Will you advertise for me on your blog?

By , February 12, 2014 5:14 pm

NO.

grumpy4

Alright bloggers, tell me, when you see those emails in your inbox like “XYZ product on [your blog name]!!!” or “Let’s collaborate, [your blog name]!!!” or “Event for [your blog name] readers!!!” do you feel…
a. excitement?
b. cautious optimism?
c. humor?
d. trepidation?
e. annoyance?
f. combo of the above?
g. none of the above?

I have to say, I’m a combo (f) of humor, trepidation and annoyance. I get so many goofy requests (as I’m sure you all do!) that most things coming in get an eye roll before they’re opened.

My policy is similar to my reaction when asked to allow guest posts on random topics from random strangers… I also don’t want to promote things here that I have no interest in, or have no intention of using/doing. Promoting it would make me feel fake, and like I’m being used. Which I would be. Promoting something I believe in makes me feel good. But… that’s not what we’re talking about here.

Sometimes I feel like an ass when someone contacts me and asks me to write about their race, because they’re nice about it, and it’s a legit thing. The race is for running – I run! The race is in Chicago – I live near Chicago! It makes so much sense!

No, not really. Even though it’s simple information sharing, that doesn’t mean I have to do that here – ilaxSTUDIO is not a public bulletin board. And that’s the thing. I get to say what I want here (and yes – anyone can also email me anything they want) and I highly value that. I am in a lot of situations where I am made to do something I don’t want to do.* And that just eats away at me. This is the place where I get to do whatever I want, and I’m going to keep it that way.

And besides, they always email these requests** to more than one person and get their word out through someone!

What do you guys think? Am I missing opportunities? Or do you have a similar mindset? (Of course, keep in mind I’m not trying to grow my blog, make money off it, or build a “brand”).

Thank you to all those silly email requests for inspiring this post!

*I really struggle with being told what to do, in some instances.
**And I’m talking ALL requests, not just “mention our race,” but for example, the one I got to write about the “perfect Valentine’s Day gift” with links, of course. No effin’ way. The garbage you see here is completely my own, not what someone else told me to write.

44 Responses to “Will you advertise for me on your blog?”

  1. Xaarlin says:

    At the end of the day company X is getting free advertising off the bloggers who choose to promote whatever company X is asking them to promote. Blogger gets nothing in return- maybe a race entry or some “free” trinket but in the end the blogger is losing because they set the standard that people can use them for free. (And they shouldn’t cheapen themselves like that and direct traffic away from their own site for FREE) How many products that bloggers have “promoted” have you actually gone out and purchased? For me- none. How many guest posts do you actually read? For me, none because I read a blog for that person, not “guest posts.” How many “can you promote X” emails have I {laughed at} turned down? All of them.

    No you’re not missing opportunities-you’re setting yourself apart from the herd who all do the same giveaways of the same crap at the same time. :)

    • kilax says:

      I do think that you can be classy about what in kind donations you take without giving away the message that you can be used for free. Yes, you are being used,
      but there are races I want to promote and get a free entry for – WI and North Face, both which I asked for an entry and to promote. And am happy to be used to talk about. I love both those races.

      And some may consider the trinket/race as payment and not view it as free advertising. In fact, I bet most do! It’s just a matter of how often you accept these things.

      But yeah. I don’t feel very influenced by forced posts or interested in guest posts.

      • Xaarlin says:

        I totally agree that something like a race entry can be classy.(tough to cover every angle in a blog comment without writing a novel ;) And I think you do a great job of being balanced and not coming across as desperate for free things. Your genuine enthusiasm for the races and honest opinions makes me forget you get a free entry to promote the race (and makes me want to run them!)

        On the other hand the ambassador programs for certain race series makes it seem like some sorority of which I want no part. “OMG look at all the free crap I got for whoring myself for this race. They are totes amazeballs!” It’s just so fake.

        Yeah- I acknowledge I’m every marketers worst nightmare. I’m not swayed by paid “opinions” or “reviews.” So there’s just a fine line for me with this kind of stuff. :)

  2. Heather says:

    I don’t read guest posts, at all.

    I do enter giveaways that interest me, but they aren’t why I read a blog. And for what it’s worth, your blog is one of three running blogs I read regularly and probably the one I comment on the most…so no, I don’t think you’re missing opportunities! The only missed one I ever thought you had was not advertising FakeMeats here, and you rectified that one :D

  3. Pete B says:

    For some reason, I don’t get contacted too often. I would like a free entry to a race now and then as long as I don’t have to do too much except maybe give away an entry to someone else.

  4. I was a little excited when I got my first request because I felt like my blog had arrived or something, but I’ve ignored all of the requests I received. I might consider promoting a race if it was one I was interested in, but it doesn’t make sense to promote/review stuff you wouldn’t even use.

