Today’s post is about a topic that has been bothering me for a while; sponsorships. In particular, how brands treat small bloggers with regards to said sponsorships. Since I started my blog almost a year ago now, I have grown to over 600 followers (which is amazing to me). With that comes an amazing level of support from my readers and a platform where I can discuss my honest thoughts about whatever it is that is on my mind.
In recent months, I’d say when I hit 500 readers, I started to get some attention from brands interested in sponsored content. Now, if you are new to this blog or if this is the first post of mine , you should know that I have never done a sponsored post/ nor have I been interested in doing one simply because I am happy to purchase my own products and do my own thing. I’m a very no BS kind of person, this trait does not magically dissipate when It comes to reviews of products or anything of the like ; If I don’t like something or a product is not up to par, I will very gladly say so and give you the reasons why. I am very happy about all the reviews I’ve done because they have all been very honest, and I think my readers know and appreciate that. The trust my readers have in me is the core of what makes my blog what it is, and definitely not something I take lightly . In the back of my mind, I thought this trait would deter some brands in the future since they usually want a “Yes man” type of blogger- definitely not me.
Unfortunately, the brands that have contacted me have fallen into this category. You would be surprised at the amount of brands that have never read a post of yours , that email you and flat-out tell you that they would like a positive review and referral link on the post to their site, in exchange for the product. Then when you express that you will not agree to do a positive review, but prefer being honest, you never hear from them again. Beyond that, I have literally received emails from brands that tell me they want a post on a certain day, and link me to the website TO PURCHASE THE ITEM THEY WANT A POSITIVE REVIEW ON. I also think it goes without saying that these brands also never offer any monetary compensation for the post.
This baffles me for a few reasons. Brands, a word of advice:
- Do not contact me if you haven’t read my blog : Basic etiquette really, I find it really humorous that you want me to write about your product when you have literally no clue about my writing style, the relationship I have with my viewers, the types of post I write ,etc.
- Do not contact me if you are looking for a kiss-ass : Personally, I do not value a brand that only wants positive reviews on its products. Similarly, I will never be a blogger that gives a did-honest review. So, brands, if you want someone to tell you any of the bad products you may have are gold and there’s nothing ever wrong with anything, that ain’t me.
- Be respectful: Being a small blogger does not make me any less of a human that deserves the same level of respect as anyone else. So , when you write me a rude email DEMANDING I do 3 blog posts for your unknown product and don’t even address me by name, do not be surprised when I do not reply. This is something I have seen with SO many brands, it’s very disappointing. Don’t be an asshole and expect someone to want to work with you, it is not that difficult to grasp.
- Compensate hard work: Blogging. Is . Work. Please understand that. Do not expect a blogger to be happy to do sponsored work if they are not being compensated monetarily for their time and effort. No it isn’t all about the money. However, when you are a large brand, you can afford to compensate a blogger if you want their work. If you did not think my word is worth anything, why are you contacting me to essentially advertise your products? I think it is a bit ridiculous in this day and age to expect work for free, no matter if you think blogging is work or not. Some bloggers may be happy to do the work in exchange for a free product, that’s up to them. But please stop trying to take advantage of bloggers you deem insignificant and small by not offering monetary ( or product) compensation of any kind. This goes back to being respectful.
To my fellow bloggers:
- Don’t jeopardize your platform : This is perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give; don’t risk everything you have & the relationship with your readers for a sponsorship. It is very difficult to gain trust back when It is lost, so please don’t lose everything you’ve built for a free $40 foundation-it’s not worth it.
- Know your worth : If a brand is contacting you, you already have the upper hand. A brand would not contact you unless you had some degree of influence or appeal to the audience they can’t reach. Please do not forget that, and stand up to said brand if you think you are not compensated fairly for the work they are demanding. You set the standard of what is acceptable, and will attract such brands in the future.
- Be business savvy : If you are an exclusively beauty blog and suddenly decide to do a sponsored post about health insurance, some eyebrows will be raised. The natural fit between a sponsor and your blog is vitally important. Your blog should already have content that matches the content the sponsor is offering; you shouldn’t have to 180 your content to match the sponsor. Your readers are not stupid, they will notice and you’ll look like an idiot.
- Don’t despair : I don’t suggest taking any old sponsorship simply because you feel like you won’t get another chance. Opportunities come and go, and better opportunities will present themselves as time goes on. Be confident about what you write and trust the process, don’t settle for any sponsorship if you’re not passionate about it.
I hope this post was useful/insightful into what is really like to be a small blogger and interact with brands. I am sure all brands are now scared away but I am okay with that haha.
I’m glad that you know now that if I ever do a sponsored post, it will be for the right reasons.