Inspiration

Debunking a myth about blogging and site stats

PR “Would you like $50 to write a sponsored post?”

ME “No thanks”

PR “Oh…why?”

ME “Um, because I would be earning about $15 an hour if I did that”

PR “What do you mean?”

ME “Well, I’d research your company and product, write a piece then edit it two or three times.  Following that, I’d take photos or even create a video and really, $50 doesn’t cover it.”

I want to debunk a myth today.  You don’t need to have high stats to value your worth as a blogger.  True story.

Chatting with a friend yesterday (who is a highly respected blogger), she commented that her stats were lower than mine.  Not true, in fact hers are higher.  I think she assumed this was the case because we had been previously discussing sponsored post rates and we discovered that there was a difference between what we both charge.  My rates are higher even though my stats are lower.

Why?

Simply put, I’ve set my value and even though I’m not pulling in the fabulous page views that my favourite bloggers are, I don’t want to sell myself short.

This has meant that I’ve turned down $$ (like the example above that occurred last week) but it also means that the companies that I work with get the best of me.  Not that people who are receiving lower payments are not giving it 100%!

The brand/blogger relationship is still a relatively new sphere for many companies.  They’re testing the waters and so are we.  As bloggers it’s really important to value yourself.  Value your time.  Value your community.

It’s easy to think: “I have to start somewhere”.  That’s true.  We all do.  However if you’ve taken the time to build a community and populate your blog with quality content, don’t feel that you have to say yes to PRs who are not respecting the time that you’ve spent to get where you are today.  The fact that you have an audience reading your blog means that you have reach and influence.  A small, highly engaged audience can be very beneficial to brands.

My site stats are not huge.  In fact, compared to many others they’re tiny.  Does this mean that I miss out on opportunities?  HELL no!  At the moment I’m reviewing a great product that is relevant to my readers and makes me smile (more to come on that one).  I’m making a video, testing out the limitations, giving it hell so I can offer my readers an honest review.  That.  Takes.  Time.

Think about the value of an hour to you.  Place a dollar value on what some prime real estate on your blog is worth.  $50 for a sponsored post barely covers my overheads when I consider hosting, plugins etc.

I encourage you to think about your blog as a business if you’re offering sponsored content.  Write a brief business plan and think about where you want to eventually end up.

Act today, the way you want to be treated in the future.

Some PR’s have laughed at me when I’ve told them my sponsored rates in relation to my stats.  That’s fine.  I get it, I honestly do.  However, I’m not going to lower my standards.

I want to make blogging a full time business, and that’s why I need to set my standards high from the start.  If I were to accept that a post on my blog was only worth $50, that would mean my time over the last 2 years has not really amounted to much at all.  Unless I was posting sponsored content 7 days a week, several times each day, $50 doesn’t really add up to much at all.

I’m not saying to compare yourself to the successful bloggers who are earning fabulous rates. Unless you’ve been blogging daily for several years (as they have) and building your profile to command 4 figure sums, you’re comparing apples and oranges.  What I beg you to do is to VALUE yourself.  Think about what your time is really worth and add a few $$ on top of that.

In the retail world, there are two main strategies for selling: high volume at low cost, or higher cost with lower volume.  In terms of blogs, I find it difficult to read post after post that is sponsored from the one writer.  I am happy to read sponsored content, but I think that a blogger who has a balance of sponsored versus organic content is given more weight in my mind.  I think the second strategy works better for blogs: higher cost with lower volume.

Maybe I’m in lala land, but I think if we all band together and let brands/PRs know that our time is more valuable than a packet of bandaids or $50 they will soon start to listen.