Should Mom Bloggers Discuss Their Income and What is the Industry Standard?

If I hear it one more time, I’m gonna scream.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH BLOGGERS ARE MAKING, HOW CAN YOU SET AN INDUSTRY STANDARD FOR THE REST OF US?

I “get” this statement, but it also annoys the heck out of me because there IS NOT an industry standard for blogging. We simply possess too many strengths and weakness in the social media realm for black and white numbers.

For example, Blogger A may have few blog subscribers and traffic, but is extremely active and engaging on Twitter.  Blogger B may bring in thousands of blog comments a month, but doesn’t hang out on Facebook much. Blogger C may be strong in all areas, but only fits a specific niche. The list of variables is endless, which is why it’s impossible to define an industry standard.  Instead, fees are based on a blogger’s strengths, level of work, and (to be frank) what a business is willing to pay.

Compensation can also take many forms.  Trade can be just as valuable as cash.  A tweet from a blogger with 50,000 Twitter followers in return for a blog post may be a fair transaction for some.  A valuable product in exchange for advertising space may be another.  Dollars are nice, but serious bloggers know that money isn’t the only way to grow and expand.  So again, how can one measure this?  You can’t.

DID YOU HEAR THAT BLOGGER X MAKES $8000 A TWITTER PARTY AND CHARGES $500 A POST?  I WISH I COULD CHARGE THAT!

A. Don’t believe everything you hear.  

B. If she is making $8000 a Twitter party and $500 a post, that is actually good for all of us.  If she can do it, we can to. Kudos to her for doing so.

C. Mind your own business and refer back to A.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHERE TO START?

When you’re ready to start charging fees, confide in a blogger you can trust for advice, test the waters, or do a little bit of both.  As your blog grows, you can gradually raise that number and always, always, always remember that cash isn’t always the best deal maker or breaker.  Use your gut.  Some of the best business relationships come from working for free.

In time, you will get into a groove and know exactly what fees you are comfortable charging for.  It will become second nature to you.  If you overhear what another blogger is making, don’t compare yourself to her.  Charge what you believe to be fair to you and the client.  Worrying less about what other bloggers are doing gives you more time to build a career. Take this to heart.

FINAL THOUGHTS?

You may not be ready to charge a fee for your work.  That’s okay.  Keep working, networking and building content.  Your time will come.

Be okay with failure.  In fact, count on it happening. You will be turned down more than accepted.  You will also be criticized for your mistakes and shortcomings. This isn’t a bad thing. Use it as a chance to learn and improve your work. THIS is what will make your work stand out. Improve yourself with each fail and you will rise above those who cannot.  Most cannot.  Remember that.

Have questions?  Comment away.

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Amy Bellgardt

AMY BELLGARDT is a wife and mom of two boys, as well as founder and lead blogger at Mom Spark. Amy also manages Mom Spark Media, a social media marketing firm.

67 Responses to “Should Mom Bloggers Discuss Their Income and What is the Industry Standard?”

  1. #
    KERRI — June 7, 2011 at 1:06 am

    I love this post Amy.

    And you’re totally right, it’s not always about the cash.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 1:18 am

      @KERRI, Thank you, Kerri. I think we hear so much noise out there that we “deserve what we’re worth”, which we do, but that doesn’t always translate to a Paypal transaction. We all have different expectations and what we consider valuable. No right or wrong about it.

      [Reply]

  2. #
    kalanicut — June 7, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Fantastic post. So many calming reminders to be yourself, work your best and let things come. Snarky competitiveness and gossip are the real downfall of social networking and I don’t think they will ever help anyone be truly successful. So yes, we should celebrate each other’s street smarts and ability to make things happen and know that we never really know the full story. I have to remind myself that everything takes time all the time.

    [Reply]

  3. #
    CanCan — June 7, 2011 at 1:40 am

    I would like to hear from PR companies of what rates they think are REASONABLE (not “sweat shop”) for different blog services. It is really hard to know how to price what we do. I just have a goal in my mind that I want to make $60 an hour.

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 9:43 am

      @CanCan, Honestly, each PR company is different. Some have great budgets, others don’t. It’s another hard thing to compare and measure. A great question to ask in the beginning stages is, “What is your budget like?”

