Disclaimer: I do not want this post to come across as one giant rant. I want fellow bloggers to read this and realize that they are worth more than just a share on social media. They deserve so much more than to blog for free.
I love to blog, I really do. I love the community of bloggers that I am a part of, and I love creating new content for my readers. There are a few things I don’t love quite as much, but it all balances out in the end. There is one thing, however, that really grinds my gears: when brands expect me to blog for free.
The disappointment typically starts at the very beginning of the process. I’ll get a notification on my phone that I have an email on my blog account, and I immediately get excited, especially when it’s from a brand I know. I check the email, eager to get working on another brand collaboration, only to realize they haven’t mentioned compensation at all. I then reply optimistically, willing to work out some sort of product or cash agreement. Nine times out of ten, I’ll get an email back saying that it’s “just not in the budget” and the collaboration won’t work out. If you blog, I’m sure you’ve been in similar situations.
Let me just explain why this ruffles my feathers so much. They are a brand who has been around for ‘n’ number of years, likely has a good sized marketing budget, and wants some publicity. I am a 20-year-old woman who is currently juggling school, a part-time job, this blog, plus TWO leadership positions in clubs. The fact that they expect me to blog for free is ridiculous, and kind of insulting. Why would I devote time out of my hectic days to give some company extra promotion that doesn’t benefit me in any way whatsoever?
Enough of my complaining, it’s time to break it all down.
Reasons why I don’t blog for free and you shouldn’t either
- “Social shares” don’t pay the bills – Imagine trying to pay your rent with Facebook likes. Kind of ridiculous, right? I don’t think your landlord would like you too much if you did that. When brands propose social sharing as a form of compensation, they’re just trying to get an easy way out.
- It devalues my brand – If I just took any opportunity that made its way to my inbox, then what kind of image would my blog have? Half my posts would be meaningless, shallow brand “reviews” based off of a 10 minute website visit.
- I simply have better things to do with my time – Like I said earlier, I’m a busy gal. Most likely, all my other tasks will somehow benefit me in the future. Why would I put one of those on the back burner just to write some free promotion? Spend your free time focusing on you, not some brand!
To all my readers out there who have been doing free brand promotions, I hope you reconsider the next opportunity that comes through your inbox. If it doesn’t benefit you, don’t do it.
So now you know my biggest pet peeve when it comes to blogging. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments!
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