Monday, March 16, 2015

Hi There Blogger, Work For Free? ♥

 I had to get this post written asap as I have so many things floating around my mind right now that I know I'll forget if I don't get typing fast! Recently there has been some grumbling and unease amongst the blogging community due to some brands and PR's (most are amazing by the way!) wanting something for nothing and this hasn't been a one off case as far as I can see either, this has been a constant stream of people wanting bloggers to do a whole lot of work for the great sum of absolutely nothing.

I cannot even begin to tell you the amount of emails I have received offering me the 'fantastic opportunity' of writing a whole blog post devoted to a brand or a product, including links and the good ole high-res images that everyone is so willing to share in return for the line "our social team will be sharing their favourites on our social media"... so, you mean to tell me that you want me to do hours of work in return for my post maybe being shared on your social media channels... you're having a laugh, right? Sadly, these sorts of emails usually come addressed to a "hello there" - a moniker which my parents thankfully did not give me. The fact that these emails are unpersonalised further adds insult to injury as it seems these people would like anyone to promote them, they did not choose to email me just because they liked my blog. Unfortunately these people are not joking with their emails, they actually do expect bloggers to work for them for absolutely nothing in return and I for one am sick to my back teeth about it.

Why is it that people who have an artistic nature or occupation that involves some type of artistic skill such as painting, writing or photography, etc., seem to get taken advantage of constantly of by those who see their talents as nothing more than a hobby? Of course, for some people it is just a hobby and they may be happy enough to give the odd freebie to family and friends, but, to be downright taken advantage by those you don't personally know, who just want to use your skills in order to promote themselves or a brand they represent so that they look good and you get no recognition at all, well that is just not on. Imagine me going to my local doctor and telling him I can't pay him for my visit to him but I'll give him a big thumbs up around the town, or going to do the weekly shop and telling the till staff that I'd like my shopping for free but will promote how great the food is on my Facebook page... I think you can imagine the response I'd receive. So why is the case different for bloggers?

When I began blogging I had absolutely no problem at all with writing about and promoting businesses just because I simply liked their products or because I had got chatting to their owners over Twitter and wanted to share their businesses with my readers. I still share products and places I love that I have paid for out of my own money to this day, simply because I want people to know about them, but someone asking me to work for them all at my own expense is a completely different story altogether.

Some bloggers, like myself, unfortunately have to rely on our blogs for a living. Some do reviews in exchange for products because they need them and can simply not afford them themselves, some do reviews because they simply love the sound of the products and really want to try them out, others accept sponsored posts because they rely on the income to feed their families, pay rent and bills, others accept sponsored posts as a means of gathering some pocket money along side their everyday jobs so that they can have some perks in life... whatever reason a blogger is accepting reviews and sponsored posts for, you can be guaranteed that they do a bloody good job on them and put in a ton of work to give the brand and products the best exposure that they possibly can. How people think it's okay to ask people to do this for free is beyond me, they obviously don't know just how much work is involved in a putting together blog post or it's promotion on social media. In my own experience, a post can take hours depending on how much imagery is involved. I first have to write a post, take pictures, edit them, add them to my blog (which can take an age these days, thanks Blogger!) and add links to all my social media, this is all very time consuming and as you can tell is probably worth a darn sight more than a social media share... maybe.

Thankfully bloggers are now realising their self worth and are making a stand against all those who are in search of a freebie. Today my emotions on this came to a head when I received a reply back from someone confirming that they were indeed after free publicity on my blog which I have worked oh so very hard on these past two years. I found it a real slap in the face that my blog is good enough to represent them but not good enough to get paid for it by way of monetary compensation or by product. My blog is not just an advertising tool, it is a document of my thoughts, feelings and adventures with my son and I'm not going to have it or my skills taken advantage of anymore. My reply to this individual was still polite as I am professional at all times when it comes to my blog, but I think I got my point and frustration across quite well

"Hello Freebie Seeker (I did not call them this by the way, this is simply for anonymity purposes),
I hope you're well. I'm afraid I cannot work for free. My blog posts and their promotion on my own social media of over 30,000 take a lot of work, time and effort . I'm afraid social media promotion on it's own is not enough of an incentive, nor should it be for any blogger, writer or any other occupation of an artistic nature. I hope you can understand but thank you for getting in touch.
Kindest regards,
Fiona".

If every blogger used this reply, well then maybe this culture of people looking for something for nothing will disappear and bloggers will be rewarded with what they deserve for all their hard work.

