19.1.18

So what is exposure and how are social influencers selling it?

Bloggers Vs Brands superimposed over a chess boardAfter some online fuss about  'social influencers asking for free stuff' I thought I'd try and clarify things a tiny bit. Bloggers, Youtubers and Instagrammers are all sometimes referred to as Social Influencers. The clue in the name is that via their online following they influence things. I see it when my teen has to buy a new coat because someone she watches and follows online has one.

I'm a blogger (d'uh) and if you are a blogger, Youtuber etc,  you'll know the answer to the question in the title of this post and the furore around 'working for free'. The phrase 'it's great exposure' will be a common term that you'll be extremely used to.

If you are not a blogger you might be thinking that bloggers are lucky, as they get 'free stuff' and also 'get to go places for free'.

Here is the news.


Bloggers run blogs, like this very one you are reading. There are costs associated with that (I know! who'd have thought it!) from the price and rent of the URL (the blog address on the net) to the server space if you are self hosted, the price of the photos and fonts and images you buy to use, or lighting and cameras if you take your own. And of course there is the blogger's time.

Some bloggers advertise things on their blog. They might be reviews, or a picture with a link in the side bar, a link in an article or a blatantly positive post about a product.

So bloggers are not selling exposure, they are selling advertising space, just like a magazine or a TV station does, except it's online. Yes it's exposing brands to the world, but it's an advert. And adverts cost money.

The brands that are looking to advertise can vary. They may be small brands that need to get people to see their product. If no one has heard of your cakes why would they buy them? You need to advertise, to get the word out. A brand can choose a blog with readers that like cake, a targeted advert like that can be really useful. And if several blogs mention the brand at the same time it can get even more people talking and tweeting and sharing on FaceBook. A meal or a box of biscuits, a cake or a bicycle are incentives to blog, or a thing to review and keep...if we look at the product as money it might make you see things differently. If i say "Wow you are lucky! Your boss gives you free money every month!" You'd be quick to explain it's not free money, you work for it.

When people advertise, they pay. Just as a magazine charges for running an advert or your newsagent charges to pop a postcard in the window for a week. When people receive product money for doing some work they are being paid. Bloggers are working and advertising, brands are paying for the work and the adverts. As someone once said "Exchange is no robbery"

Of course initially blogs need exposure too, if no one is reading you...how can you sell yourself as a good advertising platform? New blogs might choose to advertise big brands for little items or even for free until they build up a following...writing interesting articles will gather readers and only then can you show them the occasional advert.

The main thing to remember about blogging and brands and their relationship is that it should be symbiotic. It should be a win win situation. Both sides should be happy with what they are getting. And they should both ask, and agree or decline, politely. Haggling over price or product quantity or the amount of exposure advertising is fine as ling as it's polite.

"I'm sorry but your product is just not really aimed at the readers I have, so I cannot promote it at this time"
"No we do not currently have advertising budget to promote our product on blogs, we'll let you know if that changes"

My blog doesn't earn me a living so I can afford to review small items that I like, I can afford to work 'for exposure', but I don't have to. And I don't have to take on long blog posts and boring work for nothing.

If a brand wants to advertise they need to look at what they are getting. Giving a meal in exchange for a tweet or a blog post could be great value. But a blogger that uses their blog for their living and who needs to earn actual money cannot afford to offer advertising space for nothing, any more than a magazine can. A brand should be prepared to pay, just as they would pay for an advert in a local paper (though a blog is better value - it doesn't get used to line the budgie cage at the end of the week)

A blogger offering to post about a product needs to think about how much advertising they are realistically offering, be clear, be polite and be prepared to be turned down. If a blogger has a low following and a low domain score (non bloggers don't need to care what this means) they should price themselves accordingly. And we need to know our audience, and be realistic wbout our blog's worth too!


TL:DR

To sum up, blogs need exposure at first to become a known blog and get a wide reader base. Brands always need exposure to sell product (either on their own sites/magazines or via others). Once a blog is well known it is selling exposure advertising, so most bloggers don't want to be paid in more exposure. Brands are buying advertising so they should pay for it (in cash or kind as agreed). Bloggers don't get 'free stuff' they work for it.

Lucy has written about this too over at The Parent Game in a post called 'Blogging Vs Blagging'


11.1.18

New Year and some New Ideas

A new year makes a lot of people take stock of their life, they look at changing things and starting new things that they hope will improve their lot. I'm no different! and so far this year I've been doing the following things...I'm sharing them here so that I can remember and so that you might get a few ideas too - and of course, as always, do add any comments or ideas I've missed.
picture of money with text over suggesting new years savings

I have not joined a gym. Or pledged to run a marathon, or given myself a target of walking more. However, Fizz says I should remember that even when it's raining she likes to take, at the very least, a stroll around the block.

What have I done? 

Online stuff.

