Bloggers/Vloggers… get a real job.

Can we talk about the way that the blogging/vlogging/slogging your guts out behind a screen and camera industry is being portrayed at the moment?

Last week there was a … what’s the word? Oh yes, shit storm. Last week there was a shit storm surrounding a young woman and her pitch for a complimentary stay at a hotel in Dublin with her partner just before Valentine’s Day. It was a pretty basic pitch but it landed in the inbox of a hotel owner who is famous for disliking “influencers” as he put it and he went to TOWN on her. What a roasting she was given. Basically she proposed to him via email that she come along to his hotel, and in exchange for a stay, she would offer him advertising on her 88,000 subscriber youtube channel and her 75000 Instagram channel. She didn’t word it quite like that and swift google of the hotel would have forewarned her not to but hey, guess what, she didn’t know and the way she was treat was appalling. To clarify, complimentary stays aren’t a new thing, they are so common place in all industries but especially the creative ones – journalists, actors, actresses, celebrities – please make no bones that they get these complimentary stays in exchange for advertising. It’s a service exchange.

Apart from the fact that this young woman was embarrassed by the roasting she was given in public by the hotel owner, I was really surprised to see the response from the owner’s followers on his facebook. “Freeloaders”, “Scroungers”, “Get a real job”… all of these comments made over and over again. One man wrote “Well maybe if you got a real job, she could pay for her stay like the rest of us have to. Entitled bitch.” A woman wrote, “Ugh, what do you want to be when you grow up kids? An influencer. Just push the button Donald or Kim, one of you.” Can you imagine being her child? You can be anything you like when you grow up as long as I recognise it as a paid profession in my in my outdated way.

Firstly, if HMRC can recognise blogging and vlogging as a “real job” then guess what buttercup? So can you. If my money is good enough to pay income tax towards our NHS and services, then you can recognise it as a real job whilst you enjoy said services in the same way I do. The problem that we face here in the grander scheme of things is that this isn’t respected as a “job” – if it was, it wouldn’t be an issue for someone to offer a barter exchange for services. Wine companies, for example, offer complimentary tasting sessions and cases of wine to certain clients because they want those clients to spread the word about their product, they want them to put the wine into other hotels. Yes, anyone can become a blogger or vlogger, with no qualifications or experience and that must be terrifying to John who is a qualified electrician with 32 years experience and still earns less than a successful 19 year old vlogger on a 10K per month retainer from a cosmetics client for slapping a bit of make up on her face and pouting for the camera. The creative industry is affluent – it always has been, and it doesn’t make a vlogger/blogger anymore “entitled” to tap into that than a footballer or actor – who for the record also don’t need qualifications or experience.

I came away from the thread wishing that people would realise the hard work that has to go into vlogging and blogging in order to make it a career (which it is by the way) only to find that maybe, as bloggers and vloggers, we need to look more at ourselves to help people see this as a respected career than we do at them. Do you know how many times I’ve seen the phrase “OMG how do you get the time?” in a blogging group when someone has said I do XYZ to try and drive traffic to my blog/grow my socials/gain exposure for my content? Numerous, in fact it’s daily. Or phrases like “I couldn’t be arsed with that”, “It’s just desperate isn’t it” or “Ugh everyone wants to be famous”. The truth is we have an industry here where there is a blurred line between hobby blogger/vlogger and professional blogger/vlogger and if you can’t be bothered, think someone spending hours and hours, week after week to work on their content or grow their socials is pathetic, you are 100% a hobbist. If you want to work in the blogging/vlogging industry then the answer to “where do you find the time?” is quite simple – when you’re cooking dinner for your kids, at 2am during the first boob feed with eyes half open, during the day when you’re kids are at school… you find the time just like anyone. You wouldn’t ask Shelia sat behind her desk when she finds the time to put an audit on her spreadsheets so why the fuck would you ask someone in your own industry where they find the time? If they are pathetic for wanting to grow their socials or gain exposure for their work then you have to ask yourself what you’re in it for because no one is in it to have no one read or respond to their work. If you’re doing this as an online diary then cool but please, don’t shaft people who aren’t.

