Bloggers Don’t Want Cars, They Want Respect

I received a pitch on Tuesday that topped even the cheese and meat pitch. I am still trying to put my emotions into a professional and caring response that is actually helpful to the PR firm, but I am finding it extremely difficult to do so.

Here is a snippet of the pitch:

“Right now, to help promote, we are trying to reach out to bloggers. That is my job. Except for the fact that most bloggers want a car in return for a product review and I cannot make that happen unfortunately, because that is insane. I thought you would be a good candidate because you’re honest, funny, and just plain identifiable/personable with the viewers and most importantly, better morals than that (hopefully, just kidding!)”

While I appreciate the compliments about me being “honest”, “funny” and “identifiable”, OH and “moral”, I cannot get past the “Except for the fact that most bloggers want a car in return for a product review and I cannot make that happen unfortunately, because that is insane.”  I mean, wow, where do I begin? What does that even mean?

I can only guess that a couple of things have happened here:

1. A blogger asked for compensation in the past for promoting said product and the rep didn’t expect it, plan for it, budget for it or “get” it. I am not sure how this relates to wanting a car, but if one does not understand the value of a blogger’s influence, perhaps they would compare it to wanting a car in return? I am just guessing here.

2. The rep is preparing me and/or using reverse psychology in the delivery so that I don’t ask for compensation in my reply. The problem? It immediately emotes disrespect to me, my time and my work. BIG TIME. Also, “most bloggers” are my colleagues, friends and co-workers. We are a large, but very small community. It’s not cool to insult them so blatantly.

This pitch serves as an ugly reminder that bloggers are still being misunderstood by advertisers, brands and PR firms. Though I work full-time as a blogger and marketer, I still have to prove myself, and that of our network, often (almost daily) to those who are still trying to understand the social media space. Like Dr. Phil says, “You teach people how to treat you.” It’s true.

Saying that, many brands do understand the value of bloggers and are getting their messages heard by thousands (even millions) of people because their pitches include transparency, professionalism and most of all – respect. Not necessarily cash, either, but respect.

Thoughts?

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Amy Bellgardt

AMY BELLGARDT is a wife and mom of two boys, as well as founder and lead blogger at Mom Spark. Amy also manages Mom Spark Media, a social media marketing firm.

62 Responses to “Bloggers Don’t Want Cars, They Want Respect”

  1. #
    Christine at More than Mommies — September 13, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Well said. We are a hard working bunch that deserves to be respected, but I do believe respect starts with the blogger. I respect my blog and readers by being honest and authentic in my writing, giving them content that is original and that I hope they love to read. I blog because I love to write and I’m greatful for the connections I’ve made. I don’t expect a car…but I do believe my time, and talent are worth something! Tanks for writing this post!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 13th, 2012 @ 10:03 am

      Couldn’t agree more. Respect all around is important.

      [Reply]

  2. #
    KeriLyn@SheSaved — September 13, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Very well said Amy, and I am so glad that you put this out there.
    Another thing that I find offensive about her “pitch” (if you can call it that) is that she dares to tell you what “most bloggers” want.
    What most bloggers want is respect and the right to run their space as they see fit. I have written about many products for free as I see that they have value in MY space to MY readers. Every space has it’s loss leaders, and I consider some of these to be mine, however, many of them have lead to even greater opportunities and relationships.
    I have also turned down many great opportunities (with great compensation, but no car yet though, boo, haha!) because they were NOT a fit for my audience. We are all entitled to run our space as we feel best fits our readership, and I get so annoyed when people try to judge or throw stones as to how that should be done.
    And what she (pr sender) forgets most is that our space is where we place our passion, and that isn’t something that you can put a price on.
    I agree: it’s about respect “Not necessarily cash, either, but respect.”
    Thanks for sharing Amy, I am passing this one along!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 13th, 2012 @ 10:21 am

      Thank you. I agree, respect doesn’t necessarily mean cash. Cash isn’t always a deal breaker, but loss of respect typically is.

      [Reply]

  3. #
    Amy — September 13, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I feel like we will never get respect as bloggers as long as we continue to disrespect one another. For example: On the elevator at BlogHer ’12 this year a woman scoffed at me for being “just a mommy blogger.” I was too in shock to respond that I would never scoff at her for being a food blogger. If we don’t respect each other, no matter the blog genre, we can’t expect to get respect from companies and brands.

