The Biggest Misconception Surrounding Blogging

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"That's so easy! I want free stuff"

The above statement has been said to me more times that I can count at this point and every time it's said to me, I still get annoyed because there is so much more to blogging than people understand.

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Them: "How do you get all these products?"

Me: "Oh, I'm a blogger and I work with different brands now and then, writing posts etc... on their stuff and do some lifestyle..."

Them (Cutting me off) "Wow! That sounds so easy! How can I get in on this, just start a blog?"

As a blogger I'm sure you're asked how you do it, how you go about working with brands, how you write your posts, where inspiration comes from and so many more questions. I actually had a message in my inbox the other day asking if I approach brands to give me free stuff because they wanted to do it and even had the audacity to ask I write a draft email to send to companies for her...... MAJOR EYE ROLL HAPPENED.

Now, I have no problem giving advice and helping other bloggers out because, well, we are all in this big pond together and if I can lend a hand, I will. But what I'm not going to do is tell you exactly what I say, who I approach or approaches me and how to "get free stuff" because let's be honest, that's not how it works.

I know that if you're a blogger and you're reading this right now you'll still be thinking about her asking me to write a draft letter for her, because that's exactly what I would be doing if this were someone else's post. I found it rude, obnoxious and really disrespectful. Not only was she blunt, rude and unapologetic in her message she also blocked me once I said I wouldn't write a draft letter for her. I'm just so taken aback by this if I'm honest, and she wasn't even a blogger to top it off!

Anyway, how many times has someone said to you that what you do sounds so easy and they want to do it to blag some freebies? If you're one of the lucky few who haven't had this happen, well done! You've talked to some pretty amazing people. But like many others out there I've been asked this by strangers I've met on nights out, at family functions, even my neighbours, But mainly it's been from people I've been to school with and met randomly and stopped to say hi, how are you and the likes, you know that old exchange. I don't know why it winds me up as much as it does if I'm honest, maybe it's because it's not easy, blog posts don't take 5 minutes, it's not as simple as some may think.

I spend a lot of time on one blog post, writing it, proofreading it like 5/6 times, changing parts to then proofread it a further 5 times to change something again. I notice spelling mistakes, I add text, I remove text and more. Now that's the writing part done, PICTURE TIME! I take about 50 pictures for one product from different angles, lying flat, standing up, me holding it and more to then literally chose about 3 or 4 of them for the post and they normally turn out to be some of the first ones I've taken. Once I've picked out pictures, I edit them. So, that's the pictures and writing done onto social media.

For social media I will schedule tweets for the upcoming month, maybe even for the next few months depending on how much time I have, then I have to sort out Instagram posts, Facebook posts, Pinterest pins and more. Then once it goes live it's all about interacting with people, sending emails to see if all is ok, keeping good relationships with PR's and companies, there is a lot to do for just one post.

Birds eye view of a phone on a white table with pink flowers and a notebook

So many people think it's as simple as writing a post, banging out a few sentences, hitting publish and that's it, NOPE! WRONG! 

You have to try the products (if that's what the post is on), you have to write about it, think of the right thing to say, be honest, promote your post and more. So much is involved with the whole "blogging thing". 

You also can't start your blog on a Monday, get a free product come Tuesday and write a post on Wednesday, it doesn't work like that at all. You have to build yourself up, brand yourself, gain reader trust and more. It's a lot of work and it's time consuming to say the least, but most of all, you have to ENJOY what you're doing. If you don't enjoy it, it shows in your writing. 

People can tell the difference between a structured and regimented post and a natural, flowing post. Showing personality is key, if you are in it for "free stuff" that is going to come through in your writing and it will definitely show with the type of content you are putting out. And to be honest, if you're not enjoying it then why are you even doing it? 

I get annoyed when I put so much work into what I do, watch my blogging friends put in the hard work to then be told "that sounds easy"... No, no it's not. And I'm not doing it for free stuff either. I started my blog with nothing, sharing posts and reviews about products I loved, and I'll continue to do so. I also don't take everything I'm offered; I go with what I feel fits me as a person and my blog, it's not about blagging "free stuff" for me, it never has and never will be, that's just a bonus to be honest.

