How Do You Decide What Your Blog Is Worth?

This is a guest post from Molly Forbes who blogs at Mother's Always Right.  Molly fancied a bit of navel gazing and this is a subject that is constantly discussed among bloggers.  I was happy to publish her post so this subject can be dissected.


How Do You Decide What Your Blog Is Worth?

First thing’s first: this isn't a post debating the ethics of accepting commercial content on your blog. This isn't about publishing sponsored posts, or follow links, or adverts, or reviews.  There have been enough of those posts written before.  No, what this post is about is something a bit less black and white. It’s that messy issue of money – and deciding how much you’re worth.

Lots of bloggers (myself included) have made the decision to publish sponsored posts, reviews and adverts. While the reasons behind accepting a review post seem pretty clear – either you like the item or you think your readers will – the same can’t be said of other types of commercial content. Especially when the cash isn't all that.

SEO and money
I was recently approached by an SEO agency to run a sponsored post with follow links.  I know that Google penalises sites caught running paid-for follow links.  I also know that because of the risk to a blog’s Google Page Rank, those still accepting these types of posts are charging more for the link. It’s a simple case of supply and demand.

I replied to the email asking for verification over the type of links they wanted in the post and then I sent off my media pack with my rates. The next email I had from this agency made me laugh.  In return for my time writing the post, publishing a follow link, risking my Google Page Rank, promoting the post across all my social media platforms, they were willing to pay me… wait for it… £17.

That’s right. £17.

When replying to my email explaining the reasons why I wouldn't be going ahead with the post, the SEO agency told me my site wasn't (and I quote) “strong enough for good rates”.  That’s the bit that made me laugh.  But actually, it’s not really very funny. In fact, it’s a little bit sad because I expect there were other bloggers targeted by this SEO agency representative who accepted his price. And while I’m in no way judging them for taking on a sponsored post that paid less than a quarter of what many charge, I do think it’s a shame.

It’s a shame, because I think it’s indicative of a more widespread issue. I think people are under-valuing their blogs and time. Or perhaps they just haven’t stopped to think about it yet.
  • Your blog shouldn't be seen as a cheap form of advertising for a company not willing to pay the going rates. 
  • Your time shouldn't be seen as unworthy of decent payment.

When you take on a sponsored post, the chances are you’ll be the one writing it. Also you are publishing it on your site and sharing it with your readers. It’s the equivalent of making a poster for a company and then putting it up in your living room window.  You’re selling your time AND your space. You’re selling the dedicated group of readers who engage with you every day. If you’re accepting follow links, you’re selling a commodity many people are no longer offering.  So your prices should reflect that, surely?

Obviously there’ll be variations. Blogs with higher Page Ranks and stats will be worth more to many brands but the variations should still reflect the product because, let’s be clear, your blog IS a product when talked about in this way.

I also know that blogging is often an intensely personal thing. Some families may need the money more than others. And what some may view as a decent sum, others will think is rubbish.

If you've taken the time to think about all those points above and you’re still willing to accept a rate of £17… well, then that’s your choice. It’s an informed choice and you’re the only one who can make it.  Just as long as you ARE making a choice, rather than going along with the flow, thinking you've bagged some easy cash for not doing much.

After all, if YOU don’t value your own blog why on earth should anyone else?

Image Credit: TECHANKIT (via Google Images)
If you have a  non-commercial post that you'd like to publish on this blog please get in touch .