Have you set goals for your blog for the new year? Maybe this year, you want to start to work with brands.
Almost as soon as you mention wanting to work with brands, you will hear a chorus of “don’t work for free!”
And while you should know that your time is valuable and your blog space is valuable, everyone needs to look at this for themselves.
“Free” means different things to different people. Some say it’s “free” if no money is involved, while others consider product/trips payment. Still others(and this is rare) consider traffic or content payment.
Your audience will have a lot to do with what you will be offered and what you can ask in terms of payment. While I don’t think there’s a magic formula for X # of page views = X $ payment, if your blog is brand new, you have to understand that it takes time to build up and get better paid opportunities. The following are things to think about if you are just getting started working with brands.
Reviews and Giveaways
A good way to get started working with brands is to do a review/giveaway without other forms of compensation. It shows that you want to have that kind of content on your blog and helps you build relationships with brands. You can be selective in what you choose to review. If it’s not something you would actually use, don’t waste your time. But if it’s something you would like to have or would buy anyway and it would be of interest to your readers, then go for it.
Even now, there are times when I will blog just for product. Some bloggers have a price value in mind, like saying they won’t do a review and giveaway unless the value of the item is more than $50, but I tend to go on a product by product basis: if it’s something I really like or really want to try, if it’s a company that I love or have a relationship with, if it’s something y’all would like, and if I have time to get it done.
Personally, I don’t usually do stand-alone giveaways. If I’m not receiving product, I should at least get some sort of fee for hosting the giveaway. You could argue that if the prize is awesome enough, the traffic alone will be worth it… but if a company has the budget to giveaway something that big (like an iPad or vacation), they probably have it in their budget to pay you at least something for the work you will put into writing and promoting the post.
But there are exceptions: I’ve hosted giveaways for friends and in celebration of different events. You have to figure out what makes sense to you.
Sponsored Content/Press Releases
Sometimes you’ll receive press release types of emails. Companies who would like you to blog about their product or a deal that they are offering. These are the types of posts that I would need to receive monetary compensation for and even then, it would have to be something that fit this blog. I’m not in desperate need of content- and if I did come down with a case of blogger’s block, I’d rather ask some of you to guest post for me rather than just post press releases that aren’t of interest to you.
But, again- you need to look at it on a case by case basis- maybe it is something that you think your audience is dying to know about. Maybe you are a deal blogger and like to share promotions with your readers. Or maybe you blog celeb gossip and appreciate a photo of a celeb sporting a new product. When I was writing celeb gossip on another blog, I adored those types of press releases. But they aren’t a fit here.
It has to make sense to you- and if it does, you can come up with a rate for a post.
Don’t lose your voice. Don’t use your blog for anything that you don’t want to blog about. You have to decide what opportunities are worth your time and which to pass on. But if you are just getting started, sometimes you will be working for free.
What is your opinion about blogging for “free?”
Next week: What to do with a bad pitch