There’s been a lot of talk across blogs and on Twitter of late about agencies & brands, who clearly have lovely fat budgets with which to play, asking bloggers (whose blogs are usually a labour of love) to guest post for them for free in return for traffic. Not only is it unacceptable to ask bloggers to provide commercially valuable content & links for free, it’s often ill-informed. In many cases the blogger has a bigger following & higher traffic & page rank than the commercial website. Style blogger Bangs and a Bun had a rant over on her blog which chimed in so beautifully, I begged her to let me post an edited version on LLG:

Dear Large Commercial Brand/Agency

Do me a favour – don’t email asking me to blog for you in return for fresh air. Whilst you’re not the first and you surely won’t be the last to have the nerve to do so, I’ve read enough already about how it’ll be great ‘promotion’ and give me wonderful ‘exposure’.

I think I’m doing alright on the exposure front, thank you. I mean, I’m exposed enough for you to have even found me in the first place, right? At least be honest: you approached me because you like what I’ve got and you want some of it.

Nowhere but in the creative industries do people get away with this kind of bollocks. I can’t ask an accountant to do my taxes and say I won’t pay him, but the honour of him working for me will give him great exposure. Bottom line: ‘promotion’ and ‘exposure’ don’t pay the rent or buy us shoes.

You approach me because you see that my site is doing fairly well. You have placed a value on it. Don’t be surprised to discover that in return I value myself. I will reply to your email with my rate card and nothing else. When you want to treat me as you treat your other contractors, feel free to email again.

See, you have no idea what has gone into this. I have spent years getting to this point. I spent my university years doing work placements here, there & everywhere. I moved to New York when I was 22 and spent a cold winter running all over Manhattan returning clothes from magazine shoots to fashion PRs. I have done jobs that I absolutely loathed, just so I could keep a roof over my head in the hope that I could keep writing and that eventually someone would be moved by my words. I still work a 9-5 and come home and work 6-midnight on my blog. I’m exhausted, but it’s worth it.

I have MORE THAN paid my dues. And pardon me if I consider it to be a complete fucking insult to myself and bloggers, artists and creatives everywhere that you think it’s even acceptable to send emails that completely ignore the fact that we’ve spent years ‘promoting’ and ‘exposing’ ourselves, to get to the point where you try to leech off our success.

I value myself, my writing and what I’ve built here too much to let you degrade it with this foolishness. Find some money (it doesn’t have to be a lot) from that swollen budget your client approved or you know what? Don’t bother getting in touch.

With kind regards, Bangs.

Bangsandabun

Muireann Carey-Campbell is a writer and professional gypsy who has lived in some of the world’s most expensive cities, surviving on only raw meat and shoes. She now lives in the north of England and survives on hot chocolates and well, still shoes. She blogs as bangsandabun.com and Tweets here

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19 comments

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Loved reading this!

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Such a great read and so very true. Love that her post seems to be spreading like wildfire! xx

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yeah! I am always glad to learn of another cool, tell-it-like it is blogger to follow! New fan here! xo J

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Fabulous! She is spot on as usual. When will they realise.

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Hear hear!

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Very good point, but it goes both ways. As a (small) brand we are literally bombarded by bloggers asking us for free bags in return for “exposure”. The free products they want increase their following, but they don’t even want to pay the postage to their recipient. Many of these bloggers who want free bags earn a living from their blog, making it a business and therefore if they want to do a promotion to giveaway a bag they should at least be prepared to pay the cost price to get it.

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Excellent point. I do love Bangs and appreciate some companies out there just want a easy ride (if they can get it!). But, looking at this topic from the other side, I have to say that we have been approached by so-called bloggers (some of them are not actually!) asking for free jewellery in exchange for a rave review on some website or other.

Errr… No, thanks. In case you haven’t noticed, we not only have our own blog but also a PR agent who deals with all ‘genuine’ requests to borrow samples (i.e. jewellery that is returned after being photographed, reviewed or whatever- not for keeps!!!)

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Innit. x

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Thank you for this post, I loved reading it, it was almost as though you read my mind, kind regards another truely exhausted blogger with two jobs, a website and a love of shoes 🙂 keep writing!!

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Blogger rights and standards of contact is something that we as a community should start pushing for. As long as we remain isolated, I feel that many newer and naive bloggers will continue to fall to this trap, not knowing any better.

I agree completely with everything said here!

Amen!

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F***ing brilliant. Wonderful. Well put. Love it. Thank you so much for this. Xxxx

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