Personal blog by Ashleigh Dougherty. Read with a pinch of salt and a cuppa' rosy lee.

06/03/2017

HOW TO: EARN BIG BUCKS AND FREEBIES FROM BLOGGING

Conversation #1 with idiot #1:

"What do you do for a living?"

"I'm self-employed."

"Doing what?"

"I'm a blogger."

"Oh right, how much do you earn?"

Conversation #2 with idiot #2:

"Ashleigh, can I ask you a question?"

"Sure."

"You get so many free things. I want to start a blog but don't know how."


These are just some of the rude questions bloggers get asked and I've quite frankly had enough of answering nicely. In the past week, I've had those two conversations above. It goes without saying that the subject IS interesting because it's different. I am happy to answer these questions from family and GENUINE friends. However, I do find a lot of people seem to spark up a conversation with me when they want something.

And what do they want? The details. The answers. The 'secrets'. Erm, go away.

I'm very fortunate that my biggest passion in life is now my job but I didn't just wake up one day and decide that I was going to throw my all into blogging. I, like so many other bloggers out there, have worked our arses off to get where we are today. I've been doing this for almost six years now and I never once started my blog for freebies, breakfasts with beauty brands and travel opportunities. In fact, I never even knew what starting a blog could open up. I simply started it alongside college at the tender age of 17 and told people what makeup I was loving (that I had bought out of my part time job's wages, AHEM).


PHOTOGRAPHY: ELLIE CHILD
YOGA TOP: MANUKA
LEGGINGS: MANDM DIRECT* 
BOMBER JACKET: SHORES*
TRAINERS: NEW BALANCE

I've gathered that not many people really understand blogging and seem to judge that we all just sit in bed all day, snapping photos of avocado on toast for Instagram and Snapchat squats at the gym. People seem to think that products featured on blogs and social media, every restaurant review and every opportunity we get is for 'free'. Apparently all bloggers do is take 100 selfies everyday to show off the perfect contour and eyebrows on 'fleek'. (Pass me the sick bucket).

According to some people, bloggers are bragging if we snapchat the latest matte lipstick collections to land in our hands from the postman who is probably fed up with how many parcels he has to deliver everyday to our houses. Thanking brands is also apparently showing off and of course, fashion bloggers are the worst and most pretentious type. All we do is wear clothes and snap them in front of the million dollar houses in Kensington and Chelsea.

Hopefully, you can sense the sarcasm here. 


This little shoot took place a few weeks ago and it's a part of the process that makes a fashion blogger a fashion blogger. I like to make sure the content I am putting out there is the best it can be, which is why I am starting to book photographers to shoot with. This doesn't mean I love myself, nor am I self absorbed. Why do a job with half-quality when you can make it the best it can be?

These ELLE Sport leggings from MandM Direct have been my favourite thing to wear over the last couple of weeks. I practically live in gym clothes 85% of the time (partly because I find it much more comfier if I'm working from home), and I have found myself reaching for these quite often. 


The elasticated band and branding on the bottom of one leg is so simple and minimalistic; just super easy and comfy to wear! Mand M Direct are an online retailer with sales 365 days a year. You can save up to 75% on some amazing and popular brands. Infact, these leggings have an RRP price of £39.99, but they're just £12.99 on MandM Direct. I'm sure we all love sales, bargains and saving money, so definitely check them out!


I have also been loving this bomber jacket from Shores which I've actually had since the end of the summer last year, but it was too warm to wear and feature back then! Shores have actually had a complete makeover with their website, photography and have some really beautiful coats that are worth checking out!

No million dollar backdrop from me today, but another brand collaboration. An item sent to me to feature which some people automatically think is the F word. The F word being freebie. However, when is a freebie a freebie? According to Google, a freebie is 'a thing that is provided or given free of charge'.  

A normal person in a normal job will always do what their team manager or big boss says. No questions asked. If you're looking to impress your line manager in order to get that promotion that's up for grabs that geeky Adam is about to pinch, then of course you're going to offer to run to Starbucks on your lunch break to get your boss an almond croissant and flat white coffee. (Don't forget the 3 sugars and plastic stirrer, jheez).


So, why do bloggers get so much slack? Just because our jobs don't involve being bossed about by Debbie the Dragon and we earn money from writing about our lives rather than stacking shelves in the local supermarket; this doesn't make us any different from the normal 9-5. 

If you're genuinely wanting advice on starting a blog, then by all means ask me or another blogger. However, the second you want to start a blog simply for the 'freebies', is the second you should stop and re-evaluate your life. There is an awful lot of 'behind the scenes' work that we do, that nobody really sees unless you're close with us. It's not just the case of writing 300 words and clicking publish. However, that's how we started off and how all genuine blogs should start off. 

So, shame on you if you clicked this post with no other reason than to just get the answer to the post's title. Did you notice I used the word EARN though? 

My life is comfortable because I work hard. Bloggers and influencers work hard for what we have and what we get to do. Nothing in life is free. 

