the balance of blogging Print Recipe Print Recipe

 

I’m having a moment.

There’s been a several comments on Facebook and Twitter that got me thinking about blogging. The talk has been around the abundance of advertisements and sponsored posts that are completely taking over blogs and how authenticity has gone out the door.

I guess this bothered me because 1. I don’t ever want to be put in that category and 2. blogging is not an easy job.

I find there’s blogging to make money (a living) and blogging because it’s what you love. Then there’s the balance.

Blogging is hard work, folks. It may seem like a fun hobby, but it’s a job – paid or unpaid.

Let me break it down. When it’s a food post, each blog post requires recipe testing, which can take multiple tries (grocery store runs, dishes, & your time.). Then it’s setting everything up to photograph and style the dish. That might require boards, tripod, props, etc.. Assuming everything works out between the approved recipe and the photographs, it’s time to upload and edit the photos. After that, it’s pulling everything together to write the recipe and blog post. Personally, writing is the most challenging part for me so it takes the longest. Then there’s SEO, social media, email and other platforms you have to stay up on.

I don’t blog to make the big bucks. Even if there are big bucks, I blog because I want to inspire people. I want to share recipes that support good health. I want people to feel good about the food they feed their families and themselves. I want people to still attend or host events, even when navigating a gluten-free life. I also happen to love fashion, home decor, and being active so if I want to talk about those things in this space, I will.

All of this is why I have ads on their site, because it’s a lot of work to do what I love.  I also have sponsored posts scattered in, but they’re all items (products or companies) that I actually love and use myself. AND (most importantly) I always state if it’s a sponsored post – meaning someone paid me to review/share their product. To be honest, most of the money I make is from freelance projects, which some never reach the blog. That’s aside from my full time job, which I got because I’m doing what I love right here.

See where I’m getting at? You can still be authentic and be true to yourself in whatever you do and still get what you want. I’ve gotten pretty good at saying no to pitches because they’re not a good fit for the blog – which in turn, wouldn’t be a good fit for the company as well.  Sometimes it’s really hard to say no, especially when there’s a big price tag attached. However, I find when I say no, more yes opportunities come up, which opens doors to so much more.

Just to be clear, some bloggers do more sponsored post than others and I don’t have a problem with that, especially when it’s a good fit for both parties. It’s when authenticity is lost, then I begin to lose interest.

If you’re a new blogger and you’re getting requests – my biggest advice, listen to your gut. Second, own your value.

Thanks for letting me have my moment, I feel better now.

 

 

 

 

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  • Liz DellaCroce

    Love this post Lisa! It can be hard to find that perfect balance and like you, I pride myself on my authenticity and have learned that the no’s are more important that the yes’s. Also like you, most of my income comes from freelance work that never touches the blog. It’s a delicate balance, for sure. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Aggie

    Amen!! It’s truly a balance and saying no is so important to staying true to yourself and your blog at times.
    Great post – xo

  • bakeyourday

    What a perfect moment! I get stuck between these two places all the time. I love having the opportunity to make money doing something I love but workout outside of my blog allows me to say no to opportunities that really don’t fit, while at one time I felt like I had to say YES to everything that came my way. You are right that it’s truly about that balance and staying authentic! I love this!

  • http://janesadventuresindinner.com/ Jane’s Adventures in Dinner

    Lovely post! I blog because it makes me happy and I have met some of the very best people going. I ‘chat’ with folks all over the world regularly and enjoy every minute of it. But you are so correct, keeping on top of your blog, social media, writing…it can really take over.

  • Heidi

    Staying authentic—whatever that means to you—is the heart and soul of a blog and for the author of that blog. Couldn’t agree with you more that the you have to say no to be able to say yes. And I reaaallly like that last photo in your post :)

  • kalynskitchen

    I am someone who’s been pretty vocal about not liking sponsored posts, but I do agree with you that they are not always necessarily bad. What is bothering me lately is the bloggers who seem willing to talk about pretty much any product that a sponsor pitches to them, and unfortunately I feel like I’m seeing quite a bit of that. After a while it just seems like greed to the reader. You are a class act though, and your posts are always well done.

  • Ali | Gimme Some Oven

    Beautifully said, Lisa!

    Finding that balance is definitely an art. And, at least in my world, has come with a lot of trial and error. I’m all for bloggers being paid and having the chance to make a living at what they do, but authenticity is #1. Hoping that we can all encourage one another to live into that, in whatever way is truest to each blogger’s heart! :)

  • http://rockcurvatude.blogspot.com Curvatude

    Great post & YES, blogging can be so much work that I never quite get why people would have a problem with someone making money from doing something that they worked hard at.

