Blogging: Money and Knowing Your Worth

Categories Blogging, Featured

Hi guys, today’s post was totally unplanned. I’ve been seeing some stuff online this week about blogging and money. That’s nothing new, but it’s stirred up some thoughts I’ve been having for a while and decided it was time to share them. Before we begin, this isn’t the ‘are ads bad?’ debate. I’m going to assume that everyone reading this accepts that people deserve to be paid for their work. This post is more about the process of money changing hands and the struggle of knowing how much you’re really worth. This could turn into a rant, who knows?

‘Know Your Worth’ 

I’m sure if you’re a blogger, or follow a large number of bloggers on social media, you’ll be very familiar with the phrase ‘know your worth’. We’ve all been told we shouldn’t work for nothing, or that we shouldn’t sell ourselves short.  

Just this week, I saw a tweet that really rubbed me the wrong way. Basically, a blogger was complaining that a PR had the audacity to suggest that she work on a gifting basis. Quite frankly, I think that’s a little rude. If you don’t want to work for just a product, that’s fine. But you’re not entitled to that product to begin with. I know the phrase ‘no budget’ is frustrating, but some companies really don’t have the budget. 

You can’t tweet about wanting to support small, independent companies, then complain that they can’t pay you. Their profit margins are small and gifting products does still take a chunk out of their bottom line, albeit a smaller one.

How Much? 

So, you ‘know your worth’ and you don’t work for nothing. Cool. But how do you know your worth? This industry is so hush hush about money. Even when we do talk about it, we rarely mention actual numbers. Erm, exactly like I’m not talking specifics here. Everyone starts with a following and earnings, of 0. So how do you calculate your worth as those numbers increase?  

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Last week, I was speaking to a PR about a potential collaboration and she asked for my rates.  As I was looking over the document before I sent them over, checking stats were up to date etc, I realised that I have no idea where those figures came from. I basically plucked them from thin air. I’ve been paid much more than that number, and I’ve also accepted much less.  In reality, the number is about half way between the most I’ve ever been paid and the least I’ve ever accepted, so it’s not totally random.  

But is it right?

You don’t really know how that number sits in comparison with others. Are you asking for more or less than other bloggers at a similar level to you? Now, of course, you could ask. And that’s fine. I’m absolutely certain I could DM a few people and throw some figures around and ask if they sound about right, but no one ever likes to initiate a conversation about money. And as this is a newer industry, and the media loves to throw around random, ludicrous figures when it comes to what people earn, there’s no easily accessible average, industry standard. 

In my experience, most of the time the PR or company you’re working with have a figure in mind before you begin. I’m very rarely the first person to state a specific figure. Usually, they say an amount and I either accept or a negotiation starts. I think it’s easier to figure out what you’re happy with when they mention cash first. You can use your own logic to figure out whether your numbers are theirs are ever going to align and you know if that number on your document is a million miles from theirs. It just feels less risky.  

Be Realistic  

When finding your figure, you can always look at those things online. You’ve probably seen them, they give a follower number or a view count and next to it, it will state a figure. But it’s not that simple. You may have those followers, but not those views. Fewer views and followers, but more engagement. The scenarios go on. It’s really not as black and white as x deserves y or z.

To know your worth, you have to be realistic. If you’re a newer, small blogger, you have to accept that you could get paid less than someone else. I’m not saying you’re worthless, but you are worth less. It’s not that your quality of work is lower, but at the end of the day, it’s a form of advertising. And if your reach is a lot less than the next person’s, you can’t expect the same £££ as someone else. You may be worth £50, £500, £5,000 or £50,000. Someone else may be worth more or less to the same brand.  

My personal dos and don’t’s:  

Do  

Be flexible. The terms and prices you accept for one brand aren’t the same for all of them.  

Don’t  

Be taken advantage of. While I think it’s okay to accept products on a gifting basis if it’s something you really want to try, don’t accept deals that want you to pay. I see a lot of bloggers being asked to pay postage or review this product and we’ll give you 50% off??? No. Last time I checked, TV companies weren’t paying brands to feature their products in their own primetime slot. 

