2016 has been a big year in blogging for many reasons. Whilst I’d started to earn money from my blog posts at the end of 2015 (albeit only a little bit) as well as a little through affiliates, it was the turn of the new year where I said nope! to working with brands for free. It’s a movement that has echoed through many more bloggers, and as I’ve become closer friends with some amazing girls in this industry, there’s become increased transparency in our conversations of who’s charging what for what so we all know we’re not being cheated and underselling (or overselling!) ourselves. Plus, the fact that stricter regulations have been somewhat enforced with #ad and #spon in Instagram posts, it’s become clearer who’s making money from what, making it easier for you to weigh up exactly what you should get paid for.
For every branded blog post we do, we are effectively creating advertorials for brands on our own personal platforms by taking photographs, editing, writing, scheduling, and finally sending it out neatly packaged with some social media marketing. Would a publication do this for free? Well, for a gifted £35 dress or £50 pair of shoes? I don’t think so – so neither should we. At the end of the day, some new clothes might be nice but that won’t pay my bills, and I hardly think my landlady will take too kindly to me paying my rent in the form of a handbag stuffed full of jewellery and affordable shoes.
So the turning point on when I thought that I should start charging for my work was when it felt like I was doing the brand a favour, rather than it feeling like a mutually beneficial collaboration. When it starts to feel like you’re putting yourself out of your way, taking time out, using resources, and using your own money for no real gain other than to promote a brand rather than further your own profression, then that’s when you need to start asking for payment on future collaborations. As soon as you know that your time in work and access to your audience is worth more than the cost of whatever they are gifting you for the post, then ask for payment.
Brands may offer ‘exposure’, reminding you that working together is a “great opportunity to start a relationship that may lead to future paid collaborations!” (UGH), but quite frankly, I don’t care how many Instagram followers an account has, a regram has never been worth the time in effort that shooting, editing, writing, and scheduling the social media promo as the few followers I procured.
Of course, then come the task of asking brands to pay you! But luckily, this is a topic which I neatly covered right here. But once you’ve got that sorted, you’ll be way on your way. In a developing industry shrouded in mystery on who gets paid what and no standardised salaries, it can be hard to work it out. But trust me, it has nothing to do with numbers but more of a gut instinct that you’re putting yourself out there.
On another note, check out my latest haul video and list of all the best Christmas sales below!