Two More Wack Things People Say About Blogs

As a follow-up to my post yesterday, these two things don’t stem from a misunderstanding of what blogs are, but they are deeply confused.

(Disclosure: I currently work for a blog advertising network.)

Ads on blogs are good, because writers should get compensated for their work.

A guy came to my door the other day trying to pay me to put an advertising sign in my yard since we live on a corner. I’m not kidding. He was not offering to compensate me for the work I do in maintaining my yard. Bloggers are writers, they just happen to write in a particular format. However, they are not getting compensated for their writing, unless they are doing a problogging gig where they are paid by someone else.

Writers who work for newspapers get compensated for their writing. Writers who sell to magazines get paid for their writing when they sell an article. Writers who make money from ads on their blogs are renting space on their websites for a corporation to use to sell a product.

Again, I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m going to try it out myself and see what happens. But the corporations buying that space don’t really give a damn what you’re writing as long as they get your readers’ eyeballs and you don’t make them look bad. The sales guy probably wouldn’t have wanted to advertise in my yard if it was a wreck, but only because it would have reflected poorly on his company.

They are paying for access to your readers in a positive setting, not for your writing itself. Individuals who work in those corporations may respect and enjoy your writing, but the checks come from the entity who wants traffic.

I wish there were more opportunities for non-mommybloggers.

The mommybloggers get a ton of attention, which is why it’s easy to feel like they’re the dominant kind of blogger if you run in more personal blog circles than business or technology blog circles. Mommybloggers get trips and free stuff and they get interviewed on television.

Let’s get this straight, though. What mommybloggers are getting is not granted by a charitable foundation established to provide awards for excellence in blogging. The freebies are given by corporations who think they will make more money if they give stuff to mommybloggers to either influence what they blog about or influence people they know. If the corporations thought they could give all of that stuff away and nothing about their bottom line would change, they wouldn’t do it. The giving of stuff must result in changes in purchasing behavior, or the stuff will no longer be given.

If you want in on that action, you have to make companies think you will increase their revenue if they woo you. Whining about how you blog too and why do they get all the free stuff and it’s isn’t FAAAAIIIIRRRR is beside the point.

This is not a meritocracy. This is commerce. I’m not saying it’s bad, or that successful mommybloggers are doing anything wrong. Just be clear about what makes it possible. For the mommybloggers who are doing the corporate thang, mommyblogging is a business.