“What do you do?”
“I’m a full-time blogger/Youtuber”
“Wow! Lucky you! You must earn a lot just by working at home wearing your pyjamas all day!”
WE BLOGGERS GET THESE A LOT.
And to honestly tell you, I just feel like taking those people and tell them to live my life for a day as a full-time blogger. I have been bottling this in for too long that I figured I need to let this out for the sake of my sanity. And whether you’re a full-time or part-time blogger, this post might be of good use to you coming from someone who’s been actively blogging for almost 9 years.
Yes, blogging can earn you lots of big bucks, but they can also drain you. Note that we full-time bloggers do not have a stable income where your salary comes in every month at the exact same date. You do not get pensions or EPFs. You do not get benefits. So it all boils down to you on how you manage your financials well.
On a good month, jobs will come flowing in, and on different months, you could get to as little as per one job in that whole month-long stretch. It’s okay cause afterall, you rezeqi is already well written from the All-Giving. So usually bloggers could really live on this kind of income patterns.
What’s SO FUN about being a blogger is not how much you make, it’s who you work with.
Oh my Lord, I have worked with a vast number of clients and I can just honestly tell you they don’t make your life any easier!
1. They pay late.
Like REAAAAAALLLY late. Sometimes after a certain task is done, they can go up to 6 months without paying you what you both have agreed upon. And this is where it gets even more fun. You have to chase them for payments, for invoices, for receipts, and be passed on from another employee to another. Worst, they sometimes ignore you calls or messages too.
What strucked me curious is that, most of the clients who pay you late, are those from big corporations. Like, massive. They’re really popular with the masses, and they have sky-high offices and such. Yes, they’re that big and yes, they will pay you late for some unexplainable reasons. I chose not to disclose those names cause I can assure you, there are a lot. And also it’s beneath me. If you’re a blogger, you can email me and I’ll let you know who they are so that you’ll be careful when working with them in the future.
Smaller scaled businesses like online shops are in fact even much nicer cause the payment is on time and the process is not tedious. The transaction is made super quick, and the deliveries of the items are also flawless. They pay, you do your job, and voila, both are happy.
2. They don’t pay you at all.
Hahaha I wish you could hear me laugh while writing this. Time and time again, me and most of my blogger friends would talk about this realizing that we are obviously being used. Some companies would offer you shopping vouchers, shopping credits, free products and get this, the funniest one: “We will repost your image on our social media sites”.
What. The. Hell.
Something you should know: If a certain brand/company approaches you for your work, know that, they need you more than you need them. So by saying “we will repost your image on our page” is not something we bloggers would like to hear, okay?
If you are a blogger like me, know that every thing you do is accountable for a payment.
The blogposts, instaposts, fb posts, videos that you put up on your sites should be paid for. And if they would like to put it up on their pages, that’s a whole new different payment set you should be getting.
The photos you took, the editing, the graphics.
Your styling expertise, your writing skills, how you are able to connect with your audience, how knowledgeable and relatable you are to the product, how you communicate well with your viewers.
Your appearance at events
Especially if you have reached a level where your appearance makes a difference to their events. This takes up your time, and energy. Your transportation. Your outfit. Etc.
This goes especially to those who have strong influence on social media, who have set a reputation for all your past works, and have the power to easily connect your content with what your readers want.
My advice to all new and old bloggers alike, please know your right in being a blogger. I used to be so ignorant about this and honestly I have been used one too many times by clients who does not respect me for my work, my time, and most importantly my reputation.
In the older days, I would accept everything without asking for payment cause I feel like “Okay since they’re giving me free clothes / sponsored overseas trips / free dining bla3”. Little did I know that these companies are using me for their own benefit.
Imagine if you have a 10k following on your instagram. Just 10k. In a physical room where you and these 10000 people are in, how much influence would your words reach out to, would you think? A LOT! Ten thousand people in a single room, kot! Whether or not these 10k people would actually go for what you reviewed, but note that your points have reached 10k people. Now close your eyes, and imagine you standing on a stage, and there are 10k people in the same room as you. Crazy.
