When should you start charging money for your blogging experience?

windowBlogging is a tough business. There are no real clear business models out there to make money (yet) and we're all experimenting trying to figure out what works. What worked a few years ago, like banner ads and affiliate marketing are on their way out. Many bloggers (myself included) struggle with trying to find out what works, and spend a lot of time developing our own blogs, and most of us don't get paid for it.

We've really developed a culture of free on the internet, and in many cases that's the best part. People treat their content differently if it's a labor of love than if it were their job. Besides, doing guest posts are great ways to develop community. Introducing people to each other is a beautiful way to build relationships. Sharing images helps get your work noticed. It's the spirit of the web right now, and giving makes the web a nice place.

But what happens with a company decides to start their own corporate blog, to get in on the blogosphere and use independent bloggers hoping to get ‘exposure' to generate free content. I'm not just talking startups (which also do this) but established companies that you and I have heard about and see in stores. Recently, a company approached me to write for their blog, with ‘exposure' for compensation (even though their blog gets less traffic than mine), and it's always a tossup, because, as an independent blogger, I feel like I want to build a relationship, at the same time, time is limited, and I would rather spend my time building IFB or my own blog, than help a company who can pay a blogger, and chooses not to.

I'm sure you've all run into this, whether it be to write for someone else's blog, or to submit images to a book, or someone asks for  your contacts for free. All stuff that sounds nice, it makes you feel like you are important, for a minute. But then the questions start coming, like ‘how much is my time worth?' And the fear sets in after that, ‘If I say no, then they'll just ask someone else who will do it for free.'

This fear is what makes it possible for companies to take advantage of bloggers. I've experienced it many times, and have heard similar stories from other bloggers, it seems any time we all meet, there tends to be a point where there's a group therapy session on our collective experience. Online, it's hard to pinpoint when you should charge, and when you shouldn't.  Whether it's a labor intensive giveaway contest, or someone pumping you for contacts, using your hard-earned influence to add value to their brand or corporate blog, these things have value to companies, my opinion, is if they can afford to place an ad in a magazine, hire a PR company, and have a snazzy website, they can afford to compensate a blogger.

How do you decide who gets your time for free, and who has to pay? Here are my guidelines which are always in a state of evolution:

I'll do it for free…

• If it's a friend who needs help
• If it's a non-profit cause I believe in
• If I am interested in developing a relationship and community with this entity
• If it's not too labor intensive
• If they are flexible with the results
• If it's clearly an exchange ie. substantial traffic and exposure
• If I feel they would pay me if they could
• If I feel that they truly respect what I do
• If I truly respect and admire what they do

I will ask for compensation….

• If it is a company who should be able to fairly compensate
• If it is *too* labor intensive
• If they want specific results
• If they didn't say ‘thank you' for the last favor I did them
• If this isn't the first or second time they asked for labor intensive help
• If it's clearly a benefit to them and they do not respect what I do
• If I don't see any clear benefit to me or my community
• If if their causes are strictly monetary

What are your parameters for deciding on how you should be compensated?

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59 Responses

  1. Tami

    If you’re an established blogger/writer, you should be charging for your time. More often than not I see many talented writers being taken advantage from other folks. Even if it’s a small fee, you should be compensated always.
    .-= Tami´s last blog ..Rejuvenate & Thrive at SenSpa =-.

  2. Fajr| Stylish Thought

    Blogging and online media are billion dollar businesses and for a large company to not offer compensation is insulting! Blogging and writing are acutal jobs that take effort, research and time to execute properly, so I’m with you on not wanting to shell out your ideas for “exposure”. I think in any relationship (working and blogging) there needs to be reciporcity, whether it’s payment or just the good feeling knowing you wrote a blog for a friend. Either way, it’s up to the blogger what their price is.. and saying up front that you have a price is professional and allows you to be taken seriously.
    .-= Fajr| Stylish Thought´s last blog ..Stylish Interiors: House of Style =-.

  3. Mademoiselle Robot

    I actually think asking to be paid shows you are professional. If blogging is your job then when you blog “freelance” for someone, they should pay you. That’s my policy. I am not scared of people using someone else for free, my time is more precious than potential exposure. I get it for myself, thank you very much, i’d like the cheque instead. Exposure doesn’t pay the bills.
    .-= Mademoiselle Robot´s last blog ..London Fashion Week – Peter Jensen & Laurie =-.

  4. Jen

    I’m dealing with this issue right now. I’m still in school and am not comfortable negotiating or talking about money, though I know valuable information shouldn’t always be given for free. I definitely agree with your guidelines. My only question is how do you know if a company is capable of paying? (In this economy, who knows the financial health of even the super giants.)
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Always Right in White =-.

  5. Jennine

    mlle robot...absolutely, charging does show a certain level of professionalism.
    jen… oh yes, well, if they have ads in fashion magazines, and a media company is pitching you to work for them for free, then chances are they have money.

  6. Brickhouse

    If you’ve been blogging for a while, you should absolutely be compensated. I’m far from being a big shot blogger…lol. But I do know that I’m past the point of looking for traffic through exposure. Time truly is limited and this is even more true because blogging ISN’T my main job. If a company is making a request for me to participate in a corporate blog or to do one-time post, it would have to come with compensation. Blogger-to-blogger is a different story, of course, and I do favors for bloggy friends all the time. 🙂
    .-= Brickhouse´s last blog ..The Owl Bag: Yea or Nay? =-.

  7. Macala Wright

    AMEN Jennine! Guest blogging, being a contributing writer or using your network for someone else needs to be mutually beneficial. That’s the definition of social. But a company asking your to write for exposure (esp. ones that established) is shameful. They’re trying to piggy back on your work and harness your audience, which they clearly want and don’t have.

    I agree with Madem; if you’re an online journalist or citizen journalist (blogger) with expertise and knowledge (and have paid your dues so to speak) then you must be compensated. And those who want to be paid for their writing must establish what that rate would is $675, $1000, $1500 or $2500 per month. Or at very least, per article, depending on the length and complexity.
    .-= Macala Wright´s last blog ..Call Me A Communicator or Connecter, But Don’t Call Me Expert! =-.

  8. grechen

    LOL, i was preparing a whole response and then i read macala’s comment…so instead, i’ll just agree with what she said 🙂 as she mentioned, it’s much more than your time they’re interested in – it’s your reputation, your contacts, your VOICE. those things + your time = NOT free.
    .-= grechen´s last blog ..personality + passion = great blog =-.

  9. Sandra @ debutanteclothing

    your differentiation of when to write for free and when to charge is exactly the way I feel. There are certain entities that I have charged because of the amount of work they want me to do. There are other people that have sites that I can earn traffic from.

    A strong warning though for those of use that think we will be able to make a decent living by blogging: blogging is a tough business to make a living from. Especially in such a saturated market such as fashion. Start thinking about other services you can create in addition to blogging because blogging alone will surely not pay the bills.

    .-= Sandra @ debutanteclothing´s last blog ..Wrapped in Fashion – the Paper Dress =-.

  10. Ashia

    I have to agree with all of you. I’ve seen ads on craigslist where people want someone to post once a day for “exposure”. While I appreciate added attention and exposure opportunities, often writing for someone else’s blog alone isn’t enough to garner exposure.

    At this point, I’d rather put all of my “free” energy into my own blog. If someone wants me to help them write their blog, I would have to charge them. Now, where my question comes in is with charging. What would you charge for writing a blog post?

    I would like to differentiate charging to write for someone else from charging to post in your own blog. If your blog is one that gives information and has created an audience of people who rely on that information, charging to write posts can possibly affect your blog’s integrity.

    It’s all so new and I appreciate forums like these where we can chat about ways to bring order to the industry.
    .-= Ashia´s last blog ..New contest! Shop It To Me Battle of the Brands =-.

  11. Ashe Mischief

    I have to agree so much with what you said. I’ve blogged for companies before, for small amounts of compensation (either X discount or $6 store credit per post), because I wanted to build a relationship with the company. But it was made very clear that they had no interest in supporting and promoting their bloggers as much as they had suggested, and made it very clear it was about cheap labor. They viewed me as a source of posts and my blog as a place of promotion of their site. Needless to say, I don’t blog with them anymore, nor will I shop with them/encourage others to.

    That being said, I have had the opposite as well. I have companies I’ve blogged for that I’ve loved working with, and being able to contribute to IFB has been an amazing outlet and experience for me as well. IFB doesn’t pay and that’s not what it’s about–it’s definitely about building a community, sharing and being a part of it–which is so much more rewarding than many parts of my life (so sad but true!).

    Jennine, I think your list is spot on.
    .-= Ashe Mischief´s last blog ..Scando-Style by the Fabulous Sarah Von [of ‘Yes and Yes’] =-.

  12. reckless daughter

    I’ve only just started to deal with this issue so it’s really interesting to get other people’s perspectives and what we bloggers think we deserve vs. what we will give back to the community. thanks!
    .-= reckless daughter´s last blog ..indian summer =-.

  13. modern hippie

    Thank you, thank you for this discussion and for the candor! Modern Hippie Mag is so brand new, I’m grateful to my fellow bloggers who have shared their suggestions and expertise with me.

    Fajr, my thoughts echo yours…”Blogging and writing are acutal jobs that take effort, research and time to execute properly, so I’m with you on not wanting to shell out your ideas for “exposure”.”

    Man, I had no idea just how much time and effort went into blogging until I started doing it!
    .-= modern hippie´s last blog ..Fab Find – John Masters Organics Citrus & Neroli Detangler =-.

  14. eyeliah

    Such a great topic to cover, I’d have to say I agree with your charge/no charge lists. I do get contacted by companies expecting me to do things for free for the exchange of some small link or nothing at all, but unless I really beleive in the product I just pass them by. I also get a small amount of contact from companies who are willing to pay (my probably too small) fees for links and store profiles and those I am usually very happy to do, helps cover the site costs.
    .-= eyeliah´s last blog ..First Day of Autumn =-.

  15. Michelle

    I totally agree with the way you wrote it up, Jennine! This was covered in a recent Men With Pens post too (or something very similar – not paid posts, but people/companies contacting bloggers wanting basically free time, effort, & exposure for “the good of the community”). I haven’t been approached by any companies, but even having a relatively small blog I would probably not post for a company just for exposure – even if it’s a small compensation, my time is valuable. This is something I’ve already learned working as a seamstress (your jaw would drop to hear what people expect to get, for low cost or free!), and it’s something that I’m really stubborn about!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Marvelous Monday! =-.

  16. julia

    Great article Jennine-this is quite timely, as I have been grappling with this issue a lot latey! There’s only so many hours in the day, and for the majority of them to be put toward unpaid work is sometimes hard ot balance! I think so many of us still do what we do because we truly love it and are passionate about it, but we definitely have to be careful of getting taken advantage of when it comes to blogginh for others for free.
    .-= julia´s last blog ..Forever 21 Pick of the Day: Gracie Floral Lace Top, $14 =-.

  17. Style Bite

    I agree 100% w/ all of you! I get really frustrated when large companies, or even medium sized ones, who can obviously expense freelance writers/bloggers but choose to go after us bloggers because they assume it will be free, or they can throw us a $2 store credit. Thankfully fashion blogging is headed in a great direction ( as I noticed especially this past week in New York where bloggers were sitting front row shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Anna Wintour and Cathy Horyn) and we’re finally being recognized as valid and incredibly influential journalist and professionals. Hopefully these companies catch on quickly and realize they’re going to have to fork it up!
    .-= Style Bite´s last blog ..Correll Correll Lace Dress =-.

  18. G Stone

    I feel like you read my mind!!! I have been seriously pondering this question for the last few days. Thank you for posting this!

  19. Amy Blogs Chow

    If a company can hire copywriters to be their “voice” or take on freelance writers to create article-length stories then they should compensate for posts. Blogging is writing. Sadly, in its relatively new state it’s seen as the bastard child of journalism but just as there are crap novelists in the world, there are eloquent and effective bloggers that are far removed from BlogSpot. There are indie start-up sites that I love/cherish/want to help out but after “helping” with a dozen 450 word posts (which take hours out of my day), I realized I should help myself instead. So I did.

    Jennine, I’d state a flat fee for the post that this company requested from you. You should quote the number of subscribers to your site (I assume yours has a pretty substantial readership) because that is what’s valuable – your hard-earned community. Don’t sell yourself short! After all’s said and done – do what you’ll regret the least. I usually go the road I’d recommend to my best friend.

