get it in writing
i may not be an expert in many business aspects of the blogging biz (or any business), but i do know that, when you learn things the hard way, it's an opportunity to share that knowledge and hopefully help people skip some steps you took! and i hate to be a party pooper, so writing this post is my way of creating something good out of a crappy situation.
i mentioned quickly on tuesday that the reason i had a (sort of) random baby shower to post was because of a collab that was handled poorly. i was asked by a blog/website that i read and admired to work on a project with and for them. we chatted briefly on the direction, but ultimately i gave them the final decision in what the shoot and design would be based around. i knew that would be best as it was something they were looking for, for their readers, and probably a challenge for me as it wasn't something i did all of the time. i was being compensated in "exposure" by having my work published on the site and shared on their social media platforms.. or so that was the agreement.. made via a quick email. i was given a tight deadline and delivered. fast forward almost 8 months later and countless emails, the images were still sitting in that folder on my computer never to be seen by anyone. hours of work by me and the gals i asked to help me out, brushed to the side. i kept my cool and stayed positive throughout the countless unanswered emails and excuses once the emails were actually acknowledged… but there has to be a point where you call BS and give up. that was obviously these past few weeks when i finally narrowed down the photos and wrote up a post for my own blog.
now, you're like, ya ya… what's your point? whether you are working for free (and your "compensation" or exposure better be stellar if you are) or for a paycheck, have a contract or some sort of agreement! it's so simple. it doesn't have to be lengthy and boring and only understood by the trained eye… it can be short, sweet, and to the point including exactly what you and your collaborator spoke about. write down WHEN they are going to share your work. write down HOW MANY times they are going to promote you to their Facebook fans, etc. whatever it is, just have it in the form of a document both parties can sign. you, your time, and your work is valuable. most people will be totally ok with this! i mean, they already agreed to it in an email right? so a few minutes to sign a doc should be no big deal.
honestly, i'm not super pissed. the entire project was fun for me and i loved sharing it here. and really.. it was a shoot, for a blog. not the end of the world. i'm more shocked at how the situation was handled, especially for a site of their size, that's all. lesson learned. blog post written. i'll forget about it. but i won't forget to cover my bases next time!
has something like this ever happened to you guys? how did you handle it?