Flattery Won’t Get You Everywhere

Once every couple of days, I get an email from someone I don’t know telling me that they love my blog.

I know exactly what will follow — they want me to write a blog post about their company, website, product, store or book.

The usual reason they give me why I should spend my time writing a story about them: “Your readers will really be interested.”

So I send them with a reply telling them that this sounds like a great idea for a sponsored post on my blog to advance their marketing/advertising objectives and include a link to my press kit that includes my sponsored post rates.

Nine times out of 10, these people get back to me and tell me that they don’t have money in their budget.

I’m a nice person, but I’m not that nice.

My time is valuable. I can’t afford to take time away from paid work or my free time so that someone else can benefit financially.

When these people get pushy, I’ll ask, “Would you work for free?”

I’ve never had anyone reply in the affirmative.

Long before I started my blog, A Good Woman’s Dirty Mind (http://agoodwomansdirtymind.com), I’ve had an extensive career as a print journalist and in PR media relations and content marketing. I know and respect all of the aspects of marketing through media.

Here are some things people wasting their time trying to get free advertising should know…

– Just because you or your product exists doesn’t make you interesting or newsworthy.

– Readers don’t like reading advertising. However, I can write a story that’s informative and entertaining in which I can incorporate product placement. I have no problem asking for compensation because people who are compelled to click on the links and buy your product or service because they’re compelled or swayed by what I write.

– Sometimes, people who say they love my blog will hit me up a second time with an affiliate ad “opportunity”. Unless you’re offering at least 20% commission on sales, I’m not interested. If you have an unreasonable payout threshold (more than $50) or payout schedule (more than 30 days), I’m not interested. We all know what the click-through and conversion rates are. Some are profitable and compensate me for my work; most don’t. I stick with a few because they work.

– If you’re asking me to write for your website for free in exchange for exposure, obviously I don’t need it if you found me.

– Just because you can pull my content from an RSS feed doesn’t mean you can use everything I write on your blog or website. It’s copyrighted material. I don’t mind having linked or aggregated in original content on websites, blogs, newsletters, and social media outlets, but have the courtesy to ask first.

– If you don’t have a marketing budget, there’s something wrong with your business plan. It’s kind of like not having money in your budget to pay your gas, electricity and water bills.

– You found me because you saw value in what I can do for you. Why would you devalue me or my time?

– Flattery doesn’t pay my bills. I doubt if anyone has a plumber or mechanic who works for free because people say nice things about them.

– Asking me to work for free is not flattery; it’s an insult.

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