Did that get your attention or what? I promise, I’m not being gimmicky or sales-y or anything along those lines. In fact, this is more of a public service announcement to all of my fellow bloggers.
I’ve talked about this before and I’ve seen other bloggers talk about it too, but it’s time that we all finally LISTEN to one another, pull TOGETHER on this and help make a CHANGE.
So what on earth am I talking about?
Working with brands.
For the love and respect for YOURSELF and your fellow bloggers, PUH-LEASE STOP WORKING FOR FREE!
Talk Less, Say More turns 6 soon and while I am by no means raking in the big bucks from blogging, sponsored and affiliate posts do help pay a few bills, or at least the ones associated with keeping this blog alive and kicking so I can continue with one of my very favorite hobbies.
Here’s what happens when you work for free:
You set the precedent with brands that you will work for free and that other bloggers will work for free. You give them the incentive to not build a proper influencer marketing campaign into their budget. You tell them that if you’ll do it once, you’ll do it again. You devalue yourself, your time, your writing, and this entire industry.
Harsh? Yes. True? Absolutely!
Last week I had a brand reach out to me for a campaign. They didn’t mention compensation in the initial email so I was hesitant but there was some hope, especially given the topic. I often don’t respond to the emails where I can smell the “I just want to use you,” but since I thought there may be an option for compensation, I emailed them back.
As you can imagine, I got the usual response that they “had no budget for this campaign, but they send their best responses to be shared and use this to build their list for future campaigns that may have a budget.” Let me tell you what that means…it means they may tweet out your post once and you will likely see little to no return…it means they’ll put you on the list for future free campaigns because if you did it once, you’ll do it again.
At what point do you stand up for your time, your community, and your work? Bloggers don’t work for free!
If one of us does, it sets the tone; if we all stand up for our industry, we can create change.
So what is the ONE thing all bloggers must stop doing immediately?
WORKING FOR FREE.
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[Side note: While I’m not mentioning the brand, I will say that my very honest, yet clearly frustrated feedback was taken very well and they seemed to respect my honesty. That is not always the case, but it was appreciated on my end.]
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I think this is important because as a new blogger, myself included, it’s easy to get caught up in the whole “paying your dues” thing which is so silly if you think about it. Or to get roped in with free product. But we all 100% deserve to be paid for hard work, thanks for the reminder!
Cayanne Marcus @healthyezsweet recently posted…Don’t Punish Yourself Post-Thanksgiving For What You Ate
Thanks for posting this! I had a LOT of brands reaching out to me over the summer and not one responded when I sent my rates. This is gross. I have the same issue in my professional field of graphic design. So many people will give out cheap / free design and it devalues the work that I do to the point where I’ve finally decided to denounce freelance altogether because nobody is willing to pay me what my time is worth. Yeah, your brother’s friend can do it for free (or cheap) but you’re not getting the solutions that come with a professional.
Calee recently posted…November Creative Challenge: 50K Words (+ a book cover)
YES! It’s all about knowing your worth and not doing anything for free! Time is money!
Lexi recently posted…Black Friday Shopping Tips
Yes yes yes!!! A great post, and every blogger needs to know this.. Thanks for putting it out there!
— DT | Here I Scribble
DT recently posted…5 Motivational Quotes about Gratitude // Monday Motivation
This definitely gives me something to think about since I’m still new and thought if I do some modest advertising for free other brands would think I can boost them too and pay me. :-/ I probably have it all backwards after reading this.
Kaley recently posted…My Airman is Home!
I stopped working for free and it was one of my best decisions ever.
Yes yes yes! I hate when people tell me they do posts for free! NOOOOO!
I get these emails all the time and it always drives me nuts…especially when there is a big name associated. I’m sorry, but a retweet or mention from a big brand is not paying the bills!
Charlotte recently posted…Real Neat Blog Award
Great post! It’s hard to feel confident enough to say “no, I need to be paid,” when you’re just starting out but I realized quickly that all the work for one post with nothing in return is not worth it!
I have been trying really hard to get better about this! I can’t say that I decline everything (although I decline or ignore a lot), but I have been adamant about making sure I like and feel good about what I’m getting out of it and genuinely like the content. Usually more so with other bloggers who I’m more likely to want to work with than just any company.
One thing bloggers need to stop doing is comparing themselves to other people! I found that, though I’ve been blogging for over 4 years now, my blog is not as well developed or as beautiful as others! But that’s OK! I need to remember why I started (cause I love to write and I want to document special events in my life!) and everything else will fall into place if/when it’s time!
Divya @ Eat Teach Blog recently posted…Weekend Snapshots: 11/21/16
It’s so much work and a $20 product is not going to pay the bills. Great post, Katie!
Jessica Bradshaw recently posted…What I am Thankful for
Run Pink Jess is only one year old and as a new blog front it’s so tempting to take any offer to get ‘noticed’. Thank you for this post!!!!
Jess @ run pink recently posted…Friday 5 Fitness Bits
That same thing happened to me last week! I asked if I would be compensated for the post and they said no, but they would offer a discount code for my readers. I hate that they think that they think we can do this for free!
Rebecca Hicks recently posted…Give Thanks In Every Circumstance
I actually wrote a post on this along time ago begging bloggers to stop doing this. It’s one of my top posts, and I think that’s because bloggers really don’t know better. Thanks for spreading the message!
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…40 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
Great point! It’s so hard when you’re starting out and the only responses you’re getting are sharing an infographic or sharing about a product for free. It’s all hard work!
Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…Weekend Brunch
I get email requests all the time for people/websites to guest post on my blog. I always email back with the “I charge $x for a guest post.” Sometimes I hear back but rarely.
Rachel recently posted…Protein Boosted Cinnamon Banana Bread
I just started working with brands and always keep this advice in mind! I’m starting out small, but that still doesn’t mean I have to work for free!
Jackie recently posted…Frozen Hot Chocolate Protein Shake
true that. it’s work, no matter how big / small the blog or frequency of when you do it 🙂 THANK YOU to the brands who do respect that 🙂
Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted…4 Ways I #GoComfy in my Cuddl Duds
At least you got a response when you asked about compensation! After being bombarded with requests to “share a post” on my blog, product mentions, infographics–I ask about compensation and 90% of the time, silence. I don’t mind free product, if it’s something I’m interested in. But I’m pretty picky about product sharing.
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
I have a post scheduled for tomorrow about that exact topic! I agree 100%!
after almost 16 years working online I STILL WONDER IF IT WILL EVER EVER CHANGE….
carla recently posted…What do you want to be thanked for?