Stop Getting Low-balled As A Blogger

This post is by Ashe Mischief

When you begin to monetize your blog, you need brass balls.  Cajones, testicles, whatever you want to call them– as a predominantly female community, we genetically don't have them. Why do we need them?  As bloggers, we're a minority, and a minority where the rules and guidelines have yet to be defined.  This means that marketing and advertising companies see us as uneducated, uninformed, and–sadly– willing to do anything for a buck or a product.

 

In a tough economy, you want to stay afloat and look lucrative to advertisers– it's harder and harder to attract them right now, so saying “no” when they come around feels like a silly thing to do.

One of the first things I did this year was put together my media kit.  In it, I established rates for various forms of advertising I accepted on my blog, including sponsored posts, text ads, and banner ads.  This helps because when a potential sponsor contacts me, I have a handy PDF that explains what I offer, what the rates are, and what discounts I have as well.

 

In the past two weeks, I've been approached by advertisers who have frankly tried to low-ball…. here's how, and here's the unabashed facts about my site & them.

 

Advertiser #1:

They contact me about getting a link on my site.  Very simple email that doesn't address me by name or mention my site.  I write back,
“Rates for links are $20 per month, and appear under the “Friends Of” sidebar.  There is a discounted rate for links purchased in 6 & 12 month increments.  If you're interested, please let me know.”

They respond within the hour, with the reply:
“Can you do a hundred dollar gift certificate for the year to SITE for a sidebar link?  We just want a text ad, not a banner ad.”

The problems with this:

     

  • The advertiser clearly didn't research my site at all
  • The advertiser was expecting a $140 discount for advertisements on my site, when we didn't have any relationship together at all.
  • They assumed I would want store credit to their site.
  •  

     

Advertiser #2

Contacted me with the following email:

Good day! We came across your site today while searching for quality sites to help us gain additional exposure in the fashion community.  Our SITE has been helping students pursue fashion design & merchandising education since 2005!


With that being said, we would like to be considered for a link under your favorite reads section:  http://www.mischiefmydear.com/dramatispersonae/ Here are the details of our site to add.  To match the other useful links you could say.


We could offer you a one-time donation of $250 to help with this via paypal.


Please let me know either way to confirm or deny this request.


I responded to them with:
Thanks for getting in touch with me about a text link ad.  Currently, I do not sell Text Link Ads under the “Favorite Reads” section of my sidebar, as those are for blogs I regularly read.  I believe that selling links there compromises my reader's trust in trying to find other blogs who I read.


However, I do sell links on the other side.  Right now I work primarily through Text-Link-Ads.com (which reads “Advertisers” and will be ending soon), but do also sell them individually.  For individual links, I place them under the  “Friends of ” banner in the second column.


Rates are currently $25 per month for a text link, but I could do a reduced 1 year rate for $250.  Then at March 1 next year, we could discuss whether or not you'd like to continue to purchase link space on the site.


If this sounds good to you, please let me know and we can make arrangements to get your link up and for payment.


I received 1 more follow up reply from them that said:
Hi, thanks for getting back to us. Unfortunately that option won't work for us. If you're interested we could provide a guest post on fashion design education, that is our other option.


I politely told them no thank you.

 

The problems with this:

  • They clearly had no respect for the fact that I was unwilling to compromise my reader's trust in where I placed my advertisements.  So much so that they were willing to do a guest post for me!
  • They had no respect for the work I put in to my blog or the fact that I have rates.
  • I knew if I had accepted their offer of a guest post, they would have snuck text links in there.
  • Why wasn't I interested in a guest post?  Here's why:

    • My Alexa ranking is: 270,295 with 207 incoming links.
    • Their Alexa ranking is: 1,762,390 with 28 incoming links.  (With Alexa, it's important to know that the lower the score, the “better” you're doing.)
    • Their guest post would have increased their incoming links and overall score, and what would I have gotten out of it?  I wouldn't have gotten a mention on their blog, as they have none. I wouldn't have been financially compensated.  They would have been using and abusing my audience and the 2.5 years of hard work I've put in to building my blog for their own gain.

While these both happened to be instances were a company was wanting to increase their SEO profile, it can happen anywhere– it can happen with indie designers who want a super discounted rate or coverage because they're “independent,” or a big company trying to bully you in to accepting lower terms and rates for banner ads, because you should be grateful that they approached you.

 

Every time I accept an offer from an advertiser.

 

How to prevent this from happening to you:

  • Know Your Stats: Check up regularly on your rankings on sites like Google Page Rank and Alexa.  It's great to be able to type in the website that's approaching you, to see if how close (or far off) they are from your own scores.  If your own site is more lucrative then theirs, then you're the only one with anything to lose by accepting their offers.
  • Set Up Guidelines & Rates: By setting up your own guidelines for advertising and your rates, you have no reason to feel guilty when you say “No,” or counter their offer.  You have set these up with consideration to how much work goes in to your blog, how many hours you spend writing each post, marketing yourself, and frankly, you deserve what you ask for!