  5. I believe I tweeted yesterday morning “Blog whores, UGHHHH.” I am SO TIRED of reading things like that, and receiving them in email. I actually got one from a guy who was like, please mention me in your blog. Seriously? That’s a thing?

    Hmm maybe that’s why my readership is limited, because I don’t advertise anything. Eh, oh well, my little corner of the internet is for me. :)

  6. I like doing giveaways for products I actually like and use, but some of the stuff I get contacted about it just straight up weird and I have no problem saying “thanks but no thanks.” Actually, the majority of the giveaways and such I do I reach out to companies I want to work with.

    I’ve been getting a lot of weird info graphics and “articles” that companies want me to post on my blog. Really? You want me to post your content on my blog? That’s where I draw the line- it’s my space to say what I want!

    • kilax says:

      Ha ha! Those infographic requests crack me up. Like… what the hell is the point of posting that, if it’s not something that relates to your content/you were looking for it?!

  7. Kiersten says:

    I respect that. I stopped following a blog recently because all she does is product reviews and other sponsored posts. I don’t mind a few, but most of the ones she does have nothing to do with the theme of the blog. There was no real content and I got tired of being sold to all the time.

    • kilax says:

      Yeah. I have seen a few blogs go that way. It’s pretty lame. The posts really lose connection, too. It’s like reading a commercial. Only… it doesn’t make sense because they are trying to tie it in some abstract way.

  8. Michelle says:

    Interesting! I’ve never been asked to advertise…

    • kilax says:

      Hopefully you won’t be bothered! I wrote a post that mentioned shampoo then got asked to place a shampoo ad on my blog that same day. Um… no.

  9. I don’t even respond to emails that people send of pre-written material. The majority of the time it has nothing to do with my blog. Weird how I just started writing again and my inbox is consumed with them… how do they find us?!?!?!

    • kilax says:

      WHOA! So they just came back? They must have had a notification that your blog is active again. I wish someone would ask us to review oreos.

  10. Shelley B says:

    Oh my gosh, even though my contact me says that I don’t do guest posts, sponsored posts, talk about diet pills and schemes, I get a ton of emails asking me to do just that. I have a canned email response that I’ll send if someone has been particularly nice with their request, but from what I can tell via my private FB group of a few other bloggers, we’re all getting the same stuff. Like, WHY would I want to post about Ruben Studdard’s inspiring weight loss?? Could it be that he has a record coming out? Yeah, no thanks.

  11. Anne says:

    I am proud to say that I have never, ever done a sponsored post or agreed to do anything contained in an email like that. And I likely never will. Nothing makes me mark a post as “read” faster than finding out that it’s free advertising in that way. Especially when it’s not even related to the blog’s normal content, such as the one I emailed you earlier today that was all “I love cooking and hanging out with my baby, so you can imagine that I was delighted that Neutrogena reached out to me!” That just rubs me the wrong way. So much.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do occasionally talk about products that I love or races that I really enjoy and would love for others to experience, but I’ve never once been approached by any of the companies that I may talk about or races that I recommend. It all just seems so disingenuous and would make me feel….. dirty? That would be me NOT really blogging, which goes against my name :(

    • Melanie says:

      Going against your name is my pet peeve.

    • kilax says:

      Stay virtuous, Anne! Don’t give in! (Ha ha, I know you won’t).

      And disingenuous is a perfect way to describe it! It wouldn’t be you blogging. It would be you using your space for ads. Or like a public bulletin board, like I said in the post. Like, what would the point be?

  12. jan says:

    I don’t mind a review or giveaway every great once in awhile, but if that starts to be all the blogger is about, FORGET IT. I don’t get contacted often because my blog is dinky. I think I’ve only done a review once. It was kind of boring. And as for guest posts, I almost never read those and haven’t had one on my blog.

  13. Heather says:

    I say NO all the time. If it’s not something I would wear, eat, or participate in I always say no. I want to be real on my blog!

  14. I think reviews and giveaways are fun as I’m always open to free schwag. I have gotten some requests to promote races though that I truly am not interested in (for me, I don’t do mud runs, and I’ve posted about that). I respond back to them with that, as I have gotten followup requests from some promoters asking for me to reply. And I link to the post that says “I don’t do mud runs.”

    Other than that, I don’t think I’ve had any guest posts (ever) on my blog, but I have recently taken some opportunities to write on other companies blogs. One is my chiropractor, who I love, and another was something I thought would be a fun/ quick / easy way to practice writing, which is one of my basic goals in blogging overall.

    • kilax says:

      I am curious about the free schwag thing. Are you always open to it because you want to try new things or want them because they are free? Not trying to be an ass, but I am super curious. Like those sweatband things – I think you are doing a review or giveaway? Do you think you will use those? They asked me about them and I just know I wouldn’t use them, so I said no.

      Oh gosh. The mud runs. I need to write a post like that so I have something to link to. LOL.