    Most bloggers write because they love it. I love to write. It just so happens I’m a new mom, hence a mom blogger. If free toys or swag come to me (like from the company I’m working with now) then great, but I don’t blog for free stuff.

    If we as bloggers keep to our core of writing for the love of it and show respect for each other, good things will happen. Thank you for this post!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 13th, 2012 @ 10:34 am

      YES. Fabulous point you brought up. This means a ton and there is a ton of mudslinging in our community, I agree. I’m not sure what the comment meant in the elevator, ’cause mom bloggers are pretty influential. :)

      [Reply]

    • Andrea replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

      I completely agree with your comment. It’s about respect. Great post Amy!

      [Reply]

      • Mom Spark replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

        Thank you!

  4. #
    Tonja — September 13, 2012 at 10:44 am

    It’s so sad that there’s still a divide of PR people who don’t understand that getting paid doesn’t mean buying a positive review.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 13th, 2012 @ 10:50 am

      AND that getting paid isn’t the only thing we want or need in return.

      [Reply]

  5. #
    andrea from the fishbowl — September 13, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of pitches – good and bad. I received a very bizarre pitch awhile back, similar to the one you quoted above. (Sadly, there was neither meat nor cheese involved!) It was short – almost terse-sounding – with terrible spelling and grammar. The person also requested all sorts of personal information. What’s more it came from a hotmail account – even though the sender was allegedly from a major international agency. Crazy.

    Well, I was concerned, and I happened to have some time, so I Googled the agency, found an email address, and forwarded the email. The recipient of the email happened to be a VP and was just as appalled. As it turns out the sender was an over eager intern who’d been told to find out who the top influencers are in a certain category but NOT email them. But he did. Anyway, lesson learned… for him, and hopefully the agency! But I’ve never forgotten that, and so every badly spelled and misdirected pitch I get now I immediately assume is being sent by the intern. :)

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 13th, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

      Kudos to you for reaching out to the VP. I think situations like that happen more times than not. I try not to associate the brand to the firm, you know?

      [Reply]

  6. #
    RunEatRepeat — September 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Claps :)

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 13th, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

      Thanks. ;)

      [Reply]

  7. #
    leah- diaries of a domestic goddess — September 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Good post. I would probably respond back with:

    “Hi! Thank you for reaching out to me. I would love to work together. My rates for this type of job are as follows…

    [Reply]

  8. #
    Roxanne D. — September 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Great post! I just wrote about blogger respect today, too. We are often misrepresented and misunderstood by reps and companies. I think it is because some bloggers will do posts and advertisement for free or very cheap while others value their time and expect something more out of it. It’s unfortunate, but we all end up paying the price from it.

    [Reply]

  9. #
    Rachel Ramey — September 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    The tone of that is so disrespectful – the implication is that most bloggers are asking for compensation that is way out of scale with what they’re doing. But a review can take a LOT of time and work! Maybe she just meant to be funny? But it sure does come across as, “Wow, bloggers are so greedy.”

    Would the PR people do their jobs for nothing, even though their expenses for doing the job itself are paid? A blog isn’t even just a “wash,” financially – it COSTS money to host and maintain a blog.

    If they want me to make use of MY hosting, put in MY time, and use MY effort to get the word out about their product, why is it considered unreasonable to sometimes expect some compensation?

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

      Honestly, money isn’t the only issue here for me. It’s the tone that feels disrespectful.

      [Reply]

  10. #
    Shan @ Last Shreds Of Sanity — September 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I got rejected when I asked for compensation for posting a press release. Seriously? I PAY FOR MY WEBSITE. Domain, hosting…it’s not free. And my time is valuable. PR firms DO NOT get this, but they should.

    Oh, I almost forgot, a couple weeks ago I received an email from someone wanting ad space on my site. I sent them my price list and they responded with “well this is for an affiliate ad so we can gauge how your site works for us, we may purchase ad space if you do well”. Yeah, umm, I’m not in the habit of giving away ad space. Sorry. When I told the rep that, he basically called me an idiot and said my site was shit.

    Yes, I will blog about this, just like I blogged about being pitched menopause products last week because I’m over 35 and MUST be menopausal.

    IDIOTS.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

      Not all pitches will be good fits for us and, honestly, I am not that offended by those that aren’t. I am mostly concerned with those who are disrespectful in their pitches.

