An Open Letter to New Bloggers


You started your blog recently and everything's going swimmingly. You've got a few hundred (maybe even a thousand!) followers on Twitter and you're finding your feet with photography and your posting schedule. And then one day it hits. The day you thought would never come. BAM! An email from a brand has landed in your inbox! Wow! They've noticed you, they love your blog (or so they tell you in the email), and they want you to review some items from their site. You're incredibly excited, you can't wait to get started! You're practically Zoella now, right?! 

But wait. There's a catch. The deal is that in order to review the product, you've got to buy it yourself. Sure, the company are offering a discount - perhaps £10 off when you spend £20, or a 30% discount. Maybe even just free delivery. And they've promised further collaborations in future. Hold up there for a second. This, ladies, is where the alarm bells should start ringing.

If you take this deal, YOU are PAYING for the pleasure of ADVERTISING THEM.

NO.

This is NOT HOW THIS IS SUPPOSED TO WORK.

I've seen this happening way too often. Small bloggers being asked to buy products from companies in order to review them. Not just offering free advertising but paying the brand for the review. And I just don't think this is right. Brands and companies are taking advantage of smaller bloggers who will be incredibly excited to receive their first collaborative opportunities and using them to sell stock and make money. I like to call the phenomenon a GIANT PISSTAKE. 

If a company thinks that it is worth their while to have a review of their product featured on their your blog, they will send you that damn product and not ask you to pay for it. Having this expectation is not being greedy. This is not being selfish. This is valuing your work as a blogger. 

In order to write a review, you'd have to spend time photographing the product. Testing it out. Writing up your thoughts. Editing the pictures. Promoting on social media. This is WORK. If you turned up to the office on Monday morning and your boss said to you "I think you should work for free today Mandy, and give me a fiver for letting you do it", would you be impressed? Hell no. You'd stick your middle finger up at your boss and walk straight out. (Well, I would anyway). Yet this is exactly what's happening when you accept a collaborative post with a brand that asks you to pay for the product you're going to review. Think about it.

Want my advice? (No? You're getting it anyway).
  • Reject these false opportunities. Just ignore the email. Send it to your spam box and never think of it again.
  • Wait it out. Once you grow, you'll have companies fawning at your feet to send you products and properly reimburse you for your time and effort.
  • Respect yourself. Respect your time. Respect your blog. You deserve better.

Have you ever had an experience like this with a brand? Please share your thoughts or advice in the comments below.

Until next time,

A x
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