August 4, 2010 | life


Do me a favour – don’t email me asking to blog for you in return for fresh air. You’re not the first and you surely won’t be the last to have the nerve to send these emails about how it’ll be great ‘promotion’ and give me wonderful ‘exposure’.

I think I’m doing alright on the exposure front, thank you. I mean, I’m exposed enough for you to have even found me in the first place, right? And while I’m sure you have the best will in the world, ‘promotion’ and ‘exposure’ don’t pay the rent or buy me shoes. At least be honest: you approached me because you like what I’ve got and you want some of it.

Nowhere but in the creative industries do people get away with this bollocks. I can’t ask an accountant to do my taxes and say I won’t pay him, but the honour of him working for me will give him great exposure.

I had an email recently from a start-up magazine, gushing about how much they love my blog, saying how they think there’s a special place in the magazine for me, they’d love me to do a column – in return they’d just want some promotion on my blog. So, let me get this straight: I get to spend my time writing for you and in return, I get the privilege of promoting you on my site? Get the f**k outta here!

You approach me because you see that my site is doing fairly well. You have placed a value on it. Don’t be surprised to discover that I value myself. Yes, you’re damn right, I will reply to your email with my rates and nothing else. When you want to get serious, feel free to contact me again.

See, you have no idea what has gone into this. I have spent years building this up. I spent my whole university life doing work placements here, there and everywhere for free. I moved to New York when I was 22 and spent a cold winter running all over Manhattan returning clothes from magazine shoots to fashion PRs to try to prove that I was somehow worthy. I have worked for an absolute pittance that I had to fight tooth and nail for. I have done jobs that I absolutely loathed, that had nothing to do with my overall career plan, just so I could keep a roof over my head in the hope that I could keep writing and eventually someone would be moved by my words. I started this blog with literally nothing and have spent two and a half years working tirelessly on my style, fighting for every reader, every page view like my life depended on it. I still work a 9-5 and come home and work 6-midnight on my blog because I have a readership who I love and don’t want to let down. I’m frikkin’ exhausted, but I’m building something here. I’m building my Field of Dreams and I’m doing what it takes for me to get there.


You don’t understand the blood (paper cuts are a bitch), sweat (YOU try blogging in a tiny bedroom in Toronto in high summer with no air con) and tears (oh, the tears) that go into this.

It’s only now, at 29 years of age, that I have a 9-5 that I love (writing) that actually pays me – and even then I only scrape by. I have MORE THAN paid my dues. So, excuse me if I don’t value your ‘promotion’ or ‘exposure’. And pardon me if I consider it to be a complete fucking insult to me and bloggers, artists and creatives everywhere that you think it’s even acceptable to send such condescending emails that completely ignore the fact that we’ve spent years ‘promoting’ and ‘exposing’ ourselves, just for you to try to leech off it.

I value myself, my talent and what I’ve built here too much to let you degrade it with this foolishness. Get a budget or find some other way of paying me (but even mention the words ‘promotion’ or ‘exposure’ and expect to get round house kicked in the balls) or just don’t bother.

Thank you and goodnight!

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Love you! There must be something in the internet air, because I’m getting a few of this sort of thing too recently.

(Incidentally, a front snap kick is a much more efficient way of injuring the groin. Roundhouse kicks are for kidneys).

The Jaded NYer

*stands up and begins a slow clap that morphs into a thunderous applause from under-appreciated creatives everywhere*


Emma Bearman

Having been a recipient of *that* email and many more (including a vacuum cleaning website?) I could not believe the nerve of that particular *social media* agency, who are employed on behalf of a commercial concern had sent out a blanket email to most of the cultural/arts/fashion/lifestyle bloggers in our city. If you didn’t get the invitation (as a carefully handpicked selection of people) then you soon knew as all of twitter was up in arms yesterday. What a backfire! Firstly a quick check of the website I curate would suggest that in some way I may consider this invitation a duplication of efforts, or a distillation of my years of bloody hard work, a second check should have taken this person to twitter to follow us and make conversation and build a relationship. Finally the irksome bullshit of their statistics, claiming 10,000 hits already with only three blog posts ever! Compare this with the relationship Bangs and I have developed, Bangs writes terrific theatre reviews for us, for nothing but lots of appreciation and free tickets…that’s a payment I assume works for the time being, but I’d never take any of our bloggers for granted, and also our website is totally grassroots with no form of commercial backing (not that I disapprove of commerce btw!) In return when Bangs asks me to write for her then I’m there! That’s called a relationship not exploitation. I now get off my soapbox. Good day to all you fine readers!


