Why Some Brands Don't Pay Bloggers

There's nothing quite frustrating like an email in your inbox from a company that wants you to promote their brand on your blog to your audience for free. I know because I have been there, done that and wrote the book, along with many of my blogger friends. Though some people get irate about these emails and couldn't possibly fathom why a brand wouldn't pay them, I know what some brands are going through and why this would happen. So, to add clarity to the situation about why some companies don't pay bloggers and influencers, I outlined a few of those reasons below.

1) Brands don't value or understand the power of an influencer. Some brands genuinely aren't aware of the influence that bloggers have with their audiences and how they can influence their profits/ROI/brand awareness. They might be more traditional and don't understand influencer partnerships or may not know how to track and measure the investment and results from partnering with bloggers.

2) They believe product samples are enough for compensation. Some companies believe that if they send you product samples for a blog post or social media mention, you will acquiesce to the request. It's because they believe that since they are giving you product for free (which is money out of their pockets), they are compensating you for your work. But for bloggers who make this their livelihood, they can't pay their bills with cheese and crackers. 

3) Many bloggers end up doing this work for free. How excited do you get when a brand contacts you on its own volition to share news about their company? And then, once you realize that it's free, you think to yourself "well it's okay because my readers would appreciate it." Well, this action is hindering other bloggers from getting paid, because some brands become accustomed to getting their way with bloggers for free. I've been guilty of this in the past, but I'm confident that ceasing the act of "doing free work" is actually teaching brands that you deserve to be paid.

4) Some companies see bloggers as journalists. When I worked in PR full time, one of the main types of work I did was media relations. Media relations is all about developing and cultivating relationships with journalists, sharing newsworthy or helpful information about the brands you represent and pitching this to journalist *in hopes* that they cover your client in a story. There was nothing "paid" about traditional media relations. However, because some companies see bloggers as journalists, they figure that they can reach out to them, pitch them news about their brand and expect to see the same results.

5) They don't have the budget. I know this isn't a good excuse, but hear me out. They may not have a budget line item allocated to pay for influencers or they may have run out of funds for the fiscal or calendar year.