Monday, September 03, 2018

Work Life || The Problem With Blogging

I love being self employed and having the flexibility to work from home, stay up late, skip days, be with the kids when needed and actually earn my own money straight off the back of my own hard work, but it does have it's downfalls.

One thing I struggle with a lot as someone that earns a wage from blogging (see I can't even bring myself to say professional blogger) is that absolutely nobody aside from other bloggers see the value in it or appreciate the work that goes into it. From the outside, a lot of what people see is 'blaggers' getting free stuff for nothing, they think we see ourselves as some kind of celebrity or something special. They think that we pimp out our kids to brands to make ourselves look good, they don't see it as a profession and have no idea what we do. 

This couldn't be further from the truth. In the early days, I have to admit that the lure of possible 'freebies' was an incentive, but spending hours taking and editing photographs, writing 500 words and sharing on social channels in return for a £2 pack of sweets soon got old. As much as some review opportunities do get bigger and better as you go along, the workload also shifts. We may have to write articles, take a million pictures, spend hours and hours writing and editing, edit video footage over and over to fit with the brands vision, schedule in many social shares or attend events taking up our time that could be spent earning. It's amazing and exciting at times and does bring great opportunities, but none of it is free. Just as you would not work and eight hour shift in a super market for free, neither should we do all that work in return for nothing, and that's exactly why we get paid for our time, our skills and our efforts with some projects.Don't get me wrong, I do love it all, but loving your job doesn't make it any less valid as a work form.

We don't think we are celebrities, we don't claim to be experts (mostly) in our fields because we're not and we don't even claim to be brilliant writers (though some truly are). A lot of us, particularly parent bloggers are just trying to do something we love, working around our own lives, working around children, caring for others or even our own illnesses or disabilities that mean we couldn't hold up a 'normal' job away from home. I for one left work due to illness, but instead of claiming benefits to support our family, I started this blog and work as much as I can on good days, have breaks on bad days and work from bed when really needed. How can that be a bad thing? 

We don't 'use' our kids. Sure, many of us feature our kids, but so do parents of child actors, models or the millions of parents that enter photos of their children to competitions online and in local papers - it's exactly the same. So why is it that bloggers get peoples backs up so much? The only difference to some of those is that we get paid sometimes, we can put food on the table and even sometimes experience things thanks to blogging that we would never be able to land or afford without doing this job. We get film premier invites, holidays, clothes, but we work really bloody hard for every single thing and it's as deserved as a bonus at work or work Christmas party, things that no one would think undeserved after a hard month or year of working.

We're not stupid. Our children feature, but we keep them safe, we are sensible and if it means they live a better life and a parent (or two) is earning a wage to support them, that is surely a good thing. Most of us choose not to do things that they could find embarrassing in the future, we would never make them have their picture taken when they didn't want it and when they are at an age where they no longer want to feature or want every post or picture about them removed - that's exactly what we'd do. In truth, my kids know everything about my job, they think it's the best coolest job in the world and are more than happy to help road test toys before they go on sale or go on special trips. This benefits us all and it's SO good for my mental health too.

There are actually pages and sites devoted to ripping bloggers apart, a lynch mob mentality of people that for whatever reason are so bitter about what we do that they spend precious hours of their lives trolling bloggers and being unkind with comments. Surely life is far too short for that, especially when it's completely illogical and they clearly no nothing about this profession at all.

I love blogging, it's had a huge impact on me, my family and my health. It's given me an outlet when I've felt I needed to talk but felt I had nobody to talk to. I've experienced things I'd never ordinarily be able to achieve or afford and it puts food on our table, gives me a focus and keeps me working.

Are you a blogger that feels this way too?