Bloggers Working for Exposure.

Bloggers working for exposure is something that is happening more and more and this is a post I’ve had floating in my head for a while now, it’s going to be long but I do have my very strong opinions that you can bet your bottom dollar I’m including. I’ve worked for exposure many times, so I’m talking from experience and I’ve asked the blogger community to also share their experiences so this can be as well balanced as possible.
I’m not expecting everyone to understand what it means working for exposure, or why this is even a big enough thing to write a post on, so let me break everything down in my own words and to my own knowledge. Working for exposure means that you do actual work, whether it be writing a blog post, modelling, judging, presenting, photographing etc, in exchange for them promoting you and your services. Working for exposure means that you are not paid, instead you’re paid in promotion, mostly online. Exposure can be good as obviously it allows you as a brand/model/person to get out there more and be seen by more people, perhaps people that you might not have reached if you didn’t have this exposure from the brand.

There are so many different types of experiences that people have when working for exposure or being asked to, such as when it’s a brand you genuinely love or for a good cause…

‘I would work for exposure, but only if it was a brand that I loved and wanted to be associated with.’ – Fran
‘I also don’t mind doing stuff for charity or friends or sometimes smaller brands that are upfront about everything or if I believe in the brand.’Anna

exposure, theoatmeal

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/exposure

Fran and Anna make a very strong point, if MAC turned up in my inbox and said they want me to create a look for them and they’ll promote it across their social media? HELL YES. Not only is MAC a company I love because their makeup is incredible, but they also have an incredible following which would mean my time would be more than worth it. Equally, if a friend set up a new business and it was something I know my audience would be interested in, I’d help them and write about them, they’re loved ones, how can you not? However, you have to know when to say no and that comes with experience and knowledge, which means newer bloggers are more at risk of being used, Fran goes on to say, ‘although, I feel like there are a lot of brands that take advantage of newer and smaller bloggers and imply that working for exposure is that standard across any post.’

Which it’s not, is it? There’s not many people that actually work for free in the world. So why should bloggers have to? Well quite simply I think it’s because blogging is such a new thing that some people still aren’t seeing our actually value and worth. Kitty is a photographer and is asked to work for free constantly, she rightfully says, ‘you wouldn’t ask a decorator to paint your house for free on the off chance you mention it online, or an electrician to sort you out so when people came round and saw your house you could tell them who did it.’ Whether you’re an experienced blogger with 5 years under your belt, or a newbie with 2 months, the amount of effort which goes into writing posts or indeed modelling/presenting/being a photographer, is more than enough to be paid for. It’s not as if we blink and a 500 beautifully worded article with crystal clear photos appears in front of us or it’s not as if we can stop time to be able to afford to lose a day creating content for brands.

There’s also the cases a lot of exposure is expected from huge brands, but bloggers have been left disappointed. Naomi elaborates….

‘I was recently asked to take part in a shoot for a very large international brand. I was told I would be paid expenses (which I have still never received) and I would get exposure, however there was no fee involved. As a number of other bloggers were involved I thought it would be a good opportunity with a very well known brand. It later came to light after the shoot had taken place that a couple of other of the girls were paid for the work and a us others weren’t.’

A brand that values some bloggers but not all? Well, Naomi has thankfully come away angry but at the best end of this situation and she continues with, ‘I’ve come away from the whole experience not really any better ‘exposed’ but just bitter and still minus the expenses I was promised I would be paid. I’m no where near the biggest blogger out there, I am fully aware, but if you want my time it now has a price as I’m yet to pay my bills with ‘exposure. I have recently been asked by another brand to do another shoot with no fee which I kindly declined. My advice would be if you are happy to work for exposure be clear on what they are offering you in return for your work, a back link to your site, tags in Instagram pictures, mentions on their social media pages and retweets. If they want you that badly hash out the fine details and don’t end up with a bad deal. I’m not saying I would never ever work exposure ever again but I will definitely be more cautious about getting clarity on what to expect about exactly what’s in it for me.’

