Blogger Confession: Why I Work for Free

It happens at least once a month. I’m scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I spot a post from a fellow blogger – a post criticizing PR reps who ask bloggers to work for free and (the horror) the bloggers who agree to do it.

 

The tone of these posts varies greatly. Some express frustration with PR reps who refuse to see bloggers as professionals. Others poke fun at pitches that imply that the honor of writing about a product should be compensation enough. And then others implore their fellow bloggers to stop working for free.

Those last ones are the posts that get to me. I’ve read posts saying that bloggers like me, who sometimes write in exchange for free products or (perish the thought) for no compensation at all, are responsible for delegitimizing the blogging industry. That we pander to companies just so we can get free chicken nuggets or a toothbrush.  And that we’re ruining things for the bloggers who do want to get paid for their work.

Blogger Confession: Why I Work for Free | Mommy Runs It

Now, to some extent I agree with everything that’s said (except for the toothbrush thing – that was just mean). If you view your blog as a professional endeavor (which I do), then yes, of course you’re going to expect to be paid for your time and effort. You wouldn’t open a store and then give away your inventory, right?

So then why do I work for free?

I work for free because no one will pay me.

Let’s be clear. That’s not a poor-me-pity-party statement. That’s not it at all. I’m not diminishing my worth. I know what I have to offer, and I’m aware of my potential.

 

It’s really just simple economics:

Business X will pay a blogger $200 to write a post about their product. Blogger A has 2500 UMVs (Unique Monthly Visitors). Blogger B has 25,000 UMVs. Who will Business X hire to publicize their product?

Blogger B, obviously. And in case you’re too dazzled by my knowledge of economics to guess it, I’m Blogger A in this scenario.

So while Blogger B might feel that I’m making her job more difficult by accepting unpaid work, I’d have to ask her to remember that she’s making it difficult for me too – because she’s my competition for paid jobs – and because she’s going to get picked for the job over me just about every time. Trust me on this. Up until recently, I applied for every (applicable) sponsored opportunity that came my way. We’re talking dozens of them. Can you guess how many I got hired for? Did you guess ONE? Then you’re right.

Blogger Confession: Why I Work for Free | Mommy Runs It

Now, before you say anything, I know that Blogger B has busted her butt to get to where she is today. You don’t just buy a domain name and wake up the next morning to 10,000 pageviews. But that’s kind of my point. Before publicly criticizing your cohorts, maybe you can try to remember what it was like when you first started out. How long was your audience comprised entirely of your blood relatives and sorority sisters? How many paid jobs did you get hired for in your first year of blogging? How long did you have to pay your dues?

Define Free

I also need to point out that your perspective on this subject will rely on how you define “free.” Do you “work for free” every time you accept any form of payment besides money? And if you only accept monetary payment, do you have a minimum that you’ll work for? I know bloggers who won’t even power on the laptop for anything less than $200 plus a full-size product. Is working for less than you’re worth the equivalent of  “free labor?”

Blogger Confession: Why I Work for Free | Mommy Runs It

And what about receiving products as a form of payment? Is it still working for free if you receive items with a high retail value? Or products that you can give to your kids as birthday gifts? Or things that you would have purchased for yourself anyway? And, heck – what about that toothbrush? What if it’s actually a whole bunch of toothbrushes – enough to give to your child’s first grade class or to donate to the military? Or what if it’s a $200 electric toothbrush?

How do you decide when to say yes and when to decline?

Blogger Confession: Why I Work for Free | Mommy Runs It

I Work for “Free” Because…

Personally, I don’t necessarily consider it working for free when I’m compensated with products. But let’s be honest – free running shoes and boxes of snacks won’t pay the bills. With that said, here are some of the reasons why I might choose to work with a brand without being paid actual money:

  1. I’m writing in exchange for a great product – something that will be useful or fun for me or my family.
  2. I’m writing in exchange for a product that I think will appeal to (and help expand) my audience.
  3. I’m participating in a blogger event that will benefit my blog by increasing my UMVs and/or social media reach.
  4. I’m collaborating with a friend or a PR rep with whom I’ve worked before.
  5. I’m building a relationship with a brand that I admire and respect.

