Why Aussie mum bloggers shouldn’t ‘win’ payment for K-Mart posts

Yesterday I received an email through the Aussie Mum Bloggers network, inviting me (and every other Aussie mum blogger) to write a post here on Mediamum.net about how to get the best value out of $20 at K-Mart. If I did it, and sent the link in, I would be in the running to be one of 20 people to win… a $20 K-mart giftcard!

K-mart's offering a carrot. You deserve better.

Now, I know that blogger relations in Australia is a bit of an unknown quantity. Many Aussie women probably feel a little flattered that an offer is being made at all. It’s tempting to jump at it without considering it too much.

But, much like when you were a teenager dancing at Sweethearts at Cabramatta and some guy with a mullet and a Holden said “let me drive you home,” take a minute to think.

Think about what you’re worth.

And if you have a hard time with that one (after all, some of us let that guy with the mullet take us home. Ahem.)… then think what your readers are worth. Even if your readers are less than 10 a day – heck, 10 a month. What are they worth?

And if your blog and its readers are worth more to you than $20 a post – and that’s if you ‘win’, then give it a miss. Truly, if you say you’re only doing it this time, then what’s to make any company think you’re worth more in the future?

You’re building audience, readership, and value. You want people to return to you every time you post, and read what you say. You want to engage with people – build relationships and resonance. I don’t see how morphing those goals into some convoluted contest where you win payment for space allocated to a company that should be paying you for it in the first place actually fits in here.

K-Mart, this space is worth far, far more than $20. In fact, if you like, I’ll sell you some advertising space – after all, that’s what you basically want here. I’m insulted that you think $400 is all you need to pay for a minumum of 20 advertorials on blogs. My brand is worth just as much to me as yours is to you. Some respect is justified. You need to begin treating mum bloggers and their communities with some real respect.

16 comments

  • preach it! Goes along with the adage that if you’re giving it away for free, it might be because it’s not worth anything.

  • If you give anything away for free, especially early on, you set the price for the future – unless you change something or add features. Additionally, in this arena, as soon as you accept the ‘cash for comment’ (or in this instance, purely the potential of cash for comment), you cheapen everything you say. Ultimately, this is a no-win situation for mum bloggers.

  • Interesting points but as a start up blogger one point I took from a long time expert blogger was have fun with your writing. I don’t ever intend to make money from my blog, if by chance I do, well, it will just be a bonus. To me, these ideas prompt to think of something else to write about and just be creative with a writing challenge. Sure kmart is going to get a shit load of free coverage, 400 bucks is pretty much free, but lucky them, if a tiny corner store sets the same challenge, it would be just as fun. I had fun with this, but didn’t link to kmart.

    For some of us, our blogs are about having some fun, not about making money.

  • I’m glad you blog for fun – every mum/mom blogger I know says exactly the same thing. You didn’t link to Kmart? That means you didn’t ‘enter the competition’? The terms are very scant: Is Kmart going to link to you? You may think I’m being over-cautious, but I have seen negative outcomes of these types of exercises. In any case, I’m glad you had a good time doing it – perhaps you can add your actual name to your reply so we can link back to you?

  • I think you may have misread a few things: the first part of the competition was to leave a comment on the AMB forum in order to win a $20 gift card. It’s a private forum, so you’re not losing trust capital by doing it.

    Then, secondly, members had the option to blog about it, if they wanted to in order to have a chance at a further $20 voucher. I understand entirely that we shouldn’t sell ourselves short and it’s a personal decision as to where we draw the line there.

  • Thanks for visiting Veronica. I didn’t misread a thing. There were two ways you could enter. One was to comment on the AMB forum, another was to blog about it. In fact, in the email sent out the first option wasn’t stated – it was only talked about in the announcement on the forum. Whatever. But you should note, you can only choose one way of entry – either the comment or the blog post.

  • WOW Kmart what a massive PR & marketing fail!

    $20 & you don’t even get it automatically you could win it?!?

    And Kmart paid a marketing/PR company to set this up & approved it?

    What the he’ll does $20 buy in Australia? Even at Kmart, yes I’ve seen the adds but the reality is we are a booming economy, I would pay $20 for lunch some days.

    But that’s not the point, buying advertising which is what they basically want costs more than $20 for a few hundred words & the views that will get.

    It’s a bogus competition & cheap & nasty.

    Kmart you fail. Go back & rethink the concept. Maybe ask influential bloggers to spend a set amount & reimburse them & see what they cone up with. It will be far better than what you will have spent a lot if money on & offended people with already.

