This is a guest post from Danielle Smith and is a follow-up to my recent post about PR and blogger relations.
Danielle is a former award-winning Television Anchor and Reporter who has turned her attention to the online sphere. She is the founder and primary author of ExtraordinaryMommy.com, a vlogger, online TV host, speaker and author.
More important than anything she is a mom to two sweet and sassy small people and is having the time of her life.
You can find Danielle on Twitter at @DanielleSmithTV.
I’ve said it before.
I’m not easily offended. I respect that many of us have different opinions and often feel peaceful enough about my place in the world…. that I can simply smile when we differ and walk away.
But sometimes, as was the case with the recent anonymous post from ‘Sarah’ on MomBlogMagazine, I felt as though I, as a blogger, was being baited. Sarah, an “actual employee from an actual PR company; one you have heard of if you’ve heard of any”, wrote a post titled, “Why PR People Get Paid, and You Don’t”.
Never mind that Sarah seems to think I use jealousy and misplaced entitlement as a barometer for gauging what I should be and shouldn’t be ‘getting’ in the blogging world. (That theory was inane enough for me to ignore) ** see her references to Annie A-List and Thanksgiving Dinner
Let’s stop pretending your blog is a world-changing event and recognize it for what it is–something transient that may be gone tomorrow if you flake out or change your mind or your Uncle Vinny finds your blog and you realize you don’t really want him to know where you live because you still owe him money.
What I truly take issue with is one little word.
According to Sarah, I don’t DESERVE a damn thing. I’ve chosen to work at home. I’ve chosen to have this transitory-may-shut-down-any-day-blog. I’m not required to show up in an office, dressed in business casual, ready for a day of meetings. There are apparently a slew of bloggers who work much harder than me and my site may or may not be ‘ugly’.
Make sure your number is based in reality, not what you think you deserve. Actually, if you’re using the word “deserve” at all, you’re already sunk. You don’t deserve anything. There are hundreds more bloggers out there that are willing to take a cold, hard look at what they are producing now and how they can improve in the future. Those are next year’s Annie A-Listers–a list that no one deserves to be on, but one that women work like dogs to get on.
I find this paragraph confusing – because on one hand, Sarah is right….. any number I give, any compensation I request MUST be ‘based in reality’. By ‘based in reality’, I imagine Sarah means that I do, in fact, KNOW what my time is worth… that I do, in fact, KNOW what my quality of work is worth – and NOT that I am arbitrarily assigning a ‘what-would-I-like-to-get-paid-today’ number when asked to be involved in a project.
Now, here is where things get slippery. The very next two sentences say, “Actually, if you’re using the word “deserve” at all, you’re already sunk. You don’t deserve anything.”
Yes, Sarah, I do. But not because another blogger has been compensated. Or because I’m jealous. Or because ‘you’d pay me if I was a guy’. And not because ‘PR professionals get paid, therefore I should too’. This is not a game of comparative analysis.
I deserve to be compensated for my work as a blogger.
I deserve to be compensated for the work I do because it is work.
I deserve it because I work hard and because I believe my time is valuable.
I deserve it because I provide a product (a post, a video, a campaign, etc) that benefits someone – a PR firm and/or a brand.
I deserve to be compensated because the platform I have created for myself, beginning with my blog is actually worth something. And fortunately, I know that my ‘numbers’ are based in reality.
And while Sarah is apparently not JUDGING me for…
“choosing to be a stay-at-home mom who makes money or gets stuff for the kids and family by blogging or decides to be a blogger because they were laid off and wanted to create a portfolio”
it certainly sounds a lot like judgement and an absurd over-generalization to me… Did all bloggers, or in this case ‘stay-at-home-mom-bloggers’ decide to start blogging because they were laid off? Or wanted to create a portfolio? I know I didn’t.
I understand from Sarah’s comments that she intended the post to be ‘funny’. I think it is challenging to be ‘funny’ on an average day, but on this topic? I think a more ‘serious’ tone might have been more beneficial.
How about you – do you feel deserving?