Should Bloggers Work For Free?

I appreciate companies reaching out to me and offering samples. It introduces me to new brands and products but should beauty bloggers work for free?

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Kiss My But

We love your blog, but…
We would like to work with your blog, but…
Our product would be a great fit for your blog, but…

After the “but” comes the part when a company tells me they do not want to offer me money in exchange for a review or other social media promotion.
Well, I’d like to work with your brand, too.


Don’t hand me your “To-Do List” and expect me to do it for free.
Here are just a few of the insulting offers I’ve received from companies, followed by what I’m thinking.

“We are not offering any sponsored opportunities at this time. Could you review our product on your blog once a month?”
Hmmm. That sounds a lot like a job. Sorry, cheap ass, I can’t review your product every single month for free.

“We would like “x” amount of social media mentions about our product each month.”
Oh, you would? Well, I would like to get paid. So I guess neither of us is going to get what we want. You’re not paying me, so you’re not my boss. You don’t get to issue deadlines or quotas.

“Please review our product on your blog. We are offering you the special opportunity to buy our product at a 40% discount.”
Shit. You could at least buy me dinner first…

This is a personal favourite of mine: the company that wants me to pay them to do work for them.


Should Bloggers Work For Free?

Just to be clear, I appreciate companies reaching out to me and offering samples. It introduces me to new brands and products. I’m not made of money, so having a product sent to me for free enables me to try more products. I never promise a review. If I like a product, I review it.

Related Post: 10 Affiliate & Ad Network Programs For New Bloggers

But many companies ask me to write a review, take product pictures, post on social media platforms, and commit to them for a length of time.

Essentially, they want me to work for them by promoting their product. I should be paid for that. When I start talking about monetary compensation for my work, I hear, “Sorry, but…”

Companies pay PR firms, they buy ads, they hire photographers.

Why is my blog treated differently?

With more and more people turning to trusted bloggers for advice on products, companies need to start considering the importance of blog reviews and the hard work that goes into writing them. And promoting them. And taking pictures for them. And maintaining a blog in general.

I love my beauty blog. I love connecting people with products that make them feel beautiful. It’s actually fun for me! But I don’t like the feeling that I’m being used, that sucks the fun right out of blogging.

When it comes to being compensated for my work, I’m not accepting “but” from companies anymore. It’s already cost me a few opportunities to work with brands. Whatever.

They can kiss my but.

Today’s post is brought to you by my friend Audrey of Cremes Come True. Be sure to check out her beauty blog as well as her social media profiles on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

How would you like to start a money making blog? Check out my step by step tutorial here.

Thank you for reading!

I would love to connect with you!

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  1. Absolutely not! Great post and timing. The blogging community is putting out life-changing creative content. Good content takes time. Great content takes years of practice, research, images, ect. All of this is to benefit our readers and add to the blogging community. It’s beyond reasonable l to expect to have some type of compensation.

  2. Nail on the head. I no longer work for free. I value my time and my life far more than exposure. It’s important we stay true to our goals and not worry about putting a price on good quality work. Each of those e-mails , gosh, I have seen such variants on them. This was a well-written piece and much-needed, in my opinion.

  3. I don’t get all this pathetic Toho-Wabo hoo about bloggers getting a compensation for their effort and time, would any baker or butcher go to work for free? Why should we work without getting paid, then? These numerous emails from ‘clever marketers’ coming in sometimes really make me so angry, I have replied to many of them ..straight forward asked them why should I do that for you …where’s my benefit from this? They call it ‘collaborating’, should a collaboration not mean ‘win-win’? So, I clearly demand my ‘part of win’, I ain’t working for nobody for free! Ans surprisingly quite often these inquiries turn into well-paid jobs. It takes two to tango!!

  4. My blog is new and I appreciated finding this conversation thread. In my blog, I’m trying to strike a balance between humor and hearfelt, thought provoking realities about aging. Sometimes I wonder if I’m flip flopping between audiences as I try to find the balance. I guess it’s going to be a lot of trial and error?

  5. Congratulations on the nomination to this year’s blogger bash Elena. You’ve given me and so many such wonderful guidance and support (especially through the FB group). I hope you win!

  6. Great post, glad somebody said it. I’m also inundated with offers to add companies to my sidebar, link to them, feature them, bla bla bla. I used to reply to be polite but I don’t have the time, especially when they keep replying back telling me how beneficial it would be to my blog. Really? Buy my books, lol. 🙂

  7. Omg, I so agree with this! I’m all for mentioning a product if I truly like it but I won’t do it just because the brand requests me to do it and not even willing to pay any money! Ughh.

  8. I can echo what has been mentioned so far. I get a request for a guest post at least once a week…DELETE…I replied recently to one request, asking I’ll let you post yours on my site if you post something on your site…crickets chirping. I’m lucky at this point. I write blog posts for my brother in law’s business. I charge him close to the going rate ($100 per post with images). It’s resulted in website content editing too. Can I live off the $$? No. That’s not why I blog, but it’s a bit of icing on the cake and I help a family member 🙂

  9. Amen, girl! I’m like you, if I like a product, I’ll review it. I’m very choosy about what I accept to review. If they want me to jump through too many hoops, cough up some chi-ching or I can’t do it. More bloggers need to start stepping up and demanding money for their time. A bloggers review of a product can go viral and be big for the company. Compensation should be part of the deal. Thanks for writing this!

  10. I wrote about this a while ago, after getting into an argument with a large company who wanted me to write them a post for free, although they tried to get round it with promises of publicity on their social media pages.
    it’s so rude… Makes me mad.

  11. Even though it was my first opportunity, I told a brand no when they wanted me to do a special post for them for free. There wasn’t even product being offered to me, not even a special discount. It was more like a “you’ll get prestige for being associated with us.” No thank you, I don’t think I want to be “linked” to you.

  12. This is so true – I was approached recently to write for companies they’d link me up to and include several links they would provide – once my post went live they would then see if the company liked what I wrote and if they did I’d get a “nominal” fee – I don’t think so! My time is worth more than that to me.

  13. I wouldn’t know where to start getting paid to blog, and it doesn’t appeal to me. I blog as a side-hobby and like to pick and choose my topics. Thanks for the insight though.

  14. Oh I agree. I often think that we bloggers are to blame for the pittance we get. In India, I see many bloggers doing guest posts for a pittance, thinking a little money is better than none at all. This lowers the rate for everyone and the corporates and agencies have it easy.

  15. I couldn’t agree with you more. My sister and used to do that (work for free), when we were first starting out. Fortunately, the products that we reviewed on our website, we truly loved beyond measure. It was a pleasure to try them and write about them on our blog. Nowadays, we no longer do any reviews. There is no time to waste and we must work towards our goals.

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