Blogging Related

What I Wish Non-Bloggers Knew

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?

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126 Comments

  1. Great post, some really interesting and useful points. I am definitely finding that blogging is hard work especially when fitting it around other jobs too. I do love the look of your blog too – the colours and layout work really well.

    1. Thanks very much! x

  2. When it comes to working from home, I wish people understood it doesn’t mean we’re free to actually spend the day cleaning the house, and cooking. We’re working too! This is why I actually mostly work from Starbucks, and then do chores when I’ve everything I had to do that day done.

    Ash | https://thisdreamsalive.com

    1. OH MY GOD YES! ALL THE YES! This really grinds my gears. My Mum, Dad and boyfriend ALL ask me to do stuff cos they know I’m at home x

  3. Totally agree with all of this! Sometimes I feel so awkward talking about my blog (even tho it’s not a full time job). Great post Jenny xx

    1. I still do too! Wonder if that will ever go?

  4. Such a great post as always Jenny and dispels some of those common misconceptions about bloggers and the industry as a whole. I feel like from the outside looking in, everything looks easy but there’s so much that goes in to running a blog whether it’s a personal one or a full time job. Thanks for sharing your thoughts xx

    1. Totally agree, there’s so much they don’t understand, like SEO, broken links, DA, all the admin, the editing, the promotion – it’s endless! x

  5. Leanne Wall says:

    This is so true. I’m not even close to making money from my blog yet, and I still get reactions like some of these.Blogging is hard work, and I do it for other peoples enjoyment as well as my own.

    1. Whether it’s a job or a hobby, people tend to have the same reactions! x

  6. Especially the “free products” is payment is so important.

    Also, depending on where you live “free products” are seen as actual payment by the tax laws. Were I live, you have to pay income tax on the full retail price of the product.

    So if someone gave you a product to review that’s worth 400 in the store, you have to pay tax of those 400.

    1. I know, I note down all the products I receive too. But also worth remembering that you won’t pay tax if you’re registered self employed and don’t earn enough annually to pay tax.

  7. so true about certain things are free. Even if a product is given to you to review, it is definitely time which we at my full-time job factor in as a cost.

    1. Totally agree x

  8. Honestly was reading this and nodding my head! We’re not big bloggers by all means but it’s still hard work and when we explain to people that we do it on the side, they automatically think we get things for free and it’s not always the case and it does mean if we do, we do a lot in return!

    Jessica & James | http://www.foodandbaker.co.uk

    1. Exactly! A free restaurant visit doesn’t mean a ton of work afterwards! x

  9. I wish people would understand that blogging is far from a cheap profession. We spend hundreds and hundreds on domains, hosting, cameras, flights, hotels, photography props, sometimes even buy prizes for raffles with which we try to grow our following on any platform. It’s a big investment, and like any investment, there’s no quarantee you’ll ever get your money back.

    Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog

    1. Totally agree!

  10. Could not agree more with everything you’ve said. As a blogger the whole thing about not respecting other people’s property really grinds my gears, I still see photos now outside other people’s homes and on their doorsteps etc and it baffles me how someone could be that disrespectful just to take a picture. I guess even as a blogger there’s still some things about this industry I just don’t get myself!

    Lauren | http://www.laurenyloves.co.uk

    1. Oh I still see that on occasion too – it seriously wind me up! The majority of people are super respectful which is great. I saw someone on Insta VERY recently standing on someone’s doorstep. The house was decorated, so clearly the owners don’t mind people taking photos but I still wouldn’t stand on their doorstep without permission?

  11. Totally agree with everything you’ve said! I never even know what to say anymore when people ask about my blog or what I do for a job as they just don’t get it. I wish more people understood real work does actually go into creating a blog and it’s not just sitting around at home doing nothing! xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

    1. Hahaha me neither, sometimes I just say I work in marketing for the ease of it! x

  12. So many people underestimate how much work goes into blogging! I’ve had so many people recently say to me “Oh I’m going to start blogging so I can get stuff for free”.. UGH. Blogging definitely isn’t an easy job.

    Samantha | https://samanthajblogs.co.uk

    1. Ahhh no! That’s infuriating! x

  13. I wish I could say blogging in my full-time job. I don’t have the views or anything to earn money from it at the moment. It is just my creative outlet at the moment. From your blog, I can definitely see how hard it can be. Not many bloggers are open about their money or how they make a living like you are

    1. It’s definitely hard but doable! x

  14. That the writing is the easy part!

    1. Agreed! x

  15. I think people underestimate the work that goes into a blog – creating the content, sharing it, maintaining it.

    1. Agreed, it’s much more than just writing a post or taking a picture x

  16. THese things need to be said! some people don’t know what blogging entails – but there is so much admin and organisation involved – there are highs and lows just like any other occupation.

    Blogging is wonderful – more people need to respect and understand that.

    Love this post – thanks for sharing!

    -Lena

    http://www.lenasnotebook.co.uk

    1. And at least be willing to learn about what it entails if they don’t understand! x

  17. Spot on! One thing that I have highlighted a lot to friends/family is that I’m doing it because I love writing and being creative, and missed doing things like that when I started full time work. No, I don’t want to be the next Zoella or an “influencer”, I just enjoy it! Becca x

    1. I hate it when people mention Zoella hahah! x

  18. This is a great post – I have recently been thinking about the fact that a lot of people have no clue how much work goes into each post. Back in the day, you could just upload your photos, write anything and you were good to go. So many things need to be taken into consideration now. It’s not enough to be a blogger, you also need to be able to take photographs, edit them, promote your content, negotiate contracts with brands… I could go on and on!

    1. I agree! The industry has definitely changed a lot x

  19. I was nodding along to everything here x

    1. Glad you agree! x

  20. With you 100% on this Jenny – happy to explain about blogging to people who aren’t so aware of it, but like you, feel it’s rude when people start asking you about the money side. I was out with my husband at an event the other week – they asked him what he did, he answered, they moved on to me, ‘so what do you do’, I said blogging ‘how much do you make doing that then?’ – I mean, rude right? So I just smiled & replied…enough thanks for asking & how much do you make? I’ll leave you to imagine their face, but at least they got the point x

    1. Oh GREAT ANSWER! I’ll definitely be using that next time! x

  21. It’s tough to be a blogger. You need a thick skin and like 50 hands to get everything. People don’t really understand and also don’t appreciate how much effort goes into a single blog post. And if you are a solo blogger you have to manage all roles including but not limited to website management, finance, marketing, writing, editing, photography…

    1. Totally agree. A thick skin is definitely needed x

  22. katy gilroy says:

    this is so true especially the ‘nothing is free’ point – I always say “it’s transactional, just not in a monetary sense”! x

    1. Yep, totally agree! x

  23. Well said. Blogging isn’t easy especially when starting out. You have to put in the time and effort to develop your blog. Constantly honing your craft. It can be tough especially when your views are low. It’s just like anything in life. If you want to make a living off of it you got to put in the work

    1. Totally agree x

  24. So true! Great post Jenny😊

    1. Thank you x

  25. Great insight – couldn’t agree with you more! Me personally, I wish people knew that if you’re doing it on your own, you are: the writer, the proof-reader, the marketing team, the tech support, the Don’t Give Up support, the PR, and payroll all in one 🙂 That blogging is definitely not just about writing a post here and there, and pressing Save.

    1. Oh I totally agree, people definitely don’t appreciate that! x

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