Saturday, February 11, 2012

Is It Coz I Is... small?

I should prepare you, this is not sugar coated blogging.

Blogging, PR, Competitions, Freebies, it's a minefield. I don't pretend to comprehend any of it, I blog as a hobby, not my profession- that's not to say that I take what I do less seriously, but it's not my means of keeping a roof over my head, and therefore takes a lesser priority than, say, case prep or essay writing or showing up to work/work experience.

But as Chloe Likes To Talk has grown from 50 to 100 to almost 200 followers, all of these things are becoming a bit more prevalent. Earlier this week, I received an email from a brand who I have been 'in touch' with before. They've offered to send me previews of their lookbook which I've talked about and I've commented on the person's personal blog before too. They wanted me to advertise something that they're running.

What's wrong with that? It's not exactly novel is it? But my jaded feeling comes from this issue: This brand has had several big press events/blogger events/pr events in the last 6 months. I wasn't invited to any of them, my guess is, that it's because CLTT is quite small, and you know, that's cool. Why should a company spend money on a blogger who's blog doesn't have a big enough following or a relevant enough following to generate business from. But if CLTT is too small to be considered for an invite to an event (and all the nice things that go with it like freebies and parties and early viewing of new products...) then why should I (for free and with no benefit to myself) advertise their event for them?

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I recently saw another blogger- incidentally one who has around 2.5 times as many followers as I do, tweeting about a competition, stating that they didn't like competitions where bloggers needed to get votes as it was unfair to smaller blogs. The competition was being run by a brand. I wonder if the blogger stopped to think that the reason the brand was running the competition in the first place was in part to gain recognition and business. And why not. Why shouldn't they ask the winner to have the most votes, in order to give the prize to the person who will be most beneficial to them? Yes I know we all had to write a post and link to them to enter the competition, but I wanted the prize like everybody else, therefore to me, there's a tangible gain- a chance at lots of free stuff... HELLO. But what does a brand have to gain by offering the prize (which would have meant regular blogging about their products) to a blog that doesn't give them any return?

There's nothing wrong with having a smaller blog. I love that there are at present 194 people who like what they read enough to have my posts show on their reading lists, but I also like that I don't struggle to keep up with zillions of e-mails, events, product reviews or obligations as well as a full time post-graduate degree, a job and work experience... But why should I get the same opportunities, free stuff, event invites etc etc etc as all those people who have the potential to generate a whole lot more interest, exposure, maybe potential business for a brand? Having a space on the internet that you call a blog does not entitle you to anything except a URL. Making it something is 100% on you.

So there you have it, an issue which I find interesting to see debated. Should smaller blogs have a 'fair chance' for invites to expensive PR events or large volumes of freebies from companies? Personally, I think not. Coming from a business background, I know that everything you do has to be justifiable in terms of its return. But in turn, brands, PRs and companies, don't expect smaller bloggers to fall head over heels for you, gush about your products or your events, if you don't feel that we generate enough following to be worthy of any kind of return, because what you're actually saying, is that we're only ok because we don't cost you anything and it's any port in the storm of advertising.

Needless to say, I have chosen not to advertise the particular event I was e-mailed about.

All views are my own and I have chosen not to name bloggers or brands because I don't feel that this is a targeted or personal post, I am merely expressing my view on what seems to be a common practice.
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