This is so true. You have paid your dues long ago and I believe creatives need to value themselves and say they need payment at somepoint (especially once they’ve proven themselves) as you have, otherwise you’ll always be working for free. I decided in 2007 that although I’d had the odd job here and there I would not direct for free unless it was for a charity or had incentives similar to the work you do where you receive comps. Well done Bangs.


Oh and once you make that decision, funnily enough you get paid work!


I love this post and I love you. You said it. Beautifully.

I was also on the receiving end of the email that got so many Leeds bloggers all riled up yesterday. As a writer who specialises in online content, I was astonished that a social media agency deemed it appropriate to blanket email bloggers that way – the core of social media communication is building relationships. Like Emma above me says, if the company in question had taken the time to add me on Twitter, chat to me, learn my name and THEN contact me asking for my skill in return for nothing, I would’ve been much more receptive to the idea. I’d still probably turn them down, but this shit storm wouldn’t exist.

In my opinion, there are lots of people outside the creative industry who do not appreciate it. If you’ve mastered the physical act of writing, hey – you’re a writer! That’s an attitude I experience daily, and it makes it near impossible to command any kind of respect for the work I do.

I wonder how young writers, those just starting out and desperate for exposure of any kind, feel about this? It’d be interesting to hear from them. If you have a talent, no matter how young or inexperienced you are, you should value it and yourself. Yes, it’s important to get your name out there, and no you shouldn’t expect payment for every single word you write, but if you feel your skill is being exploited then stand up for yourself. Your fellow writers and future employers will respect you for it.


How very sadly true your blog is – enjoyed it tremendously.


Great article. Not a blogger myself (yet), I recognise that there are those of you who do it better, so until I venture into it, I’ll stick to fighting the good fight in brochures, ads and other peoples’ sites.

The devaluing thing is a problem in general though – too many people equate a cost to the time it takes to type the copy, without considering the blood, sweat and tears you mention 🙁


Very well put,

I haven’t been on the recieving end of this kind of thing, but I can imagine the emails the more seasoned and popular bloggers get hassle from companies wanting something for literally nothing.


Well said.

One time I spent hours making a bullet proof proposal for a job just for the proposed client to turn around and say ‘hey, we were thinking it could be for free. It could be a great case study for you’. I have been in the business for years I don’t need your case study. Get to fuck!

(apologises for the profanity)

Big Fashionista

Yessssssss, I was made to feel like an idiot when I first started by many others who say “oh you’re just in it for the freebies”

My reply, not at all but if a PR company WANTS me to write about their product then send me the bloody thing so I can try it!!!

Glad I am not alone with feeling this way.

Now where can I get free shoes 🙂


All I can say, is I have been here, esp in my media roles. One company was underpaying me by £20K the market rate! I agree, I feel when you are starting out work, like we all had to do, early teens/twenties I feel yeah, get the exprience because it does count for alot! But, we then get to point, where we know our craft and now longer need to run after the experience to prove our worth. We are wearing the experince and the exposure will follow…
The other problem we have is people are sometimes not comfortable with charging or even talking about money? This is true. My advice would be is to design a rate card and increase it every 18month or so, email it over to potentinal interests or put it on your website. That way, there doesn’t have to be that ‘discussion’ about their budget and what they can afford. It’s about when you cost if they want you… Oh and discount… keep that for charities… and you not one. xxx

Sam (@vogue_ismybible)

Literally articulating the thoughts that gallop around my overworked mind on a daily basis. loving it 🙂 x


FANTASTIC POST! Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to work in a situation that is mutually beneficial. However, like many others, I have sweated blood and tears over many years to get to this point. I did not do all that work to be an unpaid doormat. If you have a problem, then I can help you solve it – if you’re looking for free advice or assistance, then please go elsewhere.


Nice blog post! And a big LMAO at the slow clap comment!

I must say though, I’m always happy to help others on the comeup, just so long as they dont expect too much. Like, dont expect a detailed essay.

Im willing to help others. Why not? Treat others how you’d like to be treated, I say. A little time consuming yes, but it wont kill me to help out.



