I've wanted to write this post for a little while now but I haven't managed to find the time nor the words. I'm not even sure I have found either of those yet but now seems as good as any.
I had a vague concept of this post in my head for a few months but it wasn't until I read the last words of Scarphelia that I knew what exactly what I wanted to get across.
In case you don't read Katie's blog, basically she wrote a last post as an ode to blogging and the journey she's been on and why she doesn't really want to be on it anymore and I thoroughly recommend you read it, it's a beautiful piece of writing.
It's a long post, you need to get your teeth stuck into it but there's a part of the post about bloggers themselves, about those who call it their job and about the categories they fall into;
The modern concept of what we broadly refer to as ‘blogging’ is deeply sinister.
The majority of ‘top bloggers’ are either:
a) Deviously smart and conniving, ruthless businesspeople to the core
b) The more sincere folk, continually concerned by the compromise of their own morals by having to essentially deceive to succeed
c) So deluded from dwelling beneath their own proverbial bell jar for so long, that they are actually oblivious to both of the above.
And it's this and the paragraphs that follow afterward that really resonated with me and what added fuel to the fire of what I wanted to write here.
The job of blogging is a tricky one to get round. More and more influencers are making it their full time job and are paving the way for the rest of us. Making money from my blog was not my intention nor my goal nor something I ever thought possible and yet here I am a year and a bit on and whilst it might be a 10th of the salary per post the big bloggers are making, I am making money all the same.
Maybe it's not your intention to make money from your blog and that's A OK too, for me it was just a case of one day going from nothing to suddenly getting emails most days about collabs and I think it's A OK to expect compensation for your hard work when those emails start coming in.
Making money and a career from blogging I have no problem with that, hell I'd love to end up doing it myself as more of a 50/50 with my illustration business. What I do have a problem with is how it's done, behind smoke and mirrors when it needs to be transparent.
For me, the big bloggers and businessmen and women first and foremost. The likes of Zoella and Tanya Burr, Victoria from In The Frow and anyone else on their level - they're businesswomen and I don't doubt for a second they can be ruthless with it. And I am totally fine with that.
To get to the level they are, on the salaries they are on, with the campaigns they secure and how mainstream they have become, you can't get there without some business brain and a bit of sassy bitch thrown in for good measure. To go from making videos in their bedrooms to having agents, book deals, makeup lines, homeware lines, fashion lines....you have to work DAMN hard but I also think you have to be ruthless to get the campaigns you want.
I commend the girls on the top, I have said a million times their content isn't for me simply because I wasn't into YouTube & blogging when they were starting their rise in fame but I'll be damned if it's not known I think they're incredible girl bosses for the careers they have made.
What I'm not cool with is the lack of transparency when it comes to the business side of what they do and I think that's where I really resonated with Katie's words at the start of the post.
I don't like the personas, the girl next door twee type image they give out when people also in the industry know full well what they're doing. I get that their audiences are younger, that maybe they don't want to run a blog themselves but for other bloggers and vloggers and influencers, I'd just rather them be upfront about what they're doing.
I think people would've preferred Zoella just came out and said she didn't write allllll of her books. I think people would've preferred Tanya Burr just came out and said she didn't design her prints.
Think about the product ranges these kinds of bloggers have, we all know they can't possibly have the time to design each and every one, to make a decision on each and every one and that's totally fine. If they just held their hands up and said what they did and didn't do.
I think blogging and the job of blogging would be so much better if it was more transparent. We can all spot a sponsored post a million miles off these days and it infuriates me to see it not disclosed or a tweet with affiliates that hasn't been marked as #ad. We all know the rules on sponsored content or paid for work and yet some of the biggest stars get away with it.
Instead of a thousand 'feel so blessed' or 'so lucky' captions I'd rather a blogger come out and say they worked damn hard to get that opportunity or campaign. They deserve the achievement, they grind for it and they made the career they have. But be transparent, be like hey I got this through this and we'd be like yasss slay queen. It's shady to pretend.
The job of blogging is niche. There aren't many doing it and those who do are shaping the future for the rest of us and if it was all out in the open it'd be a damn side easier.