Q: Is there a standard rate or range to charge for corporate/business/public relations blogging as a freelancer?
A: I don’t have exhaustive nationwide data here. But based on what I and my cohorts have been offered, the rate for blog posts is pretty low. Maybe a notch below PR releases. I’m guessing that big corporations will pay somewhere around $250 for a substantial post. Smaller companies around $100 or even $50.
The problem is, they see this as some ‘stuff they have to do.’ It’s not core, it’s not critical, it’s not make or break. It’s some tangential, low-priority thing. They don’t really care. Ergo, they don’t really pay.
Of course, there’s always an opportunity to break out of the pack here. To break the mold. To take the usual snoozy, boring corporate blog and make it get a jillion hits. But most corporations will never want to be edgy or controversial enough to pull that off, as far as I can tell. Though I am occasionally wrong.
Q: How do I neatly transition to freelancing at the place I work? Do I tell my boss that I’m freelancing on the side? Or should I neatly structure it so that my full-time and freelancing projects don’t clash?
A: Here’s the General Rule of Smart and Discreet Freelancing.
If you are working on the ‘side’, and you are not in conflict with, or stealing business from your main employer, keep it to yourself.
When your freelance work starts to pay more than your day job, you have options.
In your case, you can tell your employer, “Here’s an idea. Instead of paying me full-time, would it make more sense to pay me on a freelance basis, only when you need me? It may actually save you some money.”
Q: If you had to pick one “you must do this to succeed” and one “avoid this resource waster or else” and impart that wisdom to newbies such as myself, what would they be?
A: Oddly enough, we debated this over beers the other night. The concensus was clear.
Your fortunes are directly tied to how many of the top buyers in your field (editors, creative directors, marketing managers) know you, and think you are swell.
Spend your days getting to know the people who buy a lot of what you do. Everything else, at this point, is secondary.