The recent discussion about how much money bloggers make prompted a comment that intrigued me. Miranda Marquit wrote to say that most of her income comes from blogging for companies who want regularly updated blogs but don't have time to write them themselves. I asked her a few questions about how it works:
How do you find clients?
Job boards from mediabistro.com to Problogger have job listings seeking bloggers. I found most of my clients by applying after seeing a listing on a job board. However, I got my job writing for GFT Forex through a networking connection. How much do they pay?
Most of mine pay per post. My Banks.com mortgage blog is a good example of that. Some companies pay as little as $5 per post (but I don't work for them) and others pay as much as $60 per post, depending on what is involved and how much research and time you are expected to put in, as well as how much you are expected to do in terms of marketing. Other companies (and blogging networks, like b5 Media, where I have my Yielding Wealth blog) pay a flat rate per post and then offer bonuses for page views. Other companies pay a flat monthly rate and expect a minimum number of posts. My AllBusiness Personal Finance Corner blog is an example of this. It is such a new way of doing things that, in a lot of ways, the norms are still being worked out. On average, though, it works out to be around $20 per post for me.
Can you support yourself financially this way? Roughly how much do you make?
It is possible to make money blogging for others. I actually make around $50,000 a year blogging for others. What are the financial benefits of blogging for others versus starting your own blog? I imagine there is less time spent on marketing and outreach.
The biggest advantage to blogging for others is that there is a steady income. You know how much you are going to make each month, since it doesn't depend on revenue sharing or page views. It is still important to do some promotion, though, because if you aren't increasing page views or search engine rankings, then the company will let you go. But, usually, you have others who are willing to help with the marketing. And you don't always have to come up with topics, since there will be instances when the company will have something specific in mind for a post.
The downsides are that sometimes you have to be restrained in what you say and deal with compliance issues. Also, if you bring in a lot of page views, but your contract is negotiated per post, you do not have the ability to bring in more [cash].
Can you give advice to people interested in blogging for others? Is there a minimum amount they should accept per blog post and are there any red flags to be aware of?
Really, it's so new and there are so many companies and blogging networks out there that it is hard to say. The best thing to do is figure out what you are comfortable with and to make sure that the company is reputable. You don't want to do a lot of work and then not get paid.