Here’s an unapologetic fact about me: I don’t work for free. This means when I’m pitched a product to review, a site to visit, or an “opportunity” that involves me posting something on my blog for someone else's benefit, I ask (but in much savvier terms): Are you paying me? And if the answer is “no,” then it’s also a, “No thank you.” Receiving gratis products in the mail can be super tempting but here’s why I won’t work for free:
Someone’s getting something. PR agencies, marketing firms, brands, they all have some sort of budget. Paying bloggers might not be in the budget but it should be, because paying the PR agency or the marketing firm to get online exposure is. Reviews are a form of product promotion and I cannot bring myself to promote something for someone else without getting a piece of that pie. So if someone’s getting something but that someone isn’t me, I’m not starving. I’ll make my own pie.
I don’t want to sink my readership. Most readers won’t be phased by a review or two because they’re loyal, amazing, and know what to expect from me content wise. BUT- Ya’ll also know I’m not a review or beauty blogger, so the day my content primarily consists of those things, my Readership is going to sink. I can already hear the, “Ugh, another review?” And I don’t blame ‘em! People get accustomed to things and they’re going to be thrown off if I go from Dizmommy to Reviewmommy. If I’m not picky, I risk losing my people…and I love my people!
Time is money. Reviews, posts, informative content et al. requires taking time out of the day to do. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an hour to spend drafting content to increase exposure for a product, brand, or person at no cost. It’s one thing to write about something you actually want to write about, and it’s another thing to write something just because someone asked you to. If there’s anything I’ve learned in life, it’s that time is our most precious commodity and must be spent wisely. I’m not donating an hour of my time in exchange for $5 spoons that I can buy at Target. An hour in my life has far more value than that.
This is my platform baby! I was invited to participate in a brand’s campaign that involved writing a story relevant to their product, then ask other bloggers to join in on the fun, all for the chance of being selected as one of the “best” posts contributed which would later be tweeted by the brand. Though I had no plans on writing such a story, I did have a pretty good one I could share if the brand was willing to pay me for all the plugging and linking that was required. But noooo, they stated it was “against their policy to pay bloggers for their participation.” Funny! I have my own policies. I have a “no-accepting work without compensation” policy, and a “no encouraging other bloggers to work for free” policy. You see, I built this platform without said brands help so they can keep their dang tweet! At the end of the day if someone wants to stand on this platform, they can pay for it. Otherwise, this ride doesn’t run on chance so keep on truckin’.
“One Day” don’t pay the bills. I had a celebrity’s “people” contact me for some product placement on my site and of course, they didn’t want to pay for it. But hey! We can work something out, right? How about an interview, or an exclusive-anything! Well, once the handlers realized that any relationship between us would have to be give and take, I was offered “one day” promises. Big ones that daydreams are made of! But there were problems. I mean, aside from taking the idea I pitched to a bigger blog (ouch), it became apparent that “one day” isn’t on a calendar, promises aren’t contracts, and “one day” don’t pay the bills. Duly noted.
It should go unsaid...but fine, I'll say it. I'm worth it. If you're spending time contacting me to do something for you, you've admitted that you see a value in me. And guess what? So do I.
Look, turning a blog into a source of income is the ultimate achievement. And when some of my favorite bloggers’ write product reviews and sponsored posts, you can find me in their comment section cheering them on because I know what it takes to get those posts done: WORK. And sure, there are many things I would LOVE to write about for product only (Macbook Pros, a Ford Explorer, anything BB Dakota makes…lol), but it wouldn’t stop be from disclosing that, “I’m willing to waive my fees in exchange for…” Because the assumption that I am merely a blogger that eats chance for dinner and gets paid in promises should never exist. My time, my platform, and my message is all worth compensating. I mean, they are contacting me for something, right?
So...do you work in exchange for products?