As a blogger, I saw something on Instagram that upset me about the blogosphere. I saw a hateful comment on a sponsored post of mom blogger that I follow. The gist was that the commenter was disappointed in the blogger for “selling out” and doing a sponsored post.
I was surprised. Blogging can be more than a hobby. It can be a career, and for bloggers to make money, affiliate links and sponsored posts are a big part of that.
First off, these handbags the blogger was promoting were fabulous. Second of all, she has a family to feed. The commenter still said, “I’m disappointed. I thought you were one of the good ones.”
Hello Mr. Commenter,
If “good ones” means bloggers who have no desire to turn their passion into a career, then please redirect your fist into your mouth and unfollow.
That’s how I would have reacted. This woman had better manners than me, but I was still outraged for her. Not everyone wants to be sold things, but you have a choice as to who you follow.
I understand that there are literary bloggers and other people who write without any reviews or promotions. That doesn’t mean those who do review and post about products are the “dark side” of blogging. There’s enough room for all of us in the blogging world. I’ve had all types of blogs- some where I just wrote and some where I made money.
Review, Promote, & Sell
When I first started Housewife Hustle, I did very few reviews, because I reviewed music for a magazine and I was tired of reviews. As time went on, I was finding products that I really wanted to talk about. I started reviewing all sorts of things like baby products, beauty and hair products, and clothing. I was sharing what I loved as well as what didn’t work for me.
After a few reviews and posts, I got a few requests for links and emails about signing up for affiliate links. Then, I realized if people are curious about my opinions, reviews, and experiences, I could share that and make my passion into something bigger.
Soon after, I started getting more emails about products that companies wanted me to try. I agreed. I only ever post honest opinions, but I still link to the products.
I don’t try to sell things I don’t like. I also decline a lot of offers for things that I’m not interested in. I don’t want to review a pair of headphones or weight loss shakes. I want to review eye cream and baby lotion. So, I stick to my niche.
Yes, as a blogger I am sent samples sometimes, but I did not become a blogger expecting this. I had no clue someone would send a small time blogger like myself anything to try. I admit that it’s nice though.
I don’t thrive over the freebies, and I don’t expect companies to send me PR packages. I do think a big part of the business blogging world is to create influencer and brand relations. Consumers want to see real people try products not just celebrities. Everyday people are easier to relate to than famous people.
I do have a media kit and draft made up of what I email to companies if I want to contact them about the possibility of working together. I think that it’s important to know your value and work hard to expand your brand if that’s what your goal is.
Manners & Greed
I’ve been asked by a few friends and family about the freebies and discount codes that I get from time to time. I’ve also been asked if I can get them stuff or just plain out give them the samples I’ve been sent. I’ve had people ask if they can have my promo code rather than the promo codes I’ve posted, because they assume mine includes a bigger discount. To me, this is nothing but greed and bad manners.
I don’t just get sent boxes of makeup or clothing. I get sent small things to try and review. It doesn’t even happen often, and when it does, I use these products so I can actually be honest with my readers. I didn’t become a blogger to hand out free things to greedy people.
I don’t get a lot of samples in comparison to others, but when I do, I’m very proud. If a company wants me to review a product, I feel like I’m getting a big enough following to be an influencer. I’ve never really considered myself an actual influencer, so it’s like I’m accomplishing something.
Why can’t people just be proud of me for what I’m doing rather than just trying to benefit off of my hard work? If what I’m doing is selfish or makes me a sell out, then I’m perfectly okay with that.
Call Me A Sellout
A month or two ago, I was sick and went to a walk-in clinic that my uncle runs. He is the head of this clinic and a registered nurse. He also happens to have an amazing band. I was surprised that during my check up he asked about my blog. I was excited he noticed that my blog was growing. I told him I was nervous about posting to my social media accounts about products, because I didn’t want to be a sellout.
He laughed and said that as a musician he could understand. He said that I needed to look past the opinions of others. Then, I need to see a future for my blog. If that future includes my blog being a career, then, I should try my best to grow and succeed. Those things don’t make me a sellout; they make me successful.
I’ve thought about it a lot lately. He’s right. I’m not a sellout. I’m creating a brand. I’m building a career out of my biggest passion, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. I’m not hurting anyone with an Instagram post about an amazing lipstick I feel in love with.
Just call me a sellout if that’s what you want. I’m okay with that now. I love engaging with my readers and sharing products that I love. I love reaching new people, and if brands notice, then that is awesome too.
Stay positive and keep doing what you love. Not everyone will understand or accept what you do. Those just aren’t your people then.
Side note: It’s crazy how things work. After I drafted this post, I was invited to apply as a brand ambassador for a company called Just Strong. I was very hesitant at first, because I refuse to sell or participate in the sales of weight loss products. As I read on, I realized this company has a message very similar to my beliefs.
They are about empowerment of women of all walks of life. They don’t value pounds lost on a scale; they value strength. I didn’t think I’d be a good match, because I’m not a gym rat. I was wrong. They are a company that supports women who want to be strong and find beauty in that strength. They don’t push weighloss or promote dieting.
They sell clothing, that sends a positive message about being strong. I love that it’s not strong for a woman it’s Just Strong. I didn’t just decide to do this lightly. I thought about what message I want to send, and I think my health journey could be stepped up a notch.
I’ve been in a rut, so working out has been helping a lot with my down days. I also started adding weights back into my workouts. It’s made me feel better all around.
I’m not a fitness guru. I keep my weights in my hallway closet and have a bench on my patio. My doberman chewed my yoga mat, and my kids climb under me when I plank.
The point is, I’m an average mom just trying to be healthy and a good role model. If I can use my blog as a platform to promote strength without changing who I am or what I believe, then I’m all for this company!
Diet and workout culture was always dangerous to me since I battled an eating disorder for close to a decade. I feared that any attempts at weight loss on my health journey would send me back into a relapse. Thankfully, I’ve learned to measure my progress with strength, and that’s exactly what this company does. So, that is a major reason I’m a brand ambassador for them. I hate getting messages where fitness ambassadors ask if I want my body back after kids or if I want to look good in a swimsuit. I may be considered curvy or plus size, but I do look good in a swimsuit.
I promise I wouldn’t promote something if I didn’t love it.
I won’t message you asking about whether or not you’re on a health journey. What I will do is show my journey and talk about the realistic ups and downs. I will share a code that lets you purchase their clothing at a discount. It is an affiliate link, so I do make a commission if you decide to purchase something. I’m not in this just for the money though. I support the message.
Stay tuned for posts on my Instagram for more. In the meantime, I will share the discount code for friends and family. Check their clothes out, because they are pretty awesome.
Enjoy your week, and remember, you are beautiful.