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Recently on various Facebook groups for bloggers I have seen an increase in brands pulling work last minute or refusing to pay for commissioned content. Basically bloggers are agreeing to work with a brand/PR on sponsored content, then once they have done the work a brand/PR is saying ‘actually we don’t want it now’. Luckily I haven’t fallen victim to anything like this yet (touch wood), however I can imagine just how disheartening it must be for a blogger. Not only have you spent time hashing out a deal with the brand, clearing space in your blog schedule and thinking up creative ways to feature their brand, but you’ve likely spent a couple of hours’ time creating the post.
Let’s say you’ve spent 30 minutes agreeing terms, 30 minutes drafting content ideas, 1 hour taking images and editing them, then another 1-2 hours writing the content. That’s 4 hours of your time wasted, not to mention the need to find new content to fill the gap in your schedule since the brand have pulled the work. I seem to be hearing more and more about this, along with people asking questions on what they can do, is there any way you can get the sponsored fee still, etc. I am not too sure on the actual legalities, well I mean I can’t give advice as I am not a qualified lawyer, but there are ways to protect yourself. Generally a blogger won’t get signed contracts for a post but even without a set contract you could still take this to small claims court, although without an actual contract agreeing cancellation terms I doubt you would get far. To mitigate the risk of ending up empty handed I am now going to start using a basic contract before agreeing to produce sponsored content, that way if a brand does cancel I have something I know will be binding in a small claims court. I can add terms in that the brand/PR agrees to pay either a percentage, or in full, for the work completed even if they do not use it/pull it, so a safety net for me.
As with my Blog Tracker I thought it might be helpful to share my new contract template with you guys, just in case. You can download a Google Docs version by using the link below, however I do ask that if you want to download this, you agree not to distribute the download link itself and instead share the actual post link. Also, that you do not modify the document then circulate it as your own (I have been burned here before). If you would like to share this with your blogging friends, please share using the link to this post.
I would love to know if you have had any experiences of your work being cancelled last minute, and if you use a similar contract. You know the drill, lemme know in the comments
- In order to download the sheet just click the link below
- When Google Docs opens click ‘FILE’
- Then click ‘MAKE A COPY’ from the drop down menu
- You can obviously remove my blog name header & add your own