One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to blogging is having people comment on how lucky I am to get ‘free’ stuff. I don’t disagree with them in the sense that I am lucky. I’m lucky that I’ve managed to build my blog up to a level where brands choose to work with me. Choose to include me on their event invite lists. Choose to send me samples of their new collections. But in no way do I consider these to be ‘freebies’. And if you’re planning on starting a blog purely for the ‘freebies’ then I’m not sure blogging is for you.
I’m part of quite a few blogging groups on Facebook and I’ve lost count of the number of times I see new bloggers asking how they can get freebies for their blogs. Working with brands and PRs normally happens once you’ve built up a good (authentic) following and engagement on your blog. Like so many other bloggers I know, I probably spent a good 18 months blogging before a PR took much notice of me. I didn’t blog for PR’s attention. I blogged because I loved it. Because I have a passion for makeup and beauty. And if a PR wanted to work with me then that was an added bonus.
Now you can’t deny that blogging has certainly changed people’s lives. I mean you now have a whole section in Superdrug dedicated to the Bloggers and Vloggers who have turned their blog and YouTube channel into million pound businesses. Which is seriously inspiring! But when they started blogging and vlogging, they had no idea it could lead to where they are today. And I believe it’s that passion that helps make you successful. But it’s also that success that has made other people covet their lifestyles.
Personally, I’ve been blogging for almost five years and I still get excited when a PR email lands in my inbox. I’ve had some amazing experiences through my blog. And I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing brands. But that’s what it is. It’s WORK whichever way you look at it. Being sent a new lipstick, or makeup brush to try and review is lovely. But with that one product will come about 4-6 hours worth of work. From trying the product, taking pictures of it, editing the pictures, writing the content scheduling the post and then promoting it via social media. If you still want to call that a ‘freebie’ you can. For me, it’s work. And if you were to break the cost down to an hourly rate. It’s a pretty low wage. But that’s OK because it’s not the reason why I do this.
This blog always has and always will be my biggest hobby. I know a lot of people blog with the aim of turning it into their full-time job. And good luck to them. I honestly applaud anyone who can turn their hobby into a career. But for me, I actually quite like my day job. And I worry that my passion for blogging will fade slightly if I had to rely on it for a full-time income. There’s no doubt that I love what I do and I am lucky enough to experience some amazing perks.
But it’s taken almost five years of hard work, dedication and building relationships to get to where I am now. I would actively encourage anyone who wanted to start a blog. To go for it. For me, I get so much enjoyment and a sense of achievement from this little space on the internet. But if you do blog, make sure you do it because you’re passionate about it. Not because you’re hoping to get ‘freebies’ out of it. Because it won’t be long before you realise that the ‘freebies’ aren’t really ‘freebies’.
As always thank you to Kaye for taking the pictures!