I actually first started constructing the skeleton of this blog around 2015. It was a creative release for me at a time when I felt stifled by the robotic, rote-learning of a pursuit I mostly didn’t enjoy at university. The Blog’s form, name, content and style have all changed a lot since then… I’ve tried a bit of everything in the past but it has been consistent in its original intentions: to be both fun and informative for myself and others.
Many bloggers / writers / content curators / digital creatives, whatever label you wish to use aside from the term ‘influencers’, have created dream jobs for themselves by transforming their imaginative hobbies into their day jobs. Honing their niche, building up a loyal community on one platform or another, creating beautifully aesthetic posts and then teaming up with external brands and companies that want to leverage what they’ve organically built. Good on them – they work hard to get those opportunities. There are investments and monthly debits to be made for things like website hosting services, add-ons or widgets, applications such as photoshop and it takes a thick skin to be as open as some of them are, in sharing detailed insights into their minds and lives as they develop and grow.
In the ‘About’ page I emphasise that this is a hobby blog, as I still don’t intend for it to be otherwise. If this was my day job and I made my living from it, I think the inevitable pressures might dismantle a bit too much of the pure joy I obtain from it. There are many ways to monetise, leverage and promote your online site or product but the same methods are not for everyone. Experimenting with this has taught me much about what I do and don’t like, as well as how I will market my other new ventures in future. Here is an article on Buzzfeed that I contributed to, demonstrating ways to monetise your blog without directly paid content / ads.
Here is a guideline I have devised for any future contact through the site form and / or social channels:
Things I don’t accept:
- Paid posts curated by companies or associated third parties : usually bribery for irrelevant backlinks about organic cat-food and so on.
- Paid posts curated by me for brands : even worse than the above because it’s my time that’s wasted creating a post I have no interest in. The great thing about un-paid posts is that if a proposal or product that is sent is not something you would genuinely recommend to friends after trialling – there is no obligation to post.
- Intrusive advertising such as pop-ups that obstruct your view, or being forced to sit through an advert alla facebook. It’s all getting a bit too Black Mirror.
- Post proposals that are not genuine: there are many freelance writers working for third party agencies, where the sole purpose of requesting a guest post is to create SEO backlinks for clients. Paid or unpaid, the final articles are themselves usually of poor quality and uninteresting so I do not accept any of these. I also find it a dishonest way of marketing as such agencies / individuals are not often direct about their intentions.
Things I do accept:
- Genuine Collaborations: I love constructive and insightful collaborations with bona fide cross-promotion in return, instead of payment.
- Samples / Experiences: If I try it. And I like it. I’ll share it – if I think it’s worth it. Whether that be via IG stories, socials or on site, but platform choice and detail is up to me.
- Partnerships: When I really like the product I will happily do a partnership. A good example was with Speakly App – at the end of the article there are some discount codes. When you use them, you get the product free for longer and I also get the product free for longer, so it’s win-win. It’s not me being paid to ask you to buy it. Purely raising awareness of a product that I love and want others to love.
- Carefully selected sponsored posts on social channels (Insta / Twitter). No teeth whitening, coffee machines, other irrelevant content.
Please note that I do not have anything against the individuals, or sites that use any of the monetisation schemes from either category above! In fact when I officially launch my own company, I plan on using sponsored posting and advertising via others myself, as one of many effective methods of initially getting the brand message out there.
Most bloggers I know are still very genuine even when it comes to paid-posting and only accept projects they feel they can easily write about, or fit into the themes of their site. They spend a lot of time creating much higher quality content than I do and deserve to be rewarded for it. Where there is demand, you deserve to be paid to supply.
I’m simply stating that for me personally, this website in particular is a hobby that is purely about freedom, enjoyment, learning and sharing – authentically. I especially adore quirky, small and boutique businesses and am an avid devourer of all things novel (Product Hunt is great for this). Trading some autonomy to be commissioned to create content would take away from this experience for me, so I have created this page as a reference and explanation of the types of partnerships I appreciate.