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.
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.