Blogging - like a lot of other new industries industries, from tech start-ups to social media - suffers from a lot of prejudice. Some people just don't really 'get' blogging. I can't count the number of times people have said to me 'wait - you get paid just to take photos?' The fact is, that's not how it is at all - there's so much that goes on behind the scenes. Here are some misconceptions about blogging that I've encountered so far.
1. Our Job Is Easy
This is probably the number one out of the misconceptions about blogging - that it's easy. That all we do is take photos and get paid for it. The truth is, a single Instagram post can take hours of time and effort. On average, I pay to shoot with a professional photographer, which takes about 3 hours for me to do 3 outfits. Then, I gotta wait a couple days for the photos to be sent over. I get sent hundreds of photos and analyse them and pick my favourites - another 2/3 hours. I edit all my favourite photos (usually about 20 per outfit) - this can take up to 4 hours for three outfits using editing apps on my phone.
I then go through them and pick a few of my favourite ones and upload them to UNUM, an app which helps you to plan your Instagram feed. Finally, I wait until the right time of day to post (when I have the highest engagement), I pick just one, add final editing touches, think of a great caption, use apps like Focalmark to find trending hashtags, and eventually upload it. As you can see, this is actually a looong process. And as for a blog post or Youtube video - those hours transform into days of planning, writing/recording, editing and uploading.
2. We're 'Just In It For the Free Stuff'
Believe me, we all know how lucky we are to get clothes for free. But I don't know a single blogger that started blogging with the aim of getting things for free - if they had, they wouldn't have lasted long. This job is hard work, and you have to really love what you do.
3. We Always Get Contacted by Amazing Brands
The fact is, a lot of emails I get about my blog go straight in the junk mail box. So many of these emails are people trying to sell things like SEO/marketing services. A great deal more are 'blanket emails' from PRs - impersonal and often little to do with our blog. I've had emails before about promoting men's clothing, toothbrushes and random electricals. Many more emails are from super-cheap 'internet brands'; which, on the odd occasion they have sent me clothes, have been terribly poor quality and looked nothing like the picture. There's not much point getting this so-called 'free stuff' if it's poor quality and we're never going to use it again. But, after sifting through the inbox, you usually do find an absolute gem - a lovely brand which are a pleasure to work with, which makes it all worthwhile.
4. We Have Loads of Free Time
Another of the key misconceptions about blogging. While we are lucky to work to our own schedules, including working from home, blogging is basically a 24/7 job. Instead of working 9-5, I'm always engaging on Instagram, always taking photos, always thinking about the next photo opportunity.
5. We Shouldn't Ask for Payment, Because We're Already Being 'Paid' in Clothes
One of the main misconceptions about blogging is that we shouldn't get paid. Bloggers - know your worth. It's perfectly OK to ask for payment. Brands - at the end of the day, you wouldn't expect free advertising in a magazine, so why do you expect this from bloggers? Many bloggers I know have a greater reach than several national magazines. Yet, so many multi-million dollar companies often return with the answer: 'sorry, we don't currently have a budget.' Personally, I only ever work without payment if it's clothes I really love. At the end of the day, we are doing brands a service. And no, I don't consider a rubbish-quality top that cost about 50p to make, or a cup of coffee (seriously? I may as well just go into Pret for that one) to be adequate payment. I can't pay my bills with coffee!
6. Working with Brands is Smooth Sailing
Again, this one is often quite far from the truth. Some brands and PR companies (by no means all) can be quite difficult to work with, as I've written about previously - being demanding and asking for a lot from bloggers.
7. We're bitchy
Honestly, when I first began blogging and working in the fashion industry, I'd been told by many people to watch my back. It is important to be smart and keep your wits about you, as in any competitive industry. But, many bloggers I've met so far have been so lovely. Within the industry, there is a real sense of community. So many bloggers are supportive of each other - whether it's with a kind comment, a retweet of their blog post, or a blogger pod.
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STUDDED ANKLE BOOTS (TOPSHOP) - SIMILAR
Photos are by the lovely Catherine xoxo