  20. James Chartrand - Men with Pens

    I’m right there with you, Jennine. I’m often asked to blog for companies for free, and they flaunt exposure as the exchange. Most times, I’ll try it – with a caveat.

    “We’ll give it a go for a month or two and I’ll analyze traffic.”

    No traffic? No clients? No money? No nothing? No blogging.

    Your readers may want to check out my post, Screw Community>, in which I discuss the subject a little more.

    .-= James Chartrand – Men with Pens´s last blog ..
    Slaying Writer Dragons: Epic Skill #1, Mental Prowess =-.

  21. Jennine

    what fantastic comments, really…. I’m so glad I’m not alone in this!
    ❤ tami…good point, when you’re just staring out, you really need to learn the market and hone in on your skills.
    ❤ macala.. oh man, what a good idea, I hadn’t even thought of that, but a monthly fee is also really great.
    ❤ brickhouse..haha yeah, right? most of the times exposure doesn’t really mean anything…
    ❤ grechen, so true, not many people have the skills established bloggers have, not in the new media sphere.
    ❤ ashe… that is so sad about that company, it makes me so angry when i hear about companies like that, it just makes them look really bad. but i’m also glad you got to work with good companies too…that’s always the icing on the cake.
    ❤ modern hippie, so true, blogging does take a lot of time if you’re doing anything worth while
    ❤ michelle, i’m so going to read that article in s soon as i’m done… the freeloaders have to be called out, i’m begining to think…
    ❤ eyeliah, it’s unfortunate that not many companies do get in touch with the money to back it up right?
    ❤ juila, absolutely, it’s a tough thing to call, especially when you’re trying to make a living, deciding who is worth a free post or not, it’s really about your values and what you’re looking for.
    ❤ stylebite… excellent point! i think in a few years time, we won’t see much of these kinds of propositions, as bloggers become more established.
    ❤ amy…oh i’m glad i’m not the only one that needs time to type out 450 words!
    ❤ james..thanks so much for the link, i’m going to read it! but yeah, i’ve yet to really get a benefit from someone toting ‘exposure’ as the caveat, usually it’s the ones i have to approach that give the most benefit either traffic wise or community.

  22. honeybeflyy

    I have been doing some reading/research on this very issue, and it’s not limited to blogging, but to the internet, in general (think musicians fighting to profit from their art in the file sharing age). I am currently reading Lawrence Lessig’s http://remix.lessig.org/book.php . Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy in which he talks about “commercial” v. “sharing” economies. What he promotes and what Jenine and everyone else describes is a “hybrid” economy. I am not finished reading yet, nor do I predict that he will have “the” answer, but it’s an interesting read and I’d be happy to share the conclusion once I’m done reading.

  23. Sonja

    You make a lot of great points and have a good set of guidelines. One thing to consider as well is that when we don’t charge a fair price for our work, we undervalue it and set a bad precedent – same goes for any type of work we do, whether it’s a freelance or full-time gig.

    Even if we do a gig as a favor, the other party should know what the work is worth. When I’ve thrown in free services, like with website design work, I always include what the value of the work is.
    .-= Sonja´s last blog ..Bold Brows from Tarte Cosmetics at New York Fashion Week =-.

  24. Kate

    I think it’s also hard to know when to start charging for your services as well. For example, if a really popular blog asks me to do a guest post for free, then I think I would take the opportunity. But is it in my best interest to charge from the get go or should I do a couple of guest posts for free and then start charging? In this economy, it seems even the companies you think would be making big bucks are still just getting by because of their debt to profit ratio.

    I just watched “The Day Before” on the Sundace channel (a great show for fashion followers) about Proenza Schouler getting ready for their show earlier this year. Their CEO basically said that the models were either working by trade or for free because they didn’t have the money in their budget to pay them. It’s really surprising because with all their glitz and glamour, I would have thought they would have more than enough money in their budget.

    It’s the same way with bloggers. We want to get our name out there, so we do work for free. I think you just have to decide on which opportunities will truly benefit you in the long run and which are just a waste of your time. I’m happy to work for free if it will give the right kind of exposure, then when the economy does pick up, I’ll be in a better place to profit off my blog.
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Coolest 90s Ad Campaigns =-.

