This past year has been a whirlwind. When I started my Instagram account fifteen months ago, I assumed it would be a fun hobby. But thanks to all of you, I now quietly tell people I am a blogger. As in a full-time blogger.
I don’t tell people I am an “influencer” because I don’t like that title. I am not on Instagram to influence people. Rather, I am here to share the things I love!
Blogging is a really fun job, but it doesn’t come without a lot of hard work and hustling behind the scenes. For every photo you see, I’ve spent hours curating the products and items, styling them, taking the photos, editing the photos, etc. And when the post is sponsored, there’s a lot more that goes into it than I ever imagined.
Today I want to get rid of the “elephant in the room”… sponsored posts and affiliate links.
One of the key reasons I am now a “full-time blogger” is because of the brands I am now able to partner with. In other words, I am compensated by brands (with free product and/or money) for sharing their products. Basically, it’s an endorsement and currently a very popular form of advertising on social media. I like to think of it as the new wave of marketing.
Yes, I am collaborating with brands and they are paying me for these collaborations. But you need to know a few things. For every partnership I accept, I turn down a lot of opportunities. That’s because I won’t endorse a product I don’t like. I also won’t endorse a product that doesn’t fit with my brand. And I don’t want to do too many. I promise.
When I do partner with a brand, I try to really hard to share how and why I use this product. I also try to add my own twist and make it personal. One thing I never realized is how much time it takes to create, photograph and write these collaborations. Some take an entire day. Others take more than a day! And I bet you didn’t know almost all of the collaborations have to be approved by the brands. So editing is often a big part too.
But please know I am doing this so I can share what I think are great products and services. Some of them are new to me (which is always exciting to find new brands and things that I love) and others I have been a fan of for years. For example, in the past year, I’ve partnered with Ebay which I’ve used for years. I also worked extremely hard to partner with Hobby Lobby which was a dream come true because it’s one of my go-to stores for decor! Those partnerships are some of my favorites because they’re truly taking an element of my everyday life and amplifying it to be able to create something really special together. Without partnerships with brands, I wouldn’t be able to do this full time. Plus, to be totally honest, the income actually helps me justify why I spend so much time on Instagram! (And it makes my husband happy!)
Next time you see an “ad” on my blog or Instagram can I ask a favor? Could you stop for a second and read what I have shared? Maybe you will take time to like it and comment. I don’t know if you know that likes and comments are one of the things a brand looks at when deciding to work with me again. So yes, your support helps.
And next time you see a sponsored post on another Instagrammer’s account, please do the same. I promise we are all working very hard and just trying to make a living. And we would love your support!