Can You Really Make Money Blogging By Publishing Content On Your Blog? How Much?
If you take a minute to do some research on Quora regarding sponsored posts, you will quickly notice that there are a lot of bloggers asking around how much they can charge for publishing content on their blog.
When you stop and think about it, that’s not really a surprise. Many people start blogging with the main purpose of making money. Others, who have been doing it just for fun in the beginning, now have plenty of opportunities to cash on the audience and authority they’ve been able to build along the way.
With that in mind, the rest of this article will try to answer 3 questions:
- Why bloggers charge for publishing content on their blog?
- What does Google think about guest posting and sponsored content?
- How much can you charge for publishing third-party content?
Why do bloggers charge for publishing content on their blog?
There are a few different reasons why bloggers charge for publishing content on their blog, but the two most common ones are:
- Monetizing their blog.
- Cover time spent on editing and publishing.
As a marketer, I’m not thrilled seeing more and more bloggers tying in a fee with the content publication. Don’t get me wrong, if you are going to publish promotional content, that is a different thing and I take no issue when a blogger requests a fee in this scenario.
However, more and more bloggers charge a fee for non-promotional content too. And I get it. We run a guest contributor program and we spend ~4 hours on average on a guest contributor piece when you count in SEO optimization and creation of custom images. We don’t charge for content, but we do have a set of strict guidelines so we ensure that the contributed content, alongside valuable advice, has a chance of bringing in organic traffic over time.
As a blogger, your “business model” might not directly benefit from higher organic traffic so charging a small fee for publishing content is a viable alternative and an easy way to earn a few bucks. Just don’t call it “administrative fees” for your “time” and then proceed to slap a $500+ publishing fee.
That being said, depending on how you go about this, Google could also have a few things to say.
What does Google think about guest posting and sponsored content?
People that have just started blogging and only read a few articles about link building and guest posting could easily get the impression that Google is against any kind of sponsored content.
That is, off course, not the case. There is one scenario that Google hates and can earn you a penalty: You publish (often mediocre) content with spammy dofollow links or take money to insert a low-quality link in one of your existing blog posts.
Why is that a problem in Google’s eyes? It messes with their algorithm. The number of links a page has is still one of the strongest ranking factors. If someone pays 50 bloggers to link to their page, that page will (at least for a while) rank better than other sources that presumably offer better information on that topic. This is why sites that feature a lot of spammy outgoing links and have poor content have started to receive outbound link penalties.
Some bloggers might think that nofollowing all of their links is the solution. But they couldn’t be more wrong. The first problem of nofollowing all of your outgoing links is that most of the companies reaching out to you will turn away if they can’t get a follow link.
The other “problem” is that nofollowing everything isn’t actually what Google prefers. In 2019., as a part of the Q&A at the end of the Brighton SEO conference, I was listening to Google’s own John Mueller essentially saying how big sites like Forbes and Entrepreneur make their job harder. Those sites nofollow almost everything, and because of that, Google’s algorithm misses them all. That’s a problem because Google would like to count those links in because those are high authority sites and it should matter where they link to.
Anyways, if you want to safely charge for publishing content, your best bet is to insist on content quality, ensure that the contributor isn’t using overly optimized anchor text and that outbound links lead to quality, relevant resources.
What is the average price of sponsored posts?
We’re finally at the juicy part. It’s time to talk about the actual fees.
I’m not going to talk here what you should charge or what you can charge as that is something that needs to be decided on a case to case basis and depends on factors like:
- your niche
- your website authority
- your organic traffic
- your engagement (how many likes/shares/comments your post get)
Instead, I’m going to defer you to the latest research on sponsored posts. As a content marketing/link building agency, we have been in touch with a lot of bloggers and website owners over the last two years. We decide to look at internal data and to see what kind of fees people request on average, based on their niche and website authority.
For more details, take a look at the infographic below.