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Mummy Blogging 101- Corporate Whorism.

by Lori Dwyer on October 24, 2010 · 45 comments

Aloha,

This is one of those blog posts that has been hanging around in the back of my head for a while now. Fermenting. As most good blog posts do. And, as usually happens, something occurred recently that acted as a catalyst for the whole idea to grow into a mutant opinionated Web baby and be born into the blogosphere, kicking and screaming and burning it’s feed. Or something.

A question, on ye olde FormSpring account. E’nuff Nuffnang, apparently. Boom tish, anonymous FormSpringer.

I felt it was worth a blog post. I’ve been meaning to have a natter about this to you, my jellybeaners,  for a while now.

As you may have noticed, I publish here a lot. Five days a week, in fact. Some of those posts are “high value” posts, that I know people will love to read. Sometimes, they’re “low value” posts, that may not be so much fun to read, but serve a purpose.

I do my bestest to make this a high-value kinda place to be. I try to write my low value posts as entertaining as I can possibly can, but there’s only so much one do with air conditioners.
 
I started this blog as a hobby, and I’ve been lucky enough that it’s grown considerably. Why? I have no freaking idea. Some days, cyber-karma treats me well and my inbox is full and overflowing with offers to do reviews, competitions, pitches and sponsored posts. And some days, I take these random PR people up on their offers.

I get to do some cool stuff. I get some cool stuff for free. Most of the time, I’m obligated to tell you lot about it. That’s why I get it. I’ve read some very boring sponsored posts, in my not-so-extensive blogging time. And I’ve promised myself that while it may be many things, this blog will never be boring.

If you don’t like my sponsored posts, don’t read them. If you feel I’m doing too many of them, then feel free to let me know (just like our friend the FormSpringer), or just vote with your mouse and unsubscribe. Never feel obligated to read my sponsored posts, or comment on them. Never feel obliged to read anything I post, unless you’re thoroughly enjoying it.

As I said, I post here five days a week. I put my blood, housework time, sweat and tears into this blog (in a totally metaphorical, non-gross kinda way). I love to write. I love that people read what I write. I love being part of the mummy blogging community.

But I also get up to 40 emails in my inbox a day and spend up to 5 hours a day on the computer.

We’re a single income family here, with two very small children. More often than not, money is tight and we struggle to make ends meet. I published two sponsored posts in the last fortnight. I know those posts are low value. So, I’m guessing, are the FlogYoBlog Friday posts (good thing because no one reads the damn things anyway). But discounting the low value stuff, that’s still six high value posts I’ve published in a fortnight. And that’s reasonable… right?

I think it is. When you consider that those sponsored posts will pay for three months of my son’s swimming lessons, something that he dearly loves, and we would never give up, but always struggle to find the cash for. Or when you take into account that the trip my family recently took to Taronga Zoo, courtesy of my blog, was the first outing I’ve ever provided for my family, for my children. That I’ve provided. That I’ve earnt. Me. Independently. Without my husband’s wage paying for it. And I was ridiculously, inordinately proud of myself. If you don’t believe me, just as the Man. Because I could. not. shut. up. about. it. all. freaking. day.

Surely, you can’t blame me for that?

There’s a lot of chatter recently about whether we should all be charging for product reviews, how much we should be charging, and whether we’re undervaluing ourselves. I’m on both sides of the fence on this one. I understand that my blog space, my writing, my time, is valuable. But, while recognizing all that, I’m happy to do, for example, a DVD review in exchange for a copy of that DVD for me, and one to give away. Why not? It’s $40 value, for me. $40 that, had it been paid in cash, would have simply been sucked into the whirlpool of family finances. Instead, I get a DVD that I can sit and watch with my kids, and all of us enjoy.

To us, to me, that’s just as good as a cash payment.

What’s could be so wrong with that…?

In conjunction with Kmart, Aussie Mummy Bloggers recently ran a Kmart promotion. It wasn’t a competion I entered. I had 10 good solid posts sitting in my drafts folder ready to go, I wasn’t planning to write that day, and there was only just under 48 hours to enter the competition. It wasn’t something that tickled my pickle, right now. But six months ago, when I was blogging day by day and searching for ideas? This competition would have been perfect. Something creative to blog about, which was fun, and may just have won me $20.

Picture stolen form Sodahead.

Twenty bucks, you say? Is that all? Well, OK, so you’re probably not saying that, but I know some people said that. Seriously, who is anyone to turn their nose up at $20? It may not be a lot to one person. That doesn’t mean it’s spare change to someone else.

It’s not always conceivable, for bloggers who are just starting out and don’t have much traffic, to charge exorbitant amounts for reviews. If your blog is big enough that you can charge a huge sum for a review, then awesome, and good on you. You do that. But don’t slag off the little guys. Everyone has their own worth, yes, and everything is relative. $20 may mean nothing to you. But hey, in the Purple House, a new DVD is a big deal.

I’ve written before about mummy bloggers<
/a>, what a valuable resource we are. I’m not diminishing that in any way. We shouldn’t undervalue ourselves. But try not to price yourself right out of the market either. Don’t let a company treat you like an idiot. Know your own relative value, in the big scheme of things.

If you spend 62 hours writing each post, and you believe your posts are worth $500 each, awesome, charge that. But if you can knock up a post in 20 minutes, then you may just be happy with twenty bucks, and that’s OK. Or, if you, like me, are happy to chatter on about a DVD in exchange for a copy of that DVD, then that’s cool too.

As long as you are comfortable with it, that’s all that matters.

And to my anonymous FormSpringer, I work damn hard on this blog. I try and make the majority of my posts high value. Occasionally, a sponsored post or a review will pop up. I’m not going to apologise for that. I love my blog, I adore all my readers, all my faithful jellybean people. But I won’t apologise* if I’m lucky enough to make a little bit of money for my family out of doing something that I enjoy so much, that I am so passionate about, and that I spend so much of my precious time on.

To quote my homegirl Holly Homemaker-

Peace out with your crease out, y’all.

* I also won’t apologise for continuing to spell apoligise with an ‘s’, as Aussies do, Mr SpellChecker-Annoying-Wavy-Red-Line-Thing. Respect.

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