Dear Brands: Stop Being Rude To Bloggers

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a giant successful blogger in this giant blogging community, but I’ve been around for a while now and I like to think I know the ins and outs of blogging. One thing that’s particularly bothering me at the moment are rude brands.

I’m not talking about one particular brand, I’m talking about many which seem to all do the same thing.

Let me paint a picture. A brand emails you asking for a collaboration. You think “cool, that sounds awesome” but you also think “well that might take some work, I’ll ask if they have a budget or if they could stretch to paying me a small fee”. You send them your media pack, you send them what you’ll do for the money and you’ll speak extremely professionally and kindly about wanting to work with them but not really wanting to do it for free.

What happens next? They vanish off the face of the earth. No reply.

Not only do I find this really rude, I find it quite unfair. Now, many brands don’t have a budget for payment when it comes to blogger collaborations, and you know what… that’s okay. What’s not okay is asking a blogger to work with you, then as soon as they mention a payment, not even reply to them and tell them that you have no budget.

You may think ‘why does this bother me?’… well, here’s why.

  • Firstly, it’s just common courtesy to reply. I don’t mind if you have no budget but just tell me.
  • It bums out the entire opportunity. If you reply and say you have no budget, I may decide that I’d still like to work with you, so in the end we both lose out.
  • Waiting for the reply is irritating. Another similar brand might approach me for a similar collaboration, and are willing to pay me, but I can’t say yes because I may already be doing another one… So I have to decline. Then I never hear back about the first one.

A lot of brands seem to think that bloggers will do a lot of work for free. Sure, if you’re being offered an eyeshadow palette that you’ve wanted for ages or a brand who you LOVE have emailed you, then by all means, accept the product. But I think brands forget what we’re actually going to do for them.

So, let me paint another picture. A clothes brand have asked me to collaborate with me on an outfit post. Great, cool, fab. They’re offering me a piece of clothing, let’s say the item is £15. Here’s what they’re getting:

A whole outfit post for all of my readers. Social shares to all of my social channels. Endless tweets about the product and how much I like it. Good photography. Honest opinions and reviews.

Sure sounds good. Here’s how long it takes me:

Getting the photos takes about 1 hour. Editing the photos takes me about 2 hours. Writing the post and getting all the links and whatever is another hour. Let’s say that on top of that all the sharing on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is another hour. That’s 5 hours.

By my calculation, for 5 hours work I get a £15 item, which is £3 per hour. I get £3 for each hours work, and I get something that isn’t even able to pay for me to eat.

dear-brands-stop-being-rude-to-bloggers-2

See my point? All bloggers put a lot more time, energy and money into their posts and what you’re getting might be great for using, but it’s not going to help you pay your bills. I’m not being ungrateful about gifted items at all, because I think it’s amazing that brands use bloggers as a form of advertising, but to not even reply to an email because you mention a small payment for your hard work? Nope, that’s rude.

Dear brands: be honest with bloggers. Tell us if you can’t pay us, discuss amounts, anything, just don’t ignore us.

I’d love your opinions on this! Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

R x

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51 Comments

  1. 16th August 2016 / 6:46 pm

    Yes yes yes to all of this! I am by no means a huge blogger but I completely agree with wear you are coming from! This is excellently written xx

    Sam // What I Know Now

    • 17th August 2016 / 8:49 am

      Glad you think so! It’s a tricky subject because I don’t want to feel ungrateful about blogger gifting, but sometimes if I want more for my work it can get difficult!

      R xoxo

  2. 16th August 2016 / 7:30 pm

    Yessss! I agree with this post so much! All I’ve been getting recently are people wanting work with me for free and I just can’t! And it’s especially frustrating when they don’t respond. So, yes this post could not be any more true. As bloggers we all work so hard and it is disrespectful to not even respond if we ask about payment!

    Lee – leethrifts.com

    • 17th August 2016 / 8:50 am

      I don’t even have an issue if brands get back to me and say they can’t pay me a little, but to just not reply I think is so rude!

