I figured I would do a blog post on this subject because I have been asked this question three times in the past week by three different people. Before I go into my answer, I thought I would break down what a guest post is and the positive things that can come about when you guest blog on someone else’s site, or they guest blog on yours. Then I will get into the nuts and bolts of the question and give my honest assessment.
A guest blog post is when you write a blog post of original material on someone else’s blog. Simply put, you are working as a guest author for a site and bringing your voice and originality to its readers. A guest blog is a great thing because it allows you to expand your audience to another blog (and therefore gain some readers who will follow you back to your blog) and it shows that you have the capability of becoming an “expert” or “source” in a particular field or genre.
The advantages of having someone guest blog on your blog are tenfold—if you are in need of material, a guest blog post is perfect to fill in the gaps. Again, just as the person guest blogging may gain new readers, you may also get increased traffic from the guest blogger’s audience when the link to your blog is shared with their readers.
A guest blog post is usually a win/win for both parties.
Now to get to the answer, let me first say this. There is a big difference between a guest blog post and being a contributor for another site or blog. Guest posts often do not include payment. It is done because the rewards are plentiful for both parties, so payment is usually a moot point. I have had several guest posts from guest bloggers on The Cubicle Chick and I have never paid them. They usually write a guest post on my site and then I will turn around and do a guest post on their sites, or vice versa.
When you contribute to a blog (which is different from a being a “guest blogger”), then payment is usually standard. I freelance or contribute to several blogs and sites online and I get paid for my services as a contributor or author on the site. This is usually done when you contribute or write more than one piece for a blog or website.
Payment for a contributor may vary—there is no stock answer as to “how much should I charge for a post?”. There is a lot that goes into it—your influence, the popularity of your blog or your writing, the clarity in which you write (i.e is it grammatically correct and free of spelling errors and well edited), the experience of your writing (i.e. have you written for other sites and the frequency in which you do so), and of course the quality of the pieces you produce. When I first started contributing, I got paid as low as $15 per original blog piece or article. Of course that amount has changed considerably, but at the beginning, I was trying to get my weight up (with the body of work I had on other sites), so $15 was okay for me.
You have do ask what you feel your work is worth.
Are there bloggers who pay other bloggers to guest post (meaning contribute a singular post)—probably. But in my opinion, I would not pay for a guest blog on my site, especially when I am returning the favor. However, if a site is looking for a regular contributor, then yes, payment should be made.
I have had several contributors to my site that have been paid based on the amounts of posts written. Since they were contributors, I felt their time should be compensated.
So, in review, the answer to the question at hand is nothing (but if they insist on paying you, then go for it). However, if you are asked to be a contributor of a site, you should be paid. Make sure you know your worth!