Having nearly everything lined up for BlogHer’12 has left me doing a lot of thinking about different things. Since it’s my first year going I’m of course excited and nervous. I don’t like being away from home for any length of time, I have no doubts I’ll cry and cry at the airport.
It also has me thinking about the variety of blogs and brands in one place… leaving me in awe. I can’t wait to meet as many people as I can. I’ll have to put notes on the back of everyone’s cards so I’m able to remember later but that is no doubt at the top of my list. Meet and connect with everyone that I possibly can.
Unfortunately it’s also left me thinking about a few brands (probably a lot more than I can imagine) that have had to deal with “blogger backlash” for not doing what the blogger(s) wanted done. (ie: give multiple gifts/swag, disagree with time and place or whatever) So I here I am sitting in the dark with the iPad and keyboard typing away with my thoughts.
I really hope I don’t witness greed while I’m there, although I have read that it happens a lot. MANY bloggers are going to make actual connections with other bloggers, with companies and brands. It’s really left me thinking about how many blogs do undervalue themselves.
Sure, the items that bloggers receive to review are “free” (no money exchanges hands) but there are many bloggers that work their sites as an actual business, meaning paying taxes, playing by the rules and holding up to the standards that is disclosed on our sites. Actual money may not exchange from one to the other however it’s not REALLY free. We (bloggers) many times agree to a certain number of posts, ads, tweets, whatever. Somewhere along the lines that product for review has cost someone, something. Companies pay for PR companies and representatives to work with a variety of authors, from blogs to magazines, to effectively garner exposure for the product.
No one should undervalue him/herself for any reason. And I do feel that by screaming to skies and all that will listen that he/she/you/whoever got xyz for free does undervalue many of us. We (meaning us and other blogs) have worked tirelessly on our sites, paying for our own dot com’s, resources and more. Our sites are made with love, pride, fear, tears and <insert your choice of emotion here> we take our WORK to heart. Sure, some bloggers are more fortunate than others, for whatever reason – that doesn’t really matter. We take very seriously what we do, each and every pr rep, blogger and readers should have an equal amount of respect for what the other does.
A fine example would be to sit back and think about how much you could charge your family to cook, clean, serve, care for them, make beds, do laundry, etc,.. etc,….
Now if you were to hear that Mom’s are free, wouldn’t you feel or perhaps think that Mom’s are undervalued? (that is if you’re a mom, but you can get my point)
In many cases Mom’s are undervalued, but we’re in this whole Mom thing together, so don’t undervalue us as a Mom. See what I mean?
Now, I’m not saying that a pr rep or two hasn’t absolutely ticked me off. That has happened more than once. I’m not going to review one single shoe then return it. I’m not going to pay for shoes to put on my site using bandwidth that has been paid for by us. I’m simply not going to do it. Yes, I have blogged about products I have purchased for my own personal reasons. You see, it can work two ways. I assure you that I won’t be making a purchase from either shoe company as I don’t pay someone else to help gather additional exposure for the product/brand/company. That’s pretty ass-backwards if you want to know my true to heart feelings there. And you can bet your bottom dollar that I won’t be buying shoes from the company that offered a single shoe to be returned. That one bothers me most. Are they going to sell the two shoes together at a later time as a pair after a dozen different review bloggers have laid their hands on them, put a foot in them and done who knows what else to said single, lonely shoe!
Did you know that it has been said, that a blogger has a better reach than a celebrity? (I believe I ran across that on BlogHer) That makes me rather proud. I have to admit that a celebrity status doesn’t really affect me much. If I were to meet a celebrity I don’t think I’d go all “goo-goo ga-ga” if you know what I mean. Maybe there are a few out there that might make me ohhh and aww, or get giddy, maybe some would make me go goo-goo, ga-ga. My point is that a celebrity talking about a product really just doesn’t impress me much. When I REALLY want to know about a product, I really and truly turn to blogs. I search time and time again. I’ll call friends and family to see what they know about xyz before I actually make a purchase.
I think it’s part human nature for the green-eyed monster also known as jealousy and greed to rear it’s ugly head on occasion, but it’s also up to us as humans to not fall into that trap. It doesn’t mean that we are forced to act that way, the way you act and conduct yourself is a choice. For some perhaps, it is a way of life.
Companies reach out to us as bloggers, we reach out to companies and PR reps, again I alone have seen many come and many go. Those that go, are more often the ones that send emails that have a “feel” as though they look down their noses at us (us=bloggers). If a company replies that they don’t pay for advertising, they usually aren’t around too long. Maybe we are considered as being at the bottom of the totem pole but the fact is, many of us are still standing.
Long story short:
No matter who or what you are on the inside, don’t undervalue yourself as a person in any, way, shape or form. Take yourself seriously with what you do. There are a lot of bloggers in the cyber world, I have seen many come and many go just as I have seen many remain standing. It took time, effort and yes, even money to remain standing.
You have a worth, find it and be damn proud of it!
What do you feel your worth is?