After all, social media shares don't pay the bills or feed our families. I can't pay my landlord in Facebook likes and my son would waste away to nothing on a diet of Twitter retweets. Thanks but no thanks.
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43 comments

  1. Brilliant post Fi. I've had a couple of those Hello there emails, it's so frustrating. The blog is a hobby at the end of the day, I enjoy the odd freebie but seriously why would you ask someone to work for approx three hours for nothing!! Boils my blood!!

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    1. Thank you for reading Kellie! I know, mine is a hobby too but I think it's an absolute cheek to ask people to work for free, no matter what they do!

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  2. Great post. I seem to receiving a lot of these lately, and they do frustrate me! You've put it all perfectly here.

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    1. Thank you so much, they are frustrating me too... A LOT!

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  3. Loved this post. I have had many of these emails amd i simply don't accept them. No one goes to work at an office for free, so why should bloggers be treated differently? We work from home, just because we dont drag our arses to an office outside of our homes does not mean we don't work. We put time and effort in to our blogs judt like any office worker out there.

    Thank you for this blog post, i am glad so many people can relate!

    Much love,

    Lauren Nicole O'Hara

    https://lauren-ohara-x.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for reading Lauren, I'm glad you liked the post. I don't accept them either, I don't think anyone who is doing any sort of work, unless volunteer or charity of course, should ever use their efforts, skills or talents for nothing, nor should they deserve to x

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  4. Definitely topical. Great response and great post.

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    1. Thank you for reading! Definitely a very topical subject at the moment as far as I can see from fellow bloggers.

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  5. I can't comment from a blogger's point of view but this 'something for nothing' mindset is not just restricted to your field of expertise, I'm afraid. I work in the intellectual disability sector, where 'volunteering' is a regular occurrence. For example, we've taken groups of service users (SUs) on short holidays, that are paid for by the SUs, not the organisation, both here in Ireland & abroad. We were paid our wages, bed & board. What the powers that be don't seem realise, or choose to ignore, is that it is most certainly NOT a holiday for the staff involved. Essentially they're getting 24 hours a day for the cost of a 9 to 5 and when we try to resist or get Unions involved, we get the same response every time: either accept or the SUs don't get a holiday. Smacks to me of exploitation and is wrong in every sense of the word. Phew! Feel a bit better now! Keep up the good work xxx

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  6. This is a great post::: I think very relevant at the moment:::: a lot of new bloggers would literally fall prey of this and I myself have in the past, I think it's really rearing a bit of an ugly head, absolutely loved your reply can I cut and paste it (only kidding)

    Laura x

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  7. good for you! I get so many of these emails that I just ignore them. I don't even have enough time to do my own blog promotion let alone promote someone else's for free! x
    www.article21.co.uk

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  8. Great post - completely agree with you about people seeing artistic talents as a hobby. Its not fair that they want you to work for free!

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  9. I, myself am not a blogger, and don't know much about the blogging community...but I would NEVER have the nerve to ask someone to put my product on their page for free! I DO realize you don't get something for nothing though! I'm an ADULT! That's how the world works!
    I DO have a lot of respect for you for telling her in a mature, respectful way.

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  10. It's very cheeky and I'm surprised that the people who send these emails even bother. It's not like they work for free. x

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  11. I love this post! You expressed all the feelings I also have about these sorts of emails. I love the reply, staying professional is always the way forward. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, great post! Xx

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  12. Agreed. We are not connected to the internet for free too.

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  13. Absolutely love this! As a blogger who doesn't have their own domain I do wonder whether I should really expect much in return but it doesn't change the fact that I put time and effort into my blog posts. Completely agree with you and love your response xx

    Http://www.itsalwaysdarkestbeforethedawn1.blogspot.co.uk

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  14. Absolutely agree, so well said Fiona! And I think I`ll be sharing this post with many of them!}

    I had one just this evening actually, and the response "We don't pay for xxx companies advertising, we just look after their editorial" made me laugh out loud...I guess they're doing that out of the goodness of their hearts and not being paid for their time themselves then?!?

    It's insulting to expect that a person who has spent years building a following would be willing to freely give that platform to anybody who wants it, for nothing in return, just because they asked...its not like we started our blogs because we had our own things to say or anything?! can you imagine how much space would be left for our own articles if we gave away every free post we're asked for?! xxx

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  15. And I bet they didn't even bother to reply to your email when you sent that response did they? People can be so rude. Great blog post, well said.x

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  16. THIS IS BRILLIANT!!
    And I love all the bloggers getting behind it in the comments! I am in absolute agreence
    I also want to have a good lol specifically about what you said about paying your doctor in 'thumbs up around town'...absolutely hilarious!

