Dear Brand who wants bloggers, YouTubers, Influencers to work for free [Updated 2020]

Dear Brand who wants bloggers, YouTubers, Influencers to work for free [Updated 2020]

Today I lost it.

I received another one of those “Dear Blogger” emails.

For those who are not familiar with such emails, allow me to explain. A Dear Blogger email is an email that a company sends out to any list of bloggers requesting them to get involved with a review, an event, a campaign, or any combination of exposure for either themselves or their client – the big brand.

Today’s email reads as follows:


Dear <insert name> Blogger,

We lover your Blog and really think you make it interesting.

So we selected you to be part of our exposure launch!

We are having a launch event on 29th of October and would like you to do the following:

Send out 3 tweets in September about the event and 3 tweets in October.

Post 4 Instagrams pictures showing your excitement

Write 2 post on your blog

All of the content that you send must be about the exciting event so your audience may purchase tickets.

For our mutually beneficial relationship, we are able to add your name on our pamphlet and website with a link to either your Twitter or Blog.

I am sure you will agree that the exposure far outweighs what we require as only CEOs attend the event.

We look forward to your positive response.

So ignoring the typos and the buttering up of  “we loveR your Blog”, their requirements are rather prescriptive.


Bear in mind this isn’t a favor from a company I have a relationship with.

This is a random company.

Normally I would delete the mail but today I decided not to.


I replied with the following:

Dear Brand who want influencer to work for free.

I have noticed that when I go to do my weekly grocery shop, the lady at the till wants money. No matter how many times I explain about how I will add her name and a link on my Blog she still isn’t getting the “mutually beneficial” message.

Surely she can see that the CEOs who read my blog will see her name an immediately rush to her shop? Surely she understand that her name on the Blog outweighs what my groceries cost?

I don’t think she gets it.

I am assuming that your client who is hosting this exposure launch event is not being charged by your agency. Your firms get it. Your firm obviously understands that having the firm name on their pamphlet far outweighs what your firm would charge to manage their PR.

I am also assuming that you don’t dare take cash from your employer as just having your name on the company’s “contact” page is so mutually beneficial that no amount of money can be exchanged for your time, your knowledge, your industry contacts.

I would loveR to work with you on this beneficial project.

Just as soon as you can confirm that you are not getting a salary, your firm isn’t charging the client and my nice grocery lady starts to accept a link on my Blog instead of cash.

until then, me and my bank, would prefer this thing called money. You might be familiar with it. Its the thing that is deposited into your account so you can buy stuff. with Money. not links.

I look forward to your positive response.

update 2020: here is a great video to explain it all:



* Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni from Pexels

Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev is an award-winning tech blogger, YouTube strategist, and Podcaster. He helps brands tell their stories in an engaging way that non-techies can relate to. He also drinks way too much coffee! @Liron_Segev on Twitter

31 thoughts on “Dear Brand who wants bloggers, YouTubers, Influencers to work for free [Updated 2020]

  1. LoveR your response! Hope all those companies out there who think they can get exposure for free take note. Show me da money!!

  2. thanks for the comment 🙂 We do work hard as we want to give our best for both the brand we love to work with and the audience that we write for. Some appreciate it, whilst others….well….clearly not !

  3. we all do work for free when it makes sense. We want to build the audience, we want to build a relationship, we want good content. But we also have to know when to push back and explain that we aren’t dying to make the PR client look good -especially if its so prescriptive ! grrrr…..

  4. I am a PR Account Manager at a small Cape Town based agency. It makes me furious when I see how some PR people communicate. Just absolutely unacceptable. I think there should be a review website where bloggers and journalists can rate PRs so we can get rid of the people who should not be in the industry, waste everyone’s time and give PR a bad name.

    On the other hand, I just want to say to all the bloggers that please also try and remember that we (PR people) are in the middle standing between the company and the media/bloggers. Some of us really do what we can to try and have good relationship with you. We do read and follow your blogs and social channels, we do research before making contact, we only make contact if we know we do have information that can work on your blog and be relevant to your audience, we try our best to give you sample tweets and information and great products or experiences to make your life as easy as we possibly can.

    We do understand that you need to make a living and agree that you should be paid. We do value you as a platform and understand your niche target audience.

    Unfortunately, we are still in the process to try and communicate this to our clients and most of the time, most clients want to target bloggers and refuse to provide any budget. This is incredibly frustrating. As we as PR companies are also trying to survive we also need to do everything we possibly can to keep our clients and sometimes are faced with very difficult situations.

    I do hope that you can value these PR professionals and I do want to sincerely apologise for the unprofessional PR’s out there.

  5. I couldn’t agree more ! I love PR companies and respect the fact that they have are stuck in the middle of client and the Media/ Bloggers etc.
    The good PR firms are able to push back to client, explain what works and what doesn’t and manage their expectation.
    For example: Sending the wrong people to an event and wondering why there was no ROI doesn’t help anyone. It gives the Bloggers a bad rap and the PR firm and the client gets upset.
    So I fully understand the tough job a PR firm as to manage their clients. This is why we need to work together and where a relationship matters.

  6. When I was a journalist, some agencies asked for our magazine because of his client coverage. I wonder why you are not able to buy one or two to support us. She said the store was out of the magazine. (But actually the magazine strands are more than thousands the point is they are lazy)

  7. Absolutely indebted to your attitude. I get 5+ emails like this daily. Brands and PR’s think our blogs are a free parking zone! You gave a very fitting reply. Next time, I am going to share this link in response to those emails 🙂

  8. Hello Liron,

    Of course I loveR your response 🙂 Some PR companies do think bloggers don’t need to be paid yet stress the hell out of them.

  9. So funny….you work to build traffic to your blog and do so many things to make your blog stand out of the gazillions of blogs on the Internet, then one company comes and start asking for free promotion. I can only do that if they offer me life internet, renew my mac-book every 6 months, pay for my house rents and settle all my tax.. As for me, I loveR money

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