You said it sister! Fantastic post, you said what so many of us bloggers think when we receive these sorts of “opportunities.”


Great post! I too got the email mentioned above. I’ve declined their ‘offer’ but have asked them just how they have managed to get 10,000 page views in 3 days from 3 posts. What’s the betting they don’t respond to that?


Preach it! I think people get into the mentality of ‘it’s only a spot of writing’. But if you need to ask someone else to do it then you clearly should be paying for it. Writing is serious work.


Bangs, I am so glad you wrote this. I used to think I was the only one getting ripped off and exploited but soon I stood up to the fact that I was not going to write for a magazine that wouldn’t pay me but would clearly pay themselves. Part of me felt sad I would be missing out on getting that all important feature in my portfolio but then again, I didn’t put myself through university and over 15 years of unpaid writing experience (started my own fanzine) to have it knocked out of me. You wouldn’t have the audacity to ask someone to fix your car or plumbing for free so why do people think it’s acceptable to insult writers?


Another excellent post that hits the nail on the head. I am just starting out in my writing career and your blog has been an ongoing joy to read.


Thank you for this. This is an issue rife throughout the creative industries, charities and development sector. They expect everyone to work as unpaid interns for years before paying them peanuts. And how are we supposed to pay off those enormous studnet loans and provide over our heads, eh?


Yay! Go Bangs! I feel your pain, i too have spent 5 years working on my bag business and I still need a full time job to keep everything going. It’s hard work juggling two things and you’re doing a grand job. And as a reader I certainly appreciate all your hard work.


Bloggers, writers and PRs everywhere feel your pain. Fcuking cheek! Reminds me of why I no longer do PR for music ‘artists’ one rapper even suggested I book shows for him to get paid for my PR work… wont repeat the reponse he got.

Ondo Lady

OMG!!!! You just nailed it. It really incenses me when people set up a magazine, pay the photographer and graphic designer but do not see fit to pay the writers. What sells the magazine in the first place? The bloody articles. That is why I stick to marketing because I just can’t be dealing with these bloody half steppers. Get off my stoop!!

Claire Nelson


I have stopped writing for free, because I too value myself. I now get paid to write. Like you, I still gotta work a 9-5 (working on that, and hope it starts soon, before me, and my portfolio, are living under a bridge), but the dream takes hard work and perseverance. You know that. I know that. It’s part of the process.

I rarely hear of people getting paid work off the back of an unpaid gig which pays in “exposure”. If that ever happens it’s like winning the lottery – a stroke of luck. You have just as much chance getting that stroke of luck off your own back.

As soon as any of us respond to an “offer” like that, our value is immediately cemented. As little to nothing.

It frustrates me that creative people have to devalue themselves in order to get anywhere – it wouldn’t happen in any other industry (even prostitutes have a price!) I can earn a gazillion times more as a PA than a writer, which is frustrating, because it takes a freakin’ truckload worth more skills to write and research, than to organise businessmen’s lunch meetings. (Not bagging PAs – I’ve been there).

Good on you for sticking to your guns. It will pay off.

Creatives – your value is dictated by your decisions. xx

Dr. J

In my humble opinion, you can only cosign this but so much Bangs. I mean, I feel YOUR pain. But don’t be affirming these wet behind the ear bloggers to want compensation when their material isn’t even battle tested or passing the sniff test. I’ll keep it real, when you first start off in writing, you will need to do some stuff for free for the exposure. I’ll keep it real, your best paying opportunity might just be a ghost writing gig. And i’ll keep it real, not being humble and willing to do a little free stuff to make money later will undoubtedly leave you on the outside of the money tree.

I have not been blogging for that long, I got great exposure thanks to a group of writers who all have the same motto, we just gonna keep grinding and building the empire. I hear a lot of young bloggers saying they want money for this, and a piece of the ad sales, and i’m just like, dude do you know that I started off trying to get beer money (and had to earn this too!), then I wanted my cell phone bill paid, then bottle money, now i’m working on my rent.

And don’t e’en think that folks don’t look up your blog and check out the traffic that you are getting. I had a conversation with a guy who ran a blog I was writing on and he was like, this blog wants to partner with mine, doesn’t see 10K in a month, and i’m seeing that in a day. Don’t step to me unless you are seeing at least 10K a week.

