Blogger

Are you a Blogger for Hire?

After having to find a good copywriter for a project I have no time to write for myself, it occured to me that maybe there were a few bloggers for hire in the Performancing audience.

Actually, im guessing there’s quite a few. The position was filled, satisfactorily, but I’d really like to know who’s out there for hire, and what your background/experiences being a blogger for hire are.

  • Do you get regular work?
  • How do you find new clients?
  • How do new clients find you?
  • What is the most difficult challenge you face in your work?

So, come on, if you’re for hire, let’s hear about it. No ads please, but do tell us about your experiences being a hired blogger…

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Author: nickw

41 thoughts on “Are you a Blogger for Hire?

  1. I think a lot of paid blogging jobs are not worth the trouble, because they pay too low. But I also think that the quality can vary widely. I know I will make much more of an effort to do a great job writing if I’m being paid a higher price for it. Some blogs are full of errors and poorly written — even occasionally ones that are supposedly professional. Wouldn’t it be better for a company or personality to hire someone to help them, even if it was just editing their blog, taking their idea and making a well-written post that is enjoyable to read? It would be worth the money to hire that done vs. posting poorly written content.

    I know I don’t spend enough time on my personal blog, because it doesn’t pay me. I’d blog more often if I was paid for it. But the rules for blogging still apply: you have to be passionate and knowledgeable about your subject matter to be a good blogger. Even if you’re being paid to do it, I think.

  2. I started blogging for personal reasons: to keep in touch with long distant friends and relatives. Then I added a Q&A blog for my magazine (http://thedabblingmum.com) to host interviews I conduct with authors and entreprenuers. Now I get paid to ghostwrite for blogs and I love it.

    The key is to understand the industry you’re blogging for. Sometimes a post may require a bit of research, sometimes it might mean interviewing someone or referencing another blog’s point of view, and sometimes it might mean obtaining the “okay” to interview someone at the company. Are you posting to help educate people about your industry? Are you posting to entertain and bring a bit of lightheartedness to your company’s image? Are you posting to expand on the products and/or services you sell?

    And finally, do you want to hire the writer to simply write posts and have your marketing team do the marketing of the blog or are you willing to pay extra to have the blogger visit like-minded blogs and post relevant comments, leaving the blog’s url behind in the process?

    What I don’t like when I search for paid blogging gigs, is the idea of paying based on clicks, ad revenue, or the like. I want to be paid a set fee and I want to be paid a month in advance. You pay your webhost without a blink of an eye. You pay your assistant, your shopping cart service and your merchant account. You can pay me.

  3. @cheekui: Now there you go: ghostblogging. Great term! That’s exactly what I’m doing.

    @Daxileo: The key thing is can you write, from my point of view. Spelling mistakes aren’t as bad, say, as poor grammar. But if you can write understandably about topics you enjoy, then that’s a good start.

  4. Even though blogging is still kind of new to me. I’m Interested. Would you hire.. a novice with lots of ideas or opinions to share?

  5. yea, I am a ghost blogger. Maybe I will blog for myself soon. Still can’t find the right topic to talk about yet.
    I am ghost blogging for a problogger about web2.0 and Internet marketing.

  6. Hi

    Blogger trying to break-even

    Just cannot understand why income to blogging is far less in comparison to freelance assignments..

    So stand up and do something dudes..

    Stay well

  7. Okay so I have been away for a while but imagine my surprise when I return to my search feed and find all of the Bloggers For Hire stuff!

    Jim

  8. BTW: When will IE 7 be launched? It might really be worth it to use the launch for a personal ad campaign.

  9. I agree with a lot of the comments left by TCWriter with regards the application of copywriting skills to blogging. Blogging is not only an excellent way of ‘organic’ SEO (I start hitting the top of the UK listings in 51 days) but also for developing the sales process.

    Blogs are a way of developing trust and confidence over time. To do this you need to use your news and information to sell your business without it appearing like an advert – for this you need to apply copywriting skills.

    I think blogging could be the breeding ground for the next generation of copywriters – particualrly considering the collapse of TV and print ad revenue. I started life as a feelance copywriter and swiftly moved into blogging because of the direction I could see the market moving in.

    There might not be many paid opportunities for pro bloggers at the moment but just wait for people to get fed up with short term, fraud ridden pay-per-click and when Internet Explorer 7 launches.

    Its only a matter of time until people start questioning why that new (RSS) button keeps lighting up on their toolbar. When people start using this button to bookmark sites then hold tight because then you will see a mass market explosion in the consumption of news feeds. Then businesses will be crying out for writers who can write engaging, persuasive copy to help sell their products and services.