Jayne has unfortunately experienced something very similar, ‘my experience with being a judge an Approved Beauty Awards which happened a few years ago and hasn’t happened again since.

I was not paid for this, but did it because of the exposure and thinking that being affiliated with it would increase my appeal and reach a new audience. I took one and a half days off work for it, paid for my own travel to the judging location and to the event location and gave them permission to use my photo and quotes in supporting activity. We were sold by it being about bloggers and expecting to get a high level of promotion on social, online and in the printed magazine.

I think they mentioned me in a tweet once, link to me from the website but spelt my blog name wrong and then when they published the article which took up about four pages of the magazine my photo was a teeny tiny thumbnail and they misspelt my name and URL and misquoted me.’

We’re not dumb, we know why you’re choosing to use bloggers in campaigns. Jayne continues, ‘they clearly used bloggers purely as a way to get more eyes on their story’, as you can imagine Jayne didn’t receive any new traffic from this but says, ‘I’ve since been much more cautious with what I get involved with’ and has a very important message, ‘really think about how much it will be worth it, measure what you may get from it and see if it’s worth it. Also, ensure you make the most out of that publicity, maybe even pre-agree exactly what they will do for you in exchange for your time.’

These experiences really surprised me, as surely working for exposure means that you’re going to be tagged a lot online and raved about by the brand that you lost a day’s work whilst creating content for them? Surely a brand would respect your time and worth enough to pay you in the first place, but not even a proper link back or a couple Twitter shoutouts? It seems that this isn’t just a couple cases, I know myself that brands soon get bored of actually crediting artists/models and think that they can just use our photos without bothering to mention us. That isn’t exposure. Sure, my face has 4000 likes, but do all of those people know who I am? Do they have a direct way to see more of me and find out more? No, well that’s not exposure.

EDIT – I want to say that there is no ‘shade’ towards the bloggers on the same campaign as Naomi for getting paid when others didn’t. However, I do think it’s every bloggers responsibility to come together with others they know are in the same boat and lined up for the same campaign to ensure they’re all looked after properly. I know that if these girls would have mentioned that they weren’t paid, the other bloggers would have probably said something. Even though some bloggers are of a higher status that others, I do think it means if you are a ‘bigger’ blogger, you have more responsibility to younger blogs to look after them and ensure they’re not taken advantage of.

It happens a lot and not just with photography and modelling, Kitty now refuses, ‘I won’t do it. Last year I did a couple of posts for companies who were big and promised to post on their Twitter and Facebook etc who never did, so it was just free advertising for them with nothing in it for me. For me, in exchange for items I want/like that’s payment, but no I will not post your trends/info graphics/follow links for you just in case you decide to bless me with precious exposure!’ Helen carries this point on with, ‘That exposure rarely turns into anything bar a couple of hits to my blog, but not enough to make a difference.’
Bloggers are now wising up to the ‘chance’ to get exposure as well, as this year there’s been a real increase of the cheapest marketing idea to ever be created, ‘post for the chance of us to RT it!’ Anna, a lot more politely than myself said, ‘even if a big company like Debenhams said they wanted me to do a bunch of work for a ~chance~ to be featured, I would very kind ask that they jog on.’

We’re content creators, but Helen isn’t about to let brands take advantage of her, ‘we are not a way for brands to create content for their own websites. They should do that themselves or offer a suitable incentive’ and encourages others to follow and value themselves with thankfully, a positive outcome, ‘I also think that if we don’t value ourselves, then we can’t expect brands and companies to either. You can always be flexible and work on a case by case basis. I applied for a blogging opportunity and learned it was unpaid for exposure after applying. I stuck to my guns and was eventually offered a monthly retainer.’
Working for exposure isn’t all bad at all, in fact most bloggers haven’t seen the negative side to it like some of us have, and instead Natasha said, ‘if it’s the right kind of exposure. E.G. ASOS reposting a pic, tagging you on Insta and gaining 400 genuine followers,’ which I cannot agree with more, if you are guaranteed to actually gain followers from it/more exposure, definitely.

