Thursday, February 16, 2012

Exploiting Bloggers..

Recently many corporations has found out about the potential of blogs in promoting their products. Blogs can be effective in sending a message out and enhancing the brand value by mouth to mouth publicity. So many of them organizes meets and contests for bloggers, making them write posts about their products. The publicity that blogs   give for their products may be worth thousands or even millions, but mostly what the blogger gets is a pittance. A lunch for a meet or a consolation price. I have seen many sites offering money for writing about products. Most of them are American and European sites. In India, this trend has not caught up yet it seems. Though I have seen many who condemns it, I personally feel there is nothing wrong in doing it provided it is mentioned in the post that the blogger has received a remuneration for his service. But I had received some offers by mail where the promoters wants it cheap. I will reproduce one such email conversation below. I wanted to get the promoter's final response before posting it, but I don't think he will reply me. If any reply come I will update it later. 

The First Mail:

Hi Harish,

This is about the bollywood film brought about by ***** – the first ever bollywood film auditioned on facebook. You have been approached because your blog fits into our consideration set of auto / gadget / film / youth category. We would like to reach out to our target audience through your blog.
This is an example of how everyday people like you and me were given an opportunity to star alongside one of the bollywood heart throbs – ***** . Shooting of this project is complete and the film is scheduled to release within the next 1 month.
If you are interested in covering the story, please get in touch with me. We would provide images and teaser videos to go along with the content. We could also discuss benefits for you and your readers.


My Reply:

Hi *****,

Thanks for considering my blog for your requirement. If what I know is

right, this is not a regular feature film, right? It is a short movie.

If I am promoting it in my blog what is in it for me?


His Reply:

Hi Harish,
Yes, it is a short film, first of its kind in Bollywood.

What’s in it for you? 
 ****’s PR mechanism is working full time to ensure that the ******* gets a super duper release. This film is a world’s first, first time that a bollywood film was auditioned on faceboook, first time that many aspiring middle class youth got an opportunity to act in mainstream cinema and experience the whole process of movie-making first-hand – this campaign will not only help ***** to promote the contest and itself but it will also help you to get a better visibility and search ranking.

As a token of appreciation we would like to offer merchandise like T-shirts for you and your readers. Additionally, we can offer limited number of premiere passes for you (depending on availability) and first hand updates, pics and the rest!

Please note that we will also be releasing an official trailer for the movie in the coming weeks.
My Reply ( The Final One):

Hi *****, 

I have a problem in doing it. One thing is that it is backed by ***** and ******, heavy duty PR works spending lakhs of rupees are going on and you want me to put a promotion in my blog free of cost. I am not interested in your T shirts or passes. Second thing is your assurance that I will get more visibility and search ranking which is just a hoax. If I want more visits, I have lot more better options than this. 

You guys are exploiting bloggers by luring them into doing thousands of rupees worth of promotional activities for a pittance.
I would have done a free promotion if a groundbreaking movie was made by a bunch of struggling movie aspirants with no money to spare for  promotion. Just out of my passion for movies... But not for a big corporation trying to promote its business using its brand ambassador. Definitely not for free. 

Get me an offer that I cannot resist or count me out...
I am still waiting for his reply.... 


  1. Well I guess you did the right thing if you are not happy with the remuneration.

    But I would say congrats that your blog got picked up for something like this , shows your blog is being read by lots of people ..

    I doubt if they will send you a offer as you said it was to be free for them and now they will need to shell out some money..

    All the best


  2. You sure got them by the B@##$...I see this a lot too. Online magazines write in asking for article contributions...nothing in it for the bloggers as they say 'they are making you famous' and when you fall into that trap and say yes they say 'no previously written blogs will do, write a fresh one on this and this theme & word count'. Article my foot. Happy blogging did just the right thing!!!

  3. "Conscientious Reflections" has been included in this weeks A Sunday Drive. I hope this helps to attract even more new visitors here.

  4. You know I have no problems in promoting a NGO or a social cause for free. Even I get mails but my problem is entirely different. I am a poetry blogger and I will not post anything commercial unless that is connected with my work. Also, I feel if there should be different compensation for different bloggers. Few months back a company approached me but they were offering same money to everyone, which according to me is not professional.

    BTW, I wish for the day when Bloggers can get some money...I haven't earned a single penny till date...:(

  5. It'll be interesting if you get a reply, haha. The positive: Wow, your blog is definitely out there :D That's very awesome! As a relatively new blogger who blogs for fun, I'd be happy with coverage and merchandise. But I understand your perspective! It's like taking the blogosphere for granted. Especially since it's film shoot.

  6. Hi, my comment was not published??

    Yes, you have a point there... We bloggers are happy to get a free sample or a pass.. it comes dirt cheap to the company and we publicize so many products without realizing our own reach.

    Good you stood up for it.