Why I say no when you ask me to shill your product

By , April 4, 2017 11:31 am

Bloggers get all sorts of email requests to promote products and events, share links and infographics, and allow guest posts. I say no, 99.9% of the time, and here’s why:

  • You pretend to read my blog, as if linking to a current post and providing a generic comment proves you do
  • You provide a link to a current post as to why I should promote something of yours… that is completely unrelated to that post
  • Or better yet, you find a super old post and ask me to post again on that topic, including your links (sure, makes sense for me to post about weddings…)
  • Or worse, ask me to edit that old post to include your link
  • You pretend to flatter me
  • You ask me to promote things that aren’t close to my home… “we’ll provide a discount code for your readers!”
  • You ask me to promote a product that I clearly wouldn’t use, which is odd you don’t know, since you say you’ve been reading my blog…
  • You ask me to promote a product without offering me one to try
  • You offer me NOTHING (no, I don’t want you to share my content on another platform)
  • You’re rude
  • Your email is full of grammatical errors and/or your email address and links seem super spammy
  • You argue with me that I should do whatever you’re asking me to, because I have before

Most of these things irk me because they point out how insincere the person is. I realize you don’t read my blog. I know you were just doing a google search and found me. That’s fine. I’d rather have you say that, concisely:

I was searching for bloggers that talk about xyz and found your blog! Would you be interested in doing xyz for me? Thanks!

But I am probably still going to say no, because, most importantly:

  • This blog is my voice, not yours
  • I am not desperate for money
  • I am not desperate for content
  • I am not looking to have my content posted elsewhere

All of that being said, I have had some nice opportunities come along because I am a blogger, and have worked with some great people! Not everyone is like this!

And I am still waiting for Asics to sponsor me. HA!!!!!

Also, this does not apply to friends and family asking me to share links and information – I am referring to “companies” (really, random people) contacting me.

Here’s an infographic for ya!

Alright, bloggers, what did I miss?

28 Responses to “Why I say no when you ask me to shill your product”

  1. Xaarlin says:

    *slow clap*

    I think you covered all the bases with these requests. Nothing makes me close a blog faster (or not click on it to begin with) than one of those dumb sponsored posts. Oh! Now you’re shilling and telling your readers how much you love X, yet never spoke about that product before, put in some awkward info graphic, copy and pasted promo materials, and on top of that DID NOT disclose the #ad Integrity is important to me and bloggers selling out for products not related to their “brand” is so ridiculous. (Related to the seemingly random requests you mention above) Anyways, I’m stepping off my soapbox and going back to work. 🙂

    • kilax says:

      Yeah, I usually only open those posts to see if the blogger remembered to write on the top and bottom of the post that is was sponsored. Ha ha.

  2. Giorgio says:

    What a great post! You are right! People who pretend to read my blog are so boring. As you mentioned, they are also insincere.

    I’ve found your blog through Amy’s website http://fitandfabulousatforty.blogspot.it/



  3. Pete B says:

    Most of the requests I get are the ones that “offer me NOTHING!” Why does it seem so many other bloggers get free race entries in exchange for a one sentence plug at the end of a post? Me, nada! Oh well, I’m keepin’ it real! 🙂

    • kilax says:

      Just keep doing you, Pete! I feel ya! LOL. I should send the people who ask me to promote Chicago races to you – maybe you could get a free entry out of them!

      • Pete B says:

        Ha, ha. I’m sure my interactions with those marketing people would be super pleasant. Not! Maybe I should just shut up and be happy I’m only paying $50 for a 5k rather than putting up with pushy sales people, trying to manage a raffle and losing my “authenticity” all for a lousy free entry to a race I might not even really want to run! 🙂

  4. Shelley B says:

    STANDS UP AND APPLAUDS!!!!! This was spot on. I love how they want you to post their infographic or complete post on the promise of promoting said post. Um yeah…like I really want more randos reading my blog. Which they won’t be because the whole thing is a scam. And that linking to older posts – what the heck? I don’t get that one…it’s not like people are rushing to read my archives. Oh, and the offer of a discount for somewhere that’s not close to home? I keep getting a gym in southern California asking me to promote their facility, and I can go workout there for a steep discount. Gee, let me think about that…commute from Texas to California just to go to the gym? Riiiight.

