How Much Do Bloggers Get Paid? Why Do You Need to Know? … Coz You Wanna Quit Your Job?
Here’s a quick answer. How much do you get paid at the work you do as an editor/doctor/teacher/ saleslady/office worker? How do you feel me asking you that? Awkward right. Put yourself in our shoes and ask me again. How much do I make as a blogger? Odd right?
You say, you ask out of curiosity because maybe you wanna quit your job and do what I do, a full time blogger.
I always get this question on my private message. “Earth, I am planning to quit my job to be a full time blogger, what do you think, is it worth it. Can I make it? How do you do it?”
What it takes to be a full time blogger?
If you’re planning to quit your job because you want to be a full time blogger. A blogger who gets to attend to VIP events and get first dibs on new items. Meet your favorite celebrity and rub elbows with them. I am now telling you don’t. It may sound fancy and flashy what all these bloggers you follow do that makes you want to follow suit. But really there’s more work behind it than you know.
Opening a blog is easy. There’s free hosting site you can start a blog without paying a cent like Blogspot , WordPress or Tumblr. Keeeping a self-hosted, self-named blog (where you don’t have to type www.earthlingorgeous.blogspot.com or www.earthlingorgeous.wordpress.com but simply earthlingorgeous.com) is not easy. The cheapest you can pay is $5 a month to keep your blog running plus a $10 yearly payment to keep your blog name (earthlingorgeous.com). I personally pay $40 (Php2,000) a month to keep the blog running as a self-hosted site.
Then there’s other expenses you need to maintain your blog like your monthly internet service provider bill (around Php2,000 a month) , your data plan to stay online while mobile (I use the unlimited data for 3 days for Php50 x 4 =Php1,200) . Then the good camera you need to take good photos although a smartphone with good camera specs also works (I’ve always used phone cam so no biggy as long as they take good photos you are good to go) A good startup phone cam with great camera is about Php20,000 a start up DSLR is about Php30,000) . Then your personal allowance to commute to and from the event you are attending/covering for your blog (Hey, you are your own boss so you pay for all the expenses you incur and you don’t get paid a regular amount bi-weekly like a regular tri-media employee).
Keeping your blog identity
Starting a blog is easy. Maintaining and keeping it updated every day is not. Putting on content is easy, but putting on quality content that doesn’t look like echoes of other blogs or a press release billboard site is another. Keeping a blog identity, not even a brand of your own but your own voice is not easy. When you work full time as a blogger your means to get income flowing is accepting paid post/ sponsored post opportunity or advertorials (as print publication calls it). When you are commissioned to write or post a sponsored post , some client wants to see what you write first before you post it and end up editing to the max that you have lost your voice along the way. It is one of the risk being a “commercial blogger”who wants to earn steadily, losing your identity. Not unless you are a real celebrity (not a self-made one) who started a blog (that’s the trend lately actors,models are blogging now or well have their own domain and social media presence ). However, there are clients or agents who fights for your blogger voice and tell their client to let the blogger write on her will with very minimal editing. I am blessed with those kind of clients. They kept me going.
How to get clients?
This is the tricky part. When I started 10 years ago, I never knew I would be able to make money out of blogging. I started blogging because I need to quit my job so I can focus on attending to the needs of my daughter with autism. As a single parent this is four times harder because you don’t have a partner to be your financial anchor. Thankfully I have an elder sister . She is like a father to my daughter to the family as she has always been a great provider. My stint as a full time blogger doesn’t always give me a have a fixed monthly income. There are times I get paid a lot. Sometimes I just enough to get me through the entire month and there were times I don’t have anything at all. You need a good support system financially, physically and emotionally for this , especially from your family you live with. This is also the reason I learned and practiced a system that makes my clients sign up for a minimum of 3 months to work with me so I don’t get zero income at certain months.
Make the clients come to you. To get clients you can work with you have to show that you are worth their time. Brands are always attracted to figures. So make sure you have a good blog standing and readership to show potential clients your blog statistics and ranking. Here’s an example on how to make your RATE Card/Media Kit By Mommy Pehpot. Don’t make fake numbers as it can be easily double checked through a third party website comparison tool. (Don’t claim 18 million when you only have 18 readers a month. Geeez, where you get that figure girl? is this a collated stats from of all the blog you are following?) Be real. Even if you have 18 million or 18 if you can show your value as a blogger then you can still get clients.
Find your clients. As a blogger you do all the work solo. You are the writer, photographer, editor, lay-out artist, graphic designer and even advertising executive. Make your own media kit and proposal letter and send it to potential clients or brands you want to work with. Don’t just send it to any brand you want but make sure your blog can offer value to them and that it will be a win-win situation for both of you.
Don’t fall into the trap of a one-way “partnership” or “collaboration” unless you are okay working for a free item/items. I always say, work is work and any kind of “work” needs to be paid.
