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On indaHash and Unethical Algorithms For Blogger Compensation

I have been blogging since 2011. I have been trying to find balance and grow my Instagram since 2016. I put an effort into my Instagram; it may be ugly but it's an effort! Not only that, I am a freelance content producer, so even if people (brands, agencies) are not asking me to post things on my platforms, I still expect a bank deposit for my work creating the post. 

So, in mid-February, I was approached by someone who said they work for a digital marketing platform called indaHash wanting me to participate in a possible campaign for a banking client. First of all, I was touched because whoa a legit campaign with a name-brand bank! Secondly,  I began wondering if this was the beginning of great things for me as a blogger and person who sometimes does content on other platforms. Gotta get that money, pliz.

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There was a bit of a catch, I had to register with my Instagram account on indaHash, a platform this person works for/through. No problem! I immediately saw that they want a minimum of 300 Instagram followers, which I have. After I was accepted on the platform, it showed that my rate was something under 2, 50 USD. Even with a generous exchange rate that didn't add up to even 35ZAR. I thought, maybe that's some rate the platform puts up not the rate this stranger would suggest I work for this bank for.

Our email correspondence again picked up after I followed up three days later and she replied to say of course, of course, si-on. To the question of my rate, she said to look on the app and let her know if I was happy with it. I was perplexed lol.

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Her response was that she totally understood where I was coming from and that I should let her know what my rate for the campaign would be rather. I was a cross between that Gaga "I have to laugh" and the snickering white woman wearing glasses memes because why have you come to disturb my peace?

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I left her on read after this because I felt disrespected.  I also no longer felt like I would be able to make good content for the campaign after this. For one, my endorsement would have been a lie because what an ugly process. I figured they would maybe raise the fee to a generous 150ZAR but at what cost ngempela? I only work with brands and on projects I like.

So no. It's not just numbers! And calculating collaboration fees solely on a blogger or content creator's reach alone is a shady business practice. On my rate card for this blog, I break down sponsored posts factoring in my time, labour and this platform because it all means something. If you are a digital professional, you know this. In Da Hash should know this as a platform working in digital.

Another reason I just stopped replying to this person is that I have been burnt by collaborations before. I have lost money trying to work with PRs before and it's just not worth it. If you work in-house for a brand, in PR or in digital and are reading this, ask yourself if your practices are ethical. Why are you sending me a gift card to source merchandise from your not-widely distributed client when you could have just sent me the product? Why are you offering me a bad rate and then back-paddling to see what I think I deserve? 

What you need to consider before offering a blogger your low rate:

You are not doing me a favour.

This is not your mother's house.

It requires work to create posts.

It takes data to publish those posts.

If the value I'm bringing is so low, why did you approach me?

This is all to say when I figure out how I'm deleting my indaHash account and I hope no one ever disrespects me like this again. This interaction taught me that people will come at you set out to ruin your day. I'm good to go, sweerie.

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