How Misinformation And Refusal To Talk About Money Is Keeping MommyBloggers Poor
Hey guess what? I’m angry again (Surprise, surprise.)
Somebody sent me this article from Ad Age this morning by Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids, a blog that gets between 150,000-300,000 pageviews per month and which has received various mommyblogging accolades blah blah blah. The article talks about sponsors and bemoans the fact that it’s so hard to monetize and blah blah blah where is my coffee?
I don’t know Lenore, and I’m sure she’s wonderful. She’s just the latest person to voice what is the easiest opinion to have of blogging as a business when you aren’t making any money — that is: that there must not be any money to be had. And by the way, it is totally in my best interest to encourage this erroneous line of thinking because the more people who have it, the more room for me to succeed, and the more people who will give up and drop out.
But it’s totally wrong and I cannot stand to see it continue.
Look, here’s the thing. You cannot start blogging and expect that you’re going to be successful overnight without any work. I can’t really believe that I even have to say this. You have to hunt down sponsors on your own. And by “hunt down,” I don’t mean send out a few emails or join an ad network or post regularly.
Here’s the deal, Lenore. The reason you’re not having success is because nobody is talking to you about numbers or being straight with you about anything. In fact, Ad Age is publishing your post because they love the idea that bloggers cannot make it — old media eats that shit up. Let me level with you, you have done quite a bit, and you should be proud of yourself, but with 150,000-300,000 pageviews, you are still not at the level where you can make it on display ads alone — at least not from ad network income. Here’s what you’d be making if you were on the various networks under current market conditions:
At BlogHer, under the current market regime, you’d be making a MAXIMUM of just over $1,000 a month, assuming you can get the ad inventory filled.
At Federated, you’d be making a little bit more than that, in all likelihood — again, assuming they are able to fill the ad space.
It’s a little bit more difficult to say with BlogAds because the model is different — but with some initiative on your part, you could be making quite a bit more than that, perhaps even as much as $2,000 a month, depending on how much you were wiling to push your own ads, and how many hives you could join.
If you sold your own private ads, you could probably sell them for as much as $150 per month for a square 125 x 125 ad, but you would have to solicit as many as 1000 different businesses to fill ten ads. That’s right — one thousand. You have send out that many in order to fill up all of your space.
If you did product placements, you could get as much as a couple thousand for just one placement, depending on the product and the circumstances of how you sell it. To sell one of these, you probably will have to pitch a ton of companies and really sell them on the concept. You need a good media kit. You need to tell them about SEO and why your blog will help them with it. You need to really sell the concept of the mommyblog to them. Can you do that? You need to be able to. If you can, you can make a lot of money doing product placement. A lot.
There is a lot of money you can make, right now, TODAY, if you want. But none of it is going to happen just as a result of writing blog posts. That happens later. That happens when you have millions of readers and have been doing it for five years or more. And even then, you cannot rely on one income stream. You are in a startup business. You are not in a business that allows you to sit back and wait for money to come to you.
I don’t really mind if people want to convince themselves that there is no money to be had in the mommyblogosphere because it’s easier than getting off their asses and making money. That’s fine. Do that. But it’s irresponsible to preach that to other people, or to pretend like contracts with companies like Tide or whatever are the only way, or that if you haven’t made it after a year you aren’t going to make it. That just isn’t true. It is a disservice to your fellow women to suggest that it is. And I find it insulting that “feminists” would engage in this behavior.