Why I wont write about your press release/ Facebook competition etc…

EDIT: I’m not saying here I want payment for reviews, rather, that I will not provide you with free copy and links. I am happy  to write relevant product reviews.

I was trying to sort out my emails last week, wish me luck the folder has 1678 in it to go through! Anyway I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see how many of them were from PRs or marketing people asking me to write about something on my blog out of my own personal interest/ for charity/ because they have a fantastic competition and so on. I’m sure you know the sort. 274. Yes, TWO HUNDRED and SEVENTY FOUR emails last week were asking me to write stuff for nothing.

Now, can I point out that I am not a highly strung blogger with an ego the size of a small family car. In fact I dont even have many of my strengths highlighted here on the blog. Did you know i’m a Cision UK Top Ten Mummy blogger? That I am consistently in the Tots 100 top 50? That I have a Google Page rank of four? I could say more. Well, probably not, because I dont shout about it, I just carry on. I try to be polite to everyone that writes to me and I try really hard to respond to everyone because I know from doing a bit of publicity work that its pretty soul destroying chasing people up and trying to work out if they want to do something. However, I must admit I haven’t been as good I would have liked to be recently. But then I am under a lot of stress and I am seven months pregnant.

For me, blogging is about my family, its a record of our lives which will be my gift to the children when they are old enough to appreciate it. That means I’m happy to review products we use or talk about events and outings we have been to. However, what I really want to do is create a diary of the children’s lives and my thoughts as they grow up.

I will write a sponsored post. I have nothing to hide, I charge a flat fee of fifty pounds for this which I think is very reasonable. This is why:
A post will take me a minimum of half an hour to write and probably half an hour to research on minimum wage that is: £6.08
I will not be able to write that whilst I have the children. Their childcare costs me £6 per hour each. That is £12
Therefore I have made a loss before I have even started.
I then have to pay tax on all my earnings because I already have a job.
I have to pay for hosting my website, for the equipment I use and the space that I use.
That’s before I have even put up the blog post for you which presumably you want because of its advertising, SEO etc. Most companies would charge for this you know, so I add a little bit of cash on for this. Which means that from your fifty pounds I’ve probably made a tenner if I am lucky. Less if I have to pay the PayPal fees and include a fee for my admin costs (luckily I am married to an accountant).

So this brings me onto all these emails asking me to write stuff for free. If it’s an exciting piece of research about, just for example how working mothers have very little time, then this will probably take me a good half an hour to read and research properly, on top of reading your detailed email. If it’s a competition I need to understand how it works and will have to visit your page etc etc. I will need to check out all the information regardless. So, lets say in terms of minimum wage its going to cost me £10 worth of work to do that and write it up. That’s before the blog hosting, the equipment fees, the rates, tax etc etc. Given my childcare costs I’m already working at a significant loss then.

I hear you arguing that you are providing me with ‘great copy’ the attraction of added readership and so on. Did you read what I said earlier? This blog is a record of my life with my family, I don’t do it because I love writing about your competition or product. Say I did the post whilst the kids were playing? Then I wouldn’t be playing with them, doing my domestic chores, having a rest, writing a blog post about my life and my kids. See where I cam coming from?

So this is a plea, please, please don’t even send me that email to read if you are not going to pay me my sponsored post rate. I wont do it unless its one of the four charities I support (they know who they are). Reading your email takes my time, it means I cant do something else I want to. My blog is not my job, we have over two thousand pounds to find every month just for our mortgage and rates. I can’t work for nothing, we have to eat as well and I need to have some free time! I hope this clarifies things a little.


11 Responses

  1. Mirka 2nd November 2011 / 9:38 am

    A brilliant post, exactly what we discussed last Friday 😉

  2. PantsWithNames 2nd November 2011 / 1:44 pm

    Well said. I might just put a post up on my blog directing everyone here as this is exactly how I feel.

  3. Nicki Cawood 2nd November 2011 / 7:17 pm

    Well said that woman. I have had similar irks. One company offered me something to review which I agreed to, then, after I had received and tested the item I was instructed that additional posts in different places, and a minimum of ten hours "work" would be required. The item was worth no more than £10. Trying to explain how much I get paid freelance for 10 hours work when you break

  4. Sandy Calico 2nd November 2011 / 9:15 pm

    I wish I&#39;d read this post before I wrote something similar today! Oh well, great minds think alike. I&#39;ll keep it in draft in case I&#39;m stuck for some content ;-)<br />Very well said, I hope it works.<br />It infuriates me that I&#39;m turning down sponsored posts because I don&#39;t have time to write them and wasting hours reading emails instead.

  5. supergran 3rd November 2011 / 7:58 am

    I can well see where you are coming from here. Must admit I have done a few in the last month, but they were for me related to my blog and will hopefully make a difference to my grandson in years to come…<br />but by people like me doing it for free I suppose it makes it much harder for people like you to make a living…

  6. Dane Cobain 3rd November 2011 / 11:39 am

    To my shame, I was about to send you exactly one of those e-mails offering a book for review! I&#39;m one of the good guy PR people though, I always take a read through the blog first instead of just sending stuff off willy-nilly ;)<br /><br />Good luck finding the rent!

  7. Malcolm Slade 3rd November 2011 / 5:42 pm

    Claire, can I be so bold as to recommend you link to this post from within your &quot;Review Policy&quot; page as I think what you have written is spot and should help slim down the freebie emails.<br /><br />And this comes from a professional SEOer :)<br /><br />Good luck and God bless,<br /><br />Malcolm<br />http://www.beingadad.co.uk

  8. Clare 3rd November 2011 / 8:14 pm

    Great post, I can relate blog wise and also work wise. As a teacher, if I go and teach privately for an hour, its not just the hour teaching, it&#39;s the hour getting the kids to childcare, the hour teaching and the hour getting them all home, then the wear and tear, petrol, childcare etc, it all adds up. You should be slowing down.. just take what is beneficial to you and don&#39;t feel bad

  9. Metropolitan Mum 3rd November 2011 / 11:02 pm

    Haha. Best are the ones that chase you after you didn&#39;t reply.

  10. Mark 6th November 2011 / 10:08 pm

    Of course you&#39;re right – you should charge what you think reasonable and stick to it. It&#39;s not just about the time it takes to write – it&#39;s about the time you&#39;ve taken to build your audience – and it&#39;s about quality too, of the writing and the audience. <br /><br />Blogging is new medium and it will take time for norms to settle. But my one bit of practical advice (having

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