Monday, 14 March 2016

Brands, bloggers & self-importance

When I started my blog, I did so as a distraction from uni, to get me out of a writing-rut and to ensure I always had a place to talk, to learn more about myself and my writing skills. And my blog is still that - but it's also a place where I can use my influence, however small, to talk about things I love, like or dislike. And people will listen. Brands have taken notice of me, for whatever reason, and I'm eternally grateful for every opportunity my blog brings me; however big or small.

A recent #fblchat led to a little debate over the relationships between brands and bloggers, especially where payment is concerned. The chat was about bloggers being taken seriously, and I'd mentioned how strange I find it when huge companies have absolutely no budget when it comes to blogger outreach. A few people agreed with me, and a few people didn't.

Last summer, a company got in touch with me asking if I wanted to write a blog post about why I shave/wax my legs, and my hair-removal routine, mentioning them in the post. They didn't offer to send me a product, they didn't offer to feature me on their site or even share my post - and when I asked if there was a budget for this post, they said no. I politely declined and went about my day (I was in work at the time, in a little café) and had, honestly, forgotten about it until this chat. I'd never mentioned it before on Twitter, because that's not the sort of thing I do - and I only did so as it was relevant to what we were discussing.

Me being all self-important and that.

The company in question are part of the Reckitt Benckiser Group, which means little to me - but the group has a net worth of $62.4billion which is a lot of moolaaa. Personally, I don't think it's worth it to me to write a post, giving free advertising to a massive brand, for literally nothing in return. It screams "you're not worth it" and if I tell myself I'm not worth it, that I don't need to be taken seriously, then why should anybody else take me seriously? Maybe I am full of my own self-importance, but I'd like to think I am worth it. I'd like to think, having worked with amazing brands such as Clarins, AEOS, W7 and The Clothes Show among many others, that all brands should or would have the same amount of respect for me.

And I think that's okay - I think to expect, or ask for, respect IS ABSOLUTELY OKAY. I think it's okay to want to be taken seriously; even if it's just a hobby, why would you want to be seen as unimportant or a joke? I don't know, maybe I'm alone in feeling this way - but bloggers are becoming increasingly more important to society in terms of advertising and influence (even supermodel Jourdan Dunne reads blogs, so there).

If you want somebody to talk about your brand or product, in my opinion you should make it worth their while - that's all. Have some respect for bloggers who work flat out to make a ripple in this ocean filled with amazing men and women talking about their favourite things.

What do you think, am I being touchy or big-headed?

Wanna see a post I wrote for international women's day?


  1. I agree with you Katy, we are the ones who put all our effort into researching the brand, testing products, photographing them and writing about them and brands expect us to have nothing in return to suit them. Of course if I get sent a product to review, I then don't want to ask for money as well because that's just the type of person I am. I feel lucky enough to be given the opportunity to write about the product I am receiving and that's enough for me but for a brand to not even retweet your post or anything shouldn't be allowed. Bloggers is not a way to get free advertising at all! :) xx

    Yasmina | The July Journal

  2. This is such an amazing read - this is something that's been on my mind recently and I just wanted to know what the majority of bloggers thought! I think obviously every blogger is different - but there was nothing wrong with what you did - blogging takes time and effort - and if you are helping a brand out, why shouldn't they help you out? Surely it is the only fair thing to do right? great post girl - you're not being big headed - you are just supporting us bloggers!!

  3. I agree with you completely!! I've noticed more and more bloggers tweeting about similar issues, HUGE companies expecting free services. I vote more bloggers name and shame the companies (mainly out of pure nosiness) !! :) x x

  4. Maybe they're trying to take advantage of people who are so eager to get in contact with brands without realising that they might be doing some extra work for free, such a pity! You're not being big-headed at all.

    Irene | ireisapenguin