Today was rather eventful in the blogging/vlogging world. All day I was seeing posts and tweets that I knew must have been about something, I just didn’t know what, and then I stumbled across this Facebook post from an actual hotel’s business page:
“I’m genuinely sick of fame hungry instagram wanna be famous Work dodgers begging for free shit!”
“the cheap twat doesn’t want to pay for the dirty Valentine’s weekend.”
“I don’t know anyone who actually pays attention to any influencers or has any respect for them to boot. And we all know it’s not a real job…”
Sadly, those are comments that men and women have decided to leave on a post, where a grown man decided to ‘out’ a young woman for doing her job. Yes, her actual job. A blogger/vlogger sent a pitch to him asking if he would be willing to exchange a 4 day stay in his hotel for promotion to over 150k people, and he thought THIS was the best way to go about it. To make matters worse, he also made next to no effort trying to make it anonymous as you can still see directly through the black smudges he used to cover her name.
Before I started doing this, I actually had a similar opinion. Not to those extremes, but I thought “God I would absolutely love to open up my laptop and spend ten minutes on something and get paid for it”, or “YouTube must be so easy, you talk to a camera and you can earn thousands”. It really looks that way, from an outside perspective, but when you’re the one doing it, you realise it is the complete opposite.
This week I actually decided to go self employed. I am STILL employed in a 9-5 too, but in order for me to actually start accepting payment for what I am doing most evenings when my son is tucked up in bed, I had to bite the bullet and register my blog as a business and really start giving it some welly. By registering self employed, that means I have to start paying tax on everything I earn from it. If I couldn’t put it any clearer, this also means that blogging is now a REAL job for me.
I am spending 24 hours a week in a “normal job” and way more hours at home typing up posts in my spare time that I want people to read and enjoy.
This also means, that in order to get myself out there, I have to pitch to companies. I have avoided doing this for so long, because I absolutely hate the thought of humiliation and rejection. I don’t have anywhere near as many followers as the woman in question does, and the thought of asking companies for anything, let alone payment, is scary enough, without the thought of one of them doing that to me.
On the other hand, this past week has consisted of me receiving at least one email a day from brands who want me to feature them in a post, or to feature a product of theirs on social media, but without actually sending me anything or paying me a penny. Once you start to get somewhere, a lot of brands realise that the free advertising, link, or mention can actually be useful to them, but what they don’t see is that you’re not stupid and will not work for them for free. Sadly, some people do because they’re grateful for the opportunity and believe the promise of ‘possible future collaborations’, but please know, no ‘opportunity’ is worth the time or your effort if you are not getting anything in return. It’s exploitation.
Professionalism stops me from outing them on social media actually, something this bloke clearly lacks.
If you have a ‘normal job’ and you’re reading this, imagine getting all the way to work and doing an 8 hour shift, for them to say “Well Shirley, we aren’t going to be paying you today, but we really appreciate the work you have done for us”. You’d go mad. It’s the same thing, honestly.
You have to put yourself out there these days if it is something you love. It isn’t freeloading. This young woman is literally offering to advertise his hotel to 150,000+ people for a complimentary stay. There is nothing wrong with that. She would then spend hours and hours taking photographs, writing about his company/service and editing footage of it to make it look the best she possibly could. An advertisement on the radio or television would cost you a lot more than a 4 night stay in a hotel.
He literally says she should pay for her stay, offer to vlog about it and put all that effort in to supporting his company, all for a suite upgrade. What is in it for her? Think about it. If she is paying for a service, advertising the service and dedicating her time to writing about it, why should she be given the same treatment as someone who has complained about dirty bed sheets, or an unclean toilet?
It’s also worth noting that she has a lot more influence than an advert on the TV does anyway. How many of us have bought something because a social media influencer has said it is good? I remember buying Kate Moss’ Rimmel 107 lipstick because Zoella mentioned it a thousand times in her videos and when I passed it in a shop I thought “Oh this is that lipstick that looks amazing on Zoe”. Her followers are literally following her because they like her, trust her opinion, and want to know what she does on a day to day basis. Props to her because there’s no way I could do the YouTube thing as well as this.
I also feel for PR’s, because I feel like he really has shat all over them. A lot of people who were thinking about pitching might now be afraid because of what this moron has done, but in reality he hasn’t really shamed anyone but himself. Those of us in this business know exactly what it is like. I have been contacted by some of the most amazing, friendly PR’s this week who know it isn’t just a case of “writing stuff on the internet” at all.
The time and effort you have to put into this is absolutely unbelievable for what you get back sometimes. I am pushed forward purely through knowing I might be able to support my family so much more in the future if I ever get to do this full time, and there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of when admitting that, regardless of what a few narrow minded people on the internet say.