Why We Don't Believe You Can Own A Blogger & How We Work

We Are Anthology was founded on the basis of change. It was established with the intention of changing the blogging industry in New Zealand – after personal experience in it – and the need to create a much more supportive environment for everyone involved, from influencers and bloggers to clients. We Are Anthology wasn’t founded with the sole objective of making bucket loads of money. We Are Anthology is about education – educating bloggers, from newbies to the more established in how to successfully create engaging stories and monetize their content. Educating clients, from setting their expectations to showing how influencer marketing can really work for their company.

We Are Anthology sets itself apart from other agencies. We don’t fabricate numbers or try to develop business models with no meaning, as this doesn’t benefit the influencer nor the client.

Here’s how we work, and most importantly, why.

 

NO CONTRACTS & SUPPORTIVE OF INDEPENDENCE

We Are Anthology doesn’t believe in exclusivity contracts, or ‘talent management’ contracts. We don’t believe that influencers should cut themselves off from other opportunities. We don’t take a commission from any influencers who work with us. No blogger nor influencer should take less money for their work due to agency commissions, and definitively, none should become a publishing arm for that agency, forced to write about the agency’s brands because they’re contracted to. We Are Anthology supports all influencers’ independent voice and promotes the sustainability of their honesty.

We’ve been contacted recently by many bloggers in New Zealand who have all said the same thing. They feel pressured to sign contracts that agencies are pushing in front of them, and they want to know what we think of these contracts. We’ve told them all the same thing, it’s 100% up to you, but why would you cut off opportunities for yourself and risk losing your voice?

We have a simple policy – if you as a blogger are tied into an exclusivity contract, then we can’t work with you. There are two reasons for this. With exclusivity contracts come conflicts of interest. Our clients will not agree to work with influencers whose agencies are making commercial agreements that they have no visibility over. It’s that simple. If we pay you to write a post for a client and in the background your agency is making a deal with their competitor then this poor form on our behalf and puts you in a difficult situation. We want to avoid this at all costs.

When a client comes to us, we strive to get the best outcome for the client, while also helping the blogger or influencer create the best, most engaging content that they can, and get paid fairly for it. We don’t think it’s fair, to our clients, to us, or to bloggers out there, that another agency take a slice of that pie simply for ‘representing them’ or having them on any contracts. We give credit where credit is due. And we want the best for our client.

WE SUPPORT OTHER BLOG COMMUNITY GROUPS AND SHARE INFORMATION FREELY

Some influencers and bloggers told us that they were considering signing contracts because they were being offered help to grow their blogs, and these agencies hold regular catch ups with other bloggers. We’d like to let you know about some other alternatives that are out there, so if you’re a blogger, before you make a decision, let’s talk through some options

The NZ Blog Collective was created for bloggers, by bloggers. Now it’s run by a group of volunteers who write and share blog tips andnews, it has a blog where it shares information and a really engaged social community in their Facebook group and especially on Twitter.The NZBC is going to be resuming its semi-regular catch ups, with the next one scheduled for June. It gives bloggers in Auckland a chance to meet in person and get to know each other, ask questions, and form relationships away from the keyboard. (Disclaimer: Dani, our director, is involved with this collective in a volunteer capacity)

#brunchclub was started by a group of Auckland bloggers who wanted a more regular catch up that also involved learning bloggy tips. Now in Wellington and the Manawatu areas (with more coming soon) as well, the group helps each other daily on Facebook.

#NZBloggers have weekly chats on Twitter on Sunday night from 8-9 pm (perfect for double screening with the new Dancing With The Stars!) If you can’t make it online to jump in on the convo, then you can take a look at the recaps over on #BrunchClub, like this one.

The New Zealand Bloggers Network is a group that has regular Meetups in Auckland as well. It’s simply a group to find other bloggers. You can find them here on Facebook or attend one of their Meetups (we’ve been to a few) – you’ll find their bloggers chatting about all sorts of blog related tips, from self-marketing and PR and what type of newsletter layout is best for your type of blog vertical.

We’d love to know if you know of any other blog communities out there online (or that meet up in the flesh!) – the more the merrier.

 

FAIR PAY

In the interest of transparency, we thought we’d explain a little more about what goes on behind the scenes, when it comes to the money side of the business. We Are Anthology takes a one off fee from the total campaign budget. That’s it.

Unlike a number of blogger and talent agencies, we don’t charge a commission from the influencer. The remaining budget is divided between the influencers whom we’ve authentically chosen for the campaign. We pay them what they ask us to, the rate that is presented to us in their media kit or negotiated as part of an agreement. We believe this is how all blogging agencies should operate.

At times we negotiate with potential influencers. For instance one recent ambassador who worked on a campaign for us had $250 per blog post advertised in her media kit. As she created multiple pieces of content for us about the product (including a short video), shared them across all her social channels and really engaged her audience around that content, we instead paid her $650. More work was done and she put her name and her face behind the brand, so she deserved to be paid more.

We believe that influencers should be fairly paid for the time creating the content and the access to their audience. We don’t go into a campaign looking to get the most influencers we can on the cheapest rates. We spend a lot of time educating our clients about influencer marketing. This isn’t traditional media, all agencies out there should be encouraging influencers to create the best content they can. That’s the real aim of this digital publishing game. With authentic content comes credibility. And as a blogger, this is something which needs to be protected. We truly believe that.

 

WE DON’T MAKE THE INFLUENCERS FIT THE CLIENT

Our policy is that we will never ‘try to make an influencer fit’ with a campaign objective. Either an influencer is credible in this space, or they’re not. We’re never going to recommend our clients influencers in the fashion and beauty space to promote a product which does not seamlessly integrate with their audience. After our years spent in the blogging world, we know how hard that credibility is to build with your audience, and by mashing the wrong brand with the wrong influencer, all we’re doing is creating an ad. That has never been, and never will be our objective.

We find influencers who honestly and naturally match the brand, and propose fair work for clients who never leave feeling as if they’ve been deceived. Each campaign is as individual as a blogger or influencer themselves, and they should be matched with brands that they, well, match to. It’s a simple sum of client target audience + influencer target audience + kick-arse content = happy people all round.

Everyone has a different opinion on what it takes to commercialise a blog. Every blogger and influencer will be prepared to promote different content and partner with different brands based on their priorities. It’s ultimately up to you as an influencer if you feel that signing with an agency is in your best interests, but you can bet that as this space becomes more competitive, it’s going to be in your best interests to register your interest with agencies but remain a free agent.

 

The purpose of this blog post is to give our audience a rundown of the options available to NZ bloggers and content creators- no magazine or newspaper will ever sign an exclusive agreement to monetize their content, so why should you?

If you have any questions about blogging in New Zealand, or would just like to have a chat, email us hello@weareanthology.com and one of our passionate team members will be in touch.