However, the brands do actually have to have a big enough following for us to get anything out of that, I’m not taking a couple thousand either, a lot of bloggers are hitting the thousands themselves and brands know, although they hate admitting it, that a tweet from us with 5,000 followers is obviously more valuable than a tweet from them with 200 followers. Olivia knows the frustration too well, ‘honestly it’s so annoying being constantly asked to work for free as a blogger, we spend hours writing and perfecting our work to be offered to possibly be shared to our social media which only has 200 followers on anyways. Of course it’s not all about the money but sharing us on social media isn’t a fair form of payment that’s for sure!’ She’s right, it’s not a fair form at all. So what else can people get out of working for exposure?

Well, models for example can get some pretty professional looking photos for the portfolio, Laura explains, ‘I was asked to take part in a fashion shoot/campaign and said yes. Was the exposure from their site worth it? No, in fact my Twitter/Instagram is more engaged than theirs. However although they sold it as an opportunity for exposure, I saw it more as an opportunity to experience a professional shoot, keep the photos from it which are far superior to any shots I take of myself (!) and I feel like it’s a great thing to have in my portfolio as a blogger to show what I can do, which may lead to other opportunities in the future with bigger benefits.’ I love how Laura has taken this opportunity, grabbed it by the horns and got what she wanted and needed out of it. If only all gigs were like this!

Modelling does come across as fun Hollie says but she also makes a strong point, ‘I used to have this mind set that actually, photo shoots etc are great fun, I get my hair and make up done etc so I’m happy to just do it for exposure! But then, at some point, I guess the penny dropped a little and I realised there is a reason a brand chooses me or you, or anyone for a campaign. They have to be getting something out of it, if not why use you out of the hundreds of other people out there.’ She’s spot on, they’re getting your brand and your name to promote them and that’s valuable.

It’s not all bad, in fact this happy ending from Elena really has brightened my day, ‘I wrote as either a contributing writer or an editor while I was at uni, and then afterwards while I was working in retail, unable to find paid writing work. It meant that I was still getting my name out there despite dropping out of uni, and that I was getting relevant experience from my bedroom, working it around my day job and being able to pay my bills. This experience, and the archive of content that I’d created for these publications, meant that I was actually approached about a full-time writing job, and now I have a full-time content marketing job despite having no relevant qualifications. So, while the “for exposure” work didn’t directly compensate me for my work, it has been partly responsible for turning my passion into pay.’

Professional such as photographers do have a slightly stronger view on it than bloggers who are just wanting to boost their profiles, as quite simply it’s their job and their actual income. Hollie states that, ‘I blog as a hobby, it isn’t my full time job.This means I’m more likely to accept work or an opportunity even if it’s unpaid because for me the experience can be somewhat priceless, something I might never do again or ever had the chance to do previously. I understand this may undermine what a professional charges but thats their choice to be professional and my choice to do it as a hobby.’ A point that I completely see.

Diana explains this as ‘when people agree to work for exposure, it undermines the value of what a professional charges. Why would someone pay me to photograph their items when they can get someone to do it with the promise of getting their name out there. It’s a constant battle, and more often the client will then come to you with their tail between their legs realising that you get what you pay for. Don’t work for free folks, especially if it’s your actual job!’ I cannot express this enough, if you are blogging for a living, you’ll know, but if like many, this is a side job, or just a hobby we all know it’s a different ball game.

The general feedback seems to be that a lot of people are more wary, Charley goes as far as saying ‘now I’ve been there, done that and got the experience I wouldn’t go back to hosting for exposure anytime soon!’ I think this is definitely the case with modelling/presenting/hosting/judging, things that we actual have to leave our offices/computers for. These are long, exhausting days and if we all said no to working for exposure for a brand, they would have to pay a professional. We all know brands are using bloggers because even if we do charge, we’re more often than not still cheaper than the professionals and we promote you, whereas professionals such as models aren’t obligated to. Bloggers of all sizes are hugely beneficial to brands, I’ll not sugar coat it, the more of a following you have, the more beneficial you are, but if you sell yourself short from the start, it’s hard to then build up when you realise your worth. However, I can’t agree enough with Hollie that, ‘every opportunity should be looked at under its own individual circumstance and I don’t think anyone should judge others for the decisions they make because everyone is in this for their own reasons.’

I’ve modelled and presented both for exposure, and sure I’ve been featured in some pretty impressive places but the time has come where I’ve done a couple too many ‘for exposure’ jobs and actually not got much exposure from them. Enough is enough for me. I don’t charge for every single thing I post on this blog and I don’t think unless you’re Zoella level that you should, I accept products as payment, but where I actually need to travel, groom myself to prepare and spend the day creating content for a brand? That’s really hard work and that comes at a price. To reiterate what Jayne said, you need to work out is it worth it? Are you losing money from actually doing this? Are you getting anything from it? Ask around, use the UK Bloggers group, if we all start valuing ourselves more, brands will have to follow.

 

Big thank you to everyone who allowed me to use their experiences!

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  • Oh my… where to start! This whole ‘bloggers should be grateful’ thing is so insulting; beauty brands (after a couple of years of bewilderment) have tried to own the social space by making it ALL about them and quite literally refusing to share anything because ‘it’s not our policy’. The idiot thing is that they fail to realise that the more followers bloggers/vloggers have, the more people see the brand’s products. It’s as though being generous on social might actually take something away from them rather than continue on the circle in which, ultimately, they’ll benefit. I spoke to a PR who told me she was very proud never to have paid a blogger for anything, which would be a bit like one of us saying we’d never actually dream of paying a PR because what they do has no value (clearly not the case). I’ve also been on a shoot for a well known brand when the penny dropped that I was the only person in the room not being paid to be there. After several months of wrangling, I am promised a payment – ironically, it was the publication that the shoot was for that baulked at my time being worth anything; the brand and the PRs were horrified I wasn’t being paid at all. I had 4.5 million hits on my site last year and yet I am still told that I don’t get to choose what I blog about, I should be writing about everything sent to me – for free. I am told that I’m not ‘allowed’ to write about Marc Jacobs (Coty) fragrance because I’m not ‘approved’, and very good luck with anything Tom Ford who only work apparently with ‘select’ bloggers. I’ve turned the tables on plenty of brands and just refused point blank to feature anything of theirs at all because their attitude to bloggers (all bloggers) is so poor. I think even if you don’t have super high numbers, you should consider yourselves part of the bigger picture, and in that context, you are stacking up numbers that are vastly more than any print publication. It’s one of the reasons that beauty blog communities are so important. I’ll shut up now but I could rant and rant and rant! Treat ‘exposure’ exactly as you would a financial contract – have it down on paper what the brand will do in exchange for using your time and your image, and more importantly, your readers, for free.

    • So much love for you, I consider you as one of the ‘blogging gods’ and it’s beyond me how you’re not treated with the highest level of respect because you seriously deserve it.

      • …not at all, but thank you.. it’s really so, so shit and makes me absolutely furious that anyone trying to make it in the social sphere gets undervalued by brands. Many of the brands we have on our high street today would be absolutely nowhere without bloggers (of any size) and they forget it far too quickly.

  • Hayley Ann Stewart

    Super useful and informative. I need to start thinking more about what I will and won’t do for brands.
    http://Www.curvesandcurl.co.uk

  • Kat Horrocks

    I encounter this constantly as a makeup artist, and starting to as a blogger as well. What is it about creative, freelance work that is so undervalued by society? We have to pay bills and put food on the table just like everyone else! It all comes down to the question ‘is it worth it?’ – each opportunity needs to be thought over and the ROI needs to be compared against the loss of time/money/etc. I also agree it should be in writing what will be done for you in return for your time. If brands see you take it seriously, I think they’re less likely to mess you about (although some will still try lol!)

