Home » Blog » Monetize your Blog » 21 reasons why bloggers should stop working for free


  1. Great article Eb! We learned this lesson long ago with my husband’s Business (he’s a filmmaker)- often he’s asked to work for a low rate or for free due to small budget, usually with the promise of more work, but NEVER has him doing this led to anything paid- this experience helped me to enter blogging with my eyes open and not to feel embarrassed about asking to be paid. The problem is we all need to be on board, one PR once said to me ‘bloggers much bigger than you are doing it for free jelly’! I hope things are starting to move on here, and I hope lots of new bloggers read your fantastic article and take heed!

    1. Really? Gosh, there’s another profession I would never have thought would be asked to work for free! I was fortunate in that I had years of experience of working in business before I moved into blogging – I was used to negotiating with suppliers, and I’ve never been afraid to ask for money as a blogger. I did do a few freebies in the early days (when they replied with the inevitable ‘no budget’ line). But I saw it as building up my portfolio. Now I don’t do anything for free unless it’s a favour for a friend! FREE JELLY???? Hahahaha – that’s the best line EVER!! And also suuuper frustrating. I really hope things start to move in the right direction too. I think they will if more of us speak up about it and say it’s not on! Eb x

  2. Such a good blog post. I have never been paid cash for using/promoting a product. In some ways I guess I’m an exception. I set up my blog because of my health issues. So on good days I create recipes and on bad days I write up, edit, etc. and then post them on my blog. If I could be reliable I would happily register as a small business and start charging. My blog gives me a sense of achievement and I would love to earn from it. Just to clarify I don’t receive any government benefit due to my disabilities. I really hope that in the future I can feel confident about charging.

    1. Thanks Sammie! Just go ahead and start asking for money when brands ask you to do collabs! The worst they can say is no. I am sure that if ever you couldn’t hit a deadline due to your health issues the brand would be understanding. So pleased to hear that blogging has really helped you! Eb x

  3. Thankyou for sharing this Eb, it’s a brilliant post and one that EVERY blogger, PR company & company who is looking at social influencers as a form of advertisement should read. Why should we be paid with peanuts, literally!! It’s a sobering point you make that the ‘free’ items we receive aren’t viewed as such by the tax man, and so there’s the potential we’d have to find the cold hard cash from somewhere to pay the tax man. The way they want to ‘pay’ us seems to me to be akin to the old fashioned bartering system.
    I recall last yr I received an email from a PR company who were looking for me to develop a recipe to go on the company’s own website rather than my blog. Thought it soundsed great but there was no mention of money but the word ‘exposure’ was used!! We discussed what they wanted (turned out recipe, a little content & images) and for all that (even though I gave 3 different prices for different ‘packages’ ) they offered me £20!!!!!!! I mean that barely coverd the ingredients! Needless to say it didn’t happen!
    I’m off now to read your newsletter of how to ask for payment for a sponsored post!
    Angela xx

    1. Haha – yes I like your point about being paid in peanuts…literally! So true and so sad. And 20 quid??? For all that??? Aaaargh! Makes me cross. Though unfortunately many bloggers would take that and that’s why brands/PRs know they can get away with offering such low rates. Hope you enjoyed my tips!! Eb x

    1. You are welcome! It’s crazy isn’t it? Not so much that PRs and brands ask (if they think there’s a chance that they can get bloggers to work for free/gifts of course they are going to ask!) but the truly crazy thing is that bloggers accept! Eb 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this blog!!!! I started a blog 3 years ago and it’s grown exponentially and still, I get these emails from these FREELOADERS as I like to call them about featuring their products etc. in exchange for a sample! I’m like “No way! Here are my rates.” Of course, they disappear. I even charge for shameless plugs. It’s literally getting out of control. The worst part is some of these people are publicists for BRANDS! Which means the brands can afford to pay thousands a month to these publicists only for them to reach out to me and offer me some sad a** product in exchange for promotion on my blog! It’s almost sickening to think this is even normal. I hope we all stand together and tell them no! No money, no promotion. Simple.

    1. Oh I 100% agree with all of this. The worst part is, what we offer as bloggers is really quite valuable… but PRs and brands (even big name brands!) know they can get away with paying peanuts (literally sometimes!) because so many bloggers are willing to work for free or a super low fee. We need to all stand together and say ‘no’ and then they will absolutely find the money!

  5. Interesting points. I am interested in point 20, BECAUSE EVEN IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MONEY YOU ARE HURTING YOUR BLOGGING COLLEAGUES. I’m a retired teacher and would enjoy writing a blog to explain concepts that many students and teachers in my field find difficult. I do not need the income and it would be fun for me to do. But I do not want to hurt younger folks that might write on the same subject, hoping to earn some money. Is there any data to back up your claim? In the US, there are lots of volunteers doing jobs that could be paid-for example, Meals on Wheels delivers reduced cost lunches to seniors and those with disabilities-and all the delivery drivers are volunteers. Paying delivery drivers would raise the cost so that too many can’t afford it. In what ways is this similar to, and different from, blogging for free?

    1. Hi Mark, I’m glad to hear you found my article interesting. The problem is that brands and PRs have a finite marketing budget and they will use that in the most efficient way possible – across all the forms of marketing out there. Sponsored posts are actually quite a valuable marketing channel to brands, because they are not only getting an ‘advertorial’ but they are also getting a personal endorsement and a highly targeted audience who look up to the blogger in question and are highly likely to act on a recommendation. (In fact, an oft quoted statistic is that 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional ads >>> https://www.performancemarketingworld.com/article/1755646/84-millennials-dont-trust-traditional-advertising-%E2%80%93-sam-crocker-impactcom) But PRs and brand marketing departments are smart – they’ve figured out that there are many, many bloggers who will give them that kind of exposure for free, or ‘free product’ or a very low fee… meaning they can spend the majority of their marketing budget on other forms of advertising that it’s not possible to get for free – print ads, TV ads, display ads on websites, events etc. I don’t have any hard data, just a lot of anecdotal evidence from my experiences, the experiences of other bloggers, conversations with PRs etc. – and of course straightforward common sense that if a PR/brand has a finite budget and a choice between spending that on 200 bloggers who’ll work for ‘free product’ or 5 who expect to be paid appropriately, they nearly always go for Option A – even really big name brands. In fact, I’ve been told straight out by PRs representing huge brands that the ‘have no budget for this campaign’ – which of course is nonsense… of course they have a marketing budget, they just know that they can get some bloggers to work for free, so they choose to spend their marketing budget elsewhere! I hope that helps answer your question. Eb

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