All this to say, don’t Diddy aka Bangs over here, lead y’all out the club demanding checks and find out that you’re Shyne. It’s a long road back from perdition.

Harlem Loves

Genius! Absolute genius! I think for the free-seeking publications it is so easy for them to find someone who’s looking for experience and is willing to do it for free, and for the inexperienced writer that’s a great opportunity. However as an experienced writer you have to come to a point where you should have enough confidence in the quality of work to realise that it’s worth getting paid for.


Love it. As a photographer I feel your pain. Can tell this really comes from the there was steam coming outta that keyboard last night!


Am not a blogger, but agree with you that no other profession would be expected to do their job for free. The cheek of these people AND they wanted you to promote them on your blog! like that’s going to happen.

A loud and long round of applause for you, also I hope these people know how lucky they are not to have received a Bangs Bitch Slap. (you should trade mark that).
Jo x


Great post Bangs.
As an 18 year old, I jump on the offers of working for free for the exposure and the odd free gig etc, but understand that there will (hopefully!) be a time when I value myself enough to know that I’m worth being paid. You are clearly proficient enough to be entitled to paid jobs so I would share your annoyance at being asked.
Hopefully this post has made a point that the creative industries shouldn’t allow for this abuse of writers.

Ha Ha Sound

Great post. And good for you. Remember, you’re only worth the value you place upon yourself. So make it high.

This happens in other fields as well. When I started out working in film/video, I had several instances of this happen to me. I remember a club had started a record label, and wanted me to do two music videos for them for no pay. They were willing to put money into recording and distribution, but not pay for the creative mind behind a major promotional tool?

I’m not surprised this label never amounted to anything.

the style crusader

love this post. it is so true and very well said. here’s to hoping that it will spread around to all the sorts of lame-o people that send out those insulting e-mails. xx


AMEN! This is the first entry I’ve ever read on Bangs, but you’ve just gained yourself another dedicated reader. Love it, keep striving for your dream!


Great article, and damn straight!! Love the reference to a tiny room in high summer in Toronto – it gets crazy hot over on the other side of the pond!!

Love from a fellow struggling writer!


I have wanted to write something along those lines for quite a while now (actually I do have a post somewhere that I just haven’t posted, it’s too angry). My best ever was when I replied politely to someone that was they were asking me to do would require a fee, I got back “we are so disappointed” – a multi national company with an FMCG product that people pay to buy was “disappointed” that the blog they LOVED would not blog for a week about their product for free.
Have you ever been told – “we will invite you to the launch party” – that’s actually a classic.
Truth is anyone I know who has traffic doesn’t do stuff for free, but those who grapple for an audience do & that ruins it for the rest of us.


Exactamundo! I’m a photographer and a year ago decided to no longer work for free unless a) it was a band i loved b) it was a friend (still get paid tho, just discount) c) it was a charity thing. I have had to turn down some jobs that would have been fun BUT if photographers keep accepting unpaid jobs then it will become the norm and our craft will be COMPLETELY devalued! Rule of thumb, if the person asking you to take the photos is getting paid, then you should get paid. If they want you that bad they’ll pay end of and if they won’t someone will and if no one will then you need to work harder!

Darren Cronian

When I first read on Twitter that this company had created a blog and was asking for bloggers to write for them for free, the first thing that came into my head was – cheap bastards. Then I thought would I have come to the same conclusion if it had been a big media brand that had sent the same email.
I maybe would have thought the same, but then realised the potential for increasing my profile and driving traffic to the site, so it would have been stupid to say no. So, I am as much to blame as the companies are for trying to get content out of us for free.
The company could have approached the bloggers differently. They could have asked if they were interested in a guest post, in return for some exposure and a link which would help the bloggers ranking in the search engines. This is a topic that I could write about for hours, but I think I have just learnt to take a deep breath and concentrate on what I want to get out of writing a blog.

Amber Phresh

Yesssss girl, YES!! This happens to me countless times be it blogging, poetry or nails. Time to take a stand! Good on ya!


It’s really nice to hear people talking about this because I was in a similar position myself.

I “volunteered” for a company for a year though it was quite insulting, but I loved the person I worked with and the project itself was too important to me to stop doing it.

I decided to hold my head high and continue being the bigger person. I failed at not being bitter though, because I know it still bugs me.