  • Unfortunately too many brands think that bloggers have all the time and resources in the world to meet their very specific objectives; they assume we’re sat there waiting for ‘opportunities’ to drop into our laps and that ‘exposure’ can pay the rent. Yes there are a huge number of bloggers just doing it for the experience, to feel part of a community or as a side-line to another career, but more and more bloggers are turning pro. We support brands so I expect a certain level of support back; they wouldn’t give away product for free indefinitely in the hope of making some sales, so working with bloggers is no different. I’m much more likely to continue supporting brands that have identified our mutually beneficial relationship and try to compensate me in some way – and it doesn’t always include financial compensation. I’m very much aware that a lot of brands *are* working with non-existent budgets, but there are ways of doing things that ensure effectiveness on both sides. Here’s hoping 2016 will bring clarity for all on this subject!

    • I think the phrase “mutually beneficial relationship” is key here, and it’s great to have brands that really respect that. I think part of the problem is that some brands genuinely think they are being helpful by offering exposure. Unfortunately it’s only really the bigger brands where this would be worth it, and those are the ones likely to have budgets anyway!

      Kirstie | Behind The Scent

  • Loved reading this, it’s nice to see such a great and detailed perspective. I think what most of this comes down to is how bloggers are just undervalued in general which is strange considering how much work goes into a blog x

    vvnightingale.com

  • Ithink the most insulting thing iv been offered modelling wise was to be featured by a brand both online and in print if I bought there top. Well I got there top (for other reasons, genuinely liked the brand at the time and had always supported it anyway), did the shoot with a photographer and then nothing from that brand other than a ‘like’. well needless to say I no longer support there company and had went from a loyal subscriber to black listing them. Quite
    insulting when brands don’t care about the work we do be it modelling, blogging or what ever else. I always look at is like if they approach me they want something and should be willing to pay. Words don’t magically appear on paper (I wish they did).

  • I love this, a really good way of showing all sides of it. Sometimes exposure can be really useful, my blog lead directly to the comms job I now have and having worked with brands definitely helped with that. That said, you definitely have to know your worth. It’s one thing to get promoted by a big brand, but some companies don’t even offer that and then still want you to post for free. I had one come through today who suggested they wanted to ‘connect likeminded creatives’, but what they wanted was me to drive other creative people to pay for their product, and get nothing myself at all, plus lose a whole day making the post, when I could be spending that time getting paid to work for someone else. You definitely have to judge each opportunity separately but adverts in even local news websites costs hundreds-thousands of pounds and they don’t hold the same endorsement a blogger mentioning a product is, so I don’t think expecting to be paid a little bit for time or to at least get a sample is unfair.

  • This is a wonderfully insightful piece about a really difficult issue within the blogging community. The fact that so many brands see it as a free resource is disheartening. It’s worse still that if someone passes on an opportunity because ‘exposure don’t pay dem bills’ someone more naive will likely snap up the chance believing it to have more value than it does.

    I know a union would be unrealistic, but perhaps a hashtag or a private forum where bloggers could safely discuss these issues and raise red flags about particular brands would be beneficial to giving the community a united voice and stronger stance when it comes to negotiating on the terms of opportunities. Not everyone is going to get to the level that they have agency representation, but something of an experienced collective would be great.

    Shiona | LifeAfterLdn

    • I agree with some kind of forum. There’s the UK bloggers facebook group, but PRs are also part of that. I know I’ve posted something negative about a PR in there, only to realise that that same PR is in the group and had to take the post down sharpish. I think combining a group of bloggers and PRs means you’re treading on eggshells when it comes to stuff like this.

      Kirstie | Behind The Scent

  • Wish I could clap for this post.

  • One of the (many) things company’s don’t realise is how often bloggers get these. I must get 15-20 emails a day offering a post for ‘exposure’ or just wanting me to copy and paste press releases for no reason what so ever. I just delete them for the most part. I also got a company email me the other day asking me to write a post which said ‘the best 5 posts will get a RT’. For the most part this stuff doesn’t bother me, I just don’t engage with it, but that one really haked me off! It wasn’t even a big brand with a big following! A total joke!

