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It’s OK To Say NO In Blogging

Blogging · August 2, 2016

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Hey blogger friends! Today we are getting real and talking about saying NO. What do I mean by that? Well I mean that it’s OK to say no in blogging, and I’m going to break down the reasons why. Some of this may sound or seem harsh. I am not trying to be harsh, I am trying to be real.


It’s OK to Say NO In Blogging

It’s OK to say NO to brands: I get a lot of emails from brands. All day I get emails. No, I am not trying to brag, but what I am trying to say is most bloggers get dozens of emails a day if not close to 100 or maybe some get even more than that. I would say 95% of these emails include press releases, information on new products, and brands asking for exposure for free. Yep 100% free. No product in return, nothing on trade, no cash money. It’s OK to say NO to that. Yes you do not have to do things for free. Your time, your energy, and whatever else you are sacrificing is worth more than free. Now there are circumstances when doing things for free or on trade are fine, and each person has to decide what that time is for themselves. But it’s OK to respond and say “thanks but no thanks.” OK maybe be nicer than that. But it’s OK to inform brands that you do not work for free. It’s also OK to say no if it’s NOT a product, service, etc that you would normally use. Money is great but if you can’t really talk about the product then say no. I said no a few months ago to a VERY lucrative set of several sponsored posts because it’s just not a product I believe in. I’m talking several thousand dollars. Friends, it’s OK to say no!

It’s OK to say NO to other bloggers: As someone who writes a blog that has a lot of blog advice, I also receive a lot of emails. Now I am not talking about emails from blog friends or bloggers that I talk to on a regular basis. No, I am talking about emails from complete strangers basically asking me to spell it out for them on how to blog, where to blog, what to blog about, etc. Listen, I love to help bloggers but I have tons and tons of posts about blogging. From topics to write about, to all sorts of social media advice, and then some. I can’t respond to every single question. Especially when most of them are things people could easily Google. So what am I saying? Bloggers, if other bloggers email you for free advice or to ask questions that the answers are easily available on your blog or on Google, it’s OK to send them a link. Or to tell them where they can find the info. You do not have to take your precious and probably limited time and send them a 500 word response. I did this for a long time, and truthfully it got redundant and I almost never got so much as a thank you. It’s also OK to say no to giveaways, loops, or any other thing bloggers ask you to do that you just don’t want to do. You do not have to always say yes.

It’s OK to say NO to compromising your voice and beliefs: Recently I had a brand want me to rewrite part of a sponsored post. Not abnormal, as most sponsored content needs brand approval. But they wanted me to use wording and phrases that I would just never say. They wanted me to add a page to my blog beyond the one post. They wanted me to compromise myself. No. Just NO. It’s OK to say no to compromising your voice. If you would never talk like that or say those things or do those things that a brand or anyone is asking you to say, then say no. Tell them where you stand and try to come to a compromise that you are both comfortable with. Just because a brand is paying you does not mean you have to sell out or compromise yourself. It’s OK to say no.

Like I said, I know parts of this might sound harsh, but it’s something we all need to hear once in a while that it’s OK to say no. This goes so far beyond blogging. This goes into your regular job, your relationships, friendships, etc. You do not always have to say yes. It’s OK to say no.

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I hope you found this post helpful! If you enjoyed hearing about why it’s OK to say no in blogging, make sure to check out my other blog advice posts!

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  • 49 thoughts on “It’s OK To Say NO In Blogging

    1. lesley sullivan

      Your blog is beautiful! Thank you for sharing, and reminding others to stay true to their beliefs. While I myself is not at this point, yet. I will keep this in mind for the future!

    2. Daria

      I love this! Recently, I had to tell someone that I wouldn’t compromise my beliefs about the content for my blog. People are sometimes a mess with their opinions about what you should do. Thanks for validating what I already knew about saying no! It’s always good to hear… Thanks for sharing!

    3. Jasmine Eclipse

      I hate getting those emails from brands that want you to just write about them for free, it’s so annoying! I actually started saying no to all sponsored posts because I wanted to just focus on myself, not sponsored posts. It took a while for me to be able to say no, but I was much happier after I did!

    4. Shann Eva

      Yes! I get emails, and some don’t even have the correct name or blog. I definitely say no a lot more than yes because it seems like everyone wants something for nothing. My time is limited, so I need to focus on things that are important to me. Great post!

    5. Chelsea

      This is such a great post. I’ve learned the hard way to say no to brands and “no” to working for free. I used to do so many posts for free clothes but then I realized- my hours worth of taking photos, editing and posting is NOT worth the $25 dress!!! I recently have been asking for compensation and it’s been going so much better.

    6. Julie

      Great advice. It takes guts to say no, especially where money is involved. I like that you won’t compromise yourself or your blog for the sake of money. I learned this lesson in comedy a while back when I was taking every gig that came up and then pulling my hair out when it turned out to be a nightmare. It can be scary to pass on an opportunity but it usually works out for the better in the long run.

    7. Melanie

      I’ve only had one slightly pushy brand that keeps emailing me and I feel bad saying no but you’re right I can’t do too much and I certainly shouldn’t do anything for free. Thanks for sharing:)

    8. Annemarie LeBlanc

      I agree with you that it is okay to say No. Making a well researched blog post is very time consuming and I believe we should be properly compensated for that. If everyone would learn to do this, then we would send the message across to brands and advertisers that as much as we would love to help them promote their products, we must be given remuneration for our efforts.

    9. Laura | Have Need Want

      I love this post! As someone who has a hard time saying no in life it can also be hard to say no in blogging but I totally agree that it’s ok to say no to reach outs that are asking for free coverage on your blog or social media outlets. I do try and help other bloggers out as much as possible especially if I think they are genuine and are thankful for the advice but yes you can easily get bogged down with too much and then not have enough time to focus on your business!
      xo, Laura

    10. Kristin Cook

      So true! I haven’t gotten to a place yet where I am receiving tons of emails from brands, but there were a couple brands recently that want free PR and I definitely told them “no”. I mean, especially when they want you to review a product that you have to buy yourself… um, no.

    11. Taylor Mobley

      I constantly get people emailing me about doing things for FREE. It is so frustrating. They want you to promote them but they want you to buy their product and do everything that it takes to write and photograph and blog post + social media pictures. NO WAY!

    12. Monica

      As a new blogger I’m learning how to say NO. I must say love all of your advice and classes – that’s been a great reference for me starting out. I’ve learned that my time is worth something so any sponsored post I do has to involve some return or it’s not a fair interaction. Thanks for the inspiration!

    13. Kara

      Another really great post. I have a hard time saying no but lately I’ve been telling myself that time is money and I’m not doing everything for free anymore!

    14. Leslie Soto

      These are great tips. I’m learning it’s okay to say no to offers for collaborations that don’t feel right. I did a couple for free that I wasn’t really excited about just for the exposure. Turns out I wasn’t even getting that. If it doesn’t feel right to me then I’ll be saying no from now on.

    15. WanderTruant

      This is so crucial. I run a business blog and frequently get solicited from brands and companies to do ‘promoted articles’, and a million other things. Saying NO and sticking true to who you are and what your brand is so important, but so difficult to learn!

    16. Terryn

      Yes! Well said. I am the type who researches everything and will go find the information. So, I guess I expect others to do the same. Sometimes I have the opposite problem and I need to realize that not everyone is as independent as I am and may need more hand holding.

    17. Ref J

      I love this! Yes, it is absolutely okay to say NO and not apologize for it. Take control of where you want to be, what your want to say and how you want to work. The beautiful thing about blogging is that is it a creative outlet for those of us who blog. Embrace your creativity and be secure in knowing what you want to spend time doing and participating in. Saying NO can be the best thing to happen because it allows you to say YES to the perfect opportunity for you.

