As with every position I’ve ever had in my career, expectations and responsibilities are pretty much the center of that universe. There are not only the expectations that my employer sets for me, but ones that I set for myself.
Because social media has evolved rapidly and includes a wide variety of mediums, companies are trying to stay up to date with the latest and greatest. Take for example the blogging revolution. Compare now to 10 years ago, even 5 years, and you will see that not only the number of people doing it has grown exponentially but the number of companies engaging bloggers to improve their client/customer outreach has grown. Companies are benefiting astronomically from blogging campaigns that go viral instantly. Blogging is the new black.
A few short years ago virtually any blogger could apply for a campaign with a brand and be accepted with open arms, given product to review as a form of compensation and they would move along…happy. Somewhere down the line a change occurred. There started to be a distinction between different types of bloggers and based on my experience, this is what I have found.
In one case you have what I have dubbed “the hobbyist”. This is typically the blogger that is potentially working (whether for a company or even as a SAHM) and that is where their priority is. They are anywhere from average to super computer savvy and use blogging as a form of outlet. Whether it’s for pleasure, release or something that fills a specific purpose, there is no particular thing that drives them to have to do it. They just do. It works for them and could be daily or entirely sporadic. When the mood strikes and time permits, it’s done. They don’t really care if they have thousands of readers but think it’s pretty great when people want to read.
Then you have “the opportunist”. This blogger started off as a hobbyist and it grew into something more. They have seen an opportunity (surprise right?) and wanted to capitalize on it. They don’t wait for companies to engage them, they engage the companies. They attend conferences, seminars and workshops to learn how to develop and grow themselves as a brand. They absorb as much as they can and love the idea that they can profit from this. Not necessarily just in a financial way, but in a social aspect too. At the end of the day it isn’t just about the compensation, it’s about growth. Growth as an individual (evolve), as a brand (build) and as a blogger (execute).
Last is “the careerist”. This is a blogger who evolved even further and grew this into something much bigger. This is a blogger who sees what he/she does and puts a price tag on it. They treat it like a business and work with deadlines. They want bigger and better compensation packages for what they do and they work it. They put in the extra time to fine tune the posts, use tools to optimize their work and will do it over and over again until it’s right. Some even do this with full time jobs! (NOTE: I have yet to meet one that hasn’t said “if I could quit my job and stay home to do this full time I would”.) Either way it isn’t the easiest job in the world but it is a job. They rely on the business to pay their bills and fill their needs. They thrive off their readership and not only know their analytics but work them, build them and do it pretty much daily. They are the blog.
With every classification comes a different type of compensation. Much like with every job role there are different wages, expectations and responsibilities associated with it. It works the same with blogging. Two people might have the exact same job, but I bet the person who puts the best effort forth and doesn’t expect something for nothing is the one that is making a little more or is promoted a hell of a lot sooner.
The value the brand places on a blog campaign won’t determine the success rate, choosing the best type of blogger will. Question I guess might be is the brand placing an unrealistic value on the campaign given what they are in turn compensating the bloggers with.
Hobbyist – happy with product in exchange for review
Opportunist – happy to do it if it fits with my brand but how about this as well?
Careerist – you want me? these are my terms, what say you?
Those are some questions for another day. And naturally others will disagree and say there are other blogger classifications, that I have it all wrong etc but I basically look at it as I’ve seen it over the years. I’m calling a kettle a kettle. We can agree to disagree on it okay?
Besides, this is MY blog.