This is also something that is a career, I’ve seen bloggers/vloggers disputing that time and time again, that what we have with this incredible industry is not a career because it’s fleeting but it certainly isn’t and it is growing constantly. A career is something that involves a series of paid work, especially with progression – which is exactly what happens in blogging/vlogging.

As bloggers/vloggers, we’re a part of the problem because we aren’t respecting our own industry – so how can we expect anyone else to?

H x

22 Comments

  1. January 26, 2018 / 3:48 pm

    So so bang on. I don’t blog full time but I am actually more serious about it thasn my full-time job! If you dont respect what you do, no one will.

  2. January 24, 2018 / 11:52 pm

    Hi. I did some research around this as I found it fascinating. Mistakes were made on both sides. He didn’t black out her name and she then went on to post the first video. She’s made a second. The first video is ill-advised, petulant and silly. He is a professional troll. A simple bit of research would have informed her. I don’t think it’s what she did that has upset most people. It’s the way she did it. Then she compounds it. She could have played it down. I think this will be a learning experience for her but I genuinely hope she’s okay because it’s viscious on both sides. Her followers/bloggers did not actually end up showing themselves in the greatest light. Her second video whilst better is still petulant.

  3. January 23, 2018 / 7:59 pm

    Good for you, love this post. It is a shame that we bloggers can’t get the same respect given to other artistic professions but then maybe we need to be a bit tougher and make people respect us. I’m a content writer, Pinterest manager and a multiple blogger – most people don’t know what I do for any of them. But I’m making a living from them, better than working full time in insurance (did that for 14 years) and I’m proud of it. And guys like that hotel owner? No polite words.

  4. January 23, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    This is absolutely perfect. The most succinct and well written post I’ve seen addressing this issue. Hopefully in time they’ll all realise it’s a real job!

  5. January 23, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    I agree that if you are earning a living from whatever (legal) activities you are doing then it is a career. At the same time if you want to be taken seriously then you need to act the part. I am afraid that her pitch was not great – she did little research and her greeting was unprofessional I agree that the hotel owner hung her out to dry but had she done her job properly then she would not have received the backlash.

  6. January 22, 2018 / 11:49 pm

    This is a great posts – I consider myself to be a hobby blogger because I don’t earn from it – yet – but I do have a full time job to keep me doing my hobby! However, I work so hard at it and I find time, to the detrement of a social life but that is my decision and that is why it’s my hobby, because drinking for some people is theirs.
    If I could, I would do it as a full time job and it’s just as hard, if not harder than the one I do now. x

  7. January 22, 2018 / 10:40 pm

    Great post! Too true. I feel sorry for the girl!

  8. Jessica
    January 22, 2018 / 9:42 pm

    Totally agree. For a while, my parents didn’t get it that I had chosen this path. I still don’t think they 100% get it but I think they’re accepting of it! Jess x

  9. January 22, 2018 / 9:00 pm

    Holy shit! Thank you for this amazing post. My thoughts exactly!

  10. January 22, 2018 / 8:22 pm

    I’m so glad you wrote this. I work full time and blog when not at work and it feels like I have 2 jobs. Managing social media is hard, I’m still pretty new to blogging/vlogging but I have learnt so many new skills and continue to learn as I go. Unless someone tries it they will never appreciate the time and effort put in. I found the recent outburst dreadful with so many people not understanding how the marketing industry works, however so happy to slate a young girl. Excellent post and so well written.

  11. January 22, 2018 / 8:05 pm

    I was annoyed by seeing the article as well. Maybe as bloggers we should start outing the number of companies who contact us looking for us to advertise their products and services for free on our blogs!
    Not many people see just how much hard work has to go into blogging to make it successful.

  12. January 22, 2018 / 7:34 pm

    Well said babe!

  13. January 22, 2018 / 7:21 pm

    Yes to all of this! Thank you for writing such a wonderfully articulate post. Very well said. My blogging and vlogging contribute towards my income. I spend my income on trips as well as pay bills etc. I was so annoyed when I read his response, to be honest, he sounded jealous..which sounds like playground behaviour.

