If Men Ruled the Blogosphere Would They Work For Free Like Women Do?

If Men Ruled the Blogosphere Would They Work For Free Like Women Do? | Thoughts on the subject by Not Dressed As Lamb (featured: Silver Londoner, over 40 men's fashion)

“Oh we can’t pay you, but we’ll give you plenty of exposure”. This is heard so often by bloggers that we’d be buried under a mountain of coins if we had a proverbial pound for every time we heard someone say that to us.

But before I wind anyone up in a “Oh get over yourself you freebie-grabbing freeloader” way (because you know, haters gonna hate), I just want to say that this post is purely speculative: it was just a thought that randomly popped into my head this week. And that’s what these Saturday Share posts are all about: sharing what I’ve been thinking about this week – good and bad!

So therein lies the question: Would men jump at the chance to give up their time and promote a brand to their hard-earned followers… for free? For no payment?

I simply wondered if it’s a female trait to not think to ask for money for the above. Are we too polite? Are we too eager to please? Or is it simply not in our nature to associate something we love doing [as a hobby] with monetary payment?

The perks of blogging

The perks of being a blogger are great, don’t get me wrong: We get invited to wonderful events and swanky lunches. We get sent free gifts. We get offered free meals, free travel or free spa treatments and experiences.

However all those events and invitations come with a downside: They eat into our free time when we’re meant to be relaxing with family and friends. Or they eat into our working week if we blog full time, or we have to take leave from our day jobs. Sometimes we have to pay taxes on the free gifts, so they become something we have to actually pay FOR. And of course as I always say, jewellery is nice but it don’t pay the bills.

(Bloggers may get a lot of perks but we don’t get the perks of a full time job like paid leave, pension contributions, bonuses or healthcare cover. Nor do we get redundancy money if we’re forced to swap careers and go do something else. So: swings and roundabouts.)

I also wondered whether it’s a female trait to please people? Do we feel obliged to offer PR, time and free advertising to a company when THEY chose to give US a gift (their choice, remember)?

As a full-time blogger myself I know all about the awkwardness of asking for payment. When I first went full-time I was unsure what to charge, and when I look back now I was woefully undercharging considering my stats, my status and my “position” in the blogosphere. Not many bloggers (that I knew) were charging for guaranteed coverage, so to find out what, who and how I should be charging was very difficult*.

What would a man do…

However had I been a man, would I have found it less intimidating to ask a PR what sort of budget they had?

A lot depends on the type of person you are, of course. There are just as many men who’d be afraid to ask for payment as there are women who wouldn’t hesitate to get straight to the point and ask.

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But if MEN ruled the blogosphere as the dominant gender would they happily work for free? Would they be more than willing to post three Instagram photos, publish several Stories and write one blog post promoting a brand’s products in exchange for a nice (albeit Instagrammable) lunch that they had to pay to travel to?

I personally think that women are more swayed by the sociable aspect and the chance to receive something pretty, or something that makes us LOOK pretty (clothes/shoes/makeup) etc. I think they like the way these products or these experiences enrich their lives… I know I do.

But would men be swayed I wonder? It does beg another question: Would brands ask men to work for free if they ruled the blogosphere…?!



*If anyone is stuck as to what to charge brands – many of them ask bloggers for their rates these days – I’d be happy to help. Let me know your social follower numbers and blog stats plus typical engagement (number of likes, comments, etc. for both)… Just drop me an email!

Photo: Silver Londoner

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So all that’s left to say is – I’ve shared my thoughts/stories/tuppence-worth this week, now it’s time to share yours… LET’S GET THIS [LINK UP] PARTY STARTED!

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  1. 13 May 2018 / 10:53 am

    very interesting question! I think that companies are always trying to get something out of us, from all bloggers (both men and women) but maybe you are right that it is in female nature to be more eager to make every happy , which can result in being less assertive. This can translate to blogging as well.

    • catherine
      14 May 2018 / 5:21 pm

      You’re right I think that it results in women being less assertive overall, Ivana. It’s in our nature to please (and while I hate to generalise), I honestly don’t think men do this as much. Food for thought!

  2. 8 May 2018 / 12:26 pm

    Well I suppose men would also accept freebies, just different products like car stuff and It. But in total? No. I do not think that many would let themselves be so easily intimidated. But they got their issues as well….Thanks for hosting. Have already tweeted but will tweet slightly different later and share hashtag on Insta. xo Sabina

    PS: Bummer about the Model search.

  3. 6 May 2018 / 11:43 pm

    I blog for free. It is a hobby for me. Something to relieve stress in my day. That is the way I look it. It also something where I can be creative and not care what anyone thinks. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you had a wonderful weekend.

