A few months ago, a magazine in Dallas asked me for an interview. I was thrilled! This was a great opportunity and I was excited to take part. I answered the questions on time, included high quality images, and found interesting ways to include Dallas in my content.
Then I never heard back. Weeks went by and I followed up, asking when I would be featured. They apologized for not getting back and assured me that I would be featured on my given date: July 8th. I said no problem. Everyone gets busy right?
I forgot about the feature. I didn’t mark it on my calendar, they told me they would follow up when the feature was live. Last week it popped into my head: did they feature me?! I scrambled to the site to see they featured ANOTHER person. They didn’t email me to let me know. They didn’t contact me to tell me they no longer needed me or that it would be on a later date. They just did what they wanted.
As a blogger I can’t even fathom doing that to someone on my site.
Blogging can be tough. Many “deals” are made via email, sans signed contracts. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t uphold your part of the deal. We all get busy, I’ve definitely dropped the ball before, but I hope to make up for it.
Yesterday I got an email requesting that I blog about a product. Bloggers get review requests all the time. It can be any kind of product: from e-cigarettes to expensive vacations. Whether anyone likes it or not, everyone has a price.
I have my media kit (updated every few months or so) and my standard answer to advertisers ready to go, to help prove my value and why I ask for a certain price. When the advertiser got back to me, they seemed frustrated and appalled. They gave me another option: I could be featured on their site and instagram which was “very popular.”
I did my research. The site had many pages with broken or undeveloped links. There’s no way they were getting even half the amount of traffic they said they were getting and their instagram had 45 followers. How then, was this an even trade?
A lot of companies think bloggers will say yes to everything. We just want free stuff, and that’s that. I treat my blog like my business. I expect to be paid for the time and effort I put in. But when you come to a blogger in a way that makes us feel that we have to do something, it’s of putting.
The other day, another company came to me with a completely different approach. They wanted to send em the product. If I liked it, I could share it or give my thoughts. Nothing was required. They also didn’t have the budget to pay me, just wanted to send it my way in the off chance I felt compelled to tweet it or post about it.
Turns out, it was awesome and I shared it on instagram. It felt easy and not like a true advertisement because there were really no strings attached. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to be paid for my thoughts and I didn’t do a long review post on the blog, but it was an easier way to share how I really felt. Plus, I really enjoyed the way this company spoke to me.
So, here is what I think is the right way to handle bloggers (or any business for that matter):
– Stick to a time frame, if you expect us on a certain day and time, so should you.
– If you don’t let us know.
– Be crystal clear about what you want but don’t be overly demanding. The less number of rules we have to follow when writing a review the better. You’ll end up with a more honest and well written post.
– Pay us on time.
– Let us know if there are hiccups along the way.
– Be nice, be courteous.
Have you had any nightmares when working with advertisers?
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