By now, I’m sure that a few of you have read my blog entitled Bloggers, Know Your Worth where I talk about the importance of knowing the value of your time and energy. Well, here’s another “gem” for you. Whether you choose to use it or not, it’s still worth spreading and I’d feel less than helpful if I didn’t share.
About a month or so ago, I was contacted by a clothing company who wanted to place an ad on my MissJia.com. For anonymity’s sake, we’ll call the person who contacted me Lala. Lala hits me up and asks for my price list for the 728×90 and the 300×250 (right sidebar) ad blocks on my website. Both of the locations are considered “premium” spots since they’re the first things one would see when they log on to the site.
The price list was forwarded to her and she basically asked if she could secure the 300×250 ad block for $______ for a period of three months total. She was advised that the ad spot would be available for that rate BUT it would be placed below the current 300×250 ad block…so it’d still get the same visibility but it would not be the first thing that readers see once they log onto the blog.
An email was sent back saying that the only thing the company would need to do would be to send over a contract that (partially) read as follows:
Payment Type: __X___Cash (via Paypal)
50% at beginning of contract: $______
50% at the end of project: $__________
Miss Jia will provide _________________ three months of banner placement on the right sidebar of its Homepage. Blogger agrees not to disclose terms of contract with any outside parties. _________________ will provide the banner, and any other information needed.
I had to re-read this “contract” to make sure that I was seeing things correctly. But to sum it up for those who don’t get it…..
The company basically wanted me to place this big ad on my website and in turn, they would provide me with 50% of the agreed upon payment amount up front and then the other half once the ad expired.
…………………. <—– please note the shade dots
This is akin to going to a shoe store, paying 50% of the cost for a pair of shoes, wearing ‘em up to be damned for three full months and then coming back to pay the other half once you’ve decided that you’re done.
The ONLY time “post” payment is acceptable (for ME anyway) is when it’s done through an ad agency that I’ve already developed a positive, trustworthy relationship with OR it’s through a MAJOR movie company or record label who would actually have something to lose should they choose NOT to pay the piper. But you’re some ho-hum clothing boutique who’s trying to get things kicked off and you think it’s acceptable to tell someone how you’re going to handle payment after services have been rendered? Try that with a Marie Claire or Seventeen magazine.
And sure, MissJia.com may not be as big as the aforementioned, but I still know my blog’s worth (and apparently they do too, as they sought ME out).
I send Lala an email to let her know that I politely decline her offer, seeing as how I don’t “feel” up to playing collector later on and have actually gotten snubbed in the past, thinking that this was blogger protocol.
As life and luck would have it, she sends a snazzy response…basically telling me that she wasn’t going to agree to change payment terms for the sake of one blog, blah blah blah. That request was never presented; I simply said that I’m not agreeing to let your company run an ad on my blog for three months with only HALF the payment in my hand.
Try that on someone who doesn’t know any better.
I said all that to say this….for ME, the dollar amount being offered wasn’t worth the risk. If they only paid me half of what was owed up front, with the promise to pay the other half after the “contract” had ended, it obviously puts them at the advantageous end of the deal. IMO, it wouldn’t be worth it to run the risk of not being paid for ad space/services rendered and eventually having to take you to court only to find that my costs to fight you for the remaining money exceeded what I was fighting for. Definitely not saying that I’m a baller but my money is “okay” enough so that chasing after those type of checks aren’t worth it. The risk might be suitable for someone who is barely moves with ad checks but for me? It definitely wasn’t worth it.
Again, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to stand your ground and know your worth. If you’ve chosen to get involved in this game of blogging, know that there will be all types of people (publicists, managers, record labels, ad agencies, etc) who will try to get over and run game, using YOUR brand to promote theirs. You have to decide in the beginning what type of stance you’ll take and if it’s shown (even slightly) that you’re the push over type, you’ll definitely get a lot of business…but it won’t be the kind that you’re looking for.