  10. It’s great to hear there are so many paid bloggers.

    @Brett: As far as I know, Performancing itself isn’t going to be offering jobs but will announce them. So I don’t know if you can call Payperpost.com a competitor, per se.

    An interesting approach to your blogging. As a writer myself, I also maintain many blogs, not because I’m greedy and want to makes lots of money, but because as as technical writer (and aspiring short story writer/ novelist) I have a lot of interests. It also shows your ability to cover a range of topics, in case you get some interesting clients.

  11. I’m a blogger for hire but haven’t accepted any work yet… I’ve been approached a couple of times to blog professionally for small Australian companies, but as yet I haven’t been able to strike an appropriate balance between pro blogging and my other projects.

    I started and still run Camarilla, Australia’s indy fashion blog, and run my own self-branded personal blog. Pro blogging is something I’m keen to do, but at the moment it’s hard to balance pro blogging, my own blogging, my study and full-time day job!

    I’m hoping to crack the freelance blog hire market and take on some fun, casual pro blogging gigs.

    A blog hire database would be awesome guys! There’s definitely a market for it… I’ve actually got http://www.blogwork.com.au registered and was planning a similar database specific to Australia – but hey, there’s no way I’ve got time for another project!

  12. I am a blogger for hire!

    It doesn’t pay the bills yet, but my earnings are growing every month rather rapidly.

    Recently, I started writing paid blogs through PayPerPost.com (which might be a competitor of Performancing at some point in time). They offer a market place for bloggers and advertisers to come together. Some of this is pure advertisement and linkbacks. I tend to shy away from most of these, but do throw in a few, if the product is something I’m interested in or would write about anyway. I figure that I’m creating a more relevant article and advertisement than Adsense could generate through a bot and at the end of the day the reader gets a better experience. Many of my solicited write ups are more of the review type. I dig into the aspects of the product, service etc. and provide my insights.

    As I’ve previously worked for large electronic equipment designers and distributors, I’ve often worked on the other side of the fence, where we hired freelance writers to do write ups in the trade magazines or even in national magazines or newspapers.

    I see my current work blogging as a direct extension of this type of freelance writing. I write enough fresh (unpaid) content to keep my readers and myself happy, and I blend in additional articles.

    I find that the paid incentive, keeps me fresh with my blog interest, keeps me working, keeps me thinking, and most importantly keeps me posting!

    I differ from many bloggers in the fact that I maintain several blogs on many different topics. Some view this as a foul, but for me my interests and experience are all over the place, and this allows me to stay fresh and on top of all of my interests whether its electronics, software, creative writing, comedy, Tax Law, or Distribution Chain Analysis or more. For me, this feels like I run my own virtual newspaper, and so when a topic comes up that fits in one of my blogs, I write it. At the same time, if a paid offer comes up, I’m more likely to find a good blog home for that topic and target the most appropriate audience.

    The biggest challenge I see with this type of thing is the lack of sophistication of some advertisers. They often set their requirements that will include a link or picture or other art work. They will often not allow any alteration of this material(for very good reasons), however, they often will require links that are the obvious sort with http:// this that or the other thing as opposed to a link embedded in a tag within the words or embedded in a clickable image. I have had to turn down some offers, when the advertiser in the marketplace had unknowingly established requirements that if I followed them would degrade the perceived quality of my own ability to write a blog.

    But hey its a new industry and I do think it will take off!

  13. Excellent advice, Raj!
    The win-win-win situation is often overlooked because we don’t exercise that extra amount of effort which is required. I must make more effort to go that extra inch always…

    @ Nick, Raj:
    The catgories look good. Somewhat ‘spread out’ if I may say so… How about simply “Blogging for Hire”?

    Just a suggestion…

    Regards,
    Shri.

  14. @markus: I guess it depends. Yes, it’s very hard to work with small businesses because the owners don’t always understand the processes involved. But given my wonderful experience in the past with PR, I’d have to say I’d rather work for the IT department in any company.

    @anyone: Given that, though, what happens online? Nick has suggested a lot of great categories, and I’m hoping that people on both sides of the future bargaining table have at least an inkling at how business is done. I’ve had some very successful dealings with people I’ve met at Perf here, but primarily because we both understand that we have to get something out of the transaction.

    Rappaport, a French statistician, once said that the universe is really win-win-win, and that he could prove it mathematically. So for every transaction you make in life, strive to make sure that not only do both parties win, but so does the rest of humanity. You think that doesn’t apply to blogging? Reflect a bit, and I think you’ll see the answer – but it has to come from you. I can’t explain it.

