Why I Get Irate When Big Brands Try to Deceive Bloggers for Free Advertising.

Why I Get Irate When Big Brands Try to Deceive Bloggers for Free Advertising.

One of our Blogger Connect members recently contacted us about the number of guest post pitches she’s been getting in her inbox. Upon further investigation, she discovered these weren’t those spammy ones that have your facepalm, hit delete and yell out “NEXT”.

“Recently I’ve seen spike in total strangers emailing me telling me their awesome post would be loved by my readers, and so I should share it as a guest post. At first I ignored them, then I did some back tracing and found that some were cleverly cloaked ‘personal’ bloggers who were actually representing high end companies who definitely have the money to pay but seem to be walking this new path of deceiving bloggers by playing on their heart kindness.”

And folks, this is where I get ranty.

Big brands can afford to advertise, and they spend thousands, if not millions, on it each year with TV, print and radio. So why do they think they don’t have to pay bloggers?! When they employ smoke and mirror techniques to make it sound like they are doing the blogger a favour?

Just recently, I also received a facepalm pitch in my inbox. A large brand offered me three packets of a food item valued at $3.45. So let me get this straight. You want me to spend a couple of hours crafting a highly polished review of your product and then promote it via my audience and social media platforms for $10.35. I think not.

More alarming was a discussion I had with a blogger who had accepted the pitch. And she is not the lone ranger. Speaking with another blogger in our latest podcast, he said he considers pitches like this as it helps him get runs on the board to work with brands in the future for sponsored posts.

My advice to them both? There are better ways to get experience working with brands. Product reviews are great when the offered product is of value, which honours the time it takes to write the post and your audience’s reach. When it doesn’t. Don’t walk.
If bloggers say yes to these kinds of pitches, brands will continue to take advantage of smaller blogs and devalue the blogging industry. These brands know better. Their marketing departments wouldn’t be investing time in blogger outreach if they didn’t know the power and influence they have with consumers and the ability to tap into niche audiences, resulting in higher traction for them.

I’ve worked with many wonderful brands, PRs and agencies. And the reason I chose to work with them because they respect my publication, my time, and my audience. And I will continue to respect my blog too.