    I think the because its a 'new' industry to a lot o marketers and PR don't know how to cope with us!
    But I believe the tides are changing, i recently read a survey that cited working with blogs is becoming more influential than magazien ads (imagine the pay difference there!)
    Okay i've blabbed on too long (sorry!)
    Love everything about this though (except that it happens)

    Kelsey x | Kelstagram

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  17. Amen sister! Those emails are SUCH a let down because I get SO excited when I first open the email (Yes, praise the Lord, a way to bring in some income!).....but then to have my hopes crushed with the "share our favorites on our social medias". And sometimes they have fewer followers then I do!! I'm like, seriously???

    I think bloggers ARE starting to wake up to their worth recently. Thank goodness! It's about time people started seeing bloggers as serious business owners. Just like you said, many gals and guys depend on their blogs to bring in an income. It's a job just like the bank teller or the hair dresser. So why do people expect us to work for nothing??

    And on top of that...I wonder why readers sometimes get so outraged whenever they see bloggers doing sponsored posts or reviews from products that were given to them to review. Yes, I do agree the blogger shouldn't make their blog one paid ad after another....but blogging is a LOT of work, and if we get paid to give our honest opinion, or share information about a brand that might interest people....why do people see this as wrong??? That's something I just DON'T get!

    Anyways, I'll stop venting now. Thanks for sharing this with use, Fiona!!

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  18. Absolutely great post you put something very important thanks for sharing

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  19. Maybe you can also agree to promote their product if the compensation is right. :D

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  20. great post! thanks for sharing, As for me, I hate those brands too who offers nothing and want a lot from you.
    You know, once I have recieved email from some Japanese company , they want to send me for review some thing that wasnt related too my blog at all! I write about fashion, style and beauty, and they offered me to review some stuff for a car (like conditioner) - and I do not even have a car!

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  21. Great post! They really should think of all the trouble you have to get through to keep the blog up and running..the nerve of those pepole!

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  22. I'm not a blogger but I understand what you're saying and totally agree with you. Anyone who reads just one of your posts can immediately see how much time and effort you put into writing and I don't think anyone who is doing any sort of work should ever be expected to use their skills and talents for nothing.

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  23. Blogging needs a "hard job" to have a nice blog, beautiful pictures and discrabe your experiences. Very nice post :) I am a beauty blogger too, and I see that some people think that be a blogger is something very easy.

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  24. Exactly this! I feel like a because a few bloggers do work for free we are then all expected to. It's very unfair when we all know how much effort goes into each post we write. I love your reply to that pr/brand. I often do it myself and they keep pushing they are in fact doing you a favour..........ha!

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  25. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, great post!good for you!

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  26. Totally agree! My blogs are also my only source of income and it drives me insane how many people want me to do something for nothing! x

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  27. Amen to everything you wrote, Fiona! I got tons of these e-mails and once out of curiousity inreplied asking what i will be getting out of it and the reply is basically nothing lolololol, i delete every single one arriving on my email ever since but i am so tempted to copy paste yours!!!

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  28. Great post and oh so true! x

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  29. You've just written down all of my thoughts on this subject! I'm so fed up with receiving emails from companies expecting me to work for free. My response is usually along the lines of... I'm not currently in a position to work for free what with bills needing to be paid etc but if this ever changes in the future I shall let you know! ;)

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  30. Love this Fiona!! It's so true isn't it? I'm often asked to promote 'great' low-cost items — for free — on my blog. Sometimes I do it — if it's a brand I particularly love or a product that I would buy out of my hard earned cash anyway — but mostly I decline.

    I find it insulting that my time, creativity and my 'business' as a whole are so undervalued by the very companies who want to utilise them! x

    Caro | www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

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  31. You said it! Couldn't agree more with this! xx

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  32. Well said!!
    I'm still quite low down in the ranks of bloggers that do reviews and things and so far have only been paid in products however, even I am seeing that I'm putting in more effort to the posts that the products are actually worth. I don't have a massive following but that doesn't mean I haven't worked hard to get them or that I don't work hard on my blog. My space of internet is important to me as Im sure yours is to you and I think more of us need to take this stand.

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  33. I really love your blog Fi because you tackle issues that we are all facing and that is what makes it so imperative to take a stand against free labor. We dedicate our time to providing high quality content-at least most of us do and we will not be doing it for free. What kind of blogger would that make me who works two jobs to keep herself debt free and looks after children as well as having my own blog which I post on 5 days a week out of my own accord. I will not work for free unless I decide to.

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  34. I love your response! I just had to send out a similar one a few hours ago to someone who was looking for a post mentioning their brand and using their photos for a possible social media share. HA! It takes all of my energy NOT to write, "this is great for you, but wtf is in it for ME??"

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Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. I appreciate all your comments and try to reply whenever I can.

Peace & love,
Fiona
xo

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