6 Things I wish I'd Knew When I Started Blogging
I've had a little corner on the internet for just under 3 years and really it's something I never expected to be much more than sharing my thoughts and opinions, and to be honest I don't think anyone could have predicted that blogging would have become what it is now. But I tell you, these are the things I wish I'd have been told...
1. Get a contract for everything.
Even if it's just for a single sponsored blog post, sort out a contract. It doesn't have to be full of legalities, I just try to make sure that I'm entitled to payment and include payment terms. I also make sure that the contract states that no changes can be made down the line and that I own my content. This is a big deal as I've found pictures have been used without being credited. Most of the time it isn't a big deal but it really helps if people are difficult. I used to get nervous about saying I wanted it as a contract but if a brand/PR company is legit, they're used to it and don't bat an eyelid. I also think contracts are very necessary if ever you work with a local company. I've worked with several local companies in return for services (eg haircuts) and it's important that you allow for a get out clause so you're not obliged to post, again, this shouldn't be an issue for a company because if they're confident in their services, the blogger is bound to post a positive review.
2. Know your worth.
The fear to negotiate is a huge thing I struggled with as I was so worried about losing out on a deal if I asked for more. But remember that a brand is contacting you and they want you so often they'll be willing to negotiate. Also, if you've got a mega brand contacting you but will only spend £10, they're playing you. Get smart.
3. Do you.
This sounds stupid but the number of times I've tried to change my blog to something that doesn't flow is insane. It's so easy to get caught up in what other bloggers are doing that you can lose what gained that readership in the first place. Make sure you're doing everything for you and being yourself. It's the best way to do it.
4. Think things through & be smart.
When I first started this blog I accepted money for several links that are on my blog permanently and because I didn't know better, they're going to be on here for as long as I continue to type. I used to get so excited about every email that I would rush to reply and inadvertently agree to things I didn't want to do. Think things through before you agree, if you need to talk it through with parents or friends, then let the brand know!
5. Don't be afraid to say no.
This is another big deal but I used to freak out about saying no. It could be a brand that I knew I wouldn't use or an event that I knew was never going to touch my social media, but I was so nervous about saying no that I would agree. But honestly, it feels good to turn things down. With my whole new mindfulness that I'm trying to project, there's little point to accepting things that I will never like (*cough* fake tan). And many PR's actually have so much respect for the fact that I do say no. Just don't be afraid to refuse things.
6. Don't get caught up in what to do.
If I had a dime for every time someone published a "things to succeed at blogging", I'd be rich. But alas, I used to get so caught up in what I was meant to be doing that I stopped doing. I spent so much time trying to achieve something that was never going to work, this blog became something that was more forced than authentic.