Our pet blogger community continues to grow, with new members registering daily. I'm amused by the spammers - they register but don't supply enough information to be approved. Perhaps they feel that an automated software system is in place. It isn't. I approve or deny all who submit a registration form. So, the spammers are sent away unsatisfied.
It's encouraging to see how many people feel pets are worth their time to blog about. Photo above is from our 2011 conference where hurricane Irene tried to put us out of business! Noticed everyone looking scared - NOT!
We're attracting a number of folks from the likes of the UK and Ireland and Australia, also. Some of the blogs are so outstanding I get caught up reading them, during the approval process. We certainly are lucky to have so many devoted pet parents on board.
Surprisingly, the site is also attracting bloggers who write about family and food, also. These are good folks who include their pets in the writing on a regular basis. Many of them show their pets in their blog header or in the sidebar. They, too, want the world to know their pets are important to them.
This brings me to the topic of today's post. "The Cost of Doing Business". BlogPaws is a media company. Many, if not all, of the bloggers who come to us are seeking information on how to monetize their blogs. They would love to be paid for advertising - if they can opt-out of ads by brands they don't like (which they can). Or, they'd love to be sponsored (not the same as serving ads, of course), or they'd like to participate in paid programs. All of which we're happy to oblige.
What's the lowest price a media company should charge? If you're a blogger, and you are willing to take an hour or two (often longer) to write a review of a product that you receive for free, including taking pictures and optimizing them for your blog, and even adding links to the brand's specific pages... how much is that worth? Is it worth $50? What about $100? How much value is the brand receiving when you write that blog post and also share on your Twitter page and your Facebook page, not to mention... pictures posted on Pinterest! Is it worth $500?
The answer isn't so simple. The price of doing business is relative. It's the recognition by brands that there is a price, that's important. It's recognizing the business of doing business with a media company, the same as they recognize doing business with an agency. The agency, for the most part, is given a budget and a request to market the brand. The agency then works with either us, as a media company, or the individual bloggers. The cost of doing business comes out of the budget provided by the brand.
At not time should a brand, or an agency, think bloggers are free. At no time should a brand or an agency ask a media company to reveal the cost of the bloggers. That is between the media company and the bloggers, relevant to what the bloggers are being asked to do. And share.
A pet blogger with only 1000 page views per month attracts a good many pet parents - and when she shares her message across her Facebook page and her Twitter account, those page views increase exponentially. A brand engaging her should expect to pay for her work. NOT for her "blogging"... for her work - the act of professional writing and picture taking, and the influence she has via her social network. If they are going through a blog media company, they pay the company and the company pays the blogger.
When a brand or an agency requests 10 or 20 bloggers, and wants the media company to manage the project, and also include reports on the numbers, how much should that cost? Four figures, I think. Not three and not two.
Media companies that represent bloggers are not a mystery any longer. A Google search turns up over 300,000,000 results - sharing a lot of advice on the subject and some known companies that are out there, like Mom Spark and The Blogfrog influencer blog network. BlogPaws Media isn't there yet, but we will be. The question is, why are agencies and brands still acting like paying for blog coverage is 'news' to them? Why is it okay to pay for 'influence' offline but not online? How much is MY recommendation (and yours) worth? When it comes to paying for someone's time (not her opinions) and influence, they've been doing it for years offline - it should be no surprise that online is now catching up.
Just wondering out loud. Since, I deal with this every day.