Why You Shouldn’t Work for Free As A Blogger

Last Modified: September 23, 2016 at 2:50 pm by Tianna | Leave a comment


There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t work for free when you’re a blogger, but I just wanted to focus on a few of the big ones today because they’ve really been irking me lately. I’m not sure if it’s because my blog is finally gaining a noticeable number of followers or maybe it’s my social media channels or maybe my blog posts are just getting noticed by more companies; I’m not sure. Latelym, I keep getting a ton of emails from companies asking me to write about things regarding their company, brand, etc., but they imply rather cleverly that they’d like me to do it for, well, no reason at all.

Honestly, I don’t think that’s fair for the sheer amount of work we, as bloggers, put into running our blogs, social media channels, engaging with followers, updating our blogs and banners, and basically doing a million jobs at once. The better question for why not to work for free is – why should we? – but just in case you need convincing, here are some reasons why you shouldn’t work for free.

It’s Unfair to You 

You end up putting in a ton of work for a company that will not repay you in any way. They might send you something for free, but don’t degrade yourself into feeling like you should have to work for pennies because you’re better than that and so is your blog. Also, unless you have affiliate links, that company gets all of the revenue and it’s free thanks to your hard work. You’re essentially giving them free exposure, more customers, and you’re doing it on your time and your money. Doing something for free like this actually COSTS you money given the amount of time it takes to design a collage for the post, write the post, and promote it through your social media. So, save yourself some time and money and don’t do it for free!

It’s Unfair to Other Bloggers 

When you do something for a company or brand for free, you not only downgrade yourself, you downgrade other bloggers because those companies may now assume that all bloggers will work for free and are much less inclined to pay one to promote them. It makes it much harder for bloggers to get paid when others will gladly do it for free.

It’s A Disservice to Your Readers 

I’m all for writing about things when they apply to or benefit my readers in some way. The only time I will post about something for “free” is if my readers are getting a giveaway out of it, but even then it has to be a brand I know they are already interested in or one that I personally like and think they would enjoy. If you write about a company or brand for free and it’s a brand you needed to be prompted to write about in the first place, then it’s a bit of a disservice to your readers to post on it. It’s dishonest to write about it as if you like it (unless you actually do) and then present it to readers.

Why Should You?

Whenever companies approach me about writing for free, I feel kind of insulted. Would they like to work for free? The insulting part isn’t even that they ask me to write about their company, which I probably have never heard of, for no reason; it’s that they mostly lie about liking my blog (see exact copy and paste of said post they liked so much) and think I won’t know and then act like I should be excited and thankful that they’ve asked me to participate in their “event” or share their article with my readers for no reason. It’s not that I dislike PR’s because there are a ton of really great people out there who actually appreciate bloggers and work with them in a respectable way. It’s just that for every 3 great PR’s, there are 10 who want you to bend over backwards for them without pay, promotion, or benefit.

So, those are my thoughts on why you should never blog for free. Feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the matter and request posts on other topics as desired!

Do You Blog for Free? Would You? 

What Do You Think of Bloggers Working for Free?

♥ Tianna



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11 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Work for Free As A Blogger

  1. January 22, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    I couldn’t agree more with you! You are right in everything you said. Some of the companies see bloggers as a way to advertise for free!

    1. January 22, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      Thanks I agree. And I definitely think that needs to change

  2. January 22, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    Hello there!This is the first time I read your blog and I’m sure you do great work, but i should say that i rather disagree with you…It seems that you see blogging as a job, when i believe it’s supposed to be for fun. A hobby, a think that you love doing and helps you relax and socialize…Of course, you shouldn’t write for companies for free, but it’s not that they really push you into it!If a blogger writes about a product it’s not for advertising it (even though the do), but because they really think this is a nice product, which meens the company does it’s job preety well! But, for me, the basic reason why you shouldn’t blog for money is right there in your post!
    It’s dishonest to write about it as if you like it (unless you actually do) and then present it to readers.
    Eventually, a blogger will be forced to write something good about a certain company just because the money is good!
    If you get paid, your an employee to them and so will they treat you!
    That’s all…Thank you for letting me express my opinion and even though I disagree this is a post that really puts one into consideration!

    1. January 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Hi 🙂 I totally understand where you’re coming from. At the same time, just because you get paid doesn’t mean you have to be dishonest. I would never do that no matter what. A lot of the time I review products I’ve purchased myself as well as products sent to me, but nearly all of them are products I’ve researched for the purpose of review. If a brand sends free product, I don’t think that requires me to be dishonest and I wouldn’t even if it did. If I’m paid to write about something, I always disclose it and I would never write something that isn’t true whether paid or not. Just because you get paid does not require you to lie, though some people might. I’m not one of them . Thanks for visiting and sharing your opinion

  3. January 22, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    Excellent post! I completely agree.
    Naomi x
    Naomi recently posted…Collection Gothic Glam Lipstick in ‘Revenge’My Profile

    1. January 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Thanks Naomi 🙂 thanks also for stopping by

  4. January 23, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    I absolutely hate getting those emails that say that they have read my blog for ‘awhile’ and are a fan. No, no you are not. If your product has no relation to my content and you even misspell my name, you are not a fan of my blog. Sigh.
    Autumn recently posted…Pastel De Nata in JongroMy Profile

  5. January 26, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    LOVE this!! Such great post, so many good points.
    Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie recently posted…Links You’ll LoveMy Profile

  6. February 23, 2014 at 6:17 AM

    Amen! I’m always open to working with brands, but sometimes their expectations are too high especially if you agree to do some kind of placement or feature for free. Lesson learned. Totally agree with the points you bring up here.
    Chelsea Pearl recently posted…Stylematic Launch PartyMy Profile

  7. March 21, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Great post! I don’t know why companies feel that we should work for free. I had one even say “well you’re getting exposure, isn’t that enough?’ One of the most annoying excuses I have gotten when asking for compensation is we don’t have any money budgeted for this project. I always respond well as a business owner, I am certain you are aware that advertisement usually comes with a fee. Free social media advertisement on networks such as Twitter or Facebook appear to be a better option for your current budget. If your budget changes in the future please feel free to contact me in regards to pricing.
    brittany.carson@live.com recently posted…5 Keys to Happiness!My Profile

    1. March 21, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      thanks! I think it’s just all too convenient for them to assume they can get free work from “ignorant and naive” bloggers and you go girl! I’m going to steal that response haha. I’m usually a lot nicer than that, but I understand it’s totally annoying and sometimes the way PRs and companies will come off is downright insulting like we should be thanking them for the opportunity. And you know, I’m not knocking opportunities – sometimes they are awesome, but other times they are super one-sided and its a PR person’s job to try convince us we get something out of it when in reality, we probably get nothing if not very little in return.

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