How much work goes into a contributed op-ed? Here’s my experience.
- Conception and pitching: 2 hours.
- Planning and conducting research interviews: 5 hours
- Web research: 2 hours
- Review of material in books: 4 hours
- Planning the draft: 3 hours
- Writing: 2 hours
- Revisions: 3 hours
Total time: 21 hours.
I’ve done contributed articles for other picky and highly edited publications, such as Harvard Business Review. The Globe piece took longer, but those other pieces still required at least eight to ten hours of total work.
The Globe paid for my work, but my compensation was at approximately one-sixth of my usual hourly rate.
What does this mean for you?
Don’t assume you’ll be able to just write one of these and toss it off. Budget significant time for pitching, research, planning, and revisions as well as writing.
The resulting influence you’ll get isn’t available any other way. You just have to ask yourself if the work is worth it.