  25. Lauren

    When I started out aiming to get freelance work, I deliberately wrote and blogged for free on a variety of websites that covered by topics and which were interesting. Now I have established a presence, however, I charge for my posts unless they are for a friend, part of a community or something I love. Future blogging projects I expect to be paid for, as I have both limited time and limited money in my life!
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..A sneak peek =-.

  26. SF Indie Fashion

    Really enjoyed reading all these responses and comments. Curious if anyone has thoughts on companies that want to reuse your blog content without compensation.

    I’m running into a lot of situations where publications are like, can we republish your content, and, in some cases I’ve said yes, especially if it requires no extra labor on my end and they don’t edit anything and I like them/their mission, etc.

    But in others, I’ve said no because they want me to sign “agreements” which basically protect them legally and offer me nothing in return.

    Any thoughts? I feel like this is happening more and more as magazines and publishers need content, but don’t want to pay for it….
    .-= SF Indie Fashion´s last blog ..A Pop-Up Worth Popping Into: Flowie =-.

  27. Liberty London Girl

    I’ve become so cross about it that I have added a Small Print section to the bottom of my blog which states very clearly my principles. I’m a fashion journalist in the real world & I would no more work for free in print than I would on line. What really gets my goat are the PRs who get in touch wanting bloggers to take part in trials. Trial off I say. Pay me if you want me to be a guinea pig. So I added this:

    “I will not take part in trials, forums or questionnaires for product marketing purposes without payment for my time & expertise. I resent publicity & marketing firms trying to take advantage of bloggers’ generosity of time & spirit and want no part in their strategies. (Yes, Red Consultancy I’m thinking of you .)”

    On a related note I also get hot & bothered about publicists thinking that if they give bloggers samples then they will get favourable reviews in return. I believe that is called bribery & corruption. As a fashion & beauty editor I receive hundreds of samples on the understanding that I need to know about them to do my job. There is no expectation that i will cover them, just a hope that I may. So, I apply the same rule to the on-line world. I added this section to my small print:

    “I am always happy to receive relevant press releases & samples of product, on the understanding that not everything I receive will make it into copy and that I will write my unbiased opinion. I also reserve the right not to post a review. (Yup, I’m thinking of Mr Perricone’s people who never replied back after I said I wldn’t guarantee to write about or be nice about his face cream.) ”

    Rant ended. Over and out. LLGxx
    .-= Liberty London Girl´s last blog ..ah…Manhattan… =-.

  28. Ashe Mischief

    Sonja, I absolutely agree with this: “One thing to consider as well is that when we don’t charge a fair price for our work, we undervalue it and set a bad precedent – same goes for any type of work we do, whether it’s a freelance or full-time gig.”

    I feel like I see this a lot with independent designers, because customers don’t understand why things cost more than in Urban Outfitters or H&M, and I think the same principles hold true in blogging.
    .-= Ashe Mischief´s last blog ..IFB Presents: Links a la Mode =-.

  29. Hillary

    I agree with everyone’s comments! I like working with other bloggers whether it’s swapping information, features or interviews.

    But how does everyone feel about charging or requesting a product exchange for hosting contest? It seem like for every contest I host I turn down 3! I can understand not requiring an exchange for the first contest but I almost feel that if they company has obviously received a good response from my hosting or they wouldn’t ask me to host another.
    .-= Hillary´s last blog ..Blugirl Spring 2010 =-.

  30. Liv Lundelius

    great article!
    of course you should get money if you write for others esp. companies.
    i guess your rules about that are completely right.
    a friend wrote a kidsfashion blog for a year and is now getting payed to
    be the editor of a onlinemagazin and blog of a print kidsmagazine!
    so it sometimes works out. they even pay her an office to work in and

    I am also pretty new in the blogsphere(started may2009) and i am very
    happy to have this great community and get tipps and help.
    At the same time I am a Start-up that writes a blog, as you mentioned…

    Of course the blog is also working to promote my designs, but most important
    to me is to write a blog that really gives fashionable and cool inspiration for weddings.
    If i repost things or find inspiration on other blogs, i link back and give credit of course.

    I am designing wedding dresses cause i have a passion for cool weddings and really
    a vision in mind with my work.
    So I also promote a lot other blogs and companys i like as every blogger does as well.
    I guess the important part is for everyone company or independent blogger,
    if you just blog to make money or want to take any advantage or if you blog beacause you really want to and do it with love. (hope thats not too cheesy!)
    its important to find own content or pay someone to write good content for you!
    of course its not ok , if companies try to use independent writers!
    .-= Liv Lundelius´s last blog ..nails =-.