      R xoxo

  3. Parie
    16th August 2016 / 7:55 pm

    Yes. Amen. Preach. This is such a honest post and I hope all the brands out there read it!
    Parie x
    classandglitter.com

    • 17th August 2016 / 8:50 am

      Thanks Parie! Glad you agree with it, I hope they do too!

      R xoxo

  4. Dana
    16th August 2016 / 8:09 pm

    Yeees giiirl, preach! I havent been on the scene very long at all but i sucks that we all have to deal with things like this, sometimes i get pretty excited over the prospect of the collaboration just to be ignored, it totally sucks!

    Dana
    Fashion Dew // Bloglovin’

    • 17th August 2016 / 8:51 am

      Yeah it’s so disrespectful! Especially if you love the idea of the collaboration but want a little payment to help with the time it’ll take you, then they just disappear!

      R xoxo

  5. 17th August 2016 / 10:41 am

    Everything you just said is so true Robyn. I’d work with brands for free because some smaller companies are worth the mention and collaborating with them expands my platform too 🙂 The worst PR experience I’ve had was from a China Wholesale Company and dear she wasn’t polite at all. She came back to me after two months (after all that inpolite emails) but I was so nice to her still haha! That’s being professional and compasionate huh :p

    Real Life Nerd
    http://www.vivienekok.com

    • 17th August 2016 / 9:39 pm

      Yeah some brands you happily work for for free, but you can’t always! And that sounds SO awful!! Does my head in!

      R xoxo

  6. 17th August 2016 / 10:51 am

    I haven’t had many collaboration opportunities, certainly I’ve had almost none that I was genuinely interested in and I felt suited me and my blog, but the only one I did get that I was mega excited about, I was offered to be sent a product and I replied quite happily and discussed how I’d need time to try it out etc., and then I didn’t get a reply back. I just thought it was really awkward and uncomfortable, and now I don’t feel like I’d want to work with them. Manners cost nothing at the end of the day. Like you said, bloggers work hard – so why should they work for free?

    • 17th August 2016 / 9:40 pm

      I can’t believe that! It’s so frustrating when that happens – like where do these companies disappear off to?!

      R xoxo

  7. 17th August 2016 / 10:55 am

    It’s far from ungrateful to expect a response as that’s good manners if nothing else! When it comes to budget, I know a lot of brands don’t want to pay for it (I’m from a PR background as well as blogging myself), but it’s mutually beneficial for both PRs and bloggers to have that relationship, especially when it’s an agency.

    • 17th August 2016 / 9:41 pm

      It is good manners and it hardly takes a lot of effort! Plus if they don’t have time because they’re doing to many other emails then they’re clearly working with too many people! It’s also okay for brands to not pay but saying so would just be so much more polite than ignoring!

      R xoxo

  8. Sarah
    17th August 2016 / 10:59 am

    Great Post Robyn!!! I don’t ever ask for payment because I genuinely love having products sent to me for review and also because blogging for me isn’t a full time job, or even part time; I feel my time spent doing it isn’t justifiable by payment!! Like, I don’t think I deserve payment for what I do because for me it’s a hobby and you don’t get paid to do your hobby do you!? (if you do you’re very lucky!)
    I agree with you about hard work though!!! It’s not as simple as a few snaps with a camera and writing a few words!!! There’s WWAAYY more that goes into each and every post and sometimes the product I’m writing about just doesn’t seem to warrant me spending 5 hours on it, but hey, I guess that’s the price we pay for being bloggers!!
    I’m with you on the whole ignoring our emails though!! SO ANNOYING!!!!!
    You have some valid points here and I’m sure there are a lot of other bloggers who think the exact same way!!!

    • 17th August 2016 / 9:42 pm

      It depends obviously what the post is for – so if photographers are needed etc then it costs money etc! So much goes into blogging!

      R xoxo

  9. 17th August 2016 / 11:23 am

    YES! Time is money, it really is that simple.

    Also love when a brand emails you for a collab and you mention nofollow links and they vanish into thin air and now you just know they’re super shady and are filled with a sense of immense disappointment.

    • 17th August 2016 / 9:42 pm

      SO agreed! And hahahaha brillant! I’ve definitely had that happen a few times!