      [Reply]

  4. #
    Krista — June 7, 2011 at 1:42 am

    “You will also be criticized for your mistakes and shortcomings. This isn’t a bad thing. Use it as a chance to learn and improve your work. THIS is what will make your work stand out. Improve yourself with each fail and you will rise above those who cannot.”

    Yes, this! I have a hard time with that in real life too! ;)

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 9:45 am

      @Krista, We all do. It’s normal. How we react makes the difference.

      [Reply]

  5. #
    Stacey — June 7, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Thanks for posting this article. This is so true! I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and adjusting my prices BUT I also do work for FREE sometimes too; it just depends on the opportunity, especially if it’s for a good cause. This is just how I feel about it. :)

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 9:51 am

      @Stacey, Good that YOU are deciding what you are comfortable with. That is the way it should be.

      [Reply]

  6. #
    Dagmar ~ Dagmar's momsense — June 7, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Thank you, Amy, for this post! It’s really all about knowing your own value and forgetting about the other bloggers. I worked for free for the first year and paid my dues, actually paying out of pocket quite a bit, but to me that is what you do for any entrepreneurial business.

    After two years of blogging and not liking affiliates, I decided to sell my own ads and have never looked back. But I actually make the most money with social media consulting and editing client’s blog posts, which is something that came out of blogging. So it’s true, don’t think that your blog is the only thing you can make money with :)

    Dagmar

    [Reply]

  7. #
    Marcy — June 7, 2011 at 2:32 am

    I think you make some good points here, but also have to disagree somewhat.

    I don’t do sponsored blogs or giveaways, etc, so can’t speak from experience on that. But, I’d like to draw an analogy to a field I’ve read a good deal about and seen a few friends venture as professionals– photography. One classic “rookie” mistake is to charge very little for your services when you’re starting out. Part of this may be lack of confidence in yourself, which is where your advice comes in handy. Put part of it is also not realizing what you’re worth, especially compared to others are your talent level. Yes, the variables in blogging and social networking may be complicated– that doesn’t mean there should be no effort to compare and build ballpark figures for what seems reasonable fees to charge. It seems a shame for a talented blogger to be paid a small amount for a service that she had no idea her equivalently-talented peers get paid 2-3x for doing.

    I get that sharing and “comparing” income is a very tricky and touchy subject. But it seems there is a need for setting some sort of industry standards… Otherwise you’re asking for companies to take advantage of naive bloggers.

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 10:00 am

      @Marcy, I think is most businesses, yes, there is an industry standard, even when you work for yourself. With blogging and social media, not so much. There are too many variables regarding talent, budgets and most of all-influence.

      [Reply]

      • Marcy replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

        @Amy Bellgardt, I don’t know, I guess I just don’t get it. It seems to me that it’d be in bloggers’ interest to have even vague, tiered standards or *something.* History has shown that when not given any sort of parameters, companies will try to pay the least amount possible for work. It seems easy for writers and bloggers to end up undervalued and underpaid without some basic standards set.

        • Mom Spark replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

          @Marcy, Phillip makes a good point below in saying that if we did have a regulated tiered system, we would just be limiting ourselves in the end. I have to agree. I believe it is up to us individually to decide what is considered undervalued because standards are not the same for all. I do get the point you are making, though. If someone is completely lost on what to charge, I would recommend confiding in another blogger for advice (who is already doing it) and/or test the waters. What is your hourly rate worth? That sort of thing.

        • Patrick Allmond replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

          @Marcy, I concur on the ‘no standards’ side. The beauty of the internet is that it allows each person to build a unique creative business with almost no rules. I like to call it the Wild West. I’d use some of the same terminology (CPC = Cost Per Click, CPM – Cost per 1000 impressions, etc) but I’d leave pricing and determination of each transaction up to the buyer and seller.

          Just remember that everything has value and don’t underprice yourself. If someone accepts a price (with no haggling) for something today then consider raising it a smidge tomm. You will eventually find your sweet spots.

      • Marcy replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

        @Amy Bellgardt, PS– as a comparison, it seems that advertising in general has many of the same complicating factors you list here (how much of what kind of traffic each website or network gets, etc) yet they’ve managed to set up basic standards, correct? Couldn’t blogging/social media follow a similar model?

