One thing that I have seen a lot written about lately, is how easy it is to be a blogger and how it isn’t a real job, or something that should be aspired to be. But what is it really like to be a blogger? We’ve all read posts by the ‘pros’ debunking some of their myths and misconceptions, but here’s a look from a ‘part-timers’ point of view…
… yes, I’m throwing my two penneth into the hat and sharing some of the myths that I come up against as a ‘part-time’ blogger.
Myth = Creating content is easy.
Reality = It’s really, really hard!!! I constantly hear people saying ‘maybe I should start a blog if it means I get X, Y & Z sent to me for free’. Free? It’s not free if you consider the amount of time that goes into planning and taking photographs, editing them (because lets face it the lighting is rarely spot on in the UK in Winter) and then of course sitting at the desk, trying to come up with the words to put our thoughts and feelings out to the world.
Yeah, it’s really easy.
I spend my weekends pitching to brands, scheduling, planning, editing and that’s before trying to make sure that my emails are up-to-date, invoices are chased up. Why? Because I like to think that what I do in my spare time provides a little light hearted relief and escapism for people and of course because in some crazy kinda way, I enjoy it.
Myth = I get paid to eat out, go away and enjoy myself.
Reality = OK so this is true to some extent (be it I’m being paid, or part of the trip/ meal is being gifted), but I am not there to sip on Prosecco and take it easy. No matter what it may look like in the curated world of social media.
I am there to take pictures, to create content and to share a message as directed by the brand I have been invited along by. Take my trip to Ox Pasture Hall last Summer for instance; in the weeks running up to the trip I’d had severe food poisoning, we didn’t get there until early evening and had to squeeze in some shots before heading for dinner. The next day we had to get up, get more shots before breakfast and then head off to create a list of places close by to visit.
Trips away are filled with early mornings and late nights, the worry and stress of getting the perfect shots and making sure that you have got everything you may possibly need to write a feature with when you get home. Meals out throw in the additional hurdle of bad lighting that you have no control over and events are often a race to get that ‘unique’ image on social media that no one else has spotted.
Myth = If it’s free, I’ll have it.
Reality = I’m not a freeloader (the biggest misconception about bloggers I’ve ever come across) and I’m actually quite picky/ selective about the brands and industries that I collaborate with. I know that some bloggers wouldn’t touch a car safety post with a bargepole and that’s their prerogative, but I’m a massive believer that people need educating on how to look after their cars (if I see one more person this Winter using high beams because their headlights are out I will scream).
In the past few months alone I’ve turned down paid collaborations with ‘skinny tea’ companies, I’ve shunned companies who expect me to flaunt the rules and use ‘follow’ links so that they can make their SEO look better and walked away from partnerships that appear to be too good to be true (because they probably are).
Most bloggers are not in it for the freebies and nor am I, I’m here to share.
Myth = I must always have plus one.
Reality = I actually cannot remember the last time I had a plus one for an event and for me this can often be the most difficult part about blogging because I am one of the most introverted people I know. The plus one events are often a breeze, I can treat Mr D (or even Mother Blaze) to a nice evening out, I have someone on hand to take my pictures for me AND I have someone to talk to.
But sometimes I know nobody there, I have to rely on the wireless setting on my Olympus Pen to get the shots and sometimes I leave without speaking to anybody else there. These times are few and far between, but they have taught me how to be resourceful and sometimes its nice to have the opportunity to work solo.
Myth = Life is perfect.
Reality = Life is hectic! Ok so we’re back to misconceptions that social media promotes with this one, the false realities that people share online. I love having a curated Instagram ‘theme’, sharing picture perfect scenery, blue skies and bikini’s … but I’m not permanently on holiday. Nine times out of ten these images are shared from my desk, whilst I eat my porridge and dream of sunnier days.
But I wouldn’t change a thing.
I love spending my Sunday mornings typing away whilst Mr D chills out on the Playstation, catching up with my blogger buddies over cocktails and canapés and spending hours editing my holiday snaps when I actually do take a break.
Being a blogger right now, you feel part of something bigger, something better … like the start of a brave new world where anyone can achieve their dreams. Not just the chosen few.
Do you agree that there are some myths about the blogging industry that need debunking? Or do you think there’s enough transparency?
Let me know below and I’ll catch up with you again soon, until then though x
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