PR Monday: Stop Selling Yourself Short! PLEASE!

Sadly it seems that the middle ground for the pitches I receive is rapidly disappearing. I either get really, really great pitches or really, really bad ones. This is one of those that falls in the really bad category. I want to share it with some of you to show WHY I think this is a pitch that most people should pass on. I know when you are new to this you get all bubbly when a PR firm picks you and it is easy to get tricked into taking all the pitches that come your way. So lets dissect this one and if you still think it is worth your time at the end that is OK! We all have our things we will work for peanuts for. Just be educated about when you are doing it.

Hi, I have an item that you may like for your Blog. Blah Blah Company (I changed the name), a leading provider of school uniforms, this week launched a $15,000 contest in which kids who attend a school that has a dress code can show the world what makes them unique and special. The contest is titled, “Blah Blah Contest,” and it is designed to provide a forum for kids to express their individuality. Kids and their parents can enter the contest by visiting and following the instructions regarding submitting a video or essay along with pictures. The final day to submit an entry is September 15.

OK, so lets look at this in specific regards to me. I HOMESCHOOL. Now, I do say that my older one is going to Catholic school next year so maybe that was their thought but he has a liberal dress code so right off the bat I am not interested.The link above? Right now has a google page rank of 0 and an alexa rank in the 4 millions.

On November 1, Blah Blah  will be posting the 10 finalists and the public will be able to vote for the grand prize winner – who will win $10,000 in cash and their school will receive $5,000 in vouchers from Blah Blah. The grand prize winner will be announced on November 30.

More than 1 in 5 public schools now have a dress code, and that’s on top of the many private, parochial and charter schools that have dress codes. Please let me know if you need any additional information, or if you’d like to speak to someone at Blah Blah.As part of this outreach to parents and kids, Blah Blah is looking for 25 Blah Blah Brand Ambassadors (the first 25 who respond in the affirmative), who will help make moms and kids aware of the contest. As a Blah Blah Brand Ambassador, we will expect:

OK, this is where is gets good. Ready?

–         A total of three mentions/discussions of the contest – 1) A mention of the contest on your blog during the first two weeks of the contest, a follow-on mention/discussion in June, and a third in September.–         At least two mentions – 1 in May and another in June – of our contest to your followers and fans on Twitter and Facebook

So, they want a total of three blog posts and 2 mentions to my social networks. Lets do the math. I get at least $10 for each ‘commercial’ tweet I send through Sponsored Tweets (referral link) So, I could make $20 for those two social network contacts leaving me $30 to run 3 posts on my blog.We have established that this blog is not really the most organic place for this so these posts fall into ‘advertising’ in my book. Depending on which blog, time of year and my schedule I charge anywhere from $100-$300 for a sponsored post, usually around $250. I know putting my rates out there may be silly but honestly new bloggers need to know that $10 a post is INSANE. $10 for a tweet–sure, not bad, but a mention in a post? No freakin’ way. I should say, I can get that on some of my niche blogs (and I really don’t post advertorials here) but in talking with other bloggers I have found out their rates are $30-$75 per 300 word post. I, also, want to clarify that this is for a post that is ‘advertising’ not a product review or editorial for something that is organic to your blog. I don’t charge beyond the product for those.

In return, Blah Blah will provide a reciprocal link to your site on the site and a $50 gift certificate after your last posting in September.

A link? On a PR 0 site? Oh yeah….I covered that above.That giftcard? Given the average mark-up of 43% for family clothing they are really paying you $28.50 that you can only spend in their store. That $5.70 for your five points of contact. Minimum wage in my state is currently $7.24. Granted those 5 points of contact are probably not going to take you 5 hours. It took you a hell of a lot longer than that if you figure in the time you put building your blog audience and social networks. To essentially have a company come bless you with the opportunity to use your platform for less than minimum wage.Sadly, I am sure they were flooded with responses. Mine was this:

Thanks for your pitch. However, you do realize you are compensating bloggers less than $10 per post…I currently charge $250 for a featured post on my tween blog in cash, not a gift card to the company. Thanks

Something interesting: I did a quick scan and according to the average full time journalist position in the US pays $26,000-$47,000 a year. If you go on the low side of $30,000 a year and you post 350 times that year you would be making $85 a post. Even if you aren’t interested in being a full time blogger, you are a media source! You are a journalist.Mom-101 wrote a great post about this as well. I hope you go read it. For some reason I can’t link direct to her post but right now it is the third one down.We all do things to get “in” with a company but take it from me, the pitches from these companies don’t tend to get better.I will leave you with this….you work really hard on your blog, don’t let someone take advantage of you!Since we are all working on our own, I think it really helps to know what average rates are. I would love it if you shared yours below or any other thoughts on this.


  1. says

    I can't even express the warm fuzzies I'm feeling toward you right now. As a totally clueless blogger who just loves to write, is trying to make our home livable, and would love to somehow make an income from this gig someday, sometimes I feel like no one is open and honest out there about rates for things like this.I seriously feel like you're my best friend right now . . . sorry to be creepy, but do you know that feeling when someone finally answers the questions that everyone else has been avoiding?I'm bookmarking this post.Thanks,NonyMy recent post Establishing Boundaries . . . Confining the Clutter . . . Whatever You Want to Call It

    • says

      Ahhh, you are welcome. It was eye opening for me talking to my two closest blogging friends on what they charge. We have been blogging together for a long time and this was the first time we had discussed rates.If more people could be honest about what we are asking and stop bending to big companies I think we would all be better off.

  2. says

    Great post as usual Barb! …. I love this series- especially your snarky ones.We've all been there with these crazy pitches. I think you have helped out a lot of bloggers who were always wondering what they should/can/would charge- but wasn't sure how who to ask- or how to figure our what the "standard" was.My recent post Parents pick-pick-pick-pick

    • says

      I am glad. I am getting more and more upset at these pitches that take advantage of mom bloggers just not knowing. I will be posting some more 🙂

  3. says

    I know this is an old post, but I found it while searching for blogging rates. It gave me just the nudge I needed to respond to a couple of PR pitches this morning that I thought were ridiculous. Do PR companies think we are all desperate stay at home moms who will work for pennies? Another thing that irks me is PR companies asking you to run a giveaway for a low cost item and then offering no compensation. So 3-4 hours of work between writing the post and promoting the giveaway, with no return on our time. We bloggers need to start refusing such offers that place such a low value on our services and our time.

    I am glad I found this post and will be reading more of your blog.

    • barb says

      I am so glad it helped! I hear you on the giveaways. Total waste of time unless there is a big traffic gain or product that I REALLY want. I won’t run them on this blog anymore but some of my other ones we still do

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