How to pay bloggers

September 18, 2008

Payment terms for bloggers is a bit of an uncertainty in the industry right now. Do you pay them by the word? (That seems dangerous.) By traffic numbers? By number of posts? By the hour? Do you pay them just to write, or are they meant to promote the blog as well, or to interact with other bloggers in their community? These are all tough questions. is trying an interesting new strategy – they’re asking readers to “tip” bloggers when they like what they read through a system called Tippem. It’s part of their Open Salon user-generated content section (still in beta), and in theory it’s an idea that I like – you’re letting readers pay their content producers directly, sort of like sending Thom Yorke a few bucks when you listen to his newest album – and enjoy it.

But in practice? I’m curious to see whether it will take off. After all, everyone likes a bargain, and nothing’s a better bargain than free content.

Would you pay a blogger if you liked what you read? And if your site does have bloggers, how do you pay them?


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