What Brands/PR Want from Bloggers

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mom-brands-PR-advertisers-surveyI’ve been a bit late putting these results together. Though there were just 14 participants in the survey, I think it would be worthwhile to go through the results that I did get, and hopefully come to some kind of conclusions.  (For the blogger survey results you can go here).

1. What would you be willing to pay a blogger for a sponsored post?

Nobody was willing to pin down a figure (apart from one person who said R1000).

Nine respondents said that it depends on stats and seven said products would be sufficient.

One person selected “other” and said: “I don’t have an issue paying for a blogger’s time, it’s fair, but I prefer a per hour rate and then an estimate of the number of hours it would take to write/manage the post.”

As an aside, let’s take a quick peek at what two companies that connect bloggers and brands in South Africa suggest for my blog, One Step at a Time, currently (14/12/2014) getting around 1255 unique page views and 965 unique visitors a month, according to Google Analytics. I don’t know the metric that they use to work out these figures but it is worth noting because of the disparity between them.

My Scoop: suggested fee R128

Webfluential: suggests $150 i.e, over R1500.

It’s worth noting though, that I never hear from Webfluential, but I have done a few posts for My Scoop (although I certainly charge more than their suggested price).

Interesting: this post from Problogger is more in line with Webfluential. Minimum $150.

Why $150? If you are working as a consultant then the minimum hourly rate is usually about $100 an hour. Most sponsored posts take longer than an hour and a half this to create and compile. For 5000-10,000 unique visits to your blog a month, you could charge $1550. For a blogger with 30,000-50,000 unique visits a month, $3000.

Some other posts on a Google search on what to charge for a sponsored post:

Babble says minimum $25 and they have a formula that includes page views, twitter followers and Google Page Rank.

Successful blogging says minimum $50 and they have a table based on unique visits.

-Secret bloggers business says minimum $50 and they have an elaborate calculation that takes into account the hours spent on the task.

My conclusion: Bloggers will set their own prices. I believe the minimum a blogger should charge would be R250 for a post, even if their page views are low. Writing a post takes time and effort and if an SEO plugin is used, people searching the internet could still find the post. Prices should be related to stats but more than that, there should be agreement between blogger and brand, and perhaps each case should be decided individually.

Products can also be payment for a post. Bloggers like to get and review products and I don’t see that changing.

2.  What are the most important metrics when considering payment of a post?

Pageviews came in first with seven respondents selecting this option.

Next, with five respondents each, came Facebook Likes and Other. It just goes to show the power of Facebook in South Africa that this is considered very important.

For “Other“, here are some useful comments:

-PR and Moz ranking

I guess that must mean Google Page Rank and … I have never heard about Moz ranking but it is somewhat similar.

According to Moz.com, “MozRank represents a link popularity score. It reflects the importance of any given web page on the Internet. Pages earn MozRank by the number and quality of other pages that link to them. The higher the quality of the incoming links, the higher the MozRank.”

If any one can give more input on Moz rank, I’d appreciate it.

When I Googled “Google Page Rank” I got “Google PageRank is one of the methods Google uses to determine a page’s relevance or importance. Important pages receive a higher page rank and are more likely to appear at the top of search results. It  is a measure from 0-10.

You can check your page rank here.

By the way, with regard to Page Rank, it’s interesting to me that although One Step at a Time has a GR of 2, you won’t find it on the front page for motherhood after infertility or toddlers, which is what I write about. However, this blog is right on top for South African Mom Blogs, with a GR of 0. I think it just shows the more you stick within your (more specific) niche, the better.

Other comments:

“All of these are important, but not all blogs are equal, so I look at each blog separately, using these points as a guideline. For example, a blog may not have many followers, but it gets a lot of comments on posts, which means the audience is engaged. That is a blog I will likely choose/select to contact over a blog with a massive subscriber base and no comments on posts.”

“It depends on the project objectives.”

“Editorial credibility, editorial environment – is it the right place for the brand? Is the tone, look, feel and approach in keeping with the brand’s values? Interaction on the blog. Type of comments more than number.”

After this the next factors found to be important were:

4- Unique Visitors & Subscribers

3-Twitter, One Strong Social Media, Number of Comments

2-Instagram, Time on Site

1-Pinterest

My conclusion: We will use Google Analytics to get the pageviews/ uniques, and social media numbers for at least Facebook and Twitter.

Having said that, it is also up to the brand to take a look at the blog concerned and decide if it fits with its ethos and if there is suitable engagement through intelligent comments on posts.

3. What are your suggestions for payment based on the above?

This is one of those questions most respondents skipped. One person suggested a fixed amount for pageviews and X amount per thousand for subscribers and Twitter followers.

Comments were:

“I would like to get a list of expected results which would cost RX, but if things go very well, it to be capped at RY”

“Other baby directories charge one fixed rate and based on amount of content the value is added.”

“None of the above. Bloggers should be paid for their time, not for followers as it encourages people to get ‘fake’ followers then, in my opinion.” (Love this comment!)

“Varies so much and isn’t dependent on the above things – other than establishing there is a reasonable sized following.”

My conclusion: Should we even equate payment with stats at all?

4. Understanding that bloggers would prefer not to copy and paste information, although willing to work with it, would you be fine with them creating their own content in conjunction with yours?

An overwhelming “Yes!”.

Some comments though:

“Definitely! I only send media releases as a guideline, never expecting it to be used as is!”

“Prefer it, as long as they take due care. Always great if they create own content but check key facts etc before posting.”

My conclusion: We won’t be doing copy and paste media releases. We don’t mind working with information to create a post. If in any doubt, there needs to be communication with the brand to make sure facts are correct.

5. Do you have any other feedback about sponsored posts or events?

“I would prefer the review to be honest. I don’t want to pay for a “good” review. I want the honest truth!”

