There’s such a fine balance to be made on a pro-blog. It’s a constant juggle of providing good content but at the same time, ensuring that there a revenue stream. To be fair, I’m supported so well by some brands for which I am eternally grateful, but I always end up feeling a bit apologetic about it and not remembering that actually, they do get a lot back!

So, scenario today which is completely familiar.

“We’d like to be on your blog.”

“Okay, were you thinking ads or sponsored post?”

“Oh, neither. We just want you to feature us.”

So far, that’s okay.. because most of the content you see on BBB is obviously NOT paid for.. that would be ridiculous and not what my blog is about. I can hardly give really open reviews if everything’s paid for – nobody’s going to pay for a bad review! And anyway, I like being able to do just as I please and tell it exactly how it is. I don’t even take a sponsored post if I think the product is dreadful; I’m not lying for money. No way.

So, another conversation.

“We want you to feature our brand on a specific day in line with an advertising campaign we’re doing.”

“Um, okay so you have budget then?”

“No.”

“But, what about the ad campaign?”

“We would give you the exclusive on it instead.”

It’s a funny thing that blogs are largely regarded as totally free.. they’re expected to be completely free. Yet, as someone very wise said to me, why would they want to be on my blog so much if it’s worthless to them? If there is no value to be placed on it, then why start the conversation? I think, where there is budget, it would be nice if blogs were considered into the mix, especially as I know new magazine style sites that are asking for literally thousands for ads in exchange for less than half my traffic and getting it.

It’s my choice to try and make this a goer as a pro-blog, but actually, let’s not forget that the boom in beauty has to be put down in massive part to all beauty bloggers, pro or not – it’s all of us, collectively driving interest and sales, and not any one single person. As a force, we’re quite something.

Another conversation today.

“We’d like to place a video on your blog.”

“Okay, I only really feature video in my side bar which is a paid for position.”

“That’s fine, we’d be delighted to do that.”

I actually wanted to run all the way to Worthing and kiss them. And I am SO not a kisser ;-).

When someone does place a value on what I’m doing, it feels so much more worthwhile actually doing it. I think brands and agencies have to stop this blogs-are-free attitude.. we’ve moved on and it’s not the case anymore. I know so many fantastic blogs that still feel their worth is a tin of lip balm and that is just not the case.

Every blogger has value and it’s the nature of most blogs to give a really thorough critique with pros and cons of products; bloggers are conversation starters every single day about beauty – these were conversations not being had only a few years ago. Our swatches that are so easily ridiculed are the way that women look at make-up colours now – it’s how they decide whether they’re interested in that product or not – god knows on-line retail site colour charts are woeful. What we think and feel about beauty resonates with other thinking, feeling women in a way that a brand can’t really do on their own. We’re unbiased, trustworthy, current and quick and we talk ALL the time to consumers because we are consumers ourselves.

Think about the words we use – we LOVE a product, we WANT a product, we BUY a product and then we tell everyone all about it. Jesus.. it’s like Christmas came for the beauty industry all year round! Not every blogger wants to run a pro-blog – they do it because they absolutely love it  – it’s a massive commitment that not everyone wants or has time for, so every blogger must judge their own worth and situation. But I get the impression with the daily bombardment of link requests, review requests and coverage without ever even trying or seeing the product, that it’s become quite overwhelming for some. And when you feel under pressure, you can start to wonder why you ever began a blog in the first place!

I think the point is that blogger value is obvious; never feel that you aren’t making a contribution somewhere, because we all are. But, should every brand expect that what you do should be for free? Please let me know what you think. It’s only by adding your opinions that we get an overall view of current thinking on the issue.

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.