In the blogging world it’s quite common to be asked to work for free. I say quite common, it happens to us every single day.
Between us we’ve worked in several different sectors and it’s only since becoming bloggers we’ve been asked to work for free constantly.
Now let’s get this in early…
Working for free is 100% recommended by US to YOU when building a brand and/or business. Building up a portfolio of your work and getting your foot in the door by way of making valuable relationships is definitely a must-do.
Choose what work you do for ‘free’ carefully, it should have a form of benefit to you and do not accept the constant attempts by businesses, brands and PR’s to gain FREE advertising through your blog/website. We’ve all had the emails,
‘sorry we don’t have a budget for this’
‘we don’t have a budget but can provide high-res images’
‘there isn’t a budget but we will offer exposure via our social accounts’
It’s madness! I’ve never known an industry like it. ‘Joan do you fancy an extra shift on Saturday, it’s not paid but I’ll tell management you’re awesome’. What would Joan say? Joan would tell you to PISS OFF as well! Joan’s got bills to pay like the rest of us.
Blogging is hard. Getting your blog to a relatively decent level that attracts any attention from any businesses or brands is hard work. So you put in the hours, you build an audience, you spend time growing you Instagram following and your Twitter, oh and the other 600 platforms that spring up from here there and everywhere and Sarah from BullshitPR wants you to create a blog post about her clients new product for ZERO return. Is Sarah working for her client for FREE?! I didn’t think so.
It’s really not on and I’ll be honest, I’m not sure who is accepting these proposals? Some one must be for it to continue happening you’d think.
As I’ve mentioned before there are opportunities that come along that don’t have a monetary or product return to you, the blogger. But, you might know the brand, have had communications with the brand/PR previously and there is a good chance that your free help here will lead to something much bigger and better in the future. You make that call on each email you receive.
Derek though, emailing you ‘Hello there’ not even including your name, asking you to post this nonsense research that’s just been found out left handed blonde women that wear black shoes are better drivers than ginger people, and he can provide high-res images all you have to do is let him know…
Jog on Derek I’ve got these 79p baby wipes to review 😉
Knowing your worth in blogging is massively subjective and there’s so many variables it’s almost impossible to know what price to put on which type of work. One thing I know though is that you’re not worth NOTHING, NADA, ZERO.
I think confidence in blogging is something worth mentioning here too. In particular new bloggers may not be quite confident enough to respond to emails with counter offers and start negotiations in fear of either being cheeky, not feeling ‘big enough’ to ask for more, or simply just not knowing how to word it and lose out on the work. I would suggest risking missing out on any of the scenarios I’ve poked fun at above. They won’t do anything for you but will benefit them. Imagine a brand paying a PR £1000 to get their latest product some exposure across the parenting niche. The PR then approaches 10 bloggers and 6 of them agree to do the work on the promise of exposure and getting to work with X brand, no money involved. That brand is exposed to what will be thousands of people online through the 6 different bloggers audiences and the PR is laughing themselves to sleep.
This isn’t a dig at PR’s and/or brands directly, what I want to do is raise further awareness to new bloggers, bloggers that haven’t been involved in this kind of thing as yet and those bloggers that may well believe this is just what happens, because there are some!
I/we have worked with loads of brands and PR’s over the last 2 and a half years and there are some amazing people, many of which we’ve built good relationships with. But, as in all walks of life there are also some that are simply trying to have your pants down. The more we speak about this the more awareness there will be across the blogging community and influencer community as a whole. I believe we can raise standards for both sides of the coin, better understanding from brands/PR’s of which bloggers provide quality work, work worth paying for and also for bloggers to realise their worth and aim to create better content to become worth paying.
This post has been on my mind for a while actually after the increase of nonsense emails across this summer. But, a shout-out to Yaya from mydreamality.com who sparked a conversation in a very good Facebook bloggers group Official UK Bloggers.
I really want your feedback on what I’ve discussed in this post so get your thoughts in the comments!
Thanks for reading,
David and Donetta 🙂
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