Monday, August 17, 2015

#BloggerBlackmail: Do You Think Bloggers Have a Right to Get Paid?

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The trending hashtag #bloggerblackmail got me curious.
Apparently a food blogger and a bakery got in conflict. 
The bakery claimed that the blogger was making ridiculous requests (100$ worth of products in compensation for a review. 

The blogger claimed that the bakery was offering too little and expecting too much

#Bloggerblackmail: What happened? 

- Food Blogger is asked to review bakery
- Blogger visits the bakery and is offered a small goodie bag
- Blogger is unsatisfied with the offer, asks for compensation in form of various baked goods that add up to a retail value of 100£
- Owner refuses, Blogger is only offered hot drinks 
- Blogger leaves the store enraged
- Blogger returns, purchases some products themselves, and instagrams negative reviews of them
- They both put each other on blast online, twitter blows up when both posts go viral. 
Sources: The Bakery's side  The Blogger's side

This whole issue got me thinking about compensation for blog posts and what I expect or don't expect personally.

Since I'm a book blogger and most of my readers as well, this will be only about book blogging.

The work that goes into reviewing

There are a lot of bloggers who don't only post reviews, but also take pictures, or create edits. Even if it looks easy, blogging is a very difficult and hard hobby. A blog post can take up to two hours to write, not to mention the hours and hours that go into reading books. I personally can maybe read a 300/400 pages book in about six hours if I hurry, and I really like it. 

The Average Cost of a Book Review

300/400 pages:

Reading: 6 hours
Blogging: 2 hours
Formatting the post: 1 hour

up to 9 hours of work

If you're lucky enough to receive a review copy, that's your compensation for those 9 hours of your life. Is that worth it? Are you entitled to a minimum-wage compensation for those 9 hours?

Blogging: Hobby or Work? 
"[...] I don’t do eight hours of work for an eight piece selection box of macarons and marshmallows. Writing is notoriously badly paid and photography suffers the same, but I value what I produce as worth more than that."

- wrapyourlipsaroundthis

I think in order to answer that question, you have to decide for yourself whether you see blogging as your profession, or as your hobby.
To me, it's a hobby. I'm a small blog, I'm happy if I get recognized at all by publishers, authors etc. If you're a bigger blog and you're very selective with the books you read, does that mean you're also entitled to a bigger compensation? Do you expect more than just the book you have the privilege of reading?

Technically, we could do what the Blogger from the incident with the bakery did. We could define a price and say "unless the product is worth X, I'm not doing it." Would you be okay with that? I consider myself a casual blogger and I'm very fortunate to be in the position that I'm in. I don't expetc anything for anyone. It's a hobby for me. Frankly, any blogger who defines a price would just lose credibility in my opinion.

Where does respecting your work end and becoming a sellout begin?

I think if you start charging, or expecting people to compensate you, it's very easy to lose yourself in it.
I hope I can speak for all of us when I say that we blog because we value freedom of speech. 

We think we have something to say and we're going to share it. 

If someone comes in and offers you 100$ for a good review, would you do it?

Do you think we're entitled to bigger compensations?

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