There are two different kinds of blogs: One where the owner writes all the content, and another where it’s completely outsourced.
The latter option usually results in much more rapid growth because:
1. You’re able to publish much more content every month.
2. You can spend time on other parts of the blogging business like marketing and growth.
For me, I prefer outsourcing everything as well. I still love to write. And I love the idea of having a personal blog.
However, for turning a blog into a business, I believe the best formula is to act as the CEO, not the sole writer.
At my job, I have worked with hundreds of freelance writers for various different topics. And in this post, I’m going to break down how much writers cost (in each industry) and how much that can add up to when you’re growing a blog.
How much do writers cost?
Hiring freelance writers can range between $0.03 per word all the way up to $1 per word. Higher than that is very rare. $0.03 per word is on the low end, and $1 per word is on the extremely high end.
On average, you will find that most freelance writers’ rates fall in the $0.05 per word to $0.30 per word range.
How much they charge (and how much you should pay) depends on many factors, such as experience, skill, and industry.
For example, to hire a talented writer in the hobbies or lifestyle industries, you would normally pay between $0.03 per word and $0.10 per word.
But to hire a talented writer in the marketing or personal finance industry, you would normally pay between $0.15 per word and $0.30 per word.
This is because industries like marketing and personal finance industry are more specialized and competitive. Writers require practical experience and knowledge in that industry for the articles to accurate and high quality. It’s difficult to write a high quality article on those topics through research alone. You can for some articles, but not for most.
How much does growing a blog cost given the listed rates above?
This section has to do with content production volume.
How many articles are you going to assign per week?
For most blogs, I like to start out at a minimum of 3. For more aggressive sites, I’ve gone all the way up to 30 per week. That’s 120 articles each month!
But at minimum, especially if your blog is brand new, you want to be publishing at least 3 per week. If you publish less than that, you’re going to seriously decrease your chances of growing quickly. You want to hit a wide range of keywords quickly, and establish a certain theme on your site quickly.
By theme, I mean: “What is your site about?” or more importantly… “What does Google think your site is about?”
So let’s say that you publish 3 articles per week.
If you pay $0.05 per word, and your average article is 1000 – 1500 words long, you’ll pay around $50 – $75 per article. At 3 articles per week, that’s $150 – $225 per week. Which equals $600 – $900 per month.
If you pay $0.15 per word, given the same article length, you’ll pay $150 – $225 per article. At 3 articles per week, that’s $450 – $675 per week. Which equals $1800 – $2700 per month.
If you pay $0.30 per word, given the same article length, you’ll pay $300 – $450 per article. At 3 articles per week, that’s $900 – $1350 per week. Which equals $3600 – $5400 per month.
Now these costs are starting to get huge.
And it’s the reason why it’s difficult to grow a large publication in the more expensive industries so difficult. You need a huge budget!
Let’s say that you publish 7 articles a week.
One article per day. 30 articles per month.
With $0.05 per word writers, your monthly cost on content will be $1500 – $2250.
With $0.15 per word writers, your monthly cost on content will be $4500 – $6750.
With $0.30 per word writers, your monthly cost on content will be $9000 – $13,500.
As you can see, publishing a lot of content is expensive. Even if you pay $0.05 per word, it can add up to a large amount. And if you’re hiring the top end of writers and publishing an article per day, you’ll pay 6-figures for content in a year!
Now consider that most blogs do not make any profit for the first year. Sometimes, it’s not even just profit. They won’t make any money at all.
That’s tens of thousands of dollars you just spent on content without making any of it back.
This sounds silly. Why would you even spend that kind of money on content if you don’t make a profit?
The answer is: Because we know it will eventually.
For your content to make a profit, you need a distribution strategy. For 90% of my clients, that’s SEO and social media.
The distribution strategy is what makes this work. It’s what makes it okay to lose money in the first year – BECAUSE we believe in our ability to drive traffic from it eventually. We know how to make it rank. We know how to build a large social media profile.
The content part is just the beginning. And the more content we have, the more we have to work with, and the larger we can grow the site.
Calculate the costs, then allocate funds accordingly
Pay a lot of attention to distribution strategies. So many bloggers spend a ton of money on content, but they have no idea how to execute when it comes to turning that content into traffic.
If you’re a beginner, don’t spend so much on content. Think of it more like a learning process. Hiring and managing writers is a lot of work that requires experience and practice to get right.
If you’re an expert marketer who believes in your ability to grow traffic, then you can be more aggressive in your spending.
And don’t forget the niche selection part of it all
Choose your niche depending on how much writers cost in that particular industry.
If you try to go into personal finance and hire writers for $0.03 per word, you’re going to have a miserable time.
It can literally take you longer than a year before you find a writer that:
A) Can write well but still charges that lower rate.
B) Sticks around for more than a month or two.
So calculate how much your budget is per month, and then calculate how many articles you can produce.
If you have any questions about hiring writers, feel free to email me.