The process of creating a blog is filled with tough steps. First of all there is the actual creation of the blog itself, the maintenance and then when you start getting some traction you need to think about monetization, which brings us to the infamous:
This step normally stumps people. You start wondering, what am I worth? Is that too much, too little? Should I take unpaid work or not? One can go in a spiral of questions and get so frustrated that you end up not finishing what you started! Today I want to tackle this question of what to charge.
For any of the follow media you can actually simply think of a very easy formula; how much do you want to make? It is as simple as:
Cost to create + premium that you want to make
Simple as this, so for example, let’s say you are creating an Instagram photo and spend $5 on supplies and you want to make $300 for an Instagram post, then technically you will charge $305.00, simple math right? Unfortunately, there are so many other things that play into a “blogger rate”.
To start off we need to break down blogger rate, are we actually referring to a blog post or a social media post? Many people say ‘blogger rate’ but are actually talking about Instagram, so let’s start there.
As mentioned above you can simply attach an arbitrary number but probably a good idea to take into account a few more things.
You should consider:
- Number of followers you have
- How many comments you get
- How many likes you get
Here are a couple nifty tools to get started:
#Paid – When you sign up with this service a rate will be calculated for you . The side note with this one is that in order to work with them you need to have minimum 5000 followers.
Ultimately the most important thing when determining your rate is the engagement that your posts get. As mentioned, above follower volume is a key component, however it isn’t the only piece of the puzzle. When a brand wants to sponsor content they are looking for results. If you have 20k followers but no one engages (I.e likes or comments) on the image, then you won’t be able to charge much at all. Obviously, the rate is set before the work is completed, I was just using that by way of example.
My suggestion to you, if you have 5000 or more followers, see what your rate is on #Paid and use it as a benchmark. If not, test out the handy calculator above and use that as your benchmark; work from there. If you feel comfortable with those rates at the beginning, then stick with those until you are more in tune with the market averages. Alternatively, push yourself a little, take those rates as a starting point and build in a premium that you’re comfortable charging and can BACK UP with value. No one is going to pay exorbitant rates for a social media influencer who can’t drum up interest in a product or service.
Benchmark with your first collaboration
Everyone is different but for me, I used my first collaboration with a brand as a benchmark of what I would charge. As many of you already know, but perhaps some don’t, it is very common for PR companies to act as a go-between for brands and bloggers. For my case, I was approached by a PR company with a set fee for what I would be compensated and what I would provide in return for the brand. For me, it felt like a fair transaction, so I have used that rate as a benchmark for other clients.
Rate are not chiselled in stone
By this I mean that your rate should be changing alongside your brand. As you grow, engage more followers and have more collaborations under your belt you can build that into a higher premium.
Another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that your rate might be different for different clients. Example, I have worked with certain brands that I feel extremely passionate about for less than my typical rate. You are the boss, you get to make the decisions of who you work with and what you charge.
The bottom line is that you should have a rate that you feel comfortable with, can back up with value and experience and can adjust it when you feel is appropriate.
The million dollar question; should I take unpaid or in kind sponsorship ?
This is SUPER common with bloggers and social media influencers. A brand approaches, says that they will give the product to the influencer but cannot compensate financially. People struggle with this. I think the underlying theme in all of these questions is that you need to do what feels right to YOU and your ‘right’ is likely different than everyone else’s, and that is okay.
It would be fantastic if all brands would financially compensate every single influencer that they engaged, but it isn’t the case. I want to have us all look at it in a different lens. Think of your CV. Was your first job paying you what you want to be paid 10 years into your working career? Did you ever have to take less than what you wanted or dare I say complete an internship that was either unpaid or might as well have been? It is just a though to compare social influencing to starting a new job in a new industry altogether, you need to build your CV and experience in order to charge more.
My blog and brand are still relatively new, so I need to make that judgment call each time I am approached by a brand or PR company. I need to weigh the benefits of new exposure and practice with each collaboration.
Is the collaboration right for you
Aside from the struggle of rate and/or in kind compensation PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider if the collaboration is even the right one for you! Is it in line with your brand and your message? Your audience can smell a fake from a mile away, people are smart! It might seem like a loss if you say no to a brand that was going to pay you, but guess what, your brand is more valuable than that one collaboration in the long run. You want to keep your message crisp, clean and true.
Was this helpful for other bloggers and influencers? I would love to hear your feedback and if you have more questions on the subject. Of course, like I said the decision ultimately resides with you, I am just providing some food for thought 🙂 If you liked this post, please let me know and I will do a ‘part II’ on a blogger rate for a blog post 🙂
Images from Josh D’Cruz
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