How would you feel if you read a line like this?
“Let’s stop pretending your blog is a world-changing event and recognize it for what it is–something transient that may be gone tomorrow if you flake out or change your mind or your Uncle Vinny finds your blog and you realize you don’t really want him to know where you live because you still owe him money.
And there’s more like it on “Why PR People Get Paid and You Don’t” by an anonymous publicist on Mom Blog Magazine.
The article prompted a thoughtful reaction from Christy Matte, who shared her views about the publicist/mom blogger relationship in “The Blogger/PR Tango – It Takes Two.” She comments about the good, bad, and ugly, from the perspective of a woman who’s been blogging for years and has seen the game change before her eyes.
Both posts are commentaries on the practice of promoting brands in return for free products or trips. Advertising versus publicity. Working for free versus getting paid for your hard work. And the idea that as long as there are those bloggers who work for free, the evolution of compensated relationships will be slower.
Matte defends those among us who are professional, conscientious, and hard-working, but concedes that there are many mom bloggers who don’t put in the time and effort:
“I also know that companies routinely reward the squeaky-wheel, churn-out-content and give-me-free-stuff bloggers by working with blogs that are poorly written, relatively new, and/or over-saturated with pre-existing brand relationships. I am shocked (and it’s rare for me to use that term) by the bloggers who nab high-profile campaigns. They have open catfights on their blogs, belittle others, and write like they couldn’t possibly have graduated from 8th grade.”
Matte’s post generated some interesting comments from other bloggers who have created a presence for themselves in the industry. Kim from The Girl Is a Mom has watched as less established bloggers score campaigns and put out shoddy work but “I keep my head held high knowing I am not just a product pusher, I write well, the majority of my blog is real content and karma will always be on my side.” Kim Moldofsky, on the other hand, said “a blogger should figure out where she fits in the scheme of things and if she’s not happy with her place, she should work to get where she wants to be rather than complain about how unfair life is.”
I’ve talked to countless bloggers who roll their eyes at giveaways and reviews and sigh heavily about the backlog of content that they feel obligated to generate in return for attendance at events or because a publicist sent them something in the mail. What do you think? Is your blog post worth free stuff or do you charge for featuring products on your site? Or have you found a successful way to make money with your blog that doesn’t involve all that?
[photo by Peter Gustafson via Stock Xchng]