Dear Angry Blogger


Dear Angry Bloggers,

Consider this an open letter to any blogger who is unhappy with the way that they are being treated by brands and or PR agencies. I am a bit confused by your anger and I wonder if your outrage is real or manufactured.

We are going to operate based upon the assumption that none of us are being forced to blog. Of course in the age of reality television when someone like Kate Gosselin is famous it is entirely possible that I am wrong about this. It is possible that some man has a gun pointed at your head and is insisting that you blog about how proud you are that your son can now poop in the potty or why that one night in college is so memorable.

For most of us this is not the case and our time at the keyboard is entirely of our own choosing. And choice is the operative word here because we all have a choice as to whether we wish to work with PR agencies/brands. If we don’t like the terms that are being offered we can try to negotiate better terms or simply say no.

There is a lot of power in that word, no. Use it wisely and you’ll often find that you receive better terms but that is the topic for a different post. So let’s circle back here for a moment and talk for a moment about what is going on.

A business who wishes to use your blog for ads/sponsorship is doing so because they think that you will help reach prospective customers. This is all about the eyeballs. They want to be targeted and to reach as many of those eyeballs for as little as possible.

Your job as a content provider is to provide proof that you reach those eyeballs. If you can do that you have some leverage to work with. If you can’t prove it than you have to find a way to convince them to throw you a bone and then you have to hope that the campaign performs well enough for them to want to return.

But you face multiple challenges here. Many of you are playing a game where you do not know or understand the rules. You aren’t able to approach these prospective sponsors with the degree of professionalism that you really want to have. Learn their language, find out what sort of terms they use to talk shop and you earn some more credibility. That is not a guarantee that they will work with you either, but it helps.

It helps because you want to make a case for your blog to be included. It helps because you want them to be able to justify your inclusion to whomever it is they report to. Don’t be fooled, someone is looking at metrics here. Someone is spending time looking at the ROI of a campaign. Help them by making it easy for them to understand why you should be included.

But again, that is touching upon material for a separate post. What we are really focusing upon here is the nonsense that is being spewed by bloggers who feel like they are being mistreated. You will receive emails with multiple mistakes. Perhaps they misspelled your name or made it clear that they haven’t read your blog. That is silly and unprofessional on the part of the sender, but it doesn’t really require a 800 word post on how you are being mistreated.

Delete it and move on.

The reality is that you are operating in a crowded field with a low barrier to entry. If you don’t like how you are being treated get out or find a way to distinguish yourself from the crowd. It is not easy but it is not impossible either.

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  1. Dino Dogan April 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I need to go check if domain is available..excuse me 🙂

  2. andrea April 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    so what you’re trying to say, in 800 (i think) words or less, is to shutthefuck up with our whining?

    that is NOT fun.

    nor is it entertaining to the interwebz drama whores.

    because you cannot have the platform without the viewers. it’s like a really odd circle of life…

    …kind of like what came first, the chicken or the egg? but instead of “chicken” it’s “angry blogger”, and instead of “egg” it’s “attention seeking judgmental blogger”.

    personally, i vote chicken. because god loves fried meat.

  3. Alan April 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

    I have the enviable (?) life of being both a public relations person and a blogger.

    Bloggers have the right to rant about anything they want to. Public relations types have the right to not reach out to individual bloggers.

    Thank you, America.

    But I’m going to take my split personality out of it for a minute and say this: I find I lose a lot of interest in any content provider when they go off about a rant that just feels like spleen venting. For instance, I’m more interested in good journalism than hearing about all the pains of being a journalist.

    Same with blogging. When content starts to be way too much about all the work that goes into you being a blogger, rather than the good, entertaining stuff that made me want to check you out in the first place, then I think you’re hurting your online brand.

    • Jack April 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      Spleen venting is good term- I like that and am glad that my own spleen hasn’t burst or is need of venting.

      I don’t mind when people mix it up a little bit- I just get tired of the same old nonsense.

  4. Stan Faryna April 11, 2011 at 11:31 am

    If they misspelled my name, I’d suppose I’d graciously point out the missing 0s on the offer.

    “… and life regains purpose.”

    ROFL! Thank you, Erica.

  5. Erica M April 11, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I agree with Backpacking Dad. If it’s well written and entertaining, I’ll read an 800-word screed on how someone’s cat uses the bathtub as a litter box. It will remind me why I don’t have a cat, and life regains purpose.

  6. Backpacking Dad April 11, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I have no problem with someone writing an 800 word post about X, whatever X is: whether it’s a pet peeve one has with respect to pitches, or a pet peeve one has with respect to how other bloggers deal with their pet peeves about pitches.

    • Jack April 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      That is because you are a better man than I am. I am old, cranky, cantankerous and prone to outbursts about bad blogging. Besides I don’t think that all of these bloggers are really receiving pitches. Some are fabricating these tales of woe and sorrow.

      And those that aren’t, just say no.

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