    • I have started to just delete these, the comp ones or the “A chance to” ones. Bah. Who has time to deal with all of them?

  • This blog post is life. I couldn’t agree more with everything that you have said. Exposure sure as hell doesn’t pay the bills. I hate the emails about posting as part of a competition and a chance of winning some kind of price. No thank you!

  • I see both sides of the debate but as a previously pro photographer, it rubs me the wrong way to be asked to work for free in any field., I am not a pro blogger, hell I don’t even have a wide following but I will not work for free, whether it be blogging, modelling or taking photos. The last paying job I had as a photographer, wanted, free, exclusive use of a photo. They had paid for an A0 print of a photo. I had to negotiate to $500 for 2 years exclusivity, after then hell no. The invoice at the total cost may have scared them but as stated above, you get what you pay for. I have had a large rail company ask to use a photo in a publication for free and when I sent my list of fees for size and type of publication, I get the company rep ringing me and say but I can get a similar photo for free. MY response was then please do and all the best. You have to value your time, your tools, whether beauty related or clothes or a camera, and then travel to and from the location. Even the smallest blogger deserves to have expenses paid for. After all its advertising for the product., (I do donate photos to school and for text books for small publishers but there is a HUGE caveat re link to my name in the book. )
    A terrific post !!
    XOXO

  • This is a great light and I think you’ve started a really important discussion. I’ve done it in the past and it’s never paid off for me so I politely decline those offers now. I’ve always thought that if a brand really thought that a share on their social media was of the same value as a post on my blog then why wouldn’t they just promote it themselves and skip me altogether?

    Hayley

    Water Painted Dreams

  • Mel

    I couldn’t love this post more if I tried. I made the mistake of working with a few brands for exposure (I say exposure but really it was for a chance to be featured on their website which, shockingly, never happened) a year or so ago. Now I just refuse to work for exposure as it’s never been worth it. I’m beginning to smell the “we can offer you exposure” brands a mile away so when they contact me, I tell them my fees are hideously low and even then they still offer me exposure. I wish brands and PRs would realise bloggers are worth a lot more than exposure. Hopefully when more of us start turning them down, they’ll actually start setting proper budgets.

    http://www.raisethewaves.com

  • Bo

    Brilliant read, and how infuriating at the same time. Would a newly hired anyone be expected to do work for free because they don’t have as much experience as others? I don’t know which one’s more annoying, that or the difference in the ways bigger and smaller bloggers are treated.

  • I will admit that there have been times where I have worked for free. I wrote an article for an online publication free of charge. But I didn’t do it for the exposure. I did it because as a media student it gives me some work experience that I can use later for university/job applications. I may also work for free if the post idea is something I think I would really enjoy writing, or like you stated in your post, it’s a brand that I would absolutely love to work with. But it’s gotta be some big brand like MAC for example where things like exposure are much more likely. Otherwise, charges for my time will apply. And that’s fair enough really.

  • This is also quite a big problem in one area I work in working as a Supporting Artist. It’s not always the case but sometimes when it comes to music videos it can be the bigger the artist the less pay (or no pay at all) because there are so many people who would be willing to work for free to appear in that artists video. It’s not quite the same because they’re not offering you exposure instead of pay, they’re just not paying you, but obviously appearing in a music video (especially if you’re lucky enough to actually be seen in it) is a form of exposure.

    In terms of blogging the only opportunities I’ve really had are receiving products to review. At the end of last year I was contacted and asked if I’d like to take part in something in London and was offered accommodation and a very good rate of pay for doing it (which really would have been helpful to me at the time). I accepted but then for some reason in the space of just a few hours I was told I wasn’t needed any more, or they’d decided to go with somebody else, or something along those lines. In fact one person told me I was no longer needed while somebody else asked further questions. This is actually pretty irrelevant to this post as there was pay on offer, but I guess what I’m saying is I was disappointed with how I was treated. I don’t know whether I was dropped because I wasn’t a big enough blogger or for similar reasons, but it left me a little bitter x

    Becky @ The Little Blog of Beauty

  • lady .nancy

    I’ve had brands ask me to do stuff “for a chance of exposure”, when I got nothing. Now that I have better things to do, I don’t think I’d have the time to do it for free, even if I wanted to. You’re right we bloggers should stick together in order to increase the prices in the market and get what we deserve!

