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April 11, 2009

This Philly Mom Blogger Doesn't Work for Free

Money(2) I was recently contacted by a company who wanted to work with me as a mom blogger.  It's a new company that has received national press and wanted to bring their campaign to the local level, and that is where I came in.  They wanted a local mom to be a spokesperson on their recently launched Philadelphia campaign, and after reading my blog for a few weeks, they wanted to discuss the position with me.  They explained that I would be interviewed on Good Morning Philadelphia as well as for the Inquirer and several local radio stations.  Sounds pretty cool, huh?  I don't particularly relish seeing myself on TV, but it sounded like an exciting opportunity.  I was thrilled to be noticed, thrilled to be asked.

Unfortunately negotiations came to a screeching halt when I mentioned pay.  PAY?  What's that?  No, babe, we're talking FREE!  I mean, of course we'll promote your blog on our site...

Now hold on a just a second.  You don't work for free.  Why are you asking ME to work for free?  Sure, my blog started out as a fun hobby, but I have spent years building an audience, a reputation, and yes, as much as I detest the term, a brand.  When a company wants to use a blogger's name and face and brand and put it on their product, that's not a hobby.  That's a job.  A blogger's brand is worth more than a little free promotion.

After I consulted a few trusted of my trusted PR peeps, I named my price and stuck by it, and I never heard from that company again.  That's right.  They didn't even pay me the decency of saying, "I'm sorry.  We know you're worth it, but it's just not in the budget right now."  They just disappeared, never to be heard from again.  And this is after several emails and a phone conversation.  Of course that proves once and for all that this is not a company I want to do business with, and I'm relieved the relationship ended before it began.  But the whole experience has me all riled up.

Companies need to quit using bloggers as a source of cheap publicity and start paying us what we're worth.  And bloggers need to stand up for themselves and stop working for nothing but a link or a shout-out.  As my mother always told me, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?"

This is an original post to the Philadelphia Moms Blog. Jo-Lynne also blogs on her personal blog, Musings of a Housewife and at her beauty blog, Chic Critique.

Photo Credit: borman818


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