A couple months back my fellow blogging babe Megan of Lush To Blush wrote an extremely informative post about why bloggers can’t work for free & to this day I refer everyone I know who has a blog or new to the industry to read what she has to say about the issue. The reason for repeating the information, so to speak, is to push the “high alert” of this very common situation with the hope that all clients/brands that look to work with bloggers will anticipate a monetary fee and be more than willing to pay up with each inquiry.
For those of you that thought my blog was more of a hobby and I wasn’t making any profit from it, think again. This would be one expensive hobby if that were the case, not to mention the time and energy I spend daily on my blog would really be unproductive to my cost of living.
Think of it this way: people get jobs to make a salary that pays for his/her lifestyle, therefore the amount that’s dedicated to said job is a reflection of how much he/she makes (in a general sense.) So naturally, I would want to make my efforts towards my blog efficient enough to reflect a sense of profit. Did you know being a full-time blogger is a real career now? The industry is booming and the bloggers putting forth the time, work and dedication to their sites are the ones that make it a career. #Goals.
In the meantime, I’m working two full-time jobs (including my blog) and have very limited time to promote and work as much as I would like to on a weekly basis. Therefore I spend many hours up late working on my content, planning ahead and organizing myself to make ends meet while somehow managing to make time for a social life.
On average, the time I spend planning, photographing and drafting each blog post (not to mention keeping organized with multiple client requests at a time) takes 1-2 days… Yet despite my lack of time, I never allow the quality of my blog’s content to suffer. In fact, I work harder to perform and exceed the brands/clients’ expectations when they choose to work with me. So yes, I expect to be paid if that means my weekends and hours after work are to be spent making a sponsored post the best it can be.
I’ll tell you right off the bat that the NUMBER ONE pet peeve I have when working with certain brands is when they refuse to offer monetary compensation for any sort of promotion (unless stated in the introductory email to me) and think product alone is sufficient. Now in the beginning, I used to accept payment in forms of product rather than monetary commission and for a while that worked for me – I didn’t shop half as much as I used to for new clothes to feature on my site and always felt “wanted” by the influx of brands that emailed me because word spread that I was “cheap.” Once I recognized how insulting that word-of-mouth became, I quickly re-strategized my responses and general business development when it came to working with brands reaching out to me.
Here’s the most obvious reason why bloggers should be paid: BRANDS ARE REACHING OUT TO YOU. There’s a reason they want to work with you – maybe due to your high quality photos or writing style. Regardless of the reason they found you, the blogger, to be the best real-life representation for their product’s advertisement. Because at the end of the day, a blogger’s platform circulates around making everyday style and lifestyle approachable – it’s real life advertisement. What brand wouldn’t want to promote their products in the most relatable way? My point exactly.
A lot of this is a rant but I can’t stress how insulted I feel when I receive an email from a prospective client/brand looking to work with me and not expect to pay my advertising fee. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve negotiated and waived my sponsored fee with certain clients in the past but the reason for that decision came with the benefits of working with the brand – whether it be social media promotion or a continuous partnership. I found a value that matched all the work that went into creating my blog post and therefore, was able to balance out payment for other benefits. However, I rarely agree to such an arrangement – I have a rent and bills to pay, not to mention I need to eat…
“Would you expect Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue – with an audience readership of 11,909,000 – to settle with receiving a free sample of perfume in exchange for an advertising page in the magazine?”
Like a popular magazine, certain blogs are priced according to their readership and engagement from a targeted audience. Therefore whatever is published to a blog will most likely influence the shopping choices of readers, and a brand looking to promote their product will seek a blogger for said influence.
To best address any sponsored opportunities from a potential brand/client, think about creating a COLLABORATE or SERVICES page that highlights exactly what a brand can expect to receive from working with you, any disclaimers or disclosures you have (ex. no guest posts or sponsored inquiries only notes) and previous brands you have worked with along with relative links to those features. I find the best way to “sell yourself” to a brand is to show what you’re capable of providing them.
Trust me, I used to have a difficult time turning down certain brands due to lack of payment but at the end of the day, I’m much happier knowing there are many other brands that see the quality of my work and are paying me what I deserve. Yes you’ll end up missing out on certain opportunities down the road but staying true to yourself and remembering what you’re worth is much more important than the latest brand campaign. Like fish, there’s plenty of blogging opportunities in the sea.
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