Let's Talk About: Blogging For Freebies


If there's anything everyone on the planet has in common, it's how we love getting sh*t for free. A bargain makes us smile, but a freebie sends us over the moon with a joyful sense of accomplishment. But when you're embarking on a career, hobby or journey simply to accumulate as many free items as possible, this is where I have an issue. It seems as the world of blogging and vlogging expands, with new blogs appearing every day, people's reasons for starting a website of their own can begin to seem dubious. Blogging shouldn't be about the free sh*t, but for some, it seems that gifts are the only reason for joining this world.





I had a conversation with someone about a month ago which started this whole thought process off. We were chatting about dream careers, and they mentioned that one thing they would love to do as a job would be blogging. I smiled excitedly and explained that I ran my own blog (although as a hobby), and they replied with something along the lines of, 'lucky you, you must get SOOO much free stuff. I'd love to be a blogger just because you get so much stuff sent to you all the time'. I glared and politely tried to shut down the whole conversation.


While this is just one person, I can sense that quite a few may start a blog with the wrong intentions. Hopefully this post will put a few freebie myths to bed. To start a blog, you have to be totally, 100% committed and dedicated to your website. You often drag yourself from your social or work life because there is content that needs writing, a flow of ideas that need creating, photos that need taking, posts which require promoting, and website design which always needs tweaking. To be able to maintain this on top of a full/part time job, studying, socialising and making time for loved ones, you need serious grit and determination. Mostly, however, you need unwavering passion for whatever you write about.


I ran this site for two years before I was even approached by anyone wanting to send me products. TWO YEARS. And even now after considerably growing this site, I get offered deals with brands perhaps once every month. You need to put in so much blood, sweat, tears and time to even get a blog to the point where brands will want to collaborate with you. If you're just doing it for these freebies, how are you going to manage all that hard work before you get to the gift stage? It's not a sustainable way to blog, and, in my opinion, quite unethical.


When you get sent a product, it largely won't be for the sake of it. You are not Taylor Swift; you're not famous enough for brands to want to send you stuff willy-nilly. Things are usually sent with a purpose- looking to review, try out, perhaps promote. There is a relationship going on there, and brands are not going to throw presents at you like there's no tomorrow, just because. They don't have an unlimited amount of products they can just send out to bloggers. Sometimes, if a deal is made, it may be necessary to ask for a product (eg. you can't promote a Clarins lipstick never having tried it, and if you do, your readers will see through this and lose trust in you). But it shouldn't be expected. Nothing in life should ever be expected.


It's the automatic title of BLOGGER which makes people think they are entitled to a plethora of goodies which really pisses me off. And for people on the outside to look in and think that is what happens is quite upsetting to me. Yes, some of the successful bloggers get sent loads of stuff, but they've worked their arses off for it. We work bloody hard what whatever sized site we have managed to build up. For the most part, we are passionate, determined and intelligent; not greedy sell-outs who are full of our own self-importance. Blogging is such a lovely community, and it's a shame that people are joining with this intention of grabbing as many freebies as possible. It is not the attitude to adopt, and, simply, won't get you very far. Especially when you realise just how much work you are going to put in for those few freebies.




Have you seen this happen in the blogging world? What's your opinion on the 'blogging for freebies' debate? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please do leave a comment!


Pretty and Polished


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14 comments

  1. Amen! I usually just laugh it off when people say you get free stuff, mostly because it's funny because it isn't true! I definitely agree. There is so much that goes into blogging, it's constantly on your mind and I'm forever trying to promote on various social media if I'm not actually writing. Love the post (as always, no 1 fan here) and think the way to break stereotypes is to make posts like these! Xxx

    Gweni www.gbeauty.co.uk

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    1. Definitely! So much hard work that we're often not won over by a freebie! Thanks Gweni, you're such a babe! xxx

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  2. Well I've been writing my blog for over a year now. In actual fact the only contact I've had from companies so far is those wanting me to basically advertise them for free (I'm considering doing a post on my experiences) rather than about sending me anything. I only have a small following but my blog is honestly just a hobby and freebies aren't even something that entered my head before starting it-it's just my little corner of the internet to write about what I want to write about, and that's it! It's annoying that people take the attitude that if you're a blogger you must be doing it for the freebies because it's usually not the case at all! Em x
    http://themusingsofem.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Exactly! Please do write a post about it, I would love to read about your experiences. I think it's really important to highlight this stuff within blogging. x

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  3. I totally agree it does annoy me that people think all you get is free stuff or on the other hand use that as a reason to start, it takes a lot of time and bloody effort haha xxxx

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    1. It does! You should start blogging for a reason other than greed, in my opinion xxx

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  4. Ah yes, this can be rather annoying, when people presume you just post pretty pictures and get free stuff all of the time and because of that they want to do it. Some people don't realise, that a lot of the time it comes from a passion for writing too and a lot of effort goes into the whole process.

    Great post. :)

    Samio
    www.samio.co.uk

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    1. Yep! Getting gifting with gazillions of freebies isn't common in the blogging world! We do it because we are passionate and/or love writing x

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  5. I don't think I mind those who join blogging for the free stuff (I imagine a blog solely dedicated to beauty reviews would be a hit), and they quickly realise that they either have to put in the work and work towards the freebies, or leave anyway. But the moment people imply that I get free stuff just cause I'm a blogger, and disregard any and all work I put into creating, growing and maintaining a blog - that's when I lose it. Most of us work far too hard to be insulted like that.

    Free stuff is perks we earn and still have to work with... Like you said, we don't just get free stuff for the sake of it - we get it to write about it. (Which in a way, I guess is a perk of it's own - another blog post in the bank!)

    Laura | LikeCubed

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    1. Exactly, any free stuff that we may get has a purpose...it gives us stuff to write about!

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  6. They obviously have no clue if that's all they're thinking about. I've only just started my blog and I already find it hard to keep up with content, but it's enjoyable which is what it should always be about!
    Charlotte x
    icharlotteemily.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Exactly! For most of us it's just a hobby which we enjoy doing x

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  7. Shoutout to the prrequest hashtag and that whole macaron blogosphere fiasco that has made us look bad, thanks. I got my first freebie maybe...8? months after I first started blogging, and I'm pretty sure it was because I had upgraded my camera and was taking better quality photos LOL T_T
    But yeah, going into blogging I didn't expect it to be so time consuming, and heck, I'm surprised that I haven't given up yet despite how infrequently I post these days (the friendships I've made keep me coming back tbh).

    From time to time, me and other local Toronto bloggers (that actually have numerous contacts and pull in TONS of samples) actually meet up for destashing and product swapping, and it always amazes me how much is thrown out. Yes, getting free stuff is fun and exciting, but there's also a very real problem of finding a place to put all this stuff because realistically, you're not going to be able to use it all up. Whatever products don't find a home are all donated to women's shelters, but I mean, at the end of the day, the relationships I've made as a result of blogging are my priority.

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    1. That's so lovely that excess products get sent to women's shelters. Yes, freebies should definitely not be a priority in blogging! X

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