Time is Precious when your a Blogger! I can’t work for free. 

Since I started blogging, time has become a commodity. I do all I can with my health circumstances to be the best parent I can and besides, resting and parenting, I spend a lot of time blogging.

Blogging is not just about writing, blogging has in a way become my therapy. This is my way to get out my thoughts and feelings out, to share ideas and raise awareness for things that are important to me and to record our family antics.

Daysinbed had become my creative outlet. I write, I design cover pictures for every post. I create quotes, do PR, advertising, collaborations, research, learn, engage with others and it takes time, precious time. In fact I do not have enough time.

I write my posts when I feel well enough and this enables me to schedule my posts to go out each day. This does not mean I’m well everyday. In fact some posts that come out, I don’t have time to promote in the way I would like. This is sometimes because I’m too physically sick to link up to other bloggers or to go and promote my writing on social media.

When I’m having a better hour or day, I may need to give time to my family. We have family night every Monday. There is also much to do with my child on an evening as well as cooking and maintaining the home. Yet, to make my blog a success, which I am trying to do, I need to dedicate many hours to working towards this goal.

When my child is at school, I do a lot of blog related work. It has been incredibly hard to do this and parent in the holidays. We booked my daughter into lots of holiday activities but then while she was gone, I found myself having a sleep and resting. So I then have to work late into the night, as well as when I can in the day.

I have to work my butt off too because no reward comes without effort and sacrifice and so I sacrifice fun and chilling out time. I don’t watch a tv shows or do the things others do. I work work work in my spare time, or when I’m not sick or parenting and then I parent and rest.

Blogging is supposed to be fun and it is fun but it is also hard work and I don’t think some people realise just how many hours have to be put in each week. Much more than an average full time job. That’s for sure! I do at least 50 hours a week.

I’ve worked really hard for months and now I’ve built a reputation. I am growing my following and am more than happy to be ranked 24 on the parent blogger board. This is fabulous. I got the MumpreneurUK Award and my blog has good Klout! I still have plenty of work to do but I am at a level where I am able to collaborate with brands on a regular basis.

There are wonderful brands out there who are professional and ethical, who value bloggers and appreciate the fact, blogging is real work. However there are agencies and certain people who do not understand this. There are PR people who try to take advantage of bloggers and expect work to be done with no reward whatsoever.

My blog is about me and my family, parenting and health issues and if I can get sponsored by a company or get to collaborate with a brand that is relevant to my blog then that is fabulous. If I get opportunities to do things which are fun or entertaining then why not! However asking me to write a press release about a topic which has nothing to do with me or my blog is not going to work!

I’m not a newspaper and I’m not interested in every story about anything or everything! Just because I raise awareness for Adrenal Insufficiency, Chronic Illness and child/parent health, this does not mean I want to spend hours researching and writing about the dangers of “teeth whitening”. Why would I want to promote a local dentist for free on my blog?

Don’t get me wrong there are some good causes, charities and medical campaigns which are important and I would not hesitate to help raise awareness but I barely have the time to work on the things I need to work on which are really important to me. This is Adrenal Insufficiency and Chronic illness and children’s health.

No one would go and work at Asda for free. Why someone would think or expect me to write for them for free is a little insulting! Sometimes brands will ask a blogger to review a product and I’m more than happy to do this. Sometimes a blogger is asked to attend an event for free and they would get “an experience”making it worthwhile, but why would a blogger who has a niche or aim want to write a blog post about margarine being handed out in London when (I) the blogger live in the North West?

The polite thing to do is to say, sorry but this is not relevant to the aim of my blog or, sorry I understand this is an important issue and I’d love to write about it, here is my media pack and prices for a collaborative post. It is always great to have good manners and you know what, they may return and say, we have no budget for this but we really would like you to write the piece for us anyway for free.

Sorry, unless it is a campaign that is close to my heart such as breast cancer, disabilities or a life threatening illness, (which I’d consider writing about) I don’t want to write posts and press releases for free.

I also don’t like it when I’ve politely declined to write a PR post, for the PR people to turn around and say, we will only give you the product to review if you do the PR post as well. That is incredibly rude. I am not going to write a post for someone just to get a product to review!

Secondly I do not like it when a company use my illness to try and persuade me to write for f for them for free!

“We are sorry to here you suffer from Adrenal Insufficiency and hope you are feeling well- by the way will you write a post for us about ####- your readers might be interested”.

I say sure thing, are you prepared to pay me to write about this? Then I get told no, we thought because you are sick you would care enough to share this with others for free!

The reality is I expect to be sent many more PR releases in the future and if it is relevant or close to my heart, I may even write about it, but I will not be writing about irrelevant subjects juts to fill space on my blog. I have real work to do and genuine companies prepared to reward me for collaborations.

PR releases will always be sent to bloggers, especially new bloggers and one may be tempted to write for free and “be used” but then that is sending the message that blogging is not a real job or a profession. I guess there are two types of bloggers, those who blog for a living and those who don’t. I intend to be the first.

