I’M pretty miffed today.
In fact make that very. Why?
Well because I’m getting sick to the back teeth of receiving emails from brands who are offering me the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ to ‘work’ for them and spend my time and use my talents and experience on promoting them. For FREE.
Who works for free? Do you? Does your partner? Would you like your children to have the privilege of ‘working for free’ when they’re older?
Nope, didn’t thing so. Gosh imagine if we all worked for free. How would we feed ourselves, clothe our children etc? Money may not be the root to all happiness but it is the root to existing in this world and managing to live.
So why is is then that certain brands (and I would like to state right now that most brands are brilliant to work with) think that this is ok?
Why do some brands think bloggers should publicise them and their products for nothing. And I mean absolutely NOTHING in return.
No payment, no product, not even a cup of a tea and a slice of cake. Nada. Zip. Nothing.
Beggars belief doesn’t it?
Not only is it foolish for brands to expect bloggers to snap their hands off at such an amazing offer (*said sarcastically*) but it’s also downright disrespectful, cheeky and well, bloody rude.
“Ooooooh you want me to advertise you to my readers and provide you with promotion and back links that will help to boost your SEO for NOTHING! Brilliant! Well then, where do I sign up?”, said no self respecting, successful blogger ever.
Lots of people blog so I’m sure many of you will be identifying with this right now and probably getting a little het up about it too, but for those who don’t blog, let me tell you this. Blogging is hard work.
Seriously. It may not seem like it, but it really is.
Yes it’s fun, yes it’s wonderful and can also be very glamorous. And yes some of us lucky ones get to make decent money from what we do, get invited to fabulous events and receive some lovely gifts. But creating a blog that people love and want to visit on a regular basis is not easy.
Running and maintaining a successful blog takes a huge amount of time, patience, dedication and a hell of a lot of work. And if you don’t believe me, just ask any well known blogger.
I work on my blog every single day. Do I mind? No, not in the slightest. Because I love it and it’s my passion, as well as becoming a money earner.
However, what I do mind – and not just for me, but for all bloggers out there – is when people try to take advantage of us. When some silly brands waste our time, clog up our inboxes and disrespect our talent and work.
It makes my blood boil.
As someone with a journalistic background, this attitude of non payment for writers and creative folk, is unfortunately too prevalent in our society and world at large.
And quite frankly, it stinks.
People should be treated with respect and people’s talents and expertise should always be paid what they are worth.
I have in the past recommended brands on my blog and will continue to do so, for free, on occasion if I see fit. It goes without saying that if I love a company, an item of clothing for example or a particular campaign and think my readers will too then of course I will happily share it. That is my choice.
However what I won’t do is shout out about a brand who – excuse my French – takes the p**s.
So brands and PRs who keep sending these emails, please listen up. I know you have little budget. I know you are under pressure to create magic with your PR and receive excellent media coverage, but please for the love of all bloggers everywhere, stop and think about what you are doing.
Like with anything to do with life, you only ever get what you put IN and talking from experience, the best blogger / brand collaborations happen when both sides are happy, getting something in return from each other, working together and singing from the same hymn sheet.
That’s when the PR magic really happens.
So think creatively, stop offering us offensive and ridiculous ‘opportunities’ that require us to give everything and you nothing and think about how you can build quality long lasting relationships with quality bloggers.
Because I tell you this, if you don’t, your brand and reputation will suffer.
Blogging may be a relatively new game in the world of media but it’s a big and ever changing game (that’s getting bigger everyday) made for serious players. Yes you may find some bloggers who will take you up on your ‘incredible offer’ perhaps because they’re new to the blogging world and inexperienced, but trust me when I tell you that this will not get you the exposure or recognition that you are after.
If you want to showcase and promote your brand properly and successfully, you need to take working with bloggers much more seriously. And you need to show us the respect that we are due.
Because even though you may not take us and our blogs seriously, WE, dear foolish brands, most definitely do (and so do our thousands of readers).
Phew, that feels good to get that off my chest! What do you think bloggers? Am I spot on with this or do you think I’m being unfair? And brands, what do you think? I’d love to hear all your thoughts.
P.S A big shout out to all the amazing brands and PRs who work brilliantly with bloggers and are a joy to collaborate with. Obviously this is never in a million years aimed at you X