Look At All This Free Publicity I'm Giving You

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This post might fall into the rantette category, but here it is: I am really, really tired of the entitled attitude many bloggers have toward content.

The idea that "I am doing you a favor and giving you free publicity and tons of traffic by featuring your work and you should feel so incredibly lucky to be featured on my blog" only goes so far. The idea that bloggers should be able to make money from their blogs yet receive all their content for free and without a fair exchange is absurd.

Intellectual property is not a free-for-all and it needs to stop being treated as such. If the photographers were not allowing bloggers to publish royalty-free content that they own they copyright to, blogs would have to license and pay for photos like the rest of the online world or continually publish their own original content. The relationship between blogger and photographer goes two ways. "Free publicity" does have a monetary value attached to it for the photographer and, frankly, most blogs never meet it in what they provide in return.

Another thing that's important to note: most service vendors do not care how many impressions your blog serves up; they care about how many click-throughs and interactions with their own sites your blog generates for them. For a service professional, page views do not lead to client conversions at a high enough rate to matter. Click-throughs and subscriptions to their own blogs do (an aside: for product vendors, impressions are very valuable). If you want to prove that your blog is valuable, focus more on sending traffic to your advertisers and editorial partners than on building your own. Currently, Junebug Weddings, Offbeat Bride, Snippet and Ink and The Bride's Cafe consistently send more traffic to vendors featured than many of the other wedding blogs, including ones that receive more traffic, because they understand this so well.

Wedding blogs can be an effective outlet for publicity, but they are not the end-all, be-all for a vendor's marketing strategy. Thankfully, not all bloggers treat content as a god-given right, but enough do that it sours the experience for everyone else involved.

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