Nothing in life is free…..not even when you’re a blogger

Three years ago, when the children were one, two, three and eleven, following a year long battle with my health, I decided to claw back a little sanity and start a blog to share our story with others. And at first it was just that. I would write about our life raising rainbows, my story of baby loss and mental illness, sharing the good days and the bad with all of those who took the time to read it. And those hours I spent tucked away writing reignited a spark that had been lost with the madness of motherhood, and I soon realised that this was something I wanted to do more of.

Nothing is free - not even for bloggers | I received a comment about free holidays, and it is just not the case. Readers don't see the work behind the scenes - the price to pay for travel and accommodation as a blogger www.fivelittledoves.com

I can still remember the first time I was offered a review item for the blog, a small plastic toy which cost just a few pounds, but to us it was pretty exciting. I can still remember the first £20 I made through a sponsored post, how I felt as though I had hit the jackpot, and how it opened my eyes to the fact that there was a whole world of opportunities to be had if I worked hard enough.

And so I did. 

And let me tell you, I put blood, sweat and tears into my blog, slowly reaping the benefits as my following grew, knowing that all of my perseverance was paying off as my children enjoyed new toys, clothes, days out and holidays, a whole host of opportunities that we would never have been in the position to afford on a single wage. And honestly, I was so grateful, and so thankful to give my children all of those things, and I still am. 

This Summer we were offered a week at Eurocamp, Spain, and obviously we jumped at the opportunity. And so I put a photo on Facebook to share with my followers, showing what a fantastic time we were having and how amazing it was to be away on a foreign holiday for the first time in six years.

We had been beside ourselves with excitement to be offered the holiday, a week away that we never imagined we would be going on this year, and far from boasting about our stay, I was simply sharing with other families such as ours that there are affordable ways to take your family abroad, even with four young children. So I was pretty shocked to receive the following comment on my post.

“Most people with 4 children will never be able to afford this kind of holiday. Telling them how wonderful it is on your free holiday is a little nasty.”

I’ll be honest with you, at first that comment really stung. I was sad to think that anyone would feel hurt by my excitement at our holiday, and I like to think that anyone who knows me well would agree, I am far from nasty. But once that initial shock had worn off, and once I realised that this lady was nothing more than a troll, I actually felt pretty annoyed. Not at her judgement of my character, nor the fact that her statement was completely untrue, but because of two words which actually made my blood boil.

Free holiday.

Because the truth is, ‘Susan’ isn’t alone in her judgement. It’s something I hear every single day from others, and even from friends, “Maybe I should start a blog and get all that free stuff!”, “Oh wow more freebies?”, “Can you not get me any free stuff?!”. And it’s so frustrating for us bloggers to receive these comments each day, the implication that these things are just handed out to us on a plate, the insinuation that anyone could do our job, the refusal to accept that we have worked ourselves into the ground to reach this level.

Because although you may see my beautiful photos of leisurely days on the beach, swimming in the pool and drinking cocktails at sunset, what you don’t see when I post about my “free holiday” is that, unlike you, I didn’t get to lie back and relax for seven days.

You didn’t see how I was constantly on my phone, updating my social media, interacting with the brand, tagging every location, following every hashtag, show casing all the resort had to offer.

You didn’t see my panic at the dodgy wifi, or the miles I trekked just to get a signal, waving my arm out of the window like a crazy lady, just to upload an Instagram photo as promised.

You didn’t see the hours I spent photographing the site, making sure I caught every area from every angle, waiting for the sun to shift and the shadows to fade, going back and forth to get the right shot, at the right time, in the right way.

You didn’t see me filming, continuously throughout the week, juggling the children, the beach bag and the giant inflatables, the GoPro in one hand and the camera in the other, sweating like a beast in the heat.

You didn’t see my frustration with the children when they refused to look at the camera, or my bickering with Gaz when we all got fed up at having to walk down the same street for the fiftieth time just to get the right shot.

You didn’t see the nights I stayed up editing afterwards, trying hard not to fall asleep at my desk as I edited ten billion photos, knowing that I had deadlines to meet and standards to reach.

And you certainly didn’t see the hours, and the years, of hard work I put in, every second of every day, just to get that opportunity in the first place, to be offered a holiday that perhaps we wouldn’t ordinarily have been able to afford without my blog.

And it’s funny that should I have posted saying I paid for my holiday through my regular job, from working 40+ hours a week, that would be acceptable. Should I reveal the exact figure that goes into my bank account each month, sure others might feel irritated by my boasting, but they’d accept it as genuine income. But when my ‘income’ is an experience, a holiday, a day out, or something lovely for my family to enjoy; when my income comes from writing a blog, from sharing our story, from laying myself on the line every single day, all of a sudden that’s not allowed? All of a sudden that’s different?

So many times lately I’ve found myself cringing when I have to use the ‘ad’ hashtag, worrying about sharing sponsored content, panicking that others will judge me for it, scared I will be accused of ‘selling out’. And that’s crazy isn’t it? Worrying about admitting I’m doing a job I work hard at? Panicking that others will think differently of me for accepting payment for all of the hours I put in? Isn’t that just the way the world works? Isn’t that what we’re all doing just to get by?

Yes it’s a privilege to be in this position and to provide for my children, yes it’s an honour to be invited on these trips and to be able to give my children a life we may not ordinarily have been able to afford, but don’t think for one minute that I’m not working bloody hard for it.

The truth is, my holiday was about as ‘free’ as your monthly pay check. And it’s about time that people stopped judging bloggers, silenced their own bitter thoughts, and realised that every single thing we are gifted as bloggers is earned, not by luck or by  fluke, not due to a sense of entitlement or being in the right place at the right time, but by sheer hard work and much deserved merit.

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125 Comments

  1. August 12, 2018 / 1:14 pm

    LOVE THIS!!! So many times I get these comments, or I see these comments and it’s hard to constantly defend your job! You’ve written it so perfectly, described it so well and I really hope that anyone who isn’t a blogger and reads this, will have more understanding of the job we do. That they will think twice before making a judgement which is normally wrong xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      August 12, 2018 / 1:32 pm

      Thank you my lovely. It’s crazy how people judge us, like we are free loading when the truth is, we probably work more hours than they do!! It really feels like the tide has turned lately and this whole “free stuff” bandwagon is getting out of control! We work bloody hard, implying the things we get are free takes away from that completely! xx

  2. August 12, 2018 / 1:28 pm

    I so hear you on this. I get all those questions all the time and it’s often family that are the worst. Time and time I am asked if I am going to get a proper job again, well this is a proper job, I just work from home!
    Oh, and on the other end of the scale, the number of bloggers that messaged me asking how I managed to get a holiday to Lapland really got me too, so it does work both ways. (I paid for it)

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      August 12, 2018 / 1:31 pm

      Oh you are so right! It’s so frustrating isn’t it? Haha yes, bloggers are just as bad sometimes, especially new bloggers who think they can start a blog and suddenly demand exotic holidays! It really annoys me as it belittles all we have worked for!! xx

  3. August 12, 2018 / 1:33 pm

    Ive given up even trying to explain it anymore – i am sick of family asking where X came from and when I say I reviewed it or was gifted I am asked ‘Do you ever pay for anything anymore?’ They don’t see the amount of sheer hard work and hours that go in behind the scenes!

  4. August 12, 2018 / 2:18 pm

    Your family at least gets some perks of your job but I know when I go on vacation and need to write about it the fun is when I get home to finish the post.Your family is very cute and that little guy looks ready for action.

  5. August 12, 2018 / 2:34 pm

    It’s so hard to explain to mom bloggers isn’t it? Often people ask me how to make money blogging and when I try to explain all that goes into each post, they still don’t get it! And the amount of times people tell me it must be so easy to get free stuff……? you are doing amazingly well and your holiday looked amazing!

  6. August 12, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    I meant non bloggers! Not mom bloggers!!

  7. August 12, 2018 / 2:52 pm

    Good to read that you are not letting the haters bother you. People can be so petty and jealous at times. Your are so right that it is not a “free” vacation by any means-more like a bonus for a job well done.

  8. August 12, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    An excellent post! I think the troll was jealous. I don’t earn anything through my blog, but I have been lucky enough to receive items in exchange for a review, items perhaps I wouldn’t be able to afford. As you say, a lot of work goes into blog posts and social media posts.

    I hope you managed to enjoy the holiday!

    Ignore the trolls and keep up the good work!

  9. August 12, 2018 / 5:03 pm

    I’m so glad you wrote this post. I remember hearing about you getting this comment and I really felt for you. I am a full time blogger and I often feel like people resent me because I get sent on press trips and get comped meals etc. I recently got sent to Grenada and I was only there for five days, so I was extremely jet lagged and had a tight schedule to stick to. It’s so hard to absorb all the information you need about each activity, capture great photos and videos and also find time to enjoy yourself. It’s far from a holiday. People never see the work that goes into producing blog and social media content.

  10. Deanne Howarth
    August 12, 2018 / 5:14 pm

    Aww Laura. As an ex MLM I KNOW the level of time and commitment it takes to build things up on social media. You deserve these perks, you are working after all! The troll is just jealous hun! Did you reply to him/her? Xxxxx

  11. Latoya
    August 12, 2018 / 5:21 pm

    I constantly have friends who say “How do I start a blog..I really want some freebies.” If only they knew the work that goes into it.

  12. August 12, 2018 / 5:22 pm

    Totally spot on Laura I have written a few times about this huge misconception about bloggers having free stuff or that’s easy writing a paid post. Truth be known if it is that easy go and try it, and they still don’t get it. I don’t tell anybody I blog nowadays it not worth the sarcastic remarks. Oh! And watch them turn green. I’m happy to plod along making money for my efforts and yes you and I know it’s hard work very hard work. Excellent post well written as always

  13. August 12, 2018 / 5:26 pm

    This is such an important post. Blogging is so difficult, I’m always struggling to fit it around my full time job. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to give it my full attention. I hope you had a lovely holiday nonetheless, your photos are gorgeous!

  14. August 12, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    This is such a well written post – you said it all so eloquently. The comparison with a day job is so exact and so correct – why non-bloggers don’t think of this amazes me. If it was that easy everyone would have a successful blog and get such opportunities.

  15. August 12, 2018 / 5:30 pm

    True that! A great post … I hear it all the time and sometimes feel embarrassed sharing opps I’m working on..but why? That’s my job! You’ve done fantastic x

  16. August 12, 2018 / 5:31 pm

    Love this post, well done! I’ve not had a day off since I started my job and I know my husband rolls his eyes when I say I’m ‘working’ when, like now, he’s watching tv while I have my laptop on my knees pinning to Tailwind. And that’s on top of a day job which is 4 days a week and has paid the mortgage and bills since we’ve been together. It’s my dream that my blog will replace that job but in the meantime it’s people like you who inspire me and thank you for sharing the realities of blogging. I’m glad I’m not the only one being like that on ‘holiday’!!

  17. August 12, 2018 / 5:33 pm

    Yes!! My family finally started taking it more seriously when I laid out exactly what I do and how much time each step takes. I calculated each post takes about 12 hours of work, and that doesn’t include all the social media posts not related to any particular post. Yes, it’s most certainly a job. And while mine doesn’t make me much money yet, it’s a pleasure and a privilege to be able to indulge my passions of writing and photography. Thank you for sharing this!

  18. Hazel Anderson
    August 12, 2018 / 5:33 pm

    I am so sorry you had to write that. Clearly she was just jealous. We got a free holiday this summer through a charity as my partner is an injured veteran, no one said anything to us about it or if they did they said nothing to us. I loved seeing your blog about your holiday as I love to see your kids and hear how they are all getting on.

  19. August 12, 2018 / 5:43 pm

    Absolutely spot on! You have summed up the life of a hardworking blogger perfectly. I work longer hours now as a blogger than I ever have before, including when I worked in sales and as a recruitment consultant. It’s not easy at all, and it’s very hard for non-bloggers to understand that. Every ‘little’ thing you have to do behind the scenes always takes ten times longer than you’d think it would. Nothing is handed to you, it is all earned. Congratulations on your hard work and resulting success.

  20. Lindsay
    August 12, 2018 / 5:46 pm

    YES! Yes to all of this! I hate when people say that we get nothing but freebies. And that what we do isn’t a real job. Excuse me but I think HMRC would disagree with you there “Susan” ?

  21. August 12, 2018 / 6:19 pm

    What a fabulously written post! So many people just do not understand how hard you work as a blogger! All the hours that go into a post about something of small value, the hours of chatting to people on social media. It all adds up, I bet very few bloggers work a standard 40 hour week, they work so many more. You and your family deserve a wonderful holiday, do not worry about what others say! You are amazing, we all are!

  22. August 12, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    Well said! Blogging is the only profession I can think of where we are expected to apologise for making a living! I sometimes think it is partly down to people just not understanding what goes into running a successful blog and that it is in fact a real job not just a case of sharing a few snaps of your ‘free’ holiday on Facebook *rolls eyes* I can’t help but think that it is partly down to jealousy too. Not many people get to turn a hobby they love into their paid work but surely you would be happy for anyone that could? We’re living the dream!

  23. August 12, 2018 / 8:09 pm

    very very true, it is one of the reasons my humble little blog is still a humble little blog as it is a hobby I do for my own pleasure, I do not have the hours over weeks and momths to plough into it to get all these lovely things.
    It was not much of a holiday for you if you have to view the whole thing through acamera lens, but hubby and the children got a lot of pleasure out of it so a win win for your family.
    Just you keep doing what you do best and ignore the nasty people.

  24. August 12, 2018 / 8:12 pm

    There’s always going to be someone saying something nasty.
    It’s so easy to see the benefits , but people never see the hard work that’s put into making it happen.

  25. August 12, 2018 / 8:27 pm

    So true! I’ve only started blogging recently but nobody can see this hustle we have to go through and how long it does actually take to take good pictures what we have to do for this how many hours spent on editing and thinking of next ideas. Unfortunately, people only see what they want see. So it is all earned !

    Roni | ronipaths.com

  26. August 12, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    Echoing what everyone else has said Laura, as I sat in the office last night and tonight working after putting two lovely kids to bed, I had to question whether the goods are even worth the hours graft!! I’ve also come to realise that many
    People will just never get it. Keep doing you x x x x

  27. August 12, 2018 / 9:09 pm

    Totally relatable! I don’t know but earning a few dollars for something that I love doing brings genuine happiness and pride. My blog also serves as my outlet and helps keep me sane ?

  28. August 12, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    This is a beautifully written post and I am so glad that you got to enjoy this fabulous trip with your family. I agree 100% and many people do not understand the time and effort put into your website to build your following to be able to reap the benefits of your hard work by accepting an offer such as this. You deserved it and I loved reading this well written and informative post!

  29. Jackie
    August 12, 2018 / 9:37 pm

    Oh my goodness this is so true!! I get so sick of people being like ooh free products. No. They’re not free. They’re payment for my services. If they paid me $$ I would then be spending those $$ buying the product. And yep, your holiday was free in the sense you paid no money to it, but you certainly poured hours and hours into it that probably would cost more in a per hour pay rate than the holiday actually did.

    People are too judgemental. And it frustrates me when people ask about being a blogger and saying I wan’t to be a blogger. How do you get free stuff? You don’t go into it expecting free things. You have to put your money into it and grow your own brand first. It’s not magic!!

    -Jackie

  30. August 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    So true! Even today a person my husband works with, someone I have met once, once! Messaged to ask if I could use my contacts to get them a discount on a very big item. The cheek. I’ve spent years forging a good relationship with this brand, they are very generous with me, I’m now actually meet up in person friends with some of the team and I go above and beyond for them in return. But yeah I’ll risk that all so you get a ‘freebie’ that I’ll be paying for. Grrrrr.

  31. August 12, 2018 / 10:03 pm

    Great post, really enjoyed it! And so true, all of it!!

  32. August 12, 2018 / 10:38 pm

    Well said! I think many non bloggers just don’t understand how much time and effort and also skill it actually requires to make people interested in reading your blog. It does look easy, just writing a bit and adding some photographs? Obviously anyone who has ever written a blog knows there is a lot more going on behind the scenes! You work incredibly hard and you have deserved your success xx

  33. August 12, 2018 / 11:00 pm

    Blooming love this.
    It’s so very true and it drives me insane when friends ask me to get free stuff for them.

    It’s very hard work and nothing is free and how I cherish the times I’ve paid for a day out or a holiday and don’t have to take the hundreds of photos needed

  34. August 12, 2018 / 11:19 pm

    I think Susan has definitely bitten off more than she could chew this time and I couldn’t agree with you more on every single point x

  35. August 12, 2018 / 11:24 pm

    Oh my gosh, I couldn’t agree more!!! I’m working from the other side of the Globe and it is the same thing! People think it’s so easy to be a blogger but they don’t see the amount of work we put in

  36. August 13, 2018 / 12:12 am

    This is such a great post and I couldn’t agree more! When I tell people what I do, they laugh at me. I’m not sure if it’s because I went from being a full-time research scientist to this or what, but I am constantly being judged and asked when I am going to go out and get a real job. THIS IS MY REAL JOB. Granted, I am not making hardly anything, because my blog is in its early stages. But, like you said, they definitely do not see what goes on behind the scenes and how stressful it is. But, it is a job that I wouldn’t trade in for the world. I have more passion for this job which is making me next to nothing, than I ever had for my job where I was making a high-paying salary.

  37. Terri Steffes
    August 13, 2018 / 2:29 am

    I’m sorry you had to write this but glad you did. Next we need to address Bloggers who get mad at us smaller Bloggers for accepting product as payment. Sure we want the big bucks but hey, we are trying to get ourselves seen. Give us a break please.

  38. August 13, 2018 / 2:46 am

    You are quite right, nothing in life is free. Even things that seem to have no monetary cost do, it comes in the form of time, energy, gas, etc.

  39. prabashi
    August 13, 2018 / 3:55 am

    I am waiting for this moment one day until someone sponsors. People think blogging is easy and reviewing. Little o they know how much time and energy we put in to write the honest review and the conflicks the mind has to debate over

  40. August 13, 2018 / 6:54 am

    So WELL said! And not said enough!! I don’t think most people realize how much goes on behind the scenes. That’s why Instagram Stories is a lifesaver – you can share all that. And hopefully, people will realize that success always comes with hard work – LOTS of it. As a photographer, I used to get similar comments too – how easy and fun my job seemed! It was definitely FUN, but certainly not easy. Thankfully, it’s a passion of mine and I enjoy the hard work! I say you keep sharing and slap that #ad on proudly!! ??

  41. August 13, 2018 / 6:54 am

    I think that for things to change we, bloggers, have to talk differently too. I would never say I got a “freebie” or something for “free”. If I have to do something regarding that, is not free at all. Blogging is only my hobby, but I work from home and it is the same thing. I am told about “good jobs” even though I’m not interested in any of them, I love what I’m doing and definitely wouldn’t change that.
    It’s a shame people can’t mind their own business and stop pestering others with things they don’t understand.

  42. August 13, 2018 / 7:13 am

    Just a few weeks ago my hairdresser asked me if I’d had anything exciting “for free” lately. She never would have asked me if I’d bought anything nice with my pay cheque this week. She’s a lovely person as well, not a troll in any way – but people just don’t seem to get it!

  43. Paula @MummyVsWork
    August 13, 2018 / 7:37 am

    This is a great post – so many times when I talk about a product to family and friends they go “oh you got a freebie”….

    No mention of the time taken to get it, produce the post etc, paying out for my site and all the background work that goes with it.

    I hope you enjoyed your holiday as a family and this didn’t damper it too much

  44. August 13, 2018 / 7:55 am

    Couldn’t agree more! Blogging seems to be a world a lot simply don’t understand and to be honest despite being a blogger myself there is a lot I don’t understand. It’s a new career and therefore seems to have a lot of stigmas attached. Nothing is ‘free’ and it also frustrates me when people ask if I’ve been given anything recently. We all work SO hard, which makes absolutely nothing free 🙂

  45. August 13, 2018 / 10:22 am

    So well explained and beautifully written. We work really hard and you deserve everything you get offered

  46. August 13, 2018 / 10:55 am

    Enjoy the opportunities your hard work brings your way and ignore the envy around. If it was that easy to get freebies everyone would be doing it.

  47. August 13, 2018 / 11:02 am

    baah.. to hell with the trolls. But really, people always have something to say. I’m surprised myself that anyone can have a negative comment about something so harmless and innocent.

  48. Ruth I.
    August 13, 2018 / 11:41 am

    Every hard work pays off in time. You only get what you deserve, you must enjoy it. Well done .vvvcv’

  49. August 13, 2018 / 12:55 pm

    Love this post. I started my blog a while ago and just did the odd post. Then I decided I want to make it work for me and the amount of work and effort going in for very little back is huge. I know if I want to make it work for me I need to keep going. It is a hard job to keep on top of it all and do well. I am pleased you realise that your hard work means you deserve the payment you are getting and don’t let the haters get you down xx

  50. August 13, 2018 / 1:25 pm

    This is such a great post and as you say most people just don’t appreciate how much work goes into writing a Blog or reviewing a product or experience. Unfortunately, there will always be people that write nasty comments but there will be so many more that appreciate your honest reviews.

    Hope you all enjoyed the holiday. Our daughter, son in law and grandsons were there the same week and loved it, although middle grandson did say it was bit too hot 🙂

  51. August 13, 2018 / 2:29 pm

    This is the best post ever! People just don’t understand the struggle bloggers face and the fact that we have put so many hours in. I am still in the struggling beginning stages of my blog (despite doing it for almost 18 months now) and am massively behind where I should be at this stage and I hate when people say to me about the ‘free stuff’. Like yes, it didn’t cost me any money but it’s cost time, effort and balls to be able to get a review out there or get the opportunity to work with a brand.

    It frustrates me no end as well that I find a lot of my friends don’t seem to massively support what I am working on, yet I get something gifted to me for review and social media posts, etc and they’re all like “can you get me one?”

    No. No I can’t.

    I put too much work into getting these opportunities, not matter how small. If you want it that much, you can have it after I have used, reviewed, posted, finishing working with the products and the brand but until then, it’s my work that I am doing… Yes it’s my choice but it’s the career I have chosen, just like you have chosen yours.

  52. Jeanine
    August 13, 2018 / 3:50 pm

    Yes. I couldn’t agree more. I am so over these types of comments. People have no clue but I don’t hesitate to educate them very quickly.

    I havent had comments left like this its always people I know thinking I get it all free.

  53. August 13, 2018 / 4:13 pm

    Love this! Put beautifully xxx If people knew how hard we have all worked for a £7.99 toy that things are not given for nothing and a holiday is rarely that. Xx

  54. August 13, 2018 / 5:34 pm

    Yes yes YES! Thank you so much for sharing this – I couldn’t agree more xxx

  55. August 13, 2018 / 5:41 pm

    A great read. People are quick to assume your free holiday is free. They never know what happens behind the scenes and how much time and energy is put into getting the right shots. Sharing on insta stories.

  56. August 13, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    People never understand how much work goes into blogging whether you’re purchasing these things yourself or you’re doing it in exchange for payment or product etc. There’s as much stress as a full time job and it is unfair when others look down upon it, shouldn’t begrudge others for what they have been fortunate enough to do and most the time it’s because there’s a lot of value in your work x

  57. August 13, 2018 / 7:09 pm

    I can totally relate to you on all of this. And while we haven’t gotten a vacation from my blogging, we’ve gotten lots of goodies – and I have worked so much for those. I hear you on all those things you listed.. the panic over wifi and trying to get the right shot and lugging cameras around. It’s so much work, and I also work and then spend nights staying up late to finish editing and deadlines. And when I slack off blogging – my blog takes a hit. It’s easy for others to judge, but don’t worry about them!

  58. August 13, 2018 / 8:16 pm

    I can so relate to the post …as a blogger myself I have been told that I ‘get’ a lot of free stuff…the truth is I never stop. There is so much that goes on in our head when we cover an event and its not the same as when you head out on a holiday. The dodgy wifi..is so true! I usually end up panicking if there is not internet connection when I am covering a holiday or an event.

  59. August 13, 2018 / 8:19 pm

    This post was so informative

    I’m sorry you had that negative experience and had to explain yourself x

  60. August 13, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    My mummy never really shuts off when she’s on a “free” event or press trip, plus there’s all the live social posts, video editing, photography and writing which means she stays up late into the evenings as she works full time. Just a common misconception that bloggers are blaggers. x

  61. August 13, 2018 / 9:14 pm

    I really hope that the longer we blog the more normalised it will be. A friend who I don’t see that often but who know I blog asked me for advice on being a ‘stay at home mum’ and how did I cope. Erm, I work 40 odd hours a week and most of it on blogging! She thought it was ‘just a hobby’!

  62. August 13, 2018 / 9:20 pm

    THIS!! I’m currently on holiday and at 10.30pm I am hanging over a balcony trying to get a good signal whilst I attempt to do some work that can’t wait. This morning I woke at silly o clock to make sure a comp I was running had finished smoothly before the children awoke. Sometimes my hubby would love to throw my phone in the bin. It’s had juggling everything, people think it’s easy but it’s really not. It’s another job on top of the two I already have. I would give Susan a day before she lost her marbles.

  63. August 13, 2018 / 9:31 pm

    This is brilliant Laura and well said! You are a lot more diplomatic than I would have been. If we clocked up all the hours I am sure we would be below minimum wage. Making the decision to put all the hard work in should be something that celebrated, the fact we are committed to run our own businesses along side our families. That we are making a success of them. The fact that we are group of people who support each other in our ventures. xx

  64. August 13, 2018 / 10:26 pm

    I wish everyone would read this! I have people saying the same thing all the time to me about my travels. They don’t see the hours and hours I spend in the middle of the night writing and scheduling social media and answering comments and so much more. No matter how much fun it all is, it is still work!

  65. August 13, 2018 / 11:22 pm

    I commend you on why you started blogging; to talk about real things we endure in motherhood, our rainbow babies, and mental health issues. Cheers to you for growing so much that you are getting offers for paid vacations and product reviews. You’re spot on; there are so many things behind the scenes that go into crafting that beautiful blog post or perfect photograph.

  66. August 14, 2018 / 1:34 am

    I only started blogging in April and so very early in my journey, however have accidentally fallen in to reviewing books which I love. But I have already had the ‘it must be awesome to get so many free books’ comments. There not free. Yes I love to read. Yes it is my hobby. However a lot of the books I read are not my cup of tea, and yet still need to be read and given a balanced review. Each book is about 8-10hrs work. For a book that costs £9.99 I am ‘earning’ about 99p an hour. It is so frustrating!

  67. August 14, 2018 / 1:49 am

    Girl. Congratulations on your effort. You are a hard worker and that is great. Kuddos at being bold and putting who you are and everything that you go through to accomplish getting to where you are as a blogger is awesome. Just wait for the many open doors ahead that God is about to open for you. Keep striving. You got this. So blessed by your story.

  68. August 14, 2018 / 2:01 am

    I completely agree with you! I don’t think people realize how much work and effort is put into a blog post and social media posts. It’s not just a snap of the photo and that’s it – it has to be edited and cropped, which at the end of the day, takes a lot of time. I’m glad you wrote about this, many people should know more about the behind the scenes.

    May from http://www.lavieenmay.com

  69. August 14, 2018 / 2:08 am

    Although I’m not a mama blogger, I get where you’re coming from. Blogging is pretty far from getting stuff for free. And I definitely feel your pain on the photo-editing front.

  70. August 14, 2018 / 2:35 am

    What a wonderful look behind the scenes. Nothing is ever as it seems, and I find that in the blogging world it’s so true! I’m sorry someone made you feel that way, but that’s amazing that you had the opportunity to take your family on a wonderful vacation.

  71. August 14, 2018 / 2:39 am

    Try not to let these comments sting or bother you. People are nasty or reasons best known to them and if you stress about it, you give yourself heart ache.

  72. August 14, 2018 / 3:57 am

    As a newbie blogger, I can totally relate to and attest to your experiences and feelings. People do underestimate the amount of work that goes into a blog post. Especially like this one. It takes time to make stuff readable and interesting and getting something in return should not make one feel guilty!

  73. August 14, 2018 / 4:15 am

    As a new blogger I appreciate your honesty. This is an amazing, well-written blog that gives us “newbies” a peak into our future if we continue in the blogging world.

  74. Christa
    August 14, 2018 / 4:32 am

    Yes! I don’t understand people who are so hateful to strangers. Your job might not be traditional, but it entails as much dedication and effort as any other career.

  75. August 14, 2018 / 4:49 am

    Blogging has opened up a number of opportunities but there is a ton of work that goes into them It isn’t all just fun.

  76. August 14, 2018 / 5:06 am

    What a lovely family! So many awesome opportunities and doors that have been open, all from doing what makes you feel good!

  77. August 14, 2018 / 5:51 am

    I totally agree with you about blogging not being just about free things. A lot of my friends just don’t understand how much of work goes into what I do x

  78. August 14, 2018 / 7:18 am

    So well written. Ive shared this on fb and twitter as i hear the word free alot. People have no idea how much time and effort is involved.

  79. August 14, 2018 / 7:26 am

    THIS!!!!! Gosh, we hear all of those sayings a lot, don’t we? It drives me INSANE! But this post is epic! xx

  80. August 14, 2018 / 8:22 am

    Yes, Yes and yes totally get you on this one. I too am sick of people saying “Look at all those freebies” wow more free stuff etc…it is so disrespectful and even when explained, which you should not have to do, people gloss over all the details about the hardwork and still see them as freebies. Good on you for writing this! 🙂 x

  81. August 14, 2018 / 10:15 am

    This is such a great post. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked to get ‘freebies’ etc for my friends because of my blog

  82. August 14, 2018 / 10:18 am

    I must admit, when I saw your holiday snaps initially there was a massive pang of jealousy. Not only am I dying for a beach holiday; but you got the trip through blogging. Ultimate goals right there!!! But I know exactly how much work would go into it, I knew you wouldnt be truely relaxing 24/7 due to the need to snap, edit and publish photos, stories etc. People need to see blogging as a real job and that sometimes it’s actually harder and more hours than a generic 9-5 as you’re showcasing life!!
    I loved seeing your holiday coverage, I’m so glad you got on the plane to start with, but more so; I’m a little bit in love with that photo of the elephant and one of the girls flicking her hair back in the pool…. Seriously one of my favourite blogging photos in my two years of blogging!! Well done for all of your hard work paying off to the point that you’re being gifted with holidays, to me, it shows how far you’ve come in this industry and how brilliant you are!!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week.

  83. August 14, 2018 / 10:59 am

    Absolutely love this post, you’ve really hit the nail on the head with it. I think there’s such a big stigma around blogging as a business/job. You must be money grabbing and in it for the freebies. Unless you’re actually in the industry, you won’t have a clue what the job actually involves and I think that is the bit we need to change. More people need to understand how it works as a business and then perhaps there would be less prejudice.

  84. August 14, 2018 / 11:47 am

    LOVE This! It’s as if people think that all the admin, pitching, creating content, running groups and social media, and all the rest of it cost you nothing in terms of money or time. Someone looked at me like I had won the lottery when someone gifted me a mug. Yep, that mug that cost about £5 really covers the cost of the past 7 months, the day I spent creating content and on social media celebrating a particular day (that prompted the company to send me the mug hoping I’d share some insta posts), the cost of hosting, the social media management too.

  85. Chuck
    August 14, 2018 / 12:16 pm

    Totally agree with all of these. It take a lot of effort and passion to survive in our chosen field. We’ve all worked hard for these. Though we just can’t deny its a perk of being of blogger. XoXo – Chuck

  86. Waren Jean
    August 14, 2018 / 3:04 pm

    Bloggers are judged, but it is the influencers that gets the most blow since they are just posting pictures without content. I like being a blogger because aside from sharing our experience, we are also sharing tips. People will always have something to say, regardless of what we do. I prefer not to think too much about it. We are still surviving anyway. Hehe

  87. Tonya Tardiff
    August 14, 2018 / 3:16 pm

    Say it louder for the people in the back!!! I always get the same comments and it’s SO frustrating. No one knows how hard bloggers work. The work never stops!

  88. August 14, 2018 / 3:16 pm

    I feel the same way! I, too remember the first tem I received as a blogger, it was a box of newly released coffee tins which they asked me to review and promote. I still remember the excitement!

  89. August 14, 2018 / 3:22 pm

    This is just so true! It’s unfortunate to know that other people still don’t see the hard work we put in on every post we publish. I hope they’ll realise that we’re all just doing what we have to do to put food on the table and to be able to live a happy and decent lives.

  90. August 14, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    blogging is soooo hard. and I didn’t know this until I became a blogger. They say, though, you haven’t made it until someone hates you… so chin up! You’ve come a long way!

  91. August 14, 2018 / 7:48 pm

    It’s good to read these kinds of reality checks, not only because it reminds us of what we can provide for our families if we stick at it and work hard, but also that we do sometimes have to think about how what we say may be received. “Free” gives the wrong impression, but to review and report gives a clearer idea of the work involved in promotion of someone elses product.

  92. August 14, 2018 / 8:16 pm

    I love this and I couldn’t agree more. I get some amazing experiences and I am thankful for them all but I’ve never worked harder in my life. I can’t remember the last time I had a day off and I start work at 8am and finish usually some time after 10pm. Blogging is flipping hard work. Wonderful but certainly nothing that comes from it or because of it is ‘free’.

  93. August 14, 2018 / 9:29 pm

    It does drive me potty that people think we get everything for free. My kids used to say it and my hubby has always been really good at making sure they know I pay in other ways. Mich x

  94. August 14, 2018 / 9:53 pm

    I hear all of this to the pit of my core. Yes there are so many great and different opportunities you get to hand onto your children and your family. But when you blog you do miss out on a lot of the fun you would be able to have otherwise because you are constantly involved with everything you say and do. It’s not a leisure trip then. It’s a working trip. It does look like it’s fun. But it’s not easy.

  95. August 14, 2018 / 11:54 pm

    That’s what other people don’t see — the work that we put into our blogs. Plus of course the investment that we put in to hire people to make our blog nice. I am not a techie person so I have to pay experts to do it for me. Last nigh I ranted because I had to redo some things in my blog. Last time, I saw someone post something on Facebook about bloggers getting paid , etc. It was demeaning. She didn’t know what she was talking but it seems that she was faulting bloggers for getting paid promotions. I felt emotional last night and ranted. haha I very seldom do that.

    Let’s keep doing this mommy 😀

  96. August 15, 2018 / 12:19 am

    There seems to be lots of nasty people out there at the moment. I had over 100 emails last week pulling me up on the amount of sponsored posts I was putting out. I sat in tears for two days because I don’t want to be filling my blog with paid posts, but I have bills to pay and a family to feed. And I also get annoyed when people assume all the lovely things I’ve been sent to review are ‘free’. It really makes my blood boil! Hoping you’re OK and not letting these nasty people get you down. Sending virtual hugs.

    Louise x

  97. August 15, 2018 / 7:36 am

    I can so relate. People are quick assume that the holidays we spent are free and sponsored! It’s so frustrating sometimes!

  98. August 15, 2018 / 8:00 am

    As a blogger I will share my different kind of my journey. Some people they don’t know our efforts. This post is really indeed. nice one!

  99. August 15, 2018 / 9:00 am

    Haters will always be haters, eh? You are right, no one realises how much work goes into it. When we sit down every evening to watch tv as a family (4 kids too), that’s when I get my laptop out and do all the social media obligations or draft a new post. So while everyone else is chilling at the end of the day, I’m still working. As difficult as it is, you have to ignore the naysayers. I’m so glad you and your family got to enjoy the holiday.

  100. August 15, 2018 / 9:27 am

    Oh my gosh, I love the post so much!! So many people are like I need to jump on this blogging thing when they see what I get sent etc. It’s not as easy as what people think, it’s not just a few pics, it’s so much more than that 🙂

  101. August 15, 2018 / 10:00 am

    Hi, I’m a start up blogger and how you inspired me so much to continue to work hard for it. Please continue to share posts like this i know i am not the only one whom you can inspire ☺️

  102. lindsey bray
    August 15, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    Gosh I love this post. I have just started out and I know what you mean about the small benefits, I have yet to get anything like that at all, but I LOVE blogging. Its self help and fun. I get the enjoyment from Looking to see how many views I’ve had. I still cant believe someone in another country has viewed my page! I have put so much time, effort, energy and tears in to my blog which I did not this I would have to, but I still love it! Any reward I may get would be lovely, but not expected.

  103. August 15, 2018 / 6:16 pm

    Ugh, I hate this attitude that people think bloggers sit and let the free stuff come to them without doing any work! I’m a book blogger and I see it SO often in my book blogging community – people saying it sucks that bloggers get books and other things for ‘free’. ‪When you take into account the fact that a proof copy of a book costs big publishers literally a few pence to make but then it takes us several days to read it and hours to take photos, write the review and share it all over social media, it’s far from free! And it’s the same with other blogger opportunities, too. Why would it be nasty that you’re excited about your holiday that you’ve well and truly earned?! ‬

  104. Becca Wilson
    August 15, 2018 / 6:37 pm

    Yes, nothing in the blogging world is really free. Companies want all kinds of thing to promote while you are there. You can’t truly just relax and take it all in. I got a summer soccer camp for my son that would be $200 over this summer for “free”. Never would have been able to afford it otherwise, but dang I hand to chronicle the week and prod questions more than I normally would from my son. Take those comments with a grain of salt!

  105. August 15, 2018 / 9:12 pm

    This is so true! People don’t understand what bloggers do at all. The thing I hate the most is when people who have no idea what they’re talking about, tell me what I should do constantly. As if I would have given them advice on how to be an accountant, a producer, an engineer etc. They just don’t understand that this is a profession like any other and that we are actually learning how to to it. It’s hard work, even when you get “free” things.

  106. August 15, 2018 / 9:20 pm

    Hi Laura! First of all, you have a lovely family and your kids are so adorable especially the twins. I agree with you. Blogging isn’t easy. It takes a whole lot of motivation, passion, time, effort and of course money. People may see that a blogger’s life is a dream because other bloggers are just faking it out (or just showing the good side). But honestly, there are only few truthful bloggers out there who’s driven to blog because they wanted to make an impact or raise awareness. Sad but I think 80% or more are just blogging for money.

  107. August 16, 2018 / 2:36 am

    I can totally hear you as a fellow blogger! I’ve been criticised several times of my fully sponsored trips and PR samples but people don’t see how much hard work, sweat and tears we put to make a great content. How many times we’re unable to enjoy our trips because we have to capture that perfect shot or how many times our family has to sacrifice stuff because of her commitments to brands. I don’t know when that stereotype will change and blogging will be considered as a reputable job like any other job!

  108. August 16, 2018 / 2:30 pm

    There is so much more to being a blogger than is obvious to the finished article that has just been posted. The numerous of email exchanges, research, editing, photography etc.

  109. August 16, 2018 / 7:36 pm

    Great post . I think there definitely has to be a total lack of understanding of how much work goes into a blog for people to say things like this !!

  110. August 16, 2018 / 10:12 pm

    Brilliant post! Blogging is hard work – and it just goes to show how good you are at it by making it look as though it’s a breeze! As the saying goes, “Haters gonna hate”. I once told someone about us being sent lovely design and interiors books to review and I got the response, “Well, you can’t eat books, can you?!”. One of these days, blogging will be seen by people who don’t do it or get it as a ‘proper’ profession. Right, rant over! 🙂

  111. August 17, 2018 / 6:20 pm

    Oh I know it’s a constant investment in yourself and it does eventually pay off! I love how I can save money on so many things now from sponsorships

  112. August 18, 2018 / 2:25 pm

    You are awesome! Every word, a true one, and I haven’t come near any such ops — And, I am incredibly proud of you and cheering you on every step of the journey. That your therapeutic output has turned into experiences and opportunities for you and your family, MAZEL TOV! It’s such a shame that people have such a hard time feeling good for others. May the tides turn on them, because it’s a hell of a lot easier going through life happy. #Triumphanttales xoxo

  113. Autumn Murray
    August 18, 2018 / 6:46 pm

    Amen sister. Blogging is work just like any other job. We put our blood, sweat, and tears into everything we do. Nothing in life is free.

  114. August 19, 2018 / 7:26 pm

    I think you have spoken well for the blogging community. People do not realise how much work and effort we put into our blogs.
    #TriumphantTales

  115. August 19, 2018 / 7:47 pm

    Love this so much, well said – most of all: being a blogger is a 24/7 job, you never stop. Nothing in life is free and people should understand this.

  116. August 19, 2018 / 8:47 pm

    Such a great post, sadly people do think you get something for free, they do not see everything else that goes into it behind the scenes x

  117. August 19, 2018 / 9:22 pm

    Well said Laura. I don’t think people realise what goes into a blog until they start. People see it as free rather than being paid to advertise something for a company. Because sometimes items or holidays are given rather than cash it is not a wage. People don’t understand what blogging is and so they make assumptions, wrongly! #TriumphantTales

  118. August 20, 2018 / 5:07 am

    It is very annoying when people act like our job is any less difficult than their own. We work hard for our money, just like everyone else in this world. Hooray for your getting to experience this amazing trip that you worked your butt off to earn!!! #DreamTeam

  119. August 21, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    love you? every blogger should share that post. You deserved even more than that ‘free’ holidays

  120. August 22, 2018 / 2:06 am

    Holds true in the case of most of the bloggers that hear this. Glad you and your family had a good time during the holiday. Don’t pay heed t trollers who don’t know the kind of effort that goes into all of this. Keep going on and kudos to your tenacity! 🙂

  121. August 23, 2018 / 9:34 am

    Sounds like you deserved every second of that PRESS TRIP and that it was a wonderful chance to bring the whole family along to spend time together while mum works. #supermum Doesn’t sound like much of a holiday, let alone a free one, but it does sound like doing what you love while sharing it with your family, and isn’t that what life is all about?

    xo https://missportmanteau.com

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