It’s Not Just You: Ten Things We All Experience As Bloggers, No Matter Our Size

Being a blogger definitely has its perks, but like with any hobby or profession it also has its downfalls – the main one being the fact that you’re working solo, some days almost in solitary confinement. Having a network of people around you that understand the trials and tribulations of the bloggersphere is incredibly important not only for your own sanity, but to give you a sounding board and place to turn for advice. As bloggers we’re incredibly skilled at emanating an illusion of perfection, instagramming our super-smoothie breakfasts and our kick-ass sessions in the gym, but we’re not so great at showcasing the realities of our day-to-day lives. (FYI it’s ok that you’re still in your pyjamas at gone midday; some of my best work is conducted from the comfort of my PJs, even if the courier that rings my doorbell looks at me with distain.) I’ve always made a concerted effort to talk about the pros and cons of working on your own, and within the bloggersphere, because I think it’s incredibly important for us to collectively realise the issues we face daily are not just our own. Whenever I speak to other bloggers, it becomes incredibly clear that they also face the same daily challenges and frustrations, no matter how conventionally ‘big’ or ‘small’ they are. So in the effort of transparency, here are ten things we all experience – no matter our size or how long we’ve been doing this thing called blogging.

Although an ever increasing number of brands understand and value the role that bloggers play in today’s media landscape, far too many still don’t. Working for ‘exposure’ (whether that’s on a social profile, website or in a print publication) won’t pay the bills, so unless there’s real value to an opportunity it’s just not worth the time. No matter how big or influential you get, this age old issue never goes away. It’s tiresome trying to prove your value or extract money for something that deserves to be paid for, so sometimes it’s worth just drawing a line and moving on to work with people that really *do* understand what you have to offer.

Continuing on from that point… If brands actually *are* prepared to compensate you financially for your time, skill or following, on too many occasions they’re often prepared to only pay a nominal (almost laughable) amount. We all get those emails that initially sound like an awesome proposition, but soon transpire to be one of a thousand SEO pitches sent out in the hope that one of them sticks. In my opinion, the best way to deal with it is just to delete the email and move on – it’s not even worth trying to negotiate.

I’ve been blogging for over six years now (how’d that happen?) and I’ve experienced it time and time again. No matter how good a relationship you think you have with a brand, they can easily drop you and focus on the ‘next big things’ instead. It’s like when you’re at school and you could only be best friends with one person at a time, but in this instance it’s business and it hurts a lot more. You go from being flavour of the week, to someone that’s only worth a lipgloss twice a year. It’s painful seeing all your fave bloggers out for dinner in a glamorous restaurant and feeling like the goofy kid that wasn’t invited, but believe me – we’ve *all* been there. Focus on the brands that do appreciate you and the other opportunities you’ve been lucky enough to have received. 

You’ve supported them, you’ve blogged about them, you’ve professed your love for them on Instagram… And all of a sudden they disappear off the face of the earth, never to be heard of again. In dating the technical term for this is ‘ghosting’, when your potential love interest just stops replying or contacting you, and the same thing happens in the bloggersphere. Some of my favourite brands have just stopped talking to me, stopped replying to emails, stopped replying to tweets and pretty much acted as if I was invisible. My motto? Their loss.

I love being creative and coming up with campaign ideas that will genuinely engage my audience. Sometimes I put hours into proposals or ideas, only for them to not actually materialise or be put on hold indefinitely. The worst bit? They actually forget to tell you. There’s nothing worse than getting all excited about a collaboration, telling all your mates and mentally spending the money – only for it to never actually happen.

I’ve never been one for numbers and finances (I’m good at spending money, but not so good at keeping track of it,) but being self employed means you have to become a stickler for chasing payment. Some of the worst offenders are the biggest brands (who you expect to be able to process your invoice pretty quickly so you can get on with placing an ASOS order,) and occasionally things can get a bit heated. I’ve waited for over a year to be paid by some companies, while other pieces of work I’ve had to write off as they go off the radar completely. It doesn’t matter if you’re chasing £50 or £5000, it’s a bore and it never stops.  

Unfortunately, as an industry incredibly saturated with women, the bitchiness you experienced in your teenage years occasionally rears its ugly head again once you start blogging. With money and free makeup flying about, it’s easy for people to forget what’s important and focus on becoming ultra-competitive; I’ve heard so many stories of blogger besties turning their backs on eachother and becoming enemies instead. Please ladies, it’s just not worth it. A good friend is worth their weight in gold, so don’t drop them for their weight in lipstick.

Sometimes I feel like it’s the school disco all over again, waiting to be asked to dance and that request never materialising. Blogger events can be a great opportunity to network, make friends and share experiences, but they can also be awkward as hell. Not being sure who is who, whether they know who you are, or wondering what to do with yourself so you don’t look like a loser, are valid concerns that we all experience. I’ve actually stopped going to the majority of events and launches because I just feel awkward; I much prefer to spend time chatting to someone 1-2-1 and building a rapport.

