I've mentioned before that I occasionally get offers from various publicists and marketing people to try out their products. Lots of times, it's stuff for older women (thanks for that - I don't have the AARP card just yet).
Sometimes, it's books - oh boy do I get people who want to send me their book or their client's book and have me crow about it. I don't mind those so much and I totally would review a book if I had time to read a random book but I'm a writer and I'm busy re-reading and editing my own books, thanks.
Sometimes I get offered campaigns because I'm an "influencer" (Do any of you feel influenced? Really?) but a lot of it is stuff for mommies with little kids and I'm not that mom anymore. Even when I was that mom, I doubt I would have blogged about all the cute widdle baby products that cost a fortune and can easily be replaced by normal stuff you'd have in your house.
I don't mind any of this solicitation, because even though I don't feel like blogging about that, at least they offer some sort of pay in the form of money, free product, coupons, or a combo of some of that.
No, the ones that bother me are the ones who want me to provide content and platform for free. I get invited to guest blog at least a few times a month, and in return for providing my content on their website, I get "exposure." Which totally pays my bills and justifies any amount of time I put into making good content for their readers.
Every so often, I get people who reach out with their own content, that they want me to publish as a guest blog on my page, and in return I get to annoy my readers by hawking stuff to them like a carnival barker. Swell. Usually, they're an obscure or not well-known product or service, and they don't have money to pay for a real ad campaign so they hit up bloggers like me who have a respectable but not massive following, I guess in the hope that we're starving for content.
But this time? I got an email from a major product name, in association with a blog network I belong to. I'll remove the name here, but suffice it to say they are known, and well.
XXXX is so confident in its amazing ability to redefine your skin, that we’re asking YOU to put it to the test with the 28 Days of XXXX, a challenge to use XXXX products for 28 days to see the clear difference it makes. But first, you need to know what product will work best for your skin. Introducing Skin Advisor, XXX’s state-of-the-art mobile site that uses advanced facial analysis to pinpoint what product you need to achieve softer, more age-defying skin. Go to [website] on your mobile device, upload your photo and get your personalized skincare recommendations. Purchase your items at Walmart, and get ready for a fun and life-changing challenge! Share your results with #28DaysofXXXX.
Are you kidding me? Not only do you want me to shout out your product - after purchasing it for myself with my own money, no less - you want me to shout it out every damn day for nearly a month? For free? And you want me to buy it at Wal-Mart, specifically? (The stuff is in every department and drugstore, it's hardly a Wal-Mart exclusive).
The sad thing is, there are bloggers who will do this. For free. Because they get to put a picture of their face up and tag it with that hashtag and someone (most likely someone who tagged their own picture for free) will look at their face. And XXXX company gets to keep its advertising money, and whatever money they got from Wal-Mart for including them in this adstravaganza, while I just sit here shaking my head.
Blogger life. This is why we can't quit the day job.