Having blogged for a couple of years now, I’d like to think I’m a little seasoned. Sure, I’m not a pro, but I’ve got some things under my belt, like working with brands.
A lot of the time, it’s a little thrill when I get an email from a brand saying they want to work with me. It feels good to be recognized for something I put my heart and soul into. Most brands operate on the same game plan–they send me something for free, I wear it on the blog, and we both go home happy.
But then there are the sneaky brands. They, too, send an email saying they want to “work with me.” As I read further into the email, though, it becomes clear that they want something for nothing.
Here’s an example. A bra company recently contacted me and asked me to do a blog post for them. I was to include a little quiz they made up and put in a promo code for 30% off one of their products. I told them that before I could promote their brand, I’d like to receive a free bra–after all, I have to know what I’m talking about! They said sure.
The company told me I could do a “free trial” and if I liked the bra, I would have to pay for it.
Um, are you kidding?
I sent them back an email politely declining the offer, and I explained that it’s not fair to ask a blogger to take the time to put together a post in return for nothing. A loss, even, if I decided to purchase the bra after the “free” trial.
How do these brands justify this kind of thing? Sometimes I imagine they must be thinking, “This blogger should be SO FLATTERED that we reached out to her!” Maybe they really don’t understand how much work goes into a blog post, or that we totally deserve to be compensated for it.
Clearly, I find this practice super annoying. Has this ever happened to you?
I’m thinking of putting together a blog post next week that explains how you can politely decline something like this but leave the door open to the brand. What do you think?