To Pay or Not to Pay– That is the Question.

Have you ever been approached by a blogger who asked you, as an author, to pay for an interview?

Did you say no?

Why did you say no?

Because you don’t pay for interviews?

Bloggers should work for free?


Nick Wale wonders why bloggers are asked to work for free.

“I don’t pay for interviews!” is a phrase some people throw around. This is a common answer whenever the words “An interview will cost…” are said. I have often wondered why people don’t want pay for interviews. Surely, a blogger is spending their time and effort to help someone make money. Why should the blogger not be reimbursed for their time and effort?

Why is there a consensus that bloggers should work for free? Who came up with that idea? Do all writers give their books away? Do freelance journalists work for free? Do builders? Architects? No, they expect fair compensation, and I don’t believe that any blogger charging a fair fee for a promotional interview should be penalised for it.

Writing blog articles is the easiest bit of the whole thing. However, finding readers, promoting authors and their books, increasing name recognition, furthering someone’s work– that is PR and PR is a paid-for commodity.

However, I should be clear on one thing– free interviews can also be a good thing. Bloggers who want to gain clients should not just start a blog and suddenly expect $50 per interview. No. I believe that a base has to be built and free interviews do just that. If you are lucky enough to work for some great people then you build up your credibility.

I also believe that trading interviews, sharing articles and hosting guest bloggers are fantastic ideas. There’s something special about a guest article placed on your blog. I have enjoyed a few of these. Like-for-like trading is the cornerstone of civilisation.

I digress, however. My point is when you have a following and you are giving people your time and effort– I ask this– is it unreasonable to charge? Most bloggers work to the advantage of the author. Why shouldn’t they ask for a price? Some writers in the main believe that it is unreasonable to pay; but if they want the PR– the time and effort a blogger spends– doesn’t it make sense to pay?

I do not believe $100 per interview is a price anyone can ask. I do believe $20-30 is reasonable. If the blogger has a good back catalogue of interviews; if the blogger has a publicity programme; and if the blogger works hard.

I always try to find the most interesting people for my blog. That is one of my stipulations. I want interesting content and, yes, I am building up a business. I am happy to spend time and effort to promote an author I believe in. If an author believes in promotion, believes in the value of blogger’s work, is a blogger not worth paying?

I was once told, “You’re not worth paying for because your blog ranking isn’t high enough.” Then why did you want an interview on my blog for free instead? Why did you approach me? If you don’t feel my blog has enough visibility, why waste both our time?

The answer is simple. I was good enough to be used; good enough to help; but not good enough to get paid for my help. That, my friends, is where I said no and built up a collection of references that showed I could do what I promised and I was credible. I no longer hear those words. I just say what I need and people smile and say, “Yes, please.”

The advantages of paying for an interview are numerous. The blogger will want to make your interview his best so far, his biggest interview. In an effort to accomplish this aim, the blogger will actively work to promote you! A sensibly priced interview will allow a blogger to continue working, build up a business and make money to support him or herself. In this recession, there are so many people out of work. Let’s pay for interviews so we can keep bloggers in employment. Let’s get people business and create a fair priced blogging promotion system so people can work for you. A blogger who gets paid will work harder for you as an author, and aren’t things worth having worth paying for?

However, for all those who want something for nothing, I am going to try their technique. The next time I go shopping, I am going to say, “Your food isn’t worth paying for,” and I’m going to ask if I can have it for free.

The answer of course will be an outraged no! I am finding that is the answer many bloggers are now finding themselves saying to authors who don’t want to pay for a valuable service. I would be happy to pay for a job well done. Wouldn’t you?


  1. You have some very good points. A lot of indie authors are strapped for cash. Once they have made it through editing costs, covers etc, the piggy bank is dry.
    I guess many people perceive blogs to be a hobby as in fact, mine is. At this time I would not consider asking one to pay me for an interview. (notice I did not say I would never ask). I think the key is being up front with each other. Some blogs reach far beyond the “author circuit” and are certainly worth a rasonable fee for an interview.

    Just my chaotic thoughts.

    1. Hi Onisha,

      Thank you! I think you have made some great points in your reply. I think you’re right that many blogs reach outside of a particular field of interest. I also think that in many cases a paid blogger will promote more actively thus bringing value for money to the interviewee. I guess it’s all down to personal choice whether a blogger charges. Love your blog by the way!