I don’t usually post about actual blogging on this blog (very meta), but I came across this clip last night and found it so interesting. I can’t read the full article or see the full video because you have to be a subscriber to WWD (boo), but from what I can see Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere gave a speech about the business of blogging at an event held by Fairchild Fashion Media, which is a part of Conde Nast. I think it’s an interesting clip whether you’re a blogger or not, but especially if you’re a blogger, obviously.
It speaks to the question of whether bloggers should be paid for their work, and how. The first article that I read that really struck me on this subject was here, which if you don’t want to read the full article, is about a brand basically trying to get a blogger to promote them for free, claiming that they don’t have a marketing budget. I definitely think that’s completely wrong, but I guess I wasn’t too surprised that brands would be trying to wrangle free publicity out of people.
However, I have to say that when I saw this clip of Emily, I was actually shocked! She’s pretty much as huge as it gets in the blogging world, and companies would still write her an email that says “dear blogger”? That really surprises me. And I’m also pretty shocked that, considering the level that she’s at, a brand wouldn’t understand that she would be paid monetarily for anything she does, and would instead try to pay her with free products. That’s very surprising to me that that would happen with a blogger and author as influential and popular as Emily – I’m guessing that her site must get millions of pageviews per month. That’s huge exposure for any brand that she posts about – so why wouldn’t she be paid for giving them that exposure and that access to her audience? I’ve definitely bought things that she’s posted (too many things!). In fact, she’s how I discovered Club Monaco, which has become one of my favorite brands ever (if not number one favorite).
Anyway, I think it’s an interesting clip (so wish I could see the whole speech!) and interesting to ponder if you’re in the blogging world, or even just any public relations or media field. I think it just goes to show that bloggers still have a long way to go towards being taken truly seriously as business entities. I don’t know much about the business side of blogging, but from what I can tell I think that bloggers need to accurately assess their worth (the size of their audience, the complexity of their posts and the time it takes to create them), and charge accordingly. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking a product as payment, if it’s a product that you really love and want, but I don’t think brands should expect that as the norm.