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?