“Keep them as natural as possible. Don’t make a sponsored post look like a sponsored post.”

“I think relationship is key – PRO’s should maintain the same level of interaction with bloggers as with journalists and it shouldn’t have too much of a transactional feel.”

“We like to share the blogger’s posts on the brand/clients social media page, so as part of the agreement, we like to ask the blogger to then follow the client’s page, once they have agreed to work with us. It grows the followers for both parties.”

“Yes, we would like our posts to be relevant to the product and in home use, thorough understanding of the product, with a opportunity to point out features and benefits to their audience.”

My conclusion: Authenticity rules. Be yourself and tell your story around the product. (And do the appropriate social media shares and follows)

6.Do you have any comments on keywords or SEO requirements? Do you prefer the “no-follow” plugin or not (and why)?

“No comments – do what you think is best – it is your site.”

“As a new brand we love to optimize our search, especially since we have a wonderful product but not a lot of mums know what our product has to offer.”

“Try keep keywords broad as you have to bare in mind the search keywords that people may use.”

“SEO optimization using a mobile interactive interface would be advantages and more appealing.”

“I have SEO requirements (keywords and META content)”

My conclusion: We will be using keywords, or key phrases bearing in mind what people are searching for. I read recently somewhere (I think it was TechGirl) that you should have three links in a post: one to a site in authority, one to a relevant site (which could be the client concerned) and then one, an internal link to your own blog.

As far as the no-follow plugin goes, I think we will go for it, after reading this post from the SITS girls here. What they basically say is that the no follow plugin protects your SEO and clients should appreciate that too.

7. What do you think would be reasonable to charge for inviting bloggers to an event? (Flat rate for inviting bloggers to your product launch)

Most of the people who responded totally misunderstood this question. They thought I meant payment to the bloggers for attending, and cited the gifts, the event, travel costs and accommodation as cost enough.

What I was referring to was an admin fee to contact bloggers about the event. Those that did respond chose the lowest option which was R250.

My conclusion: I don’t expect bloggers to be paid for attending events but I do expect some payment for contacting them, even if it’s R150? (Is that reasonable?)

8. What do you think would be reasonable to charge for contacting bloggers for a sponsored post / product review / giveaway? (Not including the amount you would pay for the individual bloggers for the post)

More than half of the survey takers skipped this question. I got three that said R250 and three that said R500.

Some of the comments were:

“What would you do for the money? Just send out an email? Meet with them personally? etc.”

“Not sure if i misunderstand the question but bloggers should not be paid for reviews as this will make for biased data; they are getting income from selling ad space on their blog not reviewing products.”

“A time fee for an agency to contact bloggers? This is something that is covered by time fees normally? Rate would depend entirely on what the client is being billed.”

Again, I think the question was misunderstood (2nd comment – although the writer makes a good point), but again, it would be an admin fee to contact the bloggers, depending on the reach it could be an email or it could be a blog post.

Interesting side note: I have had a few people contact me, but as soon as I mention a R500 fee for contacting the bloggers, I never hear from them again.

My conclusion: I don’t really have a conclusion on this one. On the one hand I think maybe start for free (opening special) then build it up, on the other hand I think if I get a web developer in to do this thing properly it will cost an arm and a leg and I need to charge. It really seems to be that a lot of people contacting me expect a free service. (What do you think about this?)

***

Another great post worth reading about brands and bloggers is Cindy’s interview here. I think the one thing that struck me while reading it again is that the PR companies work for clients and their priority is to find a good fit – if they need the stats for the client, then they need them. Also that the relationship with the blogger is important-

For us, it’s about finding the blogger or influencer that best matches the brand. But try and explain that to a client who is looking for numbers, and are only interested in the ROI. Mostly, I look for bloggers who are nice. I can’t stand high maintenance bloggers with egos – really, there are too many of them out there. I like to work with a blogger who is interested in understanding what we are doing as a brand, and appreciates the effort that goes into a campaign. It’s all about relationships for me, and if someone treats me like a bitch, I will not approach them again.

Well, in my experience I think us SA mom bloggers are a great bunch and are ready to get to work to connect with brands and PR agencies to create successful, content rich, yet authentic blog posts. Let’s see what the new year brings. I’m really hoping to set things up to make the process easy and beneficial for all.

Please comment on this post with your thoughts!

11 thoughts on “What Brands/PR Want from Bloggers

  1. JoziStyle says:

    I think it is fair to charge for creating a blogger / contact list – while it is easy to send out a blanket invite, the time spent collating the RSVPs, cancellations, queries etc add to your workload.

  2. Kim Muller says:

    Thank you for this. I was recently contacted by a PR company asking me how much I charge for sponsored posts. I was all happy about it, until I realised that I have never written a sponsored post and had no idea what to charge. I had to end the call and vowed to start working on something immediately. Then I came across this article and it helped a lot as I know more or less where to go to look for the information. Thanks again!

  3. heathers says:

    Cindy, I am charging as SA Mom Blogs for setting up a system that will contact bloggers and that will connect brands and bloggers.

  4. Cindy says:

    Finally getting a chance to rewrite my comment. I don’t think it’s fair to ask a brand to pay you for getting in touch with you. Unless I am misunderstanding point 8. Is the additional fee payable because the brand is contacting you and using your time? Then you would get an additional fee for doing an actual post?

    Or are you talking as the manager of the SA Mom Blog brand and so the fee is for you to contact the bloggers on this network?
    Cindy recently posted…That Time We Unplugged For 5 Days – Petervale FarmMy Profile

  5. Ana Simoes says:

    Wow what an eye opener.
    Its one of my new year’s resolutions to make a little money off my blog and hadn’t a clue on what was needed.

    Thanks so much.

    Ana

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