Learning by Trial and Error

But I’m also not one to sugarcoat my flaws. I’ll be the first to point out that I don’t always make the best choices about when to work for free and when to say no. (Or maybe the second to point it out. That’s what husbands are for, right?) Sometimes I’m just not very good at saying no. Sometimes I underestimate the amount of time that a post will take to write. Sometimes I take on too much. And, yes, sometimes I’m blinded by the excitement of FedEx boxes filled with goodies.


See more on Know Your Meme

 

You see, I’m still new at this. I learn from you, Blogger B. Don’t chastise me. Encourage me. Show me by example. Let’s level the playing field so that someday neither one of us will be asked to work for free.

Unless it’s for a really, really nice toothbrush.

Bloggers, do you work for free? I’d love to know why or why not.

The opinions expressed above are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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About Sharon Wilhelm

Sharon is a mom, a marathon runner, and a licensed therapist. She owns Mommy Runs It, a fitness & lifestyle blog. She is a passionate advocate of the Galloway training method and knows firsthand that everyday moms can run marathons. Connect with Sharon on Google+.

Comments

  1. louidam1 says:

    I say do what you feel is right to you. Bloggers don’t understand that a lot of these companies has affiliate programs too that you can join to make money. And that income is passive and you’re not fighting for sponsored posts. That’s why I prefer affiliate programs.

    • Ah, I totally forgot to mention affiliate programs in my post! I signed up for several affiliate programs almost as soon as I started my blog, and I literally haven’t made a penny. Honestly, I don’t see myself monetizing successfully through any avenue until I increase my pageviews. But I agree – it would be nice to have the income from affiliate programs vs competing with a zillion other bloggers for sponsored posts.

      Thanks for reading! :)

      • Affiliates don’t work for me either… I’ve only ever made one sale…$12….they feel like waste if time. Most people reading aren’t looking to but something right there on the spot anyway. Plus the sidebar links to affiliates I feel just look like spam internet marketing ads to most.

        • I agree. I think really few people actually purchase straight from ads in general – it’s getting a positive image of a product in their head, which they will then go and buy next time they’re in target. I also try affiliate links to the supplies needed for my DIY projects but again, people who try them mostly have the things on hand or are buying it next time they shop…

        • I take back what I said – I did make one sale through an affiliate link, but it was by my grandma. :) I hear that people do well with Amazon, and I’ve been trying to use Amazon affiliate links in my posts. I get a few clicks here and there, but no sales.

  2. Good read! It’s the same in the photography industry. The truly great ones are not afraid to mentor others. If you’re that good, then your only competition is yourself.

  3. Hey girl! I’m in the same boat- I’m working for free and never have a second though of it. I started blogging because as a fitness professional I wanted to help spread factual, useful information since I can’t work 8-9 hours a day. I figured blogging was the next best way to reach people! While I don’t mind working for free I’d love to make money but haven’t the slightest idea where to start!

  4. Great post! I have read a few of those comments about not working for free and was baffled. How else would I have an example of a product review for them to see what I do with it, in a way building my “resume”? And honestly I was thrilled to get STUFF – it was pretty exciting to get something, even a toothbrush (no, I’ve not received an actual toothbrush but metaphorically), in exchange for writing on my blog that was a hobby.

    • nice way to put it – building a resume. Need I tell you how much graphic design work I did for free to build a portfolio of actual “client” work? sigh. It’s life. The true rewards are yet to come…

    • I like that too – building a resume/portfolio is exactly what it is. And in the meantime, the free stuff can be fun! I guess maybe part of it is just not taking the whole thing (or yourself) too seriously.