Do  

Be grateful. No matter how many followers you have, the brand has still chosen to have you promote their products. They could have chosen anyone.  

Don’t  

Be entitled. You do not deserve the entire world for free just because you have a strong platform. This is very similar to the last point. But a lot of people seem to let it go their head when they get used to getting certain things, so it’s worth reiterating.  

And most importantly,  

Do 

Be real. If you hate something, I promise your readers aren’t stupid. We’ve all seen videos where you can tell the person doesn’t actually use the product. Your blog is no different. Regular readers will be familiar with the way you speak, and how you react when you love something. It’s not worth lying about something.  

What are your thoughts on this? Are your dos and don’ts similar to mine? And to close, I’d just like to put it out there that if you’re one of those people who are struggling to settle on a number and have any questions, my inbox is open. What do you guys think of this post? It very nearly got ditched and swapped for a recipe…  

Until next time,  

Sophie

Tweed Dress: Zara Kids. A perk of being small. If anyone else is vertically challenged and interested, for reference I usually wear a UK4 and I’m 153cm. This is an age 11-12.



25 thoughts on “Blogging: Money and Knowing Your Worth

  1. I think this is super helpful to people who might not have ventured into sponsored posts but i 100% agree we need to know our worth and know that although we should be flexible, sometimes some companies budgets are not worth our time!

  2. great post sophie! i completely agree that you have to be authentic. i’ve had a ckmpany email me offering me money for them putting in a sentence on one of my posts. while i get that to some people it’s just a sentence but to me it’s so important that every word on my posts comes from my mind. i really like how you stated your personal do’s and don’ts. I have paid for postage on gifted products before, if I feel there could be a bigger return and I could break even on the amount that I paid then I’m comfortable with it. Especially if I see that the company reaching out with me operates in a different country, i’m willing to work with them on paying postage. this was a very important post you shared xx

    mich / simplymich.com

  3. Enjoyed reading this! My personal opinion is that I am happy to accept gifted products if I like the brand, it fits my blog and is something I possibly would have purchased anyway. I also think about the time involved with creating the content. At the moment the paid collaborations I have done I have accepted as I was happy with the amount offered. I believe that you can leverage when you have the stats/engagement that you can prove worth to the brand.

    Hayley | hayleyxmartin

  4. I totally agree with your do’s and don’ts, while I haven’t had to think about this in regards to my blog and paid opportunities, I’ve done some freelance writing before and it’s hard to know what rates and stuff to apply. It’s definitely important not to undervalue your work and know your worth! I’m sure this post will be very helpful for a lot of newbie bloggers and maybe bloggers who are seeking more paid opportunities too. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This was a really great read, I’ve only had a few paid posts before and the pr have always set the number before offering so I wasn’t too sure how to go around it so this is really helpful. Great post x

  6. I absolutely agree with this post. No one is entitled to anything but at the same time, if a company wants content in exchange for a product, that should be paid. When you really like the product and are offered to work on an organic basis, that’s fine but if the company has any requirements then it should be paid. It’s so hard to know what to charge though!

  7. THIS POST MADE ME SO HAPPY!! YOUR FACE! IT’S WONDERFUL As is your dress sense, cutest dress!! But anyway this post really resonated with me. I’m winging it 100% of the time when I’m giving people my rates! I have some bloggers telling me I’m worth so much more and then companies telling me i’m not. My decision whether to work on a gifting basis is if I’ll get good use out of the product. If I feel it’s something I may use once for promotional purposes then I don’t really see the point in accepting the collab unless I’m being paid! I did recently see a blogger who had quite similar content and less followers than me asking for absolute extortionate rates though which really shocked me… Some people are very entitled, haha!
    Alice Xx

    1. Okay, I don’t know why but I’m laughing so hard at the first line of this. Totally, I think we’re all winging it most of the time. It’s so hard to know what to charge! I totally agree, I only accept gifting on something I either already love/ have wanted to try or could see myself buying if the email hadn’t landed in my inbox. I’d love to know how some people figure out what to charge!! Thanks for reading x

  8. Insightful and informative post. Need to note this, it is hard to give out a price especially if you’re a new blogger, which is where I am at the moment. I never have been approached yet but would definitely be unsure of what to say but thanks to your blog it did help me be aware of what my worth is. Thank you for sharing.

