Free clothes don't pay my rent.
And if they did, man would my house be huge.
By no means am I writing this to be mean or insulting to anyone. It's just reality that most people don't understand what bloggers do. How do bloggers make money anyways?
First, let's get this straight:
There are lots of bloggers out there - hundreds of thousands who write on all topics of interest. Some bloggers write because they love to write, some people start a blog because they think that they can just go viral in a week and a very small percentage of us blog for a living. An actual living.
I'm one of them.
Yes, blogging is my full time job and yes I make a full time income from blogging. Without my income, I can't put food on the table and I can't pay my rent. Blogging is my full time job, just like any job you currently go to every day of the week.
Without getting into it too much, there are so many ways I'm able to make money through my blogs (yes, I have two), one of them being getting paid to write about products.
No, I don't just write about any product someone sends my way but I do my research beforehand. I write about products I love and would recommend to all of you, even if I wasn't getting paid. Because I want to be authentic, I want to recommend the things I love and I want to recommend the products I think you'll love - from beauty, to fashion to household items, decor, services and more. Anything I love, I'll write about.
Of course I always tell you when I've been paid. If it's a blog post, you'll see the word "sponsored by" at the very top of the post or #sponsored at the end of a social media post. But that doesn't mean that I'm not being authentic, because I truly speak my mind when it comes to everything I write about and promote. I want to be open and truthful and I want to be authentic in everything I tell you about. I want to be raw and I want to be real. And that's just how I roll.
You can't pay me to tell my followers that your company is amazing. And that is that.
Yes, sometimes I'll try things on my own and write all about them if I love them, so of course it's not just all paid advertisements....not even a majority. But with that being said...
Free clothes don't pay my rent. And free children's toys don't put dinner on the table either.
So when a shop owner asks to send me things or send Ava items Ava to try out, I'm not being rude or putting you off when I send you my media kit with pricing and information on features. It's just the fact that those items don't make me a living and in order to give Ava a good life and raise her with all that she needs, I need my job to make me money.
Plain and simple: We need money to live.
Just think to yourself: Would you accept products instead of your salary every month? No. You wouldn't. Because those products wouldn't pay your rent.
So to answer many of your questions, yes, I am a blogger and I do this for a real, full time living. I don't have another job and just do this for fun on the side (although I'm lucky to have fun doing it!). I work hard each and every day and every night trying out products, taking photos of the products, and re trying to take photos when Ava is in a better "photo mood." And then when Ava falls asleep, I write my blog posts each and every night, put together maternity sessions and nursery inspiration and newborn shoots (and weddings on my other blog) that are submitted to me by photographers to publish. I worked my butt off for three years to get to where I am today. I grew each of my blogs from the ground up and I'm proud of where I am. And I have loved each and every minute of promoting the products I love and getting to know my amazing and supportive followers and shop owners.
So there you have it - I'm a blogger, a full time blogger and only money can pay my rent.
If you're interested in turning your blog into a full time job, I offer coaching sessions as well! And if you're a shop owner or a company and you think we'd love to try out and promote your company/product, please reach out so we can chat and see if we are a good fit!