How About We Quit Handing Out Free Ads?

Free saleIf you deal with brands and their Public Relations (PR) companies for any length of time, you will find that you get a lot of requests for essentially free advertising. For example, a store might ask that you post about their upcoming sale, a brand might want you to promote their latest tour, or a magazine might ask you to cover their current issue. These all differ from the standard product pitches where, should you choose to to review the product, you at least are left with a free sample and hopefully have the ability to further monetize the material through affiliate links and advertising income derived from search traffic. When pure promotion is sought, you generally receive nothing in return and, unless you are an affiliate who can effectively monetize the promotion, you are unlikely to see any monetary gain, since traffic from such material tends to be short lived.

I never have been one to run such free ads. Occasionally I might cover something local that I plan to attend, and I certainly cover promotions that I can monetize because I am an affiliate, but otherwise, I am not keen on promoting items that realistically should be paying for advertising. Yet, I see many blogs running these sorts of items. I suggest that doing so dilutes the meaningful material on your site, provides you with little gain, and allows brands to essentially take advantage of you.  Why would a brand ever buy an ad on your site if they know that you will always give them the equivalent of a sponsored post for free?

Perhaps your response is that your readers like the information and the posts are easy to write. But consider this: Won’t your readers also like the information that you give them about a cool free gift with purchase that  you can monetize with an affiliate link?  Or how about a sale notice for a product that know will convert well in one of your affiliate programs? Perhaps you should run one of those instead if the goal is to fill blog space with easy posts. My point is that there are plenty of sources for easy filler material that you can actually monetize in place of running free ads for brands. I’m also pretty sure that your readers really won’t miss those ads.

Now consider this alternative: How about asking for payment?

Lately, as a response to the increasing number of emails I receive seeking free promotion, I have taken to sending the following reply:


For a variety of reasons, Beauty and Fashion Tech and Girl Gloss no longer post sale or promotion notices and no longer do reviews of retail or online stores or products sent by stores. However, we do offer various forms of advertising and/or sponsored or advertorial posts. Advertising information is available here:
Our product review policy is here:


My thought and hope is that this starts lessening my junk email while potentially increasing ad sales.

Have you ever considered the effect it would have on blogging income if everyone did the same?

Photo Credit: Tim Parkinson


  1. I look forward to watching your new site evolve and learning from you! I eagerly signed up for your email list and will be encouraging my web-building friends to do the same. I always appreciate your great advice. Thanks for doing this!

  2. I think this really needed to be said, Carleen. A sign that your blog is becoming well-known and successful is when a continual stream of email offers cross your desk. It’s hard to know whether or not to accept their offers, and provide free advertising, or how to turn them down. I really appreciated your suggestions and have acted on them.

  3. Thanks ladies! I hope I can provide some useful material to people here. Plus I like being able to write on this stuff from time to time!

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