  15. Performancing Exchange WILL happen. And with a bit of luck, it will happen today or tomorrow…

    Just waiting to hear back from a couple of guys, but in the meantime, can we talk about categories? I was thinking

    bloggers for hire
    bloggers wanted
    blogs for sale
    blogs wanted
    designers/others for hire
    designers/other wanted

    thoughts?

  16. @TCwriter: Great statement!

    My take on blogging (from the perspective of a 20+ year copywriter) is that writers will do a lot better pitching, building and running blog projects for their clients as opposed to simply renting their fingers.

    Offer the whole thing and not just some text paid by lines. Proof that you can do it by having your own successful blogs. If some executive comes and tells you that the IT department will do all the technical stuff, don’t accept that offer. As a web savvy blogger you will be able to be the senior project leader.

    @Raj: Being bound to the PR department isn’t as bad as it sounds. All PR departments I know have direct access to the managing boards. It would be worse to be organized in the mail department πŸ™‚

    In little companies it’s the same. As you are doing company communication the boss is your contact.

    A frustrating example:

    When I was doing the marketing for a photo agency I was doing advertising, christmas postcards, press releases and my personal baby, the company blog. Frustrating was always the same question by Mr. and Mrs. Boss : When will the next press release be delivered? There wasn’t that much content to be delivered as a press release πŸ™‚ But instead I published two or three email newsletters a week about new pictures (linking to the blog and to an online photo database) and also re-published the news on the company blog which had great traffic from the web and created two to five new clients every month. Links to articles and to the company picture database where spreading all over the web – recommended by real users and used by real clients.

    They just didn’t get it – they not alone ignored the success, they closed the blog! Today they don’t even have a good website.

    The boss used to manage another company which also has a website. The homepage was a user/password dialog. Can you imagine that? That’s real life πŸ™

  17. So, what this essentially means is that Blogging will move from a necessary routine to a creative job. But, wasn’t that the whole idea in the first place?

    Consider this, Blogging was initially a fun thing to do. Then it became the in-thing to do. And then it became the must-thing to do. Now, it’s on the verge of becoming the one-thing to do.

    How long before it becomes passe?

    Off the Track (?)

    Then again, Blogging has evolved into many forms. From Wikis to Writeboards to online Documents. Each step was merely a minor adjustment to the first. The basic fact never changed (IMHO) Only, the position of comments changed. How long can we sustain this growth?

    Well, for one thing I believe, Blogs will continue to exist as long as there are online users; somewhat like email. But, where do we go from here? To quote some of my own words πŸ˜‰

    “Think of Web 2.0 as the next generation of the Web. The first generation could only speak. This generation of the Web can hear as well. It is up to us to use both these faculties and hold a meaningful conversation.”

    Regards,
    Shrikant Joshi

  18. I have yet to find a blogging gig that pays as well as my freelance copywriting work. Still, it’s an interesting market, and rather than let others control my destiny, I’ve started pitching blog projects to selected clients.

    At this point I have few answers and clients are unsteady on the concept of a blog’s ROI. But then, many are also starting to waver on the concept of yet another $8,000 ad placement in a trade rag.

    I think blogging’s about to “happen” for a lot of companies. In a couple years, I expect it could provide a significant revenue stream for smart, response-oriented writers.

    My take on blogging (from the perspective of a 20+ year copywriter) is that writers will do a lot better pitching, building and running blog projects for their clients as opposed to simply renting their fingers.

    It’s your vision, and the value you bring to the project goes far beyond the vowels and consonants. The technology is cheap, relatively easy and getting better fast – why let others decide how much you get paid?

  19. Barry Bell of wurk.net, who’s been MIA for months (where are you Barry?) said something similar to what Brian and others have said above. If I’m not misrepresenting him, I believe he said that blogging will move from a PR type of job to expand to include good, passionate writers in general. (Sort of what Ahmed said.)

    Consider this. When I went back to university in 1991, the Internet was just starting to be used in select institutions. I cut out of my master’s early and went to do technical writing for a company with one of the very first search engines, for which I later became the first official webmaster. Believe it or not, at the time, webmastering was believed by many companies to by the domain of the PR department because it was their public face. A lot of companies did this, and many still do.

    So if you expect to blog for a company, don’t be surprised if PR has their fingers in – especially in a big company. Little companies? Mmm, not so much.

