How To Say No

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SJ from Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion is here today to talk about turning down blogger opportunities…

There are so many advantages to having a blog, from making friends and becoming part of an online community to honing your craft, be it styling photography or writing.

Another perk is being offered products to review or money in exchange for a sponsored post, whereby you write a post around a particular topic and pop in a link or three to a company’s website before hitting ‘publish’.

As your blog grows, you’re likely to start receiving requests like this on a regular basis, but what if you don’t actually want to take a brand up on their offer?

If you’re not sure that the product or opportunity is right for you, consider the following;

  • Does this product or brand fit in with the content on my blog?
  • Would I use this product or brand ‘in real life’?
  • Will my readers benefit from me promoting this product or brand?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, then perhaps this offer isn’t a good fit for you and your blog. But what to do next?

Personally I don’t want to promote alcohol or gambling related sites on my blog, which is a conscious choice I’ve made –  I’m not a big drinker, nor do I play online bingo. I know the latter is quite popular in the sponsored post circuit at the moment, but it’s just not my bag.  Despite this sometimes it’s hard to say no. You could make a little money, the marketer will be happy and you don’t have to worry about letting anyone down, right? Wrong! Saying no doesn’t have to be nerve-racking, nor does it require ignoring the

How to say ‘no’ in three simple steps

Be polite
You might feel strongly about a certain topic or that sponsored posts aren’t your thang, but unless this information can be found somewhere on your blog, such as your About page, it’s unlikely the person contacting you will know this, so be nice and don’t respond aggressively.

Reply promptly
If you don’t have to think twice about turning an offer down, don’t leave the email languishing in your inbox for a month.  Sending an email declining the offer will only take a couple of minutes and if you receive a lot of requests you could even set up a template response, making it even quicker to say ‘thanks, but no thanks’.

Offer an olive branch
If the person who has contacted you is from a marketing or PR agency, they might represent other brands that ARE of interest to you. Have a quick look at their site, typically found in their email signature, and see if there are any opportunities for you to work together on a subject that’s more relevant to your blog. It doesn’t hurt to ask and keeps the door open, should you wish to work together in the future.

Keep it short and sweet
Instead of compiling a 600-word rant on the reasons why this opportunity isn’t of interest to you, keep your response simple and concise. If the eager to please Brit inside you doesn’t know where to start, here is a template to get you started:

Hi __________,
Thank you for your interest in my blog.
I’m pleased you think we could work together but on this occasion I’ll have to decline as I have a policy of not working with ___________ brands.
I hope you understand and if you have any other brands that you think could be a great fit for my readership, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Kind regards,

Hopefully this post will help you make a decision the next time you’re confronted with a sponsored post or product review opportunity. If you have any other advice when it comes to saying no to brands, please share in the comments!

  • style eyes

    Great post. I decided quite a while ago I decided that I wouldn’t accept products for review unless they were from ethical fashion brands. At first I was worried I would miss out on freebies but there isn’t really any point in getting stuff that you don’t need or want, that is just a waste. I also think posts about gambling etc would not only go against my values but also lose me credibility.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:15 pm Reply
  • @ShipShapeBF

    Sometimes it’s good to say no, right? RT @BonjourBlogger: @ShipShapeBF on turning down blogging opportunities today:

    November 15, 2013 at 12:55 pm Reply

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