The 5 Biggest Blogger Misconceptions

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The 5 Biggest Blogger Misconceptions

I've been blogging for a while now, so long that I can't quite remember a time when I didn't have my little corner of the internet. Technically I started in 2014, but I usually tell people it was 2015 as I really had no idea what I was doing for the first 6 months and all those blog posts are not available in my archive, trust me, it's a good thing you don't have to endure them. I wouldn't say I've mastered blogging, not even close, but I've been here long enough to have received every insult in the book, I have endured the eye roll, the scoff, the "I want to start a blog to receive freebies like you do" messages on Facebook, I know all the insults, I can tell the look of a blogger hater before they've even opened their mouth, but why do so many people dislike us? Personally, I think it's a lack of understanding, a lack of wanting to understand, too caught in their ways of thinking everything new and shiny is bad and that us "millennials just don't work as hard" as they had to when they were our age, cue the eye roll. So, I thought I'd list some crazy misconceptions people have about bloggers and explain that yes, it can be a full-time job, not mine, but still. 

BLOGGERS DON'T WORK HARD
Now, this is the stupidest one I've seen, but it tends to be the overarching belief among people who have decided that blogging cannot and should not be a full-time career. As someone who has worked outside of my blog in PR, journalism, marketing, advertising, social media and so on, I can definitely tell you blogging is just as hard a job prospect as those fields, because a blogger takes on all of those titles for themselves. When I am blogging I am writing up pieces that range from 600-2,000 words regularly, what does that remind you of? Journalism. Not only am I writing those pieces but I am also editing them, coming up with the idea for the post, rearranging layout, doing the SEO of those posts, using keywords. I then take the photos for my blog posts, just like many bloggers out there and edit them myself, just as a photographer would have to, following this I then promote them on social media, control all my social media accounts myself and just like me a lot of bloggers are also self-taught in coding and CSS to advance their blog. Blogging isn't just sitting at a laptop, writing a bunch of paragraphs, pressing publish and you're done for the day, it takes hard work and dedication, for me, it can take up to two weeks to write a single blog post and get it from draft to published and promoted on my blog. Alongside that I am also doing a masters degree, just like many other bloggers out, there who are at college, university, working full-time jobs or sometimes having two to three different jobs on the go. It's not an easy as it looks and I'd love to see anyone throwing this insult out way trying to do it. 

The 5 Biggest Blogger Misconceptions

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FREEBIES
I hate the term freebies and how it tends to be used when talking about bloggers because the items we get gifted or are sent by companies are almost always never a freebie. Sometimes we are gifted items that have no strings attached, no promises are made to write a blog post, no social media posts are spoken about, but it's still there that expectation that we will write about the product or share it on our social media channels. Further, no one ever receives gifted items or sponsored items when they first start a blog, to get to the stage when you're on PR lists and receiving products from brands you have already been slaving away at your blog long enough to have a substantial following and have made yourself and your blog current enough that working with you benefits the brand to some extent. Brands don't see a blogger with two blog posts and think "work with her because she's a blogger", no, brands find bloggers they think are worthwhile, this could be a large following, a unique writing style, in-depth reviews or any other factor that is important to the brand. So, no, bloggers do not start out with the intent of receiving freebies, doing so puts you at a large disadvantage and you get bored before you get the chance to be known by brands because your heart isn't in it. There has to be a love or a passion for blogging, for the writing, the sharing, the creativity, otherwise we'd never stick at it long enough.

IF IT'S PAID FOR, IT'S A LIE
One thing I have noticed, especially when undertaking my dissertation last year, wherein I researched the trust consumers hold over bloggers, is that a lot of people think ads, sponsored or paid for posts are lies. A lot of people believe that if a brand pays you for a review or a social media post or even if you just post about a gifted item then you must be lying to stay in a brand's good graces. This is so wrong. There are some bloggers who like to keep their reviews positive and not point out any issues surrounding a product because they want the brand to share it or to get on/stay on a PR list but these kind of bloggers are few and far between. What is more important to us as bloggers is our readership and those who look to our blogs for reviews or recommendations, those people who keep our blogs relevant, they deserve the truth and if we don't think they should waste their money on a product, most bloggers, including myself will tell them because trust comes before everything else. Plus, wouldn't it make us look silly to praise a product over and over again only to have other people write all over the internet otherwise? It doesn't matter whether we are receiving payment for a blog post, most of us will continue to be truthful and honest. 

The 5 Biggest Blogger Misconceptions

BLOGGERS HAVE LUXURY LIFESTYLES
I get this one, trust me, I completely understand where this misconception comes from, I'm not a blogger with 3 Chanel bags, 5 pairs of Dior shoes and 6 Givenchy blazers, I am not whisked away on holidays across the globe with luxury brands, so I know how it feels to see all of this one social media. That isn't every single blogger's lifestyle, nor do all bloggers have those luxury, easy, carefree lives. We still have bills to pay, things to worry about, real-life issues, I mean you can use me as an example of a blogger that does not live that fancy, private jet, Instagram goals lifestyle if you want. It is also important to remember that people only tend to show the good on social media and their blog, they don't want to show you them paying their bills or crying because a family member is unwell or stressing out over deadlines, you only see the highlights reel of many people's lives and yes it can give off the idea that once bloggers get big they suddenly live the life of luxury, but no one does except maybe Beyonce but even then she has been through troubling times too. 

BLOGGER'S LIVES ARE ONE BIG AD
I swear I see this one daily, a blogger posts a photo of her new favourite perfume on Instagram, I like it before heading to Twitter and there she is replying to 10 different tweets accusing her of not disclosing the ad on Instagram. No matter how many times she explains it's not an ad, she just loves the perfume people just aren't having it, because everything bloggers do must be an ad, right? I haven't personally experienced this one, but I almost feel like everyone outside of the blogging world thinks bloggers are walking ads, everything we wear, everything we like and everything we do is provided by companies, that's not always how it works. Sometimes we just like items and want to share them with people on the internet, even if we spent our hard earned money on it because not everything in our lives are gifted to us, especially us smaller bloggers, we buy a good 80% of what we post about online, so to see people being accused of being walking adverts is just so discouraging.

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Are there any other misconceptions you're tired of hearing? Or did any of these surprise you? Tell me in the comments below! 

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