Blogging is one of those controversial topics that individuals are either for or against. Sometimes there are some bad apples in the community that give bloggers/influencers a “bad rep”. Being that we have been doing this for over 4 years, we’re here to clear some of that up. Also, let me just make a note that these answers are solely based on how Steph and I handle our blogging lifestyle. I am not here to tell you that ALL bloggers adhere to the below because the reality is…..they don’t (which is where the bad rep comes in)!
Negative connotations of blogging/influencing:
“It’s all about the free food, products and/or trips” actually it’s not for many of us. Do you know how many media dines, products or invites WE turn down? Remember that Steph and I work full-time demanding jobs by day and many things we get invited to are during the week or during other obligations we have. If we were to attend every restaurant invite or event, we would be literally burnt out. We were recently invited on a press trip with Disney World…unfortunately, we had to decline due to other obligations. Additionally, if there is a brand offering us a product to share with our followers but it doesn’t fit into our brand and niche, we kindly decline. For example, we have been offered clothing, hair care products, and dog items. Just because we wear clothes, do our hair and have a dog does NOT justify us accepting that collaboration because our page is a FOOD blog. Just because we have a following that MAY be interested in those products doesn’t mean we should promote them. Believe it or not, THIS INCLUDES IF WE ARE BEING OFFERED MONEY TO PROMOTE THEM. If it doesn’t fit, it’s a no for us and we are very dedicated and proud of that! Where the bad rep comes from? people promoting any and everything (even when it does’t match their brand) just because it will either look good on their blog/media kit or because they were paid for it.
“They don’t even eat the food they post” I can ASSURE you the pounds I have gained in the last few years is proof we eat what we post (lol). While we may not eat it ALL, we definitely try/eat a portion of everything. Remember that when we go places to eat or film, we are together so we share everything. On top of that, sometimes we are with other bloggers and/or friends so we share with them. If we have leftovers, we take them to family or friends so it doesn’t go to waste. I am a Social Worker by day so I’m all about limiting the food wasted. Where the bad rep comes from? people going places just to photograph and/or film but are seen taking one bite of the food and throwing it away.
“They aren’t really helping businesses…just charging $” WE do not charge every place or business we post. We post them because we GENUINELY enjoy it, and want to share it with our following. We have built relationships with a lot of business owners in the community and we are happy to willingly support their business. I’m not here to lie to you…do we make money sometimes? Yes. Remember it costs money to maintain a REAL blog. For example: we pay website costs, photography equipment, editing programs, travel (mileage and gas), PAYING FOR FOOD (I put that in caps because yes we actually pay for a lot of our food), filing taxes, yearly business fees and that’s just SOME of the costs of blogging for us. So yes, we do work on sponsored content creations posts with brands that help us maintain our blogs. Do we enjoy comped meals? yes of course. However, WE always offer to pay regardless. WE also ALWAYS tip our server based on what our check WOULD HAVE BEEN in total. Is it the servers fault their place of employment decides to engage in influencer relations? Absolutely not. They have bills to pay and they go to work to make money not to wait on tables that don’t pay OR tip. Where the bad rep comes from? people who think they are already doing the business enough by sharing their experience with their followers so they don’t feel the need to tip or tip the amount it would have been on a normal bill. Lets play: imagine a server gets 6 tables on their shift for the day. Let’s say on a normal day they make $120. Now imagine if 3/5 of those tables were influencers that had their meal comped and didn’t tip or tipped $5 or $10 (just to be nice “because they are already doing the business a favor of sharing it with their following”). What is that servers profit for the day? SERVER IS SEPARATE FROM THE BUSINESS. Remember that.
“They don’t even have an effective ROI”- Return on Investment is a measure to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. Some may think the outcome of the investment in the blogger whether it’s money or free food/items doesn’t produce a decent return on the business. However, if you are marketing correctly and using the correct blogger/influencers per campaign expectations ….yes you will see a return in some form. Of course it’s hard to determine how many people went to your business or purchased a product because they saw something on a bloggers page, there are ways to see how many people a bloggers post hit (that’s where Instagram and website analytics come in). We have had many businesses share with us that customers came in and mentioned our name or showed them what they wanted based on a post we completed. Same goes for our followers that send us messages saying they tried something because of us. Where the bad rep comes from?: Many businesses are not asking for bloggers analytics prior to working with them therefore, they may not receive the outcome they expected from “working with bloggers”. For example: a brand may chose to work with two bloggers both with 100K followers. One blogger may have a reach of 500,000 a week while the other has a reach of 2 million a week. A business may expect the same results from both but often overlook the fact that all bloggers have different reach and it is NOT solely based on following numbers. It’s not necessarily something a blogger is doing or not doing but we can thank the Instagram algorithm for that. This goes for ALL bloggers/influencers (micro, macro, etc). BRANDS, ASK FOR NUMBERS!
BLOGGING CAN BE HARD WORK. It’s like a full-time job for some and that’s why many people solely turn to blogging. It’s not easy juggling our jobs and blogging with it’s definitely worth it. Like I mentioned at the beginning this is OUR experience. We aren’t here to speak for everybody but instead shed some light on frequent topics surrounding the blogging community because unfortunately, ALL bloggers are often put into the same “box” and that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us!