    P.S. Your own infographic at the end killed me. Boom – nailed it!

    • Erin says:

      The links in older posts is because they think that Google will rank them higher in search results if more “legit” sites link to them. It does run the risk of them (and you!) get blacklisted, however.

      • kilax says:

        Yeah, I realize that is why they are asking me to do it. Just this weekend I told someone I don’t edit old posts unless it’s for grammar/spelling or to put an update in italics. It’s not to add more content YEARS later.

      • Shelley B says:

        Interesting – I had no idea this was why!! Makes sense now – there’s always a sneaky reason behind something weird.

    • kilax says:

      Exactly. There was a time when people really only cared about new people reading their blogs. I think (???) that has mostly passed. And I think people realize their content going up somewhere else doesn’t exactly mean people will find their way back to the original source. Ha ha ha.

      Now, if they’d give you airfare for that commute, right?!!??!?

      Thanks! 🙂 I had you in mind when I made it and hoped you’d like it!

  5. kapgar says:

    What you missed was a way to automate your infograohic so we can each enter our own name in there and post this to our blogs as well. Not that I ever get any opportunities like this anymore.

    • kilax says:

      Darn, you’re right! I used a free and easy infographic maker if you need to make one! HA!

      You really don’t get these random emails anymore?!

  6. Erin says:

    The infographic! I think you should just send that in reply to those emails.

  7. Chaitali says:

    Ugh, I especially hate the ones that have pretended to read your blog and it’s so clear they haven’t. So annoying.

  8. Maggie says:

    I created a hidden “media kit” page on my blog for this purpose. It includes some basic stats on my blog and rates for sponsored content. If their pitch is just not a good fit for me or my blog, I’ll ignore it. If it’s a sort of fit, I’ll send a link to my media kit and most of the time, they’ll….

    1. not respond
    2. respond to say they don’t have a budget

    Really, this is just my “polite” way to shut them down, because really they just want free links back to their website, and … no thanks.

    I did have one person ask if I could lower my rates. I kept asking for the topic of the content she wanted me to post about. Just a topic! She wouldn’t say what it was, just kept asking if I’d lower my rates. Like, um, WTF? I’m going to agree to post about something without knowing what it is???? Bizarre. My guess is it was online gambling sites. I kept getting pitches to promote those.

    • kilax says:

      Erin was saying she does that, too! It sounds like it’s nice to have that to send!

      Now that is weird! But… does not surprise me at all. The conversations with these requesters don’t often follow logic.

      • Maggie says:

        Well, as some on the other side (in a legit way), they are just trying to increase the amount of other sites that link to their website. They don’t even care what the other site is, the more links that exist out there pointing to your website, the better your “authority” and the more likely Google/search engines will view your site as legit and rank you higher. So that’s why they want you to add their link to a post, even an old one. That’s also why people offer to provide “free” content for your blog! Because their free content includes these links. I assume this person I was dealing with probably does that for a variety of “click-farmy” websites, which is why she couldn’t tell me a topic – she probably deals with a variety of topics.

        • kilax says:

          Yeah, Steven pays attention to his link ratings for his business so I get why people do it legitimately. I DON’T get why people ask bloggers to post completely random stuff. Ha ha ha.

          • Maggie says:

            “For exposure”

            Or they don’t understand how much reach we actually have (or don’t have)

            By all means, if you want to waste your marketing budget this way, don’t let me stop you … (I may or may not have said that about [but not to] an internal client at work)

  9. Stephany says:

    Yesssssss. I get so many of these requests and it drives me bonkers because they usually have nothing to do with my blog at all. I get a lot of requests about health & fitness stuff and I very, very rarely post about health & fitness. Or if I do, it’s about how annoyed I am with it, haha. I get a lot of “will you include this infographic?” … annnnnd what do I get in return? Nothing? Okay then. SIGH.

    • kilax says:

      Yep, yep, yep. I mean, there is no harm in asking, right? But why waste your time asking the WRONG people?! So annoying!

  10. Mica says:

    Ha, I love that you made an infographic. Are you going to link future rude request-senders to this post, or would that be too much effort?

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