Why You Should Care:

  • You work hard on your blog, whether it's full time & professional or hobby.  You deserve to be treated with respect and compensated in a fair way.
  • You're part of a community at large, and when you devalue your own work, you're also devaluing the work of your favorite bloggers.
  • Nobody likes to be taken advantage of– and that's what these companies are doing.  They're taking advantage of you.
  • We all like money– but would you take up a boss on a sketchy side business proposal that broke company policy or the law?  Is the money worth compromising your own views, your reader's trust in you, your blog authority,  your own page rankings and scores?

While I've said “No” to both advertisers and won't be doing business with them, they'll just move on to another blogger.  That blogger could be you– and they may not offer you the same rates they offered me.  They may not even offer you compensation at all.  And you have to ask yourself– is it worth it?

 

Image by vigilphotography / CC BY 2.0


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106 Responses

  1. Jillian

    This is a fantastic article! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us – it’s a big help!
    .-= Jillian´s last blog ..Suno F/W 2010 =-.

    Reply
  2. Winnie

    This was a great post! I get so many marketing emails daily and so far I’ve not accepted any of them because of the possible threat to the integrity of my blog. I wouldn’t say no if the right one came along of course but I hate it when they don’t do their research!

    Reply
  3. Sheena

    Very informative post and good that you stood up to them and said no. I feel that some companies think that bloggers are so hungry for opportunities or compensation and bloggers will accept anything. I received an email this morning for an opportunity, but I had to stop reading after I was addressed as “Jennifer”, which isn’t my name.

    Reply
  4. Emily

    Thank you so much for a great and VERY crucial post for any blogger of today. This was very imformative!! 🙂 cheers xx

    Reply
  5. Michelle

    This post is freaking fantastic. The low-balling blogger phenomenon really reminds me of the underselling problem with indie designers & crafters – hopefully we can try and nip this in the bud before it becomes as big of an issue as that one.
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Daily Outfit 2/25/10 =-.

    Reply
  6. Kristen

    Thanks for the post.

    I do have an interest in monetization, but always feel overwhelmed by it. Not just keeping in line with the integrity of the blog, but determining one’s worth is a little daunting.

    I know rates will differ from blogger to blogger, but is there any source for bloggers about advertising rates and what to charge, like a rate chart based that would tell you how much to charge for x amount of readers? or really anything that gives an idea of what is a low ball?
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..Look Book: Strikes and Gutter Balls =-.

    Reply
  7. Kristina

    I could NOT agree more! This is why I manage all ads through my *own* site, rates are clear and up-front, and while I advertise the benefits on the ad page, I don’t have to field low-ball offers.

    Once, I got an email stating they’d like a free 7 day trial (yes, that will So give you a good estimate of how your ad will perform–NOT!) AND on top of that they wanted to offer me a bicycle for one year’s advertising.

    Politely, but firmly, declined.
    .-= Kristina´s last blog ..Friday Faves: When Pink Throws Up =-.

    Reply
  8. x Corrine/Frock & Roll x

    Ashe Mischief, this was WONDERFUL! I couldn’t agree more, and example #2 sounds awfully familiar. I received an e-mail of an almost identical nature this week, and explained the same thing: that my ‘Links I Love’ section was for blogs and websites that I personally loved, and not for products or services. When I pointed out that I DID have an area of my website which *was* created especially for products and services, and was, in fact, a paid advertising space, they baulked, but not before adding ”but we ARE willing to advertise online computer games and Las Vegas hotels on Frock & Roll”. What?! Considering that both items were about as relevant as um, frogs to IFB, I politely declined.

    Bloggers DO work hard. They work their butts off. If we’re not writing an article, we’re usually thinking about or researching one, and in addition to this, it takes a really, REALLY long time to build an audience, and once we’ve finally secured one, it’s even harder to earn their trust. So why would we throw it all away in a matter of seconds in exchange for a measly payment for an advertisement that has nothing to do with our content?! It’s madness!

    Thank-you so very much for writing about this!

    Reply
  9. Market Publique

    I completely agree, and I have both point of view, as I am both a blogger and an advertiser.

    We work with bloggers regularly, but we always try to find bloggers that we regularly read, we like their site and aesthetic and hopefully they like our site and aesthetic.

