Written By Jen
Jen, travel writer and founder of UrbanMoms philosophizes about modern day mothering, social media, and life's next adventure.Read Her Blog "Mom's The Word"
Someone actually asked me to write this post and it has been brewing for quite some time now. This topic is something I feel strongly about and we talk about it a lot in the UrbanMoms office. I get asked about it all of the time and these conversations never cease to amaze me.
Here is what I know for sure:
I know some of the most amazingly smart, funny, witty, beautiful writers and bloggers in existence. I am constantly amused, challenged and often dumbfounded by the insight, information and intelligence found online. Brilliantly eloquent and thought provoking commentary and dialogue. A rich and vast resource.
So why don’t they see themselves that way? I mean, they mustn’t, right? They must not believe in their own value because many are giving their gifts away for free. I have been told many times that many bloggers who contribute to profitable, successful sites do not get paid. I KNOW! I can not believe that what is truly the heart and soul of any site is not valued enough by the site itself to justify compensation.
Then, in defense of this, I am told “but they get free stuff and invitations to events and parties and exposure”. FOR REAL?! Can one’s words, time and value be traded for some free swag? Appalling. Appalling because the owners of these sites are laughing all the way to the bank. Your words = traffic to their site = $$ in the bank. Believe me, I know of what I speak.
Now let me clarify, on one’s personal blog or on a collective site that is not a business or not for profit or even not “there yet” this makes sense. Contra deals and writing as part of a collective has value. Attending events, doing contra deals with brands or getting some stuff for free is a bonus. But, being expected to contribute to a business, a profitable one, without being paid is, in my opinion just wrong. I have worked in marketing for my whole career and can’t believe that some bloggers and tweeters with significant influence are promoting sites, products and brands for free. Do they not see the incredible value they bring and what it is worth to these brands?
But what is truly amazing to me is that bloggers and writers and tweeters seem to accept this. They actively promote brands and events and sites in exchange for nothing but a pat on the back (or some free swag). And why this amazes me is because I think that, collectively, the decision was made for them that this is what they are worth – some free shit now and then.
UrbanMoms is successful. In HUGE part due to our dedicated and brilliant bloggers and freelance writers. Wouldn’t be much here without them, would there? Therefore, they get paid. They contribute to our success so they should be compensated. They attend events and sometimes get free stuff but they are also paid money. In my opinion, it is hard to believe this would ever be in question.
What are your thoughts about blogger/tweeter/influencer compensation?