The main reason it annoyed me was just feeling under-valued, and I know that the company pride themselves on valuing people generally so that was a big fail for them.

They continue now more than ever before because of arts cuts to get people to work for them for free on the proviso of it being good experience. And with the cuts in the arts industry like they are it’s almost excusable, but I am glad I’ve the excuse of moving to London so I could finally get out and not feel guilty for leaving the people I worked with behind.

Sorry for the ramblings! It just bugs me how much people in the arts are expected to get “good experience”…


It seems to be quite common these days. I guess people always want something for nothing.


Say it sister. I know very well (being too much older to say–ahem) what this is like. It happened in the pre-Googley-tube years, too (yes). I’m so glad that you wrote this post. I came her via Liberty London Girl but I will be subscribing. It’s nice to know you’re out there.

Alan Gallery

Well I got to admit that there is nothing like original work …… on the other hand the headline image gets 40 hits on tineye.

Tyrone M.

I don’t know why people think that this will work. Ever.Well done, Bangs. I know I’m late to the party.

David Hoffman

Beautifully written. Thank you.

I’ve been in the editorial photography business for 30+ years, I used to get about one freebie request a month – and those only from genuine people with a good reason. Now more than half the requests I get are from well paid employees (or owners) at No Budget Inc.

They wouldn’t go to a meeting wearing the clothes they can get for free. How come they think they’ll give their business a boost with pictures that even the photographers consider worthless?

Paul David Drabble

I have to agree, as a freelance photographer I have had my share of such approaches. I can not understand why (as you so eloquently put it)
“Nowhere but in the creative industries do people get away with this bollocks”.
Do so many creative people really not value what they do?
If you haven’t seen it google a video rant called “Pay the writer” by Harlan Ellison. I keep a copy of it my mobile and laptop for when things get bad and freebie seems like it may be a good idea, it will now be accompanied bookmark this page too.


There is another side to this – companies sometimes pay agencies to try and get influential bloggers to write about their products, in order to up their search engine rankings…

… you *could* take it as a compliment that you’re on someone’s list of influential bloggers, even if the prize is to be nagged about writing for people all the time 😉

siti yunus

such a shame then that instead of writing back to me with your suggestions, comments, compliments, complaints about how we can go about to set up this blog properly (not a “start up magazine” as you have improperly written), this has been blown out of proportion.

the blog is non-commercial. the invitation was only sent out to less than 18 bloggers (so in reply to @culturevulture, no, it’s not a “blanket email” to everyone in leeds, as you have put it. would be nice if we could have some conversation about this rather than creating a hoo-haa.)

there are actually other blogs out there other than Culture Vulture that help promote leeds. think Creative Boom. think Platform54 (who may not be leeds-based but have helped so may leeds based artists).
Cops And Robbers.
I have my own personal blog. And my colleague runs a design blog himself too. we do this from our spare time. for free. because we love it. and you know what’s ironic? sometimes its these photographers / bands themselves who approach us and expect their music / art / designs / press releases to be published on our blogs for nothing.
and you know what – its great to be able to do something and give something back to the scene / community whatever. i don’t run ads on my blog. the ones you see are for my friends and they are free.
so yes, what i am trying to say is, i udnerstand your frustration / suspicion but this is honesly blown out of context and harshly misintepreted.

yes, i may work in an agency representing a client but this blog is less about “free content” and more about actually wanting to show the side of leeds that is “less touristy”. “less obvious”. “less mainstream”.

there is this misconception that I am asking you “to work for free”.
I have not asked that at all. It was a mere invitation to participate in this project that we have set up.
the blog is intended give leeds-based artists / musicians / bloggers / events organizers/crafters / DIY-ers another avenue to promote what they do, their experiences in leeds, their websites for free.

you mentioned that we ask that you promote us on your site. that isn’t true at all. it would be nice if you could, but it’s definitely not a MUST.

i didn’t force anyone to do anything. and obviously, if you’d had actually asked for more information, perhaps on “your rates” as you’ve put it, I would have mostly certainly been able to set something up for you. there is no harm in asking.

if anyone would like to know more about this side-project or find out WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON, feel free to email me and i’d be more than happy to try answer everyone’s questions as best as possible! :]

siti yunus

@fi i replied to your question about traffic, so hope that helps.

Bangs and a Bun

EVERYONE – the response to this blog post has been overwhelming and moving and I thank everyone for their input and sharing it all over as you have.