Is this something that annoys you as a blogger? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. I bloody hate this too! And yes I'm still sitting here with my jaw on the floor after reading that somebody asked you to draft a letter for them! Cheeky sods.
    I love blogging, but it's no walk in the park x

  2. LOVE this!! My friends always say the same, wow you get all this free stuff and just have to write a tiny little blog post? How about the "tiny little blog post" takes me a good few hours to write and edit and make sure it is done to the best of my ability. Add on another couple of hours for the photos and the editing and making sure those are up to the best standard possible. Add on a LOT more hours promoting that post, sharing across social media and adding to linkies. When you look at it that way, a "freebie" isn't free at all!

  3. Over the years I have come to terms with the 'free stuff' comments from non-bloggers. What I can't abide by is when brands say this to me. I politely point out exactly what a single blog post entails from the time spent looking, reviewing and photographing a product. The editing of photos, the writing and editing of the review. The publishing and social media promotion. Not to mention ensuring the correct SEO... all for something free!

  4. My blog is a way to spread a message about inclusion so this isn't something which is likely to happen to me. I am in a bit of a niche, but I know from writing my own blog that every post takes a lot of time and effort.

  5. Hehe, I am with you. I got some running things once and a friend said get me some next time and really wanted me to get some just like that. It takes years to build a blog up, plenty of your own free time to write/picture the product for review that you choose to accept. Then lots more time to promote you posts. It really tires me out sometime. I turned down more than I accept now days as I think, do I really want to spend hours on this product or shall I go shopping, cook nice food or go to the park in my free time instead :)

  6. So True. I am surely agree with you. Its not easy stuff as it sounds.

  7. the "stuff" is never free.. you work blinking hard for it... it takes me 2 hours to write a review post!!!

  8. This is my biggest pet hate ever!! I have had so many people say to me, 'Oh, I'll have to start a blog and get loads of free things like you do'. No. not that easy at all. I have my blog as my full time job and I have been doing it for over 5 years now, but I didn't get any 'free' stuff until I was 2 years into it.

  9. Although my friends are very supportive about my blog and don't miss a post, they don't really understand the 'free stuff' part. It annoys me sometimes as they make it look like I just don't do anything and a load of parcels arrive at my doorstep! I work hard on my content and have spent countless hours dedicated to my blog! Thank you for addressing this issue in the post :)

    Sarah | What Sarah Writes | Giveaway

  10. Wow! I can't believe that someone actually had the audacity to email you and ask you to draft out a brand letter for them! What a cheek! You're 100% right - blogging is hard work and very time consuming, producing good content is about more than just typing away for 5 mins and snapping a couple of photos! Grrr! I completely agree with everything you've said! 🙌🏻

    Abbey 💋

  11. YES!! I too hear this all of the time.
    Personally, I refuse the random free things nowadays, as I just don't have the time to devote to writing about something that I didn't need in the first place; feeling that obligation to PR's and brands meant that I stopped enjoying blogging and found it really tedious. Now, I'm really fussy with my posts and my passion for it has come back. Great post.
    Anna x

  12. Thank f*ck that somebody finally wrote this! Literally it happens to me all the time, especially as people know me as somebody who likes saving money so they think I just do it for freebies and it's super easy to do. It really isn't! I loved this post so much, could literally to literally everything you said xxx

    The Frugal Teen |

  13. Hell yessss!! It isn't as easy as just free stuff, blogging is so time consuming! I also hate how brands only accept bloggers with a lot of followers rather than the quality of posts uh its soo stupid.


  14. Amen to that. I know I so very new to all this and brand affiliation would be awesome, but not for the free stuff, but for the exposure of my blog = my brand and you say the 'free stuff' is in fact payment/compensation for a great deal of work. I totally agree with VelvetBlogs too about have to have 100k followers etc. Surly it should be impressions and engagement, not that I probably make the grade on that either yet. x

  15. We can imagine this would be quite frustrating. In one sentence all your efforts are undermined. You are a respected blogger and do a fab job - we are far off being in your position but one thing is for sure - we absolutely love blogging. The possibilities are endless and very exciting. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.