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Should You Get Paid Per Post or Per Click? Tips for Web Writers

Is it better for online writers to get paid per blog post, or earn money per click? Here are the pros and cons, plus the reasons I stopped writing for Suite101 – an online e-zine that’s been nosediving for over a year…

First, a question from a reader:

“Could you elaborate on why you are no longer so enchanted with Suite101?” asks S.B. on Thinking of Writing for Suite101? “I’m a freelance writer with a couple of regular gigs, but want to make a few more hundred dollars per month. I would write mainly about pregnancy and parenting. Do you think that’s reasonable? How many articles (or in how much time) would be necessary to achieve this? (I realize this is totally variable, but if you have any general thoughts that would be so helpful). As a stay-at-home mom with not a lot of extra time, I’m wondering if this is worth it, or if I should continue to pursue other outlets.”

Regardless of whether you get paid per blog post or per click, you need to know how to use social media to grow your online business. Even if you get paid per post, you should try to bring traffic to your articles. You’ll benefit from the exposure, and your editor will love you for your efforts.

One of the bestselling books on increasing traffic through social media is How to Make Money with Social Media: An Insider’s Guide on Using New and Emerging Media to Grow Your Business – it’s worth it’s weight in gold!

Okay, on to the benefits of payment per blog post versus earning money per click…

But first, here’s why I stopped writing for Suite101

The main reason I’m not writing for this mammoth online e-zine anymore is because Google’s Panda cut Suite’s traffic by 60% or more. Panda brought Suite to its knees! And, I think the Suite admin made a few decisions that made things even worse, in terms of page views. For instance, they deleted all our Suite blogs. That was awful – we Feature Writers put a lot of time and effort into our Suite blogs, and admin just deleted them all! I still can’t believe it.

But the bottom line is that I’m earning less than half of what I once made, which is why I no longer spend time writing articles for the site. Suite has made and will be making a ton of changes, and I have no idea where they’re going. I’m not sure I want to keep hanging on during this free fall. But who knows – they could pull it up again.

Also – sometimes I’m embarrassed by the caliber of the writing on Suite.

Here are a few more thoughts on Suite and earning money per click: Is Suite101 Worthwhile for Writers? Web Content Writing Tips.

If you earn money per click (not per blog post), how many articles do you need to write to make it worthwhile?

It’s impossible for me to say how many articles you’d need to write to make a few hundred dollars a month. It depends on the topic of your article and how well optimized it is. I write Psychology articles, which pay poorly per click. But articles about money, mortgages, debt, employment, plastic surgery, etc earn lots of money per click.

It all boils down to traffic: the more readers see your articles, the more money you’ll make. Everyone says they don’t click Google ads, but someone is doing the clicky clicky dance! Last week, I made $140 in one day from Google Adsense on my Quips and Tips blogs (and I’m on a “earn money per click” revenue share model).

Earning money per click is a long-term investment of your time

Writing for sites that pay based on readers’ click behavior can take years to pay off. It’s a long-term investment. If you need to make money now, in the short-term, it may be better to find blogging or writing gigs that pay up-front.

I write articles for BC Women’s Hospital and Know Your Advisor.com, and I charge $50 per hour. That’s my favorite way to make money as a writer, because I’m compensated for every minute I spend researching, writing, and editing. I don’t think I’d go back to a pay per click revenue share model.

But, passive income is sweet!

That said, however, I’m still earning about $10 a day from Suite — despite the fact that I’ve written 2 articles in the past 6 months! It’s not a bad source of passive income…but boy, do I miss those $30 days…

Benefits of Getting Paid Per Blog Post

  • Predictable income (thanks for contributing this benefit, @cjclark!)
  • No worries about the site disappearing overnight or admin deleting your posts
  • Um…I can’t think of any other benefits of payment per post! If you have ideas, please share below.

Benefits of Earning Money Per Click

  • Passive, long-term income
  • Control over how much you earn (eg, if you share your post, you could potentially earn hundreds of dollars)
  • Get paid while you learn – I’ll be forever grateful to Suite for teaching me web writing skills

Are you leaning towards earning money per click? I think you should divide your online writing time between building your own money making blog, and writing for other e-zines, blogs, and content sites. If your blog has only a few visitors a day, read Reasons Why Your Blog Isn’t Attracting and Keeping Readers.

For more tips on earning money by writing for the web, read How to Diversify Your Online Writing and Earn More Money – it’s by a Suite101 writer, as a matter of fact.

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Have you tried both payment per post and earning money per click? What do you prefer? Comments welcome below…

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30 thoughts on “Should You Get Paid Per Post or Per Click? Tips for Web Writers”

  1. Yeah, the problem with getting paid per click is that you have to trust the publisher or site owner to be honest about click rates.

    I think getting paid per click versus per article depends on the site you are writing for. I used to write for Suite101, but they now have a system of pooling money for writers – basically taking from the high earners and sharing it amongst everyone equally, like a socialist society. That did not work for me!