  5. Preach it, girl!!! Totally feeling you.

  6. Subscriber fee?

    • Sarah, that’s a good question. I have one blogger friend who has a subscriber fee, but I don’t know how that’s worked out for her. I would think that you’d have to be a pretty “big” blogger to make that work for you, but I really don’t know. Thanks for reading!!!

  7. Great post Sharon. I agree, many of us work for free because there is no other option.

    • Right! And frankly, as I read these comments and re-read my post, I think I’ve been placing too much emphasis on trying to earn something for my efforts, rather than focusing on the fun & joy of blogging. If I’m going to work for free, I might as well enjoy myself. Thanks for reading – hope to see you again soon!!! :)

  8. Really great post. I’m a new blogger so why would someone pay me to review something? I am so excited when I’m offered a free race entry or a pair of shoes. I’m doing something I love and getting products that I would have bought anyway. I have no illusions that I’m more important in the blogging world than I am. This is a personal choice for bloggers. As you know, it takes a lot of work to grow your blog so if you receive a few free things along the way to inspire you who does that harm? Nice read.

    • Hi Deborah! I think you’re kind of a big deal. :) I love the freebies too, but I can admit that I need to say no more often too. Either way, you’re right – it’s totally a personal choice.

  9. Great post! And frankly, I agree with you whole heartedly. I recently even saw a lengthy thread where a bunch of mommy bloggers were bashing a paid opportunity because one of the criteria was NOT being a parent. And really, there are a metric buttload of opportunities where you are REQUIRED to be a parent to even apply. I was completely baffled.

    I feel like getting a product for free as part of a review is definitely compensation, and as a fellow Blogger A, we all have to start somewhere. I would love to be offered money too, but that’s not my reality. And I’m sure as heck not taking any opportunities from Blogger B.

    Great post, with you 100% on this!

    • Hi Courtney! Of of the blogging networks I belong to has recently started putting the requirements for UMVs (if any) right at the top of every sponsored opportunity, and I love it. I totally appreciate knowing right up front if I’m going to be wasting my time by applying.

      I recently came across a network that was only for bloggers under 30 (or maybe 35, I can’t remember exactly). I was bummed. But then it occurred to me that younger bloggers and/or non-parents are probably excluded from just as many opportunities as I am because of my lower UMVs. So good for them. That’s why I love our fitness/running blogger community. I feel like I’m so much more successful if I stick with my niche, versus trying to compete for jobs with all of the huge bloggers out there.

      Rambling now. But thanks for reading! xoxo

  10. Nicole Lebel says:

    That was great writing, I laughed all the way through! I say blog away, if you get free items because of a few nicely placed words here or there, more power to ya! That’s calls for some balance in the blog force and it also shows that you work well with others because they share and you share, lol. Eventually you will be getting compensated through cold hard cash for your tireless efforts of putting amazing thoughts and ideas down on ‘paper’, which I thoroughly enjoy reading and will continue to do so, but for now a few free perk here and there is nothing to be arguing about. Ms. 25,000 just can’t remember because she ate those free snacks and used those free hairbrushes, (you get teeth, she gets hair, lol) two years ago and now the dog is chewing on it and she’s too busy with her backlog of “must blogvertise for paycheck but what CAN I say about Dilby’s Mustard Chews for Toddlers”….groove THAT into a trendy blog. See ya next post!

  11. Everyone absolutely needs to do what’s best for them. That being said, there also needs to be a time when you start expecting paid posts. If you don’t expect and ask for them, I feel like they’ll never come. You have to know your worth it. I started asking for paid posts when I was a really new blog and teeny tiny, because even though my audience wasn’t very big I knew I could bring a lot to the table and market the crap out of them. It can be really daunting to go up against big bloggers for sponsored opportunities (I get disheartened by that too), but there are things companies care about more than numbers and are willing to pay for.

