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.]