I don’t think anyone could have predicted that a whole industry would be formed out of blogging, YouTube, content creation (whatever you like to call it) – I certainly didn’t. At the end of April I was faced with a choice, do I create a full time job out what I do online or do I find another full time role and stick with that for now? As you can tell by the title, I went with the latter, and I thought I would share why…
Since about the age of thirteen I have wrote some form of blog (definitely as shoddy as anything back then, and probably featured dream matte mousse) it really has been a hobby for me longer than a way to make money. I realised this the most when I gave myself a two week trial at going full time, my love for it started to fade and it reminded me of why I starting blogging in the first place – to write/ share my thoughts and feelings in an honest way.
I was approached by a laundry brand during those two weeks, they offered me a pretty decent amount of money that would have covered more than one third of the wage I would need to make to live comfortably that month. I said yes, then instantly had this feeling in my stomach that it just wasn’t right, I felt sad that I had said yes to something like that – who the hell wants to see me posing with a bag of washing tablets?! I decided to decline that in the end and start the search for a job outside of blogging.
I’ve got into the habit of listening to podcasts on the way to work, and I came across one of Lydia Millen speaking about her experiences as a full time content creator. During the podcast she says “you can’t buy back integrity”, and as soon as I heard that I knew I had made the right decision. I was honest with myself and knew I wasn’t getting enough paid work from brands I truly care about to dedicate myself to it just yet. I also thought about how I feel when I see someone online promote something that isn’t really relevant/ feels a bit icky. I can’t think of a better way to describe but it leaves me cringing and feeling a bit awkward for them – you know?!
It can be difficult saying no to opportunities, there are so many platforms that make it easy to just post a photo and make a bit of money there and then. It all boils down to authenticity, being true to myself and actually thinking about whether I would feel proud or a little bit embarrassed promoting a certain product/ brand.
Admittedly in the beginning I made the mistake of accepting PR samples for products I wasn’t that bothered about and then feel obliged to give them a mention because I felt bad. It’s not a nice feeling and something I’ve learnt from, and I’m taking the same approach with paid opportunities too. It feels good to have no restrictions and be in a position where I can turn down every paid opportunity if I want to, until I feel like I’m getting enough brands I love contacting me, I’m going to continue just dedicating my evenings and weekends to creating content.
So, I definitely haven’t ruled out doing all of this full time – to be honest it would be a dream. But for now this really is just a hobby, and if you see me working with a brand or mentioning them it’s because I love them, whether it’s a pr sample, paid for opportunity or purchased with my own money. I feel a little nervous about this post, speaking about money and authenticity is unfortunately controversial but I feel like slowly bloggers and the industry as a whole is starting to get a bad name for itself and I’m not here for that.
What are your thoughts on blogging/ authenticity?
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