When I first started out blogging, I’ll hold up my hands and admit I did not have the first inkling of what lay ahead. Had I done, I imagine I’d have quit right there and then. Because what everybody needs to know about blogging is that it’s damn hard work. It takes us away from our families; it is all consuming; we have to learn – and master – skills we never wanted any part of. Essentially, we have to wear many hats; and writing – the reason most of us started blogging in the first place – is possibly the smallest of them.
But this post is not intended to be a big moan. Quite the opposite in fact. (Bear with me.)
A few weeks ago I started to hear whisperings of bloggers being dismissed as incompetent/boring/lacking in either qualifications, nous, or determination – thus being unable or unwilling to get a ‘proper’ job. And I was quite shocked. I have always had a certain respect for bloggers, even before I truly understood and appreciated what they are and what they do. Now, of course, I know – and I feel even more strongly that we absolutely deserve recognition for the hard work we pour into our craft.
For though our readers (and a few insignificant and judgey non-readers) may only see ‘freebies’ and glamorous star-studded events, these are a mere two cogs in the intricate workings of a far greater machine.
I am damn proud of having chosen what I want to do, started from scratch with little to no knowledge – and then gone out and actively built up a business. Not only that, I’ve made it into (almost) my dream job. For me, that means choosing my own hours to fit around my family; it also means working incredibly long hours for absolutely no pay initially. That’s how we all begin.
So, in direct contrast to what some believe, as bloggers we have to be utterly dedicated and determined to turn this non-job into a paying one. It takes a lot of time, a lot of knock-backs, and – sadly – a lot of poor attitudes along the way. One of the greatest difficulties we encounter is in the lack of appreciation of the value we bring: there are many who fail to see the worth of the blogger.
Thankfully, those who do ‘get it’ rate us highly and pay us well – as we deserve for all the time and effort that goes into writing, editing, photographing, editing, promoting, pitching, maintaining, promoting, growing, interacting, promoting.
With all that in mind, I asked some of my blogging buddies to share their thoughts about what they believe everyone needs to know about our unusual
“Products are not free, we have to do a lot of work for these products we receive!”
Amy, All Things Amy
“It really is a job, even when your family insist it’s just a bit of fun for freebies.” *skin crawls*
Clare, Mumsy Midwife
“It doesn’t just happen with a click of a button – a lot of work goes it to making a post, taking pictures and sharing on social media. This is why we get nothing for free – it’s in return for all of this work.”
Jessica, Beauties and the Bibs
“If you like reading our blogs, tell us! If you want to know things, ask us! If you want to see more of things, tell us and ask us! Yes we are taking lots of photos for our blogs, give us an extra few seconds, it’s never easy working with children!”
Amy, Mummy Fox
“It’s a full time job. Evenings and weekends are not your own! It definitely takes a certain kind of person to stick with it because the rewards are few particularly at the start. But the people are ace and it’s addictive.”
Frances, Whinge Whinge Wine
“It’s hard work and that’s before I’ve even truly got going.”
Cassie, Gorgeous George’s Mama
“It takes a lot of time, a lot of dedication, and a lot of hard work, but it is AMAZING!”
“You don’t get ‘free’ stuff, you get items to review, trial, photograph, and share on social media.”
Melissa, The Diary of a Jewellery Lover
“Be yourself, everyone else is taken (thank you Oscar Wilde).”
“You get out what you put in. You want to make money and receive products? That takes work. You fancy just sharing your day to day waffle? easy, have a go. Enjoy it though, it should be fun.”
Naomi, Tattooed Mummy
“It’s very stressful at times, but it can be very rewarding.
Work hard on it and it will be all worth it.
I’ve had some amazing things, things people would consider as worthless. Like a set of lipsticks I really loved or a mascara I’d been dying to try.
It’s every day things I’d never consider buying as I’m not a good brand switcher, I worry I’d waste my money.”
Sam, Testing Time Blog
“It’s not the be all and end all.”
Hannah, Hi Baby
“Don’t get too caught up in the stats and rankings, focus on decent quality copy and most of all, passion!”
Lisa, That British Betty
“Find your own unique blogging voice & always dance to the beat of your own drum.”
Jane, Jane’s World
“Don’t expect a miracle over night – writing 1 or 2 posts and then expecting brands and companies to work with you, is not how it works! It takes a lot of time, dedication and hard work.”
Emily, Emily and Indiana
“Write like no-one is reading!! When you start worrying what people will think of your posts, that’s when you start to lose your personality and your voice.”
Steph, Mental Parentals
“Don’t compare yourselves to others. Write what you want to write about, whether it be about your kids, a passion of yours or even random stuff. It’s your blog, own it.”
Sophie, Sophie and Lily
“You will end up making a whole bunch of new friends who are experts in all kinds of different things and may live completely different lifestyles. It’s such a great way to meet new people and the bloggers I’ve met have all been so helpful especially with the technical side of running a website (it’s so hard!).”
“It’s a great place to let out the crazy.”
Natalie, Diary of an Unexpectant Mother
“It’s not ‘free’. I worked hard for years to get my blog to a place where I am offered items to review, which then takes time to use/photograph/write/publicise. Don’t just start for the freebie.”
Lauren, Belle du Brighton
“It can change your life.”
Aby Moore, You Baby Me Mummy
“There will be days you love it and days you do not! That’s fine! It happens to us all!”
“Someone somewhere will hate what you do, others will love it. Just be yourself and don’t try to please others.”
Clare, Emmy’s Mummy
“It’s the best free therapy available, you can process what’s happening in your life by pouring it out on to the screen.”
“There’s always help, advice and support when you need it. Things like Facebook pages and Twitter pages etc, there are so many places you can find really helpful people. And if you don’t understand something or want to ask something, just ask. No question is silly, we all started somewhere so it’s great to share experiences.
Also if you read other blogs and you like them, let us know! It really does make our day knowing we’ve reached out to people, inspired them or even hit home about something.”
Claire, Dear Mummy Bear
Did you notice what happened halfway through those comments? What started out as informing non-bloggers inexplicably turned into an alternative interpretation of the question I put to my fellow bloggers:
Without prompting, and contrary to what I’d intended, they started offering up their help and advice to newbies.
And this is one of the very greatest things about the unique career we have each carved out for ourselves. Because though there undoubtedly are those who undermine or dismiss our incredible hard work and dedication, there is a fantastically tight community of like-minded individuals who champion and build one another up. There are also some fabulous brands and PR’s around who make our jobs more fun and interesting than they’d otherwise be.
And personally, I love the fact that I can use my self-built platform to promote worthy campaigns and causes.
I could suggest the probable reasons behind ignorant attitudes towards bloggers, but I’d far prefer to focus on the good, as my comrades have inadvertently done above. Because after all, that’s what community is: embracing our differences; finding strength in numbers; complementing one another with our varied skill sets; positivity.
Sound good? Here’s the absolute best bit about blogging and making a career from blogging:
Anyone can do it.
I’ve heard it said often enough, and it’s true. Providing you have the grit and determination, the drive and the ambition – you can get in on this act whenever you want. And there will be a whole awesome community waiting here to welcome you into the fold.
Rate this? You might also like my post about blogger etiquette.