The downside of social media is the visibility of what everyone else is doing; it’s easy to see how many followers other bloggers have, what products they’re being sent, what they’re buying and which brands they’re collaborating with, but comparison really is the source of all misery. No matter how many great things we’ve worked on or what we’ve got hanging in our closets, it seems it’s never enough – we’re always comparing and wishing we could do or have more. This seems to be the one concern that unites us all: that we just want what everyone else has got.  

It doesn’t matter how organised you are or how streamlined you manage to make your workload, there are simply never enough hours in the day and you’ll always be chasing your tail. It may seem like every other blogger is effectively managing their content plan, creating awesome images for instagram and spending their days having meetings in beautiful surroundings, but think of them like a swan – gliding along looking elegant on the surface, but swimming like a crazed animal underneath. You’re not alone at feeling like everything is getting on top of you; unfortunately that’s one of the downsides of working alone and having to do every job yourself.

So there you have it… The realities of blogging, no matter your size. Are there any other issues you face on a daily basis and wonder if you’re alone in experiencing?

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  1. Ali Duke
    April 27, 2016 / 9:43 am

    I really enjoyed this post. My blog is very small, but I love doing it. I'm yet to do any paid posts or receive any products, but I know I will get there. I will definitely be keeping all of this in mind as I (hopefully) grow my blog.

  2. alittlekiran
    April 27, 2016 / 10:16 am

    This is such a great post, it's easy to think that this stuff only ever happens to yourself. It makes me feel a little less weird about it to know that all bloggers go through these things too. Great post, Hayley xxxALittleKiran | Bloglovin

  3. Pam Scalfi
    April 27, 2016 / 10:21 am

    i can relate to almost all of these for sure! Blogging events are so awkward and i still have to get used to them, and i've had to chase for payment too, so annoying and would definitely expect more from these brands. Not to mention being chased for a post…when I'm ready I will publish it…chill!and dont even get me started on "free advertising", just because my blog is smaller than others doesnt mean you get your product on my blog for free…Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  4. Rebecca PurleyGirly
    April 27, 2016 / 10:31 am

    Not to mention the emails from companies who have clearly never read your blog, or at least your "about" page. I had a fashion company keep emailing me asking me to write a piece about them. Each time I politely declined and explained that I wasn't a fashion blogger and I'm also quite out of the age demographic they are clearly aiming for. Took about 6 of these replies before they got the hint!

  5. Lena
    April 27, 2016 / 10:39 am

    I can totally relate to the comparison stealing your joy – I've made friends with a bunch of other bloggers, but I find myself getting SO JEALOUS of things they're sent, campaigns they're on….the list goes on!

  6. Hello Jennifer Helen
    April 27, 2016 / 11:57 am

    I love this – I'm only a small blogger but I went to my first blogging event recently and found it *so* awkward, especially as some of the bloggers already knew each other! And I love point 1 – but it is so hard to turn down opportunities when you're starting out!JH |

    • rosie on the record
      May 9, 2016 / 8:25 pm

      How did you fare hun? Did it get easier as the night wore on? I have never been to an event before so prepping myself lol

  7. Sarah Dickinson
    April 27, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    Yea this is so true!!!! it's so easy to compare yourself to everyone else because of social media and not feel left out when your fave brand collaborates with someone else!! it's a shame but it's true! I've not been to an event yet but i'm hoping that one day soon i'll be there feeling socially awkward and nervous as hell! ahaha!

  8. Chloe Denton
    April 27, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    I cannot get over how accurate these points are! especially the bitchiness in the community, I have seen so many arguments of the smallest things and it't just really sad to see. I always have had the same view and thats we are all in the same boat craving recognition and success so there is no point in attempting to grand others down on the way. -xo

    • rosie on the record
      May 9, 2016 / 8:29 pm

      Exactly there is more than enough space for everyone. We all share a common bond so should be building each other up not tearing down. No one is asking you to be bffs braid each others hair and have pillow fights but just treat others how you would like to be treated, it's that simple

  9. Mantenso
    April 27, 2016 / 4:23 pm

    Such a relateable post haha, I've been through loads of these! Comparisons can be the worst especially when its you doing all the comparing and thinking you're content/blog/whatever isn't good enough!Tenzwww.shesabouthatlife.comxxx

    • rosie on the record
      May 9, 2016 / 8:30 pm

      Yeah lol we have all been there done that and designed the witty meme t.shirt lol

  10. Jaime
    April 27, 2016 / 4:29 pm

    Seriously good points, especially the working for exposure and event awkwardness. I recently went to an event and tried to make friendly with the blogger I was sat next to. She barely said 10 words that weren't "pass the rolls" and then about a week later I start getting inundated with emails from her: "who's your PR contact for this brand???" Some seem so greedy!

