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Should mainstream bloggers be paid extra? Should I?

? March Madness |


| Google Finance: Blogs Won't Get You Everything ?

March 20, 2006

Should mainstream bloggers be paid extra? Should I?

Stephen Baker

Bloggers at the Washington Post are wondering if they should be paid extra. (ex BusinessBlogWire) This made me think about... myself. I'm on unpaid leave from BusinessWeek, and I'm continuing to blog on this commercial site. Is there something wrong with that? True, I'm continuing to receive benefits, including health insurance. But other journalists get the same benefits when they're on leave, and they don't have to blog.

Here's the key: I don't want to stop blogging. If BW kicked me off this site during this leave, I'd start another blog where I'd also blog for free--presumably, with less traffic.

09:39 AM


Mr. Baker, I guess you're well aware that WaPo wants their staff to do that additional blogging on top of their 'normal' workload, which isn't to be reduced. And they shall do it for free, even though WaPo plans to reduce the number of employees. Don't know if regular WaPo reporters are allowed to take an unpaid leave with full healthcare, too.

Now, if we, the readers, sum up your apples with those oranges, what do we get? Fruit cocktail?

Posted by: Gray at March 20, 2006 11:16 AM

Once the blogging bug bites you, it's hard to stop, whether or not you're paid!

If you were to make such a shift to another URL, all you'd need to do would be to let a few bloggers know and the rest would proably find out about it in a few days. I don't think your traffic would suffer much.

It's interesting to watch as companies set forth guidelines regarding blogging that are more specific.

Posted by: Easton Ellsworth at March 20, 2006 11:32 AM

Shalom Steve,

I also love blogging. And I do for the shear fun. But I wouldn't donate my free blogging to some money -making organization. That's the difference.

Asking anyone to work and not be compensated was declared unconstitutional nearly 150 years ago in this country.


Jeff Hess

Posted by: Jeff Hess at March 20, 2006 12:24 PM


I am not getting paid to blog but I am happy to celebrate the 1st annniversary of my blog 'Serge the Concierge' this week (March 22nd).

To add to the fun I ask anyone who feels inspired to send me their greetings or better their greeting card.




Posted by: Serge Lescouarnec at March 20, 2006 02:11 PM

i work 40 hours for a full time job and I work another 3 hours more each day blogging. Heck, blogging is in my blood now. And if you get paid for it, then good for you.

Posted by: colbert at March 20, 2006 03:29 PM

Since this blog is generating and sustaining solid traffic for the publication (adding value in the form of awareness, eyeballs and click through on the ads) you and Heather (and the other reporters contributing extra time and effort to the cause) should receive some compensation for the work. Once the blog goes beyond "experiment" and is recognized as a winner (and I think you guys rate) you should be compensated as if you picked up an additional beat or column for the print pub.

Posted by: Cathy Thompson at March 20, 2006 07:01 PM

Hey, if its required and no other responsibilities were taken away, then the logical answer would be yes, you and other mainstream bloggers should be paid additional salary. At least "performance bonuses" based on traffic?

But, things are not always logical in business. So, unless you can find a better gig, stay where you are.


Posted by: Mike Driehorst at March 20, 2006 10:44 PM

Gray, BusinessWeek also has a lot of bloggers who are expected to blog in addition to their normal magazine and online work. They're not paid extra, and the staff, at least on the magazine side, is a lot smaller than it used to be. The real question is this: Is blogging at a mainstream pub a chore or an opportunity? I would say that it's more the second than the first.

Just to clarify on the health care, I still have to pay what was taken out of my paycheck, which comes to several hundred dollars a month. I would bet that Washington Post reporters have similar arrangements when they write books.

Posted by: steve baker at March 21, 2006 10:06 AM

Hi Steve,

I'm sure if you wanted to blog somewhere else many of the blog networks would be happy to have you.

I just noticed the other day a new blog network that looks like is just starting. The amazing part about this blognetwork is that they have some big advertisers already signed up. Companies like Microsoft,, Ford, Toyota, Peugeot, MSN, Delta, and my favorite Mc Donald's.

The question I think one should ask is why does this new blognetwork have some high quality advertisers and 99% of the other blognetworks that have been established struggle to get advertisers.

I havent joined yet but it looks quite appealing, give them your RSS feed and they do all the rest including pay me monthly.

Anyway just my 2 cents worth.

Posted by: John at March 23, 2006 03:24 AM

They're not paid extra, and the staff, at least on the magazine side, is a lot smaller than it used to be. The real question is this: Is blogging at a mainstream pub a chore or an opportunity? I would say that it's more the second than the first.

Posted by: Slav Zat at March 23, 2006 04:11 AM

Yer,i'd have to describe it more as an opportunity.And yes,you always have the option of going elswhere.

Posted by: Jack at March 24, 2006 09:34 PM

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