Knowing Your Worth in The Blogging Industry

Knowing Your Worth in The Blogging Industry

In honour of my recent blog anniversary, I recently shared 12 lessons that I learned in my first year in the blogging industry. My second lesson is one which I feel needs some elaboration:

‘Know Your Worth’

A bloggers worth, notably the brand collaboration terms they’ll accept, is something which is frequently discussed and criticised. Although I have nothing against the right to differences in opinion, there have been some very accusatory tweets flying around which seems to me a little unfair. What I fail to understand is why some people seem to think that the blogging industry should be exempt from the way in which we view business. Every day, services are offered and deals are struck between billions of people. There is supply and demand; each side; the business and the customer, is aware of the conditions of the trade and is free to accept or reject them.

I’ll be clear from the off that these are my opinions and I don’t wish to offend anyone with them. I’m also discussing blogging as an industry rather than blogging as a hobby. When I speak about worth I’m referring to how businesses view us bloggers as individuals who can offer them a service for a price.

 

Blogging

Blogging is Just Business

I think it’s fair to say that as a rule, we typically get what we pay for. In general, those just starting out in their profession offer their services for less. Depending on our needs and budgets we are free to pay the asking price of the best of the best or to compromise. Either way, payment usually aligns pretty fairly with the services that we receive. If they don’t, then we learn a lesson and find other services in the future.

The opinion which has most shocked me is this: ‘bloggers should always charge because by not doing so they’re driving down prices for others’. I’ve seen this opinion many times albeit versed in different ways. Every time, it baffles me. As a blogger, I’m familiar with being approached by brands who want to send something in return for a feature. I’m also familiar with initial excitement as a new blogger and annoyance later on when I know a brand is asking too much of me. Like any business, big or small, I know the kind of deal I’m comfortable with. I also know when someone is trying to take advantage. Let me tell you why the logic of driving down value fails. NOT ALL BLOGGERS ARE THE SAME. Beautyblender sending me as a ‘micro-influencer’ free products won’t stop them from paying big baller influencers a hell of a lot of money to promote them too. Bloggers vary so much and offer completely different benefits to brands and their payments reflect this.

Don’t Compare Your Chapter 1 to Someone Else’s Chapter 20

There are collaboration terms which I would have accepted at the beginning which I wouldn’t accept now. There are terms which I accept now that I may not accept in the future. Similarly to roles in most industries; as a bloggers experience, quality of work, reach and engagement grows, their worth to a brand goes up. There’s nothing wrong with accepting a deal that someone else wouldn’t. You’re going to be in a completely different ballpark to others and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Occasionally I use the Tribe app to find sponsored opportunities for my Instagram. They feature a handy little guide which outlines how much to charge depending on your following. Although I and many others would argue that engagement is equally as important as follower count, you see my point: brands are about the numbers.

Do it For You

It’s worth noting that I don’t think that the worth of a blog and it’s content is only monetary. A bloggers worth is made up of a combination of many things including the standard of their content, their reach, engagement and their readers themselves. If I had to choose between monetising my blog and people actually enjoying my content then I’d choose the latter without hesitation.

Ultimately you are the most important consideration, the brand that you’ve created, it’s ethics and what it stands for. Unfortunately, you can’t and you won’t be everybody’s cup of tea and that applies to both brands and readers. Knowing your worth means also being true to your brand and working with companies on products you genuinely love. If you do this then you’re on the right road to success and your worth is as high as it can be in terms of integrity.

 

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78 Comments

  1. August 16, 2018 / 5:11 pm

    I’ve been blogging for a year but still class myself as a new blogger as I’ve been so busy with uni that I’m not at that “serious” point yet but this is a great post!

  2. August 16, 2018 / 5:13 pm

    I loved this! It’s so true that there’s so many conflicting opinions out there. It doesn’t help that most bloggers are quite hush hush about the financial side of things so it takes a while to work out what actually is a fair deal. It’s give and take too! If you want to support a small brand by featuring their product you can’t expect top dollar from a start up. Really enjoyed this one! x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    • August 16, 2018 / 6:07 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I agree, it’s definitely about working out what deals you’re personally happy with! x

  3. August 16, 2018 / 5:16 pm

    I can indeed be so hard to know your worth. I always check a few websites before giving my rates to brand and they quite often ghost me straight after. I have decided that my time, energy and work are not for free so if a brand does not want to pay or can’t offer a suitable alternative, then it is their loss. I have also learnt that i should not be hurt if a brand does not want to work with me as , as you said, you can’t please everyone!