      [Reply]

  11. #
    Katy M — September 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Did she speak at all about the company, or did she just talk about “most bloggers” in her pitch?

    [Reply]

  12. #
    julieann r — September 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I’m such a small and starting blog that I’ve never received a pitch from anyone and I have only just sent my first “pitch” to a company asking for a review opportunity, but I can’t imagine getting something like that from a PR firm or company. I mean, seriously, you wouldn’t even treat someone you DIDN’T want to do something for you like that. Wow.

    [Reply]

  13. #
    Still Blonde after all these YEARS — September 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I swear, I could write the best article called rediculous things that PR people say (and do).

    [Reply]

  14. #
    Jill — September 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Did they mention what type of product they wanted a review for? I know that it is common practice to ask for $ or in-kind valued product. So maybe it’s a car???

    Definitely not cool to insult other bloggers. Personally, I think the whole “hopefully you have better morals that that” is just an out of touch tactic to get you to NOT ask for the same thing. Sigh.

    [Reply]

    • Amy replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

      It was for a bag. :)

      [Reply]

  15. #
    Annette Anderson — September 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I love your response to such a rude and unappreciative person.
    I agree with you, we would much rather have respect than some gifts, although a car would be a good gift, ha. It just bothers me tremendously when some companies think all we want is their dish soap or baby diaper. If you are like me, and hundreds of other bloggers, you love the joy of writing and spreading the news of good products to people all over the web. I will admit that I do love it when UPS arrives and brings me awesome products to try. But what some of these people don’t understand is exactly what all goes into writing a post, setting up rafflecopter, adding it to our long list of linkies to promote the giveaway ect….. It takes up a lot of time that my husband says I should be doing other things, (he’s a skeptic also), but the fact still remains that I will continue to review and write my opinions in a post and submit it for my readers to read.
    So thanks so much for this article. I thought only I received such rude responses every now and then. It makes me really appreciate the wonderful companies that are such a joy to work with.
    Happy Blogging!
    Annette

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

      Thank you for your post, Annette. It’s all about respect. Not necessarily money, either, just respect in a conversation goes a long way.

      [Reply]

  16. #
    Ellen Christian — September 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Great post. Honestly, I don’t expect a car (although that would be cool). I do expect to be valued. I love what I do but it takes time and there are expenses included. It takes me several hours to write a post. I take my own photographs and then edit those photographs. I promote each post on my site and on a bunch of social media sites. I pay for hosting and domain fees. I pay for software and photography equipment. I buy props for the background when I photograph things. This all costs me money and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect to be compensated with product or payment for my time. I just wish more companies & PR agencies would understand that.

    [Reply]

    • anonymous replied: — September 23rd, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

      I work in the space on the PR side. We DO understand that you want to be compensated. However, we are severely limited by budgets. There is not an endless amount of money for bloggers and social media. In fact, the amount of money that is allocated for social media is miniscule compared to what clients put out for their other marketing and advertising. And frankly, –and many of you don’t want to hear this — all bloggers are not worth the same amount of money. Some bloggers ARE worth compensating lots of money. Others… not so much. That’s the reality.

      [Reply]

  17. #
    Kenda — September 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I do agree that his tone seemed like ‘humor’ turned into raw rudeness. But, I gotta say…. I wouldn’t be surprised if some blogger somewhere actually did ask for a car as compensation (which yes, would be ridiculous). I’ve seen bloggers ask for huge compensation/products just to see if they could get it. I think the problem here is not only PR not understanding us, but we’re also working against other bloggers who CREATE the misconceptions PR has about us in general.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

      Yes, great point. I have witnessed some nasty replies to PR reps from bloggers that is appalling. Respect goes both ways. So does professionalism. (post coming up on this topic)

      [Reply]

  18. #
    Lisa Cash Hanson — September 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    This is exactly why I sell my OWN products and encourage other bloggers to as well. There are some PR reps that get it and I’ve worked with many on Mompreneur Mogul. But this is yet another reason why I encourage the clients I coach to create a brand, and use their own products to increase knowledge of that brand. That way they are never at the mercy of PR companies and their nonsense.