Well first I did a quick email tidy up. I looked at all of the emails waiting to be read and shuddered! I use Gmail and have set up lots of rules and filters to sort my mail but there is still a lot of it. So i looked first at the business emails I receive. Lots of companies sign you up for 'information about our offers' type emails when you buy from them or when you open an online account, so the first thing I did was to unsubscribe from all of those.
Then I looked at my filters and checked they were all still relevant, I deleted a few that had been set up for specific events that had now passed, and created a few new ones for 2018. With my inbox tidied, I moved on to Twitter and checked which apps and companies have access to my twitter, lots are necessary of course, the apps I use on my iPad and the news sites that allow sharing, Klout and a few others, but I deleted any I hadn't used in a while and then deleted all those I didn't recognise.
Having long been a fan of not listening/looking at nasty things I also checked I was still signed up to BlockTogether and that they still had the access they needed (by signing up there I have over 51000 people blocked on twitter - most are on the 'nazi' list - (message me on twitter if you'd like to know more) Twitter is a much nicer place since I started using BlockTogether.
I also checked that all the sites that could have 2 factor authorisation (2FA) set up, did have. security of online life has become as important as keeping your home safe, with more identity theft and online fraud, so if a site offers extra protection, I take it! I also renewed my yearly subscription to LastPass password manager. I have over 50 different passwords and using a password manager I can be sure they are all different, long, complicated and hard to crack!

Next I looked at some money saving;

not least because I need to find the money to connect to the Playstation 4 network so that I can go (virtual) fishing with my brother at the weekends. The PS4 network carries an annual charge of £49.99 so that was my target.
It was remarkably easy to hit because it seems that I've gradually (lazily) been hemorrhaging money!
First I bought some coffee bags so that I can make my own coffee at work. I have to have real coffee and a cafetiere is just too much mess but using coffee bags instead of a £1.70 a day coffee from the canteen I can save £5.50 a week!
Also by buying ready meals instead of using the canteen I can still have a hot meal (microwaved) but save £2 a day, so there's another £10 a week.
Much as I love Audible and audiobooks my £7.99 a month habit is pricey, so as a trial I've cancelled that. I intend to relisten to the 40 or so books I have bought from them over the years and then to look at using the library's free audiobook service. So there is a huge £96 a year saving too!
With just those few changes I have saved an amazing £822 a year! more than enough for my PS4 bill.

What have you been up to? Any savings this year or changes to your life that don't include exercise or diet (those are so old hat now surely? haha)

image of savings ideas listed

17.12.17

DD is 18 and I'm not sure if I'm still 'mummy'

This month DD turned 18. She's an adult. While she still has a few months of sixth form college left, she can drive, and she can buy booze (though she is teetotal) and she can get married and vote.


For the last 18 years I've been 'Tattooed Mummy' (well only tattooed for the last 12 years but still...) and now I wonder, when you have grown up children are you still mummy? I think I've moved into 'mum' territory, and it feels like a big change - I refuse to let DD call me by actual name though!

I'm so proud that DD has turned out to be a (mostly) lovely teen. Caring and polite (untidy and lackadaisical), helpful (when asked) and reliable; but now I'm more mum than mummy, fewer cuddles, less being asked to 'kiss it better' if she falls, more asking what time she'll be home.

I think my role now has moved into the advice section, no longer am I the all-knowing one, but I still have my uses, explaining how tax works, telling her the best places to get petrol, and suggesting ways to crisp up her roast potatoes, so not totally useless quite yet.


DD didn't want a big party for her 18th. Saying she didn't want to drink and most of her friends are underage anyway, so that in the end it was a quiet family affair.

I sort of miss throwing toddler parties if I'm honest. (Parents of toddlers reading this in amazed horror - no really I do!) Toddler parties can be themed and have simple games, young children love to play pass the parcel, enjoy jelly and will eat egg sandwiches without fuss. Teens demand specifics, some want alcohol and a houseful of other random drunk teens.

So when I was asked recently by Party Bags and Supplies if I would like to review a themed party set I was disappointed that I couldn't leap at the chance, I toyed with the idea of having a Star Wars themed party for Mr TM (who is about to turn 71!) but he's not really a party animal either (must be where DD gets it from).

If DD was turning 8 instead of 18 I could plan a party around pets or Mario Karts or Super Hero Girls. I could choose Minions or Hello Kitty, Jurassic World dinosaurs or mad scientist (actually mad scientist is so cool I might get this for MY birthday next year - we could make cocktails in test tubes...) or maybe I'm more My Little Pony...

Party Bags and Supplies really is a cool site that helps you sort a party out all in one place. Plates, table cloths, cups, napkins, party bags and gifts, all sorted at reasonable prices. The even have those fun cardboard cutouts for maximum selfie fun!

You can win an 8 place setting themed party pack of your own, valued at £28 in this easy to enter giveaway. The winner can choose any set from this page. And the prize includes 8 place settings and 8 filled party bags. (Previous winners of prizes from Party Bags and Supplies are not eligible, and the competition is open to UK entries only. Closes 29th December 2017)



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