Do you know what bloggers? One thing that repeatedly grinds my gears. The word FREE.

Following off the back of my ‘You are not Entitled’ post and a post I’ve previously already talked about, the ‘FREE’ culture of blogging, I feel like I have to vent my frustration once more. In case you missed the memo.

Brands AND Bloggers STOP USING THE WORD FREE. It's NOT FREE!!!!!!! Click To Tweet

I can actually feel myself getting anxious in my chest as I write this. Complimentary, gifted, on the house, PR sample yes but not FREE.

See when you use the word FREE you not only devalue yourself (or if you’re a brand you devalue the influencer) you also completely devalue the whole industry. My goodness, it’s a tough industry to begin with, let alone this word making it harder.

I’m going to make this short and simple as obviously, my last post obviously didn’t quite cut the mustard.

When you claim something is FREE, like ‘oh I got sent this FREE dress’ or ‘I had my hair cut for FREE’ or even ‘I went to this restaurant for FREE’ you’re voiding your time and your worth.

Yes, you’re claiming you are indeed worthless.

You’re not doing anything for FREE here’s why;

  • It’s costing your time. Time is the only thing you have a finite amount of.
  • It’s costing you the hours you’ve spent writing a post.
  • It’s costing you the time you’ve spent not only taking photos and videos but editing them too.
  • It’s costing you the money you spend on hosting your site, paying for your domain, the upkeep of your camera, computer and equipment.
  • It’s costing you the months and years you’ve spent building up your following on your site and socials.
  • It’s costing you the late nights you’ve spent, trying to perfect your post, the look of your site or even learn new skills.
  • It’s costing you the exchange of emails, the negotiation and the planning to create the content for the brand. For the brand to make money from your marketing.

Do you really still class your exchange of your knowledge, time, expertise for their product or service as FREE? Nah, I didn’t think so…

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Elle Blonde

Laura is an award-winning entrepreneur with a passion for all things luxury. With a penchant for travel, her favourite destinations are Vegas and Ibiza. Catch her at the latest bar opening with a cocktail in hand followed by mornings in the gym. She dotes on her little Jack Russell, Ziggy and has an unhealthy Instagram obsession. Home interiors continue to grow as a passion and she absolutely loves shopping for all things fashion and beauty too.


Mandy · November 2, 2017 at 10:39 am

Hallelujah! I’m sure no one would send me “free” things if I didn’t photograph them, write about them, SEO the posts about them, do social about the “free” items, it’s not free, it’s not even really gifted, it’s paying for an honest review or collaborating with a brand. Unsolicited stuff however is most definitely free with no expectation 😉

Diane Knott · November 4, 2017 at 8:31 pm

Great post this and your so right! It’s not just about money – it’s time and effort and research! So yeah girl you hit the nail on the head! I just say gifted and if I choose to review if etc I will! X

Nicki · November 4, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Blogging is such a time consuming job and people work so hard it totally devalues the work you have done when you say it was free.

Jessica K · November 4, 2017 at 8:46 pm

WOW I can’t tell you how much this resonated with me… even though I am definitely guilty of doing it! This is a very refreshing point of view… nothing we do is free!!!! It’s an intangible form of payment!!

Jessica || Cubicle Chic

Erica · November 4, 2017 at 9:25 pm

I love this post – I get it a lot. ‘Your so lucky, you get those things for free.’
Like could we just take a second to appreciate the hours that have gone into building this blog, developing the brand and curating my writers voice? You know what, you’ve inspired me to write a post.

– I’ll link back to you.
Thanks for this!

Erica ox

Kate · November 4, 2017 at 11:56 pm

I literally LOVED this post!! It is so true and I believe that even a blogger who is starting now should not accept posting about something without a decent payment. Free things don’t pay hosting and working ours. As bloggers we should not accept it, and then brands will stop ask for it. Not to mention the worst, which is when brands ask you to buy something from them with a discount and then you have to advertise them on top of that.

Thank you for this post, I thought I was alone ?

Kate |

farya · November 5, 2017 at 4:59 am

Well said. Pr mail is not free. Custom rates are so high in my country .You don’t even know the amount of custom duty I have paid to receive those parcels
And you are right the tine that is spent taking pictures and writing a review..
Looking forward to nite fantastic posts like this keep up the good work

Ellen · November 5, 2017 at 7:49 am

Omg, I’ve been looking to find a post like this! Seriously! It takes me a day to even proper out my blog post along with paying for self-hosting. Thank you for this post ~

Chidalu Nwoke · November 6, 2017 at 3:05 pm

You are so right! Seriously, brands literally feel they are doing you a favour when they are sending you products to review. Thanks for sharing this. I am definitely sharing it on my page.

Feather in the Wind · November 6, 2017 at 5:46 pm

And you have to pay taxes on it.

Beth · November 7, 2017 at 8:55 pm

I love this! Its so true especially when people say I can’t believe you got all that FREE. When I first starting blogging I did use to make this mistake but now like you say the hours it takes to plan, write, take photos ect a lot of it isn’t cost effective at all. As a blogger its good to know your worth 🙂 xx

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