AMs and merchants, let's chat.
We, as bloggers, know you mean well. And really, it never hurts to try to incentivize. We get that. But here's the thing: Wedding bloggers are very protective of their content, and guard that valuable real estate for all its worth. And by worth, I mean a helluva lot more than $10.
Now, before anyone gets defensive, let's hash this out.
Wedding bloggers have a lot to consider when curating content -- we tend to be like those Russian nesting dolls -- Matryoshka dolls. While being a wedding blogger is a niche in and of itself, it tends to get even more in depth: Classic, Destination, Retro, Offbeat, etc. From there, you can have location-specific, budget, design-focused, philanthropic ... you get the picture? So naturally, we have to make sure that what we're writing about fits with our audience and their expectations.
And it's also why vendors and brands will pay for us to promote their wares. And by pay, I mean PAY -- most wedding blogs charge upward of $300 for sponsored content.
Now, of course I understand that what we aren't making on the front end *could* be made up on the back end with the utilization of our affiliate links. That's the idea, right? Right.
BUT. Because our readers tend to be couples who are on the verge of or in the throes of planning their weddings, we don't have the luxury of having readers who are impulse buyers, so there is a significantly lower guarantee of conversions. Does that mean we don't want to work with your brand? Of course not! But does it mean we have to be very selective about how we dole out dedicated blog posts? Yes.
Oh, and to that end: No, there is a very good chance that we will not be able to just "throw up a post today" about your merchant. Sorry. We operate off very rigid editorial calendars that have often been planned well in advance. Also, if you send us a product for review, there is a very, VERY good chance it will be among a roundup of reviews. A $49 necklace does not warrant a $350 piece of real estate, ya dig? Unless there is an agreement wholly outlined before hand -- and if you're asking for dedicated blog space, you're damn right I'm going to ask for compensation + product or more product -- there is no guarantee that the product will be included in a publication.
Now, if you're an awesome AM that knows and understands how bloggers work -- content is king, y'all! Our readers come first! -- and are willing to work with us in regard to compensation, whether it be a flat fee, a commission increase, more product or a combination, we'll be more likely to make it work.
Now, I realize from the merchant / AM perspective, it's a gamble to shell out skrilla. Which is why I advocate to bloggers that they should build a relationship through the affiliate channel before asking for big compensation -- prove that they can drive clicks and conversions so that it's a smart investment for the merchant. However, the merchant also needs to realize that offering $10 for a post between now and Tuesday is not something that's likely to happen, unless we know for fairly certain we'll be able to make some of it up on the back end.
And if I'm being totally honest: $10 for a post that takes significantly more time than 10 minutes to put together (we have to write, edit, pull imagery, populate links and keywords, tag, categorize, schedule social, etc.) is a little bit of a rub. We have to pay bills, too, and we're kind of just now starting to see a big shift from direct to affiliate, so we have to focus our energies on where we're going to make the most money.
What are your thoughts on this, AMs? How about you, bloggers? Sound off in the comments!