This week, I wanted to talk about something that has recently hit home with me, inspired by this blog post I stumbled across on Twitter by Joelle of FebuaryGirl.
Recently, I was approached by a brand to write about them on my blog. After publishing it, it was pointed out and I realised that I had been given nothing in exchange for promoting this brand. Of course, it hadn’t occurred to me to ask what I would be compensated with for advertising them. Too excited and flattered that, as a relatively new blogger, I had been approached by a brand to work with them in the first place, I eagerly accepted what they asked of me without fully realising that, eventually, they will have essentially used me as a platform for free advertising (even after I lightly suggested they send me some physical products for me to review, benefitting both them, me AND my readership, they completely sidestepped it & made their excuses to not offer me any compensation whatsoever).
Brands pay for advertisement space on websites, so why would it be any different for me or for any other of the bloggers who end up in the same situation?
For an individual to spend hours of time and effort to promote a brand in exchange for nothing…that doesn’t seem fair, does it? I know I personally feel used, taken advantage of and, in truth, completely degraded.
Unfortunately, I am not the only blogger to have been put in this unfair, awkward and frankly uncomfortable situation, and my personal experience has really brought to my attention that blogger exploitation is a real issue, something that I hadn’t truly appreciated before. To learn that some companies actually have the nerve to take advantage of bloggers in this way is something I find simply incomprehensible. As commercial representatives, I believe it should be brands’ responsibility to uphold an ethically aware and respectful treatment when they approach bloggers, bearing in mind that the blogger has every right to demand some kind of payout for something like a sponsored post.
The exploitation of bloggers is an ongoing discussion that deserves far more exposure and acknowledgement in our internet culture. And now, I invite you all to discuss – what is your stance on blogger exploitation? Do you think bloggers have a right to demand reward from brands they promote on their blog? Or do you think they should simply accept the honour of working with a brand alone? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!