If you blog to get free things, you’re a nob. As a writer first, blogger second, nothing aggravates me more than idiots in the blogging world who not only make retarded grammatical errors and take shoddy mobile phone pictures, but seem to think it’s their god given right to live, dress, eat and drink – for free. And before you correct me for not capitalising, I’m an atheist.
I once overheard a blogger at a fashion show complaining about the free pencil in her goody bag. Sure, it’s a pencil, and I’m certainly not going to use it either but stop being so ungrateful and shut the fuck up. The internet has grown a generation of monsters. And I’m not shy about broaching this subject. As someone who runs a blog and works on the other side of it all as a PR/writer, I’ve seen and heard it all. People expecting things for free, people sadly mistaking themselves to be an expert, and people moaning when the freebies aren’t quite enough.
I never approach companies or offer to write product reviews. In fact, I would find it embarrassing. If a company or a PR approaches me because they think my blog suits their target audience, I’m happy to consider it by all means and I’d be grateful for any sort of compensation. But do I ever expect it? No. I have a tiny little blog which I run in my spare time (eg: hangover days) so why would I expect people to think I’m particularly influential? It just amazes me that someone with a few thousand followers on twitter could think that their blog is some sort of huge asset. I really wish bloggers would stop using the word “readers” too. “My readers” *cringe*. Bryanboy has readers. Vogue has readers.
And everyone’s a blogger these days. Everyone. Just last week, someone with a total of three blog posts (all poorly punctuated) and 22 followers on twitter (one being herself from another account) emailed my team to ask if we could send her three products to review. WHAT? I’d have more luck giving the products to the office caretaker because I know she’s likely to walk past more than 22 people that day, and one of them isn’t going to be herself from another dimension.
So, as you can tell, I’m not too impressed with the general blogger attitude these days. Not everyone will agree with me but blogging should be a hobby, something we’re passionate about, not about making money or getting free shit. And to clarify, I almost always write for free. If a 29 year old freelance copywriter, who actually writes for a living, can help companies promote their products without expecting anything more than the feel-good factor, then why can’t other people?
I post about new brands I’m passionate about and I never ask them for anything other than images. I attend shows or events and other than an alcoholic beverage to get me through the bloggery small-talk, I don’t expect to walk away with a gift. I’m not saying that products/money should never exchange hands. If someone offers me a product and I like it, I won’t turn it down. In the same vein, if someone approaches me with a press release and I like it, I won’t turn it down either. So it annoys me when bloggers moan about receiving too many press releases. It’s called ‘INFORMATION’. YOU COULDN’T RUN YOUR BLOG WITHOUT IT.
And you know what, some bloggers can ask for things. If you have a million people watching your Youtube channel or if you’re Suzie Bubble. But 95% of us aren’t in that ship. We’re in a rubber dinghy. I just think the general blogging mentality sucks right now. But hey, that’s just me…
There’s also a much nicer side to blogging. I stumbled across an amazing brand recently and felt compelled to write about it. A few days later, the brand owner found my post and emailed me to thank me. She was so impressed with the way I had captured her brand story that she sent me something from her collection. I didn’t blag that freebie, I earned it. And that feeling that someone truly appreciates what I’m doing. Now that’s a real reward.