Will Blog For Gas (Or Toilet Paper)
Time = Money
If you are a blogger who has been writing on your own website for more than 6 months you’ve probably been contacted by a brand or PR agent. And at first you were all, surprised, ME? Really, they LIKE my site, they want to work with me?! You were impressed they found your blog at all.
In fact the brand was one you’ve gushed about with girlfriends at bookclub! When they asked you to write about a new product release or a service campaign they were involved in, you said heck yes! And told yourself it’s enough that it’s ‘just for the exposure’.
Soon after another company offered to send you a bottle of their newest product in exchange for a giveaway of the same product or for a review & write up on your site. You were still willing, after all, you received something for your time, right?
No Thanks I’d Rather Get Paid In Toilet Paper
What if I really don’t need the widget/gadget (or heaven forbid) another bottle of lotion? I can’t really feed my kids with that. I certainly can’t fill up my gas tank with it. IF they want to send me something practical like toilet paper, wonderful! I ALWAYS need toilet paper. Week after week after WEEK. But lotion? Yeah, there’s only so much lotion I can use (even if I love it!).
I understand they need to get the word out about their product. But a product that has little practical value or worth less than $25-50 isn’t worth a BLOGGER’s TIME. You can’t buy my space for a bottle of lotion. Toilet paper?
Yes, feel free to send it my way.
The Blogger Unpaid Bell Curve
Most new bloggers go through a cycle like I’ve just described. At first they have little traffic and no brand association. But slowly they increase traffic and jump on the Twitter stream, maybe attend a blog conference and quickly PR agents follow. That same blogger might write and work with several brands for a few months, only to realize hey? I’m getting paid NOTHING and often giving out a lot of creative ideas and content, not to mention press for a brand or company.
Soon they slide back down the curve and decide their own content is more important than simply writing a press release for a company. And they also realize free product isn’t worth their writing time and influence.
It’s Time For Bloggers To Get Paid
Determine what your time is worth.
Ask around, find out what types of paying gigs other bloggers are getting:
- Sponsored Posts
- Guest Writing on Company Blogs
- Press Junkets (not usually paid but expenses often are)
- Joining a Blog Tour
- Paneling a Twitter Party
Anecdotally, I have been told that bloggers charge between $25 and $500 for a one time sponsored writing gig depending on their overall traffic and social media influence (this may or may not include a product sample). Blog tours usually include a more well rounded campaign, including: blog posts and/or giveaway posts as well as time spent on a Twitter party or other Social Media outlet. Also be sure to calculate the time you spend running a really great giveaway. Ask for hourly compensation for the time spent.
You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned finding an ad network, or selling your own sidebar ad space. That’s because the amount of work you need to put into finding your own sponsors tends to outweigh the price you’re able to charge. Some bloggers make this work, but they are far and few between. And your traffic must be HUGE to get involved with a trusted ad network.
I’m also not a big fan of spending time writing or working with the current blogger intermediaries where your only income option comes in the form of a ‘chance to win a $50 gift card’. I don’t have time for sweepstakes.
I’d rather get paid in toilet paper than in lottery entries.
What types of paid gigs are working for you?
All thoughts on this post are my own.
And who knew there are websites that only sell Toilet Paper? (There are). And ToiletPaperWorld.com contacted me after this post and freaking PAID me in TP to write for them. Yes. I’m serious.