    We just had a meeting about this very thing. The reality is you can’t really blame a PR company for trying to get the most they can for nothing. They think it’s their job. But this is why bloggers need to be educated to understand the value of their worth. That way when they do get contacted by a PR person trying to get their services for free they will understand what that value is.
    You are helping to do that so that’s wonderful.

    [Reply]

    • anonymous replied: — September 23rd, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

      We don’t think it’s our job — it IS our job. Bloggers need to get that when you get that pitch that you make fun of, on the other end of the line is some poor intern or account manager who is just trying to do their job and make their client happy. We simply can not pay all of you. There is not this imaginary bucket of money that we are hiding from you.

      [Reply]

  19. #
    Jennifer All Access: Life — September 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I wanted to respond as both a publicist who has specialized with working with bloggers for more that 7 years and a blogger myself (although not very active!). I just read this out loud to my colleagues at my agency and all of us had a look of shock and disgust on our faces that any professional agency would send such a thing out!? It is true that a lot of agencies and companies still do not get the blogsphere and it is true that not every pitch sent out is going to be compensated. However, that does not make it right for the lack or respect and professionalism this person had. Whether I sent a paid opp or an earned media opp, I am always up front with my bloggers, and because I give them nothing BUT respect, they usually will do anything I ask because I have built a relationship with them, not just an email list.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

      Thank you, Jennifer. We need more people like you working with us!

      [Reply]

  20. #
    Erin @ DIY On the Cheap — September 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Wow! Just came across this post via a link from a fellow blogger. The email that your received was unprofessional and totally rude! Unfortunately PR firms and many companies just don’t “get it” yet when it comes to working with bloggers. Our time is valuable, and compensation should be the norm. Not only are they asking for our time, but they want access to the audience that we have spent time and effort growing through our hard work cultivating content and promoting our sites through social media. Would a TV station give away commercial time for free? No. Why should we? It’s one thing if we choose to talk about a product or company because we just plain love it and want to share info about it, but for a company to pursue US and flat out ask for or expect free advertising is asinine. I think the only solution is to educate them. Until enough bloggers realize that their time and influence is valuable, and make that clear to companies/PR firms, this will continue. With time, I have a feeling it will change.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

      Thank you for your comment, Erin. I agree with you, but I am also okay with a PR rep just being upfront when they don’t have a budget to compensate and possibly produces other ideas that are fair. As long as the pitch is professional, I’m cool. This particular one didn’t bother me because of any money issues, but because of the tone and stab at my colleagues.

      [Reply]

  21. #
    Kelly Loubet (@Childhood) — September 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    What I found most interesting is the tone of the pitch. It’s almost as if the writer had run into many greedy bloggers with loose morals. The pitch is almost like a friend… venting about their job… rather than a professional… sending you their pitch. How Awkward. I’m at a loss to understand how this sort of pitch would be effective. Thanks for sharing Amy.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

      Yes, the one is what bothered me most. Just be respectful and professional, right? It’s such an easy thing that goes a long way.

      [Reply]

  22. #
    Andrew Kardon — September 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Great post, Amy. I’ve actually been on both sides of this equation. I run my own online shopping site and have worked with hundreds of bloggers over the past few years. I did lots of paid posts/reviews. But I also sent out some emails/referalls/etc. for various contest, giveaways, new features we had on the site. I expected some of the bloggers to write about it because I’ve worked with them before and because I thought they might actually be interested in what I had to say.

    Now that I”m on the other side of things running my own Daddy Blog, I get similar pitches too, except most of them are looking for full-fledged product posts without any compensation at all. I know how hard it is to blog and would never just write “free content” for a company, unless I legitimately used and loved their product and WANTED to write about them.

    The fact that this PR person is explaining their job and has the gall to say that all bloggers want a car for a product review is not only insulting; it’s unprofessional. Now if he had an existing relationship with you and you were joking around about it is one thing. But to put that in an initial pitch later is really bad business for him. Especially since bloggers LOVE to share war stories. This guy’s gonna have a hard time getting someone to bite.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

      I totally agree. I have some close relationships with clients that I would feel comfortable joking with, but I did not know this rep at all, which made it even more awkward.

      [Reply]

  23. #
    Hillary Glaser — September 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    This kinda bothers me. As someone who once had this person’s job (I may or may not have worked with some of your readers), it’s hard to write a compelling pitch when, no matter what you write, bloggers either a) shout at you for being too original or b) not being original enough. As a fellow-blogger, this pitch also bothers me because it seems to have been written out of frustration – which is TOTALLY inappropriate.

