The Worth of Words

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Ask any writer what they should get paid for blog creation vs. what they actually get paid and we’re positive they spout off two very different numbers. But how much are blogs really worth to your business? And what kind of price tag should actually be put on blog writing and blog marketing?

These questions swirled around our brains as we heard the news on Friday of how a boycott by two writers unions had finally come to an end. The National Writers Union and The Newspaper Guild launched the protest in question against the Huffington Post some seven months ago. Both unions were ticked off at HuffPo’s use of unpaid bloggers. One of the most profitable and most-read blogs on the planet has drawn criticism for years for using bloggers to expand their brand but not paying them.

In a statement regarding the end of the boycott, Mario Ruiz of the Huffington Post said the company’s “blogger guidelines remain the same. We pledged to work with the Guild to continue to spotlight and protect the work of journalists. Our goals are the same: to support the necessary work of professional reporters.”

Ruiz noted that the company plans on using unpaid citizen journalists during the 2012 election as it “complements the necessary work of paid reporters — it’s not meant to replace it.”

There is no doubt that Huffington Post could and should pay all contributors to its site, but we don’t see it happening any time soon. It’s a shame, too. Why a blog that makes millions in advertising can’t pay every writer who contributes is beyond us. But the boycott’s limp ending contains some valuable lessons for content creators of all sizes. Words, articles and blogs that expand our brand’s message and speak directly to our customers and readers do, in fact, have value. These things are worth paying for, especially when they are effective.

So tell us what you think, readers: Is the HuffPo in the right or in the wrong in this situation? And can we truly put a price tag on content? Educate us in the comments section below!

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