  14. January 22, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    Yes yes! Last week was a sad indictment of our industry. And I fully believe it is an industry, a business and all of that. I totally agree that we should be proud of the work we put in, whether we call ourselves influencers, social media experts or plain old bloggers. I know I have been guilty of playing down my role and the work that I put in. People are still surprised when I say I cannot do something because I am ‘working’. Feeling all inspired to carry on the fight. Well done H from another H x

  15. January 22, 2018 / 6:46 pm

    Brilliant! I just feel so sorry for her

  16. Emma
    January 22, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    Hi!
    I think that most people were upset about this was because she was asking for 5 nights at a hotel, not only that with her boyfriend, and at one of the busiest times of the year – Asking flat out for it free! This was not a vlogger/blogger collab, it was a blag for a holiday, and she just so happens to be a vlogger (and not a travel one). She sent a “hi there” email (which we all hate) and sent it to many hotels in Dublin, it’s quite obvious she was just looking for a free hotel – And offering to recommend it before even visiting. The hotel’s response was obviously unprofessional and not nice at all! but I guess some will say her email was too.
    She has not done the blogging/influencer industry any favours with her approach, she is NOT a big travel vlogger so why does she think that it’s professional to get a free stay? If she was a vlogger who did a lot of travel videos and reviews I could see why she may think that she has done nothing wrong, but she is not. Most people in the industry work hard and most know it, but how can we be taken seriously if people who want to be part of this industry ask for things like they are entitled? I think to get real perspective we all need to step back and actually read it from a different point of view, and you can see why a lot of people are calling this an attempt at a freebie.

    Em x

  17. January 22, 2018 / 5:04 pm

    I’m new at blogging. Very new. So of course I am learning and by doing so I read a lot. The roasting she got was unacceptable I totally agree with you. But when pitching to a brand or anything really. Is it true that you should do your research on that brand/company? And like you say if she had then she may have known.

  18. Charlie Beswick
    January 22, 2018 / 11:57 am

    Just when I think I can’t love you more you write this and I am like YEEEEES!!! Thank you. Xx

  19. JJ Sheridan
    January 22, 2018 / 11:47 am

    To be fair, he never named her in the original post. Yes he roasted her but that’s his thing.

    I could understand someone reaching out to collaborate with a company but the way this lady did it shows she did not research the company which leads me to believe the email was a just sent put to a bunch of hotels hoping for a response.

    In her video response she constantly said she offered to give them exposure for a reduced rate stay or free stay. This was false. She wanted a free stay at one of the busiest and most profitable times of the year.

    The way I look at it, each business attaches a value to their product, be it a bed, a video or a blog post. Each come with expenses to get that product to the consumer. When I did my degree in hospitality we were always Told, never discount. Discount should be the last resort as it lowers the perceived value of your product. I hope you can understand why a hotel whould not give away a free room if they really value their product/service. It devalues their staff, and their establishment.

    I think this lady in question value her offering higher than the hotel and that game across in her letter. I certainly wouldn’t like to work with someone like this.

  20. January 22, 2018 / 10:51 am

    I think sometimes people don’t understand what goes into blogging/vlogging and it scares them, some people seem to think you send an email and you get “freebies” (a term I have heard many times!). It doesn’t work like that, behind the scenes there is hours spent grafting on lots of different things. However like you say there is lots of people in the blogging/vlogging industry that are quick to shoot someone else down too! There always seems to be too many people (those in the industry and those out) who feel they know best to tell someone how to run their blog and how they should do things.

    For me blogging brings in an income which helps us pay our bills, I have a “real job” if people want to call it that, which also pays the bills. So I have to blog around work, sometimes I’ve been up late or I get up at silly time in the morning to do this. This is through choice and it is something I have to do to carry on doing something I love whilst trying to balance the fine line. Long term I would like to go into my blog/social media full time, as it is something I have loved doing since I started… unlike accounts….

    Maybe if people just took a step back and think for a second, maybe we could all take a minute to be a little kinder & a little more thoughtful before we speak.

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