Over the years, blogging has been rapidly on the rise and with it, more and more people (understandably) want in on the action. From someone who has read blogs ever since they can remember, it’s been truly mesmerising to watch and has fuelled us millennials with a undeniable sense that anything and everything is possible. I will forever believe I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it and I have the internet to thank for that. Naive? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t want to be any other way. I think it’s so incredible that people are able to build something out of nothing, have their say and express themselves in such a relatable and inspirational way. As always, with something new and slightly out of the ordinary, comes doubt and uncertainty. It’s a totally new and unexplored world; there are no qualifications, no courses, no how to’s and no key to success. I previously wrote in this post, 5 things I’ve learnt from blogging, about the struggles of peoples misconceptions and the task of gradually making an income from what used to be, a hobby.
“The thing is, people who don’t blog or are kind of new to the whole concept, sometimes don’t understand exactly it is what we do – and that’s totally understandable!”
Controversially, others like to voice their opinions about our pay and compensation, perhaps not quite understanding why we’re paid and why people want to pay us. We’re paid for a reason – because our voices are valued, our opinions are valued and that has an influence over people, so much so that some bloggers can simply mention a product and it will sell out just like that. Now personally, I think that’s bloody remarkable and takes a lot of power – power that has rightfully been earned through years of hard (and free!) work, mistakes, cringe worthy pictures, being taken advantage of and a sprinkling of the odd internet troll (who can sometimes be closer to home that you think.) I also think, if you’ve managed to show enough passion for something, so much so that people go and buy it – of course a commission is well deserved! We also really have the ability to reach out to others – share our stories, our struggles and lessons learnt, in hopes of it helping others in the same boat. This builds a sense of community and can be so comforting to people going through a difficult time. There’s now a way to reach through to people, to really connect, engage and inspire past the pages of a magazine or advert on the side of a bus. That’s not to say they’re redundant, it’s such a different, more personal approach to things speaking to someone though a heartfelt post or video.
“The way I like to explain blogging, to anyone new to the concept, is that we’re essentially like a new age magazine. Except we’re a one man, multitasking, 21st century wonder who not only create, build and write, but also photograph, review, invest and put our bare souls out there for the world to see.”
I’m more than often asked, ‘but how do you earn a living from it?’
Sometimes this can be an interesting and exciting topic to explain and other times, people’s tone can become a little patronising. Magazines have advertorials, paid or sponsored articles and so do blogs. You wouldn’t critique that in paper form so why hate on a blogger for whacking ‘AD’ on a post? Hell, I stick that ‘AD’ on with a hell of a lot of pride, because I’ve worked for years, invested thousands and networked my absolute arse off for it. For brands you have grown up with and loved to approach YOU, because they like YOUR work is truly remarkable and should be commended. I don’t think some people understand how difficult it really is to build an online presence from thin air, that said, my family and friends are really supportive and astounded at what I do – it’s different and they’re amazed at how after years of graft, a hobby became a career right in front of their and my, eyes. For someone who hasn’t been around that, I can understand perhaps how they assume it’s ‘not a real job’ or ‘not hard work’, because they have had no insight into it apart from a few pictures of a nice handbag. You would never ask a magazine editor, photographer, or journalist to work for free for years, so don’t expect someone who does all of the above and more to do so either. As much as I would love to pay a house deposit in lipsticks, it ain’t gonna happen.
“All I would ever want from the critics, the dubious and the doubtful, is to open your mind and have a little compassion.”
I would never dream of undermining anyones job, no matter what you do. I’ve slaved away working a 9-5 job on my feet, then running to another job from 6-12am, to then come home exhausted, trying to find time to blog and get up at 4am on my day off to drive to a location for filming. You don’t see the past, the present of a bloggers life, you might just see one picture, one post, or one tweet. You don’t see the nitty, gritty, having a full on, sobbing, pitty party for yourself because someone has decided to throw abuse at a harmless selfie. You don’t see the endless list of part time jobs we do in order to pay the bills, hoping that one day we can thrive in a job we adore, or the constant battle of deciding if it’s a viable career or not, or whether we should just ‘stick to something normal’. Bloggers are hard working, talented, respected and deserve just as much respect as any other job. It’s evolving, it’s new, it’s exciting and they’re quite possibly, taking over the world. If you’ve ever doubted, or wondered how much goes into a blog, I urge you to give it a go. It’s fun, empowering, anyone can do it and you might just love it.
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I’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts on this topic – whether or you’re a blogger or not, read blogs for years or have no idea how they work – get in touch and get involved!
Photography by Ben Kapur