"Would you be interested in partnering up to host a $20 [product] themed gift card giveaway? I also would like to invite you to join the blogger specific contest for a grand prize for the blogger who encourages the most readers to submit a pledge for [product]."
"We would love to partner with you to share the news of the [product] launch, whether it be a prize giveaway, a discount code, or contribute content from our designers, who can offer great styling tips and expert advice."
"We are seeking for either a product review or giveaway to promote our launch for [product] - is this something you would consider? Hope to hear from you soon."
"I hope this is something that interests you and you'll consider passing it on to your readers."
"I’m working with [client]to identify successful mom bloggers that may be interested in hosting a product giveaway for all of their mom and dad readers. Since In the Trenches of Motherhood is a well-versed and entertaining blog for readers to turn to on a regular basis, I thought that you would be interested in featuring a great product that your visitors would be interested in winning. Whether you would like to offer an item of your choice to one lucky reader or keep the product ($85 or less) for yourself is up to you!"
"We’re partnering with [client] on a program to support their [product]. We’re reaching out to you because we are familiar with your reputation as a parenting expert, and are seeking industry leaders’ points-of-view. We’re curious to hear your perspective and to see if there are any opportunities to work with you to educate your clients/readers."
"We have been seeking out high quality websites and blogs, gauging interest in doing a giveaway with one of our sites. We love the look and feel of your blog and think that your US and Canadian readers might be interested in a giveaway with our sites. Have a look at a couple of our sites and let me know if you think that this might be something you’d be interested in. Perhaps we could give away a selection of our home accents, kitchen accessories, outdoor decor or children's toys. Alternatively you could do a review of something from our site."
And here's my response to each and every one:
Thank you for contacting me.
I do not promote or advertise (via links or giveaways) in my personal blog space for free.
However, if your client would like to buy some advertising space on my blog's right sidebar, I'd love to send you a rate sheet.
Or please feel free to contact me to arrange an agreement that is mutually beneficial to both of us.
Why shouldn't I ask to be compensated for my time and my (teeny, tiny) bit of influence? If you stop to think about it, the Brand is PAYING the PR Firm to represent them. Yet they "don't have money in their budget" (which is the response I most frequently receive) to pay those (meaning us!) who are doing the actual grunt work?
Clever Girls Collective believes very deeply that brands *should* pay for social media, specifically because brands expect to *make money* from that social media activity. I strongly agree.
Mom101 wrote an AMAZING post the other day about believing in ourselves and our worth as bloggers. This post should absolutely be required reading for anyone with a blog.
Ever heard the phrase, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?"
Yeah. That's kinda how it is in the blogosphere. For every one of us who adamantly defends the sacredness of our time (and our value), there are at least 5 others who will slap up an ad or host a giveaway on their blog (provided, that is, that their commenters tweet here, Facebook "like" there, view the website here, yadda yadda yadda - all for super duper extra entries, of course!) without a second's thought.
I'm just not one of them.