    18. Tawni

      This is a great post! I say no to most offers because I usually feel like it’d be a bit of a sell out for me, specifically, to write about most of the products or campaigns I’ve been approached about. That being said, I think I’ve placed my blog in TOO SMALL of a box. I have a really hard time finding balance, which makes it hard for my blog to be a profitable one. That’s not my number one goal with it though, so… I guess I’m alright. (?)

    19. courtney

      Yes!! I couldn’t agree with you more! I think it’s really difficult to say no when you’re a newer blogger. The idea of someone wanting to work with you or give you something is so flattering but as you grow you learn what matters to you and what you need to focus on and how to stand your ground.

      La Belle Sirene

    20. Jill @ RunEatSnap

      I get emails from brands wanting me to write a post for free and I’m like uh no thanks?! Why would they even think that’s an option? It’s crazy to me. I also find it annoying if I ignore a cold call email and then they keep emailing me! Do I need to respond to every single email?

    21. Brandy

      OH gosh, I say no so often now, especially after doing this 8 years. I’ve learned to take what I am worth and to only do things I wish to proceed with for my business. Love this write up!

    22. Kristin

      This is awesome, thank you! I’m always afraid to say no to brands because of what it could lead to but you are right, it is important to pick and choose!

    23. Greta

      I’m still somewhat new to blogging but have had to recently start saying no. Like when brands send me a discount link in exchange for their product. When I first started I took whatever I could get but now, like you said, when you get 20+ emails about collaborating a day you have to pick and choose. I love your tips!

      Greta |

    24. Annick

      Completely agree! Refusing to do something that you are not 100% willing to do is always better than compromising. I recently received a nice offer to promote a toy that seemed really cool. But it’s so far from my niche, it’d be ridiculous of me to promote it, knowing that It’s just so far off my work. I’d pass for the girl willing to promote something my audience doesn’t have any use for, therefore, damaging me and my brand.

      Closing some doors to stay on your own path is definitely a good thing on the long run.

      Thanks for sharing! =)

    25. Justine Y @ Little Dove

      As all the other commentators have been saying, yes! It’s totally okay to say no, as long as you’re also nice and professional about it, of course. 🙂 The free blog post requests always make me confused, lol.

    26. Michele

      I find myself saying thanks but no thanks a lot–I do very few product reviews mainly because I simply don’t need additional clutter that I don’t want or need in my apartment–I really have to want the product or believe in it to say yes. Now I am mainly a book blogger——-I lost count of how many requests I get. Now if I am in a FB thread with them I will generally say yes-but at least send me the book! The ones I receive via email–well some I just ignore-not nice–but then–there are so many hours in the day. The only time I will do something for absolute free is if it is a bonafide charity and they have emailed me to ask for help. YES it is perfectly okay to say NO.

    27. Kristina

      This is great advice and good information. It definitely is okay to say no to not over extend yourself but also say no to things you don’t want to do because you just don’t want to.

    28. Susanna @Zealous Mom

      Yes and yes some more. I’ve learned both of these lessons over the past two years. I’ve been blogging for over four but have only followed your advice for two. My time is so precious. There are some circumstances when I disobey these rules, but for the most part, I couldn’t agree more!

    29. Marielle Altenor

      It is ok to say no. I didn’t say no a LOT when I first started. Now if it’s not something that I really want to try I say no for free reviews. The amount of work and energy is just not worth it.

    30. Elizabeth O

      As bloggers, it’s very important to be clear about our goals and what we can/cannot do. I have a demanding offline business so I’m very careful about my time. I even have 3-4 VAs who help me complete tasks and so, I don’t have a lot of time to waste. Frankly, I routinely turn down paid gigs because I feel I can’t devote enough time to give the brand(s) excellent service. My main blog is both a business and a creative outlet. I enjoy both facets of it and have no intention of turning it into a digital mall. That said, I feel everyone should follow their heart and goals, and as long as they are happy with their choices then all the best! 🙂

    31. Adaleta Avdic

      This is an excellent post, and I do think bloggers NEED to say no to brands more often. It’s better to say no than to take on a deal for a silly $20 dress, it’s not worth the time so thank you for writing this! xx Adaleta Avdic

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