When people ask me what I do of course the first thing I say is I parent, I am first and foremost Mother and Mammy to my three darlings and lets face it that in itself takes up a fair chunk of my time both day and night. But lately I’ve started to wave my hand flippantly around in the air and with the hint of a red face I mutter something about doing something online with social media. The title blogger seems to have gotten such a bad rep here over the past few months really with talks of bloggers not disclosing what they are paid to talk about or what they have been sent to review. And that’s fair because even I have tuned out of many a snapchat account because, being somewhat on the inside track, I know when someone is being paid to talk about something and they’re not being clear about that and that is a major turn off for me. And why do brands want to work with bloggers? That’s the big question! Traditionally brands used magazines and papers for print advertorials but with sales of magazines decreasing by the day brands started looking online. Initially they began advertising with online magazines which they still do but often they just pay to advertise in these forums and the products aren’t always tried and tested. Over the past number of years working with bloggers has increased dramatically because if you find a real person who has connected with the brand’s target audience and they endorse a product it gives the brand or the product not only backing but an endorsement to a very connected audience. It makes sense in a way. And that’s not generally why bloggers, well certainly not me anyway, start blogging, I wanted somewhere to document my creative endeavours, something to call my own. Anyway all that rambling aside I would love to go through what a ‘blogger’ or content creator, digital marketer, online influencer, whatever you want to call it now, does on a daily basis. Because there is genuinely a lot more to it than meets the eye. I will also give an insight into how I make money from my blog, it’s probably become obvious over the past number of months that the sponsored posts I do has risen BUT let that not dissuade you, I only pick what suits me and my blog and also never work with any company or brand that will dictate a word of what I write.Write – first things first a blogger writes. And I’m not talking about writing the caption on a Facebook or an Instagram post, I mean write from the heart and/or the brain to inform people about whatever topic it may be.
Website creation/development/design/update – I’ve learned so much from having a blog with regards to understanding how to maintain a website. From designing and redesigning it so the layout is user friendly, to creating widgets and understanding SEO (search engine optimisation – basically how Google finds you). Content creator /photograper – blogging means you are always looking out for the informative portion of the day, trying to see the beauty or the insight in what you come across be it in raising children to setting up a new home, so you are pretty much constantly switched on.
Work – thankfully, I get a lot of companies (or rather PR companies pitching on behalf of brands) who approach me and want to work with me. There are so many ways of working with a company and for me it mainly depends on the size of the company when it comes to what I charge or what I do. This is the main way I make money, I review a product or I create content for a brand to promote, like Aldi which I do on an ongoing basis or one off’s like the work for Domino’s and fairly frequently I work with Marks and Spencer to create content, review and promote their clothes. I don’t use affiliate links (although I am a member of RewardStyle which is one of the main revenue streams for many fashion bloggers) simply because the shops I shop in don’t really use them and I couldn’t be arsed trying to get pictures of myself in every outfit everyday (mainly because they are all the same and all boring!). Social media – don’t be fooled by social media, I think some can write it off as a foolish thing (my husband included) but the games one has to play to get an image or a post seen on Facebook or Instagram these days is tantamount to a full time job. There are so many tricks and methods it can be quite frankly maddening at times but that said it’s a great learning experience and even better when you can take it with you and apply it to other people’s social media accounts and get paid to do so!
Attend things – this is something I cannot do on a regular basis the main reason being obviously I have my ladies to mind and also the vast majority of events are held in Dublin. Cork is definitely coming along which is wonderful to see and there is a lovely collection of bloggers here that it is great to get out from behind the phone or the laptop and actually meet real people. Event’s can vary to launches of products, to the opening of a place or a festival or a conference and some bloggers get paid to attend these events and promote the event on social media. Hopefully this long winded post has given some insight into why brands want to work with brands. It’s still a relatively new concept in Ireland with the likes of me only really finding the world of sponsored posts and blog work opening up. I do keep 100% of my content controlled and dictated by myself and 90% of the content I produce is free from adverts. And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I only work with brands and products I believe in, I won’t work with a brand selling baby bath products that contain SLS because I’m a big supporter of natural products for kids, you get my drift! And yes the pictures included have absolutely no relevance to what I wrote about but they are an example of the personal improvement in my ability to take pictures since I started blogging!