I have seen a few posts out there like the one I’m about to write. It’s now my time to rant a little about this thing called blogging. Where is this rant coming from? Well I’ve received one too many emails from companies who think I should work for cheap or even FREE!!
Let’s back up a bit.
When friends and family find out that I’m a “blogger,” they’re curious, they wonder what I actually do, if I can make money, etc etc. Most want me to teach them what I do.
Well here’s a little insight in what I do and maybe a bit of teaching as well.
I’m a blogger. I write reviews of products and give you my honest opinion. I post recipes that I think you may like. I share my experiences with you in hopes that you can relate or find helpful information. I even occasionally use my space as a place to get out my thoughts and ideas. I accept advertising in order to support my site and earn an income. I’m upfront with you about all of this. I want you to know that I receive products to review, money to post, etc etc. I disclose this so you know and can still trust that I will give you my honest opinion. This is what I do for my job.
Yes, I earn an income.
Yes, I’m a blogger.
Yes, I’m a mom.
Sure, that does make me a “Mommy Blogger.”
Having said that, here’s what I want to say to all of you PR reps and companies. Do not mistake the term “Mommy Blogger” for less than what it is. I’m a professional who works at home. Just as you work for whatever company you do. I am self employed. This is not a hobby for me. I earn my income to help support my family. I pay taxes on my income. I probably put in way more hours each week as a Mommy Blogger than you do at your job. So please do not insult me by trying to get me to work for cheap or free. I know what my site and my time is worth. If you low ball me, I will pass on your offer. Even if it means turning down income because I’d rather get paid what I’m worth than accept your really offensive offer.
Take, for example, this blurb from an email I got today. This company emailed me and asked for my rates. I supplied them and this is the reply I got back:
Your site is great, but the price you provide is much higher than the average and beyond our budget.
For PR 3 sites, the best price I can offer is $35 for a homepage text ad, and $55 for a homepage banner ad, otherwise my supervisor won’t approve. Maybe you think the price we offered is too low and you don’t care about that little money, but that’s the marketing price and what other bloggers accept.
If the price is ok, please give me your Paypal account, and I will report it to my supervisor right now and give you the detail.
I’m not exactly sure what she was trying to accomplish…offending me into taking her low ball offer? I replied back that I do not work for less than what I am worth as I’m sure she doesn’t either. Do you think she would take a cut in her paycheck one month if her boss asked her too? I don’t think so. She simply could have replied that my rates were beyond their budget. I would have accepted that slightly better than her commenting: Maybe you think the price we offered is too low and you don’t care about that little money, but that’s the marketing price and what other bloggers accept.
That’s straight out of “How to Offend a Blogger 101.”
Why I say slightly better, is because I’m also tired of hearing, “we don’t have the budget.” That’s a whole other topic but seriously…you don’t have a budget for advertising? Advertising on social media should be a huge part of your budget. How much are you paying for print ads, TV ads?
Now what really concerns me is that I know other bloggers would accept this and be happy about earning a bit of income…and yes, once upon a time, I was one of those bloggers. However, I finally realized that what I do is WORK. This is my job and I have set rates…just like any other employee has a set wage. If a company can not pay my rates, then I may not work with them. That is fine.
Until bloggers realize that they are working and should get paid for what they do, companies and PR reps are going to keep sending emails like the one above. Are these rates ridiculously low? No, not at all. In fact, if this PR rep would have replied with a counter offer, I may have been way more receptive to negotiating. She did give me a counter offer of sorts but did not present it that way. I will not be strong armed into putting an ad on my site when I have other companies that will pay my advertising fees without offending me.
Jenni E. says
Great post Dawn! You’re right…until other bloggers stop working for free, we’ll continue to get these kinds of emails expecting us to work for free or for very little. It’s very frustrating!
Oh, mama! You know I’m with ya! NO FREE CHICKEN!!!! LOL 🙂 If we work together, it will change eventually.
I was thinking of you, as I wrote this! 😉
I thought of Layne & her free chicken too. I too am so annoyed by it. I second guess myself when I send out prices all the time and it drives me nuts!
You’ll get to a point that you won’t second guess. Your time is very valuable as is the space on your site. 🙂
Anna McMullen says
Thanks for the post Dawn. What an encouragement to hear this from you.
Took me a bit to get to this point but I finally realize what my time and my site is worth.
Way to put it! It is hard for people of all walks to understand that we are providing an advertising service just like a print or tv ad. The thing is that our reviews are better than an ad because we give pros and cons. What may not work for me may work great for the person reading the review. We are better than ads and should be compensated appropriately.
This can be so frustrating! I actually got an email back today after I gave my rates that said “sorry I am only looking for blogger who will do free reviews and giveaways”
Wow, just sad! :/ Maybe one day soon, bloggers/social media advertising will be considered part of their budget.
I completely agree with everything you said! Stick to your guns.
Heather Lopez says
I’m with you girl. That’s why I founded Bloggin’ Mamas, with the thought in mind that we should be charging what we are worth. Sometimes I will add in a freebie for a brand, when they are already a paying client, but other than that I feel that companies are trying to take advantage. As for not having enough money, I have learned that it is the Marketing departments, not the PR that have the money. In fact, many PR struggle with their clients to convince them to market via social media and bloggers at all.
Dave Luwemba says
I also started blogging some 4 months ago. I blog about my cell phone business, and I really like sharing my business passion with everybody.