Lots of things about blogging are wonderful – the invites, the freebies, the people you meet, for example. The image of the typical blogger is a cliché nowadays. Apparently we’re all blonde, thin, young and live in lofts with bare or bright white walls that are full of furniture from a Scandinavian modern design classic budget.
Mum bloggers have to be all that and have spotless children…but no childcare. Childcare significantly reduces your credentials. Those nanny mums get slotted into the ‘mum style blogger’ space.
I come under ‘lifestyle’. Lifestyle is the catch all. It’s the type O. Anyone can take it. There’s something for everyone. Unless they’re my kids – they might want to leave it alone.
I can cover anything I want – and that suits me. As I always say “we’re all multifaceted”. My readers don’t seem to mind the eclecticism. I would love to think that it’s my USP. It probably isn’t – but I can dream.
The only problem is that it pays nothing…that’s the sad truth. Now, for the British readers, let me add to the discomfort by discussing money. Bloggers get paid in ‘stuff’. We get freebies. We get goodie bags. We get to sit on famous people’s knees (don’t ask – I gave up booze soon afterwards). We get to scrub up nice every so often.
Those are lovely things but I am not a 20-something with a large disposable income, great hair and an endless supply of cashmere and camisoles. I have two daughters who aren’t bothered by mud (good) or the value of nice things (bad if their dirty hands are anywhere near them). The gorgeous things that come in those exquisite packages are precisely useless for them.
What isn’t is money…cold, hard, dirty cash money. And that’s something that’s actually pretty hard to make with blogging. If you aren’t super high profile, you won’t attract advertisers. If you don’t have a good reach, you won’t get paid for posts.
For me, that was never a problem. I started this blog as a creative outlet and I don’t do advertorials. I hate them – people take the money and write either a glowing review or a clinically factual version. The latter means the product is crap, by the way – you don’t get another gig if you bitch about a product, after all.
There is, however, a third way. You can become a brand ambassador or affiliate. I used to be a bit snotty about it – partly because I was envious of the bossy glossies who always seemed to get the glam gigs, to be honest.
I, however, got offered software or pans or nappies. They pay well but they’re just not, well, me. I don’t know enough about IT to recommend a software package in glowing terms, I don’t like cooking – and I’m not the perfect mother that cloth nappy companies dream of. I abstained – and kept a modicum of integrity.
I waited – with every intention of surviving on quiet dignity and beans on toast until I found something that I could actually put my name to. I waited almost 3 years. 3 years. That is a lot of baked beans, people. An awful lot. Poverty isn’t very dignified either.
Finally, however, I have a few brands I can endorse. I did my due diligence and have stuck by my ethical business model. I will be running editorial about them and I will be wearing and using them. I’m excited because they mean that I’m doing well but I’m also aware that it might alienate my readers.
I am guilty of getting jaded about product placement. It can feel like you get whacked over the head with tacit advertising. The result is that I won’t be tempted to forcefeed anyone.
I intend to review beauty boxes once a month and use Stella & Dot products in my fashion editorial – if appropriate. If you find that distasteful, I totally understand. The alternative was asking readers to become investors. I didn’t particularly want to ask you to pay for the pleasure of my company but I do still want to be able to be your hostess here.
So stick around by all means. The advantage of this new development is that there will be a lot more pretty things on the blog. The disadvantage for some of you is that you may have to scroll down more than normal.
Hopefully my readership won’t drop too much. I’ve got a good thing going, I know. I just wouldn’t mind having a good thing going that can pay my rent.