After a cracking article by Cape Town Girl around the matter of paid for blogging vs posting shit for free, I’ve decided to weigh in on the matter on behalf of one of the more established blogs out there, MyCityByNight.
When MyCityByNight started out it was really just us about talking about all of the cool places that we went to and awesome products that made our lives better. People enjoyed the honesty, people enjoyed our writing. Over time the MCBN brand became a little more respected as something that the masses could depend on to deliver the latest on urban culture. This excited brands (read PR agencies that represent brands).
It wasn’t long before we were getting the latest “cool” products delivered to our offices on a daily basis. Initially we were pretty excited to get all of these things first, spewing praises to anyone and everyone sending us a press release with their new flavor of iced-tea. Then… as CTG also did, we became aware of the fact that we were only contributing to the white noise out there.
The internet is full of crap. Blogs are one way to sift through all the crap and ensure that the brands you are hearing about are one’s that are genuinely cool. At MCBN we’ve prided ourselves on the fact that the products or parties that we speak about here are one’s that actually matter. Payment is only received for more extensive campaigns that buy media space on our site. If we’re talking about it, it’s because we really do like the brand/party/event/product. This in my mind, makes our media space more valuable.
However, that doesn’t work for everyone. For some, the only hope of making enough cash from blogging comes through getting brands to pay to be mentioned. It’s like Coke vs Pepsi (they’re both using different ways to produce what is essentially the same thing).
I’ve sat on both sides. I’m a blogger AND I work at an advertising agency. When agencies say that they don’t have blogger budget this means that they haven’t added it into their budgets to be signed off by clients. Agencies are going to include how many influencers (bloggers) are talking about the brands they represent. They will be rewarded with MONEY. Your time should be too.
It’s incredibly tough to get the recognition you need to be able to command the sorts of advertising rates of 2Oceansvibe or MCBN. It takes years and it takes enough balls to stand up and ask for your worth- with payment structured in a manner that suits your brand philosophy. Trust me though, the online world will be better for it.