    And I would never claim to know if someone is being authentic or not, as I do not know their inner motivations. On any site, if a post does not appeal to me, I just keep it moving.

  • katygirl

    i still love blogging & have never felt anything like that about your blog. :) i love it.

  • Adina Marguerite

    Well said Lisa! I also struggle with the blogs that have turned from great content to all product review. It feels like the passion has disappeared. (So not at all your blog – you have a great mix!)

    I wish I could relate to your sentiment about after all the “no’s” the good fits finally seem to come in. Sometimes I question myself with all the things I turn down. And then I remind myself that I started my first blog back in 2005 because I love to inform people and share information and that passion hasn’t changed. In the end, creating great content and being true to myself is always worth more than anything else.

  • Evi

    Great post! A lot of people don’t realize that it is a hobby (or at lest started out that way), and it’s meant to be enjoyed and to have fun with rather than making it feel like a job! Thanks for sharing- and I’m glad I stumbled on this!

  • Heather Disarro

    Preach it girl – it really is a hard balance! I wrote a post last week about how it can be kind of hard to own blogging as a job because it feels, so many times, like it’s not always taken seriously. But this is hard work and I’m so glad you put this all out there!

  • Barbara | Creative Culinary

    When blogging moves beyond the realm of a hobby to a ‘jobby’ it stands to reason that incorporating methods to produce income would follow. I don’t care for the plethora of posts that are evidently just for $$ but we do have the ultimate say…we can stop reading those bloggers!

    What’s authentic for one is different for another so the notion of authenticity lies within each of us and can’t be decided for someone else. I started blogging to share what I love and each time I’m approached to do a sponsored post I have my own criteria to judge whether I’m remaining authentic to myself, to my blog and to my readers. As others have said, It is finding that balance and often saying no. The no’s get easier when you learn to respect the value of your work!

  • WithStyleGrace

    well said!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    You go girl! I’m so glad you’re here :) I totally agree that it’s BS when people give bloggers a hard time for having ads, or doing sponsored posts or whatever. We do this because we love it, period. As long as you feel good about what you do, that’s what matters. xoxoxo

  • Heather Christo

    Great Post Lisa. XOXOXO

  • Sandy @ RE

    I sooo agree with you, Lisa. Some readers don’t understand the hard work we put into blogging. I really try to keep the authentic posts coming, like mine yesterday and today. True hospitality mixed in with yummy recipes and giveaways for readers. It all works together! Thank you for sharing!

  • Kari Lindsay

    I’m not against sponsored ads, and I give readers a lot of credit for knowing what is authentic or not. People can sniff out genuineness and if they think a blogger isn’t genuine they’ll give ‘em a sniff (and maybe a “Pee ue”) and keep on moving to the next blog. I hope to always keep that in mind.

  • http://www.ridgelysradar.com/ Ridgely’s Radar

    Very good post and I agree with you. I am not making any money from blogging. I do it because I like sharing and inspiring others. I totally agree that you have to be authentic and create original content that is true to yourself. And if it aligns with a sponsor that is a bonus. I shy away from reading blogs that are totally commercial and stick with one like yours that are special and meaningful.

  • Amanda

    You. Rock.

  • shelly (cookies and cups)

    Agree 100%. The balance is the most important. It’s tough sometimes, and I find that when I share a product that I am passionate about my reader actually ENJOY the sponsored stuff… I totally agree with you!!

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks

    Amen.

  • Linda Dresselhaus

    You said it so well…it is a difficult balance. I try hard to only to do sponsored posts for things I think my readers will be interested in and fit well with my blog…

  • Sophie Collins

    Hi Lisa! Thank you for this post. I am really interested in your thoughts on this as I am an emerging food and wine blogger. I have been working with brands, but all for free and just product. I’d love to learn about how you seek out brands and how you price your services if you want to send me a private email? sophieccollins@gmail.com

  • Katie @ Mom’s Kitchen Handbook

    Great post Lisa…and you lead by example in creating terrific content with integrity and transparency.

  • WithStyleGrace

    yes, happy to send you an email!

  • Sheila Johnson

    xoxox Love this. I could not agree with you more. I have turned down so many offers. If I don’t use it already, then I’m not going to write about it…I want my readers to trust me.

