Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Mutually Beneficial, Part Seven Hundred and Thirty Two

It takes a lot to get me angry, (No, honestly. Oh stop laughing) but an email I received today from a digital marketing company today had me so angry today that I just had to share.

I am a great believer in the words "mutually beneficial" and in the past I have worked with some great PR companies, some superb marketing and SEO companies and some great in-house PR teams. But on a day to day basis I also have to deal with many emails from companies wanting to take advantage of my wide base of readers by offering me FREE content (whoo hooo) and all they ask for in return is just one link back to their client. 

Purses lips, waggles finger. NUH-UH.

You want an ad, you pay for an ad. It is a simple as that. 

Some companies come back with a figure, some come back with an excuse that they have no budget, but most don't come back at all. 

And then today, I get this. An email from a digital marketing company offering me free content at no charge to myself.... Yada, yada, yada.

I fired off my usual reply of "and I assume you will be wanting to put a link into this free content? What is your budget for this?" 

And I get this in reply...

So Tom doesn't want to pay me? But he wants a link? And he phrases it in such a way as if he is DOING ME A FAVOUR? 

No Tom, no. When I use the term 'mutually beneficial' I mean that we both get something out of it. I fail to see what I gain from you placing a link on my blog to your clients site apart from some 'free content' which is just the method of transport for your link anyway. It's not as if you actually care what the article will say, as long as the link works, right?

So what do we think about this method of approach? 

Is it acceptable? Or is it just the lazy face of link building? 

And what is in this for me apart from giving Tom my eternal gratitude for saving me from those mean nasty bullies, Google by offering NOT to pay me. That's a true sacrifice Tom, I don't know how I can ever repay you for that one. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts. 
Big Fashionista x x



  1. As a wise, good looking and easily angered woman once said.....

    "No money, No honey"

    Tom ain't getting no honey Fo Shiz!

  2. Depends if you want to be found in Google. you are right Google are the biggest of bullies and are cracking down on paid "follow" links. Apparently they took interflora off the search engine - off completely - no one could find them for paying for links.

    So for Blogs I guess it matters not - since the mantra I hear is - "it's my blog" "I do it for the love" and "it's not for commercial reasons" so bloggers should be fine.

    Anyone wanting found on google - say for example my skiing holiday business - if I were to accept this form of post it would be better for me that getting paid for it because the loss in my rankings by receiving a paid one could lose me more money in the long run in bookings.

    Ultimately if I'm not getting paid for content, I'm not going to display it for free unless it's extremely relevant to the business and I chose to write about it myself.


  3. Ha ha ha. I just don't reply to most of these emails nowadays.

    What he's saying is not right though - the above commenter is 100% correct. However, it's UNNATURAL links that Google is looking out for, and having this person's link in the "mutually beneficial" post would set Google's alarm bells ringing.

    So: if we are going to take the rap for these companies, we might as well get paid for it.

  4. So do they really think that Google wouldn't think this was a paid link (in the unlikely event that you did it for free)?

  5. It's got nothing to do with Google - he's not coughing up because he doesn't think he has to. These SEO and digital agencies are employed for one reason and one reason alone... To generate links for brands which help their Google ranking. Most brands couldn't give a hoot how they do it and I know from experience that these agencies see bloggers somewhat as a joke.

    The only reason to change how they operate is to say no, name and shame, never give in and stick to your guns. It's different if they were offering something in return for a link/blog post (I don't believe every outreach opportunity should be paid and every blogger should receive money for their efforts - it depends on a lot of factors,) but in this case it's certainly not 'mutually beneficial!'

  6. I just ignore those mofos xx

  7. Not worth it ,emails like are 10 a penny .

    If those silly people actually put some skill into their work

  8. Ahh, how nice of Tom to be concerned about you getting penalised. I trust you had a suitable reply for him? "Our agency doesn't do this" - what, pay for advertising? Bullshit.

  9. It's hard to get an overall picture when you say free content. I take it they were not offering any form of incentive either in cash or in kind. I once had an email asking me to talk about a fashion app, the funny thing was out of interest, I had mentioned the app various times on my blog in the past, but the approach I had from them totally put me off, also, if they had been on my blog, they would have seen at least 3 mentions of the app and known the pitch was not suited for my blog.

    On the other hand, some companies/brands do not give their agents enough room to play with in terms of incentives because they genuinely do not have the budget. Also, a PR's job is to get free coverage by building personal relationships with the client, this is why it differs from marketing pitch where they are just paying for goods and services. But I think it;s the approach that makes the difference.

    Tom got you on a wrong day! :(


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