In August, I discussed what it’s like if people don’t read your blog and not to let popularity and numbers affect your feelings towards blogging. (CLICK HERE to read that post). This month’s topic follows a similar route and I will be talking about my thoughts relating to PR, sponsored content and sample products.
I will start by saying I have NEVER received a product from a company or person in exchange for written content or promotion of that company’s brand/services etc. If I had, I would disclose it like most bloggers do. I have however been asked to collaborate with a few brands in the past and write posts to assist with the marketing of their brand but I received no compensation in exchange.
To reiterate, I have never received compensation for any post written on this blog. I’m fine with that. I didn’t start this blog to try and get free products or to be noticed by companies to help promote certain products and campaigns. This blog is very much a personal space and while I’m not saying I don’t want to collaborate it was never an aim when I began blogging. I can honestly say all of the products I use and talk about have been purchased by me, given as a gift or won as a prize through a giveaway.
Like a few things when it comes to blogging, sponsored content, samples and PR seems to be one of those taboo subjects that isn’t talked about very often. In some ways I get that because there must be an element of privacy and confidentiality that comes with new product launches. Sadly though, there are people who are out for all they can get and if they can get the freebies and samples, they’re not going to go round telling other people how they can do the same because they don’t want to miss out.
There are blogger networks and programmes you can sign up to. Personally, I’m not a member of any. (I did sign up to Webfluential but I’m not completely sure what it does and I’ve never used it). One of the main reasons for that is because they’re US based or based in Europe and I don’t live in either of those places. In all honesty, I think while it would be exciting to try out samples and products at the start, I’d get sick of products arriving because I’d get confused about what to use and what has been tried and what hasn’t. I get overwhelmed with my beauty products at the moment and compared to most people, my collection is tiny!
In no way am I having a go at bloggers who do sign up to those networks and programmes or who do receive free products in exchange for written content. I’m just saying that you don’t have to be one of those bloggers. I have always been different in the way I think and the way I go about things and you might think it’s crazy that I don’t want free stuff or promotion for my blog but as I mentioned earlier in the post, that’s not what I had in mind when I started this blog. My blog is almost like my diary, I document different makeup looks, items I purchase and share some of my most personal thoughts. I like to think my readers enjoy my writing and appreciate that my blog is different and more than a beauty blog. I try to keep my content fresh and interesting and most importantly, unique. I don’t mind being open and honest and sharing.
Blogging shouldn’t be about how many free products you can get and thankfully for the majority of people, it’s not. When you start a blog it should be to talk about your interests and passions and to connect with like-minded people. Everything else is a bonus! I don’t know why there is so much secrecy and confusion over sponsored content and the like when there doesn’t need to be. Blogging isn’t a competition. Also, if you do get approached by a company, you don’t have to accept their offer. If the brand/product is something you don’t believe in or wouldn’t use, politely turn them down. Your blog is your brand and you want to make sure it’s ‘successful’ [insert your own definition here] for the right reasons.
As always, I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope it didn’t come across in a preachy, holier-than-thou way. Again, I will point out that I have nothing against anyone who signs up to blogger programmes and networks or anyone who works with companies and receives any form of compensation.