The New York Times took a decidedly condescending tone towards Mommy Bloggers in their piece Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy With My Blog and Building My Brand.
I, for one, think we deserved it.
Is it because we’re Mommies, as many, many Mommy Bloggers have suggested? Is it because we’re women?
Could it be . . .
- We’re willing to work for free.
- We lower the fair market value of all content with our free giveaways and product reviews?
- We lower the fair market value of all advertising by charging measly rates for our sidebar advertising?
- We’re confusing useless swag with actual cash? Both we pay taxes on and only one can pay a mortgage.
- We’re behaving as if companies think we’re cool and popular when they contact us, instead of making them prove we’re economically valuable to their marketing strategy by paying us?
- We have no ideas about how to charge consumers of our product for our insights?
- We’ve lowered the fair market value of reporting and communicating to nearly zero with the behaviors above (writers – all of us – make less when everyone is willing to work for free)?
- We’re condescending to each other, letting those junior high mean girls surface at times (Hillary v. Sarah 2008)?
- Mommy Bloggers who undercharge and work for free make it harder for other Mommy Bloggers to charge for services. Show your sisters some respect. If we don’t value Mommy Blogger services – who will?
- Our prices are so low that, really, no one in their right minds (not even us) can respect it?
Mommy Bloggers remind me of those dudes in flannel shirts who stand at the freeway exit with a sign that reads “Will Work for Food.” Except our signs say, “Will Work for Baby Food Samples and Lip Gloss”
As it happens, during this so-called “tough economy” Fortune 500 companies tripled their profits to $391 billion in 2009. They also slashed their payrolls by more than 800,000 jobs, according to The Washington Independent and CNBC.com.
They made $391 billion and you scored a knock-off Barbie doll for your daughter’s 10th birthday and $15 for an entire month of advertising on your sidebar.
Come on, Mommy Bloggers – grow a self-esteem.
The Girl Revolution’s only aim is to challenge the perceptions of femininity, to shift the perception of the value of girls and women. Upward.
These are old, out-dated, perceptions of the value of our labor that we’re falling in to.
What kind of example is this setting for the next generation of our girls, for their mothers to work for free? Do you want your daughter to believe her labor, talents, time, energy, perception, intuition, and brilliance – yes, brilliance – are worth nothing? Worthless?
We have to demand a great deal more respect, in the form of money, from those who see the opportunity and potential in our newfound freedom of speech, our newfound voice, and our newfound marketing value.
Think of The Black Eyed Peas next time someone asks you to work for free:
If you ain’t got no money, take your broke ass home!
Put this button on your blog as a message to corporate America. Then hit reply with an email about your FEES and RATES the next time someone asks you to do a giveaway or review for their product. Come back tomorrow to see my letter of rates. Yes, I’m publishing it on the Internet.
Also check out 10 Reasons Mommy Bloggers are Broke.