I just want to get this out of the way because it's been bothering me all day.
As you know I handle PR and marketing for a few clients. When I first started approaching top fashion bloggers to collaborate with, I was a little taken aback by the fact that they ask to be paid just to have my brand worn or mentioned on their blog. I've been blogging for almost a decade and I have not yet subscribed to that business model, although I've done a few paid months-long campaigns for different brands in the past. Campaigns, I believe, are not the same as paid mentions.
But I do understand where the fashion bloggers are coming from. I am well aware that blogs take A LOT of time and resources to run. Blogs at a certain level are raking in hundreds of thousands of views; just being mentioned there can be the boost a business needs. Naturally, it ain't free. It shouldn't be free because the brand is basically asking the blogger to work for it.
I've made peace with that a long time ago, really, so it's not an issue for me. Work is work. An ad is an ad. You take advantage of what I have, and I take advantage of what you have so that everybody wins.
What makes me feel bad is when a business asks me to work for them as a blogger, but is not willing to compensate me for it. There are exceptions of course - such as, if I really, really like the brand/people and the project won't take me much time. As a general rule, I know what my time is worth and the price tag is out there. If you're not willing to pay it, then we'll part as friends. It's not personal, never was. But if you try to force the issue, then it will be awkward. :(
Actually, roughly 97% of posts on Project Vanity are not sponsored (out of the 1,860 ones out here). I still haven't gotten around to asking a fee for every product mention, because frankly I'm not that popular anyway. :P I blog because it's fun. That doesn't mean I don't accept work when it comes along, okay, it only means that I take work where my talents are respected.
That's all I want to say really. I feel so much better.