Sunday, 16 September 2018

Why Are We Afraid To Discuss Money As Bloggers?


blogger discussing money

Why are we afraid to discuss money as bloggers? And no, I'm not talking about the awkward exchange that can tend to happen when an older family member or someone who just doesn't understand that you can, in fact, make money from your own little space on the internet, asks what you do, I'm talking about discussing it with fellow bloggers.

As blogging is still a relatively new profession, there's not much guidance online about how much you should be charging for the variety of things that you can offer as a blogger and even when there is, you'll find someone boasting that they've made $100,000+ in their first year of blogging when you click into one of those Pinterest guides. You know the ones.

The whole Brand New fiasco, which left hundreds of bloggers owed anywhere from £20 to thousands of pounds, really got me thinking about just why we don't talk openly about money and what we charge as bloggers. We share so much of our lives on social media and our blogs but for some reason or another the topic of money is still a bit of a taboo.

Do you know what you should be charging? Do you know what other bloggers are asking for compared to what you do? Do you wish that the whole thing was discussed more openly? I mean, here are just a few of the issues that I bet most of us bloggers will have faced at one point or another, as well as some of my personal experiences when it comes to the topic of money as a blogger;

Undervaluing ourselves vs. getting paid at all

Whether blogging is your side hustle, hobby or full time job, getting paid can either be a nice added bonus or a completely necessary part of the job.

It can be so tempting to accept less than what you'd ordinarily charge. I try to stick to charging over £100 now for a link within one of my upcoming blog posts but I often find myself spending hours and days trying to negotiate a PR up from £50 to nearer what I would call my bottom line. In this past tax year alone, I've done five posts under £100 solely because it was a case of accepting them or getting paid nothing at all that week or month. Trying to find the right balance is tricky even when you've been blogging for almost 5 years like I have.

Valuing your time

I'm definitely guilty of accepting what is essentially peanuts in the past, particularly when it comes to my Instagram or working for free but this is something where you have to weigh up the pros and cons of each post. You yourself will know what's worth it for you.

For example, I only charged £30 for this Instagram post with Always which was agreed upon via Brand New. It was the first and thankfully the last time that I worked via Brand New and I did actually get a cheque in the post that cleared after they went into administration, so at least I was eventually paid. Others haven't been so lucky. My engagement on Instagram at the time was less than ideal and the brand were one that I already used and pay for their products out of my own pocket. When fellow bloggers heard what I'd charged, when the whole Brand New drama unfolded, they were shocked and a little annoyed for me that I was only paid said amount when they'd managed to negotiate for more. It was a really stark example of me not valuing the time that it took me to set up the photo, take it, edit it, write copy and then promote it on my feed. It was also another blatant example of there being no real consensus on what to charge based on your following and engagement.

It's a mixture of sharing what you love, whether you've paid for it yourself or if you've been sent it to consider, for free and asking for some kind of compensation if a brand or PR gets in touch to ask you to feature a product that you've never tried or heard of before. Again, you should know what's worth it for you.

glasgow lifestyle bloggers

$10-30 emails vs. knowing your worth

If you've ever even posted just one blog post online, you will have no doubt received an email out of the blue offering you the 'opportunity' of a paid or sponsored 'collaboration'. You'll get quite excited and ask for more details only to find out that they want you to write a 1000+ word blog post with three follow links, a banner in your sidebar and your first born child all for the sum of about $15!

I dread to think how many bloggers just starting out and those of us who aren't entirely clued up on even the average rate for a blog post, accept that amount. I'm also a member of quite a few blogger opportunity pages on Facebook, where admittedly I have found some really interesting and worth your while and time opportunities but the amount of them where they want you to have a blog post go live in about half an hour, with all the same fun requirements as above, all for £20-£30 is unreal.

When you continue to receive these emails or see these budgets, it definitely has you questioning your own worth and if what you're doing is worth anymore than this. I can tell you now; you are worth so much more!

Blogging for exposure

What's even worse than $10-30, blogging for 'exposure'.

'Oh we don't have any budget at the moment but we can share it on social media to our followers.'

How many of us have received that as a reply when you even mention the possibility of being paid or receiving the product that they want you to blog about? Has anyone ever paid their rent, car payments, food shopping or bills with exposure? Plus how many of these brands do you ever see sharing micro influencers or just your average blogger with less than 100,000 followers content on the regular?

glasgow fashion bloggers

Who thinks that we should really band together as bloggers to ensure that we don't continue to get taken advantage of or accept less than what we're worth? The more of us who naively accept pennies for practically giving that brand, PR or company the earth, the more they'll think that it's okay to offer up £10-25 as a fee.

What do you think? Should we be open to discussing money more openly as bloggers? Would you like to hear what I have charged in the past broken down a little bit further? And which one of your blogging besties would benefit from reading today's post?

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