When I received a pitch from a popular beauty supply company, I was elated. A lifestyle blog I started in 2012 was finally “going somewhere.” After all, I told myself, bloggers are influencers. I jumped at the opportunity to test a product. The company shipped me a $200 blow dryer to test and keep, free of charge. All I had to do in return was share my opinion in a blog post.
It wasn’t until after I received the package that I discovered the review would not be completely my own. The next morning, an email arrived in my inbox, leaden with key words, talking points and links that the company “highly preferred” that I include in my content. Unclear communication and unexplained expectations turned the partnership into a negative experience.