Brands often ask me to write them a blog post, and then are greatly taken aback when either I won’t do it for free, or they see my rates.
I have to charge money to write a customized blog post for a brand- just like a brand or product has to pay money to be featured on the radio or television or on Google ad. But- sometimes brands ask for a blog post when they are truly looking for something else.
I’m going to explain to you why you may or may not want a blog post, and in the process share some blogging secrets no one wants brands to know. Let’s break it down:
What Is A Blog Post?
A blog post is an article written on a blogger’s own website. Blog posts come in all shapes and sizes- they can be short or long, have lots of photos or no photos, and include links within the blogger’s site or external links to other sites.
We’ve all seen blog posts- we’ve seen crappy ones and great ones, but in the end, a blog post is like a customized article on a blogger’s platform.
The advantages to a blog post are the incredible storytelling many bloggers are able to achieve, the authentic voice we bring to a product or service, and the honesty most of us provide when writing about a product.
The huge disadvantage to a blog post is that, when it’s not done well, it really becomes a glorified backlink. Which I’ll talk about in a second. But first…
Why I Don’t Want To Write You A Blog Post
I often have a huge brand come to me with no budget and want me to just write a “quick blog post” about something in exchange for a product or experience.
That in itself can be annoying- it sometimes feels like my work and influence isn’t valued enough to pay actual money.
I also know that every brand and product has its own way of budgeting and sometimes I don’t make the cut for money, but I might make the cut for an all-inclusive vacation. I am more than happy to talk about that! 😉
However- my blog is my main source of income, and I want to take very good care of it. That means I can’t lost my audiences’ trust, and I can’t turn my site into something that is not useful just to get a free product. Well- I could, but I am not willing to.
So- Here are some reasons I might not want to write you a blog post.
(Keep in mind, I might not want to write you a blog post, but I sure as heck want work, so the next two sections will talk you through some other options.)
Reason #1 – Time
A lot of times, writing a blog post in exchange for a dinner or a pair of shoes is quite simply isn’t worth my time. It takes a lot of time to create high-quality content- most blog posts take me between 4-6 hours two create from start to finish.
If I am writing a customized blog post about something that isn’t going to connect with my readers, that means people won’t look at it. And if no one is looking at the blog post, then I am not making advertising income or actual money.
It’s a better deal for me to buy my own dinner or find a pair of shoes I like on clearance.
Reason #2 – Money
If you want a customized piece of content about your product that takes me 4-6 hours to complete, and then you want me to promote that product on my social media platforms, then I have to charge you according to the amount of time that I will spend doing that.
Depending on the time of year, my work can be worth upwards of $250 an hour (like around the holidays!). Other times of the year my time might be worth around $50 an hour (like in January when ad spend drops.)
We all know that money makes the world go around- so if you are offering me a product in exchange for a blog post, you have to understand that, well, the bank doesn’t take shoes to pay off my mortgage, and I have to have a place to live.
A collaboration in exchange for product will take lower priority to that in exchange for actual money.
You might want a lower quality, quick blog post for your brand, but that doesn’t mean that I am willing to lower my standards of the content that goes on my site just because you are offering me something for free.
Reason #3 – Fit
Sometimes I can write a great article about a product that will also be an evergreen blog post. Evergreen content is content that is relevant for many years and brings me money year-round through advertising
So if you come to me with a great idea that’s a perfect fit for my site, and is evergreen content, there is a good chance I will consider it for a lower rate, or in exchange for a product.
If you are interested in a long term relationship or multiple mentions, that is attractive to me too. But, you might not even actually want a blog post.
Do You Really Want A Backlink?
So here’s the next deal- you might think you want a blog post but you really want a backlink. If you want to know more about backlinks, read this article.
The bottom line is, it is against Google’s terms of service to pay for a backlink on a website. But- there are ways to get creative with product mentions and links.
It makes almost no sense for me to write an entire article that few people are going to see in exchange for a product simply because your brand is looking for a backlink.
Very few brands cross-promote the content they invest in, and therefore many customized articles ever reach the intended audience.
But- my site offers a lot of content, and I want to provide information about useful products and services to my audience.
So, you might look at my post on 100 Bilingual Resources for Bilingual Families and offer to send me your product for me to test. If I like it, I might add it to the list.
Or, you might take an existing article I have and request that I update it as a sponsored post, and add photos of your product there.
That is way cheaper than having me recreate a new idea form start to finish, and is a win-win for both of us if you just do a bit of research on my site.
Or you might request that I turn off the ads from my ad network on a specific page, and allow me to run a customized ad on that page for a specific amount of time.
At the end of the day, a blog post is a great marketing tool, but it isn’t the only one I offer.
Do You Really Just Want Your Own Content?
Just because I have my own blog doesn’t mean I only want to write on this website. I love to write (LOVE) and take photos. So maybe you want to pay me to write an article for your brand’s blog, or pay me for photographs of your product in action.
Maybe you hired a social media maven and who is great at managing your accounts and not great at taking photos? Hire me to take the Instagram photos for the year, or the month and all you have to do is post.
Do you have tons of great photos but no one wants to write the blog posts? Pitch me to just write- no photos, no linking, no uploading to my site- and I’ll be happy as a clam!
Want to work with me? Contact Me here.