Please Stop Asking Me to Work for Free
I am a blogger who has two jobs. Job scenario #1: I love the people with whom I work. I enjoy said work and I kind of (okay, I do) rock at it. Despite the lovefest there is something that is always very clear: I do not work for free.
My other “job” is blogging. Each day I, along with many other bloggers, receive emails asking me to write about a website, product or service. It usually starts with a, “I found your blog and I loved it! I have this great <insert object of praise here> and I’d love for you to share it with your readers.” I know that this same email has been sent to countless other bloggers. I know the person writing usually knows very little about me, my blog and what is most important – my readers and who they are. And I already know the person on the other side of the screen wants me to do this promotion for free. I could tell you, verbatim, how it will go:
I thank the person for reaching out, ask them to send a compensation structure and give them a heads up I work with US-based companies indicating there are very few exceptions to this rule. One of two things happens:
Scenario Number One: I get a reply that there is no budget to pay me, but they’ll share my post on their social media forums (which will launch me into blogger stardom) or…
Scenario Number Two: I never receive a reply back.
Are the people sending me these emails working for free? Doubtful. So why are they expecting me to gift them my time and resources as though they aren’t of any value?
Working for free is called volunteering. And I do that already; for charitable organizations who need my time and efforts on their behalves to give back to others. Personal or professional gain is not part of that equation.
Back to my other job for a second…By day I work as a corporate event marketing manager for a major global organization. I KNOW the cost of marketing. Part of my job is to budget and cut spend in an effort to market our products and brand to customers in the best and most cost effective way possible. Bang for the buck? Believe me, I get it. I am also privy to the value of bloggers and their reach, something which should most certainly not be underestimated. The price on time spent creating a blog post, editing the content, taking photos and editing those photos along with scheduling social media touts is sometimes hard to measure, but I can tell you the rates of most bloggers are peanuts compared to hiring an agency. And unlike an agency, a lot of bloggers won’t take your money just to earn a dime. My reviews will be sincere and candid and I will only give away something I am totally digging or fuggedaboutit. Ain’t happenin’. The cost of running a blog doesn’t exactly come cheap either and we do have expenses and even pay taxes, too. There are brands who get this. They do exist. And more often than not, they are great to work with.
I Do Not Work For Free
Bottom line: My time is precious. If I don’t treat it as such I know I can’t expect the same from anyone else. So don’t ask it of me because shortchanging myself is definitely something which I won’t deliver (and neither should you)!