The Duality of Blogging
If you’re not a blogger, you may not know about the duality of blogging, but if you are, then you probably already know what I’m talking about. If, like me, you hope to maintain any sense of authenticity, you probably have incredibly high standards for what ever sees the light of day on your blog. At the same time, you probably also want to earn some extra income for yourself whether it’s to support your ever-expanding beauty addiction, love for fashion, or maybe you just really enjoy getting paid to do what you love so you can do it full-time and not be homeless.
2 Kinds of Companies You Encounter When Blogging
If any of those things are true for you, then you’ve probably sought out or being approached by brands and other companies. There are usually 2 ways this can go. The first way involves a seamless transaction in which you and said business work in a creative way to create fun content for readers while promoting their shop, a specific topic you’re passionate about that fits your niche, and then they pay you for it. YAY! These are the best kinds of collaborations known to man (or maybe just blogging). The second way involves a brand approaching you, acting incredibly enthusiastic about your blog and saying they’re such a “fan,” but then telling you that paying you is out of their budget. Never mind that they’re a fortune 100 company. Never mind that they expect you to write about them for no reason at all for nothing in return.
PR Manipulation + A Fair Wage
I’m not saying I never write about brands or shops without compensation because I totally do, but I do so at my own discretion. At the same time, I also write about brands I like for trades if I know they’re a smaller company and cannot afford to pay me. It really just depends, but I am a person who firmly believes that any person, blogger or otherwise, deserves a fair wage and herein lies the duality of blogging.
It seems that a form of manipulation is going around with brands and PR reps wherein they try to convince bloggers to write about and promote their products, infographics, and/or giveaways with no intentions of paying said bloggers. How is this manipulation, you ask? Well, they have a way of wording things that feigns innocence, but they know exactly what they’re doing. In fact, PR reps, especially, are incredibly smart; many of them have degrees in marketing and communication. They know how to work people. To add insult to injury, they have a way of making bloggers question themselves to the point that bloggers are afraid to ask for fair compensation. I’ve actually had other blogger friends tell me they are actually afraid to ask for compensation; how unfair and just wrong is that?
Would You Work for Free?
Whether you’re a blogger or a reader, you must agree that nobody wants to work for free. Maybe you don’t believe in bloggers getting paid, but I’m sure you wouldn’t feel that way if you were one. And if you are or aren’t and believe we should get paid, then thank you because we work hard. I know bloggers who have kids and full-time jobs (like me) who stay up all hours of the night to get blog posts done. Bloggers who do a lot of free work just to bring good content and giveaways to their readers. At the same time, I think a lot of bloggers who don’t seek compensation make it a lot harder on those of us who do want to be properly compensated for our work. And lastly, those brands and companies that expect us to work for free (when they never would) are getting access to readers who trust us, who I would say we have an obligation to protect from spam and other shady people, and basically a product endorsement / stamp of approval from us. If you don’t feel 100% behind a brand or company, you shouldn’t be talking about them on your blog. That’s just my opinion.