Why gifted campaigns are stopping you from getting paid

This is very much a hot topic at the mo, amongst bloggers so I wanted to come and discuss why accepting gifted campaigns is probably one of the reasons you’re not getting paid… 

I touched on this briefly in my previous post about finding your niche and honestly feel that if more of us turned away gifted campaigns, the more paid campaigns we’d get. And don’t even get me started on those brands that offer “brand ambassador schemes” for 50% off their products, have a day off! 

gifted campaigns

Gifted campaigns vs providing a service 

I’m not saying you should turn down all gifted campaigns, but you don’t have to say yes to everything either. And what’s the harm in asking for payment or just asking if there’s budget available? You’re providing a service after all. 

What brands are doing, is using your platform (Instagram/Blog etc) to promote and advertise what they’re selling. You’re advertising their product, which is a chargeable service. 

Imagine calling a painter and decorator round, gifting him the paint and saying “thanks Steve, crack on” You just wouldn’t would you?

Knowing when to say yes to gifted campaigns 

To be honest, a lot of larger clothing brands, hotels etc will only work on a gifting basis. And I’ve recently accepted a gifted collaboration with Dior and before you think “erm why aren’t you practicing what you preach?”-  there is a reason…

I’ve been a huge fan of the brand for absolute years and their products fit perfectly with my content goals. And it’s m’funkin Dior, y’know! 

I’ve had probably my best ever 3 months in terms of blogging and what have I been doing differently? I’ve been fussier, I’ve focused on what I want and I’ve said no a lot more. 

Gifted campaigns

Value what you do

I’m sure I’m not the only one that receives an email from a big brand, a new restaurant, an event or a hotel and thinks, are they sure? Have they emailed me by accident? They want to work with me, say whaaaatt?

But yes they do want to work with you! Why wouldn’t they? 

It’s OK to be proud of your own hard work! Yes, there are always improvements to be made, but I can honestly say I’m proud of what I’ve achieved with my blog this year. From the work I’ve put in on my SEO, upgrading my photography, keyword research, formatting etc and I am (slowly) feeling worthy of the collaborations that are coming my way. 

Don’t be afraid to pitch

Great opportunities don’t always land in your lap. In the last 3 or so months – with this new found confidence I’ve put myself out there and gone after the brands I want. Yes, there will be no’s (there has been many no’s btw) which is cringe for about 2 mins then you get over it. As Dr Pepper once said, what’s the worst that could happen?

I’m in no way an expert at pitching but if you would like to hear my top tips for a banging pitch, let me know and I might just create a blog on it. 

I’ve also luckily had nothing but nice and polite no’s – just waiting for the day I get a shitty one ha! 

Dior beauty gifting campaign

Don’t be afraid of the “competition”

I used to compare myself to all the big bloggers and think there is literally no point in writing when there are so many people out there smashing it already, the market is saturated, what’s the point?

Think about it, there are millions of other Content Editors out there (my day job btw) and they’re all making a living. You wouldn’t think, oh I’m not going to bother going to work today, there are too many other people that work… 

So what if there are bloggers making millions, they’re not your competition. They’re just other people in your industry making a living! 

Be clear with your rates 

Have in your mind what you charge for a post (Instagram feed/Instagram story/Blog post) with the price for each reflecting the level of work that you’ll need to undertake. 

I’ve been guilty of having a total mare trying to get “the shot” for Instagram which took probably over an hour, with both Dem and Bear as helpers and the only payment I received was a bottle of Prosecco out of it… 

So next time a brand offers you a £6.99 T-Shirt in exchange for a blog post, an Instagram post, 3 stories and half of your soul… you know what to do. 

I would love to know what you guys feel about this topic and whether we should be cutting down the number of gifted campaigns we take on? xo 

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  1. Jaya Avendel October 13, 2019 / 9:52 pm

    Definitely some thoughts to consider! Gifted products have their allure, but I see why it is worthwhile to consider the offer instead of jumping at the opportunity. Even when you start out new, you have a choice!

    • misshldolan
      October 14, 2019 / 7:58 am

      Exactly this 🙏🏼 giving every opportunity a little thought is so worthwhile 💚

  2. Sarah Barthet October 14, 2019 / 1:27 pm

    Fantastic article and I agree with it all!! Well said! Xxx

    • misshldolan
      October 14, 2019 / 1:40 pm

      Oh thank you lovely – I think it’s so important to be fussy and only pair with brands that fit what you want to achieve/promote!xx

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