|A collage of a few of the brands I work with, or provide social media strategy for, as a business at thriftymommastips.com
(Every week my email in box fills up with perplexing public relations pitches and blogger outreach programs. Many of these go unanswered. Then today I also received a telephone call – follow up from a local London company – that asked if I need more information about an email in order to post a tiny discount code for my readers free. I am compelled to share a letter I recently sent to a contact about the business of social media and blogging. Far too many pitches that miss the mark are sent each day to bloggers. Often those businesses ask you to post for free, or to share their ad for free, or to post with the understanding you could win a $100 gift card. Blogging is a business. Social media is a passion and a business for me. Digital media is a beautiful thing done well. I love it and respect it. I also respect my clients and my fellow bloggers. At one level a blog is a space on the Internet, real estate, a digital newspaper, a digital magazine, or a digital journal. I invested 2 years before I made my first $100 at thriftymommastips.com. I support and endorse many causes near and dear to me that are related to building families through adoption, IVF, and special needs. I volunteer. I advocate and speak and donate and give back until I collapse into my bed at night worried about the many families I help support. I give, often at the risk of my own health. At thriftymommastips.com I also have an audience that is concentrated and valuable and genuine as well. I respect them. I know many in person and I love many of these same readers. Thrifty mommas tips also offers services. I choose my clients carefully. I refuse the pitches that don’t fit my global vision of healthy families, or special needs, advocacy, or frugal living. My time blogging can sometimes take me away from my family, a school event, my mother, or a group I help advocate for and so my time is incredibly valuable. This is my letter to a longtime contact who repeatedly asked bloggers to opt in to pitch their product for free, with a potential chance that one of the 100 bloggers writing for free might actually win a year long subscription to their product.)
Dear Jamie Smith:
I am very sorry. I can’t take part in any sort of campaign that promises a potential reward or contest as compensation for writing. It is against my blog policy.
Thriftymommedia is a social media business. I help build buzz and share my audience and on line publishing platform with many brands and companies. I also build strategy for many companies and would never advise this type of campaign.
When I was a paid journalist working at a well known newspaper in Ontario nobody would ask me to show up to the scene of an event and write an article for publication in a newspaper with the premise that I could possibly interview the mayor next time and, by the way, we will use your article without paying you. I understand this is still a relatively new field but bloggers and social media strategists are valuable. They perform an important service and should be compensated fairly, or provided product for review purposes. It takes an investment in social media strategy to build an on line reputation.
I support my fellow bloggers. I would also like to say that if this were an entirely male field I think there would never be an assumption made that a group of men would provide work for free.
You folks had a great product. I liked it a lot. I wrote a post for you already once, a genuine review, in turn for a kit that was worth about $40. Bloggers are often paid in the range of $100 -250 per post. It might have been wiser to cast a small net and build genuine buzz on line.
Many of us are more than happy to consult on strategy for a fee that is negotiated between client and business. It might be worth the investment.
Please consider doing this well. If interested in negotiating a social media strategy, I’d be happy to recommend several names of people who can help structure a blogger outreach program.