I have a lot to be proud of with my little corner of the internet. I’ve built a business from scratch that allows me to work flexibly around the kids. I make good money from it. I’ve won awards. I’ve learnt huge amounts about websites, social media and search engine optimisation to name a few. I’ve worked with some amazing brands. I get to do what I love, which is to write.
My writing has made people laugh, or made them feel less alone, or helped them, which I am immensely proud of. I’ve written for several publications and had viral posts. (Although current pandemic, ‘viral’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it!) I have given a keynote speech at a conference. I am my own boss and can wear PJ’s to work if I wish.
But despite all of this, I hate telling people what I do for a living. When someone asks me what I do, I want the ground to open up.
Let’s be honest, the term ‘influencer’ is a bit cringey. I’d go so far as to say it’s a wanky term. I have enough trouble saying that I am a blogger. Preferring to dance around the ‘what I do for a living’ question using words like ‘website’ and ‘writing’. I am small fry in comparison to the big influencers out there, and don’t really think I am one. But I do feel the need to defend influencers and bloggers.
Because let’s face it, influencers, and bloggers too have been at the brunt of some pretty harsh and negative online commentary. And the vast majority of it is born from either ignorance or jealousy.
In defence of what I do for a living…
“It’s Not a real job”
By the very dictionary definition earning money by doing something is a job. Ergo.
When I was 16 I used to go to my Mum’s friends house watch a movie she rented me, use the money she left me to order a pizza, eat the ice cream she had bought for me, and have a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Earning money in the process because I was looking after her children who were sleeping beautifully upstairs. It hardly felt like a job, but it was. Start a new job search in 2020 here.
We live in a world where Mattress Jumper, Baby Name Consultant, and Professional Apologiser are all real jobs. Why is it so hard to conceive the idea of people making money online. I mean, hello, Mark Zuckerberg.
Quite often people don’t understand how I make money from my blog. And it’s not a simple answer, because there are many different ways. But what I can tell you is that those ways involve real work and real payment.
The gender pay gap exists because employees have not been prepared to offer flexible working. I know many women who have completely changed careers since having kids, simply because their old career and children were not compatible in offering any kind of balance.
There is so much truth to the saying that women are expected to work like they don’t have kids, and raise kids like they don’t work.
Therefore it’s no surprise that smart and talented women are starting up their own business and making money through online content, so they can be flexible and provide the balance that they need for their family. And that for me is full on girl power. That is something to be celebrated.
“You just get loads of free stuff”
There’s a lot of things that need to happen before you work with brands. You need to build up followers. It’s a numbers game. You need to write good content that gets engagement from your followers. And you need to keep writing good content to keep those followers. It doesn’t happen over night.
Brands want to work with the people that have done all this leg work, and have an audience they want to reach. But people have to be authentic and likeable, because followers are not going to stick around when you are just pushing out paid content all the time.
Writing a good review takes a lot of work. Photographing the product, testing the product, researching the company and the product, writing, editing, and sharing. In contrary to just getting free stuff, I work very hard for that ‘free stuff’.
It’s no different to a journalist recommending products in a magazine. Actually it is different, you have to pay for that magazine where as influencers and bloggers are giving you the content for free.
I have to justify my job
There may be some job titles out there that have over complicated things. Since when did a paper boy or girl become a Media Distribution Officer?! But it would be nice to feel like I don’t have to justify or explain my job because of the misconceptions out there.
I’ve had people turn their nose up when I tell them what I do. They’ve told me it’s not a job, it’s a hobby. I’ve even had “Oh God, not another one”. That’s not to say they are all bad reactions. I have positive one’s too. But still I think I would rather people asked me what colour under ware I had on than ask me what I do for a living!
Support each other….
Now I’ve had that rant I feel bad, because my followers are lovely, and have helped and supported me so much in building my business.
Just do me a favour and keep supporting small businesses. Liking someones post on their facebook business page or commenting on their instagram feed, costs you nothing, yet will mean so much to them.
Whether that someone is writing a blog, selling you their wares, or recommending a product that they love as an influencer. The person behind that business is someone working really hard to make their dreams come true.
Whether that dream is a trip to Disney, a house in the country, paying for a cleaner, or just paying the bills.
Isn’t that what we all try to do? Make our dreams come true.
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