It took me a longgggg time before I felt comfortable saying “No”. You see, I’m a people pleaser by nature and felt bad telling someone that I couldn’t do something they asked – both in life and blogging. When I first started blogging, I said “yes” to pretty much everything. Let’s just say I featured some pretty strange products at times. I was also extremely backed up and sometimes would have to write up to three product reviews a day just to keep up. This was back when my blog was mainly reviews and giveaways. I’ve since rebranded to a food/lifestyle blog.
I made BIG mistakes because of my difficulty to say no. I think back at some of the stuff I did and shudder at my naiveté. Let’s just say I wrote blog posts for nothing in return – just because the people asked me to! Now, I see the errors of my ways, but back then, I really had no idea what I was doing.
I started to shift my thinking in 2014. It began with some hard decisions of letting go some long-time review contributors. Feelings were hurt and I was unfriended sadly. However, it was a business move and nothing personal. I decided to put my business first and had to act accordingly.
I’ve gotten much better at saying no to people. I turn down opportunities weekly. I no longer have the mindset of doing people a favour by taking a low paying (or no paying) post opportunity. I have a business to run, bills and people to pay, mouthes to feed, so it’s just not in my business model anymore.
Last year, I declined pretty much every post that paid in product save for a few. I’m a sucker for subscription boxes. They are my weakness. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work for product. It’s just not for me anymore. I’ve reached that point where I feel I’d rather focus my efforts on either paying posts or creating evergreen content for my site. When the product review requests come in, I politely decline telling them that I’m not currently accepting reviews. Most everyone has been understanding.
The same goes for low paying posts. I’m getting more comfortable walking away from money if I feel it’s not enough for the amount of work required. I still sometimes think, “But it’s still MONEY”. I try to push that voice inside my head aside and continue to move forward.
In 2018, I’m going to continue on this path taking it even a step further. No exceptions. I’m not going to take lowball offers for posts. I’m not going to get screwed on exclusivity clauses that don’t compensate fairly. I’m going to make room in my schedule for projects that excite me. If it’s not a fit, I’m not doing it. I might make less money…maybe. Or perhaps, I’ll make more? Who knows. I’m leaving the door open for opportunity and waiting to see what comes in.
2018 is the year of NO. Know your worth. Value your time. Don’t be scared to turn things down if they aren’t a fit or don’t pay well. It’s your blog so do what is right for you.