  20. I highly recommend David (contact me for info). He’s fast, smart (he was actually a lawyer before become a writer) and can make any copy sing. He stays pretty busy as a writer/consultant, but if he has time, he’s the guy to call. I use him every chance I can.

  21. Once businesses can get some sense of a ROI from a really great blog, you’ll see the pay improving. For instance, people will happily pay me $10,000 to write a sales letter or static website, since they know they will make 10, 20, or 100 times that back.

    When real businesses realize that a blog can sell even more due to the relationship and value-added aspect, you’ll see the pay for top bloggers going way up.

  22. I blog about travel and recreation for the BlogHer.org site. I love it and I get a stipend. (Note, the site is separate from the conference.)

    Do you get regular work?

    My only regular blogging gig is BlogHer. I write for other sites and publications, but they don’t really fill the “blog” format. My bread and butter work is contract tech writing and writing consumer content about digital media/lifestyle stuff.

    How do you find new clients?

    Lately, they come to me, which is cool, but I respond to a lot of ads and some of them pan out. I have a couple of RSS feeds that list increasing numbers of gigs for bloggers.

    How do new clients find you?

    Via BlogHer or my own blog. Or, as above. Also, work attracts work. The power of networking, and all that.

    What is the most difficult challenge you face in your work.

    SO many sites want bloggers to write exchange for traffic and links. Every now and then, if I have something pretty much done that fits the model of what a site is looking for, I’ll give away a short entry. But I don’t make a habit of writing for free and the more I work as a professional writer, the more this practice angers me. A Very Large Software Company asked me to blog for them and I found this infuriating. It’s not like they’re Mercy Corps or some organization that does charity work. They’re a Very Large Software Company. A-hem. Just yesterday, I stumbled over a listing for bloggers posted by a Rather Well Known Publication that wants to pay in “praise and traffic.” And often, you have to dig for this information. I don’t think companies will stop asking for free bloggers, but I do wish they state their no compensation model up front.

    Also, I tend to like more words than typical blog formats go for. I’m an essayist by nature, I like to write about 1200 word pieces and I find distilling an experience down to 400 words is really challenging. It’s good for me, but it IS hard. I recently wrote a restaurant piece that I had to get down to 600 words and it just about killed me. I really suffered through that. I’m sure it makes me a better writer, but wow, do I have to work for it.

  23. I have replaced my previous employment’s income with this hobby. I post entries and give reviews about sites, products and more. In return I get paid by paypal. Being a mom of 7, a 9-5 is hard to keep. To make matters more difficult, I have one child that has ADD and another with autism.

    Many people criticize getting paid to blog, but it pays my bills. I am always honest. I write about my experiences and I get paid.

    A win-win situation for me!

  24. Nick, I will take that as an ‘honest’ compliment. πŸ™‚

    Actually, I am myself in two minds about how to do it.

    The current plan that I have proposed, involves a dedicated blogger (myself :D) and infrequent-yet-regular, dedicated inputs from other Teams like SEs, Design, etc. Let’s see how it develops. I think this might work. The only hindrance is getting the others to agree.

    A dedicated Blogging job seems like manna from the heaven now… πŸ˜€

    Regards,
    Shri.

  25. I’ve been asked to blog on various niche travel blogs, but to be honest, the money they were offering, wasn’t enough for me to get out of bed in the morning.

    Most companies want next to nothing for what I think is a specialist travel industry, and well I want to be valued for the time and effort that I put into my blogs entries — so now I concentrate on my own travel blog

  26. I think PR should stay the hell away. I’ve yet to meet anyone in PR (bar you Shikrant heh..) who knows buggerall about it.

    There are a ton of PR folks that think they know all about blogging, but that’s not the same thing.

    I would not hire a dedicated blogger, but would do one of two things:

    1. Pick someone from the ranks with a flair for blogging (must have a great personal blog)
    2. Make it a group blog and have someone just coordinate and edit it (hey, maybe pr could do something useful after all….)
  27. As a part of my job, I research the current trends on the Web and report the same back.

    Along the way I fell in love with Blogging. Simply because, I got a chance to make my voice heard.

    Sadly, here in India a Blogging job is a *part* of the larger picture, its just another activity along with other PR & Corp. Comm. activities. And not many are ‘qualified’ enough to do that.

    The result: a badly maintained blog, with sporadic content, often lacking in quality as well.

    What do you guys think? Should an organization hire a dedicated Blogger, who posts content on a regular basis, or should the Corp. Comm. team handle it as a prt of its activities?

  28. Nick – maybe a quick beta version (in which you pick out two or three bloggers from Performancing and hook them up with either some of your own projects or for people you know) would be a better idea.