    • Thanks Erin! That’s really encouraging. I hope to get to that point myself very soon, and I think all of the great responses to this post will help me get there. :)

  12. Jennifer Wagner says:

    Actually if you are reviewing a product, you should not accept monetary compensation. The product should be the only thing you receive. If you accept money, it is unethical, unless you call it a sponsored post and not a review.

    I won’t work for free for just anyone that writes to me but I do have my exceptions also, my main one being when its for a nonprofit or charity.

  13. Amen Sister!! I totally get what you are saying. I have been working with a PR agent for a few months on little things and building up a great relationship and just got word she is sending my daughter a Doll House for her American Girls. Yes I still have to write about it but my hard work paid off and even now that my reach is smaller she still values me and my writing skills and wants to keep working with me. The relationships you can build over time are completely worth it and if the product(s) are something you can use then that is what matters. I am slowly building up my supply of stuff to donate at Christmas time. I will ask to be paid at times and that is okay but I also know that it is going to take time to get there. I also get excited when the FedEx/UPS/Mailman shows up at our house. They come sometimes everyday. I can’t help it!!

    • That’s awesome! And you’re right, the relationships are what’s important in the long run. I did a review in exchange for product for a brand that I love. I didn’t make any money, but I ended up getting along so well with the company reps that they are guinea-pigging their affiliate program with me. And that’s pretty dang cool, if you ask me. :) Maybe I’ll even make a little bit of money from it down the road. The new blog looks fantastic, btw! xo

  14. I absolutely loved reading this! I am a new blogger too and sometimes I just don’t get it. But I am happy you are happy blogging and that’s what matters, I feel :)

    http://neatly-packaged.blogspot.com/

  15. Ha – great post. I have no ads on my sites (maybe some day, but not now) but I estimate I probably get about $500 in free books each year on my book blog, and maybe $100-200 in free DVDs for my film blog. I consider that payment, but, as you said, it doesn’t pay the bills, which is why I also have a FT job.

    • Thanks! It’s definitely nice to get something that you love in exchange for your hard work. I’m a SAHM, so I don’t have any personal income at all right now. My goal is to eventually make a part-time income from this blog, but at this rate…it may take a while to get there.

  16. Do what makes you happy. I have 3 blogs. Each is a different size and a different style. One I get paid to write on. One I write for product. One I write for simple joy of writing. Know your value. Know what makes you happy. Then go from there.

    • Thanks, Ellen! You should know that you’re one of the “big” bloggers who I really respect & admire. You’re never condescending, and you don’t push anyone to do things your way. :) I truly appreciate that.

  17. Taxes. Taxes make it hard. Most bloggers probably don’t claim these “free” products but that’s illegal. I enjoy blogging but the paid posts pay my taxes on the super cool expensive products I review. :/

  18. I write for free (I count samples as compensation enough in most cases) only if it’s a company I truly believe in and love. Otherwise I thank them for thinking of me and give them an option to work with me via a product review, a giveaway, or monetary compensation. The legal aspect of it all can get a little tricky too so, just as with every product, I’m pretty picky.

  19. Well said. I have said the same thing for years and have disassociated myself from a said organization because they believe everyone should receive monetary gain from the blog. I have received thousands of $$$ in free products and that is payment to me. I can use for myself, family, etc. I am approached weekly, if not daily to review a product. I pick and choose always, but I will not accept a product review just because of a monetary payment. Keep doing what you are doing and don’t worry about the rest. :)

    • Thanks! The support I’ve gotten from this post has been amazing. I was a little nervous about hitting “publish,” but it was worth it. xoxo

  20. I started my blog less two years ago, as a personal motivational tool, and it was nothing but crickets. Not even my own family read it. But then my Disney Princess Half Marathon recap went viral … so the readers started rolling in – and that’s when the sponsors began to knock on my door. So many that I turn away roughly 75% of them. And now we do a lot of gear reviews. My husband is my co-blogger and we decided from the beginning that integrity is everything, so we aren’t going to hawk something unless we believe in it. We tell sponsors up front – we will try it, but if we don’t like it, we will tell you the problems, and if the issue is not fixable – then the gear will never make it up onto the blog. So ‘less than awesome’ products won’t make it onto our pages. For the sake of integrity – we also do not accept cash payment. Once you accept that money – you are contractually obligated to put up a post – and even if you hate the product. But how honest can you really be – without turning off other potential paid sponsors? Bloggers that can make a living off it – God Bless Them. But I’ll stick to my free running shoes and other gear… Come to think of it, I do need a new toothbrush.

