Just yesterday I had a brief but significant episode, which opened my eyes and mind to a fundamental truth about my blogging career. So important, in fact, that I have decided to share my thoughts with you.
People blog for a wide range of reasons, and as many of you may remember my first attempts at blogging stemmed out of my love for my newborn daughter and the first clothes I tried to sew for her. Initially, it served as a platform for me to share my budding sewing skills with the world. I had no further intentions than that at the time. But little by little, my blog evolved into a vehicle for documenting how my personal fashion style developed side by side with my motherhood journey. It became my hobby and a way for me to take time off from my then quite demanding professional work as a fashion journalist and stylist.
But eventually, fashion and beauty retailers and eventually larger brands discovered my blog and approached me with requests for me to promote them and it started to become a source of income – modest in the beginning, but showing a growing potential for monetization as it is lovingly called in the blogosphere. This is the point in anybody’s blogging career when it is crucially important to know your worth, which I now want to write to you about.
There are times in your life including in your blogging activities when you have to work for ‘free’. Times when you have to contribute without receiving or to put it more directly when you have to work without being paid or at least not being paid what you feel you should have earned. But in so many aspects of life, you eventually reach that pinnacle of any career where you can look at your achievements, realize the value of your contribution and that is the time to get/demand what you deserve.
In the specific case of a blogger and influencer like myself, clients, of course, love to see us posting about their products and services for free. Or rather than paying you a fee they will offer free products, access to invites-only events and even free travel and accommodation in return for your promotional posts. And hands down, sometimes such offers can be very tempting – especially luxury accessories and clothes, which I love – I mean who doesn’t?
But at the end of the day such goodies won’t pay your electricity bill, your household shopping, or raise your child, so if you want to turn your blogging into a main source of income, it’s time for you adopt a different and more self-confident approach. Companies and PR agencies do have budgets for advertising so be proactive and state your fee.
Not only is asking for payment appropriate and necessary, if you need to pay the running costs of website maintenance and still have some money left for yourself since your own time has a significant value in itself, which you should never underestimate. It is also a source of motivation to do a better job which is up to the quality standard you expect of yourself. Or in other words, while a more modest fee will only allow you to make a basic and sometimes uninspired effort, the higher fee will give you the freedom to give the client your best in terms of innovative ideas, high-quality text and perfect photo quality, which in the end they will definitely appreciate. And most importantly, being given the chance to do an amazing job will both heighten your self-confidence and happiness with your work.
However, it is not always about money but the value you are getting, If you believe that a certain non-paying gig will propel your career, take you to a beautiful destination in the world, improve your shoe closet etc., by all means go for it! it’s about the value your are getting, and while in most cases value is measured in monetary form, sometimes personal gratification can mould you into a more productive person. Be picky in such instances, nobody should ever take advantage of you.
You attract what you believe you are worth so understand your value!
Photos by @ojwokphotography