There is a consistent theme that runs through a lot of conversations about money in the mom blogosphere. Typically moms want other bloggers to reveal what they earn in order to get an idea of how to price various partnerships they have with brands. But is this the right thing to do?
I know it can be frustrating when you’re new to the world of brand partnerships. You don’t want to undersell yourself and you don’t want to price yourself out of an opportunity either. In my case, I had to figure out the hard way through good old-fashioned trial and error. When I first started working with brands many years ago I charged far too low for services rendered. Then I got hip to the world of business and started charging what I was worth and I haven’t looked back since.
Whenever I can put mom bloggers in the ballpark of what they should charge brands, I am always happy to help because as women we tend to undersell ourselves a lot. That said, however, sharing specific rates that you charge brands can become quite problematic. People talk behind closed doors and relationships can become strained if money discussions come into play particularly if a brand pays two mom bloggers different rates. That’s never a good situation!
There is also the potential for other bloggers to throw roadblocks in your way if you reveal too much of how much you earn, especially if you’re on the higher end of earning potential among mom bloggers. It’s sad, but true. Even though in an ideal world we would all love to throw numbers on the table, money talk tends to complicate things, right? People act strange. Think about all the hubub made over what Dooce makes in a month or what Chris Brogan charges in a day.
Like Melanie wrote in her brilliant post this week, Why Do Bloggers Continue to Work for Free?, no blogger should work for free. (As an aside, I would like to clarify something very quickly, though. When I review products I don’t charge for that. When I work with a brand on an extended campaign by lending my likeness to their web site and social media outlets, create content for them and generally work for them, I always charge.)
I’m sure you’re wondering: How can I NOT work for free if I don’t know what to charge? Good question! Always start by knowing you will charge a brand for services you perform or content you create. You also have to be confident in your ability to perform and therefore should charge accordingly. If you overcharge, oftentimes brands will negotiate a rate that works for both parties. If you feel it is too low, always be willing to walk away. Never accept a lower fee than you know you deserve because you are desperate to work with a certain brand.
Remember this: Always err on the side of overcharging because you have the option to negotiate. And you never know, a brand may go with your original rate!