There is a lot of commentary on blogger pay rates (Can Bloggers Strike It Rich?) these days. Working in marketing and being familiar with clients’ advertising budgets, they strike me as a bargain. To have a strong online advocate posting and defending your product, perhaps working in conjunction with a creative online PR strategy, for $500 to $2500 a month is a bargain.
Of course any online effort first needs to be ethical. So I do deeply hate fake blogs. Where I see this going is bloggers are "sponsored" by news organizations as well as other companies. Like NASCAR drivers have Quaker State on their car, a blogger should have an affiliated logo for CNN *and* MSNBC as sponsors. The consumer is smart enough to realize that a sponsorship does not mean the sponsored individual is the brand, or even fully represent the brand at all times. The obstacle here is the media which currently asks their own reporters to not write for other organizations except for freelance writers. So sponsored bloggers, with multiple sponsorships, is somewhere between the current world of reporters and freelancers.
Having contributed to numerous magazines for freelance articles over the last several years, the biggest problem for me is the time delay. It is hard to get excited about an SEO piece for public relations professionals that will run four to six months down the road when I am afraid the content won’t be fully relevant. Publishing in the MSM compared to blogging and writing seo articles on our site in real time; there is just no comparison on which one is more gratifying.