    We always ask for ad rates and stats up front. If we can afford the rates based on our estimated inbound traffic (we measure ad costs based on cpc), we buy the ad or sponsorship. If we can’t afford the ad (hey, we’re a startup here, and we pay nyc rents…), we tell them why and see if they would like to work with us anyway to create a custom advertising program that we could afford and could potentially benefit us. Most of the time, it works out.

    I do feel some bloggers do not understand that not all companies are Dove and American Apparel. Some of us are just starting out, and while we want to pay tons of money to support a blog we like, we can’t always afford it. I think it’s important for bloggers to keep an open mind about that, because right now there are not a lot of ways to promote a small independent business on a budget, and blogs have been a great avenue for that. Most bloggers, though, have been infinitely supportive of us, and we’re truly, truly grateful.

    I think respecting both parties and letting them know you genuinely want to support each other and respect each others time, money and ethical standards is key.

    Reply
  10. Jessica

    Great post, as usual. I’m just starting to get advertising inquiries and have definitely struggled with it, but have turned everything down so far. I had one company ask to do a text link ad, but then backed out when they found out that the link would be under a “Sponsors” heading. Like you said, I’m just not interested in compromising the integrity of the list of blogs and sites that I truly value and want to share with my readers. Hopefully one of these days I’ll find some advertisers that will respect my policies and be a good fit for my blog.

    Reply
  11. Alan B.

    I’m glad that blogging is a hobby for me and I have a day job. I’ve had a few advertisers contact me w/ proposals similar to the ones described above. What a headache dealing w/ these people. As a result, I don’t allow any advertising on my site.
    .-= Alan B.´s last blog ..A Homage to Prince Albert =-.

    Reply
  12. julia

    Ashe – GREAT post! You really show how important our work is, and not for a minute should we doubt we are worth any less than what we think we are worth! Glad you’ve been saying no – it’s a lot harder than saying yes!
    .-= julia´s last blog ..Marchesa Fall/Winter 2010 =-.

    Reply
  13. Jennine

    these advertisers are something else aren’t they. honestly i don’t even respond to ad proposals unless they address me by name and they clearly state which site they want to advertise. even if they wanted to pay, i don’t always accept banner ads.

    text link sellers are the worst of the worst, i don’t sell text ad links, yet they are the most persistent. since selling text links hurt page rank, i just don’t do it. one seller told me they could ‘do it in a way that no one would know.’ and i told him that it is unethical to have ANY undisclosed sponsored content.

    sheesh.

    Reply
  14. roni

    and smh @ the advertiser wanting to be on your favorite links list! I was on a blog (no names) that definitely had a list of advertisers as “links I love” hmm shady!
    .-= roni´s last blog ..ewl ke$ha =-.

    Reply
  15. Mara Flores

    Very informational. Thank you so much for this post! I think I’m gonna start looking into monetizing my blog soon, and I’ll check out Alexa.

    Thanks again!

    Love,
    Mara
    .-= Mara Flores´s last blog ..on a jet plane =-.

    Reply
  16. Michelle

    Lady Julianne: I once had a (dating??) company email me saying that they’d like to do a link exchange for date-MILFs.com (or something to that effect). I emailed them back and said “That’s not a link exchange, that’s a text link ad – and they cost money. And um, no, since that is entirely irrelevant to my website!”.
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Daily Outfit 2/25/10 =-.

    Reply
  17. Melody Lesser

    What a great post! I come from a background in print media and blogging is new to me. (Dare I say that I was even unaware of Alexa! That’s how much of a newbie I am.) I’ve bookmarked the post and thank you for being frank, honest and informative. I look forward to learning the process of increasing traffic to my blog. Writing it is one thing – that’s the part that comes easiest for me. Promoting it is something else entirely. Thanks so much again.

    Reply
  18. SF Indie Fashion

    thanks for doing this post – definitely informative. i feel like there are so many “potential advertisers” that get in touch and then, once i tell them my rates (which are quite low), they’ll never get back in touch. It’s like, what did you expect me to say, that it costs nothing? In fact, I think that’s what many people who reach out to bloggers for advertising ops are hoping….
    .-= SF Indie Fashion´s last blog ..Pop Stars: Noise Pop ‘N Shop =-.

    Reply
  19. Luana

    This is golden advice, thank you so much! I hadn’t thought of checking their site against mine, I’ll definitely keep it in mind.
    .-= Luana´s last blog ..This Week =-.

    Reply
  20. roni

    I’m glad you did this post! I have gotten so many BS offers. My site is ranked 800,000 on Alexa. I know what that means. I use SEO frequently. One company that was completely unrelated to fashion asked if they could give me $300 for the entire year for an ad on my blog. I HAVE NO ADS, besides the godaddy ad which I receive no money from. YOU MUST BE CRAZY, to think you’re going to pay me $300 to obstruct my blog with your foolishness!