  4. 6 May 2018 / 3:16 am

    This is a great question. I am always taken aback by the amount of companies who reach out with the idea that their free products are or exposure are worth all the time it takes to create content. Thanks for the link up 🙂
    Xx, Nailil

  5. 5 May 2018 / 9:27 pm

    Good question 😉 For me today it’s fun; it’s experimental … I have no stress, no pressure as I have a job to pay the bill. Now if this would be my main source of income I would probably have a totally different view on blogging 😉

    Enjoy a great sunny week-end 😉

  6. Vicki
    5 May 2018 / 6:58 pm

    My son, at age 23, says that men absolutely would promote stuff for free if they were promised exposure. It is amazing what is done for free for him. He works with EDM music promoters/ music label owners who are almost all male. They are cross promoting each other’s music for free in order to expand their reach and happily accept promotion in lieu of money. Some do, I note, pay music bloggers for promotion sometimes, though it is considered somewhat unethical and they would not want that known. It is considered more ethical to pay a blogger for feedback. Without the exposure, he feels some would still do it but a lot would not. Different business, but the challenges frequently seem to be similar.

  7. 5 May 2018 / 5:29 pm

    Brilliant topic, Catherine, and I’ll tell you the answer would be a most emphatic no if it were my husband. He is always urging me to also consider the financial aspect of things, stressing that if I do not peg a value to my services, how are brands and agencies to do the same? If I do not respect that my skills and abilities have a value, no one else will see it either. And he has a valid point. I’ve been consciously trying to do that, and turning down most jobs because there is no monetary compensation. I hope to reach a point whereby I can stop working full-time and write for the blog all day. Well, not all day but I know you know what I mean 🙂 xoxo

  8. 5 May 2018 / 11:25 am

    This is a really interesting point, I do think it would likely be a whole different ball game were it a male dominated industry to be honest. Most brands don’t even bother to read my blog or in some cases use my name when they contact me, and the “exposure” game is such a farce in most cases and yet so many bloggers fall for it.

  9. 5 May 2018 / 11:04 am

    M’en would blog for free tickets to sports events and only work for free if they received large-screen TVs and beer! But I guarantee a man would never do the « bashful pigeon -toed » pose! Lol!! Fun food for thought!!!!!

  10. 5 May 2018 / 12:34 am

    What an interesting post! I know my husband wouldn’t work for free if he knows he can get paid for it. On the other hand, I may be hesitant to bring up the monetary talk. I actually am very happy for those full time blogger that can make this blogging gig work. That means to small bloggers like myself that there is hope to do the same. On the other side, I am also happy to know that blogging can be fun and doesn’t have to be full time if I couldn’t quite make myself social media famous! So yes, very interesting thought indeed especially there isn’t one or two answers.


  11. Jodie
    4 May 2018 / 11:08 pm

    It’s always such an interesting question. I know when I first started, you certainly do it for the perks because you need the experience. Once that’s under your belt, there is the issue of knowing what to charge and what to expect. Maybe that could be a wonderful future blog post…especially the expecations???
    And in my hubby’s case—if he got free food—he’d be all over it…haha!!!

  12. Lynda
    4 May 2018 / 10:56 pm

    A couple of thoughts:
    1. If a blog is one’s business, then a blogger absolutely should expect payment. After all, the businesses trying to work with the blogger aren’t expecting to give away their products for free, so why should the blogger?

    2. As a 50+ year old engineer, my perspective on the “are we women too nice, polite, etc.?” question is if we are, that’s partly due to how people respond to us. Being nice and accommodating is still often what’s expected, and if we do/say something that challenges that, we may get a negative response. For me, that means that insisting on payment is not something I would do easily or naturally, but would spend time beforehand choosing my words carefully and preparing to deal with push back.

    Thank you Catherine, for posting this!


  13. 4 May 2018 / 10:40 pm

    I actually stopped my regular collaborations, I just want to have fun with my blog, no restrictions!

  14. 4 May 2018 / 9:58 pm

    I’m in the same boat as Sarah and Shelbee blog-wise. And you raise a really important point about placing a value on what we do, Catherine. Thanks for hosting and for your interesting posts.

    • catherine
      5 May 2018 / 2:46 pm

      Knowing what you’re worth is SO important, you’re absolutely right Darlene!!

  15. 4 May 2018 / 9:53 pm

    I love your engaging weekend posts, Catherine. As you touch on, I like the social side to blogging and the actual writing bit is something that fills a need in me. I don’t earn anything but there again, I don’t promote anything! Hubby says he’d blog for free, but being retired we’re neither of us your target demographic for this question I guess. So I’ll wish you a happy weekend and make a hasty exit! Hugs, x

    • catherine
      5 May 2018 / 2:45 pm

      Mary I’m so glad you’re enjoying them, thank you!

      The question is very much geared towards bloggers who are asked to promote brands and work for them – I think it’s fabulous that we still have hobby bloggers, that’s how mine started out (it’s what I love doing even after 7 years)!

  16. 4 May 2018 / 8:14 pm

    Such great points, Catherine! Makes me wonder, too. I am still waiting for my blogging job to actually pay some bills!


    • catherine
      5 May 2018 / 2:40 pm

      Keep at it Shelbee – it took me years to even start charging…!

  17. 4 May 2018 / 8:13 pm

    It’s a good point Catherine. I haven’t got near to this point yet with my blog…I’m just hugely excited when 8 get some positive feedback from a fellow or two I do agree tho that we women tend to sell ourselves short. I could go on and on about gender equality but I won’t Thanks again for your share up opportunity
    . Enjoy your weekend ❤️

    • catherine
      5 May 2018 / 2:37 pm

      It definitely brings up all sorts of other discussions, doesn’t it Sarah?! x

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