"Say money" a painting by Jsandquist
I am often approached through email by wedding websites and etsy related blogs. The spiel is usually the same, "We love your work! It's so amazing and perfect for our website! We would love to feature you . . . the cost is only $20.00 a month." This is usually where I sigh, close the email and turn to other tasks. Why do I think that "paying for press" is not only a bad idea, but also kind of, glup, wrong?
First of all let's talk about the guidelines I set for my business way back when when I started up. I thought long and hard about what I would and wouldn't do, for instance, I won't get involved with a website or business that hasn't launched yet. I won't pay more than 75.00 for a first year craft show that has no proven attendance. The list goes on down to the miniscule, but on that list you can find - I won't pay to have anyone write about, or feature, my work.
I firmly believe that press always should be free. If my work/products are interesting and of a high quality, people will write about it. They will blog away, I will be featured on the front page and gift guides of etsy, and be "item of the hour" on Artfire, all without having to do one thing - all which really happened to me. If your business is based on your art or craft, your main concern really should be just that. Make amazing things with all your heart, for the sake of it, and the rest falls into place.
Plus, something really rubs be the wrong way about someone writing a phony positive article about me just because I paid them to. I'm not sure if I would have the stomach to read it.
I suppose it all boils down to one bottom line. Legit businesses who want to work with you will either be free, or will be paying YOU for your hard work. If someone is asking you for money, especially online, try to put aside the initial excitement of reading about how wonderful they think your work is and think long and hard about what you would be receiving for your hard earned money.
Either way, I'm sure that a LOT of people don't agree with me, and I'd love to hear from people who received offers like the ones I mentioned and turned them down, as well as ones who went for it. So, paying for press, would you?