Ok, so I think there are quite a bit of misconceptions about how much money bloggers actually make. People have weird assumptions, and I found that many assume influencers basically live the good and all we do is take photos? I mean for some that’s true. And honestly, LUCKY THEM.
THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF BLOGGERS
I thought a long time about writing this but I was never sure how to do it so that it doesn’t come out the wrong way. In no way whatsoever I am here to complain, because I know I’m a shitty blogger and could probably make more money if I just tried a bit harder. I just want to share more of the insider knowledge I gained through being in the „circle”. As shit as I am in blogging, obviously I am trying to be proactive about my blog so I joined quite a bit of those Facebook groups, followed girls who I thought were doing a great job in terms of their marketing and you get the drill. No matter what we do, we always need to educate ourselves and look for inspiration. But what I realised is that bloggers can more or less be categorized into two categories. The first one which motivates me massively belongs to the bloggers who kind of sacrifice their lives to do this. Maybe sacrifice is an intense word, but those girls, I mean, they really push those campaigns, have an amazing theme on their feed and sometimes will post even up to three photos per day. I mean that’s a whole business going on there. Of course, not everyone in this category is gonna produce the best content, but some of the girls I know, produce literally the most beautiful images. Basically, I’M A FAN. This is called a job.
The second category, to which I kind of belong is a bit different. Us girls don’t really focus on our social media as the primary thing in our lives, most of us have careers and basically, we don’t blog “full time”. This means we cannot produce daily content and work as much as we would like to on our blogs and social media, oh and we’re crap at remembering to use those affiliate links lol. It’s a shame but that’s a life choice. But if you believe you can make it and make a living, then go on gurl, MAKE IT YOUR JOB.
It’s not to say that girls in this category don’t make money, because we do. It just works differently. We just don’t get as many jobs as other girls do and our PR connections are close to non-existent.
Honestly a week ago out of desperation (and disappointment in my own blogging career), I even updated a media kit (yes we do have those) and emailed a couple of agencies with this kind of “HELLO, I’M HERE, PLEASE GIVE ME A JOB" 🙂
But unfortunately, in social media advertising, watches are the biggest market as well as huge conglomerates like L’Oréal. Some time ago I used to get at least 3 emails per week regarding sponsored posts from watch brands. That’s a bit intense, trust me. But the way it works for me is, if I wouldn’t buy something myself then I will also not advertise it. You guys are already getting shit loads of ads on Instagram, at least I’ll try to fuck as little as I can with your decision making.
From my side, I found that I will get a couple of opportunities per month, out of which I will only do just one collaboration as the other one falls out or I decide it’s just not for me. If you know me, my style is a bit specific, so I think it would be hard for any of you to imagine me working with Daniel Wellington or yet another brand of wooden watches (lol I mean who comes up with those?). Being vegan also excludes me from working with any beauty brands which are not cruelty-free or brands which sell leather items.
But what about the free stuff?
Bloggers also tend to get press packages which I mean are the most exciting things ever… if you actually get them. In order to get them, you either get “scouted” by agencies who will ask for your address and keep on sending those packages monthly or you need to be proactive and make the initial contact with the agency. I hate being pushy therefore I am honestly terrible at making the initial contact. You need a media kit with all of your stats and I feel you immediately get judged. I would also always need to add this FYI “I would appreciate if you could not include any non-vegan brands in the packages” which just sounds very pretentious?
The problem with these is that usually they are non-binding, but oh god how many times I heard about people getting those packages and then being bullied to post a photo with the crap (because sometimes it’s crap).
Fun fact, I happened to receive things such as tampons, pads or fluffy red handcuffs.
AND THE MONEY?
Ok, the exciting part. You probably wanna know how much money I make. Don’t worry, that’s fine, we all love those private bits (I mean our obsession with the Kardashians proves it very well). Since I moved to London I have been using those app’s/agencies through which you can get brand collaborations (more about the blogger how to’s & tips in my next post so keep an eye out for this).
Bloggers have their own rates. There is something like a rate calculator online, which is quite fun, even just to see how much others would take for a post on Instagram. We always use these as a guidance + we always talk with each other to make our rates appropriate to our following. The rates are based on followers, likes and most importantly engagement, so if you have 200k followers but your engagement rate is like 0.9% then someone who has 50k and 9% engagement would probably have a higher rate.
So what’s my rate? At the moment it’s around £360, which I mean is good right? Like honestly for one photo that is amazing. But then if you consider that this is what I might make maybe each two months, then not so great. It’s not gonna pay my rent, or my utility bills or my university tuition.
WORKING FOR FREE
It’s important to consider that most brands don’t have budgets and they will expect you to do work for free, in exchange for some crappy hair shampoo or a pair of socks (this is not a joke). People forget that influencers are one of the best advertising mediums, and should be paid the same way an advertising agency would be paid. Especially since the advertising we do has much more value since we personally choose what we feed to you and we take care in making sure that it will be useful to our audience. Of course, not everyone has this mindset but I personally would not bother advertising something which I don’t think is worthy of your purchase or interest.
And sometimes we need to do things in exchange for clothes and in all honesty at times we might take a photo and list it straight away on Depop because we are human beings and we need to make money. Even if I really like the item I received, I still might sell it, because it would be my only income that I made from spending an hour on taking photos.
For many years I also didn’t believe in the value of the content I produce. I could simply not comprehend how anyone would buy something because I advertise it. I was raised in a country where being an influencer was a joke, you were laughed at, no one would treat it as a job or a career path. I also didn’t have many close friends who were doing anything relevant to blogging, therefore I used to down value my rate so much. It’s also because I started out in Poland where a lot of agencies still down value the effect of social media influencers. Only, after moving to London I realised what value my work actually has and step by step I learned how to properly negotiate.
I feel like this whole post was quite long and I just flooded you with my thoughts. Lately, I had a lot of these conversations with my friends and it just seemed right to put it into text. In conclusion, I would like to say, don’t start blogging because of money cause that shit ain’t gonna get you anywhere. There is no rule of how to blog or what to do to become successful (apart from being your authentic self). So if you want to blog, just please do it for yourself.
In the end what I value most about being able to blog is the fact that I meet so many of you even if it’s just talking though DM’s. Money is an important factor but in my hierarchy, it’s somewhere on the bottom. We blog for the communities we create, for the people we meet and to have space for our thoughts and creativity.
Let me know your thoughts, questions and whatever’s on your mind!