  31. jaunty magpie

    It’s a bit of a relief to read this article and everyone’s comments. I gave up a few good articles in the name of “exposure,” sharing content with another provider, but I think it’s a case of live and learn, and I’m just going to keep moving ahead. I’m not a writer by trade; my day job is in the creative field, but not as a writer, so the blog is more of a place to vocalize inspirations. But I certainly don’t want to sell it or other bloggers’ short of being taken seriously.

    I like the idea of guest posts, because that does inspire community amongst bloggers. But I agree, I don’t think free samples, gifts, etc. from corporations should guarantee favorable posts. I’m starting to get contacted by companies, but all the FTC news has made me wary.
    .-= jaunty magpie´s last blog .. =-.

  32. Kimmie

    It’s definitely a personal choice but when I realized that I was being referred or that companies were coming to me based on my expertise, I knew that I had to be paid. People that I am close to, people that have something in kind that is mutually beneficial – that’s definitely something I do because I want them to get out there. But businesses have budgets, especially large ones, and although they may not pay me the same rate as they would for someone in traditional media – my time, energy and presence is something valuable to them and this is my primary job!
    .-= Kimmie´s last blog ..Treasure Tuesdays ~ Calling All Accessories Designers =-.

  33. Liz

    Wow this has helped me so much! All the comments are wonderful too. I am coming to a crossroads with this right now-I have banner ads but I would like to remove them somehow…and finally accepting that my time is valuable. Thank you for this!
    .-= Liz´s last blog ..Spring Forward. =-.

  34. Lollie Shopping

    Another great article, Jennine. Thank you. I really hope online retailers and other corporations who lust after free blogging services happen upon your post. And I have a few words those people: You get what you pay for.

    Pay a blogger for services, and you receive relevant, timely content posted on a dependable and consistent basis. Con a blogger into writing for free, and after three months or so, you’ll have a blogger who flakes out on you. And why shouldn’t he/she? When a company pays a blogger, they’re not just paying for good writing. They’re also paying for a professional, reliable service. And that never comes for free.

  35. Miami Olivia

    Since this is such hot issue, maybe a forum should be made up and all independent fashion bloggers get together for. Maybe we should choose a panel of bloggers, large companies that use us, editors and fashion designers to hammer out what should “accepted protocol” should be for bloggers. As this is not defined in the business world, we have the opportunity to define it with all interested stakeholders. When trying to come up with what “fair” is, maybe a little more info would help pave the way for what actually IS FAIR to us all.
    .-= Miami Olivia´s last blog ..The Edge of Ruffles – A New Valentino =-.

  36. Monica

    Excellent post Jennine! You’ve expressed exactly what I’ve been thinking for awhile. Although I started my blog as a hobby it takes up more of my time than my full-time job, which I’m happy with my blog because I love it. Recently I’ve been approached by “corporate” to post & I’d rather concentrate my free-time to my blog than “work for free” generating income for corporate. Is my time not valuable too?
    Thanks for posting this!
    .-= Monica´s last blog ..F is for Fail {beauty report} =-.

  37. Jennifer

    Thanks so much for this. I really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. I just started blogging in Aug 09 and I was recently approached by a PR agency asking me to write about a new designer they have. They would like me to to interview the designer and write a feature story on her.

    Of course I would like to turn my blog into a business and source of revenue but as someone who is still under 1,000 hits per month, would it be wrong to charge a small fee for my time? I was thinking around $15. Of course I want the exposure, but I also maintain a busy schedule with work and a masters program so my time really is limited. I have asked a few people who said to charge but also some who said don’t charge so I’m VERY confused and would live the feedback of the community.

    Have did you all handle a situation like this?

    Thanks everyone!

    • Jennifer

      Sorry, the link to my blog was incorrect in the previous post.

      Thanks so much for this. I really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. I just started blogging in Aug 09 and I was recently approached by a PR agency asking me to write about a new designer they have. They would like me to to interview the designer and write a feature story on her.

