"What do you do for a living?"
"I'm a blogger."
"Oh right, how much do you earn?"
Conversation #2 with idiot #2:
"Ashleigh, can I ask you a question?"
"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.