Disclaimer: In collaboration with the brands mentioned.
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35 comments

  1. Love this! I knew it was gonna be a sarcy (yet informative and funny) post due to your Facebook post the other day haha! You go girl - love your content and you deserve it all!

    www.beckieeschle.com

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  2. Freebies must be decent but blogging for 8months and haven't done that. I started because I used to love writing and wanted to get back into it. It's annoying people are like that. You can say there are many misconceptions for many jobs though! I know friends who get annoyed that people don't get their marketing jobs etc and think it's all about social media...x

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  3. Yes thank you!!! I think thats a big part why many people don't take it seriously when I say I have a blog. They don't understand how much work goes in.
    Abbie E.
    www.abulouslife.com

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  4. haha i love this post. People do think that us bloggers get handed it all on a plate when its so far from reality. Love your honesty on this xx

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  5. I think it is such a common misconception that all there is to blogging is taking a few pictures, writing a quick post and bam your done. Not knowing all of the work that goes on behind the scenes because they have no idea what it actually takes to even get noticed enough to be able to get "freebies" or do collaborations with brands.

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  6. My Mum gets asked a lot about what I work as, and she tells them that I'm a photographer and a blogger - apparently she gets a lot of funny looks when she mentions the word blogger, because people don't understand what this is. I'm not even sure I know how to explain it when people ask, because it's a bit of everything - you've got the social side to it, the photography side, the writing side? x

    www.sheintheknow.co.uk

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  7. Yes girl.
    I've lost count of the number of times I've been asked "So you actually make money like that?"

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  8. YAS. This post says it all. Blogging is work. I've been lucky enough for a lot of people to react to me 'admitting' my blogging with positivity and almost admiration. I also still find myself looking up to bloggers like you who can make a living off doing what they love!

    xx, Pia
    http://gymbagsandjetlags.com

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  9. I'd love my blog to get noticed by brands. I do go to blogger events, mainly Lush ones and different beauty ones x

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  10. Yes gurl preach. I fucking hate the word 'freebie', so many people judge me for blogging and think I just sit on my arse all day and get freebies for the sake of it. Fuck off, I work three jobs and am barely surviving and blogging is the one thing that keeps me going. Its more than just an occupation but a way of life and like you said we work bloody hard. The fact that after six years you have finally been given recognition for your work is very much well deserved and it has been so lovely to read your blog xxx

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  11. I always see products like this as a tool because you couldn't write the review without them. It's hardly a freebie, but I think sometimes people see it like this because they want the stuff without doing all the work that goes around it.

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  12. Great post, I totally agree people forget what effort goes into making the content that the items feature in so while the item might be free you are spending your own time creating content, taking images, publishing, promoting etc x

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  13. Earn is not wrong! I am a new blogger and spend hours a day on chore threads as they are called, never mind creating content and being inspired! Haven't 'earned' a penny yet though!

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  14. i get asked about freebies a lot and I'm like errr its not all about the freebies.

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  15. I feel exactly the same! I'm so annoyed that people seem to think that we bag ourselves freebies as blogger. When in fact we work incredibly hard for every opportunity that comes our way x

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  16. Great post, absolutely agree that nothing in life is free. Well done for your hard work!

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  17. Such a good post!!! xx

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  18. Love this post! If you just want all the "freebies" it would be much easier (and cheaper) to buy them yourself. Most people don't see beyond the first image they see.

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  19. So true! love it and love that someone finally said it out loud. you go girl!! xx

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  20. Hahah! Love this post so much. Whilst I am nowhere near the status of earning from my blog or getting billions of freebies, I do get the odd thing which is lovely. x

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  21. Completely agree, for some reason people think it's ok to ask a blogger how much they earn - but not other professions! Also, your photos are absolutely stunning! xx

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  22. I completely agree, I think there's a lot of misconceptions about bloggers (and a lot of people who look down their nose at it) People don't appreciate the hard work and behind the scenes work that goes on to make them.

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  23. Great post to let others know bloggers don't get a free ride. We work hard for the products we are given and in some cases the value of the product doesn't even cover the time spent but we do it because we enjoy what we do x

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  24. I don't think people understand what blogging actually is hence the dumb questions!! Well done for achieving so much with hard work and dedication.

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  25. You are right nothing is free and it still amazes me that people dont really understand blogging x

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  26. Totally agree with nothing is free and blogging takes so much work and so much time too.

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  27. I have been blogging for 7 years nearly and I am still blogging because I love it but I don't receive anything no sponsorship or products to review, I still buy all my stuff for review purposes and I expect that won't change, however, as long as my readers are enjoying it I don't really mind.

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  28. Omg YESSS, preach!! Lol I hear ALL of the same questions. People don't realize how much time and effort we put into our craft!

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  29. Great photos! I'm sick of all the nosey questions too, people just don't know when to stop!

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  30. I don't find it rude when people ask me how much I earn from full time blogging. I'm happy to share as I think that more people need to know how much they can make from their blog so they don't do posts for just £50.

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  31. Great post, I get asked those same questions all the time, it is so annoying when you've been up at 1am writing about a 'freebie'.

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  32. Haha, I loved this post! Preach! You wouldn't ask someone who worked in an office what they earned, so why do people think it's ok to ask a blogger?

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  33. I love this post! Great!
    Btw, I love those leggings and your style.

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  34. Love this post! I find it so funny when people assume that bloggers and freelance writers are rich people who receive freebies everyday. Once in a while I receive freebies, but I don't make any money from my blog (at the moment) and I and not earning buckets of money from freelancing.

    Like yourself, nothing in life is free and we have to work hard and graft in order to become successful. I started my blog as a hobby whilst I was at university and now I'm working hard to make some income out of it in the future.

    Chichi
    chichi-writes.blogspot.co.uk

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