      R xoxo

  10. 17th August 2016 / 11:27 am

    I agree with you 100%. I dont get it, hasnt anyone taught them good manners? What I find even more rude is when I write a review of a product I bought with my own money and send that review to a brand through Facebook messages, I politely introduce myself and my blog and leave the link of my post for them to read and maybe share the post on their page, and all I get is -seen. No thank yous, no polite answers, not a word about how they liked the post—nothing. I mean…come on. Seriously?
    Its even harder in the country where I come from, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where there are only a few brands interested in collaborating with bloggers and where brands do not see the potential of such collaboration and FREE advertisement. As you said in your post, it takes time to make quality photos, to edit them and then to write a post….

    • 17th August 2016 / 9:43 pm

      It’s so disappointing when you review products for big brands then they ignore any attempt of you trying to read them! After all, you’ve literally just given them free advertising!

      R xoxo

  11. 17th August 2016 / 2:54 pm

    I can’t stand rudeness, and not replying to an email is the height of rudeness! It takes no time at all to let a blogger know you have no budget and, like you say, they might still want to work with you so you could be missing out. I’ve had this happen to me a few times in the past and it’s so frustrating! x

    • 17th August 2016 / 9:44 pm

      SO rude I think! Exactly that, I may decide I will collaborate even if there’s no budget… their loss!

      R xoxo

  12. Sophie
    17th August 2016 / 3:15 pm

    The breakdown of £3 an hour is really eye-opening! Never thought about it that way. I hate brands that don’t reply, i had an incident the other week with that. It’s like the frustration when you email about a job/application and they even SAY they’ll get back to you… then never do!

    • 17th August 2016 / 9:45 pm

      When you think of it like that it really is eye-opening right?! So rude to not reply, even if it’s a bad email or whatnot but at least you know where you stand!

      R xoxo

  13. 17th August 2016 / 4:55 pm

    I am so glad that you wrote a post about this topic! Something similar happened to me last month. A brand wanted me to do a collaboration called, My Summer Wishlist using only products from there site. So I sent them my media kit and kindly asked about being paid a fee for the post. They did respond however, they said what I was doing wasn’t a sponsored post so they didn’t have to pay me. Even though it clearly was sponsored content as everything mentioned was from there site. The only form of payment I ended up getting was a retweet.

    http://lisamariekiss.blogspot.com

    • 17th August 2016 / 9:46 pm

      I hate brands who literally ask you to blog about them for genuinely NOTHING in return… Clearly writing about them when they’re asking is sponsored content if it’s paid…?! Idiots!

      R xoxo

  14. 17th August 2016 / 8:08 pm

    I’ve never had to experience any of this as of yet but I can see where you’re coming from with every point you’ve made. I hope PR company’s and brands change the way they behave if they’re not responding. It’d be another story if bloggers ignored them they’d probably blacklist them ones. But it seems they think bloggers are an easy target and think we’ll do lots of work for them and do it for nothing. They forget blogging is some peoples full time jobs and they have to pay the bills some how.

    Claire ❤ | My Little Memoir

    • 17th August 2016 / 9:46 pm

      I do feel like we’re easy targets because sometimes it’s really exciting to get a new email with a cool brand, but at the end of the day if you’re getting nothing in return then is it really worth it?!

      R xoxo

  15. Vee
    17th August 2016 / 8:16 pm

    I haven’t had the chance to be approached for collaboration or anything yet, but I really really appreciate this post.

    Having worked on the other side (in PR and with my own small business) I know how important it is to make those connections and 100% reply to all emails. I could never afford to pay for sponsorship with my business but most bloggers were happy to work out a deal for both parties.

    Vee // veeosullivan.co.uk

    • 17th August 2016 / 9:47 pm

      Connections and engagements is what bloggers look for most, especially when it comes to recommending brands etc! It’s fine if brands can’t pay but at least discuss what you can both get out of a collaboration instead of simply not replying!

      R xoxo

  16. Emma
    17th August 2016 / 8:38 pm

    Finally someone said it! This happens all the time to me and is really frusterating sometimes I collaborate without a fee so when they do not even both negotiating it is just plain rude!