Ways to earn from blogging
Aside from getting sponsored post, you can also get paid via guest posting, link in ads, and banner ads from international clients. This is what sustains me. I get Direct Advertisers (DAs) who ask to pay for their articles to be published on my site or for me to write about their site or they write in the tone I use in my blog. This is guest posting. Some DA also pay to have their links inserted on an existing post that is relevant or related to their site or services. Some ask to get their ad banners posted on the sidebar (left or right boxes of the blog) or below the headline or at the end of an article. This is the same reason my blog has a site wide disclosure tab to tell everyone that I accept paid posting. Off-shore clients especially from U.S. and UK require this disclosure if you don’t like posting this is a sponsored post before or after every paid content. They are stricter in the USA though as they require US bloggers to always put the details if it is paid or ex-deal content. Ex-deal meaning you get the product for free from the brand in exchange of blogging about it. In the UK sitewide disclosure is OK. In the Philippines, a lot of brands don’t want to reveal if they have paid for the content they say they want it to look organically (like the blogger or the celebrity paid it from her own money). But readers are intelligent these days they can tell.
You can also join the CPC, CPN networks who pays per click to an ad or pays per thousand views like Google Adsense, Facebook Network or Instant Articles and those other annoying sites with pop-up ads that makes you want to leave the site right away (oops and yikes that’s the risk of having too many ads on your site.)
Are bloggers paid to attend events?
Yes and no. Stylebible got this to a T. Some bloggers do get paid to attend events and this is what we call appearance fee. Some are regular guests/ warm bodies who only gets the lootbag or the token. It is not for the blogger to say to the brand to “pay me and I will go”. Usually it is the brand or the agent who will make it clear that you will be paid for attending . It will be said right away on the invitation letter/email. If it is not stated then you will be there as a normal guest/ warm bodies . Bloggers who have obtained celebrity status (like those who get ambassadorships to big brands) can and do ask for appearance fee or Talent fee if not indicated. It is for the brand decide if they will pay you or they can go away without you or you can go without them paying you and just get the regular perks.
Attending events is always an option but never the end goal of blogging and being a blogger. It was a sad thing to learn when some PRs would say “buti nga iniinvite ka pa namin eh,”. Or say to those who are not paid or given anything of value to the blogger who made an effort to attend “we are giving you content.” Reality check PRs and Brands, bloggers can always make their own content even without you supporting them. After all blogs started and in essence a personal online log/diary where a blogger or site owner can write any piece of story he/she wants, personal, branded, or even fake news! Be fair. Like what I mentioned above, bloggers pays for their own expenses to maintain their own blogs and you get the extra boost in media mileage your brand or client needs.
It is also in general optional for a blogger to write or not about the event he/she attended especially if not paid to do so. It’s just that bloggers are nice enough to post about your events on their blogs because they enjoyed the one-of-a-kind experience. Otherwise, some blogger don’t post about it on their blogs (just on their social media Instagram, Instagram Stories , Facebook and Twitter). They don’t post because sometimes it’s not relevant to their niche or they were “forced” to attend because the “friendship card” was used or because the blogger didn’t get a good feel /experience of the event that he/she opted not to write anything about it so as not to sound like a rant and ungrateful blogger.
Now the juicy part.
The Tupperware issue a.k.a. taking home food from events
There was a high-end event at a high-end restaurant where a representative of a group blog took home food at the event with a plastic container she brought with her (ergo an intention to bring home food from event was there). The event was a cocktail event not even a buffet! The PR from the event was flabbergasted at the behavior and told everyone who attended the event that this blogger will be blocked from all of their events from hereon.
Is taking out food from an event OK? Yes if the PR says you could and the event has ended and no more visitors coming in and there’s still abundance of food . No if you were not told to do so or the event is still on-going . Some PR are OK with giving the extra food to the bloggers if they want to so they ask you but you don’t take it at your own will without having told to do so. OK?
Getting Extra Lootbags/Tokens/Giveaways
RSVP to events is essential so the PRs , Brands and event organizer can get an estimate of how much giveaway/lootbags/tokens to prepare. One person one lootbag. It is not how many blogs you own or write for. However, some PRs tolerate giving extra to some bloggers and that is their prerogative. You can ask for extra if they say no then don’t harass the PR geeez have the decency are you there for the lootbags only? The problem with givng extra to some attendee is that some leave without it so they feel neglected or discriminated. While some promise to s Do end it to their addresses some fail to most of the time.
PR kits sent at home / Blogger Mail
PRs and brands found a way to make bloggers write about them for free by sending them press kits at their home. I think this is a win-win for both brand and bloggers as it cost less and hassle-free than to hand it down at big launch events. Cost efficient as you only pay for shipping and handling. Tricky part is you’ll never know if what you send gets publish or if you want to post about the item in your blog. It depends on the experience and the packaging. If the packaging is Instagrammable, expect a social media post. If the experience was positive expect a blog post.
How to get PR kits from brands?
If you are on their mailing list then you might get them regularly. Some brands/ PR also ask for your shipping address so they can send you out products. If you like the product you can give your address if not you can say no. Nobody gets paid from unboxing blogger mail unless it is part of your contract with a brand or PR. There is always a written contract for paid gigs. A free item does not equal to payment unless you agree on an ex-deal as payment.
Some bloggers want to feel extra special or elite. So, when a blogger they don’t like comes to an event they’re attending they somehow get offended and label the person as gatecrasher. IMO, it’s just the PR or the brand people who knows who they invited or not. Whether they confirm the blogger is or not invited is up to them. There are PRs who are very vocal to the attendees if they are not invited or they did not confirm to attend the event so they don’t get the giveaway or token as promised, sure they can join the event , eat and participate in the activities, the PRs will tolerate saying “the more the merrier”. They have enough food to supply if it is a buffet. But if it is a closed activity an extra person is a burden, even plus ones of invited guest can be a hassle to even organizers and PRs. Calling out someone as gatecrasher is up to you, being a gatecrasher is also up to you. How thick skinned can you get is up to you. If you as a blogger get affected by the presence of that gatecrasher leave or if does not affect how your life will be or experience at the event will be , then stay.
Also, those bloggers getting affected on the social media present bloggers pretending to be invited on events they are at but not really by commenting on social media posts of their invited friends. Why get so affected , did the blogger came ? Did that blogger gatecrashed ? Did that blogger take out food or got giveaways or lootbags? No. So, what are you ranting about? Are you that greedy or needy to be exclusively yours event? Don’t you like engagements on your social media posts? Isn’t that additional mileage to you and the event/brand/PR? Why are you affected if this blogger gets or is calling for attention from the brand or PR? Do you really think he/she is a lesser person than you? Is he/she spending your money? Are you losing money or anything with his/her presence? If so block that person from your feed and you are freed from whatever irritable feelings or negative feelings you have towards them. Successful people are not greedy.
PR’s sending post events or Press Releases
While bloggers appreciate that you include them on your mailing list, some press release request to be published on their blogs not related to their niche is kinda off. Bloggers will write voluntarily about your brand if they have experienced it. Do you like to read billboard or announcement blogs? No? Well that’s what you are turning the blogs and bloggers you love into by sending too many press releases for publishing using the “pasuyo” “friendship card” (only in the Philippines). If this is from a USA or UK or Australia, even Russia, or India, this will fall on the category of sponsored post/guest post that are paid and advertorials in print publication. Read my explanation above on how bloggers make money and expenses they incur to do so.
Events , earning, and fame is not the reason to blogging
To me events is just part of my socialization and networking. Being a full-time blogger, the online community is my virtual office and all the people I encounter through it is my virtual office mates. It is a great feeling to meet people you talk to online in person and to have social interaction other than having exchanges through chat box and social media statuses. Attending events is just an icing to my blogger cake, the essence is still my content and the value I can give to my readers.
Earning from blogging was a bonus I learned just a year after starting a public blog. I have been publicly blogging for 10 years although I have been writing journals online way back in 1997 when there was Geocities or Tripod and dial-up was our means to connect to the internet. I have been writing / I am a former journalist more than 20 years ago. Writing is a passion I cannot leave as it is the only thing making me sane . Earning is a bonus and a nice reward for doing what you love. Just like fame, it is just a bonus, we didn’t expect it but it happened. But that’s not what we are here for, what I am here for as a blogger..
Sometimes I feel it was us first gen bloggers (blogging since 2007 when brands and PRs in the Philippines started inviting bloggers for their event ) fault that the newbie bloggers or those wanting to be bloggers think we bloggers live a pampered life “pa-famous”. We made being a blogger so cool that being a blogger gives you the VIP pass for everything and everywhere. I think because we wrote through experience and how we felt being in those events or having those items we wanted on hand we failed to say sometimes if we were paid to be there or if we bought the item ourselves or bought the ticket from our own money. We wrote from our feelings and experience not how we acquired it. We forgot you need to know how we acquired it so we could set your expectations. There is no such thing as free lunch. To get something you need to give something in return. That is life.
How much are bloggers get paid to blog? Rate can go as low as Php500 to Php100,000 or more depending on the blogger and if the blogger has a talent manager or an agent which is celebrity levels already. Bloggers pay taxes and get pay cuts as well. Sometimes they are also commissioned not just to blog but actually be a brand ambassador , usually pay rate is inclusive of blog post.
Now with all I said do you think the amount of How Much Do Bloggers Earn vs How Much Bloggers Shell Out To Maintain a Blog is worthy enough then by all means be a full-time blogger and enjoy the ride. Meanwhile, if you have a full time job I suggest don’t quit it without compelling reason and steady stream of income to sustain your lifestyle and pay your bills #adulting. Make blogging as a sideline.
Do you have anything more to add? Please leave your comments below.
Stay gorgeous everyone!
P.S. don’t ask me about YouTubers and Instagrammers they are in a different universe.