The True Cost of Blogging

how much do bloggers make?

A few months ago it occurred to me that everyone’s writing articles about how much money bloggers make, but nobody wants to talk about how much it costs to be a blogger. In fact, it would suffice to say that most people are under the dangerous assumption that bloggers are raking in the profits with as little overhead as a Macbook computer, a camera (a boyfriend to operate the camera), and a Website. Blogging is so cheap. It takes little time and effort. We’re basically laughing all the way to the bank, clad in Valentino Rockstuds.

Wrong.

Blogging is expensive. It’s risky, uncertain, competitive and costs a lot of money (and sheer iron will) to stay in business. Perhaps that’s why lots of trust fund babies and rich housewives have been among the bloggers to see big success, and fast. They have the money, which then affords them the freedom, to blog. If you don’t have a support system behind you to see you through the requisite 2-3 income-less years (the sort of bloggers’ rite of passage that we must all survive in order to make it big) you’re most likely headed towards failure, or in blogging terms we call that a day job.

Problem is, brands, which are our major source of income from sponsored posts, all seem to think that blogging is easy. That we pocket all the money from our campaigns to go buy designer bags and drink champagne. That they are only paying us for a CPM (cost per one thousand impressions) and the work is just a bonus because we were going to write a blog post anyway; we need the content. That bloggers and influencers are solely defined quantitatively by our numbers and reach. Trust me, I’ve had my share of conversations to glean this.

Well, I’m here to say that type of thinking is extremely erroneous. For this reason, I have to speak up about the true cost of blogging. And I’ve asked a lot of other successful bloggers to speak up about it, too, for the sake of this post. We’ve all come together right here to say the things we’ve been thinking and whispering behind closed doors for months.

First of all, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that those bloggers who aren’t charging a fair price for their work, out of fear of not being hired or bullied by large corporations spewing corporate policy left right and centre, are shooting themselves in the foot. Please, you know who you are (we know who you are): stop undercutting the market. Chances are, you don’t even know what that word means.

If you are going to be a successful blogger, you must have principles, a good work ethic and contribute to the community; you won’t last by slashing your prices or agreeing to silly terms such as exclusivity, ownership, usage rights, licensing, non-competes, and legally binding your heirs (yes, that’s a thing) at no extra charge. You may be getting the jobs from the rest of us today but you are single-handedly contributing to the instability of the industry and therefore your failure, tomorrow. And it’s the job of the veteran bloggers to educate those who don’t have experience with contracts and pricing. So feel free to reach out, I’d be happy to impart my knowledge.

Next.

What is the true cost of blogging? I asked some successful fashion and lifestyle bloggers what their typical monthly expenses are. Here’s what they listed collectively: vehicle financing, vehicle insurance, transportation costs (gas, tolls, parking, cabs, Ubers), clothing, office and shoot supplies, cell phone, Internet, outsourced photographers and videographers, mortgage/rent, hydro, credit cards, travel, studio rental, assistants, advertising, paid marketing costs (FB, Google, Twitter), apps, equipment (cameras, computers, tablets), hair and grooming, accounting (anywhere between $2k-$5k per annum), bookkeeper, manager fees, bank fees, wining and dining clients, photo props and server costs.

Those are just some basic expenses. But what about hidden costs? Canadian it-girl blogger, Ania Boniecka, offered an interesting insight on how blogging can take a toll on your overall quality of life, health and relationships with those around you:

“Time is the biggest cost of running your own business, we work 24/7. If we don’t deal with it (ie. anything and everything) nobody is going to do it for us. Stress and indirectly health can also be affected, although we try to do everything that it doesn’t get the best of us. Balance must be kept. In our particular case personal relationships with each other, work can get in between us sometimes, with different points of views and creative visions, it’s definitely something we have been practicing to get under control, but it’s a moving target, what we do changes all the time, it’s fluid so we have to adapt as we go.”  

Between the basic costs of running a small business to the hidden costs, wouldn’t it, then, seem absolutely ludicrous that brands would expect bloggers to work for free? If you wouldn’t go to a store and expect them to just give you an item without paying for it or hire a photographer to shoot your look book campaign for free or hire a lawyer to write a contract for you without pay, then why is it OK to make bloggers feel bad for charging not just for their following per se but for their time and work?

Yet here we are, constantly expected to work for beauty samples and the occasional swag bag. Womp womp.

So, we try to sell ourselves to brands so they understand we deserve monetary compensation. It’s incredibly difficult and requires so much finesse, especially when the prospective client thinks your job is so easy, a monkey could do it. “I think brands believe we have a super talented boyfriend or partner who does everything for us out of love and we just have to look pretty and make their product appealing to our followers,” says one of London’s rising stars, Natasha Ndlovu, “it is not just a matter of stepping outside the house to go around the corner to shoot a dress, upload it and call it a day.”  

Just because you make it seem easy,” Ania B chimes in, “it doesn’t mean that it is. Taking an Instagram photo IS NOT a 5 minute activity. It takes time and effort, we are art directors, stylists and photographers all bundled into one, we have to make sure that all those parts are covered before anything gets produced.” 

My boyfriend, Alexander Liang, one of Canada’s few menswear bloggers, comments:

The biggest misconception that brands have is that they don’t consider blogs as businesses…. I also think that a lot of agencies and brands have the assumption that bloggers are young and inexperienced in business. Many bloggers are young, but in order to run their own businesses, most of them usually do have a strong foundation of business experience. Not to mention that they gain invaluable experience every day just by being active entrepreneurs.” 

“But the thing about the blogging industry,” says Canadian style blogger, Jill Lansky, “is that people are very hesitant to talk about pricing and finances.” We’re changing that today.

Running my own small business over the past few years I’ve learned so much. For example, when I saw my first accounting bill I nearly jumped off a bridge. I called my accountant confused as to how they could charge me the same amount of money as my income, to tell me what my income was. “That’s just the cost of doing business,” says my accountant, “you need to learn to factor this cost into your work.” I asked him if he would accept a pair of Nike shoes as payment, you can imagine what he said to that.

In addition to accounting, the biggest overlooked cost I’ve experienced is how much it costs to take a photograph. Anyone who thinks photography doesn’t cost money should reconsider their perception of the world.

What does a good photographer cost? I asked all the bloggers I interviewed and the consensus was anywhere between $250-$500 an hour. The average shoot could take anywhere between 1-3 hours depending on the outfit changes and deliverables, plus all the editing and post-production work. You do the math. A photographer could easily run you $1k per project. That’s a large portion of your profits if a brand wants to pay you, let’s say $1.5k for the following: a blog post, event attendance, social media, drafts, non-competes, telling you exactly what to write, appearing in the photographs, usage of all your material (and sometimes ownership) aligning yourself publicly with that brand and then sharing all of that with the loyal following you’ve nurtured over years and year. We basically have to create the ad and then provide the channel upon which the advertisement will run.

No wonder, when asked, most bloggers said their profit margins are on average between 25-60 percent. Photography and management, in my experience, take up the most percentage of my fee – but both are integral to running a successful blog.

Expanding on the controversial topic of photography fees is one of Canada’s top fitness bloggers, Sasha Exeter:

Brands sometimes make the assumption that all bloggers have a beautographer taking their pictures bringing their overhead costs of producing content lower. Trust me, I wish this was the case for me as I have friends who have partners that take amazing photos. The added cost I have of using photographers is reflective in my pricing, which sometimes can come as a bit shocking to some brands or PR companies.” 

But even as someone who often uses my partner to take my picture and vice versa, that is still time out of his day and my day to do the work. As we get busier and busier, we too, have to outsource photographers. Maybe I’m a unique case because my boyfriend is also a blogger. Maybe the girls who just have their hubbies following them around all day is the real answer?

“I work with my hubby and he gets paid in sex. Kidding.” LOL the blogger who said this preferred to remain anonymous. But really, it’s great and all but it’s impossible to get the results that a professional photographer can produce no matter how many sexual favours you perform for your partner.

In the UK, it seems as though the situation is just as bad as it is here in Canada. Natasha Ndlovu speaks up about her value when booking gigs as a blogger:

“No I don’t [feel like I get full value]. The problem I find is there are bloggers who don’t know industry rates. So when brands come to someone like me, they can not only pretend to “not have a budget” but can argue that someone with 10 times my following is doing the job for this rate so why should I be asking for more? Some of us are no longer 15 years old, living at home, sponsored by the bank of Mom and Dad and we have costs to cover every month so exposure and gifted items do not pay the bills.”  

But there has to be sometime when we feel appreciated, right? The anonymous blogger writes to me when I asked whether or not they feel they get full value for their work:

When a brand collaborates with me and gives me full creative reign to do what I want to do and when they allow for me to charge them taxes, then this is perfect! Sometimes no. In the instance of [unnamed brands], sometimes brands want more pull (aka. micro managing, lower fee) then it’s not the best value for me.” 