    • August 16, 2018 / 6:11 pm

      I completely agree with you, I think that brand deals are all personal choice and there’s nothing wrong with needing compensation for good work!

  4. August 16, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    I love these tips. Thanks so much for sharing. I love the idea of doing it for you. I haven’t heard of the Tribe app. I’ll check it out. You’re a great writer, I love your writing style.

    • August 16, 2018 / 6:14 pm

      I’m so glad, thank you!

  5. August 16, 2018 / 5:30 pm

    Love this post! It’s so real and probably a hard pill for some to swallow. But it’s true and if you love what you do you’ve got to keep going for it. I tend to compare myself to others a lot which is definitely not a good thing and I just have to remember we’re all different people in different stages.
    Thanks for sharing x

    Jay
    blissfulbeautybird.com

    • August 16, 2018 / 7:07 pm

      I’m so glad you think so! Staying true to yourself and your brand is so so important and I’m so glad you agree! xx

  6. August 16, 2018 / 5:50 pm

    This is such a thoughtful and interesting read Soph. I love “Don’t Compare Your Chapter 1 to Someone Else’s Chapter 20”. That’s so true and a great point. I agree, I think the most important thing is staying true to your brand and only blogging the things we are genuinely enthusiastic and passionate about. Staying true builds the loyal following and then the brands & great offers come in afterwards. Excellent post and thank you for discussing this topic 💖 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  7. August 16, 2018 / 5:55 pm

    Everything you said is so spot on! I too would much rather have people actually enjoy my blog above all else. I’m still new to it all, but my number one rule is to stay true to myself and my brand. Very insightful post. Thank you so much for sharing! (:

    • August 16, 2018 / 7:09 pm

      I’m so glad that you agree! xx

  8. August 16, 2018 / 6:56 pm

    This is a brilliant, Sophie. It’s down to the individual to decide who they want to work with, just as much as a brand. It works both ways. I’ve accepted gifted items in the past (and still do now) but sometimes I do ask if they have a budget too. Then it’s up to me whether or not to proceed. I say this because if I think I’m being taken advantage of then I can walk away and use that time to get paid for my freelance work elsewhere. That said, it’s not all about the money and most of the companies I’m fortunate to be working with now are fab, plus I’m always up for supporting small businesses. Like you, I value content over payment but knowing my worth means I expect to be treated professionally too. Fab post! xx

    • August 16, 2018 / 7:12 pm

      I’m so glad that you agree! I’m exactly the same and tend to play it by ear depending on the brand and the work they’re wanting to be created! I’ve also worked with a paying brand before and they were a nightmare, I had to chase payment about 10 times before I got it (3 months late) and I’d much rather work with a polite and respectful brand for less if I find the brief enjoyable! xx

  9. August 16, 2018 / 7:35 pm

    Love this post! I think it’s so easy to undermine the hard work we do as bloggers, especially as so many people don’t realise how hard work it actually is! I’m always on the tribe app too (but haven’t been lucky with it yet) and the tool for how much to charge is very handy! Xx

  10. August 16, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    Such a great post Sophie. I completely agree that you might agree to work with a brand one way, then 6 months later refuse that because times have changed. I haven’t worked with many brand because I don’t have the time but I’m also not too bothered, as long a people read my blog and enjoy that matters to me more!

    Liz xx

    • August 17, 2018 / 11:36 am

      I totally get that, we all have different priorities and reasons for blogging and we’re all unique! xx

  11. August 16, 2018 / 9:12 pm

    Soph you’re right. We can’t let what brands define for their requirements to collaborate define and devalue us as bloggers. We have to know we’re good enough and put our brand first over monetary achievements. I want to make sure I’m producing engaging content and communicating with my readers foremost before I write posts for money. I think it’s great to make a living from blogging but like you said money shouldn’t be your sole purpose to blog.

    I never hear of the Tribe app sounds super helpful and I will definitely look into it asap!

