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Bloggers Want CASH for Content, Not Products

bloggers want cash2013 marked the return of content. Juicy changes to search engine algorithms (particularly by Google) forced site owners to create great content (including images and video) to keep their sites ranked.

This has been great news for bloggers because we work hard at creating great content — and have for years. But these search engine changes, combined with disclosure requirements imposed by the FTC have also made it challenging for bloggers as well.

When we post about a product that we’re reviewing, we now have to follow a complex set of instructions; we have to be sure to make all of our links no follow so we don’t damage our rankings in Google, we have to be careful to include disclosures at both the top and the bottoms of our posts, and we also feel compelled to accommodate the requests from the company that has given us a product to review.

Is it any wonder that more and more bloggers are asking for cash for these posts instead of just receiving product?

A recent infographic in AdWeek highlighted this trend, calling it “social sponsorship.” Here are some interesting facts from the infographic (view in full here):

• 61% of advertisers use social sponsorship, up 5% in 2013

• the biggest growth is in photos and Pinterest pins

• 92% of influencers would like compensation

• 26% of influencers use social media the equivalent of a full time job

It’s also interesting to note that a large number of influencers and bloggers do NOT understand the FTC disclosure rules (hell, even I slipped up on the other day by posting a sponsored post without disclosure in a rush, thanks to holiday craziness, and I fully understand them) and in fact prefer compensation over disclosing said compensation (disclosure is required, folks!).

The increase in wanting cash for content is significant: In 2010, 69% of influencers preferred to receive products vs. compensation, and now only 25% of bloggers want product and 71% want compensation. Very interesting.

Do you prefer product or cash? What are hoping for in 2014 when it comes to content that is sponsored?

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