Since yesterday I have seen the same tweet, or some derivative of it, at least fifteen times. It's a link to a post written by a well known (mommy)blogger. A post that received more than one hundred comments, most of which agreed, strongly, with the writer.
I agree with the post's main point which is this: Bloggers are worthy of being compensated. If you blog, your time and effort are worth something, yes.
I think that if you were mommyblogging five or even four years ago, your perception of blogging is going to very different than if you started your blog last year or even the year before. Blogging has changed radically and the blogging universe has exploded exponentially.
If you were mommyblogging back then, you were no doubt involved in posts and comments about whether you should or should not breastfeed; Should or should not work outside the home; Should or should not drink during a play date; Should or should not even run ads on your blog. There was a time when running advertisements somehow lessened your blogging cred. (word)
No matter which one of those discussions you may have contributed to, the overwhelming consensus of voices usually chimed in with the response that no one answer existed. Everyone had the right to make those choices for themselves, based on their own circumstances and point of view and that there was no correct way to do things.
So how is this different?
If you have been around since then and you've been writing consistently and well, chances are you have received opportunities. You have likely received some awesome products to review, trips, book deals, sponsorships to conferences or even a paid blogging job.
Unless you have chosen not to. Which is fine.
Because it's your blog and you can do whatever you want with it.
You can write what you want too, on your own blog. Mom-101 should blog her frustrations over losing a sponsorship opportunity because that's what on her mind. What I don't agree with is this idea that we all have to stand up and say no to promoting something for a coffee maker or a link. That is not the same as saying that I think that anyone's writing is worth free peanut butter or a link. I don't think that.
Today? For the record: I would say no to anyone who asked me to run an ad for free. Three years ago I probably would have said yes, so desperate was I to keep up with all the activity I could see growing around me.
Do mommybloggers who run links for zero compensation have blogs with 150 comments and a solid readership? A web-business? A book? Several books? Maybe, but I doubt it. I suspect agencies or companies who target blogs like that don't expect to get much for free. Don't we get together at conferences and talk about building positive relationships with companies and agencies? How do you do that if you are a small blog if you only say no, no, no?
I wish if we were all going to do something, we would all recognize that blogging is not (nor was it probably ever) one big-mommyblogging-level-playing-field. I don't think it's fair or reasonable to expect a new blogger who may be really talented and looking for that one way in with a company or just a little more traffic to turn down anything.
Nor should anyone ask them to.
Tell me I'm wrong. I really want to understand this.