Are you a blogger? Come help us ALL be fairly paid! | The business of blogging

If you’re a blog reader but you don’t run your own, feel free to skip this post or send it to your favourite bloggers!

One of the things that has been nagging at me ever since I wrote my How to start a beauty blog & How to monetize your blog posts is that no one quite knows what to be charging for their services — and brands are taking advantage of that fact to both undercut our prices & convince bloggers who run smaller blogs to work for little or no pay.


workplace inspo via west elm

You can’t buy groceries with free product, so what I want to do is create a spreadsheet to compare stats to fees in a manner that we can all access. Once I have enough information, I’d also like to share a general summary with you guys to give everyone an idea what to be charging based on their stats without each person having to sort through all of the raw data.

The results will be completely anonymous and only available to other bloggers, but will be free to any blogger who wants to access them.

» Click here or scroll down to fill out the survey «

So here’s where you guys come in. If you run a blog, please take a minute to fill out this Google Form! You don’t need to look up your exact stats or answer any questions that don’t apply to you/that you don’t want to (estimates are totally fine!) This information is only going to be a general picture that other bloggers can reference, so don’t sweat it.

I’m hoping to have this form open for about a month, so please get your entires in as soon as you can, share with friends, and return at the end of April for the results!

» This survey can be found at if you want to share it with other bloggers! «

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  • Jayne Lim

    Love this idea Rae!

  • Great idea!!! But… I think the main problem is this: there are people who are completely willing to post promo material for absolutely no cost. So when it's time for me to name a price, companies aren't willing to pay as much (or what I think I deserve) because there are people that will work for free.

    • I absolutely agree with this, Jasmine. That's one of the reasons why I've set up this survey, honestly — I'm hoping that once bloggers know what to charge for a blog of their size, more of them/us will feel comfortable asking for that amount!

      It's tough to know what to ask for when you have literally no figures to base your numbers off of, you know? And–hopefully–easier to stick to your guns and say "no, I won't work for free" when you know that you don't have to. :)

  • esharp1978

    Going now! I'd love to be making enough to pay for the costs of blogging itself. I'm self hosted and I buy 99% of my products myself. Even after two years. Part of it's frequency of posting and my shots are all iPhone or point and shoot. I've turned down most of my ad and paying opportunities because they wanted me to lie, misrepresent myself, or not stick to my "brand".
    My recent post Granite Coast Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay

    • Good for you, Erin! I think it's so awesome that you're so focused on maintaining your integrity as a blogger — it's a tough thing to do, and it makes me so happy every time I see someone who's ready to stick to their guns & turn down sponsorships that don't fit their blog! <3

      That being said, I can understand why some bloggers will take opportunities that don't fit their brand perfectly. The joy of blogging doesn't exactly put food on the table, and while I'm super thankful that I'm able to say no to opportunities, I'm not sure what I'd do if I was put in a position where I HAD to accept off-brand sponsorships or face not being able to afford to blog at all!

  • YES TO THIS! Problem is that the blogging business in Europe is very different from the blogging business in the US and Canada. Companies in Europe just don't spend a lot of money on PR through blogging. They don't see how valuable it can be yet. As always Europe kinda lags behind on things and when it comes to blogging we're just not quite there yet I'm afraid. The blogger mindset is there though, absolutely. But the PR companies and brands have yet to follow. And as a result we are kind of forced to settle for a lot less than we deserve. Or, worst case, for nothing at all.
    My recent post Make-up look | A pop of spring with Clinique

    • Aww, I hope you guys get there soon, Melissa! (Partially because, uh. You run a freakin' monolith, dude, and I would 110% want to work with Kiss & Make-up if I was a brand. Your levels of engagement never fail to humble me!)

      It's strange to me that PR companies and brands are lagging so far behind in Europe, because there are definitely some European-based blogs that are run very much like professional publications! I wonder if you would get a different response if you worked with American-based companies — the internet can be read from (well, mostly) anywhere, after all! ;)

      • Aw, thanks, Rae <3 Not to toot my own horn here, but fuck yes, for the work and time I put in I deserve a lot more than I get. The amount of money I (and most Europe-based bloggers for that matter, with the exception of just a lucky handful) make from the blog is laughable. It's quasi nihil. I'm pretty sure that it would be different were I to work from the US. Thing is that I can't work with US-based brands because Europe – and Swiss customs in particular – do their darnedest best to make sure that you cannot receive products and merchandise from outside the country without getting heavily taxed, and they don't care whether it's free stuff or not. On multiple occasions I've had to pay for parcels and products that were sent to me without me knowing they were coming in the first place by brands who got a hold of my address. And since customs send the invoices AFTER delivery there is nothing you can do about it.

        Bottom line, if you want to be serious about blogging – let alone be a full-time blogger – in Europe you better be prepared to work hard for virtually nothing. Now of course the connection and interaction that a blogger has with their readers and fellow bloggers is worth something too and together with my passion for writing and beauty it is mainly the people that keep me motivated. But still, some financial appreciation would be nice too, lol.

        Aaaanyway, enough with the pity party, before I completely hijack your thread ;-) I really hope this survey is going to help y'all over there across the big pond! X
        My recent post Travel | Food and eating out in Japan

  • Lily @ChloeAsh

    OK survey done, but I won't be of much help because I never take sponsorship. Products sent for consideration, yes, but it's never been my practice to write for money, because I'd like to be able to write whatever I want. Maybe I should consider, since I'm not working full time anymore, eh?
    My recent post Pop, Pop, Popping It With Clinique

    • Thanks for taking the time anyways, Lily! :)

      I really like being able to write whenever I want, too, but I honestly kind of enjoy doing the occasional sponsored post. Yes, it means that I have to be done by a certain day or time, but it's fun to have to write for a specific pitch every now and again — makes me feel like I'm back in English class again!

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