        • Mom Spark replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

          @Marcy, Yes, I agree that graphic/text advertising may be easier to standardize if you base it on traffic alone, but the problem lies is only basing it on traffic alone. This just isn’t always the case.

        • Marcy replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

          @Marcy, Ok, so I can see the argument for no set standards, but what about openness about rates, etc? I guess that’s where I see the potential problem. It seems difficult to know if you are valuing yourself appropriately with nothing to compare yourself to. This is akin to being at a certain position at a job and getting paid 20% less than your equivalently-talented peers– but you wouldn’t realize that you’re getting underpaid unless you could see those rates. It’s all well and good to say, “don’t compare yourself to others, know your own worth” but if the value you imagine for yourself is less than what you could be getting paid, and what others in your field are getting paid, in the end you’re hurting yourself. Does that make sense?

          • Mom Spark replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

            I’m not against being open to those you trust, but I would never release my rates to the public. This would only create more gossip among bloggers who may compare themselves to those rates, whether it be lower or higher than their own.

            “It seems difficult to know if you are valuing yourself appropriately with nothing to compare yourself to.” This should be determined by YOU, not what everyone else is doing. YOU have different standards than the next blogger. What are YOU comfortable charging? If you are always curious about what other bloggers are charging, you’ll always be chasing that. We should not feel pressured to charge more or less. What you “could” be getting paid is too broad in this space anyway. Instead, I would do as Patrick mentioned and gradually increase your rates if your current ones are being accepted easily on a consistent basis. You will know when you’ve quoted too much, the client will tell you. :)

  8. #
    Philipp Knoll — June 7, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Hey everyone,

    I’m a male mom so I guess it is OK to reply to this interesting post.
    First of all I’d like to say that there is no industry standard and hopefully will never be one in regard to how much you can/do get paid. To me this would be a burden and an limitation. Just because someone else is making more writing a post (or doing whatever they do) doesn’t automatically entitle me of the same gratification for my work. There are numerous things to be taken into consideration such as how big that bloggers network is – how many people does she reach? How much experience in the subject matter does he have? How good is the writing? How hard was it to gather that kind of information? What niche are the articles targeting?

    I have completely stopped comparing what I make to how others are doing. I live a lot better by deciding how much I need to make to finance my chosen lifestyle and simply trying to reach those goals.

    This would also be my take on what I got from your article: Were you talking about bloggers’ fear of not getting paid enough? There is no such thing as a fair fee for your blogging services (when trying to monetize your own blog). You as a blogger get to decide how much you need to make and it is up to you to push yourself to that level or beyond it.

    That is also what I love about this business – there is no need to compare yourself to others anymore. Just focus on yourself, ask yourself if you can afford your life doing what you do and whether you are happy doing it.

    - Philipp

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 10:07 am

      @Philipp Knoll, First of all, you are totally welcome here! Second, yes, yes, and yes! Setting an industry standard DOES limit us. I don’t like the idea of there ever being a cap on our income. There is an underlying fear in the mom blogging community that we’re not making enough, which creates this odd paranoia that we’re entitled to more. We should each decide the fate of our income. (as in any small business)

      [Reply]

      • Philipp Knoll replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 10:25 am

        @Amy Bellgardt, Thanks for the friendly welcome! I meant to but forgot to mention that we’ll have 5 kids by August and have been reading and engaging on parenting and mom blogs quite a bit.

        It is true – we are not entitled to the same remuneration just because we DO the same. I try not to obsess to much over numbers at all. As long as my expenses are covered and I can live the lifestyle I desire I’m fine. I would not be doing any better with more money at the bank. So asking if you feel good about your life and business as it is is the only question you need to ask.

        • Amy Bellgardt replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 10:27 am

          @Philipp Knoll, “So asking if you feel good about your life and business as it is is the only question you need to ask.” Yes!

  9. #
    Patrick Allmond — June 7, 2011 at 8:09 am

    It seems to me now that “Mommy Blogging” has turned into a business model. It used to be that mommy blogging was when someone wrote about things they loved and things that helped other mom with zero expectation of making a money. Now we have professional mommy bloggers, and more than one mommy blogger conference out there where you are going to pay money to learn how to make money.

