James Parsons is the founder and CEO of Content Powered, a content creation company. He’s been a content marketer for over 10 years and writes for Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, and many other publications on blogging and website strategy.
How Much Do Blog Management Services Cost on Average?
Blogging has always had a reputation as a sort of free way to make money. Just create a blog, write about your life, gather an audience, and boom: you’re rolling in the dough.
Of course, real life is never that simple. Maybe 20 years ago you could run a basic personal blog and make money doing it. These days, it’s a lot harder.
To run a successful modern blog, you need a high quality website, a significant investment in time and content, and a lot of legwork for marketing and outreach. You need expertise, you need quality, and you need endurance.
And none of this is free.
Sure, you can do a lot of it yourself to save some money. Writing content might take you an hour a day, or several hours a day, or even several dedicated days per week, depending on the content you’re producing and your experience with writing for blogs. Outreach can be done with simple tools for free, or it can have its own associated costs even if you’re doing the work yourself.
There’s just one thing people forget when they take a do-it-yourself approach. Your time is valuable.
If you’re spending hours every day writing blog posts, working on social media, and handling blog outreach, what aren’t you doing?
If you’re running a business, is that time spent that you could otherwise be using to develop new products, make new sales contracts, or expand your company? Is it time you could be using to make more money in other ways?
How much is your time worth?
It’s no wonder, then, that so many business owners and mid-to-high-level bloggers turn to blog management companies. You can do the math and figure out how much you’re spending on your blog, between investment in tools, investment in content, and the time you put into it. You then have your budget for hiring a blog manager to do all that for you while you invest your time elsewhere.
The question is, how much does it really cost to hire a blog manager? The answer may surprise you.
Table of Contents
Determining Your Service Scope
The first thing you need to do if you’re interested in hiring someone to do your blog management for you is to decide what, specifically, they’re going to be doing. While “blog management” sounds inclusive, there are a whole host of related services, and tailoring a relationship with what you want included is a big part of determining costs.
So what services should you consider?
Content writing. This is the most common form of blog management, and is almost always either included or an upsell for management services. Someone has to write the content that gets posted on your blog, right?
Some companies will allow you to provide them with content and will handle everything else. You can then either create the content yourself or obtain it from a cheaper source elsewhere, like an individual freelancer or a content mill.
Other companies will prefer to offer you the service of their in-house content writers, who are likely experienced in their specified industries and who are writing content for perhaps dozens of different blogs every week.
If you’re getting your content from a low-tier content mill or as a fringe upsell on a larger management package, it might cost you $20 per blog post. At 5 posts per week, that’s about $400 per month.
If you’re getting your content from a higher-tier freelancer or blog management company with a quality emphasis, you could end up paying $150-500 per post. At 5 posts per week, you may be looking at $5-10K per month.
If you’re getting your content from extremely high quality sources, you can even see figures higher than that.
Additionally, other forms of writing – for About pages, Landing pages, and other non-blog-post pages can have its own pricing, though these don’t necessarily need to be added weekly or monthly. Specialty content, such as infographics and social media content often have their own pricing as well.
Image sourcing or creation. Every blog needs images to function properly in a modern world. Images spliced throughout the post can be used to illustrate points, to be part of a tutorial, or even just tie in to your branding.
Often times, blog images are included as part of technical blog management, or of content creation, depending on your setup. You may find that some companies simply include the cost as part of blog writing, while others might charge a fee for hiring one of their artists or photographers, or you may pay for the content yourself.
Pricing for this can range from free to several hundred per blog post, though a lot depends on where the images come from. Unique images and uniquely created branded graphic design will cost the most, while stock photos might only cost a couple of dollars each to license for use. Plus, creative commons licensed images are free to use.
Technical management. This is the baseline management required of any blog manager. This is the cost of hosting, if they’re the ones managing your hosting. It’s the cost of developing a blog theme, the cost of maintaining code, the cost of management tools and plugins, and so on. It might also include the cost of Search Engine Optimization, meta data structuring, and other technical details.
