“WHETHER YOU’RE IN YOUR 7TH YEAR OR PLOTTING YOUR FIRST POST, IT CAN BE A SCARY PROSPECT PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE, FULL KNOWING THERE ARE MISTAKES TO BE MADE AND LESSONS TO BE LEARNT”
Blogging is a funny old business; whether you’ve been doing it for 7 years or are planning your first post, it’s a continuous learning curve and the nature of it is forever changing. Regardless of whether it’s your job, a side money earner or hobby, people’s expectations of you and what they want from a content creator is also, always changing. It’s easy to pile on the pressure on yourself, which essentially, takes away the reason your whole blog or internet space was born; out of passion and an outlet for creativity and fun!
There are lessons I have learnt the hard way, and ones I’ve managed to avoid thanks to the network of incredible friends I’ve made through my blog and Instagram. But the fact of the matter is, making mistakes is almost second nature to the job, and it’s totally, OKAY! It’s forever a learning curve and that’s how we improve, but here’s a few easy ones to make and a few words from my own experiences on how best to tackle or avoid them!
1). BEING A PUSH OVER AND GETTING TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF
This one is a biggie. It’s probably the one I’m most passionate about, yet the mistake I continually make the most! I wrote a little about it in my blog post, all about being freelance for a year and what I learnt. (You can read that here!) It’s really easy, especially in the early days of blogging, to want to really please others in order to build on relationships and a good, hard working, reputation. That said, it’s also easily done when dealing with someone new; whether that’s a brand, PR or another fellow blogger. Countless times I’ve worked really hard to deadlines, travelled and paid for things in order to establish a relationship and show what I can do, upon the promise of reimbursement, future collaborations, etc, only for them to completely ghost invoices or even just a give a little, thank you. There’s no easy way to avoid this, but perhaps become more inquisitive when presented with an opportunity, to ensure you know exactly what the situation is. Finding people that really value you and your work and support that is key, I really cherish the great relationships I have with certain brands and have absolutely no problem doing favours when I know they don’t want to take advantage. It’s good to be keen and negotiable, but just make sure it’s not a one way street.
2). SAYING YES TO EVERYTHING
Again, super easy to do, but very overwhelming when it all culminates at the same time or you have people chasing you up constantly. I’ve only learnt this through doing it, but when offered things, make sure you are selective. There’s no point spending hours shooting, editing and writing about something you wouldn’t buy yourself, so why promote it to your followers? You want people to trust your integrity and opinions, so stay true to yourself. It is also just the nature of blogging, that things do tend to all happen within a certain season, so it’s totally normal to have a busy month then a really empty one. If possible, if you’re passionate about working with someone, try to ask when they want coverage by or set a date, so that you both know when it’s being delivered, but it also means you can spread your projects out!
3). OVERLOOKING GOOD OPPORTUNITIES
I’ve been so close to passing by incredible opperuntites, simply by not doing enough research or asking questions! Of course by all means, you’re allowed to turn down a generic email asking you to leave a 5 star review on Amazon for a foot scraping product if that isn’t your jam, but try to investigate the product and brand. Have they worked with influencers before, have a peek at recently tagged photos and what their style is and look at reviews. Does it align with you? Often I’ve had a bit of a blanket email that I’ve quickly almost, overlooked, only to discover them to be great to work with and happy to negotiate so that we’re both happy! If you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask questions, such as the nature of the collaboration or if they have any previous influencer work for examples!
4). NOT BEING NEGOTIABLE
It sometimes feels like a constant juggle of being negotiable in business, but also knowing your worth. There’s now great indicators and guidelines on what you should be charging or a good ballpark figure for content creation, but my favourable route is always asking clients what their budget is. I would never expect every client to have the same budget, and although I do have my rates, I’d rather not put myself out of work because someone had a lesser figure in mind. If I’m passionate about working with someone, I’ll be more than happy to discuss figures. Know your worth but also be flexible and reasonable, otherwise you could miss out!
5). OVER-COMMITTING OUTSIDE OF YOUR NICHE
This is a tricky one, as although I primarily create fashion and beauty content, I also explore travel content whilst away, as well as health, fitness, lifestyle, interiors, food and even DIY. We all do these things, but it’s about finding a way to organically make it flow with what you already create and your own identity. Promoting all sorts of products, as well as multiple of the same products, but with different brands and in a short mount of time can sometimes appear a bit fickle. It’s okay to turn things down; your integrity and honestly will serve you far more than momentary success or money!
6). FEAR OF DAMAGING RELATIONSHIPS & LETTING IT RUIN YOUR FINANCES AND WORK.
I’m a people pleaser; I hate disagreements, confrontation or upsetting people. But it also gets to the point where you may well need to stand up for yourself and chase things up. When you’re owed £££’s, or someone isn’t playing ball, it’s perfectly okay to ask the progress of projects or payments! Remember some initial emails may also have been missed, so it’s fine for you to chase up or check in, the majority won’t mind and some people need a polite nudge. Don’t suffer in silence if something isn’t right and keep a list of things that are overdue or need checking up on.
7). TAKING ON TOO MUCH
Similarly to saying yes to everything, taking on too much work could leave you inundated and consequently, effect the quality of your work. Nothing is worse than running dry on inspiration knowing you have loads of content and campaigns to suddenly get done very quickly! It’s okay to not stick to a blog schedule, it’s okay to take time away! Also be cautious, if when dealing with collaborations, that you don’t accept rival companies/products within a short time frame of each other; you want to be respectful of their products and in some cases, this could even breach a contract. Again, it’s all about being selective and trying to manage your time well.
8). NOT ASKING FOR SOMETHING
I used to be afraid to ask for things, but don’t ask; ya really don’t get! I make an effort to reach out to new PR’s and companies seasonally, to introduce myself to brands I respect and perhaps already use avidly! Tell them why you like them, pitch ideas, give examples and let them know what you’re working on recently! I’ve made some of my best contacts this way! Put yourself out there and reap the rewards!
9). WAITING FOR THINGS TO HAPPEN/NOT BEING PRO ACTIVE
Similarly to the above; you can’t just sit there and expect the collaborations to come rolling in. Email, email, email – set up meetings and network where you can. It’s such a great way to meet amazing, other like minded individuals and a good way to get the ball rolling! research media contacts and do some outreach, engage on social and keep relationships strong!
10). LETTING NUMERS ALTER YOUR INTEGRITY
The cardinal social media sin, in my opinion. Too often I’ve seen or heard stories of people turning a blind eye because someone doesn’t have an amount of followers that could benefit them, so they don’t bother to engage with them. Being nice gets you far, appreciate people that support you, make friends and disregard numbers! How shallow would life be to build your friendships on a follower count? Stay humble and kind.
SHOP THE OUTFIT
Would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one – whether you’re a newbie at blogging or have been doing it for years; what are the things you wish you knew before you learnt the hard way? Pop a comment below or my Insta DM’s are always open for a chat!
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Photography by Ben Kapur