16.1.15

WHY IS THE MEDIA SO OBSESSED WITH HOW MUCH MONEY BLOGGERS MAKE?

Twenty-Fifteen is undoubtedly going to be the year of the blogger. Evolution over the last twelve months has laid the groundwork for a breakthrough year, turning blogs and bloggers from the 'celebrities you've never heard of' into mainstream household names. If it isn't The Independent discussing the evolving bloggersphere and those sitting snuggly at the top, GQ naming a male vlogger as one of their best dressed, or Cosmo and Company celebrating the style of their favourites, it's Stylist discussing the 'rise of the superblogger' and The Guardian dissecting the growth of quality sites that have real value within the mainstream. However, there's a clear trend and focus of questions within all of these articles and it's not doing anything for the long-term credibility of the blogging community. Why is the mainstream media just so ruddy obsessed with the finances of these hot young things and so focused on how much money they make?


There's no doubt having a successful blog and/or vlog can be incredibly lucrative. Nearly five years after I wrote my first post this site makes up about 50% of my annual income - something I never thought I'd be able to say. I've nurtured and grown a site I'm proud of and that I treat like my baby, so it's amazing to be able to turn that into an income stream to support my ever growing wardrobe. (I jest.) Similarly, bloggers and vloggers covering all lengths of the spectrum have been able to turn a love of writing, photography, makeup or filming themselves doing goofy things into something more, thanks to their expansive audience and incredible influence. Every time I hear about an article in a huge publication known for excellent journalism or innovative angles, I can't wait to get my hands on it with a cup of coffee and a rather large selection of biscuits. However, after the first three words it becomes abundantly clear that the media's obsession with our growing community isn't focused on the freshness we bring or how we're changing the landscape of media consumption, but how you can 'make a fortune from your bedroom.'

It's incredibly frustrating to see this obsession evolve almost uncontrollably, positioning the blogging and vlogging community as one that's practically hemorrhaging money. Although it's slightly easier than it was a couple of years ago to turn a blog into a serious source of income that can compete with a nine-to-five, it's still out of reach for the majority; your ability to 'sell' yourself or space within your network depends on your ability to reach those that matter in high enough numbers. Inevitably, that's harder than getting through to X Factor bootcamp. The media, in my opinion, is acting incredibly irresponsibly by showcasing these successful bloggers and holding up a sign saying 'you too can make a fortune by talking nonsense on the internet.' It's simply not true and it's creating an abundance of teens that truly believe they can be the next Zoella.

The blogging community has so much to be proud of - from creating something from nothing, building an audience of like-minded individuals, showcasing talent, expressing opinion and effectively running a business as a one-man-band. It's such a shame that the press chooses to celebrate not these incredible talents and ability of young men and women to commit to an idea, but to focus on their ever-bulging bank accounts. Although I'm hugely proud of everything our community manages to collectively achieve and how it allows everyone to build a space that's their own (and should be immensely proud of, regardless of size,) the blogging bubble will inevitably burst at some point in the future as the world moves onto the next big thing. I fear this will leave a huge number of young bloggers with no skill-set or experience other than how to do a smokey eye in less than three minutes, because the press have told them it's the magic way to make a fortune. 

I really hope to see future articles focus more on the way blogging is changing the way we consume information, that it opens up expertise and knowledge like never before, challenges traditional advertising and shows that anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it. Maintaining a blog employs dedication, commitment, passion, enthusiasm, skill and knowledge - it's just a shame all the mainstream media seem to see is pound signs. What do you think about the way in which bloggers are perceived in newspapers and magazines?


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32 comments

  1. Love this post !
    I'm talking about bloggers within my dissertation at uni and all articles point at money !!

    Alex xo
    http://champagneandlemonadeox.co.uk/

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  2. Love this post it's great to see how other bloggers are
    Danielle Mac

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  3. Really interesting post - I think the reason the media is so infatuated with bloggers' finances is because they see is as some kind of 'get-rich-quick' scheme, a sort of 'make a fortune by sitting at home on the internet' kind of scenario, when in reality it's so much harder than that - the majority of us are blogging solely as a hobby and don't make a cent, and those that do earn from it work incredibly hard on their blogs over a seriously long period of time! I completely agree with you - I wish they would focus on this hard work, and the incredible rise of the blogging community over the last few years. It's such a shame they don't!

    Ciara x Ciara Pocket

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    1. You've hit the nail on the head - they think it's a 'quick fix' to your finances and don't see the years of (unpaid) hard work that went in before anyone started making any kind of money. Such a shame.

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    2. i agree with you too .

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  4. Loving this! All of the media attention on how much bloggers/vloggers can make often leads to making those of us who earn little to nothing from our blogs feel deflated and unsuccessful. Nearly all blogs are started because someone has a passion for something, not because they want to make money from it. Any financial gain is a happy by-product of someone doing something they love.
    x
    www.neverwithoutmakeup.com

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    1. Absolutely. And don't let it deflate you - it took me years to even make a penny and it's only been the last year I've really started to make an income, thanks to being focused. x

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  5. Absolutely love this article!! I'm not impressed with the way that the media currently paints blogging as a 'Get Rich Scheme'. While it is true that anyone can set up a blog - that is the beauty of blogging - most publications make it seems like you can start a blog, go from 0 - 100 and make thousands of pounds in like 3 - 6 months, which isn't a healthy picture to paint of the blogging community

    Epiphannie A

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    1. Exactly - there are millions of bloggers doing it for the love and not interested in money, which is something to celebrate. It's not all about the cash or the material b*llsh*t that goes with it. That seems to get somewhat lost in all the articles I read.

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  6. I completely agree. I haven't been blogging that long but since becoming a mum who loves writing it has become such an amazing outlet (along with loving beauty/fashion). I always see blogger who start off wanting to earn money or each PR companies and they fizz out very quickly. It's frustrating how people can think it's a quick way to make money when top bloggers have worked for 5-7 years growing their channels and blogs. If you aren't in it for the right reasons it won't last long.

    Atopsyturvyblog.blogspot.com

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    1. 100% agree - those that set a blog up to get money and freebies won't get far, because readers and brands can see through it all. Passion is the currency on most of the successful blogs and that's totally being missed by the press.

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  7. I agree with you. There is too much obsession over how much money can be made, and too much emphasis on stats. I started my blog so that I could have a positive outlet and focus after some personal issues that knocked my confidence, and it has really helped as I can write about things I enjoy spending time on, and I have been able to meet some lovely people too. I agree, if you're not applying yourself for the right reasons, then your audience will learn that sooner or later, and then what?

    Ting | The Ting Thing

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  8. Si eres buena y tu blog gusta y además inviertes una mucho tiempo en tu blog, me parece lógico que consigas beneficios: ya sean monetarios o en forma de regalos.
    Mucha gente consigue hacer de sus aficciones su trabajo, de modo que si a un@ de gusta el mundo de la cosmética estupendo que pueda "ganarse" la vida con ello.

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  9. This is a really interesting point because the way they word it and talk about it makes it sound like it's wrong and bad that bloggers are making money out of blogging, as if they're doing something devious and are scamming their readers, which isn't true.

    Like you say, it takes so much hard work, dedication and effort and that is never the focus, it's always about the money.

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  10. Thanks for this post. I have been rethinking my attitude towards advertising on my blog. I have received quite a bit of interest in advertising in the past, but really didn't feel that it was my path... I started my blog to talk about my work as a makeup artist, and use it as a platform from which to network. My blog then became an entity on its own...and now I feel it needs some new inspiration. If I did move forward with monetizing my blog, then it will no longer be an option for me to blog or not, but it would become a job. But I already have an amazing job that I love... why do I feel so committed to my blog??!? I think the answer lies in the relationship between my work and my blog. They really have to feed each other; that way the one will always allow the other to be profitable.

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  11. What a thought provoking post. Although I think it would be amazing to make enough from Blogging to live off is an amazing achievement I don't think it's going to happen to the majority of us here in this big pond full of Bloggers. Blogging takes up so much of my time and effort and I don't post every day, full time Bloggers earn there money it's not as easy as it sounds. I think you are right to say that it is making it seem like you can start up a blog write about a few make up products and be a millionaire like Zoe. Great post hun. Glad I found your Blog :) xox

    http://www.rainbowsandunicornsblog.co.uk/

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  12. I'm glad this post went in the direct I'd hope for as I feel it's no more realistic to want to be the next Zoella than it is to want to win the X Factor. For the vast majority it's a hobby and a lucky few are able to make money from it, even fewer are able make it a career! I think that the really smart bloggers are carving out careers in the media for if their popularity wanes xx

    Magpie Jasmine

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  13. Great post, very well written :) I think people are just obsessed with what others make for some reason.

    Loevens makeup rambles

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  14. I think their have been so many bloggers in the press recently that the media and general public have take an interest. Sadly in our capitalist world, the first thing people look at is what other people have. It is sad that blogging is seen as a quickfix moneymaker. Although it is a hobby and passion for most it is also a lot of hard work. Blogging definitely doesn't equate staying at home and making a lot of money. It is wonderful that some people have managed to make a living out of a passion. But I believe that can be said about a lot of jobs. And just because it is a passion doesn't mean that it isn't labour intensive and to be take seriously. Thank you for the post. I hope someone out there might come across it and write a proper newspaper article about blogging and the love and hard graft behind it xx Dandy I www.dandelionblue.co.uk

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  15. It's not just the media who are obsessed. I've been asked outright by a fellow blogger (on first time meeting them!) how I make money from my blog and how much I make! Tad personal...!

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  16. It's the same with the creative industry; it's becoming a lot more common for people to become full time self employed as creatives - illustrators, designers, makers, photographers, etc. - and people are curious about how much money we make. The typical 9-to-5 worker doesn't know much about the industry or how it works, so it makes sense they would be curious to know how much money creatives earn. I know my sister was surprised when I told her my annual income. Everyone knows how much certain jobs page on average, but with creative jobs it's very vague unless you work in the industry.

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  17. I've only started blogging a few months ago, but I can feel that 'who's getting paid more' vibe between bloggers too. Some get really intense speaking of this subject. Loved reading this, xx

    ZoesSecretStyle.blogspot.co.il

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  18. This is an excellent post! I think everyone could benefit from reading this. Not just bloggers. I just recently started making a few bucks from my blog and it's HARD! People don't understand just how much work, time and resources that goes into blogging. A friend of mine thinks I'm just "playing in makeup" but it's so much more than that. There's photography, editing, writing, tech stuff and more that many of us teach ourselves with little to no help. People are beginning to think running/profiting from a blog is easy or happens quickly and that's SO far from the truth

    Follow me to Fancieland!

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  19. what a great post hun and so true , I have been asked by friends how easy blogging is, they seem to think we sit on our backsides all day and night asking for freebies and money to review products for absolute free and it doesnt include any work what so ever except a paragraph or few sentences. I dont think those who dont blog will ever understanf the actual dedication and hard work we put into our work or hobby depending on what you like to call it, I dont use my blog for an income at all, in fact thrive on advertising it as a non profit blog to which I am happy to do of my own back, it seems a huge issue over how much bloggers get payed to do a review or pst and in particular some charge stupid prices to do them for not much of a post at all anyway. I have been asked how easy it is to make a blog and how quick can you expect a payment or free product, seen these people start their blog and to this day still see them typing the word #prrequest into their twitter tweet and expecting something for nothing, we work really hard i for one am up at 7am and dont sleep till 2am if im lucky , im only 16 months old but neither want to use it as a paid business , its just something i really enjoy doing , and i wish people concentrated on the fun and experience of it all more than the money swapping hands

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  20. Great insight :)

    I started blogging this month, so I wouldn't know much about monetizing my account. In-fact I hadn't heard much about the media take on blogging (I guess I'm a bit of a hermit lol). I do know however that in order to get anything back, you need to work extremely hard... I was lucky enough to get 121 followers within 3 weeks! but I figured that was just because I'd reached out to other writers, and began interacting more through the likes of Twitter chats :), simply because I enjoy talking to new people x

    www.sheintheknow.co.uk

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  21. This is definitely so true, I've been seeing so many articles about how blogging is a great way to make a fortune without exiting your house - they make it sound so easy, don't they?
    I'm not saying I'm a pro as I've been writing my blog for about 6 months, but it still takes time and effort even if you're not a hotshot.
    Love your blog, by the way - so many helpful bits and pieces! xx

    http://xoxoxojo.blogspot.com/

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  22. I think it's definitely true that far too much emphasis is put on the ill conceived opinion that blogging/vlogging is a way to make a quick buck.

    However, now that choosing to do this as a career is becoming a more viable option, of course people are going to start asking more questions about what it entails, what sort of money they might be expected to make etc...

    Of course it is wrong to ask one specific individual the amount they earn, nevermind expecting them to be happy with the figure being published. But, as with when you decide to become a lawyer, a doctor etc... You need to be able to make an informed decision as to why you want to do this. Enjoyment and passion for the subject should always come first but undoubtedly money will always play a part. Approximate figures are available for these jobs and so why not for blogging?

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  23. I agree. I've just restarted blogging again but not for money it's just something I genuinely enjoy and I've always loved writing and that's what it should be about not just the pound signs. I think sometimes the media can portray blogging quite negatively, if you can make a living from your blog I think it's great but as you say it isn't a magic guaranteed way to make a fortune. Great post!
    Kirsty x


    PrettyBugBlog.

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  24. I have recently become a blogger myself after years of working on my book. Initially, I started to write because of my driving passion, desire to express myself and way to channel my energy. In the past few months, I have become serious about making it a career choice as an author/blogger. However, I am not doing it for the money, at least not right now. I have a 9 to 5 job and I write whenever I can. I have become so dedicated that all of my free time goes to writing. I am baffled by how the media is obsessed with the way bloggers make money. They need to realize that it's a real job that takes as much time, commitment, preparation and hard work as any other job. I believe we need to be taken more seriously in this regard. It's also funny to see how people in my close circle are all focused on me making money, far more than me doing what I love. Maybe one day they will understand, but maybe. Much love for this article and all of your hard work! Kudos!

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  25. This is like everything, people create a huge thing around it everybody tries to take part of it but after what seems like half an year or when the 'talks' calm down they just quit.. And those quitters never came for the genuine passion but for the hype. It's hard to maintain a blog while at a full time job or at school, that's where most of all started, but our community still manages to do it and do it right! People like you had to stop doing 'what everyone normally does on their free time' to pursuit your passion and that being recognized and even paid is the best thing in the world and WELL deserved!

    Mary Bloomy

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  26. Just stumbled across your blog and it's safe to say I'm obsessed! This is such an insightful and original post, so refreshing!

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