Let’s Organize the HR Bloggers

The blogging industry is a fun, exciting, and fickle thing.  Technorati Tells us in their July 2011 State of the Blogosphere Report there are reported to be 164 million bloggers.  The Human Capital Management blogosphere is just a small drop in that 164 million blogger pan, but that doesn’t make us less important.  In fact, I think we are extremely important because much of what we do is misunderstood by senior leaders as well as employees.  These folks have a lot to learn about what it is exactly that we (HR and recruiters) do.  There’s also a lot of mystery, spam, and secrecy surrounding how to make money and get paid blogging.  Add the misinformation of HR coupled with the mystery of blogging, and it makes things quite the challenge.

Let’s Organize the HR Bloggers

Over the last 6 months, I’ve had quite a few emails from fellow bloggers in the industry where I hang my hat.  Some of them are new and some of them are seasoned looking for information, insights, and advice into pricing when approached by advertisers, sponsors, or when traveling to an event as a member of the press.  While I’m no expert, I have been doing this for a while and I’m happy to help wherever I can.  I’ve also been transparent about my pricing since I started offering sponsorships and advertising on Blogging4Jobs.  And even still I receive no less than 30 guest post requests and spammy link exchanges a week.

We  (HR Bloggers) have a huge opportunity as influencers and content distributors in our marketplace.  I also want to make sure that we get compensated appropriately for our hard work and efforts because blogging isn’t easy.  We are our own online publication and content distribution business whether as a hobby or full time.  I’ve often talked about how mommy bloggers cheapen the blogging marketplace and I think it’s time we think about organizing our own HR niche.    I’m not saying we organize ourselves out of the market.  I think it’s time for HR bloggers to ban together to be open about pricing norms, helping, strategies, and to set a standard level of expectation while we’re still early in the game.

I am thankful for the opportunity to do what it is I do every single day.  But I believe that together we can help create some consistency, control, and level of expectation and learning with other bloggers as well as those vendors that provide service to the HCM practitioner population.

Am I wrong?  Am I crazy?  I move that we discuss organizing the HR Blogger.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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Comments

  1. Well, its time someone put it out there and on the table. As a newer blogger I am learning as I go. I often wonder should be accessing a cost to my guest contributor reputation. I’d be interested in hearing the responses to this post.

    Let’s see what happens here.

    • Thanks, Chris. I am too. Personally, I think it’s needed but this decision isn’t up to me. It’s up to us. I think it’s about setting the right expectations in the future. With SHRM 2012 almost upon us the activity and inquiry level has increased and I’m sure it will only become greater.

      thanks for the share and your comment.

      JMM

  2. Jessica –

    I sent you a DM on this link, but would love to have this conversation with you.

    All the best in keeping up the good fight.

    Tim

  3. I will echo the sentiments of other comments so far; I think it’s a good idea. Not everyone will do it; but it’ll help to have SOME level of consistency in our marketplace. Which, let’s face it, is part of what the merry band of HR bloggers are – a marketplace for ideas, new products, industry happenings, and let’s not forget conferences.

    I was talking about this with William Tincup the other day; the conference thing. I love blogging for conferences almost as much as I enjoy speaking at them. That said, I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday; the amount of promotion that we provide these conferences (especially the larger ones) is fairly substantial. It’s cool to get a free pass in; but it’s not a gift – we’re there to work for the conference. As such? Make sure it’s a net-zero cost event to be there (get there, stay there, get outta there). I’m always mystified when I’m asked to attend a conference – especially one outside of my wheelhouse of expertise – with the expectation to promote the event leading up to it, sometimes organize things, provide press/blogging coverage & briefings during the event, cover the vendor floor (often instead of going to sessions that would benefit me because that’s when vendors aren’t busy), and then provide several posts of content and post-show promotion – all to be told that they weren’t expecting to pay for airfare/hotel.

