1. Sponsored Blog Posts
I thought I would start off with what I do least. A sponsored blog post. A brand will approach me and say "we want you to write about xyz". When I first started I did an awful lot of standalone reviews but now I try to incorporate a review or mentioning a brand into a far more interesting post for my followers (here's an example). As I am a law abiding kinda gal my sponsored blogs will always say they are just that in them at some point.
2. Free Shizzle
Sometimes we are very lucky to be offered products or experiences to review. More often than not for larger ticket items I don't accept payment. The free shizzle we get always comes with a big condition. That it's not actually free. As the brand would expect us to promote it on social media, or chat about it in a video. Talk to the people who follow us why we like it in the vain hope they like it too.
A 'free' holiday to the Isle of Wight.
I produced seven videos, two blog posts, a brochure article and countless social shares
3. Instagram Posts
A brand may ask to pay us to produce an instagram post. These should ALWAYS have #AD in them so you know they are an ad. It seems quite an easy thing to 'take a photo to flog something'. But sometimes you have to really think about what your followers would like, a photo that would fit in with your brand (mine is bit of a crap maniac, bit niche). There will be a lot of emails behind this photo talking about what the brand does and doesn't want in the shot. What hashtags to use. The brand needs to approve it. You may have to retake it. And when you finally pop it up you need to reply to the comments and report back to the brand how successful it was. All that work for one little tiny square of photo.
4. Sponsored Videos
Sponsored videos are by far the most amount of hard work. So let's use a example AO asked me to chat about a fridge freezer. Seems simple enough doesn't it! But no one wants to see me going "LOOK AT MY NEW FRIDGE FREEZER". So I had to develop an idea that was interesting to my followers, mock up a story board, get the brand to approve the idea, go out and source props (in this case yummy food), film every day for a week, edit the footage, sent it to the brand, wait for any amends, upload it and then reply to comments. Hours of work for a video under three minutes. Crazy! But really, really fun! These will always have #AD in the title so if you don't like ads? You can scroll on by.
A little sponsored video example for AO
Each week I make a vlog around 14 minutes long. Occasionally a brand will ask me to chat about something in that vlog. I usually 'sell' a two minute slot and it will always say #AD in the corner. It's always something I would like myself. You have no idea about how many insane products I have said "NO WAY" to (waist sinchers, vaginal dryness cream, magic tea that makes you lose weight). A little less ridged that a sponsored video but you still have to chat with the brand about what they want.
In this vlog I worked with HP Printers
I get millions of minutes watched on YouTube each month. I generally pick up around £300. It is MEGA hard to make stacks of cash on there so that's why I have to make my own dollar (I said dollar as I thought that sounded youth).
7. Speaking Engagements
Sometimes I get asked to speak in conferences. More often than not this is for free for example I recently spoke at Birmingham University. Occasionally I get asked to chat to business people and they will pay me to come along and talk about blogging. I LOVE doing this as it means I get to mingle with other human beings. And not just my dog.
A day out the office to chat all things blogging (SEE HOW EXCITED I AM!)
8. The REALLY Boring Stuff
I don't have an agent. I am a one man band so I have to do all the following myself; writing, taking photos, editing photos, filming, lighting, editing, producing thumbnails, uploading videos, storyboards, emailing brands, invoicing, CHASING INVOICES (every god damn day people), responding to comments from my 115K+ following and all the boring paperwork that goes with running a business. Some days are wonderful filming adventures with my family, most days are boring AF screaming "JUST SOMEONE PAY ME PLEASE".
9. The REALLY Fun Stuff
Every blogger is different. Some blogs are mainly sponsored content which is good for them but not for me. My general rule of thumb (and some months are different) you would struggle to find two ADs together on any of my platforms. I have turned down work, I have had stand offs with brands where I have stated I wasn't going to post an AD as I didn't want you to see another one. My main concern is to provide you with loads of fun content. Hauls, silly instagrams, funny blog posts. I'm an entertainer and I want you to be entertained. And it takes quite a lot of work to get the balance right.
Walking in the Hamleys parade. We didn't get paid. We paid our own travel but?
We had THE TIME OF OUR LIVES!
10) You And ADs
When I see an #AD on instagram I always like it as I know the hard work that goes behind it. I know a lot of people HATE ADs but here is the real beauty of social media. You can scroll on, you can not click on a sponsored video. You could happily follow me and NEVER interact with an AD (fun fact in my contracts it is written in I don't share ADs on Facebook so I can have one AD free platform). But....
.....here is how I see it over the years I have written over 1200 blog posts, filmed 500 videos, uploaded over 4000 instagrams and I dread to think how many FB posts. And you have paid not one penny to sit in your bed watching me talk about crap, to laugh out loud at something my son has done on the bus or see a post and thought "thank god it's not just me". So to make you smile for free I am afraid I have to make money to buy food and shoes for my kids. There will always have to be the odd AD here and there. It would be nice if you liked it or commented. That simple gesture would mean so much to me and the blog. But if you don't? I won't hold it against you and you can carry on enjoying all the other good stuff. We can still be friends.
(*PS I know I am the luckiest woman alive to have such an amazing job and it's all down to you lot. And this is something I will NEVER forget. Love you! Typed small as I'm not good with over the top emotions)