“Oh we can’t pay you, but we’ll give you plenty of exposure”. This is heard so often by bloggers that we’d be buried under a mountain of coins if we had a proverbial pound for every time we heard someone say that to us.
But before I wind anyone up in a “Oh get over yourself you freebie-grabbing freeloader” way (because you know, haters gonna hate), I just want to say that this post is purely speculative: it was just a thought that randomly popped into my head this week. And that’s what these Saturday Share posts are all about: sharing what I’ve been thinking about this week – good and bad!
So therein lies the question: Would men jump at the chance to give up their time and promote a brand to their hard-earned followers… for free? For no payment?
I simply wondered if it’s a female trait to not think to ask for money for the above. Are we too polite? Are we too eager to please? Or is it simply not in our nature to associate something we love doing [as a hobby] with monetary payment?
The perks of blogging
The perks of being a blogger are great, don’t get me wrong: We get invited to wonderful events and swanky lunches. We get sent free gifts. We get offered free meals, free travel or free spa treatments and experiences.
However all those events and invitations come with a downside: They eat into our free time when we’re meant to be relaxing with family and friends. Or they eat into our working week if we blog full time, or we have to take leave from our day jobs. Sometimes we have to pay taxes on the free gifts, so they become something we have to actually pay FOR. And of course as I always say, jewellery is nice but it don’t pay the bills.
(Bloggers may get a lot of perks but we don’t get the perks of a full time job like paid leave, pension contributions, bonuses or healthcare cover. Nor do we get redundancy money if we’re forced to swap careers and go do something else. So: swings and roundabouts.)
I also wondered whether it’s a female trait to please people? Do we feel obliged to offer PR, time and free advertising to a company when THEY chose to give US a gift (their choice, remember)?
As a full-time blogger myself I know all about the awkwardness of asking for payment. When I first went full-time I was unsure what to charge, and when I look back now I was woefully undercharging considering my stats, my status and my “position” in the blogosphere. Not many bloggers (that I knew) were charging for guaranteed coverage, so to find out what, who and how I should be charging was very difficult*.
What would a man do…
However had I been a man, would I have found it less intimidating to ask a PR what sort of budget they had?
A lot depends on the type of person you are, of course. There are just as many men who’d be afraid to ask for payment as there are women who wouldn’t hesitate to get straight to the point and ask.
But if MEN ruled the blogosphere as the dominant gender would they happily work for free? Would they be more than willing to post three Instagram photos, publish several Stories and write one blog post promoting a brand’s products in exchange for a nice (albeit Instagrammable) lunch that they had to pay to travel to?
I personally think that women are more swayed by the sociable aspect and the chance to receive something pretty, or something that makes us LOOK pretty (clothes/shoes/makeup) etc. I think they like the way these products or these experiences enrich their lives… I know I do.
But would men be swayed I wonder? It does beg another question: Would brands ask men to work for free if they ruled the blogosphere…?!
I’D LOVE TO KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS – TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS 🙂
*If anyone is stuck as to what to charge brands – many of them ask bloggers for their rates these days – I’d be happy to help. Let me know your social follower numbers and blog stats plus typical engagement (number of likes, comments, etc. for both)… Just drop me an email!
Photo: Silver Londoner
So all that’s left to say is – I’ve shared my thoughts/stories/tuppence-worth this week, now it’s time to share yours… LET’S GET THIS [LINK UP] PARTY STARTED!
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