  • 01Sarena14

    Amen to everything you said!!! I’ve been a blogger since 2007. I do not make money blogging. I have a few products that I stand by and I do NOT make money for posting on them. I’m really losing faith in a lot of the blogs I read when they are riddled with advertisements. Especially really expensive products that the blogger was given for free and they are just posting how they got them for free and can’t wait to try them out. Really? Good for you that you got it for free. I won’t likely go out and buy a $7 jar of nutbutter regardless of wether you like it or not. UGH. For the first time in all these years, I’m actually getting to the point that I don’t really even want to blog any more because it seems to be too commercialized. Just frustrating…

  • ashlina

    LOVING THIS POST girl. was just talking about this to one of my coaching clients. YES YES YES
    xoxo
    ashlina
    http://www.thedecorista.com

  • Dixya Bhattarai RD

    very nicely written post. I do not have ads on my page yet but now I am debating if I should or not..but like you said, its so important to maintain integrity and not get lost with that price tag. Also, big ad that comes in between beautiful pictures and recipes bugs me.

  • Sophie Collins

    Thank you, I really appreciate it! I look forward to hearing from you. Congratulations on your new gig. Happy weekend :)

  • http://www.homemade-bites.com/ Vanessa

    Hi Lisa,

    I agree with you. I’ve been thinking of this lately, specially concerning on the some bloggers’ attempt to frame themselves into an acceptable “model”. Sometimes, I think I’m reading the same blog, because the content is pretty much the same: all sparkling and perfect. I just delete those “models” from my feed, because I’m looking for inspiration, for real food and for real life! I’m not against ads or sponsored posts. I care about having and supporting points of view. And those points vary, for sure, from person to person.

  • Ashley – Baker by Nature

    Such an honest and inspring post. I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years now and have always stayed true to my mama’s motto of “no room for nonsense”. Meaning I’m not posting sh*t I don’t LOVE! Happy to see people supporting this and still succeeding! xo

  • Marlene

    Great post!

    I agree – the balance is the most important part of blogging!

    Many famous bloggers spend a lot of money for their posts so it’s fair to get a little back. But it has to be authentic – and most of the time it is!
    So.. do what you love! ?

    Greetings,

    Marlene

  • Bankruptcy Lawyer

    Your blogging is very important I learn about this. I want to say thanks for your sharing this idea. Bankruptcy Lawyer

  • Toni | Boulder Locavore

    This is my first time visiting your lovely blog and what a perfect post to land on! I too am a blogger and agree with everything you’ve said. I have advertising on my site and do sponsored posts for brands and products I feel my reader would enjoy or like to learn about. I hold my readers trust over all else and do not feel making money sways or reduces my authenticity.

    I realized in reading your post there is an undercurrent in some of what is said about bloggers and sponsored work which implies if a blogger is making money the nobility of their craft is reduced. I disagree, feeling it is a lot of work and if we find a way to balance that time and cost we potentially can deliver MORE to our readers, not less.

    So glad I found you!

  • Chelsa Bea

    Thank you for this beautiful post.

  • potsandprams.blogspot.co.uk

    I’m extremely new to blogging and whilst I love the writing side of it, I’m finding the self editing and photography parts very taxing! You really have to be a master of all tasks (no Jacks allowed!!) and still stay true to the original reason you started blogging. Realise it’s easy for me to say that – I’m not even sure anyone reads anything I write so it’s unlikely anyone will want to pay for my opinion or to advertise. It certainly wasn’t in my thinking that anyone would. I’m purely doing it to practice my writing – if anyone takes the time to read it, then I’d be dead chuffed and it would be reward enough. Hmm, I say this now… I hope someone would kick me if I ever get above my blogging station!!

  • WithStyleGrace

    ah thanks lady!! hope you’re doing well – think about you often!! xoxo

  • WithStyleGrace

    love that!

  • WithStyleGrace

    yay, welcome!! and thank you :)

  • WithStyleGrace

    you never know! it’s those that are authentic and doing what they love who usually get noticed :)

  • Dayna @kaleidoscopebrain

    SO, so, so agree! great advice!

  • Katherine Collmer

    Lisa, Thanks for getting the word out there that blogging is a lot of work…no matter how much you love it. If a writer wants to put out more than a “fluff blog,” then he or she needs to do the research, write effectively and put it out on the “airwaves.” Time…time…time…consuming! As a “newbie” in this arena, I definitely needed to hear that what I am sensing about writing blogs is true for others, more seasoned at this, as well! Thanks!