Before I began blogging, I’m the first to admit there were some aspects of it I didn’t quite get. Why do so many bloggers and influencers seem to talk about products that seem just a little bit, well, random? From weird apps and techy gadgets to mineral vitamins and health shakes I’d have stared in confusion at the giant tub of butter gracing my favourite fashion influencers blog. And then I’d see it. #AD, and all would be revealed. The blogger in question has been paid, either in monetary terms or in exchange for the product they’re promoting (I’m hoping we’re talking cold hard cash for the butter promotion though as delightful as I’m sure free butter is) So why have I begun to partake in this practice, and why have I taken to promoting things that could possibly be construed as random or weird? Am I such a sell-out I’d do anything for a few pounds? Here’s my thoughts on #Ads, all things ‘paid’ and how I navigate the world of blogging authentically to the best of my ability.
I Do My Research
Some of the things I’m approached to advertise are bizarre. And I mean, bizarre, so I’ve no idea what sort of crazy things the ‘big bloggers’ must get asked to do. On occasion however, I might get asked to do something that’s a little out of my comfort zone, but might still spark my interest in some way. An example of this came with a recent ‘ad.’ I was asked to review and post a paid Instagram for an iron supplement (this went up on my page yesterday so feel free to have a wee look). Iron levels are something that I genuinely struggle with, and when this came along I realised this was an opportunity to try something new as previous iron tablets had left me with a sore tummy. I researched the brands credentials meticulously, read up on reviews, and combed through product ingredients before deciding I’d definitely like to try it out. Only then, after trying the iron supplement for myself, did I decide it was something I’d absolutely be happy to promote, albeit something a little different from my usual posts. I think the majority of bloggers would agree that it’s important to only promote products that you’d genuinely use yourself or products that have, at the very least, sparked an interest in you or encouraged you to try something new. You want to associate your ‘brand’ with great, credible, genuine companies. If you don’t you’ll lose the followers and relationships you’ve worked so hard to gain. And rightly so. It’s as simple as that.
Why Shouldn’t I Enjoy Making Money Out Of What Began As A Hobby?
As someone who’s currently journeying the world of interning, the fact I’d be paid to post my opinion on a product is something that makes me at least look into how I could possibly work it into my page. And I’ve no qualms about being honest about that. But, I must emphasise, money is far from being the only decider as noted in my previous paragraph on research. Sometimes (not always, I’m not that magical) if I wear a certain outfit in a post, I’ll get a wealth of messages asking me where the pieces are from. Not that I mind. It’s super flattering and makes me feel incredibly cool. But it is time consuming. I’ve since implemented Reward Style which allows me a small commission if someone buys something that I’ve recommended through one of my blog links. This is not meant to cheat or con, but I’d hope that people understand that if there’s a possibility of making a little pocket money, then I’d be mad not to take on the opportunity. It doesn’t make me greedy or bad, just…savvy? (I have to be in one aspect of my life lbh). Similarly, if you’d rather not purchase via my blog links then please do just look up the products you like yourself. I don’t want any of this to feel forced or business-like because first and foremost my blog is a hobby, and not a business. Not to say that people can’t turn their own blogs into one hell of a business if they want. I love the community and the support and the laughs. But I’m yet to make my millions. I promise.
Again, this little section relates to both of the above points. I’m not afraid to say no if I feel that a product is not for me. If I can make a paid job work I will. If I can’t, I don’t even try, and I usually know this pretty swiftly after being contacted by the brand. As an example, I was recently asked to promote a watch. The watch in question wasn’t to my taste at all. It would be paid, yes, but I couldn’t make it work and I couldn’t pretend I loved it when I didn’t. I also knew that anyone who follows me obviously shares my tastes to a degree, so the likelihood of them hating it too was pretty high. In this instance I was able to direct the brand to another blogger who is now promoting it because it’s so much more to her taste than it is mine. And ultimately, it fits the taste of her followers. And she pulls it off, and suits it. So she’s getting paid, and people are buying her watch because she genuinely loves it. If I post stuff that I don’t like, my followers won’t like it either and then I’ll lose them, alongside any credibility or authenticity I’ve earned both on a blogging level and on a personal level. So it’s about being sensible with choices. And if you’re a blogger, passing on something you can’t do or don’t want to do to someone else is a really lovely way to support one another. Besides, something more suited to you will come along. Probably a Rolex…
I’m A Blogger. How Can I Get More Paid Work Without P*ssing People Off?
There’s always going to be someone who isn’t happy with what you do. That person should feel free to unfollow if they really, really, hate the money making side of blogging, which is the modern reality for a lot of blogs. That’s their prerogative and I do understand that for some people, it’s just not what they want to see. The majority of us do however seem to understand why other bloggers chose to #ad or use Reward Style links. We aren’t naïve. We know that if there’s a (fitting) opportunity to make a little bit of money then we’ll take it. Again, it’s all about how you do this. Honesty, authenticity and being genuine are key- and just because you’ve gone and got yourself some paid work this shouldn’t be impaired. So, how do we get these jobs? Aside from various apps and PR companies that connect you with brands the main thing is genuine engagement. By engaging with brands I’d actually like to work with (as simple as liking and commenting on an Intsa) I’m often able to form great business relationships, and eventually, source paid work from some of my absolute favourite companies. It’s as easy as that. And I believe that’s how the most genuine #ads are born.
So there we have it. If you think I’ve left anything out then please feel free to share your thoughts, good or bad, on this subject matter via the comments section or on my latest Insta post. For now, if you need me, I’ll be at home surrounded by butter, health drinks and vitamins. Because please, at the very least we can laugh at ourselves…
*Not a sponsored post*