SITI – To clarify the start up mag I’m refering to was not you, but I find it interesting that you had no problem identifying as one of the people who willingly tries to get bloggers to do things for you for free.

I used the start up as an example of one of many of these approaches I get quite regularly. Yes, emailing 18 people without even personalising it is classed as a ‘blanket email’ actually. You made no attempt at building a relationship – you just jumped straight in there asking for freebies. Why would you think it would be great exposure for me (who has spent years building up a blog and an audience) to blog on your start up site that no one has ever heard of? That does me no favours whatsoever. Essentially, you approached a load of bloggers to do all the content for your site for you, FOR FREE and you just kick back. But it’s great that you’re so passionate about it all though. Easy to be nonchalant when it’s everyone else putting the effort in for you.

And I don’t think anyone you sent that email to bought that your site, with FOUR POSTS on it, gets 10K hits. Experienced bloggers know what it takes to get that.

If you understood that this blog post is a reaction to the numerous requests myself and other creatives get like this, perhaps you’d agree that it is not an overreaction at all.

Best of luck to you in your endeavour – perhaps you should consider getting some funding so you can pay the people involved.


It sounds like Siti has a case of guilty conscience. No one mentioned them by name. And I used to get that crap all the time. “Take pictures at my charity event…it’ll be great publicity!”

No. No, it won’t.

You’ll be the sucker willing to work for free. *That* word will get around.

siti yunus

@bangs and buns: thanks for getting back! :]
yes, in the process of GET funding, but right now, we’re really at stage of formulating ideas, trying to get an identity and more focused on GIVING something back.
currently doing another sideproject to try and get the client to be a partner for the upcoming 24th Leeds International Film Festival (yes you guys need to go tickets are on sale now! it is TOOO awesome!!) hopefully that works out becuase it would be damn exciting if it does. }

@culturevulte was saying i sent a blanket email to “everyone in leeds”. which isn’t true, so felt the need to clarify. I do realize that the email i sent to those 18 bloggers needed more personalisation but i did try as best as i could to introduce myself, what i do and am trying to achive. thanks for the tip, though. always room for improvement.

as for the whole “work for free” thingy, again, i need to stress that isn’t the case at all. if you look at the blog now, I’ve set it up all by myself, at my own initiative, all the articles you see there now were written by me, about my own experiences in leeds etc so i certainly dont “kick back”. blogging and other geeky things like that is actually soemthing i enjoy doing. (god knows my partner has to fight with the computer every night to get spare time together)
i know, i know, its hard to really prove that when you are working for a media company, no matter how small – (then again i got the job becuase of my blog! (which i have been writing in for free for years!) :]

so there you go. endless irony.

actually i never mentioned anything about hits in the email. i said it in the “Contributers” page on the blog. and i said, “on a site that already receives more than 10k page views per month”. which is true. the website does earn more than 10k page views actually. although this blog project has only been soft-launched 3 days ago, the blog is benefitting from the client’s own traffic which is/will be more than 10,000 hits per month. wish i could send over the analytics. data protection and all that.

currently the blog is 100% me, i spent hours on it and will continue to do so whether it works out or not, so definitely not nonchalant, and no-one has written anything yet so there aren’t any “exploitation” and nobody’s “puttin in the effort for me”.

also, echoing what @fashioncrazy_ said, “I must say though, I’m always happy to help others on the comeup, just so long as they dont expect too much. Like, dont expect a detailed essay.

Im willing to help others. Why not? Treat others how you’d like to be treated, I say. A little time consuming yes, but it wont kill me to help out.

i udnerstand the reaction was born our of frustration becuase it DOES seem that a lot of folks on here did get screwed over. which is really really sad. i have been screwed over too ages ago so i know what that feels like.



siti yunus

@tyrone: no, not guilty conscience, hun. i DID send an email to Bangs actually. :]


theres the saying, if you give your livelihood away for free the first time, how do you put a value to it the next?

that stuck with me a long time ago, and since day one, with little experience, i had a rate card. of course i lost a lot of jobs, but i funded my own projects to build a folio of what I wanted to do and where i wanted to see myself get to, and eight years later, thats where i am and love working every day because of it.

my heart goes out to Bangs for her post, thank you for being someone to stand strong

