Revenue Sharing, Traffic Bonuses, and Freelance Staff Writing

Sometimes, a solid bonus or revenue sharing agreement can be worth earning a lower rate for your freelance work.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about sticking to my rates as a freelancer. I did mention, though, that sometimes I am willing to relax my rates a little bit in certain situations. One of those situations is in the case of a traffic bonus, or a revenue sharing agreement.

One of the comments I received on that post came from Brent Pittman, who writes over at On Target Coaching:

I’d love to learn more about revenue sharing agreements for writing. Maybe you can write about that sometime and how its tracked?

So, today, inspired by Brent, I'm going to address this a little bit.

Revenue Sharing

For the most part, the money that blog owners pay me with comes from the revenue they earn from affiliate programs and AdSense. In some cases, blog owners have an agreement to pay me a little bit less than my rate, in exchange for a portion of the revenue my posts bring in each month.

It's possible, in many cases, to track which post is sending traffic/conversions to an affiliate program. It's also possible to get that information from AdSense. As a result, there are ways to compile a report that includes information on how much money the posts I've written are making. The blog owner can run the report, and then provide a portion of the revenue from the blog posts to me. This is usually somewhere around 20% of the revenue that comes in.

As you can see, with an arrangement like this, I have an incentive to promote the posts I write for a particular blog owner. (I submit most of what I write to social media anyway, but I might do a little more in the case of revenue sharing.) This arrangement makes both of us happy, since I send more traffic to the blog, and I have a chance to make a little more money.

Another variation on the revenue sharing is arrangement I've had with past clients. They put an AdSense box connected to my personal AdSense account at the end of each of my posts. Each month, I got to keep whatever money came into my AdSense account from my posts. I also still have boxes with one of my other former clients. I receive residual income, from AdSense, on those posts, even though I no longer write for the site.

Traffic Bonuses

Another way to make a little extra money as a professional blogger and staff writer is to come to an arrangement for traffic bonuses. Instead of being paid a portion of revenue, I sometimes receive traffic bonuses from clients.

Once again, it's fairly easy to track the pageviews that come to particular posts. In many cases, your bonus will be figured on a “per thousand” that visit. So, if you are offered $1 per thousand visitors, you receive a traffic bonus of $10 if 10,000 people visit your blog posts each month. Blog owners who offer traffic bonuses can generate reports that break down traffic according to post, and then have the report total certain posts.

This is another bonus that results in an incentive for the writer to send traffic to a particular Web site. The higher the traffic, the more money you make. Another nice touch to this situation is the fact that you continually add posts to the blog, so there are more posts to bring in traffic as time goes by. However, you can't expect to receive residual income from traffic bonuses in most cases; once you are done with the client, you no longer receive the traffic bonus.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a way to compromise on your rates, using these types of bonuses can be one way to go about it. You do have to have a certain amount of trust with the blog owner, though. While it's possible to ask to see a traffic report for bonuses, you might not have the same luck with convincing the blog owner to show you a revenue report (although it's possible in many cases to generate one for your blog posts).

Before you enter into one of these arrangements, make sure you understand the terms of how you will be paid. As always, get it in writing.

0 thoughts on “Revenue Sharing, Traffic Bonuses, and Freelance Staff Writing”

  1. Miranda,
    Thanks for answering my question! Wow, seems like a lot of work on the site owners side, but I love the concept of bonuses. It keeps you motivated to write solid content.

    1. Miranda Marquit

      I don’t know how much work it is for the owners, but I imagine that there are a number of tools that help out. But, yeah, it does motivate to write good content, as well as encourage the writer to promote his or her stuff more heavily.

  2. Alan@escapingmydebt

    Good post. As a site owner gives me a better understanding of how some freelancers charge rates. As a site owner, the traffic bonuses seem like I would rather concentrate on the traffic to that particular post, not to my site. This would entice the freelancer to promote their own post within their social network possibly adding more followers to my network and increasing the audience to my site.

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