Hey, It’s Okay… If You Don’t Receive Blogging Freebies

Hey It's OkayIn 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.


28 thoughts on “Hey, It’s Okay… If You Don’t Receive Blogging Freebies

  1. Rachael Styles - Helpless Whilst Drying says:

    I’m signed up for a few of these programmes, and have received a fair chunk of things in the past to try, I’m now very selective about what I receive and say yes to as I don’t want to receive ten cleansers from ten different brands, unless it comes without the promise of needing to be reviewed on blog (which has happened but is rare) – or a set timescale they want things reviewed in, as like you say it’s overwhelming. I now have had to store all my duplicate products in old beauty boxes to keep organised as I’d open my cupboard and have no idea what I’d tried and what I hadn’t, but in the past 6 months I’ve really tried to finish up old products that have been reviewed before starting on new.
    I even find in the UK that our blogger programmes aren’t fantastic and often require an unrealistic amount of followers in exchange for a review of something (I saw one yesterday which was 15k instagram followers needed to try a moisturiser, worth Β£10!) – so I tend to let the brands come to me instead, they’re fewer and far between, and it took almost 2 years before I started to get unsolicited invitations to try things, but they’re usually better offers and a more manageable amount to keep on top of. I also don’t want my blog to be littered with every post being stuff I’ve been sent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chanelle says:

      It’s so interesting to read your thoughts Rachael and as I say I really do have no problem with people who review items they’ve received on their blog. You make a valid point about amounts of followers needed for certain campaigns. I do suppose brands want posts to reach large audiences though, why advertise to 1,000 followers when you can advertise to 10,000 +

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rachael Styles - Helpless Whilst Drying says:

        Yes to be honest, I like working more with smaller brands who don’t want you to have a crazy amount of followers – the indie brands no one can find reviews of products on (means more page views I’ve found!) rather than the latest rimmel mascara review that will just get lost in a sea of a 100 other reviews! Those brands are often more grateful for your review and I’ve had thank you packages sent without being told about it from smaller brands!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. stashy says:

    You have a healthy attitude on this subject. I did not start my blog for freebies either. For the first year I turned down everything because I hadn’t formulated a stance on this subject. The first company I really felt an alignment to was MUJI who approached me. I had blogged about their products way before they even contacted me since I’m already a fan of their products. It’s a fine line between blogging integrity and being a commercial / shill. I did sign up for some programs but I haven’t followed through with them because I don’t like reviewing the same products as 1000 other people – why is that remotely interesting for me, never mind my readers? I definitely want to continue to be independent of influence. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chanelle says:

      To me it’s important to stay true to yourself and review items that fit you and your niche. That’s not to say you can’t try new things or shouldn’t but as you mentioned, reading review after review of the same product gets tedious. Independence is key! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lor says:

    I loved this, Chanelle! I’ve been blogging for just over two years now and also have never received anything for it (to be fair, I don’t really put myself out there in that way enough!) I’ve thought about signing up for those blogging sites where you can get some money and products to try out, and maybe one day I will. It’d be so convenient to make some extra money from something like blogging! But like your post says, if you don’t or are just not interested, then that’s alright too! This was very eye-opening, thank you, Chanelle πŸ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

    • Chanelle says:

      Thank you Lor, I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post! I can always count on you to leave thoughtful comments. Freebies and extra money are nice bonuses but in my opinion they shouldn’t be the main reason you blog πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. danniijane says:

    Great post Chanelle. I don’t mind if a person gets freebies from a company they love and would review anyway, but I don’t like that many bloggers get free things and write positive reviews on them, ‘cos they feel they have too. The beauty of buying your own stuff, is you can be totally honest and you got it because you want to. I like honest reviews that’s the point of a review☺ x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mrs Strawberry Blonde says:

    I really liked this post when you published it – and I read it again today. I can see how freebies can be tempting for some – but I’m glad that the majority of the bloggers I follow aren’t in it for the freebies. I don’t mind bloggers who accept freebies and blog about them, but there are a few blogs who only seem to do ‘sponsored’ posts about products from brands no one’s ever heard of and no one will hear of again. πŸ˜‰ I think those bloggers have zero credibility – just like the brands that chose to ‘work’ with them, or rather send them stuff for a rave review… πŸ˜‰

    I’ve never been appraoched by a brand – but I’ve also never had any contact details or a contact form or anything similar on my blog – and that’s for a reason. I want to be left alone to blog and to read other people’s blogs. I don’t want random stuff from random brands that I don’t know anything about. (The brands I would want freebies from are global players and they wouldn’t need me to promote their stuff.) So, like you, I rather buy my own stuff and enjoy my independence. πŸ™‚ And I’ll never have to bend over backwards to get a Β£3 face wash for free. πŸ˜€

    Again, I don’t mind bloggers who accept the occasional freebie and blog about it. But I have no time for commercial freebie whores (excuse my French please).

    Liked by 1 person

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