Though this post has been in the pipeline for a while, I received an email recently that both riled and amused me, prompting me to put pen to paper – or more literally, fingers to keyboard. In this email, a young girl was asking me for advice as a blogger and in it, she wrote: “I don’t want to get freebies and promote brands and stuff”, instead stating that she wanted to blog to improve her communication skills. Perhaps on another day, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it but as I sat there and read the rest of the email, I realised her comment had struck a chord. Is that really what people think blogging is about? I know some do. So this post is just about addressing a few common misconceptions and hopefully, putting them to bed.
BLOGGING IS EASY
If you’re blogging for a hobby, then yes it’s easy. If you’re blogging for a living? Not so much. Blogging is so much more than just taking pretty photos and writing words to accompany them. That’s the fun part! What the rest of the world doesn’t see is the scheduling; the arranging of shoots, the hours spent trying to get the perfect shots, more hours spent editing and drafting, checking and double-checking that your words have a purpose, that they convey what you want them to and that they even make sense (and aren’t just a jumble of incohesive thoughts spilled out onto a page). Then there’s the commuting to and from meetings, the endless emails and the upkeep of daily social media. Have I posted enough? Have I read and replied to all the comments from my readers and followers? Blogging is many things. It’s fantastic, it’s fun, it’s exciting and rewarding. But like most full-time jobs, it’s also tiring and challenging. I think some people underestimate that.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ‘FREEBIES’
“So I don’t get it, brands just send you stuff and you take photos?” Be honest, how many of you have wanted to ask this question? I bet it’s quite a few. A lot of people think bloggers are ‘in it’ for the freebies – that there’s no possible way we can enjoy what we do if we don’t get sent free clothes or free beauty products. We LOVE writing and sharing with you and we loved it even before it became a business!
If any of you have been with me from the beginning (please make yourself known if you have!), you’ll know that in my very first post (almost 2 years ago), I stated that my blog would be my own personal space, a creative outlet to distract me from my A Levels. I tortured my readers (then probably just a few friends and my Auntie) with posts such as ‘My Week in Photos’ as if people would actually care what I did in my week – laughable now and also a tad embarrassing too. But hey, that was what it was about; an online diary of sorts, to document daily outfits and happenings and share random photos I took. It was only through my love of writing, my (very slow and minor) photography improvements and my passion for creating purposeful content that opened first a few then so many doors all at once, I didn’t know what was happening.
I have only ever and will only ever feature products that suit my style, taste and lifestyle. Products that I’d pick for myself off the shelf. But honestly? It’s not about what I get sent, it’s about the creation of content as a result. Collaborating with brands so that I can share incredible stories and exciting products with you. Working together on campaigns to deliver a message – bringing creative minds together to produce something great. That is what blogging is all about.
THE HOURS ARE FLEXIBLE
Okay so to a certain extent, I suppose this is true. Bloggers (generally) work for themselves right? So surely we can just take a ‘day off’ if we want to? Well, not exactly. Just as we don’t stay in bed all day, as I know some people suspect (though it’s definitely tempting sometimes, trust me!). As anyone that’s self-employed or works from home will know, setting work hours and reinforcing them plays a huge part in productivity. It’s so easy to waste a day, 24 hours just isn’t enough! Unless you sit down, work out exactly what needs doing and schedule time specifically to get it done, it just won’t happen. And trust me, I’ve been there many times. Only over the last couple of months (would it be bad if I said weeks?) have I realised the true importance of this. So if I pop out for coffee and lunch with a friend or even to get my nails done, I’ll make sure that ‘time out’ is compensated for elsewhere.
Another thing I’m (still) working on is knowing when to ‘switch off’. I’ve decided I need to be stricter with myself in the evenings – including setting a reasonable bedtime. Although the line between work and play can often be blurred when it comes to social media, I need to allow myself more time to unwind before I sleep – as working late always results in a restless night (and a coffee overdose the following day).
BLOGGING ISN’T A “REAL JOB”
I don’t know about you but I’d identify any activity that generates income as a job (though tried and tested, don’t try explaining this to anyone older than 50). Certainly, blogging for a living was unheard of 10, even 5 years ago. So it’s a pretty new concept for people to wrap their heads around. But the combination of an income, deadlines and a little bit of stress thrown in for good measure (though never, ever outweighing the infinite rewards of course) means blogging ticks all the boxes of a “real job”. So don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Love, Beth xo.
Disclaimer: all items marked with an asterisk were gifted to me for promotional purposes.