download (45)No I will not promote you for free

This may come as a surprise to some of the readers of my blog, but I put a lot of time and effort into writing every post. Why? Because blogging happens to be a crap ton of work.

Let me tell you a little bit about how much time it takes to keep up a blog. Each post runs 400-500 words and takes me an hour to type and edit. Plus another couple of hours brainstorming the topic beforehand and figuring out funny ways I can approach it. Granted, I can (and usually) do other things while the hamster is running on the wheel in my head…like grocery shopping, “watching” the kids, driving across town, etc. But that time I spend thinking and working on my blog posts is time that I cannot spend doing something else (like imagining myself on a deserted island with Ryan Gosling…but I digress).

And you can’t just blog. I have to be active on social media, and by active, I mean I have to post up stuff that makes people want to engage with me. If you are trying to gain a reputation as someone who is smart, creative and original, that means that you have to create most of your posts yourself and not just share. Again, lots and lots of work. I spend time creating memes and coming up with little short texts. I have to comment on other blogs and posts and build relationships. And let’s not forget all of the time I spend seeing what other similar bloggers are doing so that I don’t inadvertently copy them. It is fun, but it is also work that takes time.

I say all of this so that you can understand my complete frustration with major corporate brands that ask for free advertising on my blog. I have worked in marketing for a Fortune 200 company. I know what their marketing budgets look like. There is absolutely no reason why they should not compensate me for promoting their brand. I am not asking for the world, oftentimes free products would be more than enough.

The worst part is that these brands don’t approach the big blogs. No, they go after the small up and coming bloggers who are just starting to make a name for themselves. In my case, as soon as I finished in the Top 50 in a Circle of Moms competition and became a finalist in the Bloggies, I started getting “offers” from big brands. The offers would go like this, “Dear Lynn, we here at ACME Corp would like to offer your readers a chance to enter a giveaway for a basket of toys. All you have to do it put this code in a blog post and then we will handle the rest. Won’t this be fun!”

They completely gloss over the fact that if I don’t want to alienate all of my readers and/or devalue my blog, I am going to have to write a custom post about their products and then promote it via social media. Lots of work for me, lots of benefit for them. They assume that I don’t know my own worth and am going to be overjoyed to have an opportunity to be a corporate mouthpiece. So what happens when you push back and ask for compensation? You never hear from them again.

Blogger moms, can we please all band together and tell these corporations that we are not going to work for them for free? We already do enough shitwork without compensation (sometime literally) and lining the pockets of Mr. Shareholder is not going to be on our To Do lists. If we all stand together in proclaiming our value, we will be impossible to ignore.



About the Author, Lynn Morrison

I am a 35 year old mother of two pepto-bismol colored princesses who sometimes speak the same language as I do. I spend my days writing helpful advice about how to be a successful expat parent in the Netherlands and my nights writing what I really think about life, the universe and everything (and if you got that reference then you are officially a dork like me) on The Nomad Mom Diary. Oh, and sometimes I talk to my husband and kids. But only when I am stuck for ideas.
I am so excited to write for BLUNTMoms. It is good to know that I am not only one bashing my head against the side of a bunch of Dutch row houses or contemplating launching my screaming child into a canal.

An amazing collection of bright women who somehow manage to work, play, parent and survive and write blog posts all at the same time. We are the BLUNTmoms, always honest, always direct and surprising hilarious.


  1. Natalie @ PegCityLovely Reply

    Can I get an AMEN?!? As a newbie, this has happened to me a couple of time already – quite maddening I tell ya!

  2. I’m all for promoting things I love and I think my readers will love but agree that it takes time and energy, that could be used fighting with my almost two year old on why it isn’t a good idea to jump of the couch. Most of these company’s wouldn’t dream of trying this with established bloggers so its a piss off when they think they can get away with it with us newbies. Crap I tell ya!

  3. WOHOOOOOOO I have been responding to companies that I am not currently able to provide free marketing services and that seems to help them realize that’s what it is.

  4. I got set-off by a particular company that said I was one of a select few bloggers picked to host their raffle giveaway promotion. When I asked for payment or product in exchange for WORK, I never heard from them again. Do you think anyone is asking Crappy Parenting or Moms Who Drink and Swear or The Bloggess to host ads for free? Um, no, of course not. I am new to blogging, not new to life or marketing and advertising. It is soooo wrong that they try and exploit hungry new bloggers. Thanks for all of the support ladies (and men…)!

  5. Lynn–I’m with you. If I wanted to write for free I’d get a PHd. Mattel’s ad agency contacted me re (what I assume) is the same promo. But they paid me to run it. So even worse than ad agencies wanting to run ads for free is offering to pay some bloggers and not others.
    And by the way, where’ my check?

    Hold strong. It’s hard enough to know your worth as a Mom, why sell yourself short when it comes to your work?

    • Thanks Meredith! Kudos to you for getting some money out of the beast 😉 I am sure that I am on their permanent shit list now.

      One of my mommy blogger friends here recently said that there are two golden rules in life – never piss off a mom and never piss off a blogger. As a fellow mommy blogger, she figures that we aught to get anything we want anytime that we want it. Made me laugh.

      Fingers crossed that your check is “in the mail”.

  6. Excellent post! You’re so right! I’m with you in the fight against this kind of offers!

  7. I’m a fitness blogger and I’m constantly being offered a “reduced rate” to attend group fitness classes (with the obvious inference that I would blog about my experience). I’d actually rather pay full price for a class and blog about it rather than be offered this kinda demeaning ‘perk’.

  8. I run a good size blog and have the same problem. Brands always try to convince us to write a post for free.

    I have started to respond, “Do you work for free?” It drives me nuts.

    Great post, thanks!

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  10. Amen and this is so true. I only promote things if they are relevant to my blog…not just some random crap and even then I think I’ve promoted 2 items since started blogging nearly 3 years ago.

    Great post and glad I found your blog.

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