    Natonya | http://www.justnatonya.wordpress.com

    • August 17, 2018 / 11:41 am

      I’m so glad you agree and that’s definitely one of my fundamental principles. I hope you get on with Tribe, I love it but they update brands all the time so make sure you check back if you can’t find a good brief first time around! x

  12. August 16, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    I love these tips! I’ve only been blogging for about 2 months now and I love it but it’s so time consuming I hope I can keep it up when I go back to uni

    • August 17, 2018 / 11:48 am

      I’m glad! It’s so enjoyable but I agree it does take up a lot of time, good luck with keeping on top of everything! xx

  13. August 17, 2018 / 2:22 pm

    Well said! — “If I had to choose between monetising my blog and people actually enjoying my content then I’d choose the latter without hesitation.”

    I also think that blogging is primarily about being honest and helping people with what you are doing, whether it’s travel or anything else.

    • August 19, 2018 / 5:35 pm

      I completely agree with you, honesty is everything! x

  14. August 17, 2018 / 9:01 pm

    Yasss, preach. When I first started getting approached by companies, I was just excited to work with a company. Now I’m getting approached by many more companies, and I’m much more particular with who I want to work with, and I’m starting to ask for pay with all the work I’m doing. I agree with every single word you’ve stated in this post! Great post Soph xxx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    • August 19, 2018 / 5:36 pm

      I’m so glad you find this relatable, thanks for stopping by Melina! x

  15. August 17, 2018 / 9:14 pm

    I totally agree with you on so many points you’ve made, especially the bit about choosing to write content that your readers will enjoy over monetized content. The feeling you get when someone leaves a lovely comment is worth 100 times more than the feeling when you receive a pr package!
    Aleeha xXx
    https://www.halesaaw.co.uk/

    • August 19, 2018 / 5:40 pm

      I’m so glad that you agree with me on this and you’re totally right about that! x

  16. August 18, 2018 / 3:28 am

    I love this blog post – it’s important to know your own worth, especially when you’re working with brands. Don’t sell yourself short, especially when it comes to you spending the time to promote a brand, as well as selling yourself too much. Gotta find that sweet spot! You’re on point about the comparison. Not everyone is at the same point or work at the same speed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    • August 19, 2018 / 5:43 pm

      I’m so glad and it’s reassuring that you agree! Thanks for stopping by Nancy! xx

  17. August 18, 2018 / 5:02 pm

    I found myself nodding my head in agreement the whole time reading this post! Knowing your worth and staying true to yourself are probably the most important things to remember as a blogger. I always try to remind myself that having a few, engaged readers who love the content I’m creating is worth way more than any amount of collaborations or money. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this! I really enjoyed reading them x

    x Kara | http://karascloset.net/

    • August 19, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      Aw I’m so glad to hear that and it’s nice to know that other bloggers relate to my thoughts too! Thanks so much for stopping by Kara x

  18. August 19, 2018 / 12:27 pm

    Knowing your worth can be quite a challenging task to do but your article was a real eye-opener, Soph! I’ll definitely try to bear these tips in mind!

  19. August 19, 2018 / 1:42 pm

    This post is what I needed to hear today. I am not even one year into blogging and sometimes I lose sight of why I am doing this. But this is my dream and I persevere. I just have to remember that I am doing this for myself first and foremost. Thanks for reminding me.

    • August 19, 2018 / 6:49 pm

      I’m so glad that this came at the right time for you! Always make sure you’re enjoying it and doing it for yourself before anyone else! x

  20. August 19, 2018 / 6:13 pm

    Me , I mum of young twins, a wife, business owner and a brand new blogger. Sometimes I ask myself what on earth came in my mind to start a family travel blog? It is eating every minute of my life… but I juggle it all somehow , learning a lot very hour, and already now , after only 5 weeks of blogging , I feel I need to re-write it all.
    Your blog is inspiering and one day I hope I can also make a few dollies and look back to the beginning and say it was all worth it!!

    • August 19, 2018 / 6:50 pm

      Haha tell me about it, on my busy days I wonder what I was thinking too! Good luck with your blog, I love it so you’re definitely doing something right! x

  21. August 19, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    This is such wonderful advice and your blog is so pretty!! I’m in my early days when it comes to working with companies but this is all something i’ll think about.

