I have been dealing with this issue for years and I really don't know how to respond. I get PR reps from big companies contacting me about their press release, or a new product or service. This would be great, but the thing is, they aren't interested in advertising, or a paid post. Not even a free product.
They just let me know about their great product or special and how my readers would benefit from it. They always offer some coupon that I can give my readers, but that's it.
I feel so insulted that I don't even answer them, but I wonder if there is another way to turn that email around to my benefit? I have often wanted to reply by sending them my media kit so they get the hint that I'm not a free advertising platform.
What's your opinion on this? Are there STILL companies in the dark about bloggers?
I love that idea!
I think this is a great!
I hardly ever promote their wares for free. They have to understand that we have a lot to offer and blogging/promotion is OUR job. How would they like to work for their company for free? I don't think they would.
Anyway, I always respond with my rates and how I would be helping them get the word out. A LOT will pay anywhere between $150-$300 per sponsored post (depending on traffic and reach obviously) or more so stick to your guns. We need to teach them freebies are not the way it works anymore. I'm not saying you should never help companies but for the amount of work a lot expect, they will need to pay for it.
And don't be afraid to ask, most will come back with approval and they will pay good money! And don't be afraid to say NO as well!
What about guest bloggers who just want you to include a link to their website. Does anyone ask them to pay?
I absolutely accept guest bloggers for free HOWEVER there are so many junk requests to go through. I only accept those in my niche. For example, for my weight loss/fitness/healthy living blog, if someone came to me wanting to write a post and told me they didn't have a blog/site in my niche I would not accept them.
There are a lot of ones who want just a link like you say and most are insurance links, etc. JUNK!
Guest blogging is one of the best ways for linking and if people do it right, it's an awesome opportunity. Make sure it's a good match for your blog. Happy to answer any questions.
Thanks, Angie. I should have been more specific in my question! I love other bloggers who guest blog for me. But up until recently, I've been accepting requests for guest posts from people who link to nanny sites. I end up editing the articles, but they contain good info for my readers, so I don't mind. However, I'm done with free publicity for these types of posts. I decided to change things up a bit after my 3rd anniversary with my blog.
Good to hear you are changing things up and are done with free publicity.
I always respond by saying I must approve of the guest post first and that if it contains any backlinks it must meet the criteria that the back links are 1. Relevant to my site and 2. Considered advertising and give them my advertising rates. I never hear back. However, I have posted guest posts for companies who have sent me free product to review. I think all bloggers should band together to refuse free advertising or guest posts with back links.
It was hard to start turning them down, as I loved having a day off blogging from time to time!
For guest bloggers; I charge for ALL guest post unless it is a fellow blogger I have a relationship with, meaning I know them I've networked with them, etc. They can have free guest posting on my blog with a link back to their blog...I'm completely fine with that. They are a fellow blogger that I know has quality work, and I love to help them out.
But lately I've been getting emails with people saying, "hey I found your blog when I did a google search for other blogs in my niche. I just wrote this article. I think it would be great if you shared it with your readers with a link back to me. I want to grow my readers. " Uhm...NO! I don't give free publications to anyone that reaches out to me like that.
Bloggers who want a link to their site that I don't have a networking relationship with, businesses, or even freelance writers without a website ( I get those emails a lot too..."I'll provide this great article for you free of charge...great deal for you"...well no it's not) are all required to pay the guest posting fees.
It is definitely something that needs to be taught much more. Blogging is a whole new industry and businesses and people don't understand them yet. More education is needed to help them understand. You will always get people wanting to get their free advertising and view bloggers as a way to infiltrate a great crowd. And it is....but there is a learning curve to doing it the right way. It takes a lot of time and energy and they have to be committed.
Bloggers should take an active role in communicating the how to's and they will benefit in a great way by building relationships and their bottom line by doing so.
I'm glad to see all the great replies. Maybe if all bloggers charged from the start, PR won't take advantage, or even be naive to trying to get free publicity.
I've made it perfectly clear that I charge for info posts and hope that helps to clear out "free loaders"!