On Tuesday, I was talking on Twitter about how I’m at the point with my blog where I could afford to take it part time, which is great. Amazing, in fact! But on the flip side, I’m not comfortable with the risk. Especially just as we’re planning on moving out, just as I’m managing to clear my student overdraft etc.
I was talking to a few other bloggers about it, both publicly on Twitter and in DMs and (thankfully) there were a few in the same position as me. So, it’s good to know I’m 1. Not alone and 2. Not being a wuss.
It is 100% my aim to take my blog full time at some point. And I know there will always be a reason not to, that I have to “take the leap” eventually etc. I’d just prefer to do that at a more financially stable time. Because, as much as I’m making more money off my blog by the month, it’s still not enough and I still don’t know for certain if it will stay that way.
The best thing about this conversation, however, was the conversation that came after it.
I posted the following tweet (and subsequent thread), and my notifications slowly exploded.
Question: why do you think a lot of bloggers/freelancers etc don’t talk about fees/how much they charge? (Meant as a discussion just FYI)
— Rhianna 🌸 (@rhiannaoliviab) June 27, 2017
I’ve never really been overly shy about talking money. If someone asked me my wage, I wouldn’t have an issue with telling them. I wouldn’t ever ask or expect anyone else to tell me their earnings, because I know it can be a touchy subject for some, but personally it’s never bothered me.
Until I started blogging.
I don’t know what it is, but I don’t always feel comfortable with discussing what I charge for sponsored content. I guess it’s partly because I don’t want to be “judged” for either under or over charging, but also because I don’t want to come across as bragging about being paid? Which, let’s be honest, is just downright stupid.
I decided then and there (then and there meaning when I was effectively talking to myself about all this via a Twitter thread) that I was going to open a conversation about how much people charged for sponsored blog content. I wanted a real discussion, with real advice and real opinions because, let’s be honest, they’re hard to come by sometimes.
I want to be as open as possible with all my followers, and I think a lot of people (myself included) struggle with knowing what to charge for anything blog related.
So, I asked the question.
Going on from this, how much (roughly) would you tend to charge for a sponsored blog post? (1/2)
— Rhianna (@rhiannaoliviab) 27 June 2017
(Just in case something goes wrong with the embedded tweet above, it shows that out of around 700 people who answered the poll, 55% charge under £100 for a blog post. 28% charge £100-£299, 9% charge £300-£599 and 8% charge £600+.)
For clarity’s sake, I want to say that I always work on a case-by-case basis when charging people for sponsored content. But, as an idea, I usually charge between £200 and £500 for a sponsored post. (And I want to really emphasise, this depends on a LOT of different factors.) On the flip side, I will also drop to less (although, it would have to be very special for me to go under £100) and also often go above, but I would say the £200-£500 is my average.
In terms of social media, I charge, on average, £100-£300 for an Instagram post. Which is a lot more than I am offered on social collaboration apps like Takumi, where I’m only offered £40-£50. One to think about.
(I also want to emphasise that a lot of my brand collaborations are generally not paid. I’m making it sound like every post I do means I get a minimum of £200 in the bank, which is not the case! I am always clear and open about which posts are sponsored, which just include gifted items and which are totally off my own back and I hope you guys know that!)
To put it into context, I have around 30k followers across social media, see anywhere between 20k and 40k pageviews per month and anywhere between 5k and 10k unique users a month. I’m not the biggest and I’m not the smallest. Somewhere happily in the middle, I’d like to think!
A lot of people tweeted me asking to write a blog post about what they should charge for sponsored content.
And, honestly? I would LOVE to. But it’s just not physically possible.
The thing with what people “should” be charging for sponsored blog and social media content, is that a magic number doesn’t exist. It’s totally personal based on what that person is comfortable charging, how many social media followers they have, what their blog statistics are like, how much content they’re offering, if they’ve had any experience in sponsored content before and SO MUCH MORE.
So, sorry to those people that asked for that, but it’s just too complicated to say “you should charge this”. I personally don’t think anyone should go below £75-£100 unless they’re VERY small in terms of statistics and followings, but that’s just my personal opinion. I don’t anything under that is worth it, when you factor in the time spent on a blog post, regardless of the size of the blogger.
What I can advise, is don’t sell yourself short. I was messaging a few people during this Twitter thread and most of them told me I was underselling and should charge more. Which, I had always worried about but never known for sure. It’s given me the push to raise my fees as and when I can.
What I can also advise is talk to people if you feel comfortable doing so. If you don’t want to talk about money, that’s FINE. SO fine. But if you do want to discuss it, I think it would really help a lot of people if others were more open about it. Don’t be ashamed that you’re making money because it’s AMAZING. So many people now are blogging, social media-ing, youtube-ing and making it into careers. It should be something to be shouting about from the rooftops if you ask me!
Lastly, I would always advise having an up-to-date media kit. (I wrote a post on what to include in one, and I’m planning on updating it over the next few weeks as well.) It means you have a set record of your statistics, followings etc and proof of your strengths. AKA, why you charge whatever you charge. I find when I send my media kit alongside an email, brands are often more open to payment.
Now, obviously, I’m not going to be sharing how much I charge for every single collaboration every time I do one. Mainly because I don’t feel comfortable from a client/brand point of view to be sharing out THEIR rates. But I am going to be more open with rough ideas of what I charge, moving forward.
I’m sorry if this post wasn’t necessarily filled with all the answers that you were looking for, but if you’re still stuck on what to charge and want to talk about it, there are some GREAT links, resources and methods mentioned in that giant Twitter thread.
As an example, work out how many hours you’ll be working on the collaboration, go a little bit above the minimum wage per hour and factor in other costs. Sophie did a fantastic post about charging for blog and social media collaborations, Michelle also did a really great post that had some actual figures in.
If you know of any articles/blog posts on this topic that you’ve found helpful, please leave them in the comments so others can read. And you’re always welcome to DM me on Twitter, or even give me an email, if you want some advice a little more privately! I’m not an expert, but I’ll certainly try help.
We can break this weird stigma against making money from blogging if we really want to. And I’m totally up for being a little more transparent about it if you are.