You write X, X, and X, Tweet X, and Share Photos of X and we will give you NOT ENOUGH Xs.
There's the offer to give a client a complimentary high-priced ad placement for a certain amount of giveaway items, which is met with "Sure, but we'd like XXXXXXXX" (translation: 20x the amount of the giveaway items we're asking for which was 20x less than the cost of that spot, by the way).
My favorite is "WHAT WOULD YOU TAKE INSTEAD OF X?" the obvious answer being "Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling."
Julie wisely decided not to send that as a reply. One of the many reasons she rocks.
This is not an uncommon occurrence for bloggers as you may have read 4000 times over the last many years, but lately instead of product review pitches with FREE PRODUCTS sprayed at whoever will bite, it's this offer of sponsored content and "we'll obviously pay you for your time" which is a little more hopeful and forward thinking until you see what that actually means.
And you're right, marketing people who want to work with bloggers, offering monetary compensation for work that bloggers are going to provide you is a step in the right direction, but it's not the end all, especially when you toss around the same figures to various bloggers of different influence, rank, and traffic size.
It would be as if you were looking to hire someone and sent out an invitation to a bunch of applicants, some with a High School Diploma, some with an undergraduate degree, and some with a PhD and were like "Here's what we can pay you!" and then were surprised when most of the applicants were like "HUH? Did you see my resume'?" and you were like "But why? At least I'm offering you money!"
You will get what you pay for in this business, which doesn't necessarily mean poor quality of writing all of you who are like HEY NOW! It could mean a smaller following, a weaker social media footprint (barf), less relevance to readers, smaller influence, which combined all together could be the traffic numbers and page views and tweets you're looking for.
But it's not fair to send out a mass email to a bunch of "mommy bloggers" on some crappy list you bought or gathered on your own based on who knows what, and expect everyone to say "YAY MONEY WE'RE BEING PAID FINALLY!"
To use myself as an example, I would not expect to make near as much on this blog as I would on Cool Mom Picks or Cool Mom Tech, just from a pure numbers standpoint.
This isn't to devalue smaller blogs PLEASE LET'S NOT GO THERE. Rather, it's to point out the shock and chagrin of many companies doing little to no research before reaching out to bloggers when their emails are met with "That's wonderful, here's what our sponsored posts start at..."
To be fair, many companies have come back to say "Ah, okay, I'd love to hear more about what you would do" and it's turned into really awesome working relationships.
I even appreciate the "I'm sorry that we can't pay that rate, but we'll revisit this in the future when we do have the budget."
But on the flip side, these are the kind of things to be fleshed out prior to emailing a huge list of people. These are things that people get paid by large firms to do.
So bloggers: Look at your value, whether it's your traffic, your social media following, your KLOUT (ha, kidding. Sort of. Whatever), your reader engagement (which isn't just comments anymore), and reply with an acceptance (if it's what you'd make), a counteroffer (if it's a less but not too far off), or your actual rate along with a few reasons why without saying "HERE'S WHY."
Usually a "I'm happy to provide you with sponsored content which starts at XX and will reach my # readers, # follwers, # email subscribers" does well.
The "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?" method rarely works and could prevent you from further work with them. Though trust me, it's tempting.
And people reaching out to bloggers: Take a quick look at who you're pitching. Press pages, social media following, even Alexa, and consider using a sliding scale of some sort. Expect that all bloggers won't all want to be paid the same thing and make allowances. Advocate for why you would want to work with fewer bloggers or certain bloggers.
Who knows if this will have huge impact on the emails being sent to bloggers, because I get that lots of bloggers = lots of numbers and that still makes lots of big companies light up like a Christmas tree.
But perhaps it will quell the vocal surprise when it's not overwhelming cheers for that $20 gift card and $100 for the three posts, 10 tweets and 2 Facebook updates you're asking for.
I only wish that was an exaggeration.