The SHOCKING Truth About Online Directories ... And Can They Help It?? Publications Can't Be All Play and No Pay.
Happy Daylight Saving Monday and Bachelor Finale Day to all my readers!! It's gonna be a good day ... I can tell :) I swear to goodness the story I am about to tell you is 100% true and I am shocked and saddened by this:
I just clicked through a very popular online vendor directory to do some website research for The Editor's Touch (helpful research that I can't wait to share!!) and if I had been a bride I would have gone insane. Truly. I would click on a 'city' and I wanted to find wedding professionals in that particular city ... and every single one that I found did business somewhere else. Yeah, I know. For instance I went into Seattle to find a 'beauty expert' and found vendors from: London, NYC, and Texas - ZERO from Seattle(!!!) ... how is that helpful for me!?
Are wedding blogs so just 'all about the benjamins' now that they will throw the words: Destination Wedding Vendor on top of any listing just to get a few extra bucks?? And are YOU, the purchaser of these ads, really thinking that being listed somewhere across the country will help you?? I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous.
And here's the thing: I get it!! This industry has it completely backwards. Here it goes:
Being featured on these wedding blogs for FREE has completely spun the business of an online wedding website / blog around. Wedding professionals believe that if they submit their work to these blogs they are doing their part ... and wedding blog editors feel like they are being used for 'free press' and 'free advertising' ... and so the ads just stop being bought. When I was a wedding blog editor I favored my advertisers and was so tired of hearing this:
Pay For Play
No!!! It's not! It's just fair that I support the people who support me back ... it's called: that's how life goes. Why would I bend over backwards for someone who never supports me back. But, Heather, they sent you pretty photos for your blog to make it more popular!! Yes, true. They did. And now I will go take those photos to my mortgage company and pay my bills with them ... Oh, wait ... No, Heather, you get traffic which then make ads more enticing! Do you really think so?? Or does everyone have the attitude of: I am making this blog more popular by submitting my work and so ads are more enticing to people - therefore NOBODY buys them. Let's be honest: people just don't buy ads in directories as much as they used to ... people also don't buy ads in print magazines like they used to: THEY JUST WANT THE FEATURE.
Here is what will happen: If brides go into a vendor directory and never find wedding professionals in their area then they will eventually never go back to that directory ... and the national wedding blogs will just be 'about the pretty' and never about searching for someone to HIRE - which is why you do this: to GET HIRED and MAKE MONEY. Blogs are not dependent on YOU these days to get features ... you may think you have the power, but this is a RELATIONSHIP. And trust me, if it gets really bad and blog editors find you just keep submitting and never supporting back with an ad there are ways around giving you the goods for free ... they can post your work and give you a small credit at the bottom, but they don't have to GUSH ... they don't have to put you up on a pedestal and rave about how awesome you are. And I have noticed a few wedding blogs get super smart about this ... they will only focus on GUSHING about their advertisers and leave the rest of the people out.
Do I get why you don't advertise?? Yeah! I do. I get it ... I lived it for 8 years ... asking for people to pay you for advertising is a sad existence sometimes ... but unfortunately necessary if you run an online or print wedding publication.
Here is the attitude I hate: I paid $150 to (fill in the blank here) and never got a single hire off their website!! I am not renewing.
HOW DO YOU KNOW!!!???? How do you know it didn't help you? Below is the link to a post you should read:
Here's my suggestion: buy an ad ... just do it. Buy a local ad online for a local directory ... if only just to avoid what my story at the beginning is all about! Brides do shop for wedding professionals online ... but they will stop if they get as frustrated as I just got this morning. Support what you LOVE - you LOVE being featured on big name blogs! But then you complain when your ad doesn't do sh*t for your company ... it doesn't work both ways! You can't refuse to hand over your money to your most coveted blogs and then just want them to feature you ... how is that fair and how does that help support the industry you work in? Consider this: what happens when wedding blogs can't afford to do this anymore because they aren't making money? What happens when your favorite local wedding magazine goes under because they are all PLAY and no PAY??
Let's support what we love today ... let's buy an ad somewhere we've been featured and have never paid. Who's in???
Pssst ... you may recall a blog post I wrote that played with the idea of publications charging for submissions ... that link is below: