“So what do you actually do?” – Demystifying the world of blogging

So what do you actually do? A question I’ve become oh so used to hearing, time and time again.
Questions
– fine but passive aggressive comments like “I just don’t understand
who care’s abo
ut what you think” not so much. The term ‘Blogger’ gets
batted around quite a lot these days, in both positive and negative
lights. So as this is a question I get asked a whole lot and I’m sure
this goes for most bloggers, youtubers and influencers out there, I thought I’d
address the question, explain what it is I do on a day to day basis and
give you a behind the scenes peek into the kind of things I get up to.

Firstly
– yes, I am incredibly lucky in the fact that I do get to go to fancy
dinners and events and get sent beautiful clothes and beauty products
however, that did not happen over night. 
Blogging
for me started as a hobby, an online diary of sorts where I could chat
about my favourite trends and my recent travels. Since it started (back
in 2014) however, it’s become my own little business. Yes it’s only
small and no I’m not quite ready to leap into the world of full-time
blogging but for me, where I am with it right now is something I’m
pretty damn proud of. 
So,
with that said I get really annoyed when people just assume that no
work goes into it and that I just waltz around London goings to events
and attending press trips…how I wish this were true. 


I
had my blog up and running for a whole year before anything like that
happened. I worked hard and slowly but surely began to meet other
bloggers and establish relationships with PR companies which led to
collaborations and partnerships. I sat and I wrote my blog because it
was something I simply loved to do, I didn’t do it in the hope of
bagging some freebies (I didn’t even realise that was a thing back then)
I did it because for me it was a form of escapism so when that perk did
come along I was thrilled!  

Blogging
and this little blog is somewhere I come to share, to vent and to
(hopefully) inspire. Everyday when I view my traffic analytics I’m
always stunned that people do actually click their way to this site and
read what I’ve got to say, I don’t know why you do but you do so… thaaaaanks! As I
said, I’m not quite ready for the full-time blogger life so alongside
maintaining my little corner of the internet I also have a full time job
in order to pay the rent/bills and other necessities, yet still 
“get yourself a proper job” is another comment that seems to be thrown out there a lot. Blogging
is a very individual thing and no it’s not a traditional ‘job’ there’s
no job description, job titles or contracted hours but believe me when
I say that a lot of work, time and effort goes into it. So to help
demystify the world of blogging I’ve answered some of the Q’s you guys
seem to want to know…


Blog

noun 1. 

– a
regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an
individual or small group, that is written in an informal or
conversational style.



I
thought I’d start off with the technical dictionary definition, which
does a pretty good job of summing up what a blog actually is. It’s a
small corner of the web that a person owns and writes about things they
are passionate about.


Writer

I
suppose arguably the integral part of any blog is the writing. Now by
no means would I ever consider myself to be an actual ‘writer’ but
essentially it is what I spend the majority of my time doing. My writing
process starts with jotting down ideas in the morning when I wake up,
anything and everything I think might make an interesting blog post I’ll
scribble down to come back to at a later date. Once I’ve picked one of
the topics to focus on, I then grab my note book and write down a few
notes on the subject, exploring different possible avenues and any
angles I could look into. Once that’s all done I then get onto my laptop
and start typing. 
Writing the post will usually take around 2 – 3 hours from start to finish with a number edits and revisions.


Photographer

Again,
another profession I don’t for one second claim to be a part of is
photography however, as I quickly learned the photographic content
within a blog is super important! 

At
the end of the day, people see pictures, it’s the first thing our eyes
land on whatever we are looking at and so simply put, I want those
pictures to be good. Whilst I realise some blogs aren’t quite as photo
heavy as mine, I take great pride in my photography. Along with my own
captures I’m also lucky enough to work alongside some amazing
photographers that help me bring my vision to life. 

Whenever
I’m thinking of a post I always think about the overall layout and look
first. For fashion I’m thinking which locations will match the outfit,
for foodwhich angle will compliment the dish. 
Whether it’s behind the camera, shooting travel destinations or in front of the camera, modelling my latest #outfitoftheday I’d
say per post around 100 pictures are taken with on average 5 – 10 being used in the
final blog. Once I’ve picked the ones I’d like to feature then starts
the editing, adjusting contrast, exposure and of course the holy grail
*photo shop* this all takes a whole lot longer than you might think.


Social Media

With
social media literally taking over the world right now, it’s important
for any business (not just bloggers) to know their way around the
multiple different social platforms. 

Blogging
is much more than just maintaining and updating the blog itself now a
days. Writing and posting the content is step one, the next is to do a
‘social push’ posting updates across all of your platforms, namely
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (snapchat too if you fancy it.) For me
when each blog post goes live I will follow it up with 1-3 pictures on
Instagram, an article share on Facebook, several comments
and conversational posts on Twitter highlighting the article and finally snapping some videos for Snapchat and Instagram stories. This
in between all the general upkeep, posts and interaction. Social media is a round the clock job!


Marketing/PR

As
I mentioned earlier, to take your blog from hobby to business takes a whole
lotta work! Blogs rarely become popular out of thin air, there’s usually
an incredibly driven individual behind any successful blog, typing,
editing and posting away. Think of the famous duck analogy – ‘calm and
unruffled on the surface, but paddling like crazy underneath.’ That’s
the reality. You may see the glamour on social media, the dinners, the
press trips, the fashion hauls but behind that is hours upon hours of
work. Blogging is a hugely saturated market and so it’s really tough to
stand out and make brands want to work with you over hundreds of others.
So on goes the marketing and PR hat. Through social media, word of
mouth and networking you start to build new relationships, grow your
audience and pitch yourself to potential partners.


Email

The
never ending inbox is something most working people will be all to
familiar with, it’s as though every time you read and reply to one,
another 50 come through. As a blogger emails literally come in all day
every day, morning, night and weekend. Answering emails becomes a whole
other job in itself but sometimes, amongst the admin and everyday
updates comes a really exciting message which makes everything worth it.

Photography by – The GY Photographer



Blog + Brand


So
as with everything in the blogosphere, the relationships between
blogger and brand is something that has changed quite a bit over the
past couple of years. There was a huge turn around a few years back
where more and more people became disillusioned with the traditional
advertising methods. Be it magazines, tv or runway – the photoshopped,
unattainable images where just not selling the product as much they once
were. Instead people started turning to bloggers, youtubers and social
influencers for honest, relatable reviews and opinions. Therefore blogs
became increasing popular with brands as a way to reach their target
audience…yay!


How do you work with brands?

How
I work with brands now is very different to how I worked with brands
when I first started blogging. Back when I first started I was so
thrilled that anyone showed any kind of interest in working with me that
I jumped for joy and would write, post and picture whatever products
they wanted me to feature. Obviously I still only wrote about things I
genuinely liked however, I would ask for nothing in return. For me it
was just exciting that a brand I liked knew who I was and wanted to work
with me. That’s all well and good but as you’ve probably realised by
now, blogging takes a heap of time and effort and so as I became a bit
more experienced in the world of blogging and how other brands and
bloggers collaborated I started presenting myself as more of a business.
Sometimes there’s a contract, sometimes it’s just a verbal agreement.
There are lots of different ways in which I collaborate with brands,
each with a different set of requirements and goals. At this point I
would like to make it clear that brand partnership or not, all the words
and opinions I post on this blog are my own and are honest.
 


A few of the different ways in which I work with brands are:

  • Gifting – After
    building relationships with brands and PR companies, some will often
    send any new or soon to be launching products for me to review or if
    clothes, style for a blog post. However this is entirely up to me, the
    majority of brands send me numerous packages each month and if I happen
    to love something sent then of course I want to share it with you guys,
    if not then that’s ok too. It’s not so much a collaboration but chances
    are if it’s a brand/product I love, it’ll probably make an appearance in
    some way, shape or form whether it be on the blog or social media.

  • Sponsored
    posts – This is where I am paid to work with a brand. This can be
    anything from writing an article for my blog, a guest article for their
    online community, social media posts or live Q&A’s. Often the brands
    I do paid content for are brands I’ve worked closely with before or
    have met numerous times at events or meetings. I take this very
    seriously as although they are paid posts I always want the content to
    be honest and fitting with my other blog posts. For example it would be
    really odd for me to post about holidays for the over 65s when this
    blog obviously isn’t aimed at that particular audience. Keeping
    my integrity and carefully picking which brands make sense for me to
    work with is really important, otherwise you guys would think I was a
    total sell out and proba
    bly stop reading – bad times.

  • Press
    trips – I’ve recently moved a bit more into travel and it’s something I
    wish to expand more into next year. With that, I find press
    trip opportunities cropping up more often. These are when a brand, maybe
    a tourism board or hotel chain will organise a trip to show me (usually
    along with other bloggers and journalists)
     around
    a hotel, city, beach resort or spa. In return we provide content,
    posting pictures/videos on our social channels and writing a travel
    guide/ hotel review for our blogs.

When
working with a brand, whatever form that may take, it’s essentially my
job to promote and give them exposure. The better the job I do the
better the relationship with the brand, hopefully leading to an ongoing
partnership. Again, as with most professions word of mouth is
everything! It’s always important to me to do the best I can with each
and every post I produce be it sponsored or not. That way when people
visit the blog they know the standard I like to work to.

So there we are, the answer to the frequently asked question. 

Don’t
get me wrong blogging does have it’s perks and since starting I’ve been
lucky enough to experience some truly amazing things, however none of
this has been handed to me on a plate. It’s just me running this little
blog, a one woman business if you will and that means I take on all the
roles. So when you see me on Snapchat swanning around with canapés and
cocktails in my hand, it’s not because of a one off Instagram post, it’s down to
hours of email answering, editing and scheduling. I work on my
blog everyday 
alongside my ‘day job,’ social media and emails during the day then editing photos, writing content and planning by night.  My hope is that if I keep on keeping on, I aim to reach a place where I am able to go into blogging full time *gasp* but for now I am just fine working my (not so little ) booty off and creating content you lovely lot actually want to read. 


I hope this post has given you some insight into what I get up to when I have my blogger hat on. Let
me know if you have any other questions in the comments below, I’ll do
my best to answer. Also if you fancy starting a blog – DO IT! 
It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.


Kate x

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12 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    January 5, 2017 / 3:08 pm

    Great insight into the process of blogging!! I love reading about your life and adventures. This definitely makes it seem more "real" 🙂 Keep it up!!

    • Kate Winney
      January 5, 2017 / 4:33 pm

      Thank you so much Jess, I can't tell you how much it means to me. I often wonder if anyone reads my little blog, so comments like this are a dream 🙂 xxx

  2. Shelley
    January 5, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    I love this post so much and couldn't agree more! People often tend to joke it off being a blogger or tell me to get a real job, whereas I work full time and blog full time! It's such a shame that most people don't tend to give creative jobs a chance by actually understanding what it all involves; being a blogger really is so much more than just writing a post online. shelley xoxohttp://www.shelleymorecroft.co.uk/

    • Kate Winney
      January 8, 2017 / 1:06 am

      Hi Shelly 🙂 Thank you so much, you will never know how much I appreciate each and every read/comment/share/ it means so much. I completely agree, it's hard to understand the world of blogging unless you're in it, thats why I wanted to write this post, to let people see what goes on behind the scenes. So glad you enjoyed it hun xx

  3. Josie Brownlee
    January 6, 2017 / 11:42 am

    This is such a great post, thank you so much for sharing! Blogging definitely takes a world of work and since starting and following more bloggers I've realised just how much work goes into them. Thank You so much for your tips and sharing exactly what you do (working with brands is definitely still a whole new scary world for me) – I love your blog!!JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

    • Kate Winney
      January 8, 2017 / 1:08 am

      Hey Josie,Just checked your blog out, it's wondeful! Keep going with it, you've got a new fan out of me. Thank you for commenting, I really appriciate it! I hope you found it usefull and use it to grow your blog too 🙂 I hope you carry on reading my blog and enjoying it too! xx

    • Kate Winney
      January 15, 2017 / 3:34 pm

      Thank you so much Sandra! I needed it too, sometimes you just have to write everything down to realise what you're actually capable of doing. I've just looked at your blog – really great. Keep going, lets be Girl Bosses together! xx

  4. Shevy
    January 23, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    Great story. Keep up the good work. Hard work does pay off and the rewards certainly doesn't come overnight. Cheers to you traveling more in 2017. Good luck.www.travelbeautyblog.com

    • Kate Winney
      January 24, 2017 / 1:25 am

      Thank you so much lovely ladies! Very true, I just hope it keeps growing 🙂 Yes, travel is something I want far more of! xxx

  5. Beauty Biche
    January 24, 2017 / 2:12 am

    I love this. I am somewhat in the same career field. I have been blogging for almost 3 years now and I have recently been sponsored. I am also a social media marketer, content strategist for three brands. Blogging is fun. Social media marketing is fun.http://www.beautybiche.blogspot.com

    • Kate Winney
      January 24, 2017 / 3:52 am

      Ah thanks lovely! It can be tough juggling it all with a job right? If you're ever looking for bloggers to work with the brands you look after do let me know, I work with a varity of brands on content for both blog and social media. I just checked out your blog, it's great! Keep it up lovely 🙂 xxx

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