As I’m sat here beginning to write this, I’m really wondering how it ever got to this stage. The amount of bloggers and content creators that have recently posted on their twitter feeds that marketers not paying them to expose their brand, its quite ridiculous. We know the blogging industry is over-flowing and there are many people who are happy to receive free products to review them, but what about the rest of us?
As much as I enjoy reviewing a product, why should I choose between receiving the product for free or being paid. Surely the whole point of reaching out to those of whom write about products is to expose it to our readership, is that not worth something? Most PR’s claim they’re sending us expensive products, unless its a luxury watch or something that is worth hundreds of pounds it’s less expensive than paying for it. The amount of times I have heard from company’s that there is no budget to pay for an article, but, they’ll host some Z list party to get it in the Daily Mail, or as I like to call it the “Hately Mail”.
We as creators and writers take our time to review and expose brands, now we understand smaller independent brands starting out might not be able to pay for it. Please do not insult us with lies, it’s so disrespectful – especially if you’re throwing a launch party that probably costs more than it would to pay for us to post about it. Whilst receiving treatments or other items that involve taking up someone else’s time, now that I can understand why that’s not a paid item, I think that’s more than a fair trade (but then I’m a complete socialist).
I’ve always tried to live by the rule, if it doesn’t interest me say nothing or don’t write about it. However I’ve since changed my stance, I think it’s time we were honest and told brands our true thoughts, for surely that’s why that wanted us to review it anyway. I think so many bloggers and content creators are scared that if they write something that doesn’t flatter the brand, they will make sure other brands don’t work with them either.
I’ve personally always believe if you’re a person of critic, sticking to the facts, showing passion and not just being bitchy. Eventually you’ll be noticed and recognised as just that a fashion critic or specialist as the new kids in journalism like to call them. After I had a frank conversation with a blogger friend of mine (Fashion Worked) I realised I have found who I am as a writer and I will continue to rail against what is expected from me.
Anyway, before I digress from the topic. I think its important as a community for us all to stick together. Tell brands and pr’s its not okay to not pay us. I mean, how can we pay our bills with fragrances and face products, I don’t think they’d like it if we paid their services with a review on our blogs – why should it be one sided.
Here’s some quotes and responses from other bloggers…
“Exposure doesn’t pay for my heating, a good chance to get known doesn’t put food on my table, a great opportunity to build my profile doesn’t pay my rent. When you ask me to do something for free that you’ll make money from you are saying I don’t deserve a share. There are times when I do write for free but I choose those because they are for fun or there are other incentives. There is a developing currency that our hard work has no value, that our time is meaningless to many. My efforts, skill and craft are not a give away, they are not a free sample, they are a tradable commodity as with any work. We don’t ask people in other jobs to work for free, I don’t ask my bank manager to do my tax return as it’ll raise her profile, so please stop treating my work at the same level as a giveaway.” – Fashion Worked.
“Well known businesses need to realise that writers & bloggers are people that need to earn a living themselves. They expect something massive with something so small and it’s not fair, but people should not be going into blogging thinking they are going to be making fortunes from it because they aren’t.” – Liam Yullhanson
“I understand but I do find it extremely insulting when a PR company or brand (especially large multinationals) asks you to work/promote their products for (basically) free. I can’t think of many industries where this would be an acceptable form of payment and is not a common form of currency when it comes to paying bills as far as I’m aware.” – The Everydayman
Till next time…