Talking about money and salaries is a taboo subject. Everyone likes to keep their secrecy about how much they are making and that’s ok. Not all bloggers need to write a monthly post about how much they made. Some bloggers do and that’s great but not everyone is comfortable sharing that. However, we should be slightly open and admit yes, some bloggers do make money from writing sponsored posts. Why should we share this? To let other bloggers out there know that yes, it is absolutely ok to earn some cash from your blog. Also, to let companies know this as well. Why? Because it seems like a lot of brands expect bloggers to work for free. Companies reach out to us expecting promotion of their brands or products for free. Why do they expect promotion from bloggers for no payment? I’m really not sure but blogging is hard work and here is why bloggers shouldn’t work for free.
I receive multiple emails on a daily basis from various brands and PR companies pitching ideas to me about promoting their product or company on my blog. They’ll go on and on about why their product is great, how I should include it on my blog, what topic I should focus on, what social media channels they want my blog post promoted on, and how many times they want it promoted. Some have even said they’d write the post for me. Um, excuse you?? The big problem here? Most of them expect the promotion for free. Absolutely zero payment!
Would any company ever reach out to a magazine publication to write an article for free? No, they wouldn’t. Would they tell a magazine “but we are giving you free product in exchange for the post so that should be good enough.” The worst part is some companies won’t even offer free product.
Here is my PSA to all bloggers out there – Stop working for free. You are valuable, and so is your blog. After all, these companies reach out to us because they know our readers trust our opinion. Our influence is valuable. Our time is valuable. Our effort is valuable.
Here is why bloggers are valuable. No one’s voice is like yours. Yes, there are hundreds of blogs out there focusing on the same topic, but no one’s writing style is exactly the same. Your uniqueness is what pulls your audience in. So why should you convince your loyal audience to purchase a product from a company that doesn’t value you?
It takes time to write a post. It can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days to weeks depending on the topic. There is lots of thinking/brainstorming that goes into writing a post. Then there is the editing and proofing. Photography takes time and effort too. Finding the right lighting, styling everything just right, and editing. A lot of work goes into that oh so perfectly written and photographed post.
Social media posts are a lot of work too. Effort is put into curating the perfectly balanced feed. So no, you should not be promoting your well written blog post promoting a company on any social media handle multiple times a week for free. If we have to pay Facebook and Instagram to promote one of our posts, why shouldn’t a brand have to properly compensate bloggers to promote their product on our social media account?
Free product is not payment, never ever. Even if it’s a product you’ve been lusting after and actually fits into your lifestyle, getting it for free is still not payment. Your Instagram photo “maybe” being shared on their account is not payment. Free product is fun, I’ll be the first to admit that, but unless I’m reaching out to a brand requesting a product I really, really want and have been lusting after, I will not advertise on my blog for free. Products do not pay the bills.
Even if you’re a new blogger just starting out, don’t be afraid to see your worth. If a brand is reaching out to you, you deserve to be paid. If these brands did not see our marketing potential then why would they reach out to us?
Don’t be taken advantage of. Don’t let that company make you feel like you should be indebted to them for even noticing you enough to email you. See your worth and don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve. Your blog is valuable.
If you’re a brand reading this, please realize bloggers have value, and your product should not be marketed for free. If you’re a brand that already realizes a blogger’s worth, then kudos to you and thank you! Maybe you can open the eyes of other brands out there?
If you are a blogger, how do you feel when brands reach out to you but offer no compensation?