First there was the fear. The word on the street is that bloggers could be prosecuted for endorsing products without being crystal clear about their affiliation to the companies they are representing. Disclaimers started popping up on review sites and I naively thought that that would be the end of that.
Ha! Instead, the chatter about the need for transparency kicked open the door to the debate about fair compensation. People started ranting about the need to get paid to do reviews and giveaways. It’s nothing new. It’s all been said before, which doesn’t make any of it any less valid, but it doesn’t make it any less irritating either.
Reviews and giveaways aren’t easy to write well. It takes time to write a good, honest, balanced review. Time to test the product and time to write the review. I probably invest a good 3 or 4 hours in each review/giveaway that I post. I’m not kidding. The actual post might just take an hour to write, but the testing and promoting of the giveaway take time too. So does picking a winner and coordinating the prize distribution.
I’m not complaining. I’m not in it for the money or the “free” products (not really so free if you count the hours that go into promoting them). Money would be nice, but I didn’t start blogging to make mega bucks and I didn’t stop blogging when they didn’t start rolling in.
So, why am I blogging you ask?
I blog to share the daily stories and thoughts that bounce around my head.
I blog to improve my writing.
I blog to reach out to moms, dads, writers, and anyone else who might feel a sense of kinship with me.
I blog to feel connected to other bloggers around the world.
I write reviews to help small companies spread the word about their products.
I write reviews so I can share information about great, fun, or useful products that might be helpful to you.
And yes, I do it all to create a web presence for myself so that when my first novel comes out you’ll all already know my name.
If I hear about a cool product that you might find helpful I reach out to the PR team to see if I can help promote it. The key factor here is you, the reader, not me, the blogger. I’m not out there trolling for products I want, I’m out there searching for things you might like. And then I spent hours sharing the information with you.
If companies stopped using bloggers to promote their products I’d still be telling you about my latest finds. And if people stopped advertising on the net I’d still be blogging. I’m here for the writing and for the readers.
That might not make me a very popular person among the bloggers who are trying to set fair compensation standards throughout the blogosphere. But I have to say that I don’t really care. I don’t have the energy to fight that fight. I’m too busy working on my writing.
I would love to be able to ask for $500/month for ads. I would like to demand payment for each and every one of the posts I write. I would like for all bloggers to be able to get the same! I value my work and it would be nice to be compensated for it. But I don’t get nearly enough traffic to be able to stake those claims on the money. So I feel like it’s not really my fight.
I’m sitting this one out and focusing on the writing instead of the perks. If the fair wages fight is eventually won, then great. If it isn’t, I’ll still be here after the dust settles and people have moved on to more lucrative ventures.