    • Ha! One toothbrush coming right up. :) I love your blog, and your husband rocks too. Do you feel there’s a difference between doing a product review (in exchange for product) and a sponsored post (not a review, just presenting a product on your blog for a fee)? It’s legally very confusing to me. I’m not sure what I think.

  21. FABULOUS post! I, too, am Blogger B, and completely identify with all you spoke about. Get it girl!

  22. To each her own! I think this is an issue that we all wrestle with. My main criteria is whether I feel like the brand is taking advantage of bloggers or not. If it’s a small company, with a small budget, but I love the product and want to support them, I will sometimes work for free. In the past, these ‘freebies’ have lead to future paid work because I over-delivered and was authentic in my sharing. If, however, a large, well-known brand is going to make a lot of money from the work I do, they need to be prepared to include my fees in their campaign budget!

    P.S. I’m not so sure, anymore, whether creating a distinction between ‘big’ and ‘little’ bloggers is important to many brands. Engagement is what my PR friends tell me they’re after!

    • Excellent points, Tamara – thanks! I totally agree with you about smaller vs. bigger companies. My writing goal is always to be authentic and engaging, regardless of topic or compensation. And ultimately, I hope that this will attract the attention of readers and brands (even if it takes a little longer than I’d like).

  23. Man with all of these comments it’s surprising you aren’t one of the bigger bloggers! ;)

    I have been blogging for 4 years but it has taken me up until this 4th year to start joining networks and applying for paid opportunities. I definitely started out just saying yes to every opportunity because it was worth it to me and I honestly had such a small readership at the beginning I didn’t get offered anything. This is the first year I will actually make money blogging!

    I think it just depends on what kind of a mindset you have going in PLUS we are all so different and not all of us are comfortable negotiating with brands. So if blogging for product works for you, go for it!

    I do understand the other side though.. sometimes brands seem to think that ALL bloggers will work for free and seem shocked when a blogger asks for compensation.

    Even though you may not be completely comfortable with it, I think you should start asking. You obviously have an audience that cares what you say! Point that out because not all companies just care about the numbers! :)
    Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut recently posted…Turkey Enchiladas with Fire Roasted TomatoesMy Profile

    • Thanks, Amanda! I’ve actually gotten a couple of sponsored posts since I wrote this, so that’s been nice. It feels good to see some sort of reward for my work, whether it’s money or a product or even just comments on a post. But you’re right – it’s not a comfortable thing negotiating directly with brands. I’m much more comfortable going through a 3rd party. But then that puts me up against all the big bloggers, which brings me back to the point of this post. :) I definitely think building those relationships is super important, and I’m really trying to work on that. And I’m also working on saying NO (also not easy for me!).

      Thanks so much for reading! xo

  24. From someone who just experienced being that Blogger B, I will say being a smart Blogger A totally paid off. Sure I spent hours upon hours being a blogger who did so much for nothing. But I was sure, I used it to my advantage. Working for free I always asked for that companies feedback afterwards. It was what really helped me grow and what probably got me towards my first actually paying company. Best $50.82 I ever got about women’s hygiene products. But I probably would have had crappy page views still if I didn’t take those free offers and then ask what they thought about working with me afterwards and most of them love to give me advice. Sure I am not someone who gets paid the big bucks yet, but I keep learning and keep working my butt off.

    Oh and also I would totally blog free for new running shoes. I need new ones badly and they are so expensive.

