I think it’s safe to say there’s quite a lot of misconceptions around blogging and bloggers in general. Influencers, content creators, whatever you wanna call us. We’re not painted in a particularly positive light sometimes are we? I mean, some of the naivety I can understand, considering this career is fairly new in the grand scheme of things and not something everyone fully understands yet.

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

I always feel a bit weird and awkward telling someone what I do. Especially if it’s an older person (sorry, totally stereotyping here) or someone I know that isn’t particularly “tech savvy”. I’m often met with a lot of “oh” or “so how do you make money from that then?” Which, before we continue, is none of your business really. But still.

Non-bloggers tend to think blogging is a whole lot of sitting around in cafe’s, getting sent a bunch of stuff for free and watching Netflix in your pajamas because you work from home and have nothing better to do. There’s so many different kinds of misconceptions around this industry.

And shaming people for not understanding is really not going to get us anywhere is it?

If you don’t know, you don’t know. You can’t force someone to not be judgmental but you CAN educate them in a polite way so they learn and know better going forward. How can you expect a 85 year old person, who’s never used a computer in their life to truly understand what you do without teaching them?

So, in the kindest way possible, here are some things I really wish non-bloggers knew and understood about blogging and bloggers in general:

Nothing is really “free”

I’m very fortunate to have been sent a ton of products over the years since I started blogging. Things I’d never have the chance to purchase myself or have even know about beforehand. I’ve been able to treat my Mum, Dad and boyfriend to gifts because of this. Again, gifts I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.

Trust me, I know how fortunate I am. But when people say we get sent “free stuff”, we rarely do. Of course Instagrammers with millions of followers get sent ludicrous amounts of stuff to their PO box from various brands. But I’m not talking about those today, I’m talking about us.

If a product is sent to us, that’s not where that ends. We have to take photos of the product, write about it, review it and promote it. Which can take quite a while. Products are a form of payment. You have to work for payment.

It actually is quite hard work sometimes

Don’t by any means think that blogging is the hardest job in the world. If I see someone state that it is, I seriously question where that logic has come from and can’t help but feel it’s a bit disrespectful to those people who actually DO have the hardest jobs in the world.

But… it’s also not easy. Not always. There will be smooth-sailing days where your creativity is flowing, your inbox is full, you’re motivated and inspired and things go well. But there will also be days where deadlines get on top of you, your creativity is at rock bottom, you’re not motivated, you hate your work, you’ve had a bad interaction with a brand, so on and so on…

Believe it or not, bloggers still have hard days at work. Just like any other profession.

It’s not a get-rich-quick-scheme

Bloggers put a lot of time and hours into their craft. Whether they excel at taking photos, have an incredible writing style or have become so successful they’re able to offer coaching to other bloggers, I can guarantee you it wasn’t an over-night success.

So dismissing someone’s blogging career so blatantly is quite disrespectful in my opinion. You wouldn’t do the same to anyone else. But I think that’s a problem with people’s attitudes to the freelance and creative industry in general. But anyway, people assume blogging is an easy way to make money. It’s not.

We are respectful of other’s property

Well, 99.9% of us anyway. There was pretty big drama a couple of months ago about bloggers (Instagram influencers more-so but some of which were also bloggers) using people’s London homes as backdrops of their images with a lot of people complaining about how disrespectful they can be.

Although I’ve never done this myself (I hate having my photo taken full-stop, regardless of backdrop) I did see a lot of bloggers hit back with how they’d never sit on / walk on / use someone else’s property. Especially without permission. There will always be exceptions but in general, bloggers / influencers are respectful of their surroundings.

Bloggers lives aren’t perfect – we don’t show everything

Now I don’t think this one would strictly apply to me because I’ve NEVER pretended my life was perfect nor have I ever only shown my “highlight reel”. I’m very honest about my mental health, my struggles and what’s going on in my life on social media and within my newsletter. That’s just how I prefer to be.

BUT some bloggers do prefer to curate their feeds to only show their best bits. And that’s okay, we all have a right to share what we want. But that doesn’t mean any blogger has the “perfect life”. There’s a lot going on behind the screen that you’ll never see.

Blogging is a real job

Ah… this old chestnut. If I had a pound for the amount of times you hear, “so what ELSE do you do?” when you say blogging is your job, then I wouldn’t need a job anymore. There’s lots of different pathways bloggers take for it to become their job. It’s nothing to be sniffed at.

The opinions of bloggers are becoming more respected by the day, with a recent study stating that 81% of the online population trust the opinion of bloggers, whilst 61% have bought something based off of a bloggers recommendations. Those are incredible numbers – which are only going to get bigger.

If you can accept advertising as a job, if you can accept coaching and teaching as a job, if you can accept graphic design as a job, then you certainly can accept blogging as a job. The very definition of “professional” is: engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as an amateur.

So what do YOU wish that non-bloggers knew about blogging? Any misconceptions or myths you’d love to debunk?

126 Comments

  1. Love this… I have been skeptical about telling certain friends and family about my journey for this exact reason! Glad I am not alone in thinking these things!