  2. After reading your post and the comments, I wonder what your opinion of Elance is? We write a lot of articles for our site and blog, but we have used Elance writers for other topics outside of our expertise. I have found it difficult to get guest posts on several blogs in my niche, because they don’t accept them, and I haven’t seen any that pay for a guest post- obviously I have a lot to learn from you! Thanks for the information.

  3. I’ve only recently started writing articles, mainly for my own website, so this information is very useful to me. It must be nice to get paid something for your efforts so I’m now looking for ways to earn money blogging.

  4. for me if the niche you are is popular or not. Some may have to agree that pay per post is a better option but others may find it a heavier work load. It really depends on what suits your ability and it may make a difference if you have just started or have been blogging for long and may want to shift to another area

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    I’m shocked to learn on how suite101 just deleted writers’ blogs. From an seo point of view, I guess pay per click is more worthwhile. If you can optimise your blog which leads to massive traffic, chances are that you get higher click through rate. Just my 2 cents. anyway, thanks for posting this, Laurie.

  6. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your insights. I think payment per post versus per click depends on the site. How long has it been up, and how long will it last? How stable is it? What kind of reputation does it have online? And of course, what kind of traffic does it have?

    For strong, stable, permanent sites, I’d go with payment per click. Like I said, I’m earning a few bucks every day from Suite101 – but still haven’t done the math to figure out how much I’ve earned per article!

  7. An excellent post about web writing and payments per post or per click, I’m very glad I found this site. I was thinking about writing for Suite101 and think I should just try it.

  8. Wow. This article is very insightful. Writing articles may be tiresome yet some earn less because it really depends if the niche you are is popular or not. Some may have to agree that pay per post is a better option but others may find it a heavier work load. It really depends on what suits your ability and it may make a difference if you have just started or have been blogging for long and may want to shift to another area.

  9. Laurie, I used to freelance in the nineties when the web was just starting to take off. I have little nubs where my fingers used to be. I’m here to encourage your readers that while its fine to write for others, its even finer to write for yourself. After 6 books and more than 100 of my own websites, I’m here to tell everyone that the rewards are worth the effort. I never thought 15 years would pass as quickly as it did. I write 1000 words for myself every morning before breakfast, and it has paid off over the years as it added up.

  10. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I really should calculate all the money I’ve made on Suite over the years and divide it by the number of articles I’ve written. Then, I’ll see what I’ve been earning per blog post. But the beauty of earning money per click is that I KEEP earning money…whereas getting paid per blog post has a definite end.

    Fascinating! 🙂

  11. Hi Laurie,

    I’d like to write for my own blog and monetize it, but I don’ t like Google Adsense ads. Do you have any tips for making money blogging without using Google Adsense?


  12. I completely agree with you. Pay per post is definitely a better option, and I appreciate your view about writing for Suite101.

  13. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comment, Oliver. There are definitely pros and cons to each type of online writing.

    Sometimes I agree with the “get paid per blog post” peeps…..but I’ve been making $10 a day from Suite101 and have written 3 articles in 7 months….so Suite’s passive income has been pretty good for me. I miss those $30 days (and more!), but I can’t complain about $10 a day for doing nothing at all. Not to mention the traffic that Suite feeds my blogs 🙂

  14. I’d go for for pay per click, because I enjoy the challenge of SEO (search engine optimization) writing. I also think it’s a better long-term financial choice, if the website sticks around for a long time. Suite101 has been around for 15 years or something like that. It’s a business.

  15. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I never thought about the click numbers, and not trusting them. An editor friend who is not online at all said she wouldn’t trust the affiliate sales numbers, either. But what choice do I have, but to trust that the stats are true?

    Maybe writing for an online site like the HuffPost would be more valuable for online writers, in terms of payment per click.

  16. I stopped writing for Suite101 for all of the above reasons. Also, I wasn’t getting the traffic that I could get when writing for other online magazines.

  17. I also stopped writing for Suite101 about a year ago. It just wasn’t worth the time and effort for the cents I would earn each day. Instead, I started my own website (with two more in the works)and am focusing on building my own traffic. That way I am in control of my own online destiny!

  18. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    George and Sharon ~ thanks for your thoughts.

    I guess payment per click is a long-term source of passive income — if the site stays up! That was my problem with Suite101; the site plummeted, which decreased my income so dramatically. Online writers have no control over their content on other sites.

  19. Sharon Hurley Hall

    Laurie, pay for click and revenue share require so much input before they pay off that they are rarely worth it, in my opinion. Unless you’re writing in a popular niche, it can take a long time to make a decent income. Far better to get the money up front.

  20. Laurie,

    I wrote for the Examiner for a while. I found that to ensure any kind of income, I had to post timely, newsworthy articles on nearly a daily basis. Slacking off for even a few days drastically affected traffic. With that said, I ran out of gas. I much prefer to be paid per blog post.