I’m going to get wordy here for a bit, so bear with me, please! “How do bloggers earn money on Facebook?” is a question I hear often, so I thought I’d clear a few things up.
Every day, I see people sharing Facebook posts incorrectly. Large pages that take photos from bloggers and share the entire recipe in the caption. Or they don’t tag them or they crop off watermarks. If the blogger even dares to speak up nicely in the comments and ask for their recipe to be removed and the direct link given instead, they are often times attacked by the other commenters. They’re told that it’s on the internet so it’s automatically free and they have no rights anymore. They’re told they’re being selfish. Told they should be flattered that anybody wanted to share it. Called names and more. I see it EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
I also hear quite frequently, “So what exactly do you do for a living? Blogging can be a job? You mean you actually earn money?”. When people share these posts incorrectly or attack the blogger who defends their work, I don’t think they’re necessarily trying to be mean. I think they truly don’t get how blogging works.
Here’s the thing, pretend I write for a print magazine. I’m sitting at my desk finishing up an article, and as soon as it’s done, you grab it from my hands and say “Thanks for writing that. Now I’m going to go share it and not tell anybody that you’re the one who wrote it. By the way, your paycheck for this article is that you should feel flattered.”
Sounds absurd, right?? Last I checked, there’s no mortgage company that would accept “somebody took my work and didn’t give me credit, but I’m flattered they liked it” as payment. But people expect bloggers to accept this without “whining”. Honest to goodness, I can’t get over the number of times I’ve heard people tell bloggers to stop whining when they ask to be credited for their own work!! Can you even imagine if your boss told you that at your job?!
There are lots of ways that bloggers earn their income, but one of the most common ways is by straight pageviews on a site that contains ads. So when a Facebook page shares a direct link to that post, the blogger gets a pageview for everyone who clicks on the link to see the recipe or tutorial. This is why it’s important to not share recipes in captions. The person reading that can get the recipe straight from the caption and not have to click over to the post. Is it an extra step for the reader? Yes, but it’s the correct way it should be handled.
It’s the same as saying that everybody who goes to an amusement park should go through the main gate rather than slipping through a hole in the fence. The hole in the fence might be closer to where you parked, and it gets you in for free, but the correct thing to do is go in the main gate!!
So how much does this really matter?? I mean, it’s just one person sharing a post, right?? What’s the harm?? It matters. It all adds up and it matters.
Earlier this month, Cupcakes & Chaos shared one of my posts on their Facebook page. This post was 2 months old and petering out a bit traffic-wise. They shared it the CORRECT way and the results have been huge! I don’t usually talk numbers, but since I’m trying to drive home a point, I’m going to. I want to tell you exactly how much sharing the correct way helps me personally. Because they shared a direct link to the recipe, every single person that wanted the recipe counted as a pageview for me. In only 11 days, that post alone has seen an extra 225,000 pageviews. The ad money I’ve earned from just that post alone in 11 days has been enough to purchase our new fridge that we had been struggling over the price of. That is insane. It’s taken 39 years, but I have a fridge with an ice maker for the first time (and it is every bit as fabulous as I imagined!). All because of a Facebook post that was shared correctly.
In December, another large site shared one of my recipes by posting the recipe in the caption on Facebook. Even though the post was shared tens of thousands of times, I saw no increase in traffic and my paycheck didn’t change. All because of the manner in which it is shared.
So no one is earning money from Facebook directly, but rather from our content that is being shared on Facebook. If it is shared correctly, that is.
It matters and it affects bloggers directly. You know, the people who actually worked to create the content.