At a recent talk at a culinary school in Chicago, I told the audience of food writers about an outrageous request a company made of a food blogger, showing that food bloggers aren’t taken seriously when it comes to pay. A woman raised her hand and asked whether to omit that she is a food blogger when pitching a publication for a story.
“That depends,” I responded. “Are you already established in print?”
She said she was. And then I thought: This woman in the audience is brilliant. Because she will be taken more seriously and offered more money than if she says she is a blogger.
How do I know this? Print publications sometimes ask bloggers to work for free. And while many print food writers have started food blogs to stay current, saying so might backfire on them. Award-winning writer David Leite explained in the comments section of a previous post:
“I think the crux of the issue is the word ‘blogger,” he wrote. “These days, my name’s not appearing in magazines or newspapers as much… Somehow because I’m a blogger—even one with a decade-long tenure in print media—I’m a cheap commodity.”
So if you’ve written for print and you want to be paid as you were before, leave the word “blogger” out of your query letter. Do you agree?
p.s. If you’re wondering about the talk, please listen to the podcast on Chicago Public Radio.
Photos by Amos Gil