Commercial Blogging

Rory Cellan-Jones asks why British bloggers don’t make money in the same way that the Americans appear to. Well, within the article – or, more precisely, the people interviewed – there are some telling points. This, for example:

US blog networks also seem more ruthless about their cost-base. Shiny Media has some rather shiny offices in Covent Garden where its bloggers can chew over ideas, Gawker Media lets its people do it from home – and only pays them according to the traffic they generate. And when Arianna Huffington visited the BBC recently, she seemed taken aback when I asked her what she paid her bloggers, indicating that the joy of blogging was sufficient reward.

This seems to be the same business model that Pluck uses for it’s Blogburst “service”. In essence, they take bloggers’ work for free and sell it on. Nice work if you can get it. I was approached by Pluck a year or so ago and treated their entreaty to become involved with the contempt it deserved. I would say the same to Ms Huffington as I commented about Pluck then; if you want my work and want to make money from it, then you can damn well pay me a commercial rate for it. Yes, I write this for free; there is no advertising and no attempt to make any money. But, and it’s a big “but”, if my work is to be used for commercial gain, then commercial rates apply. No exceptions. I am not so naive as to be flattered by the spectre of increased traffic generated by exposure on large commercial sites. You want this more than me. Therefore I repeat; if you think that my work is commercially viable and you have identified a market for it, then you can pay me appropriately. I won’t give it to you so that you can sell it on.

Maybe British bloggers are less inclined to play along? Maybe American ones are more inclined to fall for the flattery?

Ultimately, who cares? Money is not my motivation. I do, however, get a little irritated by those who think they can make money off the back of it and invade my inbox with their exhortations for me to sign up, put buttons on my sidebar or whatever so that they can make a buck. Yes,, Pluck et al, I’m looking at you.