    My point is this: If you are going in it for the money then treat it like a business – with a small marketing plan, a traffic plan, an advertising plan, and revenue goals. That is what should be driving your prices. The value of a website (Mommy blogger or any other) is:

    1. The amount of traffic it gets
    2. What the demographic is of that traffic.
    3. How long they stay on your site.

    So pay attention to those factors when setting blog post prices and ad rates.

    Also make sure you get your site added to Quantcast. That is what alot of people that buy ad space look at to determine the traffic your site gets and what the demographic is of that traffic.

    [Reply]

    • Philipp Knoll replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 8:43 am

      @Patrick Allmond, I agree that the amount of traffic you get is an important factor. But then #2 and #3 of your list are not such important factors any longer.

      I believe the success of blogging depends more on the quality of your traffic – do you visitors find what they expected and to they value your content?

      If you are talking statistics the returning visitors rate is a lot more interesting. It tells you a bit about how loyal your readership is.

      I think the way to go is build trust and a loyal audience. Get your readers to connect and engage in the discussion. Forget about starting to blog to make money NOW. Its unrealistic. I’m not saying that it can’t happen but the determining factor for quick success is luck. Blogging is longterm – blog now and eventually monetize later. Blog to constantly build the life you want to live.

      About ad rates: My approach is to not set rates at all. Big advertisers might find your high priced offer to cheap for their budget and small companies won’t consider you for being to expensive. I try to judge how much advertising space (r any other type of advertising) is worth for each individual partner. The same spot might be worth less for one but worth a fortune for another advertiser.

      - Philipp

      [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 10:14 am

      @Patrick Allmond, Yes, I agree that mom blogging has evolved to a business model, which is cool with me.

      As far as the values you listed, yes and no. In the mom blogging community, influence can be measured in more ways than what you listed. For example, if a mom blogger has great engagement and following on Twitter, she may have more value to a client than her blog readership. The same could go for a mom who is a spokesperson for a brand. She may be fabulous on camera or in front of a crowd, but her Alexa score is high. As I keep saying, too many variables to measure.

      [Reply]

      • Patrick Allmond replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 11:10 am

        @Amy Bellgardt,
        Yay Amy replied :)

        I only listed some of the things you should be measuring. When I work with my clients I believe everything online can be measured if you plan it right. All clicks from tweets or FB can be measured and have value. An RT has a value. A reply has a value. A blog comment has a value. An inbound link has value. If you start measuring everything you can see over time how your influence increases or decreases. And I think we agree that influence is what advertisers are looking for. Influence drive action.

        If you make a spreadsheet of each of the items you can measure action and the relative value it has and measure it every week you can quantify your value to your readers and your potential advertisers.

        Patrick

        P.S. I hope you don’t hold too much weight on Alexa. That is well known in the affiliate marketing industry as as poor indicator of value. Not the worst, but not something that should be given much weight.

        • Mom Spark replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 11:15 am

          @Patrick Allmond, Yeah, Alexa was just one example agencies use in deciding value and I agree that it isn’t always an accurate measurement. I agree that we can measure results, but compensation a whole other beast.

        • Philipp Knoll replied: — June 8th, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

          @Patrick Allmond, Now this is something that I’m happy to agree with! I like your statement: Influence is what advertisers are looking for. Influence drive action.

          Thanks for your reply!

          I believe that measuring is important. It is just really hard to measure the human element in online communication. There is certain level that numbers just can’t get beyond. Of course, you can put all the numbers on the table and looking at different trackings and different sources will give you a good picture. But some parts will remain untrackable by numbers – such as the quality of interaction between an author and a reader and the good feeling real interaction gave a reader looking for an relevant answer from an expert.

  10. #
    Lisa Weidknecht — June 7, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Excellent article. Thank you! (from a brand new blogger)

    [Reply]

  11. #
    Terri — June 7, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I love sharing thru blogging, I have a decent amount of traffic, would love to see a list of all the ways to make money blogging. From what I gather selling ad space is one way, what other ways? Thank you for sharing.

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 10:10 am

      @Terri, This would make a great future post. There are SO many ways: sponsored blog posts, advertising space (both graphic & text links), giveaway posts, sponsored tweets, consulting, Twitter parties, and the list goes on and on.

