Bloggers need businesses to work with in order to create blog content, and businesses need bloggers to write about them in order to market themselves and make sales. Bloggers are crucial to a brands success and reputation. If it wasn’t for a lovely blogger that I have worked with and become friends with, my boutique probably would have never taken off!
On the flip side, bloggers know this is true and a very small percentage of them will take advantage of businesses and become a bit too self righteous- this is not the way to be if you want to work with a company!
My experience being a business working with bloggers
Most of the experiences I’ve had with bloggers has been perfect. We’ve chatted lots and helped each other, which is one of the reasons why I love having my own business. I love getting to know my customers and working with other bloggers/brands to be the best I can be.
I have had a few negative experiences with bloggers though, and they are always about money! I couldn’t even say how many messages I get a day on my shops Twitter account asking me to send them free things to review. Now, I don’t mind this as it’s how I’ve met some lovely bloggers, but I’ve also had a lot people say something along the the lines of..
‘ Hey I’m …. and I’m a really big blogger. My blog gets … hits a month and I want to review a product for you. If you can send me this product I charge £100 per review. Here’s my address, let me know when it’s been sent.’
Now if you’re doing this as a blogger, please stop! Because I can tell you from a business owners point of view, these are the messages I instantly reply with ‘sorry but we’re not looking for reviewers at the moment.’
They could be an amazing reviewer and have a million page views a month, but being cocky and bossy will get you nowhere in this game! What brands really want are people they can connect with, they know their customers will connect with, and people that are genuine and as awful as it sounds, not going to be a waste of money!
I have had a blogger with 300 Twitter followers tell me that they charge £60 for reviews plus the product for free. I’ve also had bloggers with 13k Twitter followers tell me that they charge £60 for a review plus the product for free. Which one would you choose?
A big tip: don’t get too big for your boots!
If you have an amazing blog, thousands of page views of a month and thousands of followers, then you are entitled to charge whatever you like, and companies can and will pay you for your time. But if you are just starting out and not so established, although your blog could be just as good but just undiscovered, you really need to think properly about your fees and how much you think the company is willing to pay you.
Businesses don’t always have the big budget for bloggers, so don’t expect them all to!
I am a one (wo)man band with my business. It’s just me, no one backing me and no big investor feeding me cash. So when I get emails from people who challenge me because I’ve said I can’t pay them, it really annoys me!
I’m also on a lot of blogger groups on Facebook and they all seem to think it’s true also. There will be a post saying ‘this company wants to work with me but can only give me half my normal rate plus a product, what should I do?’. And the comments will all say ‘forget the brand, they have the money to pay you, they just don’t want to.’
Now if you’re pitching to say Boots or New Look, then yes they do have a ‘blogger budget’ and they can afford to pay for your time and they will. Any other small businesses, like myself, really don’t. I don’t have a ‘blogger budget’ at all, I have a ‘whatever I can afford from my profits’ budget which goes on the bloggers that I feel are best for my brand and that I genuinely like. And this is true for a lot of small companies also. So just because you’re pitching to a business, please don’t assume that they will have the funds available that you are asking for.
Sometimes it’s best to take a little bit less, in order to get promo.
When I first started my business I couldn’t afford to pay bloggers, so I’d retweet all of their tweets to my customers, share their latest blog content and host their banners on my site for free. And this was an agreement they were happy with as their name was being shared to thousands of new potential readers.
So, the moral of the story is – know your worth, but don’t be afraid to work for less if it will benefit you. I’m not saying everyone should work for free! As I know myself how much effort goes into writing. But sometimes you’ll be rewarded more if you negotiate and go in with an open mind.
Have you ever lowered your fee to work with a brand you loved? Tell me about it in the comments!