Thursday, February 26, 2009

do you blog just for the freebies?

lindsay and liz are both talking about really hot topic-y blog stuff right now. and of course they both talk about it way better than i ever could. but i definitely want to weigh in on the subject, because well.. i have a blog.. i have opinions, and it's what i do.

last year when i attended the blogher parties only (ha) i met quite a few new people. i met people (far more than one) who i learned had started blogging JUST to make money. i remember thinking how weird that was of a concept to me. i guess it just never occurred to me to ever start something that i view that personally (our blogs) for money alone. not that it's wrong what they're doing, it's just not what i'm about. and it kind of makes me torn inside.

i feel like so many of us started writing our blogs for very personal reasons. some people started to take notice, and before you knew it, we were being afforded the option to have ads run on our blogs. we could actually get some money to do what we would be doing anyway. people wanted to send us things so we would write about them... or give them away. hell, i think that's an area that is still growing and is just barely in its infancy. but like heather b said in lindsay's comments- she felt that it was something that grew more organically and i could not agree more.
it was like a natural evolution. it still is. we're a work in progress, all of us blogging about our lives and our thoughts and our fears. and we're evolving with companies that want to do stuff with us. work with us. it's crazy the opportunities some of us get while the rest of us watch with envious eyes.

and i will admit that sometimes i get really fucking bitter when i see people getting really spectacular opportunities. and it's not like i begrudge them those things at all, but there is a part of me that OF COURSE wants to be included. there are times i definitely look around the blogosphere and wonder why i'm the only one who doesn't get asked to go anywhere or do anything. and of course, that's not true- but sometimes it's hard to not feel that way. especially when a lot of the people who are getting invited places are people you consider your blog friends.

but then i also wonder what those particular people had to do to get invited to these things? did they sell their soul? did they have to post about something, or commit in some way or another for a ridiculous amount of time? i mean, i have a full time job and i have to travel for work and i don't have the time to do some of things for my blog that other people do. but even if i did have the time, would i? i mean, is that what my blog is about... getting shit for free? it's not. it's a damn fun and good perk, but if all that went away tomorrow, i would still be here. blogging for nothing. and loving it just the same.

and i wonder how many other people can say the same thing? are the people who are blogging just for the free trips, the free money, the free THINGS giving those of us who didn't start that way, a bad name? are they skewing the marketers in a direction that isn't natural and therefore fucking it up for the rest of us? are they taking marketing away from bloggers who blog for the "right" reasons? or are there no right reasons? i don't have the answers, but i do have a lot of questions.

back to the beginning.. i do find it weird that people are blogging just for things. that their main reason to start their blog was to make money. in my opinion, that just makes it so unnatural. it makes it less compelling. and i think personally, i'm less inclined to have the want to read that person's blog. unless i've met them in person, cause then that usually changes everything. :)

but what do you think? in this craziness of the new marketing hungry bloggers- how do you feel? and if it was all gone tomorrow, the free trips, the cars, the camera's, the money... would you still be blogging?

(and i'm not trying to take anything away from lindsay's post... as if i ever could... so please read her blog as well, if you haven't already, since she's the reason i went on this rampage in the first place!)

8 comments:

abdpbt said...

Hi, I came here via Twitter, and will tell you what I said at Suburban Turmoil:

It's overly simplistic to say that you either started a blog "for the love of writing" or to make money. For me, at least, the relationship is far more complicated than that. I want to make money, have a career, just as I have always wanted to turn my writing into a career. Blogging is just one more way of trying to accomplish that goal.

I think everyone has to figure out where they will draw the line. I don't do paid placements or reviews, and when I feature a product review on my site it is actually a product I bought with my own money and love and want to give to my readers. I'm uncomfortable with anything else, but don't begrudge people for doing it.

Meg said...

I can honestly say I would do it without the freebies because that is exactly what I'm doing now. I don't have advertising on my blog, mainly because I've heard that it's not that lucrative. Also? I don't want anyone telling me what kind of content I can or cannot put on my website. I write for fun, to make friends, to get advice, to keep track of things for myself, to make people laugh....the list goes on and on. Money isn't on that list at all. Mainly because I don't want to waste my time trying to make it a business.

On the other hand, I sometimes do get jealous that I don't get fun offers. I don't want money, but I wouldn't mind a few products thrown my way or at least the option to have something fun like that. While I don't want to be a business that makes money, I would like to have someone value my opinion and give me chances to participate in fun things.

But, I'm happy where I am. I love to write. I love to not get caught up in logistics. And I love your blog, so don't think that you have to go changing!

corrin said...

I try not to be bitter, but there are several bloggers that come to mind as being mediocre, yet they have managed to go places, get sponsors, and do things. I can't figure it out.

I blogged by blogging for friends, then I blogged for money, and now the money's gone and I still blog, so I guess I really do love it!

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I'm going to BlogHer this year are you?

I'm still a newbie - I haven't even been around a year. And yes, I've had more success so far than I ever dreamed of ... and yet, I'm a small shit compared to all the famous bloggers.

I started blogging to give myself an outlet as I recover from a horrific car accident. I LOVE blogging. So far I've been given one free (shitty) book, some handmade soap, a rabbit sex toy (which I gave away in a contest) and some software I'm not allowed to admit I received.

No one wants me to go anywhere and no one gives a shit about me. I love blogging anyway. I love "meeting" people like you ... people I otherwise would never have encountered. I'm too foul mouthed to ever get a "sponsor" and I write about sex sometimes. God forbid. I'm just a rebel.

Cagey said...

I think it becomes obvious v. v. quickly when reading someone's blog whether he/she is doing it for the money/loot or not. And it is in the eye of the reader whether they care or not, no? I personally don't care, per se, if someone is accepting tons of hot plunder, but if it lessens the quality of their writing or junks up their content with product reviews, then I generally stop reading. And NO, constant giveaways do NOT entice me to rabidly refresh a blogger's website. I don't have time to wade through that crap - I am here to read interesting things and potentially meet people/make friends.

I guess I could comment on the whole freebie thing itself but anything I say could potentially 1)be held against me or 2)be viewed as sour grapes or 3)All of the Above.

I do BlogHer ads, but honestly, I believe in the community that Lisa et al have built. It is the only ad community I am interested in at this point. I don't do many product reviews simply because I am Itty Bitty Blogger and no one asks me. :-)

Heh.

Cagey said...

Also wanted to mention that I am v. v. jealous of Twenty Four at Heart and her free rabbit sex toy. See what I'm saying? No one sends ME sex toys? *grumble*grumble*


:-)

Mom101 said...

I'm with ya woman. I'm all about the content. Write great posts and I'm your most dedicated reader.* Spend all your time pitching me shit that I don't actually believe you care about and I'm gone. But hey, if there's a whole world of moms out there now who just want to read each others floor wax giveaways then I suppose I'm very happy for all of them.


*Totally not true because I never have time to read blogs any more. But I mean to beyour most dedicated reader.

Chris O said...

People get paid for their blogs? Imagine that. I'm not about to compromise my standards for cash by prostituting my blog. (I thought that's what craigslist is for.)

I will not succome and be a Blog Whore!

Inane Bloggers Unite!!

I blog for me, for fun. That fact that anyone else reads it regularly, scares me.