If you’re not comfortable with your editing skills, then you could use tools like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor. Both will make recommendations on how to tighten your sentences and improve your blog post. Keep in mind, however, that these tools are meant to complement your editing process and not replace it entirely.

Don’t: Worry about word count

If you’re counting words when writing your post, then you’re blogging for the wrong reasons.

When writing, your focus should be communicating ideas as clearly as possible.

For SEO reasons, you want your post to be as long as possible. According to the latest studies, your post should be at least 1,890 words if you want to rank on top of Google Search.

However, if you can’t reach that many numbers of words, you don’t have to beat yourself up about it. Having lots of words doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a great post.

What’s more important is that you can share everything that your readers need to know about the topic. By focusing on the quality of the post and not the number of words, you can engage your audience and keep them longing for more.

Do: Promote your post

Promoting your post is not part of the writing process. However, part of your job as a full-fledged blogger is to be a marketer as well.

Sharing your first blog post is your step towards reaching out to your online audience. After all, your post won’t promote itself. You need to proactive share your blog post to the right channels, so you show it to as many people interested in your topic as possible.

One of the best ways to promote your post online is to hop on Facebook and Twitter.

“If you have created high-quality content on your blog then social media is a great way to your blog to go viral.” said Scott Chow of The Blog Starter.

You can also submit your post on platforms that allow you to reach out to your audience more effectively. I have detailed the best sites where you can send your post for promotion in this article.

Don’t: Set unrealistic goals

Starting at the bottom and working your way up to where thousands of blogs are also vying for the attention of your readers will be a tumultuous journey. Therefore, you have to curb your expectations as a blogger. It is ideal to set the bar with attainable goals in mind instead of aiming for the moon.

Don’t get me wrong – reaching thousands of visitors for your blog post in a day is not impossible. However, like catching lightning in a jar, it’s more improbable than anything else. In fact, this problem is what plagues most bloggers. They set high goals that are difficult to achieve. As a result, they get discouraged once they realize that they can’t fulfill them and stop blogging altogether.

Therefore, it’s always better to follow a tried-and-true template that you can sustain for a long period. You don’t want to be one of those flash-in-the-pan bloggers who fizzle out as fast as they started.

Did I miss any other tips for first-time bloggers in preparation for their very first post? Chime in with your advice by commenting below!

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4 Tips for Effectively Training New Hires and Freelance Writers

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You’ve been interviewing prospective job candidates for weeks. Whether this has been for adding talent to your existing company, or if you’ve been looking for some qualified blog writers, the process is quite overwhelming, yet one that needs to take place. You’ve narrowed down the field, compared resumes and extended an offer. Soon, you’ll have a bright-eyed new employee walking through your door, eager to get started. Are you prepared for the onboarding process?

Handing each new employee, a packet to read at their desk doesn’t cut it these days. In order to help new hires hit the ground running with their duties and acclimate to your work environment, you’ll need to utilize more dynamic methods for effectively training new hires. Here are four tips to help you get started.

Prioritize Need-to-Know Material

Training includes a veritable avalanche of information—like a general company overview, employer-specific policies, human resources information and specific job duties. It’s your job to equip your team members with everything they need to thrive. So, where do you start? This is also usually simple enough when looking to hire freelance writers or new blog team members, as there are many online job boards that allow you to fill in the needs and requirements you are looking for, while also having the ability to weed out any leads that don’t fit.

Create an outline that breaks down different training sessions into manageable chunks. This way, you’ll provide some foresight to the new hires and keep them from getting overwhelmed. For example, on their first day, you could start with job-specific information: frequently used programs and files, chain of command within their team and department and the location of hotspots like bathrooms, break rooms, conference rooms, HR, etc. The next day, the new hire can easily see that they’ll be learning about a broad company and departmental overview, project management and communication best practices within the office. After that, they’ll tackle short- and long-term goals and KPIs that show they’re doing well in their new job.

Take it one day at a time, based on order of importance.

Make It Interactive and Engaging

Passive presentations make it all too easy for new hires to forget material almost as soon as they learn it. Remember, they’re encountering new information left and right. To make it stick, you’ll have to make it extra engaging. Delivering an interactive presentation with crowdsourcing tools like Poll Everywhere will wake them up, collect their honest thoughts and make them feel like part of the team right off the bat. Instead of listening to a one-way stream of information, new hires can grab their mobile devices and get involved.

Create a Longer-Term Plan

Whew, you survived the first day of training. Your newest batch of hires are basically onboard, right? Not so fast. You need a long-term plan to ensure a smooth process over time. One HR manager uses an onboarding checklist complete with agendas for the first week and first month—including future training sessions, group lunches and manager check-ins. This way, the employee knows that they’re not suddenly on their own after the first round of introductions; they have resources, a plan and scheduled times to ask questions and provide feedback.

Assign a Concrete Task

Training often feels theoretical for new hires; they’re left wondering “but how does this connect to my job?” One way to drive the points made in training home is to assign a relevant task after a learning session. It should relate to their daily duties and allow them to learn (and make mistakes) as they go. They will be able to put the principles they learned in general training into actual use on an actual assignment! At the end, a manager can go over the results with them in a helpful way, pointing out things they did well and how they can improve in the future.

These four tips for effectively training new hires should help you with the onboarding process, but be sure to experiment and come up with a system that works for your company. After all, onboarding is the first impression new employees get and it factors heavily into company culture. If you want to build a success blog, brand or business on the internet today, you need to make sure you are building a quality and talented team around you.

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