How many of you who aren’t bloggers think that it looks fun? I know people who presume we’re just sent a tonne of products and play with makeup all day. Oh if only it was that simple. Now this is just my experience of beauty blogging – if you are a blogger you might have had a completely different experience.
YOU GET TO GO TO LOTS OF BLOGGER EVENTS
Well this is true … if you live in London. Yes there are events in other cities, but the main ones are always in London. This wouldn’t be too bad if you got plenty of advance notice but quite often the invites are very last minute. It costs £90.00 roughly for a train return from where I live and a round trip to London is around 5 hours on a train. Twice I have made the trip, twice I have enjoyed the shopping I did more than the actual event.
I’ll give you a little example. I was invited down to the head office of a brand I love. Excited isn’t even the word. This then changed to a makeover at their store and meeting lots of people from the team. I was told that I would be spoilt rotten and the opportunity seemed too good too pass up. So I bought my train tickets (even though I didn’t have much cash at the time) and got very very excited.
I had a lovely makeover, but these so-called people who were ‘dying to meet me’? … well they must have been washing their hair that day. One person came to meet me and she must have stayed for about 5 minutes. The spoiling me rotten? A glass of prosecco, the makeover and a used sheet mask to bring home. I was in and out in less than two hours. Yes the makeover was lovely, but was it worth £90.00 and hours on a train? No it really wasn’t.
I’ve had similar disappointing experiences closer to home. There was the Halloween makeover that left me looking like an idiot in the middle of Selfridges and the resulting hour’s worth of scrubbing some poor woman at another brand had to do to get my face back to normal, as well as other times when members of staff act like they have no clue why you are there. I’m really wary of blogger events now – I just don’t think that they’re for me. There was a party in London full of young girls in next to nothing all giddy about a selfie booth, or the bloggers who act like they’re celebrities when in reality no-one would have a clue who they are if they saw them in the street. Yeah, at almost 35, I think I am much happier to stay home.
YOU GET LOTS OF BLOGGER MAIL
Ok, so this is also true. There’s no denying that bloggers get sent things … lots of things. I will admit that it is lovely, especially when it is from a brand you love. However, don’t assume that these are presents. Each item we receive has to have photographs taken, hours of testing, blog posts written, edited and published. These items are not ‘free’ – far from it.
Then there is the feeling of disappointment when you’re not added to a PR list, or seeing someone get ‘better’ blogger mail than you. Today, I am annoyed. So bloody annoyed. There’s a brand who I love and who I buy from all the time. I have written so many posts on their products and constantly post photos on Instagram. I recommend them to everyone and a lot of people now associate me with this brand. Supposedly, I am on their PR list. I’ve had a couple of PR packages from them, although I get sent more from the company who deals with their affiliate marketing.
Today, this brand sent a lovely PR package to another blogger (not her first from them). This blogger has never gone out and bought anything from this brand, yet she is sent things. I had to literally beg for a new release from them yesterday which was awkward and made me feel a bit shit. I’m not saying that this brand should always send me things, but it does get frustrating to see the PR always going to people who don’t even support the brand. I see it happening time and again, and not just to me.
There are bloggers who will literally contact PRs and demand things – as well as inflating their stats and their influence. There are others who act like PRs are their best friends and will probably need their lips removing from certain posteriors at some point in the near future. I can’t be like that. If a brand wants to work with me then that’s great, but I’d rather they did it down to the quality of my writing rather than how far I am prepared to insert my head up their …. well you get the gist.
BLOGGERS GET PAID
Oh how I wish this was true. Ok, so it is true for some bloggers, but for the majority of us, making money is like getting blood out of a stone. I’ve been blogging for 2 and a half years. I can count on one hand probably how many times I have been paid for my work, and to be honest, most of that has come from Instagram. A lot of companies see the product as payment, which I can sort of deal with when you’re being sent a £90.00 face cream, but when it’s a £5.00 face mask …. no thanks. As I mentioned before, each product requires a lot of work. Hours of work. A fiver isn’t going to cut it.
Take into account how much equipment is required for each blog post. I use an Olympus Pen E-PL8 (£549.95) with a 45 mm lens (£199.00). Then I write my posts on a MacBook Air (£849.00). Not to mention my internet, my web hosting, my WordPress fees … it quickly adds up. So do you see why not getting paid can be an issue?
Very occasionally I will put up an Ad on my Instagram, but only when it is relevant to my blog. I write about beauty predominantly, so I’m not going to start posting Ads for cars or sweets or whatever else has no bearing on what my followers and readers want to see. As much as I would really love to be paid, I won’t sell out either. Sometimes, a brand will ask you what your fees are … most of the time you never hear from them again, and if you do, they counter you with a ridiculous offer. It gets so frustrating.
BLOGGERS GET AMAZING OPPORTUNITIES
Again, some bloggers do. Most of us don’t. I get why brands choose the well-known bloggers, but it does get boring seeing the same people popping up in every campaign going. I’d love to see lesser-known bloggers be given a chance. Some brands do use smaller bloggers … normally ones who are friends with the PR and bot their way through, but that’s another story.
A lot of the time, you will see that it’s not what you know in blogging – it is very much who you know. This becomes very very apparent when opportunities are dished out – but then that’s probably the case in most industries. Nepotism is alive and well.
There is also a general type of blogger who gets the opportunities – young, slim, pretty. Now I do understand why brands do this, but some more diversity would be nice. Really nice.
BLOGGERS ARE ALLOWED OPINIONS
You’d think that blogging would be all about having your own opinion wouldn’t you? I guess this is true, if you stick to the popular opinion, don’t ruffle feathers, always be positive. Sorry, but I’m just not like that. If something is crap, I will say so. If a brand is shitty, then I will write about it. If I have strong views on a topic, I will shout it from the bloody rooftops.
This seems to have gained me a bit of a reputation as being a troublemaker. Now I don’t know whether to be offended or proud. You might wonder why I’d be proud of that? Well I was raised by a strong woman – an incredible woman. She didn’t raise me to be a sheep, she raised me to have my own mind, to speak up when something upsets me, to have my own thoughts. I’m proud of how I was raised and that I know my own mind. Yes this often results in a LOT of hate, but that isn’t ever going to stop me having my own opinion, nor from talking about them.
I probably shoot myself in the foot a lot with these opinions, and some brands probably won’t ever touch me with a bargepole, and that is perfectly fine. I didn’t start this blog thinking that other bloggers would read it. I started it for people who love beauty. Ok, so sometimes I go off on a little tangent, and not everyone is going to agree with what I say, but that’s me and I won’t change.
There is so much more I could write about. I’ve not even got started on stupid Instagram algorithms, the two faced ‘friends’, the breakouts from testing so many products … I could probably write a
book pamphlet on this issue, but I think you get my point. So the next time you see a blogger with a nice new lipstick or palette, don’t assume it’s all glamour … or even any glamour for that matter.
Are you a blogger? What are your views?