When Mom Blogging for Swag Is Okay
In some legitimate circumstances you may feel that working for free is worth your time and the publicity you offer to a brand. It can be compared to taking on an unpaid internship. If you intern and get great work experience, then it’s a valuable endeavor. If you intern and only pour coffee and deliver mail, then not so much.
Here are some of the most common circumstances in which blogging for free could be appropriate:
If the product you receive is something you would have purchased anyway
If the brand is offering publicity for you in return
The brand has invited you to an exclusive event that you want to attend
If you know for certain that working with the brand will help build your sponsorship credentials, leading to future paying opportunities
If the brand rep offers something of great value to you, such as an expensive product or travel expenses
If there is a special charity or cause associated with the opportunity that is especially important to you
Just as there is no-one-size-fits-all policy on receiving compensation, so you should also be choosy about when you accept unpaid opportunities. Take only the ones that will offer value to your readers, bring you closer to your long-term blogging goals, and ones that you will truly enjoy.
An excellent example of a blog post written in exchange for swag is one written by Amy Clark of MomAdvice about an all-expenses-paid trip she and her best friend took to Wilmington, North Carolina. The sponsor asked her to write an honest post about the trip and required no further obligation from her.
She wrote a fantastic article about the attractions and accommodations, and because she already writes about family travel on her blog, her readers appreciated the information.
The company was so impressed with her one blog post that they then hired her to do more freelance travel writing for them. It demonstrates that when a blogger gives and receives value, more opportunities will come her way.