    Back to the drawingboard Kmart & respect that people won’t write to your specs for such a pathetic & measly price. Value your customers & bloggers.

  • Wow Freya, that’s telling them! 🙂 I particularly like your statement that this is a bogus competition. I really do agree, and bloggers are being taken advantage of.

  • Even before you begin blogging, it’s a good idea to define the lay of the land for you. Blogging for fun? Great. But it’s a good idea to have a “bellwether marker” if/when this might change for you. As Jo mentions, the lines can blur (one product endorsement here, another paid-for contest there) and you just want to know that you have a handle on where your blog might take you. I’ve been (business) blogging for almost 5 years now and three things I was clear about from the beginning: 1) I would not get paid for endorsing products 2) I would not accept paid advertising for the first two years (at least) and 3) I would have fun with my blog and write what I thought was right (sometimes pissing off my readers). Pretty straightforward really. I wanted my blog to grow organically and it has opened many more doors for me than I could have imagined–generating income for me through paid speaking engagements and workshops, consulting gigs, business coaching, webinars, and now a book deal with Wiley. All good. And I’m still having fun!

  • Now that I think more about it, if this were a competion open to the wider public eg advertised on TV etc it wouldnt pass the states laws about competitions as it’s not a fair reward.

    It could have been a good twitter campaign as 140 characters is all the effort one should need to ‘win’ $20.

    There are a lot of people out there who are thoroughly sick of the pathetic state of advertising at the moment. If you missed the Bonds padded bras for 8 year olds google it.

    Companies can’t continue to treat consumers like morons.

    I understand they are trying to creat positive buzz about the supposedly new low prices, which are really just the same prices rounded up to the dollar so they look punchy, but you don’t do that by setting up such a cheap & nasty little ‘competion’.

    What mother would really bother to go all the way to Kmart & spend only $20? & then bother to write about it? I’d rather clean the oven.

  • Jut to qualify – in my other, non-blogging life, I have a digital/social media business. This stuff is my livelihood.

    Yes, it’s a massive mis-reading of their audience, dreamed up probably by an out-of-touch Kmart marketing staffer. Brings down their brand and their cred hugely. Big fail.

    Kmart – most Mummy bloggers are fairly middle-class, educated types who aren’t impressed by twenty dollars, and who know when they’re being had.
    I may sound elitist, but it’s a fact – the type of Mums who WOULD rush to win a twenty dollar voucher probably aren’t online blogging. They’re working. Or, more likely, reading Women’s Day.

    Also lot of the strategy here relates to SEO. Kmart needs mummy bloggers to link to them to boost their search results etc. For a few twenty buck prizes, they hope to get lots and lots of links. Big win for us, they think.

    Except it isn’t, in the long run. Not for their brand and reputation. They’ve just confirmed to all of us how cheap they are.

  • Just to clarify, you don’t have to spend a cent to enter the competition, nor leave your house – it’s based on the online catalogue – but your points are well taken. 🙂

  • Interesting points you make here…

    I don’t have a problem with people deciding to take part in this or any other promotion – everyone has to make their own personal decisions about what is right for them and their blog.

    But I do wonder if we ‘mum bloggers’ are still a little un-informed in this area? And perhaps companies are taking advantage of this right now?

    I’ve personally been suckered in by a PR pitch that dazzled me. I suddenly felt all special because they were pitching to me, that must mean I am a half decent blogger, maybe I am even important???

    I learnt the hard way about thinking things through with a more critical eye and really making an informed decision. While not everyone will agree with your take on this, that fact that it is making as think and discuss can only be a good thing.

  • Hi Kate – that’s exactly why I posted it. Thank you for understanding it, sharing your own experience, and contributing to a conversation around it. I really do appreciate it, and thank you for your comments. We all need to make active decisions on these things – and I’ll support any blogger who does make an active choice, whatever their final decision may be. That’s what we all need to do. 🙂

  • hi there, I wish I’d found this earlier! I was emailed direct by a PR company about this and at first ignored the email because it wasn’t worth my time, then they emailed again and so I replied no and so then they asked a 3rd time and I had to say how much I get paid for my sponsored posts. For me it was easy to say no because I don’t shop there, I’ve been getting much better opportunities through my blog and was heavily pregnant with my 4th baby and anyone will tell you it takes more than $20 incentive to go shopping with 3 small children!

    Each to their own if this interests them but I’m sure someone is making money from this promotion and it isn’t the bloggers doing the work getting the word out!

    great post!

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