Picture an inbox full of event invites, product pitches, requests for coffee dates and sugary sweet pleas to try the latest and greatest fashion app or shopping site. Each one of those emails starts out with a compliment on your blog, then the sender does their best to convince you to give them your time. Does this sound like your inbox?
‘Tis the season for holiday parties, gift guides, Black Friday deals and giveaways and brands are on the lookout for bloggers to help get the word out on their goods – usually for free or trade. At first, it can be downright exhilarating to get all that attention. You've said ‘yes' to this, this and that; then all of a sudden you've got triple-booked evenings, stress over new sites to review and an apartment full of gifted product you're not sure you totally like (as Julia alluded to last week.) This is where saying ‘no' becomes essential. If we let ourselves, we can rationalize all day why we need to be all things to all brands and people, but strengthening that ‘no' muscle is your best defense in creating a blog that's truly, genuinely, authentically you at all times.
So how do you decide what to say ‘no' to? Here are a couple of questions to guide you:
What's in it for you?
I know at first glance it might sound awfully selfish to look at things with this question in mind, but who better to keep your best interests at the forefront than you? Look at what's being asked of you and really take into consideration the time, energy and potential money you're likely to spend. Perhaps it's worth sending over your media kit, and asking for or negotiating a paid review or appearance. Other times it might make sense to do things for free – like attending events to support other bloggers, or to meet brand/PR contacts you'd eventually like to work more with.
Does it make sense to cover on your blog?
If it's not something you wouldn't want to write about had you not been invited or paid to do so, that's a pretty clear indicator you're not really into it and a ‘no' is in order.
Does it pique your interest?
Maybe you're being pitched about a brand or app you've never heard of before. Is it appealing to you to give it a look? Before responding to that email, take a look at the brand or app's website and social media profiles. If you can picture yourself shopping that brand or using that app regularly, it's worth a look!
What are you giving up in place?
Sometimes we get so excited about attending an event that we forget what's really important to us. We convince ourselves to go because it's an excuse to shop a new collection first; because other bloggers will be there; because we're among the first to get access. But if you find yourself regularly skipping out on friends & family, workouts, sleep or some good ol' down time – it might be time to re-evaluate what goes on your calendar.
Five years into the game, I still have a hard time saying no, and still find myself getting overwhelmed. While it's flattering to be noticed by brands, there's no way to do/be/see everything and saying ‘no' is the fastest way to maintain control over my blog life.
How do you determine when to say ‘no'?
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