This post could easily read as an open letter to influencer marketing agencies, creative agencies, PRs, freelancers and brands alike. All those blogger outreach professionals out there who are flooding inboxes of every blogger and their cat with e-mails no one wants to read. And no one should even be reading. It’s 2017, people!
Please note: An absolute majority of influencer marketing agencies, creative agencies, PRs, freelancers and brands out there are brilliant, highly knowledgable and professional people – and bloody lovely to say the least! There’s always this one pesky Rick or Brad (I’ve changed the names of the real life characters to protect their identities, you’re welcome Steven) that just doesn’t want to give up on that $10 sponsored blog post or a for-exposure piece. And this ain’t just a rant – this is a legit problem we’re juggling here. You can read this post by Sarah from The Prosecco Diaries to get a better understanding why this matters.
What am I talking about?
✏️️ Pre-written content
Majority of bloggers are content creators. We’ve started our blogs because we love creating content – content that’s original, unique, our very own. We don’t want an unrelated post stuffed with richer than caramel Galaxy keywords and 4324708322 follow links to a payday loan website. Content like this ruins our blogs – it makes our domain authority drop, it can get us a Google penalty, it makes our readers believe we’re dirty sell-outs with no soul because we don’t care about them. You want a link of your client in my post? Then let’s talk like grown ups (that we supposedly are) – what’s the topic, what’s the keyword, what are you looking to get out of this for your client, what’s the budget?
✏️️ Guest posts
Now I’m not talking genuine guest posts by other bloggers, relevant industry experts, interviews and other great fun ways to engage with other writers. I’m talking pre-written content disguised as a guest post. You know the guest posts that don’t say who’s written them? Don’t think that we don’t know what you’re up to.
✏️️ For exposure
You want me to write 2,000+ words accompanied by 57 original photographs with 23 follow links… wait – you have no budget for it? Oh, but you’re going to tweet it. From an account you bought 10k followers on. Ooooooooh. Nah, mate.
✏️️ For less than a Gregg’s sausage roll kind of price
Maybe you can give me $10 for it? Yeah sure, that’ll pay my rent. You wouldn’t go to a grocery shop asking for a bunch of carrots for 1p despite them being priced at £1 would you. You know what kind of discount that is? That’s bordering on 100% off mate. And we’re not even mates! I don’t even know you! Why would you embarrass yourself, your company and your client by asking me to create essentially a FREE content for you? This is my job! You wouldn’t ask for the bloody carrots for free would ya. Unless you’re a thief, idiot or some kind of gangster.
✏️️ No sample policy
This is a tricky one because you are not all that bad. Sometimes marketeers genuinely do not have samples available and that’s perfectly fine – a press release is a press release, not a sample offer. It gets a little foggy though when the e-mail states you’re looking for a review of the product. Can I try it then? Well, no – but you can write a positive review about it, right? And I can send you a stock image to go with it? WHAT.
✏️️ The address gatherer
I’m giving you the benefit of a doubt here – surely you just forgot that you e-mailed me 10 times asking for my mailing address so you can send me these damn exciting samples from your client and then just, you know, forgot about me. It took me exactly 2 hours to plan a content piece around the sample products you’ve suggested and another 2 hours to reply to your 10 e-mails. I’ve also given you a heap of personal details including my phone number for your courier. WHO ARE YOU EVEN.
Bloggers are frustrating little creatures – we don’t reply to your e-mails, we don’t blog about the samples you’ve sent us – or we dislike it and slag it off so much it goes viral. We put kisses at the end of our e-mails even though we don’t know you. We swear on our Twitter. Right next to your client’s name. Our imagery is not always as crisp as a prawn cracker. We make typos. Everywhere. And instead of writing that blog post we promised we are probably watching cat videos right now.