I just wanna level with you…

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)…

Lotsa love

TTFN

xxx

 

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9 Comments

  1. Julia
    December 4, 2017 / 8:47 pm

    I enjoy your more personal posts best but I also find some of the “advertising” posts introduce different products that I would often never have heard about without your blog, & some of those products are good if one wants & can afford them. Everyone needs to earn a living & blogging can be a legitimate & interesting & flexible way of combining home/ childcare commitments, can’t it!

  2. December 4, 2017 / 9:35 pm

    You probably see it a lot more as a blogger because you follow other bloggers the same as I do. Most decent bloggers only agree to write about things that they know or suspect that they will love, as otherwise what is the point?! Personally I can’t resent how anyone chooses to manage to feed their children and put a roof over their heads or give their children a decent Christmas, so I am always the last to judge other people or put them down in any way. Each to their own though and if it does bug you possibly you need to follow less bloggers and more non bloggers.

    Stevie x

    • December 4, 2017 / 10:42 pm

      I don’t resent it at all Stevie, as I said there are lots of lovely blogs with lots of sponsored content but it’s just not for me at the moment. Ultimately I don’t want people to read my blog and think that buying something will change their life in some way that’s all but I’m very much each to everyone’s own. I think the nature of an opinionated post is people might read it and take it personally but at the end of the day it’s ok to disagree x

  3. December 5, 2017 / 10:09 am

    I had a comment from someone in Facebook yesterday thanking me for my gift guide because she was struggling to find things to buy for her grandson. She has now bought a few things that I recommended. I only put products in gift guides that I would or have bought for my children or family. I would never recommend a product if i hadnt used it and was able to give an honest opinion. You’re seeing lots of sponsored work and gift guides most likely because you follow a hell of a lot of bloggers – more than the average person. I totally agree that if you don’t feel comfortable writing lots of sponsored work etc, then simply don’t do it, but I HAVE to take on paid work or I can’t pay my bills. I’ll be honest, I think we all need to chill out about blogging and what’s right and wrong because there isn’t a right or wrong. That’s why there are so many successful bloggers in the world. Because whatever path we take, it’s OUR blog and we can write it exactly how we want to.

    • Fi
      Author
      December 5, 2017 / 7:27 pm

      I think that’s great and a gift guide is not really what I was aiming at. I’ve explained it again in my comment to Amy (either up or down from this one – I can’t tell lol) so please read that in case you think I was judging all bloggers because I really wasn’t. I totally agree though, there are no right and wrong rules and it takes all sorts to make all sorts of successes. I was only writing what was appropriate for me at this time xx

  4. December 5, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    Oh Fi! Parts of this post made me a little sad: although bloggers are paid for advertising and lots of us make a full time living from it, I like to think I personally get brand work because first and foremost they want me to create content for them. I see myself as a multi-creative; photography, videography and of course my words. Yes a lot of the content on my blog is sponsored but I give as much care and attention and put as much effort into it as I would a rant about Mumsnet (or whatever!). I get what you’re saying about social feeds, I really do. I agree it can be a bit much (it’s one of the reasons I stopped posting on Instagram daily) however, where appropriate, the sooner readers view our online spaces as magazines selling well-placed advertorial the better. I would hope that anyone reading my blog would have the good sense to only buy what they want or are searching for rather than getting into debt because I’ve peddled something I don’t believe in. With all that said I wish you luck in whatever direction you decide to take your blog in, you have the right to put on these pages exactly what you want. Afterall, that’s the whole point of blogging isn’t it? Your space, your rules x
    Amy Treasure recently posted…Homemade gifts: Brownie mix in a jarMy Profile

    • Fi
      Author
      December 5, 2017 / 7:24 pm

      I loved this comment (not the part about making you sad of course!) because in a really calm, measured way you made me look at it from a different POV and I love that bloggers can do that – it is part of our magic of course 🙂 I really like the idea that a great blog can rival an online glossy – I love this about your blog actually! I have been feeling really disheartened by a lot of my incoming emails asking me to promote things like online gambling which I hate and then seeing the same “opportunities” splashed across social media feed. Then there’s the DMs that I receive from mums who perhaps aren’t able to afford as much. I feel really guilty writing in a way that might make them think having more things will make their life richer somehow. I think that those things combined has prompted me to write this post – it’s not a criticism of all bloggers, I love and admire many in fact, I would just love to see a more measured approach to selling things to mums and was saying that would be my approach from now on xx

  5. Jenny
    December 5, 2017 / 8:50 pm

    What a refreshingly honest post. I feel a bit used sometimes as a reader of certain blogs. I chose to follow them because they were someone who I can relate to or am interested in or have children of a similar age. However I see some of their posts and once I click on them I realise at some point “oh it’s an ad”
    Good for them, obviously it’s an earning opportunity for them but sometimes I feel like I’m just a stat for them to have readers with fake posed photos because they’ve got a deadline to meet. A definite balance between the two is needed for both the blogger and the reader.

  6. December 5, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    Yep what both Alex and Amy said. The fact is we have been surrounded by advertising for products/lifestyles/solutions to problems we didn’t know we had for decades; every time we switch on the TV/listen to the radio/pick up a magazine and so on we’re bombarded by it. It’s just up to us to respond or not respond. Surely if someone goes into debt buying a sofa you wrote a sponsored post for or whatever, you are in no way to blame and they’re just a danger to themselves! Obviously your blog your rules including writing what you want (as Amy said) but I can see why others felt defensive reading this as it does kinda feel like it’s taking a pop at bloggers who rely on sponsored posts for a living. That said, I nearly wept the first time I published a sponsored post because it felt like it was the end of an era of keeping my blog ‘pure’!

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