Why It’s Ok to Say No as a Blogger

Boston Back Bay Station, Ann Taylor Pom Pom Scarf - Why It's Ok to Say No as a Blogger featured by popular DC blogger Alicia Tenise

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It’s been a little quieter than normal here on the blog, and I apologize for that. The big move right before traveling for the 4th of July holiday threw me off. I’m finally going to be at home all week, and I’ll have the chance to catch up on projects/content production — woohoo!

Anyway, today I wanted to chat about why it’s ok to say no to things as a blogger. Whether you’re just starting out or if you’ve been blogging for a while, there are a lot of partnerships out there that might not be a fit. And it’s ok to just straight up say no in these instances.

I just took on a partnership very recently that wasn’t a fit. I had been in talks with a PR company for weeks, and they dropped a bombshell on me at the very last minute that would mean I couldn’t produce high-quality visuals for the partnership. Rather than bailing a week before the experience, I thought it would be the professional thing to honor my word and still go on the experience — but boy, I was wrong. I spent an entire weekend on this project and because of the way the event was set up, I got very little visual content I could end up using. It was a waste of my time, their time, and some loved one’s time all around, and it’s a partnership I regret taking on.

Here are some reasons why it’s okay to say no to that partnership
Why It's Ok to Say No as a Blogger featured by popular DC blogger Alicia Tenise

It’s Not Mutually Beneficial

For the most part, I won’t work on a trade basis. I used to work for product quite often when I first started blogging, but now that I do this full-time and this is how I pay my rent and loans, I focus on the projects that will earn revenue. Occasionally, I’ll partner on a trade if I think it would make for really awesome content (ex. I do an even mix of paid and unpaid travel partnerships), but it’s just not worth it most times. 

If you’re just starting out, I think trades are perfectly ok — as long as it is mutually beneficial. If you’re required to feature a gifted product or experience, think of these things: does it need to be professionally photographed? Will you need to pay for photography costs? Are there gas/Uber costs to head to the experience or shoot? What scope of work are asking for? Sometimes, when I consider the time spent and costs involved with producing content for a trade, I realize that I’m spending more on producing content for the project than the product/experience is worth. No bueno!

Why It's Ok to Say No as a Blogger featured by popular DC blogger Alicia Tenise

You Don’t Have the Bandwidth to Complete It

I’m a full-time blogger now, so often times I can complete a last-minute campaign. However, when I was working my 9-5? It was rare that I would have the time to book a photographer on short notice and produce something in a small time frame. That is not something you can beat yourself up for!

Not to mention, in busy seasons like the holidays, we’re all working with a limited window of time. Campaigns book quickly during those busy seasons, so keep an eye out on your edit calendar,  monitor the number of collabs you’re taking on, and really take the time to figure out if you’re able to produce quality content for a brand during a busy season.

It Doesn’t Excite You

Ah. I’m 100% guilty of doing this in the past. I’ve been approached by brands that I absolutely love in the past for campaigns. However, sometimes those brands will have very specific terms for a collaboration — that might not fit your style. For example, I’ve had some larger brands only want to gift product just to “test the waters,” or there might be some crazy content requirements during a campaign. I’ve even done a campaign with a major brand that love that didn’t allow me to wear color and prints in any of the photos for the campaign. And if you know me, you know that 90% of my wardrobe is color and print!

You might be in love with a brand or it might be a project that is paying well. That doesn’t mean it’s the right fit. If you’re not excited to produce content for a campaign, I’d bow out. I’ve accepted collabs that I wasn’t super stoked about, and was miserable throughout the entire experience — which is never a good look!

How do you determine if it’s ok to say no to a campaign? 

Photos by Tom McGovern

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