Food for thought

Angela MIlnes xx

time

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20 Comments

  1. So agree with you. Blogging shouldn’t be a platform for free advertising, and when brands contact me and expect me to participate in a “project without a budget” I get irritated an feel kind of used. I try to be polite, like you said, share the hire me page and move on to better things.

    1. I don’t mind being contacted, It’s just when brands get a little rude and offended when I ask to be compensated for my time as if they expect me to do it all for free.

      Angela x

  2. I’m pretty sure any of them will try and get a freebie, and if you aren’t willing to do one, I’m sure many other bloggers will.

    If they really want YOU, they will pay!!!

    #showcasetuesday

    1. Sadly some bloggers are taken advantage of and they don’t even know it. I was at the very start but I wont allow it anymore. I’ve learnt my value and if it takes more time and like you say, if they really want to feature on my blog then they will negotiate.

      Angela x

  3. Well said, Angela and that final quote sums it all up really. It is insulting to be asked to provide free advertising and put time and effort into writing something for nothing and I’m quite shocked that companies would try and use your illness as a way of appealing to you to write for free. It’s one thing when it’s something very close to your heart and important to you that you are trying to raise awareness of, but quite another when it’s a company trying to advertise something without wanting to assign any budget to doing so.

    1. Yes, your absolutely right Louise. A company has a budget for these things and if not then it will be their loss. I have worked with some great ones but some emails are just plain rude. Angela x

  4. Brilliantly written and point well made! My email is full of the same sort of thing, in my case often asking to promote another travel business, PRs should do their homework before they press send and not come without a budget.

  5. Seems like some brands the world over take liberties and expect things for free as bloggers everywhere have that same complaint.
    Thanks for sharing on #ShowcaseTuesday

  6. Totally agree! I have agreed to do a post later this month about cancer awareness for free and I did post about a book a while back where the proceeds were going to charity for free, but to me that is totally different to advertising for free.
    I understand why the PRs do it, while they can find people willing to do it, they are going to keep asking, but accept a polite no with polite thanks for your time and move on! I wonder how many of them promote brands for free – my guess would be none of them 🙂
    Debbie

    1. I agree health awareness and other campaigns close to my heart may be something I want to promote and form time to time I may do this for free. However, after attending a workshop and hearing what others are offered to promote awareness campaigns, and having learnt that the pharmaceutical companies have budgets for working with bloggers, I would hope to be paid something when the job i’m being asked to do is significant and takes a lot of time. As for brands and companies. They need to budget for advertising and not try and take advantage of bloggers. (the one’s who do)

      Angela x

  7. I never realised how much time blogging would take up when I first got into this. A friend made a comment about me not working and I came home and worked out between my blog and weight loss business I worked more hours than her. Go figure. I always reply politely to some PRs but I had one a couple of weeks ago that after the post was published and have been promoted on my social media changed their mind and asked me to take it down and is now refusing to pay me. I think after some time to cool down I am going to leave it as I don’t want to get a bad reputation but I was immensely frustrated as I had done the work as agreed 🙁

    1. Yes, it takes time but also costs, from self hosting fees, to illustrations, template, weekly and monthly costs. It add’s up.I want to say i van’t believe that happened to you but I have had some no so great experiences myself so I totally understand, for example not being paid for jobs or being promised something and then being ignored. Of course I’m going to in the future have to start using contracts etc for the bigger jobs. Having said that some of the companies I have worked with have been brilliant and as with life it is a few who spoil it for the others!

      Angela x

  8. Excellent post, and some very good points. I think it’s easy for non-bloggers to underestimate the amount of time and effort (and, yes, money) that goes into creating and maintaining a quality blog. It’s just rude to expect someone to work for free. #showcasetuesday

    1. Yes, I put in more time than I ever did working as a full time teacher..that’s for sure and I hope to be valued for that. We dont have to be paid tons but what our blogs are worth according to our reach and stats etc. Angela x

  9. Hi Angela, I love posts like this! And too right! I find it hard enough to find enough time to take care of my family, pets and blog and I don’t suffer from an illness, so how you find the energy I have no idea.

    It’s not right that companies expect bloggers to advertise/ promote their wares for free, that’s just exploitation and it’s not like they would ever return the favour.

    xx

    1. Thanks Debbie. I am at the minute so unwell, I’m not doing much other than sleeping and writing a post each day. I know it’s sad but I have to wait for the GP and specialsits and they are so so slow! Angela x

  10. I seriously could have written this myself!
    I have probably held back my blog becasue I refuse to do post s for the sake of £25 or if its a subject I wouldn’t talk about.
    I’m currently thinking of going self employed so I can earn some money but I will still keep the integrity of my blog intact because THAT is probably worht more than any PR copmpany will pay.
    L
    #BrillintBlogPosts

    1. Thanks. Yes it is important not to write about things we are not interested in. It can be tempting – especially when we need the cash (which i do) however I wont do a job for something that really is not relevant to my blog. I’ve turned down a few jobs so far, but then there are some fantastic opportunities too and I really do appreciate it when the PR companies and brands do get it right! – Angela x

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