Thoughts on the Upcoming Performancing Exchange

Here are a few points regarding Performancing Exchange that I’ve been thinking about since morning – hopefully this will foster some debate on what the Exchange can / should do and on the future of “blogging for hire” as well.

Expectations will have to change

Blogging does not pay as well as mainstream media traditionally does – and as a result both sides have to accept that a compromise has to be made.

Bloggers need to realise that we are still at a stage where blogging is new and definitely not considered as profitable or valuable as traditional journalism. That will change, but only with time. Till then we’re going to be paid less (most of the time) and will have to deal with it. That’s why it’s important to know how to leverage your blogging gig to help you land a better job and to negotiate for perks within your blogging that may not cost much to the employer but could help you in your career.

For employers and publishers – well, they need to get that personal connections bloggers can form between themselves and their readers are key to the future of marketing. The value may not be immediately tangible in revenue dollars, but the long-term impact of hiring bloggers will be invariably positive and more effective than traditional advertising.

Profile pages will become very important

Right now Exchange is at a very basic stage. We haven’t incorporated the ability for publishers to search for bloggers that are ‘for hire’. Once that happens, your profile page will suddenly be your first and possibly only chance to make a positive impression on potential employers. It makes sense to provide as much relevant information in your ‘professional details’ section as you can. Here’s a basic formula that I use:

  • tell them who you are.
  • tell them what you are good at (your key areas of expertise backed up with specific facts and results acheived).
  • tell them what you’ve done (what your experience is, link to work samples if relevant).

If you haven’t posted on your Performancing blog, consider making a few posts relevant to your blogging experiences to help people get a quick idea of your writing ability and style.

Everyone should hire a blogger

Perhaps I should qualify that statement as: “Everyone who wants to expand their online business should hire a blogger”.

If you run a blog where you post daily (or a few times a week), you need to realise that unless you free yourself up from the daily grind of blogging, you’ll never be able to properly focus on growing your business. To give a personal example, my football blog is now 5 months old, and to date I’ve brought in 4-5 contributing authors to help me write. I’m still doing the bulk of the writing, but in a couple of months I’m hoping to cut back and let other writers get a bigger share. It will give me more time to promote the site, as well as allow me to work on other projects.

Performancing Exchange is not just about bloggers – it’s about services in general (copywriting, web design, programming, graphic design, etc). However I sincerely hope that the Exchange can become a focal point for promoting blogging as well as helping bloggers (like myself) get paid work.

Blogging is not always about money

Some bloggers are not in it for the money – if the money is coming in from elsewhere (from other online properties, perhaps), blogging then becomes a way to connect with people in your field and to be heard. My reason for pursuing a blogging gig is primarily based on my desire to have my views on particular subjects heard – in other words, it’s more about having a platform from which you can talk to and converse with a much larger audience than you could on your own (not to mention that blogging for an organisation or media outlet automatically gives you more credibility than having an individual blog – for most people).

It’s different for each blogger, and that’s why it is important for publishers to have a central point of research where they can find bloggers who are suited to their needs. The best bloggers will invariably be highly paid, but you can find some very good bloggers who would write for next to nothing as long as they are writing about something they love.

And at the end, isn’t that what blogging is all about?

7 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Upcoming Performancing Exchange

  1. I’m swamped with projects and falling further behind every time I go fishing, but I’ll see if I can’t throw together an “Elements of a successful corporate pitch” post…

    Can’t wait to see Brian’s post.

  2. Absolutely.

    This is all hard advice for people to swallow, I know. But it’s the key to a successful service business that doesn’t run you into the ground.

    And you end up making *more* money, not less.

    Ahmed, yeah… I’ll do a post. I owe Nick a few anyway.

  3. Completely agree, and I actually think after choosing clients the most valuable lesson I ever learned was *when to sack a client*.

  4. Brian and TCWriter – any of you interested in doing a ‘how-to’ on ‘choosing clients’?

  5. Wise advice, Brian. In fact, it sparked an idea for a post on what to charge for bizblogging.

  6. TCWRiter nailed it.

    One, don’t beg for clients — choose them.

    Two, never de-value your writing. Charge double what you think you should. If that works, charge even more.

    The worse thing people who know how to write do to themselves is undercharge.

    Just because it’s what you love to do doesn’t make it less valubale. In fact, that makes it more valuable.

    Understand that, and you’re ready for number three.

    Three, hold out for equity.

  7. Blogging is new, and most blogging gigs offer startlingly little return for the effort. You can accept it – and hope for more down the road – or you can take matters (and your future earning potential) into your own hands.

    Pitch blogs to companies that need them.

    The technology’s not hard. There’s little competition. And it’s your chance to rise above the rank of word jockey, becoming instead a strategic contributor to an organization’s marketing success.

    Needless to say, the money’s a lot better when you sell and run the whole project – even though it’s only an incremental amount of extra work.

    Here’s the kicker: you pitch the companies you want to write for.

    I’m in the process of pitching companies in markets that interest me – even cherry picking those organizations that interest me most.

    In addition to making much better money, you’re writing about the things you’d probably write about for free.

    So don’t wait for the phone to ring. Research the infrastructure, create your own online “online blog agency,” cherry pick a list of companies you want to write for, and start pitching your own blog projects.

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