Imagine going into a shop. This shop is like many on the high street and the surrounding areas, but there is something about it that catches your eye. You go in and you come across the most amazing sales assistant, who tells you in detail, everything that you need to know. You decide to purchase a product and right when you go to the till, the assistant suddenly breaks into gratitude and exclaims, “Wow, thank you so much! I am so thankful that you are actually purchasing from here!”
At first you might think what a friendly person. But then you could question, why are they so grateful? Are the items not very good or do people not come here often?
This is what bloggers do on a continuous basis. If you are not a full-time, successfully earning one, you are expected to be grateful at any given opportunity of freebies or exposure.
Being a blogger is technically not hard. In the same way, that I can charge someone for makeup and call myself a makeup artist or write a book that sells 2 copies and call myself a writer. What is tough is being classified as good. Not every successful blogger is necessarily good – personal opinion, but they have posts that are of value.
Recently I have worked with a couple of brands for the first-time and to say that I was excited – is an understatement. I felt so humbled and appreciative. I noticed that they however, remained calm. Even when I offered to do more – I am very happy with the products, they were very casual. To me, I interpret this as them being confident and proud enough of what they sell, to recognise that the benefit was mutual.
As satisfied as I am with my blog, there is a niggling of doubt that surfaces. I do not acknowledge at times the value of the site that I have invested hours into building. Whilst I am not reporting on headline journalism or writing a piece undercover, I am the creator of a hub that is exposed to a daily audience and I have built up a relatively well social-media influence.
Instead of waiting and hoping that I can one day make a profit or collaborate, I should be progressing and strategically promoting, believing positively that I have something worth substance. Instead of writing disclaimers every time I make a point (I was close to writing that I am not a professional blogger etc), I should be confident enough to trust that my words will make an impact regardless.
In the same way that there are thousands of companies worldwide, there are tons of bloggers. This does not mean that you have to compare yourself and become caught up in what others are doing. This should mean that you are aware of the market, yet you have found your own unique selling-point and you have forged a place in the competition.
If you feel that you are no different, how can you convince an audience that they should come to you? If you are not satisfied with your work, how can you expect a reader to stay committed? If there is one thing that I had learnt when freelancing as an MUA, is that the world owes you nothing. It did not matter that I went to a fantastic beauty school, assisted with celebrity artists or have my own IMDB credits, if I did not tell myself that I was the best and promoted myself as so, somebody else would have.
I do not believe this is about arrogance. I am not suggesting that you live in a bubble of your own hype on a pedestal. But if someone invests their time, money or skill towards you, you want them to feel that it is profitable. Equally, if someone asks you to do something such as promote with your blog, you need to interrogate the relevance. I have been published as a writer internationally and across websites and digital magazines. I had a publisher trying to sell me the idea of writing for free in exchange for exposure. This would have been fantastic, however I realised that they are brand new and I in fact have a higher viewing figure. I had to be honest with myself on whether this would help me in any way. Writing for free should either lead you to worthwhile exposure or credibility.
It is a talent that people take for granted. Brands do not take their products for granted. They work hard and source experts to figure out who they want to connect with and although kind, they have a business mind. They work on their weaknesses, they declare their strengths and they will not be at your mercy simply because you decided to work with them.
As for my little disclaimer, I was tempted to begin this with an explanation that I only started my blog this year, I am not a powerful influencer and I have never been in charge of a brand. Nonetheless, I have significantly increased my stats, I have had experience in marketing myself and I have built up a mini online blog/website which rises in popularity with each month.
Family do not get blogging, your friends do not get blogging and the industry has the advantage. It is up to us as bloggers, to work with those who we like and to not sell ourselves short.
How confident are you about your blog? Do you ever experience a feeling that you need to do more?