    • SO expensive! :) That is a fantastic suggestion. It never occurred to me to ask the companies for feedback. Did you find that it was constructive stuff? I have to admit – sometimes I’m a big chicken and I might be afraid of what they have to say. The other day, another (bigger) blogger offered to look at my site, and I was so scared about what she would have to say. Thank goodness it was all positive and/or constructive. Still – I need to get a thicker skin if I’m going to be successful, I think. Thanks for reading! :)

  25. I feel you have many great points. Honestly I am not big stats like many- and I just keep working at it. If I choose to do something for free or in exchange for sneakers or a scale, that is my choice. It is my site and I am the owner lol. I really think what you said many think of; they just haven’t said it.

    I also agree all bloggers started out somewhere, so that shouldn’t be any different for you!
    Thank you for writing this :)
    Becky Ryan- Willis recently posted…Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle DessertMy Profile

    • Hi Becky! Thanks for reading. This whole conversation has been really enlightening for me from both sides of the conversation. I’m finding that the most important thing is staying true to myself, my story, and my message. And the trick is just finding a way to monetize at the same time. I’ll get there one of these days (I hope).

  26. Very well written and excellent points! When I first started I wrote about a single paper towel sample and I was so excited to even get that!! We all start somewhere and have our own reasons for blogging.
    Oh, and I am with you on learning to say “no”! I am so afraid to say “no” and also addicted to boxes arriving at the door all the time!!!
    Jennifer Soltys recently posted…My Son Smells Better Than Yours #Combos4SuccessMy Profile

    • Ooooh…so glad I’m not the only one. I love getting boxes! I very rarely purchase non-essentials for myself, so getting a product, even just a small one, is a treat for me! But then I get really, really behind, like I am right now. I spend so much time on every single blog post, even if it’s just for a free toothbrush – I can’t/won’t write something just to get it done. So my quality is good, but my efficiency is crap. It’s so hard to balance. Blah.

  27. First of all, I LOVED reading this post! I’ve heard from both types of bloggers (the ‘Big Wigs’ and the ‘Free’ bloggers) and I think I’m somewhere smack dab in between both mindsets. I actually just recently started charging for my posts and my philosophy is $30 for a sponsored post (considering on upping it to $50 in the near future) or at least a $30 or higher ARV of product. I DO feel that product is enough payment if it’s appropriately worth it (starting out I reviewed and did a giveaway for an $8 keychain). I will also blog for free if it’s a cause I believe in or a rep/person that has been kind to me over the years. Each person has their own view and it’s all about doing what’s best for YOU!
    Kayla @ TheEclecticElement recently posted…Spice Up Your Life with #TexasPete Hot Sauces (& Help Feed America)My Profile

  28. I loved this post!! I hide when I read those “you’re ruining my business” blasts on Facebook because really? I blog for fun and if I get some spare change or a free toothbrush, it’s just icing. This is my “me time” and I do it the way I want. Thanks for being the other side of the coin.
    Dede recently posted…How to get your husband to mop the floorMy Profile

    • Thank you! I don’t know…I think there’s a little bit of a Mean Girl quality to those “you’re ruining my business” blasts. We all have to start somewhere. I don’t think a single one of us made $500 on her very first post. Plus oral hygiene is important. Toothbrushes FTW! :)

  29. Great post! Almost jealous I didn’t write it myself. :)

    I completely agree and I’m a blogger in the middle of that. My blog is our business, so I have to make money. But I like my blog and I want my reades to trust me. And I’d say I have more non paid post than paid. And I am ok with that. I probably wouldn’t want it to be the other way around. If I love something, I write about it. I don’t like the feeling of having to say something because I’m getting paid.

    Some of the most successful bloggers I know still do posts because they want to. They will share the press release or take that toothbrush because it’s a great brand or something that their audience will care about. I feel, the more I just do what is best for me the better my blog is.

