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  • http://www.Charity-Matters.Com Heidi Johnson

    Thanks Chris! Yes, there are a few of us that are not for sale. Not trying to be for sale, just trying to give a voice to those that do not have one. While our voices may not be big enough to buy, they do matter and they do reach people. So thank you for acknowledging us, we are making a difference…quietly….just the way we like it.

  • Gail Gardner

    Although traditional PR contacted Journalists who are paid salaries CAN be compared to those to bloggers for major blogs that are also paid, that is a totally different business model than a small blog. Then or now, though, only the very naive can truly believe advertising dollars do not determine media coverage – not only amount but what is – and more importantly – IS NOT – written about a brand.

    You are arguing that YOU should be paid for your work coordinating blog outreach, but that bloggers should want to work for you for free for what? The prestige? Because they love the big brand that is rolling in profit who would prefer not to pay anyone fairly – not their employees nor their suppliers?

    These companies want to argue they deserve “earned” media coverage when what they are really doing is BUYING that awareness by paying PR agencies to go out and sell it for them. They aren't earning it by some good deed or being awesome – they are spending money to get a PR agency to talk bloggers into working for free on their behalf.

    In my experience there are NOT thousands of exceptional blogs in ANY niche. The few bloggers who have high integrity, write well, have something worth reading to say, who have the audience you wish to reach, and know how to use social media DESERVE to be compensated for their time.

    Yes, they need to produce quality content but it doesn't have to be about what YOU want so if you want them to dedicate their time to really understanding a company's products and services that company should be willing to compensate those bloggers who have great interest in what they offer for their time.

  • Michael

    I like to think that when I approach a blogger for an article, which I am happy to provide, it gives their blog more gravitas in terms of content (which Google wants right?)

    Bloggers caught wind that companies were buying up links like crazy and this is most likely where it all started. Now everyone thinks their blog (either established or not) feels they can charge $150 per post, its crazy.

    Anyway I really liked the article as its something I have been thinking about for a while now.

  • Martin Bradley

    Hmm. To pay or not to pay, that is the question. Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune, Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles.
    As we know, SEO’s have been getting away with paid links for years until Google decided to reign havoc, and let slip the furry animals of war to penalise site owners for doing so. However, if Google state they don’t like paid links and as such will devalue them, where do we draw the line between paid links and paid blog posts? Will paying for blog posts ultimately become part of the Google SLAP? Well it’s turned in to more of a full on assault than a mere slap.
    If we are to work within Google guidelines we need to build relationships with people in order to provide valuable content but I fear that blogger outreach will inevitably become yet another devalued resource as more and more bloggers begin to charge us for the pleasure of sharing our wise words of wisdom.
    Or should the proverbial shoe be cast towards the mighty Google. Surely they know that if there is money to be made from blogging then it will be made.
    I feel we are walking along the narrowest of cliffs with the big G on one side and it’s army of ancient critters and the horde of money making swines on the other.
    Perhaps dear sirs, as we walk together along this perilous path of righteousness, we will find a common ground and do the only thing that’s right and true. We will not follow the path. We will instead go where there is no path, and leave a trail for others to follow.

  • DaGood

    Totally agree.
    I had a heated discussion with Jeremy Owyang and others at Web 2.0 conference in 2009 about this, when people were starting to say that payment was needed. I was made to feel very naive, but I still think I was right.
    Made me write a couple of blog posts with my views:
    Cash crosses a line
    Cash disincentives

  • Zennie Abraham

    There’s a huge, huge misunderstanding here.  Blogs are the new form of newspaper.  In order for a blogger to make a living in a World with a lot of content consuming eyeballs, the money can’t come just from ads.  Sponsored posts have to be part of the equation. If you really stop and think about it, paid journalists were the sponsored bloggers of their time the minute an editor said they had to write something positive about a person or firm because they were an advertiser. Just because the advertiser wasn’t readily visible then doesn’t mean the same relationship dynamics don’t apply.  Also, when you’re working with a daily blogger who’s blog is hooked up to a vast social network, you’re asking for a free-ride on that person’s distribution system.  One post may automatically go out to as many as 10 different platforms, or up to 30, at once – and you want that for free?  Increasingly, that’s not happening, and it should not. In the end, it’s better to have a few sponsored posts, and not just to craft a message, but to make sure it’s distributed.

    • Kimberly Morris Gauthier

      Thank you for appreciating our value, Zennie

  • Kimberly Morris Gauthier

    This is so disappointing to read. I’m not sure which bloggers you’re referring to or if this is a blanket statement to be applied to all of us, but the level of disrespect is stunning.

    I do want fresh, new content – so this is what I produce for my blog daily. I no longer accept guest posts, because I have developed a voice/tone that my readers come to expect. The time I put into tying a sponsored post into the message of my blog is valuable. Why shouldn’t I be reimbursed? When I do a product review, I take my time thinking of all aspects of a product, I ask follow up questions to the brand to ensure that I’m sharing accurate information, I write a post that will excite people about a product, I market my posts heavily, and I follow up with reading questions/comments. Why shouldn’t I be reimbursed for my time?

    As a professional blogger, I promote my blog online, locally and at blogging conferences. I maintain an updated media kit, I submit proposals to brands weekly that I think will not only benefit their products, but my site as well, and I monitor my ranking keywords daily (yes, obsessive) and my analytics weekly. I’m always learning what I can do to improve my reader experience, because this makes my blog a better home for brands and businesses. Why shouldn’t I be reimbursed?

    And blogging isn’t free! I pay for multiple domains, my hosting, FB advertising, not to mention all of my marketing materials. There are annual blogging conferences, summer dog festivals, and local marketing and sponsorship.

    When a brand or business works with a quality, professional blogger, they’re paying for brand awareness. I can’t promise sales, but if I do my job, I can plant a seed in my readers so that when they need a tough dog toy (or a friend brings it up), they’ll refer them to my blog.

    I don’t have a degree in marketing (it’s in business) or years of experience in marketing or PR (it’s in accounting), but I am a professional and I take my blogging very seriously. It’s a labor of love, but this is a business; it’s disappointing that bloggers are viewed with such disdain.

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