When Can I Start Charging For Blog Posts?
Update May 2020: Please note that this was a few years ago and I am not really blogging so much these days. Survey and sign up links no longer work, but the crux of the information remains the same regarding timing.
When can I start charging for blog posts?
How much should I be charging for blog posts?
How much can I get for an Instagram pic?
I ONLY have 1,000 followers
I ONLY have 10,000 followers
My engagement is really high, but I only have 5,000 followers
Brands don’t want to pay
Brands only want to give me product in exchange for posts
Where can I find networks?
How do I approach a brand?
Who do I approach?
Where do I find the contact info?
I was rejected by a network
and the list goes on…
Charging for Blog Posts and Influencer Campaigns
The questions and statements above are something I’m seeing more and more of everyday. I’ve gotten dozens of messages from influencers and bloggers after sharing some comments in a private forum and others seeing this video I put up online. (I should mention video makes me cringe, but I built a bridge and got over it for fourteen seconds because this means THAT much to me.)
Repeat after me: My worth is not determined by my numbers.
Trash the formulas, please!
There are websites out there with formulas that proclaim to tell you what you’re worth. UN-bookmark them. If you must join them to bring in an income, please do not let them define you. Yes, there are times you won’t get the gig because your numbers don’t meet a criterion. Don’t worry about it.
Your worth is not determined solely by your follower counts. Your engagement, the quality of your accounts, your time and your authenticity are more important. My readership has grown since I started posting my blog income reports and I can tell you I have done a $2,000 blog campaign (two posts and some social media shares) with less than 10,000 readers. I did a $700 post with about 25,000 readers. I’ve gotten $250 for Instagram posts – more than once. I had under 3,500 followers at the time. On average I get about $100-$150. On Twitter I’ve been paid up to $150 for a Tweet. Facebook is the same, though I don’t’ concentrate on this social forum as much as the others.
The Smart Brands
The smart brands know that your worth cannot be measured in follower counts. They understand the power-middle and micro-influencers have a meaningful reach and loyal audiences. They know some people buy followers. They know you can have 1,000 followers who care and engage or 20,000 and your accounts are *crickets*. I repeat: THE SMART BRANDS know. The smart brands know to respect you as a creator. They value your time and they understand that what you are doing requires actual work. Those are the brands you want to work with. Let me remind you that as you ask yourself, “When can I starting charging for blog posts?” or “How much should I charge for an Instagram photo?” IF YOU DO NOT VALUE YOURSELF, YOUR TIME AND YOUR WORK NEITHER WILL THEY. Remember that. They’ll shortchange you if you let them.
Where to Start
Because of all the messages I have received I sent out a survey asking influencers and bloggers what they want to know. Once I receive all the answers, I will publish it so others can see they are most definitely not alone. I’ve written a few blog posts I’m including below on where to get started. As for how many followers you have to have, each network will vary. Most will tell you up front. If they don’t have a set of guidelines it most likely means they don’t have a minimum. But you want to know more, right?
Not another course
Soooo…I’m writing a course. (May 2020: No longer doing this)
When I started blogging I had NO idea what monetization was. I didn’t know about affiliate marketing. I didn’t know squat. I took $20 for blog posts and heck, I wrote reviews (with really bad photos) for things like shave soap without so much as product for a giveaway. I don’t want to see anyone else doing these things to earn their stripes. I’ve worked for a $15 Billion a year global brand. I’ve worked for an influencer company. I am a blogger. I am an influencer. I have an almost 14-year background in directing best-in-class marketing campaigns and events. I have some inside scoops and I want to help. Based upon the feedback I’m getting and the survey results I’m reading, there is a lot of information out there, but you still want the blanks filled in. I’m going to fill them. I’m not only going to tell you to contact brands, but how to contact them and what to pitch. I’m not going to give you just an outline. I’m going to give you real examples that have worked for me. I’m not in this to hide from people or dangle a carrot with half information then tell you to figure the rest out yourself. COMMUNITY OVER COMPETITION. If you’d like to receive one notification email when the course becomes available, May 2020: please sign up here (link no longer valid). I will send only ONE email. In the meantime…
Where do you start?
I’ve written a handful of posts on blogging and monetization. You can always click the Blogging Tab, but I’m putting them below so they’re all in one place. Remember what works for some won’t work for others. I love certain networks that others don’t. Some people love other networks that I don’t like. Experiment for yourself. If you’re declined by one, move on to the next.
- Start here: Why You Shouldn’t Work for Free
- My media kit and rate sheet can be found here. I update these about once a month.
- Five places to start monetizing
- Five more places to start monetizing
- About giveaways
- Brands vs. Bloggers
- The Power Middle
- Why the Power Middle is Crushing Kim K
- Micro-Influencers on Instagram
I hope these resources help and most of all I hope to change the conversation from “When can I start charging for blog posts?” to “I’m starting right now.”
And again, you can sign up here to receive an email when my e-Course becomes available. Of course, I’d love connect on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, too. Tag me so I can follow you back!