Blogging looks like a fun job right? I mean, brands send you free stuff, you snap a few pics and throw them up on the ‘gram and get paid six figures for it, right? Wrong! So wrong! Today I am shedding some light on what blogging is really like.
Now don’t get is twisted, I love what I do. So much in fact, that I left my cushy corporate job as a Branch Manger to pursue a career as a full-time blogger. I knew the transition was going to be hard, but never guessed how hard. I had no idea that it would mean giving up essentially everything that I thought made me a success…a.k.a. my nice car, huge apartment, expensive clothes and spendy dinners with friends.
The truth is, if you are starting a blog to make boat loads of money, get free stuff, or get famous…you will quickly find that you are more likely to get eaten by the Meg, than have any of those things happen overnight. After more than four years as a blogger, I can honestly tell you that it is about the most scenic and turbulent road I have ever taken to make a living.
You’re probably sitting there like…Okay Jessica, why do it if it’s so hard? What in the hell makes is so worth while? Why not just quit and go back into banking? Well..for starters I’ll tell you what it’s not. It’s not the success I used to seek that’s for damn sure! To me, its so much more.
It’s the one ‘yes’ after the one hundereth ‘no’. It’s creating something from literally nothing. It’s producing original content from sheer imagination. It’s connecting with like-minded creatives all around the world. It’s the opportunity to share the innovations of game-changing brands. It’s telling my story and trusting that it will have an impact. That is what keeps me going on the days where I want to crawl into a cubicle and die.
There is a saying that has stuck with me for many moons…before you climb the ladder, make sure it’s up against the right building. I feel like in today’s day and age there is such pressure to be ‘successful’. I know I’ve felt it. But when you think about it, success is not a one size fits all kind of thing. It’s actually really personal, but it can be so easy to get caught up in the opinion of others and start gauging success by what others think, instead of looking within. But that is another blog for another day.
Now to the good stuff…So this blog post started on a dark and stormy night (literally). I had just wrapped a photoshoot and it was pouring rain, I was soaked and my carefully blown out hair and make-up resembled that of a horror film. The dress I had just finished shooting had fallen off its hanger landing in a puddle on the road and the rest of my backseat looked like a war zone because the bag carrying all of my props for the shoot had ripped in half.
I had to start laughing because earlier that day a friend made a comment about how fun my job looked on Instagram and that she wanted to start a blog so she could get free stuff too. So…I figured it was about time to take down the highlight reel, and share a glimpse into the reality of what you are getting yourself into…so buckle up, its going to be a bumpy ride.
5 Things You Should Know Before Your Start a Blog
1. It is NOT as Glamorous as It Looks on Instagram…
Yes the photos posted to the ‘gram are glossy and make it look like bloggers wake up with perfect hair and makeup. But let’s be real…most bloggers will tell you that in reality…photoshoots consist of you scrambling to get all of your looks shot before the light runs out, your paid time with a photographer runs out, or your meter runs out. You get sweaty AF changing your looks in the car, while it may or may not be pouring rain outside, and the clothes you steamed earlier that day got wrinkled on the ride to the shoot. Say Cheese!
2. Blog’s Don’t Just Happen…
It’s not like you just “start a blog” and get free stuff. I had to get used to the word NO, and that’s if the brand even took the time to respond to me. When I started out, most of the brands I reached out to would completely ignore me. It’s taken me 4+ years to get here and the truth is, I still hear NO…a lot more than I’d like.
Another fun fact…bloggers have to pay taxes on the products brands send us. So in reality, it we say yes to posting about a product and the brand isn’t paying us for our work…we are actually losing money to create the content because we have to pay those taxes (and our photographer) out of pocket.
3. Get Used to Judgement…
As if the “No’s” from brands aren’t enough…you also will get your fair share of snickers and eye rolls while you are taking photos in public, mean comments online from internet trolls that have nothing better to do…and the saddest judgements of all come from other bloggers who talk shit behind your back, exclude you on purpose and treat you like you are garbage because they have a bigger following. I don’t say this lightly, thick skin is a MUST in this industry.
4. Say Bye-Bye to the 9-5…
Say hello to the 24/7! Unless you are independently wealthy, have a sugar daddy/mommy that supports you, or you are lucky enough to have investors who can help you scale your blog from day 1… as a blogger you wear allllll the hats. You are the CEO, the secretary, the intern, the accountant, the janitor, the stylist, the tech person, the web developer, the graphic designer, even the photographer (thank god for tripods and remotes)….you catch my drift.
5. Get used to people asking you what your real job is…
In the grand scheme of things, blogging is still a new career path which is what in part prompted me to write this blog. Most people who aren’t educated on Influencer and/or Social Media Marketing still think of blogging as a hobby. What they don’t realize (or see) is that bloggers are essentially creating lifestyle advertisements from scratch, and what used to take an entire staff at Vogue now gets done by content creators (like bloggers). So while it is a real job…not a lot of people get that.