Why I do not work for free!

I must say I faced a first in my blogging career. I mean I have had companies ask me for free posts but after telling them my rates they thank me for the information and move on or they work with me. I do not think for the amount of work it takes a blogger to promote things my price is unfair. This is my job. During the summer I do not get paid by my real job (a para educator) so I need to supplement some income. I have kids and I have bills just like everyone else. I take my blogging seriously and I expect companies to respect that as I respect that they are trying to promote a product or service. I am in sense…. an advertiser. I do not work for free.

So why am I telling you this. Well I had a company, Rose Wholesale,  who found it necessary to try to bully (and yes I will use the word bully) me into doing free work.  I received the below email:

Hi ,

I have visited your blog for a while and I found it very cool. You tell us the life bit by bit sweet and warm. 
Your thoughts and opinions on fashion and life style are very unique attracting me deeply. And I really like it. 
You are the best person we are looking for.
Our website, (removing as to not give them any link juice), is a fast growing online retailer offering high quality products at amazing prices. There are many various clothes, bags, ect.
I’m wondering if you are interested in launching a giveaway campaign on your blog with us together. And We are very happy to give you gift card, you can buy anything you want ,and write a review after you receive our product,or give it to one of your blog readers through some game or lottery.  
Please let me know if you are interested.  
I am looking forward to seeing your reply
best wishes”
This all sounds simple and innocent. I inquired more about their ideas. They replied back with a lengthy expectation for the giveaway. I inquired about the review and received this response:

If there is a great effect after the giveaway, we will place order for you ( the gift you can select there is no limitation)
Hope to hear you soon”
So in other words- If the giveaway does not do well there will be no review (which is a form of payment to me). I politely responded with the following:

Ok I have been doing some thinking and I can not guarantee the outcome of the giveaway. This blog is one of my sources of income so I would need some sort of payment regardless of the outcome of the giveaway. A giveaway takes time to construct, publish, promote, deal with winner selection and notification ect.. 
Here is my proposal- 
I will post the giveaway. The post will contain an entry form where it will encourage readers to follower all your social media and to visit and browse your site. Doing steps such as those will be bonus entries so that I am following the guidelines of my social media/blogging restrictions.  The blog post itself containing that entry form will have 2 links to your main page and at least 1 to something with in that page. As to the prize I believe giving them a gift code for a set dollar amount will draw more attraction and more entries so that people can pick what fits their style. The length of the giveaway will determine the amount of the gift code but will run no less the 14 days. It will be promoted on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ every other day then during the last 3 days it will be promoted daily.  It will also be promoted on my Pinterest board for giveaways. Once over I will select the winner and notify them. We can do one of two things- I could provide them with the gift code or I can forward their information onto you for you to provide them the gift code. 
Given the amount of work I will be doing to give you all of the above I will request a paypal payment in the amount of $100 (usd). If you wish to do something more large scale with a higher prize amount (prize amount greater then $200) and I recruit other bloggers to help me promote I will do that for additional fee (not to excede $50 extra dollars). Payment must be submitted before the giveaway is published or I will consider the deal cancelled. 
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I hope we can reach a deal on this as I believe it could truly be a great event!
Unfortunately the company felt my price was to steep and instead of negotiating a new price they just said no and said my price is to high. I replied with a polite:

I understand. As stated in the original proposal it is set that high due to the amount of work it takes me to do a giveaway (creating and publishing and promoting). This blog is my job and one I take seriously. Maybe in the future we could work together so if anything changes. Best of luck to you. 
I thought that would be an end to the conversation. With both parties ending on a professional note. I have done giveaways for trips, for items that are worth over $100 and then some and I feel I have quiet the loyal and large following. But apparently I was wrong because this is the response I received:

To tell you the truth, your fans is small and there is no other special. You need to do step by step.
We have cooperated for may bloggers they usually agree to us at the first time and do the work for us very well. But they don’t have the request like you. Their blogs are very fashionable.
And i want to sponsor you do giveaway at first time this will add you fans.Then we can have a discuss together.What do you think of it?”
Wait? What? My fans are small and I have no other special. I need to start step by step and they seem to think they can get me more fans? Seriously? Did they really just say that to me? I was surprised! I never had a company try to tell me how to run my blog and insult me as a way to get me to work with them! So here is my response to Rose Wholesale and any other company who may think that it is ok to treat a blogger like this:

Wow. I now I must be honest with you. One way to get a blogger is NOT to attack them and criticize their blog. Clearly you have not looked at my blog because if you have you would see that 1) I am NOT a fashion blogger. I promote clothing once in awhile but my main concern is recipes and promoting a serious illness. You also would see that I have 4,000 unique pageview a month- over 17000 combined followers (Facebook and Twitter being my main sources) and have worked with high end companies who do not insult bloggers they way you just have.  So I am sorry if you feel my price is “steep” for being a “small” blog. But I remind you- you contacted me first and expect me to work for free. I am an advertiser. I advertise for companies for a price. Surely you being a business person can understand that. I value my work and other companies do to. At this point I see no further communication needed as I will not work with a company who will stoop to the level of manipulation you have just to get some free advertising. 
Have a good day and again I do truly wish the best of luck for your endeavors. “
So to all the companies out there- I highly recommend fully reviewing a blog before  contacting them. And if you disagree with their terms just say thank you and move on. Do not try to bully them into your terms because you end up angering the blogging community more then anything else. We are not just bored mom’s looking for hand outs. We are advertisers who work hard and put our hearts into the things we do and will give you our best work.  

~I clearly was not compensated for this post. I am not working with the company listed hence why there are no links.~ 
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6 thoughts on “Why I do not work for free!

  1. DeDa Studios

    Sad that some companies feel that they can act this way with review bloggers. Thank you for standing up for all review bloggers. Sharing with my Blogging friends….they will also be glad you took a stance and stayed true to yourself.

  2. Danielle Royalegacy

    I get these proposals like this every so often. It sounded a little fishy in the first letter. Sounds like an Asian company. I did try working with one before, and I would get the review product to keep as well as give one away, but I stopped it once they sent me what I was required to write and link to. Perhaps these Chinese companies are so used to an oppressive government, being told what to do for everything, that they cannot even deem to understand our freedom of blogging and asking for our own conditions. I think you were right in your dealings with them.

  3. Crystal Patton

    We have received several requests like this recently on our blog. When a company contacts us and their message is full of errors I automatically delete. If they are a solid company, I feel like they should have enough sense to take the time to review their message for typos and spelling/grammatical errors! Yay for you on standing your ground. Companies should not expect us to work for free!


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