Emma Bearman

Hi Siti
I’ve been wondering how to address this without adding further fuel to the fire.
Firstly I’d like to say that I applaud anyone who starts their own blog, and finances it or not as they see fit…

Secondly, I have never laid claim to being the only culturally focused blogger in the city, and admire the work of of that you have mentioned, in fact if you were to follow me on twitter, you might see I re tweet Creative Boom and Claire from Cops and Robbers is an occasional blogger for us when she has time, and the fit is right.
I say ‘if you were to follow’ assuming you don’t as you have never once said hello via twitter, or use the twitter ID correctly, we are @culturevultures

What annoyed me the most, is the lack of time taken in trying to develop a dialogue, and a lack of desire to build a relationship, to try to understand what benefit we may give each other. One person’s set of value measures is not another…I’m oddly not all about the stats, or the payment, but I don’t know those that are…Strangely I am all about seeing a thriving cultural narrative develop in Leeds and beyond.

You’ll see we do support people who are keen on doing that, today we blogged on a great new venture called and are interested in Indie Leeds – another new cultural/retail/lifestyle blog in the making.

We host something called Cultural COnversations, which you are more than welcome to come along to, and the hatchet is well buried should you decide it is for you…it’s attended by at least 60 of the people you might find interested in writing for you at some point in the future.

I probably came down harder on you, than I would ever normally on anyone, because of those things that tick me off: a social media agency in theory should know better about building relationships and conversations…Rome is not built in a day, it’s a long slog, as you know from your personal experience.

So I do realise I could have pointed this out gently to you in an email, just as you could have addressed me by name, picked out a few things from the website that you have liked, and said hello on Twitter.

Whilst on Twitter, I never once mentioned you by name, and it only meant something to the 18 individuals who also felt a little put out…Twitter conversations are a flash in the pan, blog comments linger longer…

So shall we shake hands and start afresh?

siti yunus

@emma (culturevultures) of course hun! didn’t mean to stir up trouble and thanks again for reaching back out, and yes we are deffo friends! :]
i do realize that i should have took more time to build a relationship as opposed to, “Hi! I’m here! I’m going to do this! Come join the fun!” etc.

also as you are already quite the established blogger, i felt like I “know” you already, if you know what i mean? hahaha yeah, my bad. it’s like this bad blogger habit that i have, assuming i know everyone based on their blogs without actually having a proper conversation with them first. :]

as you said, “I am all about seeing a thriving cultural narrative develop in Leeds and beyond.” – that is basically almost what the blog is trying to promote, but the intention is for the more “quirky”, “non-touristy” aspects of it all.

i would LOVE to come along to Cultural Conversations if you could email me more details please. I could come after work. we can have coffee or something. (you have my email right? hope you didn’t “spam” it, it was and still is a genuine email.) 😀

would like to find out what we can do together. i mean, everything’s kinda in place, just need some help with co-ordination. (god knows i’m a bit of a clumsy person.)also, leeds needs a bit of encouragement, there’s so much to it that people don’t know or don’t see and its great to see so many people creating all these initiatives and projects promoting the city.
so i shall expect your email soon! (will reply to you in the morning when i’m back in the office.)


I don’t know why it still baffles me so that non-creative types are quick to praise creative types on their ‘talent’ but never value the amount of hard work it takes to get there as they deem it a ‘fun thing to do in your spare time’, how degrading
Thanks for putting your thoughts out there on this frustrating subject, maybe they will clue in, well I can wish can’t I.

Lynne, Tea for Joy

Hi, I’ve only just discovered this, but it happens to me quite a lot. I turn down all collaborations, where I can have the ‘privilege’ of blogging on a commercial site (where I know the traffic is less than mine.) I am happy to do things for other bloggers, but I can see straight through the PR agencies…


Love it. My blog is too tiny and unknown to get much of this (I do get the occasional thing though) and I actually removed all advertising for sites like Amazon when I realised they were trying to rip me off over pennies. If my blog were as popular as yours, I’d do exactly what you’re doing. Good on you. Sadly many blogs are seen by advertisers as run by ‘mum’s with nothing else to do but natter on about their lives’ which is so, so untrue for most.


Can’t believe I didn’t comment on this when you published it. I was probably dumpster diving to try and get food to feed myself because of the a*holes who think it’s appropriate and still do not to pay.

Keep fighting the cause MC!

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