You probably think that I’m going to tell you about the kids and how as a mom we need to exercise our right and responsibilty as a parent to tell our kids NO from time to time. I mean without telling our kids no, lord only knows what they could get themselves into. They could get hurt, they could get someone else hurt, they could lose their self respect, they could do something stupid. We owe it to them to say No when we see our children, the people we most hold dear in this world, on the edge of making a big mistake.
So why don’t we tell ourselves NO? I mean, as a mom, I do stupid things every day, make bad decisions, cave on house rules, let my heart take over my head, or give into the temptation of great product in exchange for free ad space on my site. I run a writing business; I tell people who want to low ball my writing services NO All. The. Time. But when it comes to this blog (which has turned into an extension of my writing business, a fact I have come to realize and celebrate) I flail about, all wishy washy and take on marketing promotions that are often more work than they are value to me.
In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m not going to talk about the kids today. Instead I should be telling you about a very cool and fun national promotion, but I’m not because I turned it down. It was offered to me, I said yes, and then… I SAID NO.
It was a hard decision to make. I called on some of my blog friends, looked over the contract, did some quick math, looked into the (my) future and decided that this was not a good fit for me.
I almost put this post over at Know-it-All Nikki or even my professional site, and who knows… maybe I will throw something together for those sites (as they relate more to business and writing) but I decided to do it here because much of the blogger promotions and programs I do anymore are largely tied to being a “mom blogger”.
(and that reminds me, why do we call them “blog promotions”? For the most part, our blogs are not what is promoted. It’s the brand, company, product, service. Ah… a discussion for another day I guess).
I get that as moms we have a powerful voice and we have a fountain of knowledge and opinions just waiting to be tapped into… believe me, I want to be tapped into! But not at the sake of giving everything away for free.
If there’s one thing you need to understand about me is that I come at nearly everything I do from a business stand point. I have given away my work for free (or pennies) in the past and in all cases… it’s not worked out well for me. The other party got the better end of the deal. Mostly it’s ghost written content where I sign away my rights as the author of the work and generally that is fine with me because at the end of the day… I’m paid for it.
Payment, as it turns out, means different things to different bloggers. For some it’s the promotion and the possibility to see your brand or your blog in print or in the media (I have some passionate opinions on that for a later date as well). For other bloggers it’s being compensated through a check or money order made out to YOU. The latter is the type of payment I’m used to dealing with. That’s the kind of payment that I like above product or my name in print, media, or links back to my site and so I’m willing to give up certain rights in exchange for that payment. Because that kind of payment my friends… pays my bills. It covers my time to do what’s needed to be done. It puts food on my table, supports my family, and enables me to keep on building my business.
The promotion I turned down would have been fun. GREAT FUN. I would have had a blast telling you about the product because we already believe in that brand name. The kids were already excited about it and so was I. Unfortunately I had to turn it down because my idea of payment wasn’t the same as the brand’s. In fact, it’s not even CLOSE.
Believe me when I say that I’m not at all upset that I’m not working on this promotion. I declined them and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying No. In fact, if it hadn’t seen the contract prior to the campaign beginning, I’ve had likely said yes (and regretted it). But because I am accustomed to billing people for my time and the content I create, and before I hear, “but you do reviews for free…” Yes. I do review products and services for free as it relates to my return on investment. I weigh the time it will take to review the product or service, write the content, create, edit and upload a video if needed, and then post it, which is why you don’t see a lot of giveaways from me anymore. They are not worth the unpaid time that it takes to run a giveaway.
I think that’s the important thing we forget – our time, in many ways should be billable. If you worked outside the home, you’d get an hourly wage for the time you spent working on a project, balancing the books, stocking shelves… whatever it is you’d do; you’d be paid for the time to do it. I guarantee you that by the time a PR company reaches out to you for a large campaign that they’re putting together, they’ve done the math on their ROI (in other words, they know your value) so why shouldn’t (or don’t) you?
I’m largely taking the stance that compensation such as gift cards, coupons, and free product aren’t OK – especially if the gift cards or coupons ONLY PAY for you to create the content needed. In case you’re wondering, I don’t consider that a paid media campaign. (That’s like giving me the laptop just so I can write the article). If after those coupons or gift cards are spent and you’re still working on the campaign or project… guess what? You’re losing money.
As I continue to grow this site and make choices, I’m interested in hearing what you’re doing and the trends we’re setting as bloggers and writers.
And so I ask; Where do you stand on saying No over saying Yes to large campaigns? Do you weigh the value you’ll get in the end or do you participate merely for the exposure? What do you consider payment and do you ever consider your time?