I am going to jump straight in on this one as it is a question that has been niggling at me for a while now. Obviously I know that in order to make a career from blogging it has to be commercially viable. That will come as a result of collaboration between bloggers, PR’s and brands, however, the constant sell sell sell was making me feel as if I was in The Beast Doesn’t Include Selling Out scene in Waynes World.
This became even more apparent when I attended one of my first events as a blogger. Getting an invite was a huge deal for me, the words I wrote in my own little reality had manifested into the physical world and someone beyond my friends and family actually classed me as a blogger.
After this initial excitement passed I realised that attending events had as many cons at they did pros. I felt out of my depth but mustered up the courage to talk to some lovely people and brands which was a huge positive, yet despite this I left with a feeling of frustration. Some (not all) bloggers were grabbing at gifts and requesting freebies with such a sense of entitlement that it made my stomach turn, was this how I was expected to behave to be a ‘successful’ blogger?
Hustling brands which I had no connection with simply because they were offering freebies and might feature me on their social media was not why I started writing.
It was not just these bloggers that shocked me but also some (again, not all) of the companies; often the first question was “how many followers do you have?”. I totally understand that a brand wants to advertise on a large platform but I think that it also makes sense to engage with an audience that fits the companies style and ethos, how could they tell anything about me from a few numbers?
I hated the fact that I left events feeling as if I was only a number in a corporate machine. I write a blog where I share the things I love and my opinions, it is a part of me that I open up to the world which apparently did not matter as long as I had enough followers. This insight into the business side of blogging left me confused about my place in the online world. I really did want to push Emma Inks forward but did not want to give into this type of ugly mass consumerism.
At first I felt very disillusioned, my initial reaction was to crawl back into my own virtual reality and not attend events in the future. Then, as always in my typically ironic life, I was invited to take part in a variety of interesting opportunities; thinking that maybe I had been a little rash throwing in the towel so quickly I anxiously RSVP’d to the ones I found the most attractive.
I am so glad that I followed my gut and did not give up at the first hurdle because only two weeks into 2015 and I have met some lovely like minded people in both my cyber and real worlds. I hope that the rest of the year continues at this pace however even if it does not I am going to continue to do my own thing and won’t turn into one of those “people who just do things because they get paid”.