You see, we like when brands pay us what we’re truly worth because then we really have something to prove – we want to impress them and get re-hired – we want to do the best work because at the end of the day, it’s what we really love. When brands nickel and dime, are difficult to work with, refuse to pay our rates, ask for last minute changes and ask us to sign over our first born baby, we don’t feel like we’re being respected and valued as equals. Sorry, but the “we’re so excited to work with you” in those particular instances reads like a slap in the face.

Sure, we’ve got to figure this whole thing out. Blogging has only recently (thanks to Chiara Ferragni and Aimee Song) been named a viable business. It is in no way a sure bet. It’s not the brand’s responsibility to make everything worthwhile – we have to be smart and try to cushion ourselves as much as possible if we want to weather the storm (or save up for dental work). That’s why we must educate, educate, educate. If we stick up for our value, sooner or later, brands will come to the table with reasonable, and sometimes even great, budgets.

Until then, what’s a blogger to do? At the end of the day it is just business – but because it’s also blogging it’s also extremely personal. We must find a way to balance the business and personal sides, as well as balancing our cheque books, whilst looking beautiful, clad in Valentino Rockstuds (that we preferably don’t have to return to the PR company the next day). 

I’ll leave you with Ania B.’s final words that are so thought-provoking, I couldn’t have said it better myself:

“The one thing that I will add is that complaining about profits and money is one thing but it is OUR responsibility to value our work accordingly. If a blogger undervalues him/herself they are the ones to blame for it in the end NOT the brand. The key is educating bloggers and artists about the value of their work, a conversation between bloggers is important as well, having everyone on the same page. Undercutting and people going around offering their work for less is a 100% guarantee in any business but am I willing to kill myself creating something for a client and hating my life in the process (and hurting the quality of the end product) because I feel undervalued? NO! What I can guarantee on my end is great quality work that I am proud to put out into the world, that the client will love and everyone will feel like they got what they were looking for (if not more) in the end without cutting corners.” 

A big thank you to all the bloggers who took the time out of their lives to answer all my questions and share all their insights with me. It should be noted that I did ask about 5-10 American bloggers for their comments, none answered. Perhaps this is because in the US, bloggers and influencers, are indeed getting full value for their work and have been able to cover their costs, and turn a big profit. This is just my assumption. But if WeWoreWhat is any indication… God bless America.

 

Illustration by Karen Koh of The Illustrienne. She’s wearing Louboutins and Courrèges. 

 

34 Comments

  1. Kat
    June 13, 2016 / 10:37 am

    Hey girl, what an excellent and informative article. I, personally had no idea of all aspects of blogging that you refer to – no idea at all. I have even more respect for you now. Keep Up the good work

    • Justine Iaboni
      June 13, 2016 / 10:59 am

      Hey! Thanks so much for reading. It’s been a long time coming and it occurred to me the only reason we’re being taken advantage of is because people might be in the dark about all of this. Just because it’s obvious to me, i’m on the inside.

      Thanks for the support! xoxoxo J

  2. June 13, 2016 / 11:01 am

    Honest, informative and well-written! I should add that some marketers and brands, who are ahead of the curve have been valuing bloggers and social media influence for a long time already. And from my observations, the campaigns and projects they’ve created with influencers have been the most successful as well. Blogger or not, a person will do much better work when they’re valued.

    -Alex
    http://alexanderliang.com

  3. Kat
    June 13, 2016 / 11:43 am

    Yup, no clue at all as to what’s involved and this is an eye-opener for people who take what you do for granted. I follow a number of blogs of all sorts – lifestyle, fashion, cooking, nutrition, fitness, animals and on it goes. Some are really excellent and useful and some are poorly done with the blogger’s ego clearly taking priority over anything else – like content! Your blog I truly enjoy, likely it ranks number one on five I particularly like to read each morning. Odd, but these five are part of my day and I miss them if there is no posting for that day… now I realize just how much time and effort and commitment is required! It is, indeed, a 24 hour non-stop commitment.

    One day, I hope to meet you for 45 mins. or so and buy you a glass of very fine champagne. It would truly be my pleasure to meet you! As you know, I live in Toronto and spend far too much time shopping at Bloor and Bay and various other wonderful little places…!

    As I said, please keep up the excellent work and know that there are peeps like me out there who truly appreciate and enjoy what you do.

    Bye for now and hugs,
    Kat.

  4. June 13, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    Thank you for writing this article and sharing it. I learn a thing or two about Canadian blogging as well. I also assume American bloggers have it way better than the rest of the world because boy does the industry mentality in Europe suck sometimes. I really hope bloggers can band together and form some fort of union in regards to rates because being secretive about pay is going to make it harder for all of us in the long run.

