If you are a blogger, chances are at some point you’ve been contacted by a PR rep, asking you to pitch some product or service to your readers.

“Here are some images,” they say, “and here is a link to more information, quotes from the author/director/creator, and look what somemagazineyouhaven’theardof said about it!” Then it comes..”We hope you will spread the word to your readers about this amazing random product, and please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help you promote it!”

Why do they send these things? At the core of it, bloggers are influencers. We put pen to paper(so to speak) about everything we love and hate, and other people read them. Sometimes lots of people. And those people tell other people. Bloggers are a PR company’s dream in the age of people putting down their tv remotes and instead turning to blogs, networking sites, and other forms of social media.

Like most bloggers, I don’t mind telling others when I have found a great new product or site. I also don’t mind companies suggesting products to me. What I have a hard time with is the idea that bloggers don’t need to be compensated in any way for their time and effort.

This concept was driven home to me when I received a pitch from NewMoonGirls.com asking me to check out their business, which promotes a website and a magazine for pre-teen girls. Having a daughter in their target age, I was interested, and replied back, stating that while I generally charged for a full review, in this case I liked the product enough I would be willing to give them a bit of positive promotion in exchange for a 2 year subscription to their girls’ magazine(A $40 total if I remember right.) I get a nice gift for my daughter, and they get the benefit of the eyes and ears of my readership, some of whom might be interested themselves. Win-win. I do deals like this fairly often, and most people are happy to do so. Those that don’t just don’t reply, and that’s ok too.

What surprised me was when I got an answer like this-

Hi Sara –

Thanks for your e-mail and interest in New Moon Girls.  I’m so glad you liked the site!  While we appreciate your kind offer to feature us on your blogs, it is our policy not to offer compensation for reviews.

We do have an affiliate program and would be delighted to work with you in that way to help generate revenue for your site.  If you’d like to learn more about participating in that, please let me know.   

I do hope that you will let me know if I might be of assistance to you as a resource for a guest blog, interview, or anything else.  Thanks again for your interest in New Moon Girls.

Sincerely, 

(Name removed to protect the not-so-innocent)

Let’s recap, shall we?

Thanks for your e-mail and interest in New Moon Girls.  I’m so glad you liked the site!  While we appreciate your kind offer to feature us on your blogs, (Kind offer? Did you not contact me asking for just that? )

it is our policy not to offer compensation for reviews. = We expect you to make us money, not the other way around.

We do have an affiliate program and would be delighted to work with you in that way to help generate revenue for your site.  If you’d like to learn more about participating in that, please let me know. Ok, we’ll throw you a tiny scrap, but in general, we still want you to make us money for pretty much nothing.

I do hope that you will let me know if I might be of assistance to you as a resource for a guest blog, interview, or anything else.  Thanks again for your interest in New Moon Girls.  One last shot at trying to get you to work for us for nothing, and let me make it sound like you contacted us, because really, we are doing you the favor here.

What got me here was not the rejection, but the attitude surrounding it. No “I’m sorry, but…”, just the matter of fact-ness that they expect this done for free, and continued to pitch me after stating this. Truly friends, these people have bigger balls than I do.

The lesson to take away from this is that when you come to a blogger’s house(their site), act like the guest you are. Appreciate your host and the hospitality they are giving you through space on their site, and don’t promote the attitude that they should just be grateful you have barged into their inbox uninvited.

Even when you can’t give us what we deserve, we might still offer you tea and cookies if you can remember the manners your mama taught you about how to act in someone else’s home.