    Thank you for giving me something to put in those posts about this very topic. Funny how your post that you wrote for NO moneyay be the post that brings you the most traffic that will give you more paid posts. :)

    • #1 – When I read your comment the other day (sorry I’m just now responding, yikes) it totally made my day. Like, for real. So thank you. <3

      #2 – You’re totally right. This is by far my most popular post. :)

      Oh, and #3 – I think you’re exactly where I want to be – earning an income, but with the option to pick and choose with integrity. Thanks so much for reading!

  30. This is a great post and I totally agree with you. I have been blogging on my current site for four years and remember how excited I was to get a snack sized bag of chips! :) I think bloggers should do what is right for them. I think the posts that tell us “you are ruining my business for working for free” are discouraging. No one starts out with people rushing over to say, “Let me pay you for that amazing content!”
    Pam recently posted…Exploring The Historic RailPark & Train MuseumMy Profile

    • Hi and thanks! I know for me it’s been a progression. At first I was thrilled to get even the smallest thing for free. I didn’t have any clue when I first started out how willing & able so many brands are to send free products to review, and suddenly it’s like – wow! Look at all this stuff! I must be really special! And then…I started to calculate how much work and how many hours I was putting into every single post. And naturally the free stuff stopped seeming so…free. Know what I mean? I’m still trying to find my place, so it’s awesome to hear from other bloggers who have been there, done that. :)

  31. I like your style. Write whatever you want for whatever compensation you want….or none at all if you like. That’s what I do. Never let other people tell you how to run your show. :)
    dawn recently posted…Win Tix To See Paula Deen Live! Charlotte, NC: 9/24 {US Ends 9/18} #ad #PaulaDeenLIVE #PaulaDeenNetworkMy Profile

    • Hi Dawn! I’m so thrilled about all the positive feedback I’m getting on this topic. I was really afraid that I’d get attacked. This is why I love our blogging community (usually). :)

  32. I’m an actor and improviser so let me tell you – I know about working for free… That’s just the nature of the creative beast, sometimes it takes time to earn your spot at the table, and people will always grumble about those who work for free because somehow they think it’s money out of their pockets (it’s not) or forget that they’ve ever been in that same position (they have).
    How you run your blog ain’t no-one’s business but your own.
    As a wise lion once said, it’s the “circle of life”

    • Hakuna matata! :) I’m a therapist by profession, so this is my first dabble into the creative world. Workplace politics happen everywhere, but I come from a place where career progression is a little more linear, you know? I’ve never really had that experience before of waiting for my “big break.” Thanks for your comment – it made me smile. :)

  33. Yes I have, and will continue to do so as long as it benefits me, my family and the future of my blog. Would I like to get paid for every sponsored post? Sure. Who wouldn’t. I’m selective with brands I agree to work with. Which, in the past I didn’t feel like I could be.

    • Thanks Jill! You’re a blogger who I really admire, so I appreciate hearing your perspective. It’s harder to show the value of my work to my family when I work so many hours with so little income, but I just have to keep at it. It’ll happen for me. :)

  34. You know what? I totally work for free lots of times. Sometimes I get paid a pretty hefty amount to do something that is already really cool (and that I’d want to do even if I wasn’t paid – like meeting Jillian Michaels), and other times I write a sponsored post for nothing more than a pair of socks because I think the socks look cool and I wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to try them (because I’d probably never buy them for myself).

    As long as you are getting value for what you do (whether that value is with money, exposure, product, or an experience) then you aren’t working for free. I see bloggers with stats I know are much lower than mine demanding hundreds for even the most simple of posts and I just shake my head. Money is great, but there are other ways to get value out of what you do…
    Suzi recently posted…GOSH Cosmetics ReviewMy Profile

    • I read this post the other day – someone interviewed 20 bloggers who provided their stats and what they charge for a sponsored post. Mind blown! Are there really people who make $1,000 for a post? Are there really brands that pay that? I guess I just have to keep increasing my value. Hopefully I’m doing that. :)

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