Top Tips For Not Getting Ripped Off In A Blogger Collab

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If you’re a blogger reading this post thinking “wtf bloggers ever get taken advantage of” then, listen here – you are definitely a lucky, lucky blogger. Most bloggers I’ve spoken to have had absolutely ridiculous collaboration offers land in their inbox, or even had a really negative experience during a collab that just puts them off working with brands all together. I for one have definitely been there, I’ve had blogging collabs so stressful that I’ve cried from the pressure, which just isn’t right. From then on I decided to implement a few house rules for conducting collabs, which I think a few of you might benefit from (I hope so anyway….)

What the hell are you doing?!

What exactly are you doing for the brand? The best advice I’m going to give you in this whole post is to plainly, and clearly, state what you are doing for the brand in an email. Then get them to confirm. Then confirm again if you’re unsure.

This doesn’t apply to brands who give you a lil email like:

 “hey we’re xxx and we’d love to send/gift you some products to try out”

This type of email implies that the brand just wants you to have a go, give their products a try, and feature them on social media or on your blog in the future, if you like them.

If a brand emails you something like:

“hey we’re xxx and we’d love to send/gift you some products to review”

Then your shady senses should be tingling and you should start asking all the key questions that I’ma give to you below.

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Get selfish, seriously

Is it a gifted sponsorship? A paid post? Or a gifted event or experience?

What are you going to get out of the collaboration?

Recently I had a particularly awful blogger collab proposition from a company that wanted to send me small decanted bottles of shampoo to try in exchange for pushing a discount code.

Like, what? I couldn’t help but think “this can’t be serious”… They also added that I would move up to receiving full size products if I made them a certain amount of sales. If I’m making you £££ where is my compensation exactly? Because a 100ml bottle of shampoo is not going to cut it.

If it’s paid, you set your price

This is important, guys. Make sure you haggle your price up to what you expect and deserve for the work you will put in. I’ve been offered £40 for a sponsored blog post, and straight up turned it down. I replied with my actual fee, asked if they’re budget covers it, and if not “maybe we can collaborate in another way very soon” or something of the sort.

It’s really easy to lower your fees, especially if you’re low on money. But honestly, get your game face on and call their bluff. Be ballsy, this is business.

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Check the deadlines

The worst thing about accepting a collab is to find out they want you to post on IG within “48 hours of receiving the product” and you’re up to your ears in fucking work and you simply don’t have the time. If you know how long something will take, for example a week for a written blog post, just let the brand know. More often than not, the brand will be more than understanding as juggling a blogging business with uni or a full time job can be a right ball ache. 

To do follow or not to do follow

Let the brand know if you’re going to do follow or no follow their link, this is super important. Some brands (against google rules) pay bloggers to use do follow links. These do follow links suggest to Google that they have not been paid for, when in fact they have.

I know some people that accept blogger collabs with do follow links if they’re low on dough $$$, however it can bite a blogger on the bum if Google finds out. Honestly, they can even shut down your website.

I’ve had some companies email asking for a blog post about, say golf. I had to write 250 words on golf without looking like ad content – au naturel TKL. As soon as I replied asking about do follow links, they stated that they wanted TWO do follow links and it “wasn’t a big deal for bloggers” – SNEAKY.

It’s not something that I would suggest doing, but just let a brand know if you are/aren’t up for that.

How do you think bloggers can stop being taken advantage of?



  1. Kumba Dauda
    April 9, 2017 / 11:14 AM

    This is such an important post, I feel like because brands have so many bloggers to choose from these days most bloggers accept the first offer they are given. I am really bad for falling into this trap and trying to 'help out' start up brands.. as working for a start-up I know how hard it can be. But I need to learn to negotiate and not undermine my work and ask for a price I deserve! thanks for sharing, opened my eyes a little

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      April 10, 2017 / 5:56 PM

      Thanks so much for reading Kumba! xo

  2. Luxe Style
    April 9, 2017 / 4:41 PM

    I've seen so many tweets where bloggers are being offered terrible collab deals, and it's such a shame! I would personally never use do follow links for sponsored content because I just feel it isn't worth the risk xLuxeStyle

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      April 10, 2017 / 5:56 PM

      I totally agree with you there! xo

  3. Ana
    April 9, 2017 / 6:51 PM

    It was so useful reading this post! I think every blogger will get some terrible collab deals but we have to learn to value our work. It's totally ok to say no xxx

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      April 10, 2017 / 5:57 PM

      Thanks so much, Ana! xo

  4. Lea H
    April 10, 2017 / 9:07 AM

    Thanks so much for sharing your tips and "guide lines" on accepting blogger collaboration. Especially the do follow link part is so important. I think it's a pitty brands still try to take so much advantage of bloggers and I think that has to do with the fact that some bloggers are just in it for the money/freebees and they just accept about everything. But I totally agree stand your ground and rather do a collab less to stay true to yourself. Lea,

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      April 10, 2017 / 5:58 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, lea! xo

  5. Jasmin N
    April 11, 2017 / 6:30 AM

    YES, thank you for this! I'm very careful which collab to go for & I hate to see when this happens to bloggers.♥ Jasmin N // Little Things With Jassy

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      April 11, 2017 / 9:37 PM

      Thank you for reading Jasmin! xo

  6. Emma Murray
    April 12, 2017 / 10:33 AM

    While I am no where near at a stage with my blog where I'd be doing collabs, I loved reading this! Really important stuff and something which I think I'm going to do more research on for the future 🙂 Em xx

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      April 12, 2017 / 11:18 AM

      Thanks so much for reading, Em! X

  7. aimee cottle
    April 12, 2017 / 1:49 PM

    The amount of ridiculous collaborations I get emailed! I usually just bin 'em if they seem a) too good to be true b) cheeky! I had one recently from a well known PR company that pay a pittance, if they even pay you at all. I didn't know that when I replied, though. I gave them my prices and they asked if there was any room for negotiation in my price!! I was tempted to reply snarkily, but just ignored the email in the end. These are some great tips – ones I will definitely be using in the future! x x

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      April 18, 2017 / 6:17 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Aimee! xo

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