If anyone is actually reading, that is.
You see, well… the issue I’m having is with all of the, um, how do we put it….
selling shit to you that you don’t need
Yeah. So I said it out loud. Probs no going back from it now. Bye bye brand work.
To be totally honest, I stopped that ‘selling stuff but pretending not to’ game quite a while ago and now I only write about the stuff I love (and you probably still don’t need…) but I feel like at every turn on my social media, all I see is advertorial content in one form or other. Having studied social media in a professional capacity (hello day job!) I understand that actually, in terms of earning any money from a blog, that is what bloggers are supposed to do. Unless you are going to win a six-figure book deal – you basically have to sell people products / lifestyles / solutions to problems they didn’t know they had.
Talking about stuff. Buying stuff. Needing stuff. Loving stuff. Wanting stuff.
Influencing you to buy the stuff.
That is the name of the successful bloggers game and it can bring in a lot of money.
I briefly touched on this in a recent post which you can read here but I felt like actually, it deserves it’s own little soliloquy right now as a consumer (not just a blogger) because reading through my Twitter timeline, scrolling through my Instagram hall of fame or watching anything on YouTube – I feel like I am being bombarded with messages that my life will be easier, prettier, happier or better in some way if I buy what that family have bought too.
And before the blogging hate begins, I don’t begrudge these bloggers / influencers doing what they are doing – a rant about their business plans isn’t where I am going with this. I admire many of them and I am very happy for their success.
But this here, is my blog and I wanna level with you about how I feel about it all.
For me, for this blog and for this tiny, minute patch on worldwide web, it just isn’t working for me. It doesn’t sit right with me to peddle you stuff you just don’t need because honestly, I genuinely don’t believe that you need it.
I think that in life, there are crossroads whatever you’re doing and I’ve reached one on this blog. It doesn’t sit right to receive messages from people now telling me how lovely my (whatever product has been on display) is and how they wish they could afford it or even that they wish their life was perfect too.
Nobody’s life is perfect. Nobody’s and I am not trying to make anyone believe that mine is like that.
I cannot stand the idea that my blog / social media feed is making people feel like that. For example, I do not want someone to put their hands into their overdraft because I’ve insinuated that my new sofa’s have been life changing in some way. They are very pretty but we saved for a long time for them and we still laugh, argue, sulk, burp, drop hoola hoops in the cracks and fall asleep at 8pm on them just the same as we did with our older, grubbier models.
Stuff does not change your life. Ever.
Only you can change your life. If you even want to.
You know, as well as I do, that there are only a handful of products that you will come across in life that you will genuinely tell your best mate / mother / sister about. There aren’t actually enough products in the world that you love and can endlessly fill a daily blogging schedule with (not that I have a daily blogging schedule LOLs) so for me at this juncture, talking about all of the stuff you don’t need because I’m being paid to tell you, you do need it, isn’t sitting pretty.
I am for sure going to be losing out on a lot of money and work with PR companies for putting this out there but so be it. I will still work with the companies that I genuinely shriek with excitement over (hello Charlotte Tilbury) but if you see it here on this blog, then you will know this is something that I have actually rang my best mate to rave about as well. I’ll have to be excited about it and love it a LOT but I will still not be claiming that it will be life changing because stuff isn’t. Unless the stuff in question is icing-topped mince pies and then, y’know, I’ll retract my blog post pronto.
I guess this all came to a head in my erm…head – when a family member asked me how I made money through the blog and I had to admit that it would largely be from advertising. The fact that I felt I had to admit something and couldn’t proudly declare where the money comes from told me everything I needed to know. And that’s not a career I’d ever thought of having or wanting.
At the end of the day, people do not read this blog to find out about the latest product to buy (if you do, you’ll be a bit disappointed!) and I don’t think that the general public are particularly receptive or blind to the less-than-subtle product placement going on around them nowadays. I feel as though there is a huge gaping divide between what blogger audiences want and what brands expect and I’m not really feeling the mass-consumerism “BUY ME NOW WITH 30% OFF” thing. Soz.
I do obviously believe that blogging has a lot to offer people without adding a monetary value to it. My most popular posts are life hacks that cost nothing to pass on to you and were not affiliated with any brand and a personal tale of growing up in a religious cult and how that affects me each Christmas. Definitely not sponsored (I mean, who the hell would sponsor that?!) – yet they continue to pull in the biggest audiences, connect me with people and give me the most satisfaction when writing.
Help, advice, humour, relateability, a different opinion that you’d never considered before or even just an affirmation that you are doing ok – these are all valuable reasons for blogging and for me are the whys and wherefores of A Mum Track Mind. Incidentally, these are also the reasons that I go to other blogs to read. It sure as hell aint’ the sponsored posts…
I don’t exactly know why I felt the need to put this out there right now, maybe I’m feeling the effects of this hideous 48 hour stomach bug doing the round and having no sleep but it just suddenly felt like the right thing to do.
Anyway enough from me (for now)…