    AGHH they get me so mad! and yes ladies even if you have a blogspot, check your ranking. Let these people know what you’re worth. Know the difference between page views, visits and unique visits!

    Reply
  21. mrs.notouching

    I have a tiny little blog far from getting any offers, but still found your post very fascinating and helpful… you know for the future when I am a big deal and all. Thanks!
    .-= mrs.notouching´s last blog ..Because… =-.

    Reply
  22. eyeliah

    Thank you so much for this post! It’s very timely as I am getting extremely low balled by a few want to be advertisers right now, it is ridiculous what they expect! I haven’t been on alexa enough, I need to learn more about this ranking business, maybe you could do another post in the near future? 🙂

    Reply
  23. Kjeld Duits

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I especially get many requests for the free use of the photography on my site. Almost every day there is a new request. Each company believes that they are actually doing me a favor by using my photography for free. As I make a living as a photo-journalist this can be a bit vexing at times.
    .-= Kjeld Duits´s last blog ..Shohei Kitano =-.

    Reply
  24. Denise @ Swelle

    So well put. I get some absolutely laughable offers. In fact, just yesterday I had an email about a ‘blog partnership offer’ telling me ‘I think you’ll like this’ (immediate red flag!) and this is what I was expected to find to be a great deal (following Jennine’s verbatum example):

    I have a client who is looking to build up brand exposure to their hotel comparison website. (how relevant to my fashion, art and design blog)

    Would it be possible to add a very small badge to your website that links to our client? (Sure, I’ll add anything if it’s very small)

    Of course, we wouldn’t just ask you to do this without some kind of renumeration. 🙂 (Gee, how generous of you)

    In exchange, every 6 months you can apply for 2 nights in a double or single room for one / two people in a european 3-4 star city hotel. (will you pay me to get there?)

    Full terms:
    – The hotel provided to the blogger will be the choice of HRS.com. However, the blogger can advise preferences of the area of the city they would like to be accommodated in.
    – cannot guarantee we can accommodate the blogger in the city / on the date the request. We therefore ask for the blogger to submit a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice of city / date.
    – Although all efforts will be made to accommodate the blogger with their first choice of destination/ date, on occasions there will be factors such as sports events, public holidays or festivals which prevent us from doing this.

    Wow, how on earth could I pass up such a fantastic deal! I’d love to travel from city to city to stay in some hotel not of my choosing! You were right, I really do like this!!

    I deleted it, then went back and replied, asking him if those terms would get him excited about giving up premium advertising space for an ad that bears little to no relevance to your website content. And I mentioned that companies actually do pay me for the space on my blog! He replied to that but I couldn’t be bothered to read it and I permanently deleted it. I didn’t send a rate card, I certainly don’t want him to ever consider my blog for his business again!
    .-= Denise @ Swelle´s last blog ..London Fashion Week – Hanging Out at Orla Kiely’s House =-.

    Reply
  25. Maggie

    I’ve gotten a few interesting offers from people, but they expect me to advertise for free. It may be because I don’t have rates on my site–but that’s due to the fact that I only started my site in Dec., and I’m not ready to jump into the big game (I only profit through shopstyle and other affiliate sites currently). I know absolutely who I want to work with, so I kind of work on promoting them a little more on my blog, but as for people expecting free advertising, I really only do free advertising if I feel I’m getting something out of it, and I think advertisers should realize that.
    .-= Maggie´s last blog ..Featured Find: Delia’s Trista Striped Dress =-.

    Reply
  26. Maggie

    to add, I will always, always promote bands or musicians for free on my blog. It’s a women’s music blog and I’m a big believer in self promotion and helping others in the scene. But as far as big business, they have to offer me something I want in return. It’s just fair.

    Reply
  27. Sharon Gibson

    This article is brilliant! Encouraging bloggers to get savy and value their worth is the key raising what we do to the next level and encouraging companies to treat us as professionals in our field, if we set high standards we help each other!

    Reply
  28. trashtastika

    I didn’t even know about Alexa page ranking!! So that right there has been a nice learning curve for me to pursue…long before I get to thinking about ads!

    Reply
  29. parisbreakfast

    Huzzaha & BRAVO!!!
    there has gotta be an office in Nigeria (sorry but it must be so) where all these scammers are putting out this stuff. Not hard to sus them out- I simply do not respond. But maybe I should so they know I have Balls of Steel and WILL NOT TAKE THEIR S***T
    Pisses me off no end that these nobodies are trying to hitch a ride to my wagon
    HMPH
    Merci for this excellent post!!!

    Reply
  30. Beth Ruby

    Great article, so glad I have read it and now feel like I know much more about these issues.
    Just about to read your “How to Create Your Media Kit” now too and will have to read up on Alexa as Ihad never heard of it before.
    Fantastic work.
    .-= Beth Ruby´s last blog ..Where fashion and music meet- Beyonce =-.

    Reply
  31. skinny buddha

    thank you so much for this wonderful post. it is incredibly helpful and informative for a beginner blogger as myself. it’s so easy being sucked in this advertising wirlwind, so your advice is much needed. would love to find out more bout alexa and page ranking in general or traffic tracking sites. maybe you could do a more detailed post on this subject.
    xoxo,
    miha
    .-= skinny buddha´s last blog ..the world is not enough =-.

    Reply
  32. Lady Julianne

    Michelle – wow, a dating company! And I thought the trainer store who asked me for a link exchange was irrelevant! At least they were selling a type of shoe!

    Reply
  33. Macala Wright

    All the responses above are so true. I’ve poured my soul into writing our blog, done my best to create original content and establish thought leadership in what i write about. Every month, even I get some of the most asinine requests for link exchanges, advertising requests, etc.

    The most recent one was someone really floored me, the wrote “We think your blog is worth enough” of posting our content. – Jaw drops. The email then proceeded to tell me how to write a post about the company’s innovated digital media use. – loss for words.

    What they sent was actually an example of what I would say not to do. It’s not just bloggers – it’s us independent professionals too.

    Cream rises to the top – pour your passion into your writings and never compromise what you believe in, you’ll succeed. There are more than 10 bloggers who deserve the fashion limelight these days, there are at least 100 of you on IFB.

    Cala
    .-= Macala Wright´s last blog ..Angel of Darkness by TOMAAS Photography =-.

    Reply
  34. HauteWorld

    I work in advertising, primarily in the tv + print field and I was floored by the amount of unprofessional ‘advertising’ requests I received since I started my blog. I realize that smaller companies can’t afford to spend thousands to millions of dollars on traditional media, but I also don’t think it’s too much to ask, for a company to at least research the concept of a blog, address the blog editor by name and draft a somewhat professional offer where both parties involved would benefit from a partnership. Unfortunately starting or running a successful business involves investing in a little marketing. I don’t know when people suddenly decided this should come for free.

    I don’t even bother replying to most of these requests, because it’s just obvious most advertisers want to boost their SEO without paying even a small fee. The whole ‘link exchange’ excuse is getting lame and I get at least one email a day requesting me to write a sponsored post about a company I’ve never heard of and that’s completely unrelated to my blog concept.

    I’m really glad this was posted, as it’s easy for new bloggers to get excited about companies contacting them and they think posting random links on their blogs is the right thing to do. I hope this raises more awareness as to how selective bloggers should be when it comes to picking a suitable ad partner.
    .-= HauteWorld´s last blog ..UMA MIY (Hong Kong) =-.

    Reply
  35. Mishelle

    Hello i`m new to blogging, the is a very useful resource right here, all to many times people try to low ball online especially newbies. Thanks for the tips you have offered and various ways to peep game on the bad guys. Alot o work does go into espcially for more pupular blogsites, should’nt make it easy for the others to cheat you out of your space or idea’s…etc these are you blogs if the next person does’nt like it then tell them where they can get off! Thanks for taking a stance for what you believe in surely its helped others by reading what you wrote here….its put something on my mind for future refference with my blog. Now I do have a question whe it comes to add sites such as Text-Link-Ads.com how is a newbie to know where to set this up at legitimately? There to many sites that “claim” this that and the other then they turn out to be a scam or a waste of time.

    Reply
  36. Vanja Stace

    Amazing post! Thank you so much for putting it out there. It’s so hard to stand up when you feel you’re the only one doing it, but integrity is the absolute most important thing here.

    I have shared this article with fellow bloggers, thank you!

    Vanja
    .-= Vanja Stace´s last blog ..Thursday night jazz with Ensemble Satsang =-.

    Reply
  37. Retro Chick

    Oooh, interesting post.

    I think I was approached by your second one, but when I suggested an alternative location they agreed.

    I do think it’s really important to remember your worth and your integrity and that THEY approached YOU, you don’t owe them anything and it’s your site at the end of the day.

    I turn down “link exchanges” with “relevant sites” all the time, as half the time they are really not relevant in the slightest, and people generously offering to write content for me that I can post for free is getting more common too. A genuine advertiser will be open to discussion about locations and type of advertising I think.
    .-= Retro Chick´s last blog ..Links à la Mode 25th February 2010 =-.

    Reply
  38. Lottie

    I’m fifteen. I barely know anything about advertising, and this article has really helped me. I have sold some links within my site, some posts also, and now I’m trying to limit that number.

    What really gets to me now is ‘Partner Programmes’. All you recieve is one item, AND you have to review it and keep a banner up on your sidebar. I said yes to someone who contacted me about a partner programme a while ago, and have been waiting for the product for a month, and contacted the woman who offered it to me a fortnight ago. Still no answer.
    The thing is, I’ve had their banner up on my site for a month too. So I’ve been giving them free advertsing all along.

    Your article really inspired me to not stand for it anymore. I have worked for my blog, for a year now and these companies are taking advantage of me because of my age, my inexperience and my readers. I do not want to be a victim of this, and I just emailed the woman back telling her I want to pull out of this offer. I’m taking the banner down.

    Its right. I deserve to be treated with respect.

    Thank you for this article!

    Reply
  39. Super Kawaii Mama

    Top TOP post! I get asked these questions so often by other bloggers, and I’m sad to say that I get approached by advertisers like this all the time! Often I am so offended by the lack of respect and lack of reseacrh that I don’t even respond.
    One company in particular has annoyed me greatly by not only asking many times for something for nothing, but then continually spamming me with their links via my comments and Twitter to try and get themselves place on the blog! Talk about a snowball’s chance in hell.

    Bloggers need to know that their blog is their own space. They have both rights and responsibilities, and one of those rights is to be able to say no. It is important to know and understand you worth both for the hard work you put in, but also because if you don’t value your time and skill you cannot expect others to.

    So very well said Ashe, I’ll be directing lots of lost bloggers to this post. 🙂

    Reply
  40. Goody

    excellent post and great comments not much more to add so i will just reiterate that..

    anytime you decide to turn your blog into a business, which in essence is anytime you add any kind of monetizing component, you need to treat it as such.

    and these are great points to remind you of why.
    .-= Goody´s last blog ..New York State of Mind.. =-.

    Reply
  41. Louisa

    It’s wonderful to read a blog post and have nothing to add!

    I swear these guys think everyone is stupid and naive! However saying that I really need to sort my site out to start making me a few extra pennies!
    .-= Louisa´s last blog ..Can Aloe Vera Help You Lose Weight? =-.

    Reply
  42. Ginger

    Fantastic article, Ashe! It really covered a lot of good points about advertising & your blog. Lets just hope that some of the advertisers who are out there trying to reach all of us bloggers get a chance to read this and see the error of their ways!
    .-= Ginger´s last blog ..If you’ve got it, Flaunt it =-.

    Reply
  43. Andrea

    Great post! Totally agree with your views on this. The non-relevant link exchange requests have got to go!
    .-= Andrea´s last blog ..Today’s Don’t Miss Designer Sales – 3/1/10 =-.

    Reply
  44. Ben

    I’ve got balls!

    Great article. I’m constantly suprised by the lack of research done by advertisers. I’ve got an ‘Advertise’ page here if anyone wants to check it out for an idea of what to put together and the various options you could have – http://www.smartgeezer.co.uk/advertise/ – I’ve avoided a PDF media pack so people can see it straight away and not have to request it.

    Any requests I direct them here with a standard email I have saved as a ‘signature’ so it’s easy to reply with no hassle. Most dummies fail at this hurdle.

    I would say knowing your own worth is very important and one way to know this is to know your traffic. Use Google Analytics (PageRank is something different) – http://www.google.com/analytics/ – plus use QuantCast – http://www.quantcast.com – it’s free and allows potential advertisers to see your traffic and the breakdown of that traffic without giving any vital info away. I’ve got a little Quantcast widget thing on my advertise page so users can see whats going on.

    Reply
  45. Kasey

    Wow thanks for that it’s good to know I’m not alone. I’ve had almost the identical situation happen as in the case of Advertiser #2 several times trying to get into my “favorite sites” category. I basically told them the same thing you did , with a similar response from the advertiser. I find it difficult not to respond back harshly when they dont’ understand that just because you “flash” money in my face you should be allowed a space in an area of my site that is for sites that are ACTUALLY my favorite sites.
    .-= Kasey´s last blog ..Contest Alert:Carlos Santana’s Supernatural Grand Prize Giveaway =-.

    Reply
  46. Marie Denee

    Ashe you rock! Did I tell you?

    I have found this to start to become quite cumbersome, as I usually work with share a sale and google ads and blog her…

    I need to get to work! Another to do for me!
    .-= Marie Denee´s last blog ..Fashion your curves with Evans Fashion Fix =-.

    Reply
  47. Frenchie

    Very useful thank you !!
    I don’t know how to put those links and i don’t have a lot of audience … hahahah
    I think this allows me to avoid these problems in a way !

    Frenchie
    xx
    .-= Frenchie´s last blog ..PHILO – SOPHY =-.

    Reply
  48. Kimberly

    A very insightful and help blog entry. Thanks for sharing your experiences Ashe Mischief it will definitely help myself, as well as other fashion bloggers move forward to developing our sites.
    .-= Kimberly´s last blog ..Erdem’s fall/winter 2010 collection brings life to the cold winter months =-.

    Reply
  49. Birdie

    This is true, and if you’re supplying free links and free services to advertisers (Just like wearing the Gap brand across your chest in reality) you’re making it harder for those who actually monetize to do so. You’re also making it harder on yourself when you decide to actually monetize. Not many people realize that by putting up free links, they’re keeping demand for paid links down.

    It’s like why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free over here on this website? That analogy sounds slightly disgusting, but it’s true. If you don’t work for money it’s hard to get people to start paying you, and right now “You” is all of us fashion bloggers.
    .-= Birdie´s last blog ..Invest In: Quality Time =-.

    Reply
  50. Princess Dominique

    This was a great article. I linked it on my blog and was happy that I was already doing some of what you mentioned. Very helpful. I love this place.

    Reply
  51. tara

    Awesome post. I have been working on my blog for about a year on and off, but just recently have I gotten more into it. I have joined different communities and became more active on other blogs….I have not monetzed or well actually started making money off my blog yet…but I hope to in the future .. so .this is great reference for the future …clears things up …very good

    thank-you !

    The Lost Generation

    Reply
  52. Maristella

    I tried to search for my Alexa ranking but apparently it’s more than 100,000 therefor my data is not available!!! Is there any way to find out my Alexa ranking even if its higher than 100,000? Or should I just show possible sponsors my Google Analytics data?

    Thank you!

    Great post by the way, very helpful 🙂

    -Maristella.
    .-= Maristella´s last blog ..Small Packages =-.

    Reply
  53. Kaarin

    I’m so, so glad that you wrote this article. Such great information! I’m in the research phase prior to starting a blog, and am grateful that you broke this down into explaining the problems with both approaches. (And am surprised that they would come to you in the first place with those bad pitches! Jeez!)

    Reply
  54. jennifer

    I have been checking these post all day and i love them! I am a new blogger ( blogging since Aug 09) and since I have been approached a few times be PR people and others but I often turned them down because 1) I wasn’t sure how to respond and 2) I had an innate feeling they were trying to get over one me.

    It is so nice to have a site such as this that provides great advice from established bloggers to beginners. Thank you so much everyone for your input and feedback! ~ Jenn
    .-= jennifer´s last blog ..The Art of Travel by Louis Vuitton: “Chile, Behind the Scenes” =-.

    Reply
  55. Mary

    I’m a fairly new blogger. Thanks for the informative post. It’s great that you stuck your guns.
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..90s Love =-.

    Reply
  56. Beautifully Invisible

    Thanks for this great post. I am new at this as well so it’s nice to have an idea of what is going on in the minds of companies looking for ad space right now. I can’t believe one company had the gall to ask to be in your Favorite Reads section!

    Reply
  57. Alterations Needed

    This is so incredibly true! I’ve just had to “fight” with an advertiser about what they wanted, and what I was willing to give on my site. In the end, they settled, but I might have felt intimidated and backed down if this site and these resources were not available.

    Reply
  58. Victoria

    Some really useful tips on here. I have a really minimal layout on my blog and so I don’t have links and people still contact me asking me to ‘link’ them. It’s flattering and so sometimes you feel you have to link them but I guess sometimes you do have to say no to protect your blogs integrity!

    Victoria xxxx

    Reply
  59. Melody Lesser

    Excellent advice! I too get link exchange offers and often when I visit the site, there is either no link exchange list or the site is so poorly produced, I don’t want to associate it with mine. I also once said yes to a seemingly legitimate blogger who wanted to guest blog on my site. The content he provided was useless and was cribbed directly from another site. Needless to say, I didn’t use it. As a new fashion blogger – but with years of experience as a fashion writer and editor – I have the utmost respect for my reader and try to provide original content that’s useful and entertaining. It IS harder to figure out how to monetize the site, but it’s information like this post that encourages and educates. Thanks again.

    Reply
  60. Svitlana

    Wow, it is great to know this. I knew that there are people who don’t care about the readers, but in that obvious manner?..

    Reply
  61. Terra McBride

    Thank you for this post. I just received my first request for a text link post and used your guidelines to respond. I would have been lost without this.

    Reply
  62. Jing Pei

    This was a very insightful post. For one, I didn’t know at all about Alexa ratings. Also, I didn’t know there were so many forms of advertisement (and that random companies would email you with such unprofessional requests!) I just started my blog two days ago so I’m a long way away from even needing to monetize it; after all it costs me nothing other than time and why should I bomb my blog with ads when I haven’t even proved my content is worthy! 😛

    but I’ll definitely keep this post in mind if I were ever to consider advertising a company on my site.

    Reply
  63. Angelina

    You’ve got balls. Thanks for sharing your insight and experience. Your article was a pleasure to read, you definetly ARE a blogger worth more than offers like those. Thanks again.

    Reply
  64. vanessa

    This actually happened to me recently. I’m a brand new blogger, and it was for 15% off for my readers. Now I wish I would not have posted the blog. But, I’ve learned, and now I know. I’m going to put together a media kit, and be stubborn next time. I really like Ben’s idea.

    Reply
  65. de la Pen

    I enjoyed this post. Even though I just started the path of monetizing my blog, I’ve still said no to more advertisers than I’ve said yes too.

    To me, if we’re going to work together we both need to research each other and know about each other. So if they don’t take time out to really read my blog & know what I even talk about then I’m not dealing with them. I feel the same way about PR people. They constantly send me these ridiculous pitches and expect me to just write about it for whatever reason.

    Reply
  66. Lili

    Thank you so much for this article! Really! As a new blogger,I was curious how the advertising wheel gets started..this was super informative and good to know for the future.
    Merci mille fois!

    Reply
  67. Jillian Rueter

    I have these same problems on a daily basis.

    Thank you!!! Someone finally came out, speaking up about how we are all getting taken advantage of. I will not do any work for businesses that want free advertisement. Some of them will not even offer a discount to my readers, or add my link. It is ridiculous. We are providing a great service, at a fraction of what they would pay otherwise.

    Reply
  68. Monica

    What a great article! It all sounds rather overwhelming as a new blogger. There’s some really interesting things to think about in your article.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  69. Lianne

    Great article -ofcourse- anyways, also got an offer and I also turned it down- it didn’t felt personal and I didn’t support the site.

    x

    Reply
  70. CrashingRed

    Great post! I recently refused to provide with the pictures from my blog to one social media company. They wanted it for free – while I spent 2 days on putting that post up. Let’s value oour own work dear bloggers!

    Reply
  71. Laura

    It’s great to see that the advice in this post is still relevant a year after it was first published, it’s just a shame that businesses still haven’t twigged that bloggers work hard to build their websites and deserve remuneration for leeching off their work.

    Reply
  72. Laura

    It’s great to see that the advice in this post is still relevant a year after it was first published, it’s just a shame that businesses still haven’t twigged that bloggers work hard to build their websites. What I don’t understand is why companies think they should get something for nothing.

    Reply
  73. runawayinla

    Thanks for the post & helpful tips! I never knew companies/other sites could be so selfish sometimes about selling links! It’s just like in the YouTube beauty guru world these days, with everyone getting paid to review products they hate just for the money!

    Reply
  74. Rania

    Thank you so much for this post. I don’t have much experiences in this ‘area’. It opens my eyes..

    Reply
  75. Bonnie Phan

    Interesting post.. I never knew about any of this, I’m definitely going to look into advertising via blogs, thank you!

    Reply
  76. Kirsten

    Fantastic post! Great read. I will certainly take this advice on board for when I decide to monetize my site. Thanks 🙂 x

    Reply
  77. Jennifer Nini

    Thanks for the tips – although I’m not at the point yet that I need to worry about all of this as I a newish blogger, your post serves as a reminder that there may be others out there who may very well take advantage of my ignorance..!

    Reply
  78. Chaplinnn

    As a blogger who is just recently becoming open to the idea of selling ad space, this article is so helpful. Thanks for linking to the media kit article as well!

    Reply
  79. Em

    Thanks so much for posting this, there were a lot of really interesting and important tips. I am a new blogger and have not been approached by advertisers yet, but in the future I would like to have advertising on my site. Thanks again!

    Reply
  80. Ling

    Fantastic post. I got all excited as I have been offered some sponsored posts… still unsure what to do…

    Reply
  81. Megan

    I 100% agree with you, we have to start standing our ground, I feel like they think since we are not 500,000 a month bloggers then we can take what we can get and that’s practically nothing. It’s disrespectful and totally uncool.

    Reply
  82. Josephine

    Hi fellow bloggers, I have a hot suggestion for you… Join Fashion Traffic, a network of bloggers and fashion advertisers devoted solely to fashion! http://www.fashiontraffic.com

    We provide bloggers with fashion photos ready to grab from our site to your blog.

    It’s doing exactly what you love: blogging about fashion, and making some money while you’re at it.

    Reply
  83. Fabi

    What an amazing post! You got me at “cajones”, teehee.

    My blog’s “Alexa rank” seems to be poopy, but I DO get emails bashing me for not featuring every emerging designer in my country. I won’t compromise readers’ trust either, paid or not.

    Reply