    Some bloggers, not all, do ask for the sun, moon, and stars. It’s annoying. Actually, it’s flat out obnoxious. I had a woman once ask for $1040 AND a pair of Chanel eyeglasses (which we didn’t sell). We asked her to review eyeglasses and when she came at me with two demands, I told her it wouldn’t be a good fit for us and rescinded the invitation. Call me mean. Call me a bitch. I really don’t care but there’s no way on EARTH someone should EVER ask for something like that.

    As a blogger, we may want respect but, ya know what, there’s a lot of other bloggers ruining our reputation by asking for crap like that. Another blogger wanted $5,000 for a 300 word blurb with two links on her site. Well, sweetheart, with 3,000 unique visitors and a PR of 3, you’ll be lucky to get $30 from some companies. But $,5000??? That’s insane.

    Cut the person who wrote you some slack. Their job is incredibly hard – they send out thousands of emails and may be a few hundred responses. They caught your eye, didn’t they? Then politely decline if you don’t want the gig or just say ‘yes’ – but don’t chide them or give them pointers. That’s not your job because for every one of ‘you’ who thinks it’s a stupid pitch, there’s at least 5 other bloggers who thought ‘oh, wow, poor guy! Let me hear more!’

    There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ pitch.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

      I get where you are coming from. I have read awful responses from bloggers who received pitches they didn’t like. Respect goes both ways, and I already have a blog post in the works regarding that issue.

      My issue isn’t with whether or not this woman was going to pay me, I personally review products (not paid) often. It was the part where she disrespects my community that upset me, whether they have frustrated her in the past or not.

      [Reply]

  24. #
    Kristin — September 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Yep, yep, and yep.

    I had a PR guy tell me about a month ago that I was arrogant and unethical because I said that I had a minimum for product reviews and that I charged for sponsored posts. They’re not the same thing, but he then attacked me for the financial conflict of interest (in doing sponsored posts, in spite of my disclosures) and said that the “media” never gets paid for writing about something. Uh, yeah, they do…by their employer!!!! He then said he would never recommend me to a client because these practices are so “unethical.”

    I guess bloggers should just pay to advertise for companies and brands, right? Because if we don’t get any sort of compensation, we would actually PAY to provide free advertising, by way of paying for our domain, our hosting, our Internet, our hours and hours of time…

    I’ve never asked for a car, though. I guess I should up my asking price. ;)

    [Reply]

  25. #
    Sheila Vives — September 14, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    First, the PR person was very immature, and very unprofessional. Their communication skills are poor, and they know next to nothing about Public Relations. Probably the son of the manager of the manager of the manager.

    Bloggers do reach a large audience. A blogger’s comments and reviews, or even their twitter parties, and tweets catch my attention way better than annoying TV commercials that are so loud they blast you out of the house.

    Social Media has a more in-depth reach with me, so good bloggers are worth taking the time to notice.

    I am signed up with over 700 blogs through emails, Facebook, Twitter, (I really don’t read my Google). While I haven’t had the time to spend on each and every site, I have been to plenty of them. And out of the large numbers I have visited, very few earn my interest, respect, and attention.

    There are Top Level Bloggers: These are those who work hard, have valuable detailed content, and work to keep their sites fresh and outdated material removed. I don’t always want extensive wordiness unless it is very important content, but give me some beef in your review and articles.

    Mid-Level Bloggers: Interesting, great offerings, but maybe need to revamp their format, fix some links, get rid of the excessive pop-ups and widgets, and remove a bit of outdated material.

    Bottom Level Bloggers: Most of these are “copy-cat” bloggers who put little effort or time in and simply copied the web page design or format from another blogger. Much of their site is not user friendly, is dysfunctional, screws up my computer, and the material on these can be disjointed. When a website doesn’t flow in usability or content, it is just boring and aggravating. I understand some are newbies and just learning, but before you publish to the web, make sure everything is working.

    I don’t like over-inflated egos or power tripping among women who blog. You are not Queen of the world, you are a writer, a marketer, another sister in the skin, and someone I would like to be friends with.

    I have light hearted sites I like to go to for offers such as http://www.mojosavings.com – my all time favorite site.

