Know Your Value As A Blogger

There’s been a lot of blogger bashing this week, around the internet… Not naming names, because I’m loathe to bring more publicity to such an unpleasant topic but to summarise – bloggers are not blaggers. It’s something that I’m sure everyone who pens an online post has experienced, but managing your own online empire is no small feat and it’s overdue for a lot of people to acknowledge it. I think that, increasingly, it’s important to know your value as a blogger.

Reading people’s comments disparaging bloggers led to me thinking about what it is to be a blogger. Sure, there are always going to be people who start out purely wanting freebies or those who fake their way to the top… For every faux blogger, there’s five incredibly talented creators who work and work and work on making their online space the best possible. For free. Yup, the majority of a blogger’s work isn’t paid – on any given day, there’s email admin, scheduling tweets, graphic design, copywriting, editing, networking, photography and juggling a million different things. Not to complain at all, because being a blogger is amazing and it’s one of my proudest achievements. No, what I do think needs to change is that people need to realise the sheer volume of work and commitment that goes into running a blog. Frankly, this needs to be acknowledged and respected. It takes a lot of courage to publish your life online and there’s enough going on without having to deal with people not understanding how incredible the blogging world is. After all of the time dedicated to your blog, it’s more than justifiable to expect to be compensated for your time. I will always support bloggers who #ad because I know how hard it is to be able to be paid for your time. 2018, it’s the year of the blogger.

So, the unpleasantness started with a debate based around bloggers pitching out to brands. Pitching is something that happens. Take, for example, a magazine house like Hearst. They have a dedicated advertising team who solely focus on pitching to brands and negotiating different posts, fees and advertising packages. When the online circulation for countless bloggers wildly outstrips traditional print media, I don’t see why a blogger organising paid work in exchange for a tangible amount of exposure going to be an issue.

It is 2018 and the digital world is not slowing down. Magazines are constantly shutting down (Glamour went from 12 to 2 issues a year recently and YoY circulation figures continue to drop and drop across all magazines) and so it’s becoming increasingly clear that traditional media is a dying art. What’s left? Digital. Bloggers are leading the forefront and times are changing. The amount of interest, engagement and ultimately revenue that a blogger can bring savvy businesses doesn’t really have a limit – there are countless hardworking bloggers who are all professional, determined and driven.

Which brings me back to pitching. Pitching is essentially, a business negotation between a brand and a blogger, which involves the blogger reaching out to said brand and proposing a collaboration. I don’t in anyway mean emailing a brand with a shopping list, but politely emailing a brand contact with a detailed overview of what you might be looking for and what you’d potentially want to receive in return is no different to what is being done every day, in numerous industries.

Having worked in PR and Digital in multiples agencies, when bloggers emailed me to have an introduction – it made my job far easier. There are a lot of bloggers, and if someone emails you a proposal that makes sense for your brand and budget then to me, it’s a very good thing. It’s not being ballsy or asking for too much – that attitude needs to go. Knowing what you want and working towards it should be celebrated because why the fuck not?

Pitching is not something to be feared, and as long as you have a clear end goal and are forthcoming with the communication, there’s nothing to lose. The worst that can happen is a brand might say no, and hearing no is just something that happens when you’re working in any industry. Don’t take it personally, and work on building relationships with a brand who does want to work with you. Pitching might just lead to an amazing new collaboration between you and the brand of your dreams.

I’m going to be frank here – beauty brands want to be digital. Having met countless brands through agency life, there has not been one person who hasn’t wanted to work with bloggers. They might not know the intricacies of having a blogger campaign, but people want a piece of action. My biggest piece of advice would be to never forget that this a two way street – a blogger might be asking for a product to feature or to work together but this in turn also helps the brand. Through reaching KPIs, increasing SEO, maximising exposure, hitting online targets and just generally getting a brand seen by a new audience, there is a lot of value in what a blog can bring to a brand. Being at the right place at the right time plays a big role in this too – meaning a no right now doesn’t mean the doors have closed on you working with the brand forever.

A blog, and its online space, has a lot of value. People will always try and tear down ambitious people but the space for opportunities is there for the taking. Bloggers have a tremendous skill set at their disposal and belittling that is just so tedious. If brands don’t want to be left behind, it’s time for them to wake up and understand our value.

Photos by the amazing Fordtography

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