    Happy New Year!

    xoxo

    retro-electric.blogspot.com

  • This is such a good post Georgina. Thank goodness some bloggers realise their worth, but what a shame many don’t. I feel like bloggers need to stand together, and help to educate others (just like you are in this post). Some of my blogger friends have considered paying brands for goods, as well as blogging about them. Of course I advised them not to do it! Others didn’t realise that brands paid bloggers if they were sending goods. They thought it was one, or the other. Seems like bloggers are being taken advantage of left, right and centre! But to work for exposure? I agree – it’s going to have to be a brand like MAC, but even then I’m not sure I would do it!! That said, I’ve done all sorts of unpaid work at times if I think about it. Blogging as part of a competition, and that kind of thing! My choice though! : )

    ♥ Carly’s Beauty Blog ♥

  • Brilliant post! What really gets me is the amount that PR companies charge brands to aggregate content for them and they clearly don’t pass that on to bloggers. Also, maybe its a beauty/ lifestyle problem because… My partner works in the games industry. I’m told his company contacted some 30 or so bloggers asking them to review their new game. Not one said they’d do it for free and the lowest fee offered was 4 figures!!!
    http://www.tamlovestea.co.uk

  • Caroline Skydemore

    This is a fantastic blog post with really strong points, all of which I agree with. But just for a moment, I’d like to come at this from a different angle. I used to blog prolifically – from 2007 until, basically, 2012 when I fell pregnant with twins who metaphorically swallowed my spare time WHOLE, I blogged pretty much every single day on my lifestyle blog, as well as being a paid blogger for other sites. My work as a blogger even allowed me to side-step into social media marketing with a large international publishing company who pretty much gave me the job based on the experience I could prove through my blog and other related online profiles. From that perspective, my blog alone gave me the exposure that I needed to achieve my goals, although things were very different back then, I know, as bloggers were a far smaller pool. I think I fell out of blogging pretty much as the blogsphere exploded and became a largely professional content-sharing platform.

    What I really wanted to say is that AS a blogger, I understand that any content that I produce and promote online for free undermines the value of content produced by professional bloggers. BUT I used to blog for the sheer pleasure of writing. I used to share fashion items I coveted – a beautiful dress, a stunning pair of shoes – for the joy of sharing. And as my twins have reached preschool age, I’ve considered returning to blogging as a hobby, but am hesitant to do so for fear that the free content I would produce would potentially offend or undermine the value of the now far more professional blog scene. Perhaps the difference comes from my CHOICE to promote certain brands or items rather than being APPROACHED to do so? I’d be really interested to hear others’ opinions on whether blogging purely as a hobby is still valid or whether it does have a detrimental effect on the perceived value of the pros.

  • Hi Everyone, I went to a blogger event a few months ago and their were
    brands promoting their products. There was a lot of hobbies blogger,
    lots of ”I do this for fun” ”I don’t take this seriously”.. I had the
    brands coming up to me talking about doing some kind of collaboration,
    so we got talking and I asked them if they had any marketing budget in
    place – they kind of looked at me and nervously laugh like thinking I
    was joking.

    But I was completely serious and I replied that I don’t work for free
    and like them I was a small business and I needed the income (badly as
    we got 2k tax bill to pay, well not me per say more of my husband but I
    feel I need to take on this tax bill, anyway that a different subject).
    She said that no other bloggers at this event talked to them about
    ‘marketing budget’ and was happy to work for free.

    I simple stated my case further but I wasn’t going to win so I sulked
    back to my corner. I went home feeling a little angry and what you have
    written made me think of that event and how blindly both bloggers and
    brands think they can get away working for free.

    I agree something need to change asap. xx

    http://www.annanuttall.com