As you begin to make a name for yourself as professional blogger, you’ll likely start receiving unsolicited pitches and promotional opportunities from clients. Perhaps they want you to review something, run a giveaway or create a sponsored post. Sometimes the requests come from friends or business contacts you’ve worked with before. It can be tempting to say “yes” to most if not all opportunities, but trying to do it all definitely has its drawbacks.
Experience has taught me that sometimes it’s much better for everyone involved to just say no. Biting off more than I can chew means sitting at the computer late into the night when I could be cuddling and sleeping with my baby girl. Taking on too much means getting up extra early not to read a book, do a devotional or relax with a cup of coffee, but to sit in front of the screen feverishly typing and editing before my seven children start waking up. Saying “yes” to every job often translates into saying “no” to important things like reading books with your children, enjoying a movie with your spouse or even basic things like getting the dishes washed after supper! Every decision has its consequences. When a project comes in, something else must go out to make room for it.
I’m still learning to be better at this. So I’ve gotten into the habit of asking myself some questions when deciding whether to take on a project. Maybe these mental exercises will help you, too.
Is this a product or a topic that interests me and my readers? If not, then you probably won’t enjoy reviewing it or writing about it. And chances are good your readers won’t be reading it. So it really might not be worth the compensation you’re being offered.
Is the turnaround time too fast? Taking on last-minute ops can really increase your stress level. You may even have to push other commitments back to fit new ones in, leading to impatience or disappointment from clients who were “already in line.” Don’t be afraid to tell the truth when a sponsor asks for a quick turnaround. If you don’t have time to review another product until February, then say so. Express gratitude, and an eagerness to work with your sponsor, and chances are great they will be perfectly happy to wait. Never forget that your time is yours.
Is the compensation worth the effort? There are many things to consider when answering this question. A general rule of thumb is that there should be more compensation for more work, and vice versa. Consider the benefits you might receive beyond the free product or money. Will it increase traffic? Affiliate sales? Spark interest and questions from your readership? Help get your name out there or increase your chances of getting higher-paying ops? Decide if the benefits will make your time and effort worthwhile.
Do you struggle with taking on too much as a blogger, or does saying “no” come pretty easily to you? I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions!