When I tell people that I'm a blogger, they often meet me with a confused look and hesitant smile. While most everyone I've encountered has been politely curious and eventually impressed (once I explain what it actually is that I do), there still seems to be a lot of interest in how this burgeoning industry works, and even more importantly, how bloggers profit from it. Today I thought it would be interesting to pull back the curtain a bit and let you in on a few things that us bloggers really want you to know.
1. We don't work for free.
If I had a dollar for every time a company asked me to promote them with absolutely no compensation ("but we're more than happy to send you hi-res images of our product..."), I'd be well on my way to getting rich. While I can't say that absolutely no bloggers work for free, most of us don't. I do occasionally accept products as a form of compensation (if I really, really like it) for social media sponsorships, but it's insulting when some brands reach out for free advertising with absolutely nothing to offer to my business. And yes, blogging can be a business! It may seem like bloggers and Instagram stars simply take a picture and get paid for it, but there's a LOT of behind the scenes effort that goes into creating content that people actually want to read.
2. we're in it for the long haul (most of us).
There's this misconception that once bloggers start accepting sponsors and advertising, they've "sold out". While there are bloggers whose short-term thinking results in them representing a product they don't 100 percent love, most of us who are serious about building a business upon our blogs use more long-term strategizing. Think about it, why would I promote a product I don't actually like? For the money? That money's probably going to get spent pretty quick (knowing me, haha!). And then what am I left with, readers who don't trust or value my opinion anymore and will probably stop visiting my site? I would never represent a product that I wouldn't recommend to a friend or family member (in fact, many of them read my blog!). First of all, I care about all of my readers and would never want them to spend their money on something that I didn't think they would love. Secondly, it not worth jeopardizing a brand (my blog) that I've worked so hard to establish, and still pour all my heart into every day to build just for some quick cash. It's so unfortunate that there are a few inauthentic creatives out there that give genuine bloggers a bad rep.
3. blogging is not for the faint-hearted.
Blogging is a lot more than posting a pretty picture and calling it a day. In fact, us bloggers wear many hats, especially when our businesses are just taking off. A few of the many tasks that we must take on include taking photos, planning content, writing posts, scheduling social media, researching the market, and much, much more. Of course, there are a lot of hobby bloggers out there, but for someone like me who would love to blog full-time someday, you have to look at blogging as a business. Oh, and you also have to do all of these bajillion tasks in between school, work, internships, and time with family/friends. So, the next time you're tempted to think that bloggers just get sent free stuff/paid to post a cool picture, guess again.
4. WE don't care if you think we're crazy.
There are a lot of people who put down blogging as a career. Guess what? We don't care if you think we're crazy. We love sharing our tips and tricks with the world and know we have something to offer (that could potentially turn into a full-time job in many cases). We're the ones laughing once we've built a side hustle or full-time career that we genuinely love, and would probably do for free.
5. We love when people comment on our content.
Don't ever think that a comment goes unnoticed by a blogger, especially if they're still on a small scale. Knowing that our content truly helped even just one person can really make our day/week/month. Most of us (myself included) didn't start blogging because we thought it was a good career choice (or even a way to make money at all). No, we started this whole adventure because we wanted to help and entertain people just like you!
Are you a blogger? Do you agree/disagree with the above statements? And non-bloggers, feel free to leave any questions below! I just scratched the surface on what blogging is actually like, so please let me know if you're curious about anything else :)