    I also like something that helps me learn new things such as techas what is offered by @TheOnlineMom

    I like personalities such as momspark.net….or couponcousins.

    I also enjoy a variety of blogs. If someone has instructions on how to use coupons and a list of links to tons of survey sites, they are one of many out here.

    What makes your site different enough, unique enough to draw me in as a follower ? Do you have some different content or a specialty like Autism United, Homeschooling sites, latest fashions, or even “mechanics for girls”.

    Also, do you require me to join everything you belong to ? I am not going to jump on every new social media bandwagon. Many bloggers wanted everyone to change with them from GFC to Google Plus. Honestly, I don’t like either site. I don’t have time to visit 10 social media sites a day. For me it is Facebook or Twitter period.

    How about emails ? I really don’t want 20 per week from any blog. Send me 2.

    How about blogger contests ? Don’t ask me to sign up for 75 Facebook likes on top of what I already have and every other blogger wants me to sign up for. Ridiculous ! When Facebook and Twitter gets clogged up with too many blogs, then yours doesn’t get noticed. So don’t shoot yourself in the foot just to get people to throw money into the contest pot, or to win followers through these tactics.

    Show respect for your followers, and then they will respect you.

    Brands are another story as every company is going to have a different approach, agenda, angle, and sure if they can get something for “free” they will try it. Just maintain professionalism, good communication, and give them the facts like you are doing. If you are reaching 75,000 followers, then much of your outreach spreads out to their friends and followers and continues on.

    Word of mouth means everything for good and bad. I’ve made my mistakes in social media as a follower and twitter party attendee. Wanting to start a blog or website of my own, I have learned a lot from watching bloggers and interacting. I have a high respect for many of you.

    Don’t get your feathers ruffled over one rude PR person. There are plenty of other companies out here for you to network with and represent.

    To All Bloggers out here: Is your Blog Site or are YOU truly trained, polished and ready to invite companies into your blog ?

    [Reply]

    • Judith B. replied: — September 15th, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

      Huh?

      [Reply]

  26. #
    Patti p — September 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Wow! I usually ask for a yacht. I must be doing something wrong.

    [Reply]

    • Amy replied: — September 16th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

      Right? lol

      [Reply]

  27. #
    kimberly — September 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I started blogging in March and I really kind just fell into it. Until about a month ago I had no clue I was supposed to be paid for my time, or any of a 100 other things that seems to come with blogging.

    What I have found is a wonderful world of people who I adore, in both my readers and fellow bloggers. I sometimes ask myself how I ever ended up here and then I laugh and say, because most the time it’s fun and for me it really is.
    I have started getting e-mails, I can’t believe they sent you this one, so sorry! I’m not really sure how I would respond, I’m kinda in shock just reading what you posted. If I would have been on the receiving end of this I hope I would have walked away before I started tying, if not the response would have been more than likely something not good to reflect on my fellow bloggers. So I’m glad I’m reading this so I know to walk away before I respond in my usual comical tone :)

    [Reply]

  28. #
    Kim G of Good For You Girls — September 15, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Amy, I’m so happy to hear this topic being discussed. It looks like you’re putting together an advice piece for bloggers. I’d love to help. As a small company I love, love, love bloggers but it can certainly be a difficult world to navigate. I spend countless hours reaching out and sometimes never get a reply. We don’t mind if our products are not a good fit so letting us know is OK. What hurts the most is the time and expense of sending out product when bloggers don’t send me an e-mail telling me they received it. Perhaps you can put some info in your piece about this. Also, I’m confused as far as compensation. Traditional magazines bill based on their circulation numbers. Is there an established rate for bloggers based on fans? Example 5,000 followers the fee is X, 200,000 the fee is X? This would be extremely helpful for us little guys. Something also to consider is companies who have PR firms most likely have bigger budgets unlike someone like me who does the PR myself. Perhaps bloggers could take these circumstances under consideration and adjust rates accordingly. I offer special discounts for bloggers who perhaps don’t have a huge following but love my products. It helps me afford to send product and helps them build their portfolio. I have a ton more ideas if your interested so please let me know. Keep up the great work!

