First of all, I want to express sincere gratitude to the brands that have found me worthy and given me a chance to write about their brands. Thank you. You have done more than buy me new shoes; you have also validated me and given me a ladder to stand upon and to ascend in this career of blogging.
For the rest of you brands, however, since this is 2015, I am taking the time to tell you in the beginning of the year that I am not interested in working with you for free or for exchange of your product, unless the product is highly valuable, wanted, needed, and desired (not necessarily expensive). January 26th will be 9 years since I started sharing my thoughts on this blog; that’s a lot of time and a lot of thoughts.
I have received too many emails from brands who express excitement over my blog and my wit and my personality and their longing to work with me, only to turn around and tell me that it’s for free. Dear Brand(s), do you give away your product/service for free just because someone wants it? A typical email would go something like this:
Candice (Brand Manager): Hi Vera! I absolutely love your blog. I work with XXX Company, and we would love to have you on board to work with us on our next campaign. We do xxx. Please check out our website www.xxxxxxxxxx.com to see what we have.
Me: Hi Candice! Thanks a lot for reaching out to me. I checked out your website, and your products look amazing. I would absolutely love to work with you. Can you send me more information, including the financials/financial compensation?
Candice: Oh, I’m so sorry, Vera. At this time, we are not offering financial payment, but we will be reviewing all the posts, as we are only working with a select group of bloggers. Our best posts will be featured on our social media account, and you will get a lot of exposure. We hope this doesn’t change your mind about working with us.
Like hell it doesn’t. In the part of the world that I live in, exposure isn’t legal tender, and I cannot use it to purchase anything. Not a damn thing. It won’t pay my rent. It won’t pay my utilities. It won’t buy me a new laptop (which I need right now because my laptop is meskafunking), and it definitely will not pay my hosting fees. Common “chin-gum” sef, it will not buy. You know what exposure does? It gets people like you to notice people like me who might otherwise never have a means to do business with you.
It’s not that exposure isn’t great. Of course it is. But I am a blogger, and that makes me already in the business of exposure. Yes, I’m still learning the ropes, but you are coming to me because YOU want exposure for your products/service, so how then do you expect to give me exposure? At the end of this transaction, I will be left holding the short end of the stick, and you are not even promising to give me exposure. You are promising that my post will be reviewed and IF it’s one of the best, then I’ll get a shout out.
I go to bed late and [try to] wake up early because I have a business to run on this blog. There are emails to be replied, sponsored posts to type, queries to send, research to be done, and much more. I love what I do, and I love that it pays, but I eagerly await the day that blogging becomes my major source of income. I mean money income, not exposure income.
So while I do in fact do some posts for free (as favors or as giving back opportunities), it is not my modus operandi (because if it were, then this would not be a business), and it is absolutely unfair for you to contact me to do your work for free. Basically, you will be getting a high return on investment without actually making any investment (except your colorful email telling me what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and the money I will not be receiving for doing it).
As for the Nigerian businesses who want me to work for free and swear up and down that they don’t have a marketing budget but that God will reward me and that when they finally blow, they will remember me (seriously, that’s what they say), e no go better for you! Don’t make me send you a very bad case of dysentery that you will not forget in a hurry. Nonsense and ingredients!
I have finished saying my own. If I receive one more email about working for free, someone will be getting intense dysentery.