Free Products are Fine But We Sign Paychecks


Hi, and welcome to my first blog post as part of the Ahalogy team. I’m so glad to be here! As a little introduction, my name is Hannah Hardin. By day, I am an Influencer Relations Specialist, and by night, I am a content creator. I’ve been blogging since 2014 and have had the opportunity to see this industry grow and adapt over the years. I’m lucky enough to have experience as an influencer working with brands but also on the business side of the industry, working with and helping other content creators every day. Since I’ve seen both sides, I’d love to share with you my top three tips on how to understand your worth and stop taking free products for exposure.

How many times have you been offered free products in return for content creation or social shares? Or offered an amount well beneath what you are traditionally paid? Influencers, it’s time to stand up for yourself, prove your worth, and fight for fair payment. Stop taking free products from brands and start utilizing your blog to generate a meaningful income. Unlike many influencer networks, ALL Ahalogy campaigns are paid because as an influencer marketing company—we value and respect your ability to create quality content. You are just as much our clients as the brands we work with. Without you, we wouldn’t be successful. 


Know Your Worth

If you’re reading this, chances are you have a blog or an online presence that generates income. The most important thing you can do for yourself and your personal brand is to know your worth. When you know your worth, you’re able to confidently communicate with brands or influencer networks to discuss your rates for content creation and beyond. If you’re struggling to understand your worth, take a moment and remember why you started your blog. Did you have a passion for a topic that you wanted to share with people? Was there not a prominent voice in an industry that really needed one? Maybe you love your hometown and want to share all the best places with people who visit. Whatever the reason, there is value and worth behind your words and the content you create.


Stop Taking Free Products in Exchange for Exposure

*This specifically points to exchanging free products in exchange for one or multiple posts. Accepting products without promising any posting is a completely different story, but it needs to be articulated with the brand before it’s sent.

You are worth more than a free product. The watch you were sent for free, while super cute, is likely less than the amount you could have been paid for that social share! If you’re reading this and are stuck in a cycle of accepting free products, maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy. When you accept a free product, you’re insinuating to the brand that there are bloggers who will work for free, when instead, you could be educating them on how they can benefit from sponsoring your post as well as the value you can bring to their brand. If you are having trouble understanding how to charge a brand, it’s time to sit down and make a payment game plan. Ask yourself these questions: How much time does it take you from start to finish to create content for a brand? Do you have to hire a professional photographer? How long does it take to write copy for a blog post? Do you need to edit your photos? Is the brand asking for specific copy and tags? Etc. There are SO MANY questions to ask yourself when figuring out your pricing but when you take the time to answer these questions, it’s easier to formulate them into a fair rate. Oh, and don’t forget to add tax!


Fight For Fair Payment

One thing I love about Ahalogy is that we ask you to provide your rates when applying for the network. There is no awkward email exchange asking you to lower your rates or accept free products. We understand and value the time creators put into working on a campaign. As long as your Muse profile is up-to-date, you’ll never have to worry about negotiating your rate when working on an Ahalogy campaign. If you are working with a brand outside of our network, negotiation is key! Share a price range with the brand and share how different factors (photos, specific copy on posts, etc.) can determine the final rate.

Gone are the days of accepting free products. It’s time to shift your mindset about blogging and understand your brilliantly written copy and stunning photos are worth more than a free product. Once you understand your worth, stop accepting free products, and learn how to fight for a fair rate, your whole business will change. 

If you’re not already part of the Ahalogy Sponsored Content Program, follow this link to register. Or, if you’re looking for more guidance or advice on how to fairly set your compensation rate or need help filling out your rates in your Muse profile, you can email me directly at!

We’d love to hear from you!

What are your thoughts on accepting free products? Tell us in the comments below.


About the Author  |  Hannah Hardin, Influencer Relations Specialist

As an Influencer Relations Specialist at Ahalogy, Hannah builds, manages, and maintains relationships with digital content creators.