Good blog management companies will also include some level of overarching planning. Maintaining an editorial calendar, planning a flow of content topics, pushing objectives like subscriber growth or customer acquisition, and so on. You’ll discuss these with the company you choose when you think about hiring them.
When you look at a blog management company, their core service package is likely going to include all of this just as a matter of course. They might list their services in a string like “strategy development”, “writing and design”, “SEO”, “promotion”, and so on, and this is largely what they mean.
Outreach and link building. Some blog management companies prefer handling everything on-site and leaving the off-site aspects to another company or to their clients. You might even prefer this approach if you’re personally practiced and good at reaching out to other sites and building links and relationships.
Guest post outreach. Similar to generic outreach, guest post outreach has an element of outreach, link building, and relationship building, but it also involves creating content. Guest post content is unique in that it has to account for not one but two audiences, with different expectations, different voices, and different tones. Some companies will focus on on-site content and will expect you to handle this kind of outreach, while others might include it as an upsell or as a core part of their product.
Social media management. Social media is a whole realm of promotion that may or may not be included in a blog management contract. There are companies out there dedicated to social media management on their own, and their pricing can vary wildly just like blog management pricing. Social media management is critical for modern business growth, but it might not be something you want to get through a blog manager. Instead of hiring one expensive does-it-all company, you can hire two cheaper specialists and get better results overall.
Paid advertising. Paid advertising isn’t usually part of blog management, but some companies might offer to run paid ads for your site for an additional fee. Frankly, this is generally a trap; these companies are just looking for additional ways to make money from you. It’s better to hire a blog manager to do all of the organic management, and handle paid advertising and promotion yourself or through another specialized company.
So, all of that said, what level of blog management do you want? Do you simply need someone to produce content while you handle everything else? Are you perfectly capable of creating content but want someone else to do all the technical fiddling? Do you want to just fire-and-forget your blog as a whole and get on with growing your business? These are questions you need to answer to determine the appropriate level of service.
To determine the kind of pricing you might be looking at, simply remember that the more you want a company to do, the more it’s going to cost. There are exceptions to every category, but always take them with a grain of salt. A company offering services for a cheaper price than you would expect might not be offering the best quality service. A company offering less than you think they should for the price they charge could be exceptionally good at what they do, or they might be over-charging for mediocre service.
$0-$500 Per Month
At the cheapest end of the spectrum, you have the hybrid DIY approaches and the low-level blog managers who may be adequate for some tasks, but not necessarily for everything.
At this tier, you may be handling a lot of the work yourself. You can outsource the management aspects of running your blog, but you may still need to provide the content. Alternatively, you may be buying content, but need to do the technical management and outreach yourself. The key is that at this level of pricing, you’re not getting everything.
There will be some blog managers who will work for this level of price point, and they’re generally going to be freelancers rather than companies. For example, freelance blog managers on Upwork charge anywhere from $20 to $80 per hour. How many hours they work for you each week or each month, of course, depends on what you have them doing.
At this level of blog management, you’re also not likely to have a very frequently active blog, nor are you going to have additional management, such as social media or paid advertising.
$501-$2,000 Per Month
The next step up in price range is where most small businesses are going to fall with their blog management. This is where you’re transitioning from hybrid managers and freelancers to a full, all-encompassing blog management company. These companies might have one-size-fits-all packages, or they might operate on a more ala carte program where you can pick the services you want and build a package that suits your needs.
At this level of service, you’ll still want to have some oversight into your blog, but you’re largely going to let it do its own thing. This will likely include a few blog posts per week, with images included, and the technical SEO taken care of.
Conversely, this level of plan might not be enough to get you additional benefits, such as link building, an overall outreach plan, or any more detailed nuance to your posts. These companies tend to have large client lists because they’re affordable, but that means they don’t tend to spend a lot of time customizing their offerings for each individual blog they manage. Their content may be generic or lack depth.
