Have you ever heard of Blogger Blackmail? Learn how this practice hurts everyone involved from the bloggers to business owners! Plus great tips on how to avoid this happening to you.
What is Blogger Blackmail?
A blogger is receiving a product for free to provide an honest review, but instead, demands more product or money to provide a positive review. Hence a case of blogger blackmail.
A Bad Situation – Blogger Blackmail
Let me start by saying; I don’t normally write about controversial stuff. I like DIY and being a mom. As I was browsing trending topics on Twitter, the hashtag #BloggerBlackmail was trending. So after a little research, I realized this all started between a Baker and a Blogger. From what I can tell, the Blogger contacted the Baker by email and said she would like to review them. The Baker accepted the invitation, and prepared a gift bag of s’more, a marshmallow and a macaron. Blogger shows up with a friend and demands a larger selection, with comes to about a £100 or $156.59 US Dollar. Baker says that’s a lot more than the usually give, and that they can not do that much. Blogger gets mad, and she proceeds to leave the shop, but comes back later and buys two small items. Afterward, Blogger posts a mean review on Instagram. Followed by Baker blogging about the incident. [bctt tweet=”#BloggerBlackmail how it hurts everyone! Learn how to avoid it. #bloggers “]
What went wrong?
I think both parties could have handled the situation a lot better. You may tend to side with one person or other (that’s ok), but here is what I feel.
Did the blogger mean to blackmail?
No, but she forgot to clearly define what she needed to complete her full review. That should have been outlined in emails before ever stepping foot in the bakery. You want to avoid all surprises.
Is it ok to demand free product?
No! You may ask, but that is totally up to the business. Blogger should have calmly stated reasons why she needed more (aka to have a better review or be able to provide more pictures). If that fails, just politely accept what’s offered, and do the review on what is offered.
Should I leave a negative review?
Yes, but only if the situation warrants it, and not because you did not get enough compensation. You want to provide your honest opinion. If you don’t, you will lose readers. But there is no reason to be nasty about it.
So how do we avoid all of this?
Here are a few of my tips to avoid Blogger Blackmail. I worked eight years as a retail manager, so I know these tips would work well for any business.
- Be very specific when contacting companies regarding what you need to complete review.
- Do NOT Demand ANYTHING (Being nice always gets better results.)
- Always Suggest~ Use terms like ‘This would help me, I want to make this best review possible,’ and other positive terms.
- Ask questions before you agree to review.
- Schedule time for Blogger to come when you are there. (You need to represent you, and not staff.)
- Be prepared you might need to provide a little more than originally planned on.
- Work as Team with blogger.
How blogger blackmail hurts all bloggers?
Very simply put businesses would stop providing any products, and no longer give any support to us. Blogging could even become taboo. Imagine being the business owner who has been burnt even once. Do you think the will welcome you with open arms? No, they are liable to shut the door in your face. Plus all this negativity can put a hamper on all your writing.
How Blogger Blackmail hurts businesses?
One way is it may force a business to put up more than they can afford. Even though a business may look like it is thriving, overhead is a killer. Between payroll, insurance, taxes, product costs, advertising, rent, supplies, theft, and order minimums are just a few of the many costs of being in business. A lot of small businesses simply can not afford to give a lot for free. They do have strict budgets. Let say you do get into an online battle. Not only will it hurt your reputation (even if you are justified), but it takes time from more important things.
Now a little bit about receiving free products in review…
I did see a lot of people complain about this. They believe a blogger can not provide an honest opinion with a free product. I have mixed emotions about this… On the one hand, it can sway a review… On the other hand, blogging is not cheap… I have not received any free products to review yet. I do know that I will still express my honest opinion at all times, even if I have to decline products. I will never commit blogger blackmail. I want to have my readers trust.
So I would love some honest comments on Blogger Blackmail. What do you think? Any other tips? Has this happened to you?
But I do request they have no profanity.