      [Reply]

      • Patrick Allmond replied: — June 7th, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

        @Amy Bellgardt, Cool. A future blog post series from Amy. The top 10 ways to make money from and surrounding your blog. Make sure you mention openx for banner mgmt. Self service advertising on blog = pain free money :)

  12. #
    Mrs. Wonder — June 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Thank you for this!

    [Reply]

  13. #
    Mommie Daze — June 7, 2011 at 11:02 am

    What a great conversation! Blogging is a creative-based industry. That means talent goes a long way in determining what someone is worth. There are so many variants when it comes to talent it’s impossible to say these people should make this much, and these people should make this much more, because bloggers fall into a thousand different categories. Compensation has to be on a case-by-case basis where talent, performance, experience and the type of project is considered.

    [Reply]

  14. #
    Terri — June 7, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Thanks Amy, looking forward to that future post .

    [Reply]

  15. #
    A Blog Job — June 8, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Always happy to read a monetization post! Thanks so much — although I do agree it sounds like 8k is great, that did make me choke on my tea! I’m still confused on Twitter parties ;)

    For some real numbers on what people are making, this article has a bunch of comments from bloggers giving income points…: http://ablogjob.com/a-full-time-blogging-income-whats-your-blogging-income-price-point-and-when-can-you-quit-your-day-job/

    [Reply]

  16. #
    A Blog Job — June 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

    There’s also another GREAT article at http://www.bloggingwithamy.com that has a ton of numbers…trying to find that link!

    [Reply]

  17. #
    Rachel @ Busy Mommy Media — June 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Every industry has a range or rates based on experience and quality of work. Social media and blogging is really no different it just hasn’t been around long enough for people to set their own expectations of what is reasonable.

    [Reply]

    • Patrick Allmond replied: — June 8th, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

      @Rachel @ Busy Mommy Media, But the range can be huge. When you are talking about a subjective item (advertising rate sheets) such as this one then the huge range standard might as well be no standard. Do you charge $10/month per 125×125 spot? Do you charge $1000 ? Both are legitimate prices ranges depending on the site. So $10 – $1000 is the range.

      Since this is a subjective topic we can go on forever :) All of it is good info. But there is no B&W answer, and there is no standard blogger rate sheet.

      [Reply]

  18. #
    Deidre (Store Coupons & Deals) — June 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I agree, but wish that PR people would say “we are looking for XX facebook fans for XX $ per post” or have some sort of formula because I often have no clue what to charge, and am unsure if I am over or under charging.

    [Reply]

  19. #
    Candace @ NaturallyEducational — June 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Agree with a lot of the positivity but not with the main idea that there can be no baseline in a diverse industry. Consider acting. There are different levels of talent, draw, and influence–and actors who are good at one thing but not as established at another. No one out of the gate expects to make what Julia Roberts makes. But there is scale. And Julia Roberts doesn’t feel limited by scale.

    Establishing a baseline helps newer bloggers. It has no effect on superstars or even those who have been working at it for a while. Overall, though, it helps bloggers as a group to keep up that baseline.

    Consider music, too. There are big stadium acts, classical soloists, and indie bands marketing their own music online. There is such a diversity. But for studio musicians, pit musicians, musicians in an orchestra, there is still a general understanding of what is standard pay.

    And writers and artists as well…

    No one can set the price for your masterpiece–but there is still awareness of a standard in each of these industries for the day to day pay checks these creative people earn for the bread-and-butter jobs they take.

    [Reply]

  20. #
    Linsey K — June 11, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    There should be standards.. but it will vary greatly. I have a dollar amount per hour in mind when I quote projects, and I try hard to not go below that. Some companies pay me more, which makes up for those charity projects I do, or for lower paying gigs that I’m using to invest in something higher paying down the road.

    Freelance writers have been screaming for industry standards for years, and I think that their plight is similar (since I technically make most of my income from freelance writing, I can verify this sentiment.) If you look at the 2011 Writer’s Market Guide (which is kind of the Holy Grail for freelancers), they quote ranges that are crazy varied. A typical press release has a range of $30 – $180 per hour and a project fee of $125 – 1500. That’s a wide range.

