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Forbes Asks: Do Bloggers Really Make Money?

Forbes asks today in an article by Larissa Faw, “Is Blogging Really A Way For Women To Earn A Living?” If you ignore the mildly contemptuous “is that really a way to make a living?” question, it’s a good point. However, it would be much better if the article didn’t start like this: “In between folding laundry and cleaning up after her children…

Apparently, Ms. Faw has bought into the women-who-blog stereotype (hey, at least she didn’t say “mommy blogger”). SOME of us do blog between laundry loads. But many of us don’t. Many of us work outside the home, some of us spend 12 hours a day or more doing our social media work without touching a load of laundry, and some of us are lucky beotches who have husbands that do the laundry (yes, really, mine does).

Mostly, however, the article bemoans the fact that no one really knows what about 60% of bloggers earn from blogging. Which begs the question, once again: Why is blogging so different from other jobs that we’re required to be public about what we earn?

Bloggers must legally tell their readers that they received a free toaster in exchange for a product review, per FTC government regulations, but they don’t have to disclose how much they charge for the banner ad, or how many views they need in order to attract that banner advertiser. As a result, women bloggers zealously guard this information from readers and other bloggers.

I’m curious; does Forbes publicly share on their site what they charge for a banner ad? Sure, you could probably lay hands on a rate sheet as you could for most bloggers, by the way but what’s on the sheet and what actually is charged for the ad can be pretty different. So if Forbes doesn’t feel compelled to share with us what they charge, why the hell is a mom blogger supposed to tell Forbes?

We’re not “zealously guarding this information” as much as we’re behaving like a BUSINESS.

The article also makes some pretty wild claims that I find astonishing.

Although many argue that free merchandise shouldn’t be counted as revenue, notwithstanding the FTC’s stance, the majority of women bloggers receive at least $250 in free products each month.

Wow. I so want in on that. So do most of the bloggers I know. I think so far this year I was given a bra.

Yeah.

Luckily, Elisa Camahort-Page of BlogHer makes it clear at the end of the article.

“Blogging is no different from any other industry, in that the largest sums are earned by a relatively small number. That being said, during these tough economic times, the ability for so many women to earn income and contribute significantly to their household’s income cannot be dismissed. Whether they’re using the money earned to pay rent or simply engage in a little discretionary spending, that economic contribution is critical to them, and part of what will drive a general economic recovery too,” says Camahort Page.

What do you think of the article? Read the whole thing and comment here. Please.

 

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