The Business of Blogging: How Much Should You Be Charging?

Inspired by a conversation I recently had with one of my readers.

It’s been a few years since I had to determine my own pricing structure, but I recently had a reader DM me and ask how they should price out their services; it’s an age-old question for freelancers and I have a version of the answer you could be looking for.

I’ve always disliked the websites that take your stats and churn out a rate based on those numbers. Sure, it’s one way to determine a rate, but the only scenario in which that is useful is if a company gave you a premade photo/ caption to publish on your profile without any effort from you whatsoever. A straight transaction that is simply paying for access to your numbers.

Except that’s not real life and I don’t think anyone should base their value off of surface stats, because your platform is more that that. To post a premade photo and caption would be social sabotage again the one thing that makes you different: your voice. Bloggers work so hard to develop thier voice, and that voice is valuable and is one of the many factors not taken into consideration with online rate calculators.

Start taking notes.

Your rate should be determined by your value, your efforts and your stats.

On the value front, there’s everything behind the scenes. Your relationship with your readers, your voice, the equipment you use to produce content, the level of originality that goes into your posts, your level of professionalism, turnaround for a project, etc.

On the efforts front, if you aren’t sure, let’s walk through a sponsored Instagram post, assuming it’s a campaign that requires (3) submission photos. There’s prepping for the shoot, shooting enough to get 3 options, editing the photos, writing a caption that is both on-brand for your and the company, sending the photos to the brand for approval, possibly having to re-shoot if requested, then replying to the comments after you’ve posted the final image and sending the results of the posts’ performance to the brand a few weeks later.

Maybe in all it takes 5 hours. Now, would you feel valued doing all that work for $125? How about $250?

The hard truth is that if you don’t value yourself at a minimum of $25/hr for what is considered freelance, you probably aren’t ready to be working with brands quite yet, so take some time to focus on your weak points and build them up so you’re empowered by your value.

When you know your worth, you can start to charge accordingly and the best way I learned my value was to stop working for free. Knowing when to say, ‘no’ and to walk away is the fastest way to start getting paid. I believe that we are products of our environment and if we keep surrounding ourselves with free work, how can we ever understand that we’re worth so much more?

My personal opinion is that there’s no such thing as overpricing or underpricing your services because if you think your Instagram posts are worth $500, then they are. As long as you’re not compromising your worth, you’re doing great and the good news is that you can always up your pricing when you’re ready.

If you’re ready to advance your knowledge of the blogging industry and equip yourself with some valuable tools to boost your value, I recommend checking out my e-books here.

My question for you: how did you find out how much to charge for your freelance services?

  • This is a great post Jessica. There is so much mystery around this part of the industry, and its really important to have the conversation for bloggers and brands alike. I would add in that you should just say no when there is little to no budget. Sure, negotiate, but I would say its almost never worth it unless you truly love the product. It’s a lot of work to create content, and you want to stay true to your readers and your own brand.

    Everyone in the industry is still learning, so don’t be afraid to ask for your rate, and don’t be afraid to say no if they can’t meet it.
    Know your worth, and charge accordingly!