Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Waffle: Why Blog Freebies Are Not Free

I'm sure I'm not the first blogger to write a post on his subject and I know I certainly won't be the last. The subject of 'freebies' and bloggers is something I come across quite a lot. I was once one of the non bloggers, sat watching, thinking 'I want a piece of that, I want free stuff'. In reality though, it's not free, far from it. I think this is why a lot of bloggers tail off into the distance.  Once the novelty dies off (and it does), if you don't have a real passion for it,  it just isn't for you.

This has been a bit of a hot topic amongst bloggers lately and someone has apparently suggested recently that some people even have babies just to get free stuff (I've not read it so don't quote me). This is a bit of a crazy viewpoint, but quite funny really. Anyone that has carried and delivered a baby knows that it would take a lot more than a few free packs of nappies and a nice new bag to go through that, unless you actually (yes just maybe) wanted a baby. If there are people just doing it for the freebies though,  that is a bit worrying isn't it? A whole new life just for some free stuff? I think not. I do think if things are offered to a pregnant blogger though,  why shouldn't they make the most of it? They have worked for it after all, but I doubt people ask for it all, do they?

So let me tell you what happens with these 'freebies' anyway. First of all there is the work you have to do in order to get to a level where you are actually offered freebies (which are really just product samples for review purposes, so I'll call them samples from now on as freebies is definitely the wrong word). Suggesting that bloggers only blog for free samples is as ridiculous as suggesting magazines or shops that also receive samples only run their business for those perks. Of course they don't.

Once you are being offered samples (which is an awesome feeling by the way) it's important to pick and choose the ones that are a right fit for you and your blog.  I have been guilty of saying 'yes please' to all sorts initially, but I soon learnt to be more choosy. It's actually pretty stressful having a backlog of reviews to write, they take a while!

Using the word choosy makes me sound like I only want the good stuff. In some ways that is true - when you consider I will have to photograph the item, edit the pictures, share the product on my social media outlets to thousands of followers and write an honest review. These are all things that companies pay for - advertising, Marketing,  design, photography,  product feedback,  market research all in return for a sample in our case. When you think of it like that, it's a lot of work isn't it? Us bloggers work hard and if the occasional perk is to receive a sample of something that is so good it outweighs the work involved in completing the review, then that's just a bonus.

So in short, freebies are not free.  A few hours of working in exchange for a few bags of crisps doesn't seem quite such a good deal now does it? If you worked in a shop and they said you won't get paid today, but at the end of the day you can take something small home, that wouldn't seem such a good arrangement would it?

So next time I hear 'you're so lucky' or 'you're so jammy' or 'life of a blogger hey?' I will remind them of the above. As with everything, nothing in life is free, and our 'freebies' certainly aren't. I love writing reviews and trying new things, so for me it's all worth the hard work.

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