    Since this same book has acknowledged that many freelancers are getting into the social media realm, they have recently added blogging and social media promotion in their pricing guide. The 2011 edition quotes $100 per hour for paid blogging (with no high or low range) and a range of $6 – $500 per post, with a mid price of $49 per post. I also find it interesting that they quote social media postings for clients as $30 – 95 per hour, or $10 per word — but it doesn’t say if it’s posting on the client’s account or mine (something I would charge more for.)

    This discussion is valid, and I don’t think many professionals in the arts will divulge everything when it comes to what they are getting paid. I think the important thing to remember is that it varies, a lot, and no one price is completely right. If it’s right for you, however, I don’t really see it as a problem.

    [Reply]

  21. #
    Glenda — June 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    This is a great post, Amy! After a year and a half of blogging, I have discovered that the more I can learn and educate myself about blogging, networking and providing useful information and interactions for my readers, the more my blog and reputation grow in a positive way. When I quit focusing on “monetizing” my blog, and focused on making it a great resource for my readers, it has started making money.

    The other thing I really agree with in your post, is that you need to develop a network of other trusted blogging friends who will give you honest feedback and help you with tips, education and resources. For me personally, Mom Spark Media was the place where those trusted relationships have grown for me.

    It’s also interesting to me that someone would feel that any of us “do the same thing”. All of us have different backgrounds, philosophies, writing styles and interests that can’t help but leak into our writing. Some of us are detailed, others are summarizers. Some present information from the glass half empty perspective, others see that glass half full. All those things and many others play into a blogger’s value to a particular company. And that will vary from company to company and blogger to blogger. Some just won’t be a good fit at all. So, for me, even though both may be great writers, no two bloggers will have the exact same value to specific companies and industries. Focusing on what we know we have to offer, putting that out there consistently and negotiating what that is worth sponsor to sponsor and company to company is always going to be necessary. I find it difficult to develop a constant for that just within my own blog, much less blogger to blogger. There are companies that I love and believe in, so much, that simply don’t have a budget to pay the fees I receive from others, but I value those relationships and work with them at every opportunity, enjoying growing along with them.

    Too many people are trying to take this very personal, individual skill, “job”, work, however you define blogging, and make it fit into traditional ways of measuring value. You can’t really quantify what we do. It’s not likely we will be paid by the hour. (Thank goodness!) The flexibility in pay is in direct relation to the flexibility of the opportunity and for me, that’s awesome!

    The more devoted I am to my readers and providing them the content that helps and supports them in some way, the more valuable I will be to sponsors and companies. I certainly hope to make income from my blog, but at the end of the day, I hope I do something that makes a difference and serves someone in a meaningful way. It takes a little longer to build a blog that way, but the integrity and trustworthiness that readers come to count on at your blog, will also attract companies who want to reach those readers. Negotiating what that’s worth isn’t something I ever see as being “standard”.

    Thanks for such a thought-provoking question and always challenging me to think more analytically about what I do.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — June 11th, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

      @Glenda, This was such a thoughtful comment, Glenda, thank you. I appreciate that you get where I’m coming from and I’m proud of your progress in the short time I’ve known you. You get it, plain and simple.

      [Reply]

  22. #
    Claire — June 11, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    I blogged for a few years and then one day just walked away from it all. It was starting to be too much. I did not care about site stats or how many followers I had on this and that. I was sick of the demands from PR companies.
    I started blogging again last month after a year and a half long break. I lost a ton of followers, my readers and subscribers really did not stick around. I am lucky to get a comment every now and then now. What is funny is that I am still the same person, I do the job the same way I did it before. Yes I let 4 of my 5 blogs disappear and am only blogging on one now but I am doing it all pretty much the same (writing style). So why am I being treated like I am pretty much worthless in the eyes of PR companies and other bloggers? It makes no sense but I say “Screw ‘em!”
    I really don’t care how much I get paid or how much other bloggers get paid. I decided to drop my ad rates to next to nothing because to me it is not all about the money. It is about having an outlet. I am a disabled SAHM of two beautiful little girls and this momma needs an outlet! If I happen to get paid then YAY but if I don’t then it is no big deal. The blog costs me $6.99 a month to run and that is cheap for a hobby!
    One thing I saw that did bother me and I have a question about it. One blogger advertised that she charged money plus a product to do a review and also charged a large amount to featured another bloggers writing on her site. Are a lot of people doing this? What happened to featuring other bloggers on your blog to
    share the love? I do this all the time free of charge and encourage bloggers to send me a link of something they have written or email me an article and that I would LOVE to feature them. I miss the “olden days” of blogging, when reviews were brand new and there was a ton of bloggy love going around. (I so don’t miss the fights and cattiness!!)
    Thanks for letting me vent :0)

    [Reply]

    • Glenda replied: — June 11th, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

      @Claire, Claire, you should check out Mom Spark Media, if you aren’t already there. “The olden days” are alive and well there and bloggers are great to help out and support one another.

