Many people think that it is a good and cosy life being a blogger as you get to receive free products for review, food tasting invites, free overseas trips, paid advertorial and many other collaborations and opportunities.
I do have some reservations about using the phrase “free products” or “free overseas trips” as we do put in a lot of effort and creativity into writing, filming, styling, editing, photography, publishing, marketing, promoting, doing social shares and shout outs for the products or media trips. Most of the time, bloggers are also not paid for product reviews.
Here are 6 confessions of a blogger you need to know which I gleaned from my personal experience:
1. Food Bloggers Eat Cold Food Most of The Time
I rarely have the luxury of eating hot food. Before the food even arrive on the table, I try to visualize the angle and composition for the food shots as I do not want every photograph to turn out looking similar.
If the food is piping hot with steam still billowing, I have to capture that shot, and by the time everybody has finished taking their photographs, the food would have passed through many hands and had turn cold.
Sometimes, we also help each other hold the food, LED lights and even stand on top of chairs to get a bird’s eye view shot and carried out all these activities under the curious stares of other diners in the restaurant.
2. My Home is In a Mess
Serious bloggers spend a lot of time on their blogs like running a business, with plenty of deadlines to meet. I am constantly brainstorming ideas to improve the site, exploring opportunities with brands and thinking of content for my site all at the same time.
I am a writer, an editor, a social media marketer, instagrammer, filmmaker and a photographer. If this is not enough, I also write and submit original articles to other sites for extra exposure without getting paid.
To achieve all the above on top of my day job, I actually sleep very little, sometimes working late till 2-3 am in the mornings so as not to stop the momentum and have little time to do any housework at all. The effects of not sleeping enough are showing as my skin is getting drier and my hair drops at an alarming rate around the house.
3. My website is not a hobby
Many people think that blogging is just a hobby but if you want to build a reputable site and establish a name for yourself, you would need to work very hard and treat it with the same due diligence that you would treat a business.
As I have mentioned earlier, the amount of time I spend on the blog is the same if not even more than the amount of energy and effort spent in my day job.
Not that I am complaining because I really enjoy blogging and seeing the fruits of my labour really give me a strong sense of fulfillment.
While the to-do list can get long each day, the beauty of it is that it is entirely under my control and not by my BOSS. I also have the liberty to do the things that I am passionate about.
4. Most of Us Earn Our Income Outside of Blogging
I wish I can tell you that it is as easy as writing articles, sit back, relax and watch all the dollars roll into your bank account from advertisers (perhaps this will only happen for celebrity bloggers) but the reality is that most hardworking bloggers I know earn their income from other revenue streams outside of their blog.
You will notice that many bloggers also have online clothing shops linked to their blogs, sell products on Etsy, sell e-books on their blogs, conduct blogging workshops, offer private blog consultations, website design, and other additional services from which they can draw a revenue.
While I do occasionally earn money from sponsored posts, the income is sporadic and I cannot rely on that solely and neither do I want to saturate my site with too many sponsored content. Most of the time, if the product/company is not a good fit for my blog or I cannot think of a good angle to write that story, I would rather reject the offer.
Currently, I have made some money through banner ads placed on my blog and YouTube videos, of which Google Adsense is the gold standard. Recently, I have joined two social media influencers programme and if there is a campaign I am interested in doing, I can just apply for it online and see if I am being selected by the company. The agency would also email me directly if they find my blog a right fit for the campaigns. I am also currently looking into some freelance writing opportunities for other websites to increase my revenue.
5. We are not properly compensated for our time and effort At Times
It can get frustrating to have opportunities come through my inbox that I like, only to find that there is no budget or compensation in exchange for the article, media coverage and amount of work that is required of me.
Recently, I received an opportunity to film a professional video for a beauty product as the company mentioned that they found me a suitable candidate and face for their new product. Although I felt really honoured to be selected, they only have the budget to pay me $30 for my time and transportation to the studio and on top of that I had to write a review for the product on my blog. I went ahead to ask for a fairer compensation but in the end they looked for another blogger.
I have no regrets letting this opportunity slipped because I know my value and am very sure that a better opportunity will come by one day if I continue to work hard.
6. Nothing Ticks Me Off Than Seeing My Contents Being Plagiarised
You work really hard to take good photographs and write an engaging article, but it just does not get the response you expect it would, or worse, you found that your hard work and contents are being copied and pasted onto someone else’s blog!
One day I was blog hopping and reading articles of my fellow blogger friends when I realise that my ideas and contents had been plagiarised by someone I know. I was a little shocked as I do not think that it was ethical to do so and expected more from this person whom I regarded as a friend. Anyway, to cut the long story short, she realised that I “caught” her and it was really awkward meeting her in events or pretend like nothing has ever happened. Still, I would say that most of the people I met through blogging are really nice people and I had put this incident behind me and moved on.
So ultimately, it is not just about invitations to events, freebies and money that make blogging so enjoyable, it is about having a creative platform to share your passion and ideas with other people, and it only get better when you connect with other like-minded bloggers or your readers through blogging.
Do you have a confession on blogging to share too? Let me know by leaving me a comment below. 🙂