Let’s start this conversation with this:
How much money do you charge a brand for sponsored content on your blog?
This is obviously a private number, think about it inside your head. If for some reason your answer is a measly ZERO, we need to do some major talking! I don’t mean to sound harsh – promise! But in reality, this should be a wake-up call for any blogger NOT charging for sponsored content to learn your worth and be confident in that. If you are charging for sponsored content, give yourself a pat on the back, because this seemingly small step is making HUGE strides for the blogging community globally!
1. Time = Money
Know your worth! I can’t stress this enough. All of the time, the hours that you spend creating content, connecting with brands, being on social media, and promoting your blog is time going down the drain if you aren’t being paid for it. Start keeping track of exactly how much time you are putting into your blog, and calculate an hourly rate for that you feel comfortable with. That is the amount that you need to be telling brands your time is worth.
2. You are influential.
We wrote a blog post back in August called, “Why Working With Bloggers is The New Media,” and revealed some pretty powerful information about how influential bloggers really are. One statistic that really stood out to me came from Social Media Today stating, “61% of US consumers made a purchase based on a blog post.” Wow – that’s a big number! Overall, this is just a small measure of how influential a bloggers voice is whenever they are connecting with their audience.
Many brands and companies are beginning to realize the power of blogger’s voices and the impact that they have, but others still don’t understand that. Either way, you must realize your influence and place value on that. Once you are able to do that, whenever a company reaches out to partner with you through your blog or a social media platform, speak up for yourself. They are reaching out to you for a reason, and you will be helping them generate sales for their company in some way, so you must be compensated for that – with money, not product!
3. Not charging under-values the blogging industry as a whole.
This is a very important point for me. While I understand that there are many bloggers out there who get into blogging as a hobby or just for fun, most people get into blogging with the intention of generating a living, or eventually fall into monetizing. If you are one of those people who got into blogging so that you can share your child’s experiences as they grow up with family members who live 1,000 miles away, then don’t start working with brands if you aren’t going to value your time and charge them.
The reason is simple. If a brand knows that they can get work done from a blogger who isn’t valuing their influence, they will stop paying highly qualified bloggers who are trying to make a living to support themselves and/or their families.
It becomes a viscous cycle of: brand reaches out to amazing blogger –> blogger won’t work for free –> brand declines to pay and partners with a blogger who will work for free –> brand is unhappy with content and outcome of campaign –> brand decides never to work with bloggers again. I hear it time and time again.
Whenever you start partnering with brands, you have to understand that your blog is growing and standing out. If you don’t charge for sponsored content over and over again, it will under-value the blogging industry as a whole and continue the cycle of brands putting their advertising dollars elsewhere. Don’t be that blogger.
After reading this, you might be asking yourself: how much money should I charge? If that’s the case, you should come to our upcoming webinar Show Me The Money – Monetization Basics for Bloggers on February 25th, 2015 or March 18th, 2015, both from 7-9pm! We hope to see you there!
Author: Allison Cooper
Allison is the Co-Founder and CEO of INTRO NYC and Founder & CEO of Project Motherhood (www.projectmotherhoodnyc.com), an online resource helping moms love their post-pregnancy body and always rock their #MamaStyle! She loves educating new bloggers and connecting them with brands to help their business grow!