      [Reply]

  23. #
    Jessica Gottlieb — June 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Nicely written post, but the thought that a tweet would ever have the same value as a post is not something I’d agree with. Also, with the exception of one charity I adore and my mother there’s no reason to work free

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — June 11th, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

      @Jessica Gottlieb, Tweets from users with thousands of followers can be more viral than a blog post. I agree that the content is not anywhere near the same, but there is a great value there.

      [Reply]

  24. #
    Elizabeth@Table4five — June 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    At a blogger event last year, the topic of sidebar advertising came up. When I told my breakfast companions what I charged for a text link ad, they looked shocked and then one of them said I wasn’t charging enough. The rate I charge is based on years of dealing with private ad sales and learning what my blog is worth to advertisers. If other people can get more, that’s terrific for them, but I’m pretty happy with my monthly income. It made me wish I hadn’t said anything.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — June 11th, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

      @Elizabeth@Table4five, This isn’t the first time I’ve heard a story like this. It just creates problems, unless you share with those you trust.

      [Reply]

  25. #
    Cecily — June 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    The thing that drives me nuts about this discussion? Is NO OTHER GROUP OF BLOGGERS EVEN THINKS ABOUT THIS. Seriously, no one else posits that non-mom bloggers should discuss their income. In fact, can you think of a single industry where business owners would chat about their income at the public level? We’re business owners. There’s no need for this to even BE a discussion, you know?

    Why mom bloggers are held to a different standard than the rest of the professional universe, I’ll never know.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — June 13th, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

      @Cecily, It seems the problem lies within our own mom blogging community. Gossip, insecurities, cattiness, that sort of thing. It unfortunately stereotypes us to outsiders.

      [Reply]

  26. #
    Patrick Allmond — June 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I can assure you other non-mom bloggers think about it :) But it all comes down to that catch-all phrase “it depends”. I think it is also a matter each persons growth in their mommy blogging career. Early on you are going to worry and fret over it. With every deal you make (or lose) you will get more confident about your pricing. I don’t mommy blog (I do the technical side of things), but I can tell you I reviewing and adjust my pricing about once a month. If I lose a deal on my package deals because of pricing that is likely a client I didn’t want. I keep raising my hourly rates and have yet to be turned down on a quote. But I also go out of my way to show my expertise and value.

    Take some of this energy and put in back into generating some rocking content for your sites. Work on being as useful and information as possible. Keep good track of your ability to influencing your audience. The more you can show how your numbers grow the better positioned you will be when it comes to asking for the price you want to get.

    [Reply]

  27. #
    Mel — June 14, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Amy, I love this statement: Mind your own business and refer back to A. Oh, if only we would all do this.:)

    I agree, I have a friend whom I confided in and actually shared my media kit with her. I trust her, and she was able to give me honest, valuable feedback that helped me in determining price changes. I’ve slowed down a bit since I changed my prices, but now just gotta figure out how best to market myself and my group, which as you said, sometimes includes doing things for free. Some of the best relationships….

    Yes, like other bloggers, I wish I knew all the secrets, but again, I love that statement….”Mind your own business and refer back to A.” Love this post! Too if we work hard and really focus on the things that matter within our businesses, it won’t matter how much we’re making because the business will be constant….just a thought. We’ll be of value to the brand, which is really the ultimate goal.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — June 14th, 2011 @ 9:25 am

      @Mel, Thank you for your comment, Mel. I have found that the less I worry about what everyone else is doing and really concentrate on my own work, the more opportunities (i.e. paid work) come my way.

      [Reply]

  28. #
    @EllenZElwell — June 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I have been following, observing and learning from Mom Bloggers who tweet for about two years. Having a long career in traditional marketing/promotion, I have been amazed by this ever-evolving social phenomenon and opinion-forming source. Prior to social media, my agency had to be really “smart” to reach the Mom target pre- and post-natal and beyond. Today, the options for savvy manufacturers are really much better IF they take the time to learn and participate.