    Emma | With A City Dream

    • 17th August 2016 / 9:48 pm

      It’s so irritating how brands think they have power over us… like… we’re doing something FOR you?! Not the other way round!

      R xoxo

  17. 17th August 2016 / 10:34 pm

    OMG this post is EVERYTHING! Couldn’t capture my feelings any better. I get rude e-mails on the daily and have luckily learned to just not take it personally and instead use it as an opportunity to cut those brands out. What has helped me is creating a media kit with my rates and what those rates cover/entail, and if they aren’t happy with it, then we’re not a good fit. Simple as that. I’m glad there’s someone else out there who can relate! Thanks for sharing! xo, sharon

    http://www.stylelullaby.com/fashion/exploring-santa-barbara-free-people/

    • 19th August 2016 / 10:05 am

      I agree Sharon, I use it to distinguish which brands I want to work with and which ones I think are rude and don’t want to be involved with. I use my media kit too and if it doesn’t fit then fair enough but usually when I send emails about rates they vanish and never reply and I think it’s so rude!

      R xoxo

  18. 18th August 2016 / 10:38 am

    I am on the same page as you! Normally I will not do sponsored posts that aren’t paid, simply because like you put it, it doesn’t pay the rent or food. As “mean” as it sounds, a lipstick – no matter how cool it is – does not pay my bills. However, just like you, I also choose IF I want to work for a brand or not, even if they can’t pay me. It all depends on the whole way they write or how interested I am in trying our the product. I’ve worked with brands that simply sent me stuff, because I found their approach interesting – and some of them I ended up working with again in the future, paying me. Normally I answer that if they want to send me something, I’ll be happy to try the things out, but that doesn’t mean I will write about the product, I only write about it IF I feel like it. When they pay me, I will write about it and write an honest review and also mark the post as sponsored.

    I really liked this post =D Thanks!

    xoRosie //Rosie’s Life

    • 19th August 2016 / 10:08 am

      Yeah me too! I’ve worked with some smaller brands simply because I love their ideas or I like the sound of their products, even if I get no payment. It’s all relative! Glad you like the post! 🙂

      R xoxo

  19. Hannie Arden Blaise
    18th August 2016 / 2:26 pm

    Could not agree any more. So frustrating!

    • 19th August 2016 / 10:08 am

      Thanks! Glad I’m not alone in thinking this!

      R xoxo

  20. 19th August 2016 / 6:34 am

    A-fricken-men! I completely agree. It is so rude and frustrating, and I am that loser who checks her email 20 times a day just because I don’t want to miss an email back and seem rude by taking too long to reply…ugh!

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

    • 19th August 2016 / 10:09 am

      I’m the same! I like to think I’m one of those really prompt email repliers and I’ll always reply to emails within 24 hours ish and to not get a reply is just so rude!

      R xoxo

  21. 19th August 2016 / 9:47 am

    Such a fab post Robyn and so bloomin true! Xx

    • 19th August 2016 / 10:09 am

      Thanks Hol! Glad you agree lovely!

      R xoxo

  22. Claire
    23rd August 2016 / 12:47 am

    Loved reading this post, I had something similar to this happen a few weeks ago. Was contacted by a certain clothing brand they told me what there budget was and what type of post they wanted, I agreed to it and let them know when the blog post would be going up and what happened next……..I never heard another thing from them.

    So frustrating it was that I had put all that time into this certain blog post, just to be ignored after by them.

    Claire || http://www.nailbeautylife.co.uk

    • 24th August 2016 / 9:28 am

      That’s actually so bad! Can’t believe it, but I bet you’re not the only one that’s happened to! Really annoys me!

      R xoxo

  23. 1st September 2016 / 11:49 am

    I totally understand you. I’ve been ignored in the past too. It’s just such bad manner to not reply to emails.
    Kookii || Beauty By Her♥

    • 2nd September 2016 / 9:15 am

      It’s so rude isn’t it! Annoys me so much, glad it’s not just me!

      R xoxo

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