    Kaye – http://amalog.co

  9. It is important to know our own worth. At the same time, we shouldn’t be working for free. Getting a free product/service is still something. You make a good point about supporting small businesses. It’s hard from the other side. It’s important to use your gut feeling. I know from my end, I’m okay with giving up opportunities if it seems too little for my effort. The important thing is to move on and not waste anymore time (esp with complaining about that company on social media). Ok, being asked to spend money on a collab is not cool. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  10. This is such a helpful post! A couple weeks ago I was searching for how much I should charge and on what basis and this post would’ve been super helpful. I’m also open to working for a product rather than getting paid, especially since I’m a smaller blogger and these opportunities are harder to come by. I always make sure it’s a product I like and my readers will like too, though. Great post!

    Megan xx Insidemegansmind.com

  11. Amazing post, Sophie and you look bloody lovely in your photos! I agree, I think it was rude of that blogger to complain about a gifting opportunity. Fair enough if it’s not for you but a lot of people do accept gifted opportunities – including myself – and I’ve have the privilege of trying and using so many amazing products from them that I wouldn’t have before. I’m working with Leesa, the mattress company in a few weeks on a gifting basis. Am I going to complain about being sent a £550 mattress? No I’m bloody not. But the whole issue around bloggers and money is super awkward, I agree and I still to this day have no idea what I SHOULD be charging. But I am super flexible and arguable, I do work for less than I should sometimes. But it’s such a tricky business, especially when you need the money and maybe can’t afford to turn down an opportunity because they’re paying you £20 less than what you usually charge? I’m going to shh now because I could talk about this all day but amazing post!

  12. I really found this post useful, as a fairly new blogger coming onto the scene and embarking on new collaborations recently with brands, I have found this tough when I found companies approaching me asking to partner up. I find that as I’m just starting out, I am in no position to expect payment just yet, but I see a lot of people with entitlement in this industry, and I never want to be that person. Great tips!

  13. I love reading your thoughts on these blogging topics Sophie and these are great tips. Being flexible is such a good attitude to have when it comes to these kind of things, like you say, every company has a different budget. I think being real and authentic and only working with brands/products that we truly love is the most important thing. It’s really obvious when bloggers just post about products because they are getting paid to do so. Thanks for sharing, I love your photos too, you look great and I love your outfit! <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  14. Lots of information here to consider! I have had companies ask me for my rates but I don’t really do paid posts as I just find it works better for me that way. I had written about a company or brand in exchange for exposure on their blog, etc. but even that I am wary of doing much of anymore. I do have the upmost respect for bloggers that can get whatever they can earn from this that is true to themselves and all the power to them!

    I’m glad you didn’t bin this post–I enjoyed reading it! BTW, you don’t look small at all from your photos! I’m small too and I think I’ll have a peek at Zara kids–what a fab idea! xx

  15. This is a fab post! When I started out ( almost two years ago) I would take every product offered and be thoroughly grateful to have been chosen. Nowadays, I always ask for a budget, or offer my fee. I find a lot of brands will say they don’t have a budget initially but actually, when it comes to it they do and will negotiate.I agree with you, I always tailor my rates for each company! That seems to be the way forward.

    Samantha x

    Thebeautyspyglaas.con

  16. Incredibly good post Sophie! I have yet to be contacted for any kind of brand deal, and that’s okay. Like you said, having a smaller audience means that one is already “worth less.” There’s nothing wrong with that, & I hate the entitlement attitude. The free market works its own magic, and I have no problem with a company choosing how differently they would pay a smaller blogger versus a larger one.

  17. I have worked with a few small businesses on a gifting basis but I’d have no idea how to calculate rates for a paid post. This post was very helpful and I’ll be referring to it in the future.

    P.S. I love that dress! I’m vertically challenged myself and I’ll definitely be checking out Zara Kids range – thanks for the tip.

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