I’ve actually had this post drafted for a while, but today I got an email that pushed my buttons.
I’ve got something I want to say…
The Disclaimer. Now I don’t want to come off too salty. So I should start with a disclaimer. The unwavering support and respect that most brands show is commendable. I am so lucky and humbled to work beside such incredible brands and ridiculously kind and talented PR agencies. There are so many ‘pinch-me’ moments that happen because I literally can’t believe some of the opportunities I am given. So to the majority, a huge thank you!
The Email. Today I received an email in regards to a new product launch. Cool! Sounds like fun. The email stated that they would send me this new fabulous mask (that will retail for $39.95) for free. But in return, they would like 2 x IG posts and an Instagram story. “Also a blog mention would also be greatly appreciated.” “Please see attached our requested post guidelines… please send through your content prior to publishing for approval, to ensure it suits our vision”.
My Reaction. Excuse me? Did I read that right? Firstly, You think that the good 6 or so hours it would take me to create this content is worth $40 to you? You are giving me caption templates that suggest I love the product without even testing it first? Yeah, no thanks. You don’t have a budget for this campaign? Well, I’m sorry, I simply don’t have the time to create content for it. Besides, I won’t be told what to say about a product especially without trying it first. And my work is worth more than that. Sorry.
My Rant. Instagram and blogging for me, is a labour of love. When it comes down to it, I LOVE taking pretty pictures and chatting all things beauty with likeminded people – it is actually pretty cathartic. I post about the products that I want to when I want to. I wouldn’t do it unless I really enjoyed it because let’s be honest, it’s bloody hard work. It may seem like a good gig, and don’t get me wrong, it is fabulous. But there is a lot that happens behind the scenes. The amount of money I spend on lighting/photography equipment, website administration, and editing, scheduling and analytics programs greatly outweighs any monetary compensation I get from the very rare occasion that I actually land a sponsored post.
Contra Deals. Here, have this $10 moisturiser, but in return, you’ll need to sell your soul. The hours upon hours that I spend planning, styling, shooting, writing, editing and publishing content (not to mention the time it takes to actually use the product to formulate an honest opinion) is worth so much more than a free $10 moisturiser in exchange for a post. This is also known as a contra deal. Especially when it has taken me years to build a following that trusts me to share my honest product recommendations.
A Little More Ranting. Essentially, this blogging biz is all about advertising. All these brands offering contra deals (aka free advertising) wouldn’t go to an advertising agency expecting them to create a campaign to be paid in free fake tan. So why should they expect the same from me?
This may not win me any favours with some bloggers, brands or PRs, but I don’t care. I am tired. I am tired of spending hours replying to emails that request you to adhere to specific post guidelines for a free product. I am tired of receiving unsolicited products with a follow-up email asking when they should expect some coverage. I am tired of brands spelling out to me what they want me to say about their products. But most of all, I am tired of being taken advantage of.
I also want to mention that I get how hard it is to start off blogging. I get it, I’ve been there. But don’t undervalue your worth. And at the end of the day, products don’t pay the bills.
Anyway, I’ll jump down from my high horse now.