GOOD DAY, BABES.
There seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding the business side of blogging – how people make money, what happens in meetings, how bloggers directly work with brands etc etc etc, so I thought I’d throw out a lil post summarising everything that happens behind the scenes.
Or at least, y’know, how they happen behind the scenes for me.
It’s not so much a tips to make money or liaise with strangers over email who hold the key to a gigantic pot of blogger budget post, but more of a nosy kinda list, about the little quirks and FFSs that happen away from the Olympus Pen snaps and VSCO cam filters.
So here’s 13 things you probably didn’t know about the business side (AKA the way less glittery, glamorous and creatively stimulating side) of blogging.
1. There are so many weird fees associated with running a blog. Forgetting things like camera equipment and laptops, you have to pay annually for your domain name (like HannahGale.co.uk) and monthly for a company to ‘host’ your website – costs are determined by how many page views you have and how big your website is.
Oh and also, if you’re about as tech-savvy as a slug that’s been trampled on (HI, that’s me), you’ll need to fork out every time you need a little blog design tweak because every time you try and do it yourself you’ll end up crying on the floor.
2. Most blogger ‘meetings’ (I put them in brackets because they’re never half as exciting and full of we want to pay you £10,000 to be our global spokesperson and travel the world by private jet and meet Beyonce as they sound) happen within a five-minute walk from Oxford Circus. AKA the centre of the media universe.
3. Meetings are usually breakfast, lunch or coffee. Breakfast is avocado on toast and maybe a poached egg thrown in for good measure, lunch is salad and splitting a portion of chips between you and the PR and coffee, is, well, coffee. THERE IS RARELY CAKE.
4. The people who you tend to meet for blogger meetings every few months are rarely the same people who approach you about sponsored content. In fact, it’s rarely even the same brands. I’ve had people who I’ve done three or four collaborations with and never met in real life.
5. When a brand emails over a brief for a campaign they’re working on and asks if you want to get involved, the closing sentence will usually be ‘do you have any questions about this?’ rather than ‘let us know what your fee would be for this?’. You’ll often not get paid for a campaign unless you ask for it.
6. The people who email regarding collaborations will usually work either directly for a brand (normally someone from the press team – or their PR agency), or from a media agency who have been hired by a brand to help with SEO and blogger outreach.
From personal experience it’s usually the agencies who’ll try and pay you for a sponsored blog post, video and Instagram post with a £50 John Lewis voucher. Handy if you want some new bed sheets, not so handy when it comes to paying your phone bill…
7. When you’re working on sponsored content – regardless of whether it’s a tweet, Instagram post, blog post or video – all brands work completely differently. Some want to see a first draft and will then send it back to you with lots of red NOPES across it – as if it’s some heinously written school essay. Then they’ll want a second draft and maybe a third and omg why did you agree to this again?
Some brands don’t even want to see it before it goes live because ‘We chose you because we like your writing style, so we’re confident we’ll love whatever you produce’. No shocker that those are my faves – and often my readers’ faves too.
8. Oh and just an FYI, most of the time you won’t know which way a brand will go until you’ve signed the contract, worked your cute butt off on the content and it’s already scheduled in your drafts. And then they’ll be like ‘can you just ping the copy over so we can have a quick peek…’.
9. Sponsored content rarely runs on time, which is why, despite all your best efforts to space them out gracefully once a week, you’ll end up with nothing for a month and then three posts in a week and an ambush of comments calling you a sell-out. Can’t win ‘em all, eh?
10. Some brands and companies have payment terms of NINETY DAYS. NINETY. THAT’S THREE MONTHS. So like, you could get an email about a campaign in August, produce it in September and not even get the payment in time for Christmas. Heh.
11. Each company also has it’s own requirements for your invoice. Sometimes they want your address and phone number and a brief summary of the work you’ve completed, other times they want a UTR number (which sounds a lot like a bladder infection), a PO number, an invoice number, a PayPal account and your weekly food shopping list. The last one was a joke, I think…
12. THERE. ARE. SO. MANY. NEW. SUPPLIER. FORMS. TO. FILL. IN. Like, so many. Which I guess is the joy of having an agent – because y’know, you don’t have to waste crucial content writing time filling in forms that want the exact same details as your damned invoice.
My personal fave is when you haven’t been paid by a particular brand and so you’re like HEY YOU, good weekend? The agreed amount on my invoice seems to have not cleared, can you find out why? And the response is like ohhhhhh we forget to tell you, you need to fill out our new supplier form. Uh huh, OK, sure, thanks, didn’t need to pay my bills this month anyway, sob.
13. Because you never really know when your payments are coming, you end up checking your bank account at least three times a day just in case you’re rich and THAT ASOS DRESS IS MINE. At least you’re always aware you’re creeping into your overdraft, right? Knowledge is power and all that?