    [Reply]

  29. #
    Amy — September 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    My site is not anywhere as big as yours and many others out there, but it’s still very insulting for anyone to think that, much less voice it. I literally just received an email from a beauty company asking me to do some product reviews and I was absolutely tickled. Of course it doesn’t take much to make me happy, but I’m so appreciative of the companies that allow us to review their products……..as long as they are products I would want to share with my readers. I am usually just content receiving the product free in return for a review and I’m assuming a lot of bloggers feel the same way.

    [Reply]

    • Amy replied: — September 16th, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

      Amy – There is nothing wrong with that at all. I personally work both ways, depending on the product and if it’s a good fit for me. My issue isn’t all about money at all, but speaking and acting professionally. Thank you for your comment!

      [Reply]

  30. #
    NYC Single Mom — September 17, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I should just send PR folks your post when they invite for the third time to an event in which I will never be offered the product for review yet are are expected to get a babysitter, take value time out of my day and then write a post for free.

    [Reply]

  31. #
    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly — September 18, 2012 at 11:27 am

    On 09/13 I co-hosted a twitter party ‘Bloggers to Brands: Best Practices for Working Together’ (I updated my post to include the Talk Summary – http://www.ascendingbutterfly.com/2012/09/i-am-co-hosting-todays-bloggers-to.html)

    and today I got a pitched that set my blood boiling with how absolutely offensive it is to me as a blogger. I was tempted to post it as a what ‘NOT’ to do, but I somehow restrained myself. And now seeing this it just brings it all right back!

    My thoughts? When I have the time and I get a PR Pitch so offensive I can’t stand it, I get the email or phone number to the CEO of the brand, embed the pitch and then close with is this how you really want to be represented?

    You’d be surprised how sometimes the brands are un-aware of how they are being represented.

    Unfortunately this topic will continue to come up as PR AND BLOGGERS alike continue to act un-professionally, we both know that the bad behavior does go both ways!

    [Reply]

  32. #
    Dagmar ~ Dagmar's momsense — September 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Hi Amy,

    there are many PR firms out there who are professional and work hard to get to know you and actually read your blog. But those kinds of emails like the one you got and unrelated PR pitches and requests to post something for nothing are getting out of hand and are so disrespectful to our time.

    I’m not a news outlet who wants to fill pages on Dagmar’s momsense — I’m not interested in press releases! Unless you are willing to pay for my expertise and time, please don’t contact me.

    I just wrote about that and referenced your fab post:

    I’ve Had It — My New Rules for Unsolicited Email Pitches http://bit.ly/Ocx3yp

    [Reply]

  33. #
    Ruth Hill — September 23, 2012 at 12:08 am

    I have been blogging for two years now, and I think there is a perception that bloggers get things for free, and it is an easy job. In my case, it is not rude companies, it is rude “family.” I worked very hard and finally got to review a soda stream. This was something I had waited for two years. My sister-in-law was visiting, and my mom is very quick to brag about her daughter’s accomplishments. My sister-in-law was shocked when I was told I got the soda stream from the company for free. Immediately, she laughed and said she was going to do the same thing. (yeah, right, when pigs fly!).

    I did have a very supportive company ask me how I got nearly 10,000 twitter followers. She was amazed and impressed, and I always feel so good when I get to share my “secrets” with companies. No secrets actually–just hard work!

    Thanks this post. You are a top blogger, and you should be getting a load of respect from companies. And I know you work hard. Maybe not ever company respects you, but your followers do!

    [Reply]

    • Brittney Wilson @ The Nerdy Nurse replied: — October 7th, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

      My favorite is when my family or co-workers are like “well why don’t you get me stuff for free?”
      When I try to explain that the “free” stuff I get goes along with a lot of hard work, they just don’t get it.
      Apparently, since it’s done on the internet it’s not work.

      Go figure.

      I spend all day on the internet in front of a computer during my day job and no one expects me to do freelance HIT consulting for free for them.

      If you’re friends an electrician and he installs his own light fixtures without having to pay someone else, he still had to do the work. He wouldn’t want to come to your house and do your stuff for free.

      So what’s the difference?

      [Reply]

  34. #
    Brittney Wilson @ The Nerdy Nurse — October 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    This is a great post.

    I’ve had a few pitches like this.

    On the one hand they stroke your ego and are complimentary of your work. Many times they pick a specific article and included quotes directly from it. But later in the message it is made clear that they want you to work for free.

    They don’t work for free so I am not sure why they think a compliment can pay the bills?

    [Reply]

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