  15. You know I do giveaways… 99% are companies that I contact and reach out to because I like them and want to promote them or want to try them. I do try to keep true to things I eat, drink, wear, would want and companies that I would like to see grow!

    I cannot stand the generic. Your blog is awesome and my content would make tons of sense. I talk about babies, mortgages, GAMBLING emails. I have occasionally gotten a few interesting pitches. I do guest posts from friends who are experts in stuff like nutritionists, coaches, pilates instructor, etc. They seem to do well. I read guest posts on topics only.

    I like free race entries but like Lauren don’t like mud runs, theme runs, etc. I have said so multiple times. I don’t want it free and I don’t want to give it away!!

    • kilax says:

      Oh yeah, you are actually passionate about your giveaways! I don’t see the thing you are giving away on a zillion other blogs at the same time.

      And I understand why those emails are generic… but it’s so annoying. And a waste of everyone’s time!

  16. Maggie says:

    For me, if I read their pitch and I’m immediately interested (is this a product I’d use? does this company seem legit? is what they are offering worth my time?), then I’ll go for it. If I have to talk myself into it, I generally go with my gut and say no.

    However, I am gearing up for fundraising again, and it would be great to be able to do some more raffles (for stuff people might actually want to win). So when I get pitches, I think about it from that angle too.

    As for if you’re missing opportunities … I dunno. I have gotten some useful stuff out of my blog – running shoes, free races and I raised over $700 for the ACS from those raffles of stuff brands donated. I’ve never promoted a product [on MagMileRunner.com*] that I didn’t actually like. I enjoy doing my blog and would keep it up if I never got anything (other than friendships) out of it, but if I can get some [useful] free stuff out of it, I’m not too big to say no to that. It helps justify the amount I spend on domains and hosting.

    [*I have agreed to some paid advertising on ChicagoRunningBloggers.com that I didn't want to put on my "personal" blog.]

    • Erin says:

      That’s basically how I feel about Loop Looks, as well. Is it something I need or want to try? Then I won’t say no. Is it crap or is the PR person just expecting me to write ad copy and put it on my blog? Then it’s a nope! But, I feel like I’ve found some fun websites from companies that reached out to me.

      Plus, I kind of see both of my blogs as spots where I can inform other people about stuff. Whether it’s a fun online store or a race that’s coming up they both might be contenders. But, I do weigh that against the idea that we shouldn’t be blogging for a PR company for free. It’s an interesting balance to maintain.

      • Maggie says:

        I also try to think “is this worth my readers’ time?” because I value my readers and I don’t want to waste their time (unless it’s with my own brain dump!)

    • kilax says:

      I was thinking about the fundraising angle when I wrote this, and that that probably would make me read those requests from a different angle!

      LOL, and I just put that missing opportunities question in there for a safe way for people to tell me they think I should accept more of this stuff. I am actually 100% content with how I “run” my blog.

      I do think the stance of justifying the amount spent on domains and hosting is interesting. I have heard other people say this too. But what is it? Like $100 a year? I would rather not waste my time writing for these companies.

  17. Oh my goodness, I’ve seen an enormous uptick in the past few weeks of random folks emailing me to post something about them on my blog. I will ignore or turn 95% of them down – the only exception being if it is a race that I am genuinely interested in. But how do these people find us? I’ve stopped following a few blogs because they just became one advertisement after another. I don’t enjoy reading for-profit blogs at all. I want to read blogs because they are REAL.

  18. bobbi says:

    It has gotten to the point for me where even if it IS stuff I’m intersted in, I still say no. Because I don’t want to feel like my blog is ever something I HAVE to do. THEY’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME. Or something…

    • kilax says:

      Yeah, I know what you mean! Like with NFEC last year, right? That felt tricky to me. It’s a race I love but I don’t want to be told what to post on Facebook. It makes me feel disingenuous, which I hate.

  19. kapgar says:

    Annoyance. ‘Nuff said.

  20. Michel says:

    I get the random let me write a blog post for you stuff (no) and randomly a talk about my race post. The thing about the race posts is that when I don’t get anything in return like even an entry or discount to give out then no, I won’t do it. That’s free advertising for you and work for me. kwim? The only way to solve this is to not post frequently. LOL!!

    • kilax says:

      Yeah, that is interesting that they want you to talk about it without offering anything at all. “Hi, will you advertise for me for free?!”

      LOL, one commenter said she started blogging again (after a year off) and the offers came pouring right back in! They’re tracking us!

  21. […] ilaxSTUDIO » Will you advertise for me on your blog? http://www.ilaxstudio.com/blog/Alright bloggers, tell me, when you see those emails in your inbox like “XYZ product on [your blog name]!!!” or “Let's collaborate, [your blog name]!!!” or “Event for [your blog name] readers!!!” do you feel… a. excitement? […]

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