    Sadly, most brand managers and marketing execs (over 90%) do not believe in allocating significant budgets to this effort. They are overwhelmed by the possibility of having to learn it. They think it’s a passing fad (seriously!). And they don’t believe that participation could possibly “move the needle” in sales.

    So for Mom Bloggers to make money, an entire Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry needs to be sold on value through education – on the possibilities, the cost justification (cost-per-reach or CPM), the opportunity index and other measures that they are accustomed to seeing.

    Example: a Sunday coupon (FSI) costs: $X.XX CPM (cost per thousand) x Circ (millions) = Placement Cost.
    Then, they take % of coupons redeemed (e.g., 2%) and use the amount to evaluate whether or not the ad hit “break even” or made money in incremental cost of goods.

    Complicated? Perhaps. But every MBA is taught to evaluate marketing dollars spent in a similar “Return on Investment – or ROI” manner. So this mentality is why brands don’t spend much on social media – and in return, they do not place high value on paying money for social media.

    I’m not a corporate brand manager or corporate anything; but all my clients are and have been. I would be happy to “chatter” a big more about this subject. I believe that I could help active Moms get new ways to sell their services:-) ~aka @LittleRemedies

    [Reply]

  29. #
    Hanan — September 16, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    To me, blogging is kind of like acting. Not all actors and actresses are paid the same. It all depends on their popularity (blog stats), what the film is (niche), and how much they promote their films (advertising).

    I don’t think there will ever be a “scale” that PR or bloggers can use.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 16th, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

      @Hanan, That is a great way of putting it. Thank you.

      [Reply]

    • Candace replied: — September 16th, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

      @Hanan, Interesting you mention acting…where most actors make “scale” and it is generally known what the biggest actors are paid.

      All actors know what scale is and they know it is a starting point and that salaries vary widely from there…but there are still baselines and benchmarks along the way from guy with a couple of lines to unknown in a supporting role to box office draw in a blockbuster.

      [Reply]

  30. #
    Patrick Allmond — September 16, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I agree with acting reference. It is highly dependent on the role, the film budget, past work, whether or not you are union (SAG), and the location.

    Same goes with making money online. It just depends. If you were to try and come up with a standard baseline you’d be hard-pressed to find too many people that fit in that baseline.

    [Reply]

    • Candace replied: — September 16th, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

      @Patrick Allmond, But in every single creative field there ARE standards. Sure, there are variables. But there are tiers and standards and generally accepted rates for writers, musicians, actors, speakers, etc.

      You might accept less because you believe in a project or want the experience. You might demand (and receive) more because the project is a perfect fit and there is enough of a budget to pay it. But there is still a basis for comparison.

      There is a social media company that is out there paying bloggers for campaigns for their clients. And they have a formula that places you in a tiered pay structure based on UVs, followers, etc. And they are upfront and transparent about that. You can always make an argument that you should earn more on a project because of your particular expertise or whatever else you are bringing to the table…and you may or may not get it. But there is still a starting point for the conversation.

      No one is saying that Ree (or Reese Witherspoon) would make as much as a newbie or even be in the same ball park. But I think it is reasonable to come up with averages and starting points to give people an idea of the going rate for certain things. Otherwise, people are just shooting in the dark.

      Since companies DO have rates for these things (formulas based on impressions, clicks, fans, mentions, value of the link(s), etc.), we are shooting ourselves in the foot and allowing the companies to control the conversation if we do not talk amongst ourselves.

      I’m not saying that Amy, or anyone else, has to tell anyone what she makes.

      I do think it is useful, however, to say that bloggers with 5,000-10,000 UVs might consider charging $50-150 for a sponsored post (for example). And it is useful to note the factors that would put that on the lower end and those that would put it on the higher end.

      Of COURSE someone out there might charge $10,000. And once you get to that level, averages are meaningless…but I do think having guides is useful for people who are just starting to charge for what they do.

      I really think that is what most people mean when they say bloggers should discuss money.

      I think that talking about this can only empower other bloggers in their own negotiations–the particulars of which are their own business.

      [Reply]

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