    People – listen to Raj’s advice I’d like to add to it though…

    There are 3 main things that can make you a successful blogger:

    1) A passion to write

    2) A passion for your subject

    3) Knowledge about how to make blogging ‘work’ (i.e. everything problogger, performancing and copyblogger teaches)

    I’m not an expert, but any success that I’ve had in blogging (Soccerlens is the prime example here) can be attributed to these 3 points.

    Of course, being a blogger for hire often means that you don’t have to worry about the day-to-day running of the site (hopefully they have someone else to manage that) and can focus on writing.

    Looking forward to see something like this take shape at Performancing.

  29. There are a number of ways we could do this, it would be interesting to have your views on ways you would or would not want it implementing. Just as an idea, one site I used to regularly visit allowed you to tick certain boxes in your user profile that said (in this context) “looking for blogging work” “looking for bloggers” and you could list all users where one or the other was marked true. Then there is the directory route, and then there is the “bulletin board” classified listings/craigslist type … etc

  30. wow, looking forward to that, Nick. It would be an incredible resource. I’ll hold off on my bloggers + jobs database then.

  31. I was just idly thinking about something that a few have mentioned over the last year — performancing exchange — bloggers for hire, blogs needing bloggers, buy/sell blogs etc etc..

    we’re probably in the best position to do something like that right now…

  32. Thank you Raj Dash for your tips. I think I will consider them. Right now, I am starting to launch my two personal blogs with some Internet related articles. One of them is English written and the other one is portuguese. They are not repeating the contents because they aim different targets. I already had some small tries but sometimes lazyness, sometimes demotivation have ended them. At this stage I am very committed in blogging, and one thing I realized is that I have to start slower, because when we start posting a lot and we are excited, we will sooner get tired.
    I also have a protuguese blog contest related that has a few hundred views a day, but there I am not enhancing my writing skills. I am just listing a variety of contests and promotions for the portuguese population and again, I am willing to give up of this last one because I don’t see the results in terms of clicking on the ads. But I’m trying to resist, I will keep it and use it for the promotion of other services I am working on, becaus there I already have a base of regular visitors and maybe subscribers (I’m not tracking the feeds subscriptions πŸ™ )

    About the database, that is a neat idea. You could have an open market for bloggers. something like elance, but for bloggers. A place where people could advertise their writing skills and publishers could go there and pick one or a few.

  33. Must say I am very excited to have landed a full time job running a blog and online magazine for Australia’s largest Holistic magazine “LivingNow”. Will be a while before it’s up and running, but all very fun already.

    Started running my own blog The Contemporary Taoist, which lead to a monthly national print column of the same name, and now the above (super cool) job!

    Alright!

  34. I blog for Lifehack.org, and it’s mostly because I believe in the life hacking ethos. I don’t make money, but I get lots of access to wonderful and interesting people. I was throwing about 7 posts a day there for a while, but I’ve scaled back to one a day, plus work on answering correspondence from commenters and from linkers.

    For free.

    But I certainly generate enough quality content to be useful to someone looking to hire a blogger.

    Not counting Calcanis’s Digg-to-Netscape offer, though, what are people making to blog?

  35. Nick, this a great idea. Are you building a database? There seem to be a few attempts out there to build small lists of bloggers for hire, but it sure would be nice for publishers to have a full, free list, and a free place for writers to promote themselves.

    If you are not already planning to do so, I’m more than happy to host a blogger database on a subdomain, with no ads. (I’ve already setup my own private sample article bank on another subdomain.)

    @Sergio, and other aspiring bloggers who feel their writing isn’t ready to be paid for yet:

    (1) Read some of the ultra-popular blogs and figure out what they’re doing, in terms of writing style. Probably posting short articles, more often than not, right?

    (2) It’s much harder to write a short article packed with the same info than a longer article. So start by writing lots of longer movie, TV show, music, book, etc., reviews for yourself (or not), without publishing them. Start at about 300-400 words, then edit them mercilessly down to 150-200 words per review. Then change your topic to whatever interests you: food, cars, gadget.

    Your style will develop, but you have to start somewhere.

  36. I want to be a professional blogger. That’s one of my goals. I could try to get some jobs as a blogger for hire, but I’m not quite sure how can I do that. I think I first have to get better on my writing skills and also on my English (assuming I want to be hired to english written blogs) and mostly I need to advertise any of my writings.

    So, I have no experience, Id on’t know where can I find clients. I know where they can find me

    I’m willing to see other people’s answers to that, maybe I’ll have some tips.

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