  5. June 13, 2016 / 12:34 pm

    I actually was looking forward to this article, but it was the usual article that most bloggers write. I would have liked to see more of a fact analysis-broken down by facts and figures-with real life examples. Despite the fact that I do agree with your standpoint. The article was written from a bloggers opinion standpoint. With a degree in Communication and Sociology, I also blog, but tend to favor posts that are more fact driven-especially when it comes to topics like this that place emphasis on the industry.

  6. Ryan aliz
    June 13, 2016 / 12:34 pm

    I’m starting my blog soon and I’m totally in the dark about everything! I’m doing my research about the in’s and out’s but the deeper I dig into it the more I see what truly goes into blogging. I’d love to get some true information on starting out and the need to know info to better prepare me. This was a eye opener for sure! Hope to hear from you soon thank you!

  7. June 13, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    Hey Justine,

    I read this in full and have just a few things to say:
    1) it’s really beautifully written, poetic almost. I could really see your passion shine through in the article.
    2) your comments are 100% accurate, and should really serve as an eye-opener for both bloggers and brands. Truly loved it.
    3) lastly, as much as we may feel undercut sometimes, there will ALWAYS be others who are willing to do the work for less… in ANY industry. Of course the quality, the creative aspect and the work they produce will never compare, it is inevitable, unfortunately. Not everyone goes about it in the same way, and not everyone considers it as a full-time endeavor. As you mentioned, the BEST way to counter this, is though education. Period. That is a firm belief of mine that holds true across many scenarios.

    Just keep being great at what you do!

    Best,
    Nick

  8. Jocellyn
    June 13, 2016 / 12:49 pm

    What a beautiful post! It’s always interesting to read the “How I made $15k blogging last month” posts because usually $500-$3k is from affiliates or directly related to blogging and then out of nowhere you get this huge number from an eBook, course, or “freelance work”, which, depending on the blogger, I personally don’t think counts. I mean, it does…but it’s a bit misleading. It’s kind of like a side job, especially if your blog isn’t on marketing and web design…but I digress.

    I admit to never realizing how many additional costs go into being a serious blogger! This should all be in a scared straight book “So you think you want to be a full-time blogger: Buckle up, betches.” hah. At the same time, I knew it wasn’t a piece of cake for you (or your equally talented bae) because you two aren’t lazy bloggers who are phoning it in…but still. oi vey!

    Maybe next time offer your accountant some Yeezy’s ;)

  9. June 13, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    What an incredibly interesting read! Lots of points to keep in mind going forward as a newbie blogger hoping to ‘make it’ someday. I love how you promote not just brand-blogger, but also blogger-blogger communication about the ‘uncomfortable’ topics like money and valuing ones own work. Looking forward to seeing the conversation and change that this post propels!

  10. June 13, 2016 / 1:02 pm

    Thank you for highlighting the reality of this business. I’ve only been blogging for a little over the year or six months if you consider that I recently changed my niche. And I work full time as an Accounting Assistant. At times, I’m actually less stressed by my 9 to 5 job! I appreciate that the term “influencer” has recently become popular because for so long “blogger” has been viewed as a joke. Creativity can get lost in this ever changing kaleidoscopic industry. Ugh! Sometimes I just want to write and take pretty pictures in fancy clothes. Most people think that’s all we’re doing anyway.

  11. June 13, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    Love this article Justine! You are incredible. Keep up your amazing work! I can relate 110%!

    XO
    Jackie
    DashofPanacheBlog.com

  12. June 13, 2016 / 2:31 pm

    What a great article!!! I loved it! It’s a topic that is not shared and only talked about amongst girlfriends at lunch or dinner.
    I myself am a blogger who works a full time job and blog part -full time. It’s a hustle and a sacrifice but rewarding and self fulfilling at the same time.
    Your constantly investing in your site and your brand such as media kits, website, business cards, travel to events or conferences etc.
    In order to grow, you must learn but most of the time to learn cost $$$ too.
    KIT bc I enjoy your blog and enjoyed this article!

    xo

    Alana

    http://www.alanamariestyle.blogspot.com

  13. June 13, 2016 / 2:53 pm

    Great writeup!
    I totally understand where you’re coming from! People don’t often account for the fact that bloggers have to provide a whole production team in order to produce the high-quality content brands expect.

  14. June 13, 2016 / 11:03 pm

    Interesting read.. I especially was interested by the reference to photography costs on more than one occasion in the article. As a photographer no one understands more the undercutting and undervaluing of an industry and profession. Funny thing is 90% of the folks that ask me for free services or services for trade (promotion) are bloggers or influencers.. So much so that I often don’t reply to requests any longer from individuals in your profession. As is life, as is a profession as is the struggle. Justification is often done from frustration but often seen as a lot less.

    • June 15, 2016 / 6:13 am

      It’s interesting to hear that 90% of your requests are from bloggers and you can see from our sides brands are refusing to pay. Many times, I always tell brands that my fee is X amount because I have to pay the photographer to shoot and edit the photos and it’s as if they think we all have boyfriends doing this for free or the photos are simply a matter of pointing and shooting with an iPhone. I don’t know how in this day and age some of them don’t factor the photographer into the budget. But I don’t blame you. We’ve all gotta eat.

    • Justine Iaboni
      June 15, 2016 / 11:05 am

      Since my blog turned into a business (2013) I’ve never asked a photographer to work for free. Even if I was losing money to pay them. The problem is, and I’m going to be very frank and rude here, is that it’s the same bloggers who aren’t charging brands that are asking you to work for free. It’s the same ones that don’t understand that creatives all need to eat that would ask a photographer for free services. Problem is, you don’t need an education or an IQ to be a blogger. Our industry is plagued by stupid people who have no business sense whatsoever who are ruining it for the people with strong ethics and smart business sense. I have no time for anyone in this industry who exploits creative people for their own benefit. I don’t blame you for hating bloggers. I would hate them if I was a photographer, too. But hopefully this helps you to understand two things. 1. There are professional bloggers out there who are fighting to get money for photographers and are willing to pay photographers. 2. Our industry is also missing budgets for photographers from the brand; sometimes it’s not the bloggers fault that they can’t pay you, it’s symptomatic of a larger problem, that which this article only hopes to scratch the surface of. Thanks so much for your comment, I hope that brands, PR agencies and other bloggers will read it.

    • Justine Iaboni
      June 15, 2016 / 11:09 am

      Also that being said, sometimes you just want to do something creative and it’s a COLLABORATIVE effort where no one is making money and everyone is passionate about doing something cool. Those instances don’t count as being asked to work for free. Those instances are just like hey if you have some free time, we’re shooting a passion project, etc. That’s the best part about being a creative. But when it’s sponsored by a big brand, that’s a different story.

  15. June 13, 2016 / 11:52 pm

    I sincerely come from a place where blogging is completely unappreciated and after 4 years of doing this, the only reason why I don’t give up on blogging is because I simply love writing and creating. Its hard when you value your work but the fashion industry in your country has really taken its time to appreciate your hard work. Thanks for the post, it was super insightful!

  16. June 14, 2016 / 9:24 am

    Great post, Justine. I’m optimistic about bloggers’ financial futures, despite the current misconceptions. In the meantime, keep up the good work and the hustle. As Red Green likes to say, we’re all in this together.

  17. June 16, 2016 / 4:18 am

    Great article – very well articulated! I’m new to blogging and am already sensing brands don’t understand all the time and effort that goes behind writing a blog post. I’ve already learnt a lot so far and this article helps put things into perspective! Very eye opening about the industry!
    xo

  18. June 16, 2016 / 5:11 pm

    Great read, Justine! Oh the business of blogging is the Wild West.

  19. June 18, 2016 / 8:53 am

    This is such a necessary and well written topic. I was nodding my head throughout. In my short and new career of blogging, I worked on both ends: my blog and also a PR & social media consulting gig for a boutique. I experienced the pain from both ends – how hard it is to prove your worth as a blogger (which is fine, considering I’m in the 2-3 income-less years phase haha) and also how difficult it is to make boutiques/brands understand the value of bloggers. My “consulting” just turned out to be education efforts and the answer repeatedly was, “these are just young, innocent girls who need to look pretty in front of the camera. Borrowing clothes is all we can offer. All they need is content, right?” It is truly sad but it is articles like these which will hopefully open up people’s eyes. Great work, Justine!

  20. June 24, 2016 / 10:39 am

    THANK YOU, Justine for writing this piece! I think every blogger one here can empathize with you on every single point you nailed on the head. The all-consuming process it takes to work for yourself and wear so many different hats in different roles is utterly underestimated and not rewarded nearly enough. I totally agree that it is up to us bloggers to set the precedent and boundaries for ourselves when working with brands to clarify why we charge for the work that we do. We are one-human machines!

  21. June 24, 2016 / 10:53 am

    Great article! Now I just wish BRANDS would read this. If I get one more email about a “no budget” assignment. Like are you kidding me? This is my job!

  22. June 26, 2016 / 4:01 am

    Couldn’t have said it better Justine! Love this article and I was nodding my head all the way through. I started blogging almost a year ago, and as I’m gaining traction, spending 24/7 working, I see that some brands really do think exposure and a necklace will pay my mortgage, groceries, and all other living necessities. I’m amongst the lucky ones – my fiance takes time from his days to shoot with me, but each session is AT LEAST 2-4 hours, not mentioning how long it takes to pick, edit, post, promote, research, etc. How about hosting, software & tools that help SEO/scheduling/social media management, the list goes on and on. So far I’ve invested every spare dime into my blog and have seen barely any profit. The reason why I’m still doing this is because I absolutely love it, but love ain’t paying my bills – my day job is. It’s such a frustrating part of blogging, but hopefully the more awareness we raise, the more noise we make, the more brands will GET that this is an actual JOB. Funny thing – I’m actually a brand manager in the beauty industry, so do I see and hear what marketing execs think of bloggers. She wakes up, takes a pic, uploads, tweets, goes to lunch, drinks rose, snaps a pick….UM, how about a big, fat NO? Unless someone’s stepped into the rented Manolos (which you usually do have to return back to PR) and felt the pressure & immense amount of work, they have no fucking clue. Sorry for the rant but your post has reaaallly hit close to home :) LOVED IT! Keep on keepin’ on girl, you’re an inspiration to up and coming bloggers like me :) Love, Viv x http://stylecite.com

  23. June 29, 2016 / 12:07 pm

    Interesting read! I’m in the US and I definitely see some bloggers getting paid justly for their work and others completely undervaluing themselves. I work full-time but put in a lot of hours on my blog, so I’m glad that someone is coming out and saying we (bloggers) need to be more honest with brands about saying that this is a job and we’re doing work for them, so a pair of shoes may not necessarily be enough in exchange for our time, effort, and money.

    Alyssa @ Feathers and Stripes

    • Justine Iaboni
      July 4, 2016 / 9:07 am

      Thanks so much for reading this post and sharing your opinions. For me, I just wanted to start the conversation you know? Change will only come if we begin to voice our opinions in an intelligent way. It’s not the last word, I like to think of it as one of the first words in a long line of many words that I hope to incite on the topic. Looking at all the comments here it makes me happy to see that bloggers feel like it’s OK to talk about the business side of this. xoxo J

  24. August 15, 2016 / 4:32 am

    A timely article but I’m not convinced brands care much for the professionalization of blogging. The problem is Just that .. blogging, weblogging, online journals if you like. The term is too wide, even the BBC described Arianna Huffington ad a blogger this week. Easy to be a blogger when your ex husband is a Texas oil billionaire and so confirming much of what you said in the article. Fashion is rhe sector which has really moved towards the real opportunites offered by social media. It has gone to where rhe younger generation is, now that no one is buying magazines anymore. The budget is better spent there and porbably offers better ad value even than a monthly Cosmopolitan or Elle ever did. So for other sectors, it is difficult to see how brands (fmcg) really care for social media (blogging) as their main strategic media in such a way as to help the blog platform mature further, and hence increase return for bloggers. I would also say that as long as bloggers accept freebies, you cannot expect to be paid professionslly. We started out 16 years ago before blogs existed. If you think you have it tough then so do journalists, professional photographers and others from old media. I even attended a blog tour where the cameraman recording our adventute wore a t-shirt with the words “no one is reading your #### blog!”. The only way forward is to find tour own niche or sector, demonstrate your professionalism and build good relationships both on and offline. And not be a blogger! The media is maturing fast.

  25. October 4, 2016 / 10:47 am

    Thanks again for sharing this with me! It was a great read and definitely got some valuable tips from it. You’re an amazing writer!!

    • Justine Iaboni
      October 4, 2016 / 12:28 pm

      Thanks babe! Hope it was helpful! Good luck with your blogging journey! xoxo J

  26. November 6, 2016 / 11:55 am

    I totally here this because I wanted to write, and I read all these articles about how people were making a ton of money blogging!!! I had to peel back the layers to realize they also had to shell out a lot to see those kind of quick returns

    • Justine Iaboni
      November 7, 2016 / 11:57 am

      I know… it’s true eh! Ugh. I mean, it’s a labour of love!!!!! Thanks for reading. xoxo J

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