Don’t get me wrong, I may sound like a diva in this post to some of you. But I am so sick of being used for my sincerest intentions, which is to provide content for you, my readers. Some companies even till today sends me products (since we have worked together previously and they know my address), AND expects me to wear/use them and review it on my blog and other pages--for FREE.
Urm, I think not. Don’t ever send me anything without my consent. If you do, just don’t expect a review from me unless I happen to truly believe in your product. Have some respect la, for us bloggers, okay?
Be genuine. Oh, I cannot stress this enough! Do you know that readers trust your reviews? And they expect to read something that is of good value. Something you truly trust in. I know, cause I’m a reader too. Whenever I wanna look for reviews about anything, I too, expect something truly honest from the blogpost I’m reading. That’s the beauty of the blogging industry.
Note that, in my 9 years of blogging, I have never accepted product sponsorship reviews of something that I don’t like. My emails are bursting with sponsorship proposals and you know what, if I wanted to make money out of all of this, I REALLY can, simply by accepting all those offers. But I don’t. No client can ever make me be fake to my readers. That’s that.
Don’t make me say anything about your products or services. I will do that out of my own will. I will try the skincare, I will wear the dress, I will consume the product, I will do everything on my own and extract my views on those things and pour it out on my blog. If your products/services are really that good, then you should have nothing to worry about.
Pheww. I can go on for days, guys! :p
That’s why, whenever I get the chance to meet freshie bloggers, I’d always tell them, do not blog for money at first. Build your contents, build strong networks, build a solid platform where you are most passionate about. Do it because you love it. Don’t ever do it for money, fame, recognition etc. All those will come later if you prove yourself worthy of this game.
Do not be afraid to reject jobs that do not respect you. I just did. I was attached to some travel club group where they’d offer me sponsored trips in return for reviews. I mean, I love traveling and I’d be gone in a heartbeat if I were to be offered a free trip. But as experiences has taught me, I didn’t get much out of the trips.
Yeah I saw the world. But to be honest, your trip is all about non-stop taking pictures. Bloggers will get too engrossed in taking pictures and videos with our phones, cameras, gopros and etc that we lose sight of the actual place we’re at. It’s just who we are. If you say, “That’s work, Shea. You cannot expect to go on a holiday when people give you sponsored trips.”
Well, if it’s work, then pay me. Simple.
When I got back I realized that I had pending posts to be published, and the balance in my bank account is a lot lesser cause I had to bring and spend my own personal money to those trips. To buy myself a jacket, a pair of gloves, and a pair of boots. Basic necessities before you travel.
Mind you, my blog can reach up to 200k visits per month not in the first year I started it. The first year I was basically talking to myself in this exact same page. Did I care? No, I didn’t.
In fact when brands are super nice to me and are not troublesome when it comes to payment, I actually gave them more than what they paid for--FOC. Malas la nak cakap kan. But seriously when people respect your work enough to provide remuneration, we will give you so much more in return. Even long-term friendships!
So I hope this post has given you some insights as to how glamorous my life is as a blogger. Honestly, it’s not. It’s pure hard work and dedication. You can easily get side-tracked and get lost with life in the way. You are your own boss, and therefore you need to discipline yourself before anyone else ever can.
And lastly, please, know your worth. If a certain company is not doing you any justice in providing relevant compensation for all your hard work, please reject the collaboration proposal. You will not lose anything. Trust that rezeqi is Allah’s job and He will help you through this. Who knows you might reject a certain job for something that you don’t believe in or someone who does not believe in your work enough to pay you, later you’ll be receiving jobs from other nicer companies who’d pay you even more! Have faith k! (Tried and proven) ☺
I love blogging so much that I feel that I just have to say these things out. Blogging used to be pure and fun 3-4 years ago, but now it’s kind of different which makes it pretty sad for someone who’s so passionate about it.
I got the push to publish this post from Fira today and I thought that yes, it’s time.
I would like to apologise in advanced for my absence cause I have been dealing with lots of personal and work issues as of late. I promise you I’ll be back in no time cause yes, I think about you everyday, My Amethyst! ☺