Some of the links in the post below are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers.
I've been a blogger (or even a half-assed blogger) for about 3 years now, and I love being a blogger!
This year I made it my goal to start EARNING money on the blog, so that means little to no FREE exposure for brands and companies.
Some of my awesome readers may think it's easy to be a blogger, but I'm telling you it's really not! I don't have hours (despite what my Facebook page says). I literally work from the moment I wake up in the morning until 4 hrs past the time I should have gone to sleep.
I get 50 emails daily BEFORE 10 am, and that's on a GREAT day! I've woken up and had 150 emails before 8 am before from Public Relations companies, Brands or even businesses themselves. Some are awesome and just letting us know of something they are about to launch, others are asking us to promote some upcoming product of theirs.
First, let me explain ONE THING:
I Love Being a Blogger and Working With Brands & Companies
What I DISLIKE is some of them thinking that I will work for free. I know my worth and I refuse to allow a few bucks in merchandise to cheapen my worth and my blog/brand's worth by accepting small merchandise for you to gain exposure that I won't get paid for.
I AM NOT some back ally blogger that will get you exposure for a $5 candy bar.
NO, I WILL NOT WORK for FREE in exchange for $5 worth of merchandise… well let me re-phrase… I would work for a night to just hanging out and laugh my ass off with The Rock or Dane Cook….. but even that won't pay my bills.
See that's the thing… NO merchandise will pay my bills.
So Let's break down the typical expenses for bloggers and influencers:
- Hosting our Website – $250+/yearly (Domain, Hosting, Security, etc)
- Theme & Website Mgmt – $100 flat fee or $50+ a year (Themes aren't free and good ones aren't cheap)
- VA Services – $100+ a month (We sometimes have to outsource, these people are AMAZING)
- Social Media Ads – $50+ a month (You want us to have a minimum amount of views)
- Transportation – $200+/yearly (above from just regular day to day driving)
- Business Expenses – $100+/yearly (Forming an LLC, Scorp, etc)
- Taxes – $500-10,000/yearly (VARIES by how much we make)
- Office Supplies – $500/yearly (Printer, paper, pens, clipboards, planners, etc)
- Subscriptions – $150+ monthly (Office 365, Scheduling, newsletters, training, monthly deliveries of coffee, etc)
- Internet – $40-100/month (We need this if you want us to post stuff on our blog for you)
- Cell Phone – $50 – 200/month (Yeah, need this too for those awesome photos you want us to take while on the go)
- Electric – $50-2000/month (No power, no internet, no computer, no blog post)
- Gas/Heating – $50-$2000/month (Freezing or Hangry bloggers don't work very well)
- Meals – $200 – 1000/month (Sometimes we have to pay for the foods we use in recipes, plus you know, feeding our families)
- Photography Equipment – $500+ yearly (photo editing software, lenses, props, etc)
- TIME – Our time is worth at least $15/hrly, if you don't pay us our rates, we're losing money, while you're earning. How would you feel if we earned, while you lost money? It wouldn't feel nice, would it?
Here's the thing about our time. We DO NOT GET PAID HOURLY! Which is why we charge you for putting your product on our websites. Most public relation agents get paid at LEAST $15 an hour (depending on where you live) and I'm sure they would stop working for you if you skipped out on paying them. The same goes for working with bloggers.
We've worked hard, even the new bloggers who are trying to build their empire, to get where we are. Don't cheapen our worth by sending us $5 products for us to review and write a minimum of 1000 words about. Anything that's $5 is lucky to get 4 words from me… “This Item Is Cheap!” See… I can't give you 5 words.
So if you want me to give you a good, honest, and unbiased review, give me something that is worthy of it. I love going to events, doing reviews of products I'll actually use.
Tip for Public Relations & Brands:
Look at a blogger's social media, website, etc… do research… don't send a pitch about breastfeeding and diapers to a blogger who has adult kids, and please don't send a baby mom any teen product pitches. It SERIOUSLY takes 5 mins to research a blogger/influencer and see what they talk about.
I'm in Ohio, please don't send me press releases for an event that is happening in the UK, California, Texas, etc unless you plan on flying me and my family there to cover the event. I have on my Media Kit, website, social media accounts, etc that I'm an OHIO blogger. I don't mind driving around Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, but please, anywhere other than those states, not happening without a HUGE incentive.
*cough*FULL TRAVEL EXPENSES PAID*cough*
We know that we get put on “lists” that say we're bloggers. However, we don't like getting put on lists that have absolutely NOTHING to do with who we are, what our brand is about and that won't relate to our readers.
I'm sure I have readers who have small children and who breastfeed, however, that's not who I target. I target mouthy/sarcastic parents of teen sons, working on credit & becoming financially independent, first-time homeowners, decor loving, etc.
So know the blogger you are pitching and trying to work with.
You expect us to do our research on your company when we pitch you and work with you, all we ask is that you do the same.
If you're a brand that wants to work with me on my terms, (Don't worry, I don't bite and don't have a problem with negotiating), by all means, please contact me! I love working with awesome brands!