  11. The Lavender Barn Blog
    April 27, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    Couriers and postman think I have bubonic plague as they only get the nightwear view, as for blogger events ! don't even get me started on the OMG who are youuuuuuuu ?? girls, bless em. great post as always 🙂 Lyn@thelavenderbarn

  12. Jolien Nathalie
    April 27, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    This is an amazing article, well done! It was informative and a great read 🙂 I rarely come across something like this, I loved it. Xx Jolien

  13. Jasmine Stewart
    April 27, 2016 / 9:08 pm

    I've had a few brands basically 'drop' me for no apparent reason too – I'm comforted that this happens to blogs of all size, though it still definitely makes me sad 🙁 xx Jasmine Talks Beauty

    • rosie on the record
      May 9, 2016 / 8:32 pm

      How annoying it must be! But as long as you handle it with dignity and more professionalism than they showed! It will pay off in future

  14. Ash M / The Beauty Collection
    April 28, 2016 / 4:05 am

    This post is seriously incredible – I'm definitely happy to hear that it's not just me dealing with these problems. I'm still really trying to wrap my head around the industry but I've experienced each and every one of these – particularly how comparison can only create problems and how there's not enough hours in the day, I can't remember the last day I took an actual entire day off thinking about TBC. Ash / The Beauty Collection

  15. Jenni
    April 28, 2016 / 7:53 am

    This was a really great post, it's so nice to know you're not alone with this stuff! Comparison is so tough, especially when you're just starting out and don't have the biggest following. And brands that expect you to work for free are the worst! I've gotten so many pitches for posts that would be a huge amount of work (like needing to shoot several outfits) only to find out that they "don't have a marketing budget for this particular project"… xx

  16. Angeline Lee
    April 28, 2016 / 10:01 am

    Great post with all these points so accurate!

  17. Smile, Snap, Sparkle
    April 28, 2016 / 10:32 am

    I'm so glad I clicked on this post because it really made my day! 🙂 There's something quite encouraging in knowing that no matter the size of the blog we actually feel the same way about some things. And yes, comparison is the worst thing ever but sometimes it's just so hard to stop doing it, especially when you're feeling down.

  18. Beekeyper
    April 28, 2016 / 11:03 am

    Brilliant article. I've been supremely disheartened about blogging recently, but this, weirdly, has lifted my spirits. At least it's not just me! Thankyou for posting

  19. Linda Libra Loca
    April 28, 2016 / 12:25 pm

    I have never been to a blogger event, but I can relate to everything else.Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  20. Megan Lillie
    April 28, 2016 / 9:18 pm

    YES Hayley! I am so sick of some of these. I recently had an experience with a VERY well-known high-street fashion brand. We worked out a collaboration where I would be going down to London to have a photoshoot to promote a particular range, and then to Manchester for a day-long store event. We passed a couple of emails back and forth and then nothing. Absolutely nothing.I think the past 6 months or so I have definitely gave up the whole working for free malarky, unless I genuinely want to, I'm sick of being treat like shit by brands!Megan xoThumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

  21. Alyspace
    April 29, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    Just came across your blog, love this post! Brilliant theme too (lol).Alexandra

  22. Stacy
    May 1, 2016 / 5:44 pm

    Totally agree!!!xoStacy

  23. Mara
    May 3, 2016 / 10:54 am

    Oh gosh I couldn't agree more with many of the points you've raised. Mara xx

  24. Fashion Du Jour
    May 5, 2016 / 10:56 am

    SUCH a relatable post and so reassuring to hear too! It can be isolating being a blogger and fears and insecurities can manifest in all of us. I'm pretty lucky as I blog with my sister, so we can natter about stuff but I do the majority of social media, emails etc and it is HARD! I try as much as possible to focus on our path and development whilst cheering on those bloggers around me – makes it all a little better and brighter ?Thanks for sharing Hayley!Leigh at Fashion Du Jour LDN HQ

  25. Laura Jane Style
    May 6, 2016 / 11:05 am

    This post has made me feel so "normal" in a good way! I am definitely still in my P.J's after lunch time, I always feel an outsider at events and i have a small blog which sometimes feels like my voice is never heard. Thanks for the fab post xox

  26. Beth Bayes
    May 6, 2016 / 11:23 am

    This post really hits home, but if anything it's made me want to keep on going with my blog even more. Thanks for that bit of inspiration, I really needed it! Beth

  27. Jen
    May 6, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    Yep to all of this!

  28. Catherine T
    May 6, 2016 / 7:02 pm

    Thank you SO much for this post!!!!!! I'm a new blogger and I really appreciate it when experienced bloggers like you share their story. That was really inspirational to me.

  29. Anonymous
    May 7, 2016 / 3:54 am

    Omg! All of this is true!! Soooo many times people have asked me to collaborate and write for free. It's totally not worth it!!!!Mel |

  30. Little Kaatie
    May 8, 2016 / 10:43 am

    yes yes yes! Everything is so true! I have learnt to be selective with who I write for and I am so sick of chasing payments. It was even under £20 and they were so slow. Great post!Katie

  31. rosie on the record
    May 9, 2016 / 8:37 pm

    Great post with valid pounts i have never been yo a blogger eventand i know doubt will find my first stereotypically awkward. As for frenimies goodness I have seen it go down and it's so childish and when you think these girls are trying to make a career out of things it doesn't look great squabbling like a hormonal teen over frivolity on social

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