ONCE you’ve been blogging for a while, the emails start appearing.
And boy doesn’t it feel good?!
Your inbox which was once pretty quiet starts to become a hive of activity and the fabulous happens – brands start to approach you!
They want to send you stuff and pay you for stuff and you do a great big leap of joy because you’ve made it! This blogging malarky is paying off you tell yourself!
You feel proud and wonderful and can see yourself, five years from now, working from a deserted beach on your laptop with a pina colada in hand.
And it is, until after a while you start to think that perhaps that kids toy you received for ‘free’ really wasn’t worth the 4-5 hours you spent writing about it, taking photos and promoting on social media.
And that, the sponsored bingo post you got paid £20 to publish, actually makes you feel a little uncomfortable now and doesn’t really tie in with what you’re all about.
If you’re honest much of the brand work you have done has left you feeling a little bit uncomfortable. You feel disappointed and confused as you realise that some of this working with brands stuff really isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
But hey the emails keep coming and people like you, so you should just take whatever you can get right?!
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
I’ve been working for myself as a freelancer for over five years now and for the past four months as a professional blogger (meaning that my main source of income is now this very blog) and I gotta tell you when it comes to work offers, I have learned (the hard way!) that the very best thing you can do, for yourself AND your blog, right now, is to get choosy.
Really choosy. Picky even.
Some might tell you this is silly, crazy perhaps, because money and ‘free stuff’ (!) is money and ‘free stuff’ and all that jazz.
But to me, getting choosy or choosier isn’t about ‘the dollar’ and more about working smarter, being happier and creating a blog that I am proud of, that will stand the length of time.
A blog that speaks to you guys, is authentic and represents who I am.
Yes I’m fortunate that in some ways now, I can afford to be choosier but rather than looking at short term gains, I urge you all to start thinking about long term objectives and start thinking more about choice and freedom.
Afterall, what’s the point in creating our own blogs and working so god damn hard on them, if we feel we are not able to pick and choose?!
Here are my top 5 reasons why (whenever you can), you should get pickier about what work you do and who you work with as a blogger.
You’ll achieve better results
As a blogger (and freelancer), my reputation is my livelihood and whilst I know that I’m not perfect and that undoubtedly there will be times when mistakes will occur, on the whole I find that I’m much better at my job if I love the work that I’m doing and who I’m working with.
I always do my best to work as hard as I can for all of my clients, but let’s face it when you heart’s not in it, you’re just never going to be at your best.
You’ll be happier
Blogging is wonderful but also hard work! So you really need to love everything about it and be super proud of your blog, otherwise quite frankly, what on earth’s the point?
I love blogging but it can be ridiculously stressful at times and it’s rare that I ever get to take time off. But by being in control over the paid work that I do and choosing the brands I work with more carefully, I manage to maintain my sense of freedom and keep my motivation levels high.
So next time you have to drag yourself to your laptop, because you’ve lost your blogging mojo, think long and hard: Do you really love the work that you’re doing currently? And if not, what can you change?
It’ll be less stressful
I always try to be as professional, polite and courteous as is humanly possible.
Sometimes I may fail, but on the whole I think I manage pretty well. Juggling a number of different clients isn’t easy, but let me tell you, it becomes a million times more difficult when you work with people who aren’t as professional or courteous as they should or can be.
Clients or PRs who take forever to get back to you about something, never pay you on time or chop and change their minds like the wind, take up an awful lot of time and effort, therefore causing unnecessary stress and buckets of it.
So set high standards and where possible, only ever work with those people who keep things easy and with those whom it’s always a pleasure to do business with, NOT a chore.
You’ll gain more respect
When it comes to setting standards, as human beings we naturally do it all the time.
You’ll only date such and such a person, you won’t work for anything less than (you fill in the blanks), your friends must be kind decent lovely folk etc, so why should it be any different when it comes to blogging or working for yourself?
It’s hard not to fall into that trap of being grateful for any paid work or opportunities that come your way ( as I did when I first started) but actually, by setting clear standards, you’re showing that you respect yourself, your time and your talent.
If the boot was on the other foot and you were the client, just think which kind of blogger you would rather work with.
The one who takes any project and puts up with awkward clients because they’re so relieved to be working or the one who has standards, a healthy level of self-respect and who only ever works on projects and with people that they like and and believe in?
Yep thought so.
The sky’s your limit!
By being choosy with work, you pave the way for more exciting opportunities to come your way, ones you can really get your teeth into!
Yes, you may have to make more effort to find the kind of work that you desire but just think where that could lead you.
If we all stick doing what we’re doing, day in, day out, not only will blogging become dull but we’ll also suffer on a professional level too.
So step outside your comfort zone, think about what you want to work on and who with and get picky! The beauty of making a living or supplementing your income with your blog is ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’, so if somewhere along the line you’ve lost your way a little, take back the reigns of control and start getting choosier.
Who knows perhaps the client you don’t want, is a perfect fit for me and vice versa ;-)
This post is linked to #SundayStars