    My response is – okay, well that’s cool, but I probably won’t be there, then unless it’s in a city I was going to need to be for other business reasons, anyway. Don’t mean to sound ungrateful; but sometimes the cost to get there can be several hundred dollars & the hotel conferences are usually not cheap,either… so, 1 I was asked to attend was $1400 out of MY pocket. The pass was only $800 or so. #Ridiculous

    So yes, all that to say that some organization around blogging for all it’s practical intents and purposes? Would be fabulous! xoxo

    • Crystal,

      I remember the first time I got press access as a blogger at a conference. I was through the moon. This was long before bloggers attended events as press and were asked to live tweet. I think it’s part of the evolution of where we are in the industry today. I know you have been attending quite a few events and making waves. I’m being more strategic about where I’m being seen just because this is my business. While I attend a conference and do meet up with my friends, the underlying reason for attending is to make new contacts and build my business.

      JMM

      • Okay, just making sure we’re on the same page here and I’m properly represented in print: Completely understand why you’d be strategic about where you go. And as it was noted the other day; you have a definite business advantage while there in that you have an actual selling strategy that you employ while there networking (book, advertising, etc).

        That said, while different, I do have definite conference strategy and it’s not to go to everything I can and meet up with friends (though I do like that part). 😉 My reasons for attending a conference is either:

        a) to participate in the massive amount of #learnshare that can and does often occur during sessions
        b) speak and/or cover a conference that is related to my line of business and wheelhouse of expertise – credibility is important.
        c) as my business is specialized in the HR Vendor Community; it is always on my agenda to increase/strengthen my relationships within the network I focus in.

        Speaking of, can’t wait to see you at SXSW! 😉

  4. I would argue that the community is really organized. You have HBR bloggers, HR bloggers on Mashable, the great crew at Fistful of Talent, very thoughtful contributors to ERE and TLNT, and then individual bloggers who have neither the time nor the understanding of the market to figure out how to “price” themselves.

    That’s where my firm stepped in and created http://thestarrconspiracy.com/hrbn

    It’s invitation-only at this point and in private-super-quiet beta mode –> but we have created the only real marketplace for display advertising on HR blogs. I wouldn’t call it the unionization of the marketplace because I’m a capitalist and I love America, but we’ve created a space where we can leverage technology in a great way. It is pretty amazing.

    If anyone wants to make some coin, send us a note of inquiry and we’ll be in touch!

  5. This is a great idea and something I would love to participate in. The world of HR blogging is kind of mysterious and I would love to contribute where I can. Awesome idea!

  6. Jessica,

    This is an intriguing prospect and I think it could bring even more people into the space and create a critical mass to get things moved to the forefront of discussions outside the blogosphere. I continue to refer people to various HR blogs as a source of information and a way to keep up with the real world happenings that do not necessarily get covered by SHRM or the other publishers. In some ways, many of us are already connected and I see a terrific amount of give and take as well as some lively discussions that certainly prompt me to consider another point of view.

    Brad

    • Thanks for the comment, Brad. This topic can about a couple months ago in discussing with another blogger friend of mine. The community knows one another I just think it might be an interesting prospect. We all have are different areas of expertise and experience in the space. HR and Recruiting cuts across so many different areas. While I love SHRM, different points of views are needed which is why HR blogs are so very great.

      JMM

  7. Jessica – I agree with several points in your post, especially around content distribution and influence. I think it is great that you are selective with who you partner with. I also agree with Laurie that the community is organized – to a degree (I think inwardly organized, but not related to the topic of pricing). Given the vast experience of bloggers, their reach, influence, and ability to draw the RIGHT audience I think it would be difficult to accomplish. With that said – I see value in continuing the conversation.

    If I were an advertiser, I would also want to be extremely selective on where my ads appear, and would want clear guarantees from a blogger. There are a lot of reasons companies advertise – yet in the end if a blogger can’t deliver business results beyond logo impressions they probably shouldn’t accept advertisers in the first place.

    DM me if you are interested in discussing further.

    JB

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