$2,001-$5,000 Per Month
Once you get another step up, you’re getting into better blog management companies. These companies have reputations for high quality service, and they provide just about everything you want as a small business. They will post regularly on your blogs, they will make sure you have content tailored to your objectives, and they will make sure your blog is run according to your wishes and industry best practices.
This is the tier where companies start to care more about individualized service. They will likely do a site audit and help you improve technical SEO that boosts the effectiveness of their service. They will perform competitor research to figure out who you’re fighting in your niche, and how they can out-fight them. They will likely even offer additional outreach services, some of which might be included, while others may be upsells.
This is also where you start to see specific niche services. Instead of a blog manager, you might find a real estate blog manager or a finance blog manager. Specialty services tend to cost more, but have correspondingly better knowledge of their niche. On the other hand, you might be hiring the same service your competitor uses.
$5,001-$20,000 Per Month
Another step up the totem pole and you tend to have more of the same as the previous step, but with higher quality across the board. This is where you’re getting full service blog management. These companies know what they’re doing, both to promote blogs and to keep their customers happy.
The kicker here is that this is where blog managers start to consider the size of their clients. They may tailor their pricing to the size of your company and the expected profits from the blog. Larger companies can afford to pay more. And, in fact, many large companies are going to be skeptical of small-budget services. More than once, I’ve seen a business go with a more expensive option simply because it’s more expensive, because of the impression that a less expensive company is somehow inferior.
$20,001+ Per Month
At this point, the sky is the limit. Blog managers exist for all level of budget. All of the big megacompanies around the world have their own blog managers, if they maintain blogs at all. Sometimes they’re in-house, because those companies can afford it. Sometimes it’s still an outsourced service, because outsourcing is still cheaper than paying for employees who demand benefits.
The other quirk of this price point is that the companies that offer service of this level either often have cheaper plans available, or do not publish their pricing at all. You’re unlikely to find a company that offers a $20K service package publicly. Rather, they will ask you to call them for a sales discussion, whereupon you’ll discover a price of that level.
It just goes to show that for whatever the budget, there’s always a service available. It’s worth mentioning that sometimes you’ll see very high figures like this quoted as the “real cost of running a blog”, but it’s not quite accurate. For example, in an old article, Neil Patel mentions spending over $24K in one month on Quicksprout. And, yes, he did spend that much money, but at the same time, many of his expenses were part of a one-off major project, not recurring expenses for blog management. His actual blog management was much cheaper.
Real World Examples
I figure rather than just show you a bunch of theorycrafting, I can give you some examples as to the kinds of prices you might find around the web. Below is a list of some companies offering blog management services for various price ranges. Before you dig into them, though, bear in mind that I haven’t personally contracted any of these, so I can’t vouch for the quality of their services. I’m just showing you what’s out there.
Convert With Content. This company offers three services; a stand-alone content production service, a stand-alone blog management service, and a stand-alone SEO service. Blog management from them ranges from $150 per month to $400 per month, with optional upsells for combining packages or for upgrading to more blog posts and more images per month than what is default with their packages.
Blogger Sidekick. This company offers three overall blog management packages. They all offer tailored content with keyword research and SEO, but they don’t handle outreach and they have a very small number of blog posts per month. The cheapest plan, $700 per month, only includes two blog posts per month. Plans scale up to $1,500 per month and higher.
RankPay. This is a blog management company focusing on gaming the search algorithms, and as such they are both cheap and bare-bones. They cover only a few blog posts per month, but focus on distribution and promotion in their higher tier plans. Plans start at $100 per month and scale up.
WebFX. This is one of the higher end companies, with a variety of comprehensive services. They handle blog management, content production, and website design, as well as additional services including paid advertising, email marketing, and social media management. Pricing is highly customized according to your needs, but starts at $950 per month and scales up to $3,000 or more, with additional one-time setup investment fees.
There are, of course, many other companies available, in all range of prices. Feel free to explore and analyze your options before you commit to so much as a sales call with any of them.