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.
YOU ARE AWESOME!!! Love this post Kia 🙂
Thanks SO much Mellisa for stopping by! I felt it Had to be said.
Welp you said that and I totally agreed!
I hear you! Clearly you know your worth and if brands want your level of quality they are going to have to step up.
Great insight and advice!
You couldn’t have said it better. I am tired of people acting all taboo about the money topic like no one should say anything. I am especially glad you addressed how other bloggers do too. that is a big issue I deal with as well and everyone usually wants to be all hush hush about it.
Yes! Bloggers should be wiling to help but so many just clutch and hold on to what they have for dear life. And it’s because that’s ALL they have! It’s a shame and they don’t even realize how they look!! There’s no need for that! Thanks for stopping by Krystel!
I’m with you all the way.
I started sponsored posts before I had a large following like I do now.
Sponsored posts and Twitter parties come to be on regular basis now.
You should put out there what you want for 2014.
Only thing I’d add to your post is your media kit/advertise page. Let brand know what it takes to work with you.
Thanks for the insight Joyce! That’s one of the things I have to do before 2014 is revamp my media kit. I will definitely be posting that up in the coming weeks and I’ll be in touch with you. Thanks much!
Thank you for this! Awesome awesome awesome post! I too plan on doing less of the FREE. I will stay true to my charity focus but the rest is up to negotiation!
So tell us how you really feel;)? No, seriously I think you knowing your worth is a great thing. Believe it or not, as I new blogger, I’m kind of feeling the same way. I have to be selective because I have 50-11 things going on in my whole life. I’m not sure what my blog will be but It has to work for me.
LOL Kendra, being upfront is my M.O. I’m definitely not a Southern Belle! LOL And I am just tired of tip-toeing around the issue. Better to be upfront and let everyone know where I stand instead of being cutesy about it so I don’t hurt people’s feelings. Once you hit 40, those days of holding your tongue are ova! LOL xoxo!
Kia…I am actually excited to have read this post from you! Thank you for saying what needs to be said, and for pushing yourself and bloggers connected to you to raise the bar. I am enjoying my 3+ years of this adventure in blogging, and I am looking to be in position for more in 2014.
Thanks Dee. There’s so much more that was left unsaid but I just hope folks get it together and stop the hating and back-biting that goes on in blogging. And for those who want to get to the next level, they just need to put in the work. It’ll come! Thanks for stopping by!
This was very helpful! 🙂