    Vicki | http://www.missviclb.co.uk

  22. August 19, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    I love the quote “don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20”. It was definitely one that I kept having to remind myself of when I first started blogging. Everybody moves at their own pace but in the end, we all get to where we need to be. I loved this post so much. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • August 20, 2018 / 8:39 am

      Thank you! I think its so important to only focus on yourself and your own timescales! Thanks for stopping by x

  23. August 20, 2018 / 1:32 am

    I like the paragraph on, “Do It For You”. I also realize that a blogger’s worth is based on content, reach, engagement and various other stats. As bloggers, we need have to be true to ourselves so we can stay authentic.

    • August 20, 2018 / 8:39 am

      I totally agree with you! x

  24. Lupe
    August 20, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    I’ve had my blog for 5 years, and there was always something more important at the time.. first it was high school now its college. I love blogging, sharing my sense of style and seeing how everyone approaches theirs is so exhilarating. I find myself drawn to certain aesthetic, pictures that I’d love to have but know aren’t in any way who I am. Its hard to figure out exactly what my style is and how to showcase that

  25. August 20, 2018 / 6:34 pm

    This is such an interesting, well thought out post. I don’t think bloggers should charge every time, especially not smaller ones, as expensive products being sent for free is a good enough payment every once in a while. Brands can only pay out what they think they will be worth it in the end, although, like you say, bloggers need to work out when brands are asking too much of them.

    I also like the bit about not comparing your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20 as it can be so easy to look at the success huge bloggers are having and not understand where you’re going wrong.

    Great post!

    Emily x puttheworldtowrites.co.uk

    • August 20, 2018 / 6:37 pm

      Thank you, I’m so glad you think so. I totally agree, I feel like although some brands definitely expect too much, it works the other way around too x

  26. August 20, 2018 / 7:37 pm

    I loved how you said do it for you! Because ultimately thats the goal of blogging. Great post.
    ashianashome.wordpress.com

  27. August 20, 2018 / 9:40 pm

    Great post! There seems to be so much going around lately that offers really conflicting things. I guess it’s just about what you feel comfortable with and – like you said – accepting different things as you grow!

  28. August 21, 2018 / 12:06 am

    Great gems in this one! I am still new with blogging for brands and doing sponsored posts. As you said everyone is on their own journey, one should not compare. Know your worth and let the brands who want to work with know that too! And most importantly, do you! xx

    – Aditi
    http://www.aditispen.com

  29. August 21, 2018 / 11:57 am

    I love the point about not comparing your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20. I think we’re all guilty of looking at other people who have much more experience than us and wondering why we’re not as good as them but we really need to focus on our own journeys!

  30. August 21, 2018 / 1:29 pm

    I love this post! I completely agree with you. Blog for your own reasons and never compare to anyone else. We’re all different 😊 xo

  31. August 21, 2018 / 6:43 pm

    I enjoyed reading this, Soph! You’re right, there are so many different opinions out there from different bloggers but at the end of the day – you should do what feel is good for you! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

    cabin twenty-four

  32. August 22, 2018 / 3:31 am

    I 100% agree with everything you wrote here. My blog is only a year old, and I am still learning the whole business of blogging, and I find it that I’ve learnt something new everyday. I can’t understand why any blogger should think they deserve better ‘treatment’, if their stats don’t match up to the ones that do get more attention. Enjoyed reading this!

    Caroline | http://caroomakeupblog.com

    • August 22, 2018 / 9:51 pm

      I’m so glad that you agree! x

  33. August 22, 2018 / 8:38 pm

    This is a great post – you’ve written it so well! Really enjoyed reading this, you’ve covered so many points. It’s interesting to hear what your opinion is on it. Everyone has to start somewhere and smaller bloggers aren’t able to make anywhere near as much as someone with a larger following – it seems like some people put everyone together. I will definitely have to try not comparing my “Chapter 1 to Someone Else’s Chapter 20”, it can be quite sad sometimes and demotivating but got to keep going and be proud of the work I’ve done!

    Amy,
    https://creativenails.uk

    • August 22, 2018 / 9:53 pm

      Thank you, I’m so glad you think so. I totally agree that bloggers shouldn’t all be grouped together and it’s crazy that they are sometimes! x

  34. August 22, 2018 / 8:41 pm

    Such a great post! I totally agree with the Don’t Compare Your Chapter 1 to Someone else’s Chapter 20, it’s so important to realise that we all move at different paces, at odds are that you’re going to do things different to someone who’s had years of experience xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

  35. August 22, 2018 / 8:45 pm

    Such a great post, Soph! The quote “don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20” is something I have to keep reminding myself of because even though I don’t blog as much as others or don’t work with a lot of brands I’m still very proud of my little blog and the work I put in 💕

    Samantha | https://believeinamiracle.co.uk

    • August 22, 2018 / 9:55 pm

      Thanks so much Samantha! You definitely should be super proud of your blog, I love it! x

  36. August 22, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    Hi Soph, I loved this. Open and Honest. I’m still in my chapter one with a lot of growing to do.
    Thanks for sharing

  37. August 22, 2018 / 9:33 pm

    Loved this post.. I think most bloggers underestimate their worth a bit. Such a real, honest post! Xx

  38. August 22, 2018 / 9:59 pm

    Great post! I’ve just started blogging a few months ago and I learned a lot from this post. I’m planning to work with brands and companies someday and these are great reminders before I even try to do that.

    • August 22, 2018 / 10:08 pm

      Thanks so much! I’m really glad you found this helpful x

  39. August 22, 2018 / 10:16 pm

    Really down to earth blog!! Very helpful and honest … I think we all need to look at how we value ourselves …I’d rather underestimate than oversestimate lol

  40. August 22, 2018 / 10:42 pm

    You really did a great job with this post. I’m a new blogger and it’s really hard for me to find a way to know my worth in the industry. You’re right to say that it’s important how businesses view bloggers as individuals and that the remuneration will vary depending on your engagement or following. Some people fail to understand that we’re all in a different journey and that how much we decide to charge or what terms we accept will really depend on our personal goals and vision for growth. The blogging industry is changing the way advertising and promotion is handled in business and I’m pretty sure it’ll keep growing in importance.
    Thanks for writing such an informative and honest piece.
    xx Estée

    • August 23, 2018 / 10:02 am

      Thanks so much, I’m glad you like it! I completely agree with you! x

  41. August 26, 2018 / 1:53 pm

    This was a really interesting read! Blogging for me is purely a hobby, but I do think I have an accurate estimate of my worth and find myself turning down opportunities from time to time. The whole industry is far from established, and I don’t think there is a one size fits all approach here. The part about comparing your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty is especially true – and not just in blogging. Great post. 🙂 x

    Sneha | lifewithsneha.com

    • August 27, 2018 / 9:17 am

      Thanks Sneha, I’m so glad that you agree and that you liked the post! x

  42. August 29, 2018 / 10:17 pm

    I caught your other 12 points post originally and am so glad I have read this one too as I will admit the ‘Know Your Worth’ point did raise questions in my head. I am SO glad you did this, speaking about things like this don’t happen enough and certainly not in this way – you raise each point so eloquently and you’re certainly correct that we shouldn’t judge and base our own journey by someone else’s who is so much further along. Thank you! x

    • August 29, 2018 / 10:20 pm

      Thanks Imogen I’m so glad that you liked this post too! x

  43. drtanya@saltedcaramel
    October 13, 2018 / 9:22 am

    You have such a balanced view of blogging as a business versus blogging as a hobby. In my opinion people should be allowed to do something the way they want to. It is no one’s place to judge the actions or motives of others.
    Although I have not monetized my blog yet, I might do so in the future and I find myself agreeing with nearly all your opinions.

    • October 13, 2018 / 6:52 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad that you think so and that you agree with a lot of the points! x

  44. November 12, 2018 / 11:01 pm

    I love this post! It’s hard for a new blogger starting out to figure out the financial side of things. You don’t want to turn companies off but also don’t want to work for free. It is difficult finding the right balance between doing what you love and getting paid a fair wage for it. Amazing tips. Thanks, Soph!

    • November 13, 2018 / 9:18 am

      I’m so glad! I totally agree with you there x

  45. November 15, 2018 / 5:44 pm

    Thanks for writing this. New bloggers will take heart from your words.

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