Bloggers Want More: Paid vs Earned?

Earlier this year, I shared my insights on relationship-centric outreach. In all my work with influencer outreach, I’ve always stressed the importance of building a relationship and offering bloggers valuable content. It’s not about the hit; it’s about the relationship that may one day lead to a post.

As part of our rubric for implementing IO, we have to ask ourselves the scary question of WHY. Why does the blogger care? Why would the blogger take the time to write this? Recently, my brain has shifted to the “What’s in it for me?”As bloggers become inundated with 100 of pitch emails, we have to be even more respectful of their time and give them something worthwhile and truly relevant.

Today, eMarketer shared that 56.2% of influential publishers received direct monetization (through ads, sponsorships or affiliated programs), while 32.1% said they would like to. Although simply paying for placement is something that was slightly foreign to me from a PR perspective, we have to recognize and respect that this is a business. It takes time and it takes money to upkeep and run.

Another topic of conversation lately is how much a tweet or a blog post is worth. I’m not a big fan of this question simply because I’m not a fan of adding a dollar sign to everything I do or everyone I know. For me, that’s like saying “How much is your friendship with Sarah worth?” According to IZEA’s study,  influencers believe that a sponsored tweet is worth $124 while a blog post is worth $179. Same goes for the Fast Company article on TwitChange. So a tweet from Ryan Seacreast is worth $1,525, but what am I really getting out of that? What do I really want people to do, or say or know about? A number is just a number, until it’s an action. Until then, your worth isn’t measured by the friends you know, but what you can truly influence people to do.

Influencer outreach blurs the line between earned and paid media. What I’ve always believed, and will always believe, is that authenticity and relationship building needs to be at the foundation of any outreach, tactic or strategy. Through earned and paid opportunities, we can have a lasting impact.

What are your thoughts on paid and earned media when it comes to influencer outreach?

Posted on September 22, 2010, in Marketing, Public Relations, social media and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I appreciate your insight and passion about this issue. I will be sharing it with friends/colleagues.

    • Nice post, Laura. I actually think it’s easier engaging with the professional bloggers because they more closely resemble traditional media (and, as a result, they recognize the difference between earned and paid media and understand that the relationship with PR is mutually beneficial). It gets much more difficult when engaging with the non-professional bloggers and social media participants…when someone blogs or tweets out of interest, passion, etc., they take understandable offense at someone cold emailing them and asking for something. In this case, I think your points about relationship-based outreach are even more important.

      • Hi Paul! Thanks so much for reading! Completely agree with you that now that we have more seasoned bloggers, it is easier to reach out to them. Best practice is always to focus on relationship, regardless of the type of outreach or platform. Appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

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