I mentioned in a recent post that I would explain some of my frustrations with the business side of all this shiznit that I do. Now’s as good a time as any.
So I’ve talked about this a few times over the years. I don’t often talk about the business side of what I do here because most people probably don’t care. It’s all the behind the scenes stuff that goes unseen. That being said, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. A good bit more than you probably realize.
I’ve been able to monetize my efforts in several ways, without compromising the integrity of my mission. I’ll be honest, that’s not always super easy to do because there are times I turn down good money because I don’t feel comfortable being associated with a company, product, or service. I’m very, very careful who I choose to work with because I recognize that people trust me and I won’t be bought.
Most websites generate money through things like digital marketing or ad revenue. I happen to do both and prior to COVID, I was doing well. COVID has taken a toll on a lot of small businesses and I’m no exception. I’m lucky in the sense that I know it will bounce back, I just have to adapt a bit.
Back to why I get so frustrated.
I’m in a ton of PR databases and I get buried in email every day of the week. What generally happens is someone will reach out and want to sponsor a post, a podcast episode, or sometimes even a review. These are all positive things, assuming I’m comfortable with the actual content. I try very hard to ensure that everything on this site is family friendly. I turn down a lot of work in order to maintain that.
What’s really, really frustrating is that a huge portion of the pitches I get are from people who want everything for free. They approach me like I don’t know what they’re doing and try to convince me to publish their article or embed their link because it will be of benefit to my readers. When I explain how that works, and the editorial fees that are involved, more often than not, they get indignant.
The reality is that they are getting paid a lot of money to get these articles and links published on popular, high traffic sites. What frustrates me is that they are unwilling to pay for anything.
As an example. I’ll get an email from someone who gets paid $1,500 by their client to get a link embedded on a high traffic site like mine. When I’m approached, they essentially try to convince me they’re doing me a favor by offering me a free link. If I do it, I just made them a cool $1,500 richer, but there’s nothing in it for me. They often scoff at the idea of editorial fees and claim they don’t have a budget for things like this. All that means is that they don’t want to cut into their profits in order to pay for access to my platform. When I say no, they simply move onto the next person and eventually, they find someone who gives them what they want.
What should happen is they approach me with an offer. They might offer me $200 if I add their link to a relavent post. As long as the link checks out, I post it, invoice them and get paid. They cut into their profits a bit but they still made $1,300 in just a few minutes, and I did all the work.
The point is, they respect me and my platform enough to pay me what I’m worth. I will do business with them all day long because they’re fair and honest.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen nearly enough. People want everything for free and they sometimes get crazy angry when I refuse. I don’t care what they think but it’s incredibly frustrating that so many people refuse to pay me what I’m worth. Honestly, I undersell myself all the time, so I undercharge. It’s something I’m working on doing better with.
I’m always open to helping a good cause or supporting someone who’s trying to make a difference and putting positive stuff out into the world. If I can support their efforts and publish or share something for them, I will because it’s the right thing to do.
Anyway, this is just some of what I deal with behind the scenes on a daily basis. It’s a lot of work to keep all the gears turning and I’m only one person. I really need a team of people to help manage everything but for now, it’s just me. I’d love to have a PR person to handle that side of things. Help with marketing and outreach would be amazing as well. I really just want to produce content and help people. Maybe someday..