"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

This Little Piggy Goes to Market! (Or how to evaluate a good blog gig)


Last year, when I landed a blog gig that boasted 100 bucks monthly for 300-word posts, I was tickled pink. Easy money I thought to myself.

Not only did this project seem exciting and effortless, scoring it, along with my other “regular” blogging clients, meant I could save time and angst from scouring weekly job boards and networking feverishly for potential leads.

But my joy was short lived. Not long after accepting this job, I realized that not all blogging gigs are created equally. This one took much more time than I had anticipated due to the client’s unreasonable requests. And in retrospect, I lost more than I gained by taking it.

But here’s one valuable thing I did take away: knowing what to look for and what to expect in a blog job will enhance your experience and your bottom line.

Blog listings are increasingly abundant on Craigslist, Freelance Writing Jobs, Blogging Pro, and Pro Blogger.net, to name a few. But what should you look for in “reading the fine print?” What makes for a profitable pursuit?

Gleaned from my blogging career, and some trial and error, here are a few things you need to consider in assessing a blog job offer or Ad:

1. The scope of your responsibility
This may seem like a no-brainer, but trust me, it isn’t. In other words, will you be required to do research? Will you have to make your posts Search Engine Optimized? Provide your own topics? These are things to consider. $50.00 per post may seem like a lot initially, but if the subject matter requires extensive research, tech troubles, and red tape, you’ll end up with very little earnings for your efforts.

2. The amount of expertise required
Some blog jobs call for you to know different content management systems to post your own work (i.e Wordpress, Scrives, Blogger); with others, the blog owner does the actual posting upon approval. Additionally, some projects require you to provide your own photos, to be versed in things like anchor texting and social media. Make sure to be compensated equitably for your skill sets and your time. Just like you would in corporate America.

3. The method of payment
Will it be based upon performance metrics, like per clicks? Readership levels? Readers’ votes? Or perhaps per post? Per word? Be clear on the terms and how you‘ll collect your pay. If it’s vague, steer clear.

4. What’s the standing of the blog and its owner?
Is it a highly ranked site? Is it updated regularly? Popular within its niche? Many ad placements? Any bulletin board complaints? These tell-tale signs will determine how successful it is and the likelihood of future pay. For instance, I blogged for one client for a couple of weeks who decided to “close shop” because things were not materializing the way he had expected. If I had done my homework, I might have known of his struggles to stay afloat and irregular postings, and devoted my energies elsewhere. As they say, “time is money.”

5. Interaction with audience
Creating blog posts can also carry with it the pleasant but time consuming task of responding to readers and answering related questions. Will you be allowed to make a general statement of “thanks”, bypass commenting, or are you expected to address each one individually? Depending upon your time constraints and personal blogging style, this may or may not be a concern.

Like with any job, the proper “fit” is important for longevity, success, and career satisfaction. So keep these tips in mind to make the most of your blogging experience, and to make the most money for your efforts.

Comments or questions?

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10 comments:

  1. very interesting indeed. I was just thinking yesterday of looking into blog gigs...this post came at just the right time!

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  2. Hi melody-mae,

    Do it, girl! Now's the time--could earn you some extra holiday shopping cash! Make sure to take pictures. :-) Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts today.

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  3. I all but gave up looking for paid blogging gigs because most did not pan out for many of these reasons. I am ready to delve back in, but carefully. These are great things that I need to keep in mind as I search. Thanks, Jen! Have a great weekend!

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  4. Stick to it, Karen. There's light @ the end of the tunnel. lol

    Good to hear from you, as always.

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  5. Jennifer, points well taken. I used to write for an early childhood publication. I could whip out an article in no time, and then, a new editor took over and changed guidelines. I spent more time and effort on the last article than all of the others put together. Wasn't worth it.

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  6. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 6, 2011 at 6:39 AM

    Linda,

    "Don't it make your brown eyes blue?" :-)

    Thanks for your valuable feedback.

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  7. These are great tips! I hadn't consider looking for blog jobs before becasue of these risks, but now you have me thinking about it :)

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  8. Thanks, J.A., wishing you much success!

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  9. Jennifer:
    Thank you for sharing this information. I have wondered about this type of writing. Now, when and if I pursue a blog-job. I'll have your advice to guide me.

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  10. Hi quietspirit,

    I'm pleased it provided useful info for you.
    It's good to see you back today. :-)

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