      Of course I would like to turn my blog into a business and source of revenue but as someone who is still under 1,000 hits per month, would it be wrong to charge a small fee for my time? I was thinking around $15. Of course I want the exposure, but I also maintain a busy schedule with work and a masters program so my time really is limited. I have asked a few people who said to charge but also some who said don’t charge so I’m VERY confused and would live the feedback of the community.

      Have did you all handle a situation like this?

      Thanks everyone!
      .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..The Art of Travel by Louis Vuitton: "Chile, Behind the Scenes" =-.

  38. Pearl Westwood

    Might sound harsh but my motto is ‘whats in it for me?’. Of course writing a guest post for a friend is totally different. But for company / product reviews, ads etc you should definately charge.
    To Jennifer above, I would ask at least $90 – around £50 as standard, dont sell yourself short. This is another topic I would love to discuss, how much to charge! I point blank refuse any pay per click ads as having a huge ad on my blog makes a big impact on it, so only gaining a few pounds if someone goes through and makes a purchase just isnt enough for me. I have experience with magazine and google ads so I know these cost A LOT! I would rather say no that sell myself short. When you think a tiny 1″x1″ ad in Marie Claire etc can cost £1000 you get more of a perspective. Basically what is your blog worth to you?
    Totally agree with LLG above! I will only review products if they agree that my feedback is unedited!
    That said I have had some lovely things occur from things I have blogged about just off my own back not expecting things in return. I guess this weedles out the good, bad and the ugly 😉
    .-= Pearl Westwood´s last blog ..GIVEAWAY: Win a vintage dress =-.

    • jennifer

      Thanks for that Pearl, Yes I too would love to see a post on “what to charge”. For beginners like myself it would take out so much confusion.

      At what point do you take into account the number of page hits? And should I ask for samples of the designers work? I am still averaging under 600 a month, but because people are coming to me, I figure they think I have a lot more hits than what I really do.

      Sorry to flood the board with questions..Thanks all for your help. 🙂
      .-= jennifer´s last blog ..The Art of Travel by Louis Vuitton: “Chile, Behind the Scenes” =-.

  39. ChicAlert

    I’ll be brief….I too have experienced this oh so many times. In fact I get daily pitches from PR firms who are obviously being paid for their time and effort to market their clients so I also expect to be paid for doing the same! While I do enjoy my work, I, like most, have costs associated with running my site and most of the income that it generates goes towards paying those costs.


  40. sirdorian (stylishkidsinriot.com)

    i´m writing about an experience which I got a few months ago with a british retail company. they didn´t asked me to blog there, but they hired a girl to ask blogs for a job as an editor. so one day, she wrote me an e-mail and i really with a few examples of her writing style and i really liked it.

    her first post at S.K.i.R was about the new collection of this retail company. it was ok, but it looked a bit like an advertorial. few days later, the second post came in. and it was about this company, again. after the third post, i started to get skeptic and asked her if she can write about other stuff.

    no answer. a week later, she wrote about a designer collaboration for t-shirts and the retail company, so i didnt publish the posting and asked her about her relation to the company. she meant that there is no relation, and that she only like the stuff.

    i started to research her name and found out that she work for a PR company, and the client was this company.

    it was really dissappointing for me that they used S.K.i.R for their PR and didn´t pay a lousy cent. but it was even harder for me that he hired a PR who didn´t tell me that she is one, to post all the stories.

    it´s the other side of the medal in the online world and i also think that its getting harder to monetize the blog these days. but i hope that this company stopped doing things like this.

  41. Maria Volk

    I know I am WAY late, but I just saw this on your twitter! I just wanted to leave my 2 cents and make a few points. I think first off that affiliate marketing on blogs isn’t necessarily on it’s way out, you just have to be much more creative and knowledgeable about it to make anything these days. You can’t just leave a link or banner on your sidebar, you have to actively advertise the product (which most people probably feel uncomfortable doing). That’s why I always say pick something you believe in. Secondly, a major way to monetize your blog is by selling actual ad space. This wont happen until you have a substantial amount of readers (I’ve heard 1000 is a good goal). As for writing posts for other people, I think your yes and no list is good. Being a new blogger I have little problem writing a guest post if I feel like I’ll get even a handful of readers from it, but perhaps at the place you are at, you can use interns to write them for you 😉
    .-= Maria Volk´s last blog ..Ad:Tech 2010 and Bloggin’ for money =-.