This is a delicate issue, and I know I'm not going to get to all the fine points...but it's worth drawing attention to, and taking a moment to think about. It's also not the first time I've been confronted with this dilemma. When I first started selling my wares on Etsy...I was dismayed by equally crafty women (I was in competition against for sales)...short-selling themselves. Sometimes to a "gross" degree! I don't care how much spare yarn one has laying around, or how much FREE time one has...selling a hand-knit childs sweater for $15, isn't cool!!!!! Does that sound weird??? Let me explain....
Lets say...it takes me (and a handful of other graphic designers) 4 hours (on average) to design a custom blog....and after years of "experience" (to get to the point where we're good enough to do it in that short a time), we feel our time is menially worth at least $20/hr. That's a fair $80. Of course there are some folks out there that feel their expertise and creativity is worth $100/hr. but we won't get into that. Just speaking about a "fair" amount of work, for a "fair" price. A price that with enough dedication/application, one "could" scratch a living out of, if they put their mind to it. Enter an envoy of $35 blog designers (mostly teenagers with a ton of free time)..............and the whole idea of making a living at it, goes up in smoke. Can a finger be pointed? Is there anyone to blame? Of course not. It's free-market enterprise. The same way I can't compete with crafts coming in from third-world countries!!!
I'm directly speaking to MOMS here. To WAHMs, and SAHMs, Crafting Moms, and Mom Bloggers! Why? Because we're our own worst enemies, and...we still aren't at a point of UNITING for our own best interests!!! And how far back can we go with it? Females in general? Under-estimating ourself as fairer and fitter. Giving up the goods to fit in, be liked, accepted...for a pat on the back, or an invite to the in-party. Being "good little girls" to win mommy and daddy's approval, then the teachers approval, and it's all spun out of control by the time we reach high-school. We give up a lot...mostly in the form of boundaries. We SACRIFICE. That's what MOMs do! We set ourselves aside, time and time again.........we forget to place ourselves on our own priority lists, then complain about our position.
Something's got to give!
Rambling and derailing my own post! What I really want to draw attention to is a mounting problem of Mom's being taken advantage of by big marketers. I'm not at that point yet with my blog...where I have people knocking down my door to utilize the space I've built. A lot of us aren't THERE yet. But, that doesn't mean that it's not worth looking down the road a little, and pondering the outcome of things. We're building something so subtle, it's hard to see the forest, but as "moms"...we're building it with passion, dedication, energy, focus, intent...and in that sense it's huge! Huge, and....VALUABLE!
Does anyone else get the sense of being laughed at and mocked when it comes to the work they dedicate to their blog? I mean...it's bad enough that friends, family, partners....put it all off as "play-time"; like it'll never amount to anything, etc. Our goal is that it will, and that goal is based on sponsorship and companies working with us to bring that to fruition. However, behind closed corporate doors...that's where the loudest laughs are muffled. That they can throw us bones (or gift cards) for a lot of time & effort, which should = $!
Of course...we're all grateful for the HAND-OUTS. When we get free booty, it's money we don't have to spend ourselves. That's true. It's also true that it relinquishes some sense of control in our lives, our buying power, or obligation to ourselves and our family. It places things in outsider hands that can coyly dictate where we're all headed. That's the conspiracy of it. On a lighter note...it's just BAD BUSINESS!
I'd much rather be paid for the work I do, and decide for myself how to spend it!!!! It's one thing for moms to support moms, local business, etc. I feel that's part of our (intelligent) obligation to the world. I'll barter with moms, make deals, etc. I enjoy that. It's important to me. It makes for a better world. But this isn't about moms helping moms. It's about big business...with BIG marketing budgets, and.....they're basically & blatantly saying that we aren't WORTH anything! True. We have to put our foot down together! I'm not sure how that happens?!? Moms with money are EMPOWERED! They can make or break companies...boycott those that are doing wrong...support those that are doing good! Money isn't just material is this sense....it's more like a spiritual weapon or tool for justice! Again, sounds crazy...but think about it!
I always have my eye on this front. Iz just my nature. I can see something not-good brewing on the horizon...and not that great at putting it into words. It's not that there aren't work-arounds for every problem. It's just...why have to spend the time & energy working around something we ourselves created in the first place? Someday we get to the point where we think (if we don't start out with this very intention)...."Hmmm, I put so much into this blog. It would be nice to make some money at it". Dare you say "make a living at it". We know there are mothers out there that do! Problem is...those are the ones that are beginning to complain. The ones that set this movement in motion...mom-bloggers, as an actual market. Now they're finding themselves struggling to be taken seriously, and get paid. WHY? Bcuz of a whole slew of moms who have jumped on the band-wagon, and are willing to work for links, buttons, coupons, and gift cards!
It's a conundrum! Are moms going to stand their ground and ask for money in exchange for their work? Are they even going to cross that bridge of admitting that what they're putting their energy into IS WORK? It's delicate ground. Asking for money in exchange for posts & banner ads, might in fact lead to "nothing"! In that sense it requires a new MOVEMENT...one where we're all on the same page....with a standard we hold ourselves to. Why pay for the cow, when you can get the milk for free? It's something to think about, and then.............DISCUSS!
FOR A MOM BLOGGER THAT IS MORE IN A POSITION TO SPEAK OF SUCH THINGS....PLEASE VISIT & READ THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE FROM MOM101
I also want to make it realllllly clear that I'm not speaking of being paid for product reviews. That that isn't advertising, it's editorial. This about actual advertising that's being referred to in this post.