In case you weren't aware, bloggers are presently in a battle for their livelihood. The enemy is the new "influencing agencies" who believe we should enjoy working as the unpaid sales force for corporate America.
Boomer = Consumer
Keep in mind, we boomers were born into the age of shopping malls. We have been the most targeted consumers since the first mall was established in 1956. Viewing at least 20,000 ads every year, we know something about what sells and why. Some level of business savvy is a natural part of our upbringing.
Businesses worldwide know that the old ways of marketing are dead. The world of glossy magazine ads and non-stop television advertising don't work like they used to. So where to turn to market their products? The Internet of course! But this world works differently because ads are easier to avoid or ignore, and consumers are much more savvy to media sales techniques today.
I have personally witnessed the new era of advertising, as businesses have turned to bloggers with large followings for free advertising of their products. When I first started building my readership in 2008, I was ignored for a couple of years. Then boomer-focused businesses started to come, offering 'free' samples to talk about their products online. Businesses came to me with menopause treatments, hand creams, books and gift baskets, all hoping that by giving me free products, I would be persuaded to say something positive about them with links back to their website.
When blogging was young and I was an early adapter, I was oh so naive and innocent. I found this kind of attention exciting, like a validation of my power as a genuine 'influencer." Five years later a 'free' gift basket doesn't quite do it for me:
Come to find out, 'free' products and page views won't be paying my bills any time soon!
Nobody ever said capitalism plays fair, but I find these new "influencer agencies" to be particularly despicable! Why? Because according to one of their employees, they never pay any of their "influencer armies," better known as unpaid bloggers.
Do they really think that by giving me a 'free' gift basket, they can convince me to continue to maintain and promote my blogs for free indefinitely, to the benefit of their poor, penniless national brand clients? Nice try!
In other words, there are companies whose sole purpose is to make bloggers the new free sales force of American business.
Smart bloggers and writers do not work for free. Stupid ones have ridiculous flashing ads all over their blogs and little decent content.
Granted, everyone gets into blogging for different reasons. My only purpose when I started was, and still is, to advocate for and assist those experiencing challenging times in midlife. That is why I now write, produce and market my own products, books and counseling services specifically for those facing tough times in their 40s and 50s.
But what I see happening, as American business finally wakes up to the fact that bloggers wield some serious marketing power, outrages me!
Why do these multinational corporations believe we should work for them for free? Perhaps because they don't realize that companies like Xomad don't pay any of their "influencer superstars" anything!
American businesses who need to market their products should come directly to bloggers to build powerful relationships with the customers they're trying to reach, while getting GREAT SERVICE at a tenth of the price they're paying 'influencer agencies" to rip off bloggers.
Cut out the middle man! Begin today working directly with your best marketing source!
From today forward, I refuse to buy products sold through the unpaid labor of my fellow bloggers.
Follow Laura Lee Carter on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@MidlifeQueen