In my BlogHer panel on Saturday, I got to touch on the concept of not taking paltry pennies for the ad space on your blogs. Because really – none of us are getting 4 digits for those Go Meat ads.
(Unless Dooce – are you reading? Welcome, girl! Loving your hair lately.)
My feeling is that if you’re giving brands free real estate on your site through Google Adsense or affiliate programs, while not even making enough to get the minimum payout for them, then maybe you should, um, think twice about having those ads?
I believe I said something like “Stand up for yourself. You’re worth it. “
Paid bloggers, especially those of the female variety, undervalue ourselves. And that’s worth discussing.
Consider the programs that pay you based on clicks–what that means is you end up losing if the advertising sucks. Example: Say in my evil capitalist day job I write an ad for $600 solid gold toenail clippers that runs in Farmhands Magazine. For some crazy reason, no one buys any!
So is that Farmhands Magazine’s fault? Should they make less money for that ad because the product is stupid? Or because their demographic is not interested in $600 solid gold toenail clippers? Should they make less money because maybe hiring Gary Coleman to be a celebrity endorser for $600 solid gold toenail clippers wasn’t the best idea?
(Ew! Gary Coleman toenail clippings! Ew!)
Well that’s what cost-per-click programs essentially do to bloggers.
Just yesterday comes along the perfect PR pitch to help me make my case–all while tying in Stefania’s point about lame PR pitches to bloggers which I touched on about a year ago and Kristen has posted about hilariously as have others, including the few PR folks who get it. (Edited to add: In fact, David Wescott posted about it today from the PR perspective.)
First I noticed the pitch was addressed to “Julie.”
Then I got a quick follow-up email saying:
I don’t know why I called you Julie either 😉
Yep, a winkie thingie. Not an apology. Just a winkie thingie. Because hahaha, isn’t it funny when that happens? And by the way, it happens every week.
But the letter got better from there. And I’m sure some of you reading got the same one, maybe addressed to Julie too:
I’m presently working with [client] to help them expand their presence online and think a blogAd on Mom-101 would make an excellent addition to their online ad campaign.
Since the [client] is a fairly small company, I was curious to know what sort of discount you are able to extend toward a one-week trial campaign. Should the results of the test prove fruitful, we would be glad to continue advertising on your blog at a rate commensurate with your normal price structure….
What kind of discount I am able to extend? Seriously?
Here is my exact response (minus one extraneous paragraph):
You called me Julie because you probably mailed this form letter to Mothergoosemouse right before you sent it to me, and forgot to change my name in the salutation.
I am pleased you would like to advertise on Mom101. I am not pleased that you are asking for a discount considering it’s what, 30 bucks for a week? It would cost more to buy a set of magic markers and make posters.
If you want your brand to have real estate on my blog and reach thousands of women, you are welcome to pay the full price. It is not my job to take a hit on the price if your creative is not compelling, creative, or clear enough to encourage people to click through. As someone with “a lot of experience with blogAds” surely you know that the prices are often paltry and out of step with other advertising programs. Asking mom bloggers – many of whom do this as their only source of income – to cut their rates is unconscionable.
I don’t usually respond to requests like this but frankly, it pissed me off.
Now I will say we had a very respectful exchange afterwards in which Danny apologized for insulting me and the value of my blog, and that since he’s working for a small advertiser with a limited budget, his approach was basically “it doesn’t hurt to ask.”
My response was that wrong, it does hurt to ask.
It hurts the momblogggers who, like his client, are also small businesses, and might in fact take the 10% cut because to them, 90% is better than 0% when this is their sole source of income. And that sucks.
I’m not retelling this conversation to be a dick. I don’t think Danny is a bad guy or that he was intending to be as sleazy as his first email came across.
But I am retelling this because I don’t want to see his client’s ads on any of your blogs, knowing that you took 10% off the price for him.
Don’t mess with my girlz. They be my mommygang.