Posts Tagged ‘writing’

How Much Should I Charge For Freelance Blogging?

Friday, April 11th, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a blogger whom I greatly respect about a freelance writing position for a software company’s blog. I checked out the company and felt that I could do a good job writing for them, so we started our negotiation process.


One of the first question that came up was how much do I want (the gig is paid per accepted article). Since I haven’t consulted for a long time, I had to do some homework.

How Much Should I Charge For Consulting Work?

Method 1: Base it off my current job

I could base the freelance blogging rate on my current pay rate, assuming I am happy with the pay rate. However, it’s important not to forget your non-salary benefits, which is usually about 30-50% premium on top of the base pay.

For instance, if my current pay is $20 an hour, my ideal rate would be $30 an hour (after I factor in the 50% to cover my benefits).

Method 2: Base it off the amount I should have been paid at work

Let’s say my current job doesn’t pay me what I think I deserved. I could come up with a freelance blogging rate that I think would be a fair trade for my effort. Then follow the same process above to find out the ideal rate.

Method 3: Base it off the market rate in the industry

May be the current job has nothing to do with the freelancing job, as is the case for me. In this scenario, it’s worthwhile to do a little research to identify the market rate. Some places to start include:

When you find a similar job, make a list and start formulating your rate based on the information you’ve gathered.

Method 4: Base it off my blog income

Since I also blog in my spare time, I have an additional option of calculating the consulting fee based on my blogging income. For example, let’s assume I wrote 20 posts last month and earned $500 for my effort. That’s $25 a post, and I could use that as the starting point.

However, my blog and income level grows from month-to-month, so I could do some kind of projection to make sure that I’ll be paid more from the freelancing gig — at least for a while.

How Much Should I Ask For?

How much you should ask for is not the same as your ideal rate. In my opinion, you should add 25%-50% on top of your ideal rate. This way you have some room to negotiate in case your potential employer wants to play that game.

However, you have to be careful and not go overboard with your asking price…they may never call you back.

More Freelancing Tips

Additionally, here are some great tips I found:

Photo by oooh.oooh via Flickr

Cultivate Your Writing Skills to Improve Your Blog

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

One of my favourite metablogs, Skelliewag, recently published a post saying that, in blogging, your writing style is not as important as your ability to get your ideas across, and that traditional print writing style can be a hindrance in blogging.


Photo by incurable_hippie via Flickr

I think Skellie is half right. Blog writing style is different to the various print writing styles – it’s usually shorter for a start. If you’re writing an informative post, it is more important to be informative, than it is to have great style. Blogging is about communicating first and foremost, and to get started communicating you only need to get your idea across.

On the other hand, if you want to be remembered, in part you need to be distinctive. You need to better than every other mediocre writer with good ideas. You need to find your own voice. And some of the great writing advice you can get will help you find yourself – cutting out the excess and leaving the worthy.

I’m probably the last person to tell you how to write. I don’t think I have a great writing style. I’m not a natural writer. I haven’t taken classes in writing – in fact my last English lesson was when I was 16 years old, and I’ve no intention of starting that up again. But I am making an effort to improve my writing.

I think that my ideas are good, and I want them to be enhanced, not hindered, by my use of language.

The great thing about blogging, is that you tend to do it little and often. Most blogs that are read widely are updated at least once a week. In a given year, you’ve got at least 52 opportunities to incrementally improve your writing skills.

I think the best way of taking advantage of your blogging schedule to improve your writing skills, is to write your post and then edit it. Writing on it’s own, won’t improve your skills, it will only display them as they are. Improving your writing skills, I think, means improving your editing and rewriting skills. Once the ideas are in place, improving and rewriting your language to better communicate those ideas just takes practice.

Although I notice good writing whilst I’m reading, I am not skilled at deconstructing it to find out why the writing style works so well. Although I’m sure that anyone can absorb good writing style by reading widely and reading well, my best resource for trying to improve my own writing is On Writing Well by William Zinsser. This book is pretty much an instruction manual for developing non-fiction writing skills. It explains what works, and why.

One of the features and selling points of my personal finance blog, is that I’m British and part of a small and growing band of non-American personal finance bloggers. I can help maintain this difference, regardless of my topic, by using a British English writing idiom. For this reason, On Writing Well is particularly helpful for me. Even though it’s an American book, it doesn’t rely too heavily on the idioms, style and taste of American English but instead focuses more on the general attributes of good English not peculiar to one country.

Writing is a skill that you need to cultivate to improve your blog, just as you need to cultivate SEO skills, or design skills, or coding skills. Certainly, you can be successful whilst being mediocre at any or all of them if you have great ideas, but you probably wouldn’t be reading Blogthority if you didn’t want to improve your blog.

As part of being the best blogger you can be, why not be the best writer you can be?

30 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block for Bloggers

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

It happens to all of us one time or another. You stare at the blank screen, or perhaps one with a half-written post. You stare until you feel like pulling your hair out….and still nothing. You just crashed head on against writer’s block.

Writer’s Block

Photo by Mayr via Flickr

Hopefully, you have been pacing yourself and haven’t try to post more frequently than you could manage — if you aren’t, I recommend that you read Why Blog Post Frequency Does Not Matter Anymore. Assuming you’re pacing yourself for long-term success, here are some quick ideas:

  1. Don’t write for the day. It’s your blog, why go crazy with imaginary deadlines?
  2. Take a walk
  3. Take a shower
  4. Go to a different room
  5. Go outside of the house
  6. Read a book
  7. Watch TV
  8. Turn on the music
  9. Visit discussion forums in your niche
  10. Surf the web with social media sites — e.g., StumbleUpon,, etc.
  11. Read other blogs
  12. Play out a “what if?” scenario
  13. Debate other people’s posts
  14. Build on other people’s posts
  15. Build on your old posts
  16. Build on reader’s comment
  17. Pick up a meme
  18. Start a meme
  19. Interview other bloggers
  20. Review other web sites in your niche
  21. Observation on the current trend
  22. Observation on the industry
  23. Go through your categories and build top 10 lists. But don’t just link, add something
  24. Do blog search and build themed top 10 lists
  25. Freewriting
  26. Mind mapping
  27. Ask questions
  28. Start a poll
  29. Use notebook instead of a computer so that you can doodle your ideas
  30. Ask for a guest post from your blogging buddies

Here are some more ideas from around the web: