Blogger or Blagger: What Should We Expect From Blogger Perks

Blogger or Blagger - Should we expect blogger perks | BlognixLet’s talk about blogger perks.

Last week I went along to a fashion event at a well known shopping centre in the Midlands. It was essentially a press trip. I went along with the understanding that I would be covering the event via my blog and social media channels – this was something I understood and was happy to do as I have a relationship with the PR and company and supported their event. When I arrived at the event I received a goodie bag filled with a generous offering of beauty products and chocolates. It was awesome and I was very grateful for the gesture. I then spent the afternoon attending a few workshops, covering all of them on social media.

Now, I could happily tell you all about my goodie bag. It really was one of the nicest collections of STUFF I’ve received.

But then I remembered a comment I overheard at another event I visited recently. Again, I covered the event on social media and my blog. Although I was under no obligation to do so. It was genuinely an interesting event and suitable for my audience. The comment I overheard was from another blogger, they was asking where all the freebies were at. They’d been given a free ticket to a large public event, which actually did indeed provide various samples if you looked around. And we were in fact given a little tote bag with a few token goodies inside. Apparently they were expecting a lot more.

I was horrified.

You see, yes I do love to receive complimentary gifts (don’t we all?). But they are just that. Gifts. They are not a given right. They are not an entitlement. Being a blogger doesn’t give you the right to expect anything for free. And yet, I am increasingly seeing a culture of entitlement amongst some groups of bloggers. Not only is this rather unpleasant (bloggers being called blaggers, not cool) but it gives the rest of us a bad name.

Like I said before, sure I enjoy a freebie, or a gift as I prefer to see it. But I certainly don’t expect it. Because expecting a gift is rude. It’s unprofessional. And it negates the purpose of being a blogger.

We didn’t start out blogging to get freebies. We starting blogging because we wanted to share, communicate, inspire and be inspired. The goodie bags and event invites were extras. Being able to blog as a profession is an incredible bonus, an honour in fact.

And with that being said. It is work. The event I attended was work. I took time away from my business to attend the event and cover it on my social channels. The goodie bag was not expected but it was a nice gesture of thanks for my attendance and work. But it’s a perk, not a right.

So, if you turn up to an event and expect, demand or moan about goodie bags, you will come across as unprofessional, entitled and quite frankly, a disappointment to the blogging community.

If we want to be treated fairly and professionally by PR’s, brands, our peers and the media industry as a whole then we need to be behave as such.

Be gracious and polite. Give back to the community by keeping your blagging ways to yourself. Because a gift is best received when not expected.

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What are your views on blogger perks? Should they be expected? 

P.S. This is a separate discussion from payment and work. I believe in fair and professional relationships between bloggers and companies. But we’ll chat about that another time.

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About The Author

Elizabeth is the founder and editor of Blognix. She is also a freelance blogger, writer and social media trainer. She teaches workshops on blogging and social media offline and online. In 2015 Elizabeth became a Pinterest UK Ambassador, trained and endorsed to speak on their behalf. Elizabeth likes travelling, indoor picnics and oversized cocktail rings.

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10 Responses

  1. Siobhan Emma

    I completely agree with you. Like any job, it is a perk, not a given right.

    Although I have been on and off blogging for a good few years now, it is now something I would actually like to peruse as a career path, or at least to help enable me what I would ultimately love to do, which is write!

    I blog because I love writing. I always have, and always will. It’s my creative outlet. Yes, being gifted with something every now and again is a lovely gesture (Don’t we all love to receive gifts occasionally?), but nothing beats the feeling of a publishing something that you’re truly proud of, and that Gran’s the attention of you readers too!

    Reply
  2. Emma Cossey

    Agree completely, have the same problem with beauty bloggers that base all their content on freebies, refusing to buy their own (and potentially missing out on an exclusive by doing so!)

    Reply
  3. Georgina

    If I was in this purely for freebies, I’d be very disappointed! I’ve been blogging for a while, but it’s only recently that I’ve begun working with PR companies or brands, so events and gifts are a real novelty still.
    If I attend an event and get given a goodie bag, I’m chuffed to bits. I understand it’s a gesture to compensate my time to cover the event and that the hope is I’ll generate some coverage for the brands included in the bag. A gifted item, be it in a goodie bag or to review, is a privilege, not a right. I feel very lucky to be able to work with brands at all, so being sent or given things for ‘free’ is fantastic. I hope I never get so jaded as to expect to plied with free stuff.

    Reply
  4. Sian

    I couldn’t agree with this post more!! There’s a small group that attends a lot of the same events as I do and EVERYTIME I’ve overheard one of them say the same thing “Where’s the goodie bags” or event comment on the lack of items in the goodie bag! It’s disgusting, it does create a bad name for bloggers who have genuine passion for what they do and it angers me so much!! I think you can tell with a lot of bloggers nowadays who really see’s this a hobby and passion and who’s just out to get free shit!

    Where you said “We didn’t start out blogging to get freebies. We starting blogging because we wanted to share, communicate, inspire and be inspired.” is bang on! But again it seems to be a THING now where people will start blogging purely to get the free goodies! argh it really does make me angry, it’s so ungrateful!!

    I remember when I first got invited to an event, I was so overwhelmed by the fact a brand wanted ME at their event and possibly share it on my blog, and I still am grateful every time I get invited to something. I think it’s an achievement!

    G’ah this topic I could talk about all day!!

    Reply
  5. Julie Creffield

    I agree in part with this post however one of my biggest gripes with goodiebags is the amount of non related crap that they get filled with. Not only is this ineffective marketing but it is bad for the environment and leaves you feeling ungrateful and guilty for disposing it.

    My blog The Fat Girls Guide to Running was recently shortlisted for a UK Blogging Award. The award ceremony was a posh doo with promise of a great goodie bag. We paid a hefty amount for a ticket to be there and the bag was stuffed full of rubbish, including carpet tile samples?@/&@

    I am not that bothered about free stuff unless it is of use, samples are just that…but one taste of a certain type of tea bag is not going to make me buy a pack.

    Great post though x

    Reply
  6. Yazmin

    I agree with what you’re saying. Why should we expect free things just because we’re bloggers? I’m quite happy to spend a bit of money on things that I actually like and want to blog about. Or even if I don’t blog about it, I’ll go out and buy it just like I did before I started blogging.

    Yazmin xx
    http://www.yazzyscorner.co.uk

    Reply
  7. Southbourne Gardens

    I totally agree with you, having seen some of this on twitter. I’m also guessing that some people are now starting to blog specifically for this reason.

    Reply
  8. Abitha

    Thank you for this post and I totally agree with you!
    As an avid reader of blogs I find it very disheartening to be seeing time and time again on the same blogs- reviews of products gifted to the the blogger or sponsored by the brand especially when not in fitting with their blog because it begins to feel very false.
    As you say, being invited to an invite or gifted something is a huge privilege and something to be grateful for rather than demanding of.

    Reply

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