Shout outs and Link backs do not pay bills

Stop right now before you send that email!

If you are thinking about reaching out to a blogger to ask their help in promoting your product, do not offer a shout out or link back as compensation!

“In exchange for your post promoting our product/contest, we can give you a shout out on our Facebook/Twitter. If we really love your post, we can link back to it from our site”

Last I looked I could not pay my bills or buy groceries with a small traffic spike on my blog. In plain facts, that is all that is being offered here. A CHANCE AT A SMALL TRAFFIC SPIKE. This is not of value to me or any blogger I know. Yes it is a nice thank you during a campaign in addition to actual compensation.

You know, money.The thing people will take for bill payment.

Never offer a social media shout out or link back as though it is a huge value to us. For me it is right up there with offering me a giveaway for “free” with no product for me. Bloggers should not have to pay to be included in a giveaways, they are the ones doing the work. So the word “free” drives me crazy. But that would be another post for another day.

Really? I can do all the work of promoting your product and reaching out to my audience for a small increase in traffic?

Let us say your brand or client has a huge audience on social media. Maybe they are highly engaged and they will click on any link you post and visit whatever blog you give a shout out to. Great! This really should be part of any partnership online anyway. Included in the package as an extra or a thank you.

Because it lasts a day maybe two tops.

The next day the next blog you give a shout out to will get the spike and only a small number of those who visited me from you will stay.

However that post that took me hours to write on the blog I pay to have hosted and updated and designed. That post that I promoted through all of my networks and channels and my following I took years to build will see it over and over again. I will share it on other blogs, link back to it as a reference when relevant, and don’t forget Google. Every single time someone searches anything even close to your product my post will come up. The promotion will be endless and there is no doubt you will see the benefits long after the campaign is over.

But that shout out fizzled out after a day.

That link back on your blog that was good back in the day when we still relied on page rank, well that is of no value either to me. If I wanted a link back I would submit a guest post to another blog or a network that will work to support me and drive traffic to my site for months to come. An evergreen post of good content so both them and I could reap the rewards of great content full of tips, interesting information and how to’s. Not a promotional ad for someone who is being paid to seek me out.

But my content calendar fills fast and who really has time to write a post for a chance of some traffic? Even if mutually beneficial.

Not me.

When you reach out to a blogger,

Be straight forward with what you can offer. Have a budget and include that in the pitch. Include all of the details and timing in your initial email.

Yes offer a shout out, but offer it as a thank you. In addition to actual payment.

Do not insult them by offering anything less.

A post takes time. Time away from our family, time away from networking and time away from building our blogs. Pictures need to be taken and edited, posts need to be promoted and sent through newsletters, posted on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. And research, most often there are hours of research involved in a post unless it is a copy and paste. Who wants to be like everyone else? That is never good.

Then there are the fiances associated with a blog. Any blogger who is serious about their blog has paid for their domain and most likely pays for hosting each month. Internet and electricity is not free nor is the rent or mortgage they pay for their office pace. This all needs to come from somewhere.


Why did you reach out to that blogger to begin with?

You found them some how. They must be doing a good job getting their blog and name out there. This alone shows they know what they are doing.

They have an audience they have taken time over the years to build. An audience that trusts them and is interested in what they have to say.

Their following on social media is engaged and growing. Possibly their following is larger than yours and you see the potential for an ongoing relationship. So the thousands that follow them will share with their friends and their friends will then share and so on. Word of mouth advertising and social media go hand in hand anyway.

What to offer them instead of a link back and shout out

Payment is always best in cash. Not to sound cold, but when were you last able to pay your bills without anything but? Would you work for a day for a shout out on twitter? Would you commit hours of your valuable time and your knowledge for a link on another site? If you are unsure how much to offer then ask. Ask what a bloggers rates are for the work you need to have done. If it is more than you can afford then come back and negotiate when you are able to. If you have product to offer then include that. But never expect anyone to do it for anything less.

Giveaways are not a perk

Every day I get an email that will offer a great giveaway to my readers. It will be a wonderful prize and take hours and hours of work. Since all of my giveaways run for 3 weeks, it will also be daily work for weeks. I will need to set up the widget with the entries needed, promote it and monitor it. I may have to pay for a service to run it or help me share it like a VA or the premium Rafflecopter/Giveawaytools. After all I am a professional blogger and I do this for a living, I do this in the best possible way I have found over the years that works. Once it is over I will draw a winner, go through entries and make sure the winner is eligible. Especially since the entries included follows on your social media handles, visits to your website and other hoops they will need to jump through to qualify. I will then contact them, wait for response and if needed contact a new winner. Collect their information, answer any questions they may have and then relay the information to you.

So in reality, a giveaway will be great for my readers. It will give me a spike in traffic for a small amount of time. BUT it will be a lot of work. AGAIN this needs to be compensated fairly not offered as a perk or compensation in addition to a low offer, no matter what the value of the prize is.

Next time you want to reach out to a blogger remember these things.

Think about how you would react if someone offered you a shout out for your time and work.

Treat them fairly and you will be pleased. In the end social media creates a buzz like no other. A brand and blogger relationship should be long lasting and not just a spike for a day.

Not sure how to work with a blogger? Just ask 😉



  1. Doris Calvert says

    I found this very interesting and did not realize that people or should I say companies would even ask that! Very eye opening how thing work!

  2. As a blogger AND a small business owner, I can relate to both sides of this.. but I must say, I see a lot more bloggers asking for freebies than I do small business owners.

  3. nicolthepickle says

    I now know why you're called the ranting ginger.
    This was interesting to me. I've often wondered what bloggers work for. It seems to me that many of them do it for a product to review in exchange for said product, and that would work for a part time blogger, but what about those ones who blog as a full time job. They have to make money somewhere.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. DownshiftingPRO says

    Bravo Kim! Bravo!

  5. very interesting article, I've been thinking about starting a blog… now I'm not so sure….

  6. Yes on so many levels. Yes.

Speak Your Mind