Going into my 5th year of blogging I realize and understand that I am on a different level than many bloggers I know. For one, there are so many bloggers who don’t make money. I make a substantial amount from my blog and I’m not talking about pennies. I have advanced to another level and for me that means now going into 2014 I will need to turn down some things because it’s just not worth my time and energy.
This year I have worked with tons of big-name brands. These are just a few.
I have had the pleasure of promoting some wonderful meaningful campaigns and have helped to raise awareness and amplify the brands platforms. My reach for some campaigns have reached millions of people through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter and it is usually tracked through an online program like TweetReach, which lets the brands know how influential I truly am.
But my time is money. I don’t work for free. There are some passion projects I take on because I want to help the greater good. But when brands approach influential bloggers, they should be prepared with a budget in mind of what they can offer that blogger for their time and effort. It’s a job, just like the job they do and get paid for. And I am offended and have been disappointed by the number of brands who approach me wanting me to post information for free. And I am disappointed by the PR people who reach out to me to attend events that are less than suitable than what they promoted and promised.
For instance, I recently attended a Breakfast with Santa event that had Santa but no Breakfast. Ok, so they had hot chocolate and a muffin but is that truly Breakfast with Santa? My kids were disappointed and were looking forward to actual breakfast and a better venue to sit with Santa than to walk into a storefront, take pictures with Santa and be ushered out.
Earlier this year I also attended a shoe event where they asked for lots of personal information like my social media numbers, only for me to drive 40 mins to the event and receive a $25 gift card. For a little insight, I would have NEVER gone to this event if I knew they were only offering $25. I paid more for gas to get there and back. I’m not sure how these events benefit me. And no it’s not about supporting the bloggers who put on these events. I have 5 kids and I have better things to do than to support bloggers who don’t look out for me and ensure I get more than $25 or so out of a brand campaign. I support bloggers all the time. There are bloggers like Lamar and Ronnie Tyler who always ensure that I’m included on campaigns and guess what, I get paid handsomely. And if Lamar and Ronnie ever ask me to do anything for them, I’d do it in a heartbeat. No questions asked.
And then there are bloggers who get mad because you speak the truth. Well if more bloggers stood together and not take the scraps from these companies or if bloggers actually look out for other bloggers then this wouldn’t be an issue. So for me, I am backing out of local events if they don’t have a comparable return for me and my business.
I am not a new blogger and I am not desperate for scraps. And even though I make money from my blog I absolutely do not rely on this income to pay my bills. My husband, who is an Engineer, makes a nice income. Let’s be clear, I live a comfortable life with or without this blog. My mortgage will be paid with or without this blog. My electricity will be paid with or without this blog. This blog doesn’t support my lifestyle. I blog because this is an outlet for me and as a mom of five I know I have lots of life experience and successes that can lend a light and support to others who are looking for ways to improve upon their lives.
In the future, if companies want an influential blogger with numbers to back my reach, then I’m your woman. But I have to do things differently in 2014 because I realize that I am on a different level in blogging. There once was a time when I was happy to get approached by companies to do anything for free. But then I realized I was being taken advantage of. And with me, you not only get a skilled blogger, you are getting a journalist with 20 years of expertise under my belt. So I knew I deserved more and started demanding it.
Bloggers can’t be afraid to ask for what they are worth. And it pains me when bloggers are so happy with scraps. It reminds me of someone throwing scraps in the streets and homeless people running up to it on their hands and knees happy to get any little piece of it. That same homeless person can keep their dignity and walk into a shelter and get a cot and a hot meal and eat from utensils and get the help, support and encouragement they need to do better. That’s the same with bloggers. Stop crawling on your hands and knees and accepting scraps. When one blogger demands more, it makes it better for the rest. Stop being so desperate. If you are really hard-up for money, then step away from the computer and get yourself a job that will bring in more. Blogging takes time and you’re not gonna have a bag full of money from it overnight. You want to get paid for blogging? Then:
- Do your research
- Contact companies on your own
- Stop looking for handouts
- Actually BLOG
It’s amazing how many bloggers I see online crying about what they don’t have. Facebook is not the place to showcase your problems and tell the world how poor you are. And for goodness sakes, I see people all the time trying to duplicate me. You cannot up and do what it has taken me 5 years to do! People start a blog and then next thing you know they are contacting me to find out how to go on Disney trips! People barely blog and then they are contacting me asking for a PR contact so they can get on a list. Do your homework. Do your footwork. Or at least have a trade off. Give ME a contact for the contact I’m giving you!
Next year if people want my expertise and want to pick my brain, there will be a price. I will consult you for a fee. I will give you valuable information about blogging to get you started off right. But I won’t be your babysitter and hold your hand while you learn how to blog.
Leave a comment with your thoughts but let me caution you. If you leave this blog angry then you are probably one of the ones taking scraps. If you are crying about paying your bills you have options other than blogging. Instead of being angry, channel that into helping yourself do better with blogging and advance to the next level. This had to be said. And hopefully it has been food for thought and will help get you on the right track.