  2. I’m an older person and a blogger. I’ve advanced in my career and achieved degrees, but there’s still something missing, so I blog. I think I do it as therapy sometimes, and to express my creativity. But often, I think it’s only to leave some of my thoughts to my granddaughters. ❤️🦋🌀😉

  3. *slow clap* YES!!! Even though blogging right now for me is just a hobby, I put a LOT of work into my blog! So I can only imagine what it’s like for bloggers who do this for a living and what people say about your career. You really hit the nail on the head with what people assume bloggers do. You work hard and I wish more people would appreciate your job and the positive influence you have on people BECAUSE of your blog <3

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

  4. Couldn’t agree more.

    I wish non-bloggers knew that there are literally hundreds of types of blog, covering subjects close to the writers hearts and that men can be bloggers too

  5. I wholeheartedly agree with this whole post! Especially, actually, the bit where people ask how you make money. My father in law is OBSESSED with asking if I’m making money from blogging, which feels really rude and invasive?! He also acts like it’s just ten minutes of typing something up and that’s that. When I try to explain to him all the behind the scenes parts you need to understand, it goes over his head. I wish people knew that there is so much time and effort put into it before you start getting opportunites, too, as I’ve had some people basically say “I can do that” as if it’s immediate!

    1. I hate that, when people refuse to listen. It’s those type of people that I give up with and likely will just say I work in advertising or something like that, to avoid to hassle! No idea why the rules change in regards to money If you’re self employed or doing something like blogging!

  6. You nailed it Jenny! I cant stand when people think blogging is just taking selfies and putting some words with it. There is so much that goes behind blogging and I think a post like this is so important when it comes to educating Non-bloggers!(:

  7. I think the misconception that blogging isn’t a proper job is what stops me from telling people that’s what I want to do a lot of the time! Not just that but I think there’s a bit of a stereotype people associate with “I’m a blogger” – like you said it’s the sitting in cafés and getting free stuff that comes to mind for a lot of people. I think in this day and age it’s a lot more accepted but for people who aren’t all that tech savvy there’s still a long way to go! Xx

  8. These are such massive relates and one of the reasons I don’t really tell people I blog because I can’t be bothered with the ‘for free’ arguement! Thanks for sharing x

  9. I loved this and I agree with all of it. I always always always ALWAYS feel awkward and uncomfortable when people (rightly or wrongly) over a certain age ask about it. I tend to keep it super vague and say something like ‘freelance online content’ now. The everything for free thing is so annoying too, even if it is ‘free’, it’s not the vast majority of the time. Great post x

    Sophie

  10. Love this post! Really annoys me when people assume that blogging is no effort – some people think it’s just writing some words up when in actual fact it’s SO much more than that (and of course, writing isn’t always easy). There’s so much to learn with blogging and you have to be good at so many different things – I wish people understood that!

  11. All of this!! In fact, I actually got really annoyed and quite snarky with a small brand who said they’d gifted me a product free. I basically said nothing is ever for free and continued to berate them about it. It’s out of character for me but I was sick of being chased up for something I had already informed then would take about 8 weeks as that is how long I test an eye cream for, because they take 6-8 weeks before you see any results. Any before that time as not long lasting. It just really infuriated me. They were super pleased with the post and actually sent me another product afterwards as a thank you.

    Still though, this is the one thing that majorly irks me, people thinking bloggers get everything free. We just don’t!

    Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip || Latest Post

  12. Oh my goodness, yes! I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said, especially with people thinking we sit at home watching Netflix or that life if perfect. I don’t think I quite show a highlight reel, but I do think there are things that should be kept private and not on display for literally anyone in the world to see. Another great post 🙂
    Bella x – http://www.theruralsoul.com

  13. Nice post. I think it’s a misconception that bloggers selfishly work alone to satisfy their ego in a shorter style of writing. I value my connections

  14. Oh wow, the “free stuff” assumption is my biggest gripe. I get so sick of repeating that product is in lieu of payment, it is not free. Even Alan still calls it free sometimes until he becomes aware of a frosty silence and Paddington Bear hard stare. I’m going to give him this post to read. Brilliantly written, as always, Jenny! Xx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  15. I do not think this applies only to blogging. People with misconceptions misconceive many other things and, in doing so, nag at others as well.

    The basis for treatment is respect, no matter how easy another person’s task looks like.

  16. I think you hit the nail on the head regarding a lot off the misconceptions. A big one for me is when people assume that blogging is JUST writing. Ha, don’t we all wish that were the case?!

  17. Yesss to this! Fab post – you can really see how hard you work Jenny, you have a really great blog which you should definitely be proud of 🙂
    Hannah (www.hannahshappyhour.com) xx

  18. There is so much work with little reward before you get any results in blogging, at least in terms of money. But the same could be said for many others businesses and at least most blogs have minimal set-up costs and downside except the time it takes to put out quality content, which is probably what many don’t understand.

  19. Yes! Such a great post. I wish non bloggers could understand how much time and effort has gone into a single post, from the writing & photography right up to promoting it.

  20. Yes!! I really love this and wish I could print it on a massive poster!! Blogging, and writing in general, is hard work and just like anything – to be good at it takes talent, hard work and determination. It’s not an easy option!!

  21. I think what also brings down the blogger name are those cheeky ones who ask restaurants/hotels for free stuff in exchange for a good review. They gotta earn too! I see bloggers as a more honest form of journalism as I find journalists (no disrespect) can twist things in order to create a readable story (looking at the bigger newspapers here).

  22. I loved this post, some people have this huge misconception about blogger’s and are very quick to judge and it’s wrong. I wish people could be more open minded about it but I think people can’t see past the cafes, the supposed freebies were meant to be receiving and thinking we do sod all but pose for Instagram. I hope people’s misconceptions can be proved wrong! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk