GIVING VALUE TO YOUR BLOG
it is not what others think of you that determines your worth. it is what you think of yourself…
Let’s get real here. A girl has got to eat and pay the bills so to cover the costs of running this website, I may feature sponsored content as well as affiliation links. Sponsored content will be categorized under Collaborations and although I may be compensated for several of these contents, I will definitely only provide you with my honest opinion and recommendations. I always make sure that whatever is featured here on this website comes close to my heart and do strongly believe in.
Ok. So I just wanted this to be clear. I am one of those bloggers who does this full time. I charge and I work specifically to create content, I maintain a full blown blog website (hello, you are here and welcome), and I am pretty active on social media – specifically on Instagram (follow me if you have not already @mahryska).
One of the things I wanted to talk about was on giving value to yourself and your blog. There are tons of bloggers nowadays and a lot of them are confused about working with brands/charging for content and basically everything that has to do with collaboration projects and sponsorships. Gifts are totally out of this as I believe that bloggers are technically not obligated to post anything if it is sent as a gift. It is on our own terms if we post about it or not. As for the major stuff, I am open to barters but rarely, and it usually depends on the project itself, the brand and the kind of relationship I have with them. I will not get into specifics about numbers for one very simple reason – my vision, what I can produce and my reach are all different from everyone else’s. It is a case to case basis, depending on a lot of things, including the brand’s budget. But one thing is for sure, knowing your worth matters.
The next time you think about working with a brand, it would be wise to note the following.
- To maintain a website, you need to pay for domain/hosting and I always budget in an amount for every project that I do so I can pay for it at the end of the year.
- Calculate the amount of time you put in finalizing and conceptualizing the content to be produced. Usually it takes a day or two which includes research.
- I am pretty sure you always run out of coffee whenever you blog and plan out your Instagram content so note how much you spend on caffeine as well. You may just have a nervous breakdown once the numbers are down.
- Your expenses for the photoshoot itself, which usually takes half or a full day (if you are lucky) so you need a budget for food and transport. And let me tell you, it is not cheap. It is one reason why I like to schedule my shoots in one set to save up not just with time but also money.
- Set aside the budget for your photographer or videographer. Quality images/videos require skill, time and creativity. Remember that you are not taking selfies, or random photos with your mobile phone. You are creating content, visualizing images and editing them to fit your client’s requirements. That will always cost money. I am pretty sure your insta-husband/boyfriend will agree with me on this – a kiss can only go so far in life.
- Note the number of hours shooting the content and editing the content itself. Let’s get real – it takes hours, sometimes days.
- Oh and add in all the expenses for your props coz I know us bloggers always have to add in a little flair for every shot.
- Calculate the time you draft your post and finalize everything from your editorial calendar, down to the research you do to prepare for the post. If people get minimum wage per hour, how much do you think you deserve for all those long hours?
- Each post is worth a lot of money and a lot of time. Think of a magazine and each ad space in it. Think of the TV and the number of advertisements that pop up every single 10 minutes. Think of Facebook and Youtube that charge to post sponsored videos as you scroll and view your feed. Brands spend thousands and even millions for one single spot. Now put your Instagram up front and think of the number of posts you do for each project/collaboration. Is it worthy to post 50 images that looks exactly the same for 1 feature that you probably did not even get paid for or does it make more sense to post 2 or 3 that does the job and gives value not just to your space but also the quality of your work.
So the next time you get an offer for 20$ worth of free clothes to shoot and promote, think long and hard if it is worthy not only for your closet, but also of your time and money. Coz to be honest, I am pretty sure, after noting down everything above, you will realize that you are the one spending to actually promote them. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against small brands or small budgets or no budgets at all. We can all enjoy the journey and create amazing content together without taking advantage of each other or us bloggers, being on the loosing end because we were too naive. Just because it is free does not mean, it is worthy of our time and effort. And it goes the other way around too. Just because it is paid, does not mean it is worthy because if it has nothing to with us, our life or go with our beliefs, then we will not only be fooling ourselves but our readers and followers as well.
Choose who you work with wisely. If it was a normal job, I am pretty sure you will be laying down the cards and setting your rate and doing as much research as you can to ensure the company is great to work with, opening doors of opportunity and experiences. So don’t be afraid to demand. Don’t be afraid to set down rules on how you work and produce content. And never ever be afraid to know your worth and always give value to what we do as content creators. And may I just add, that just because you are only starting out, have less followers than others, or a different nationality/colour does not mean you should be valued less. If you work hard and produce equally great content, you are worth every dollar, big or small.
And lastly, remember that when brands value their product and their name, they will also value the people that are creating content for them. When you give the best kind of love, the right brands who appreciate you and your worth will come along.
roundy bag via www.kunaforyou.com