Blog or Business?

So there's a 'rule' in blogging and for YouTubers (I'm a full believer that these are separate things, though a person can be both) that you have to declare when a post/video/tweet is sponsored, paid for or requested. Personally, I've been incredibly surprised to see when particular posts are actually 'ads' from the bloggers and YouTubers I follow (Zoella, InTheFrow and Lly Mlrs). One photo on Instagram of a blogger and YouTuber holding a handbag and featuring her rings and a watch was actually an ad! It struck me how something so simple and unassuming could be 'set up' so to speak.
I always find it surprising that the first question I'm asked when I tell someone that I'm a blogger is 'do you get any money from that?' Initially, I feel a bit annoyed; as though they're asking 'why would you do that when you're not being paid?' Blogging often starts as an interest and hobby for most, it's only when you build a following that money becomes involved. I feel that blogging isn't seen as a hobby because it is only publicised when bloggers are in the stage of being paid to do ads etc.
When I first began blogging I didn't know much about it but I soon learnt about featuring adverts on your blog. It was easy for me to come to the quick decision that I didn't want companies placing ads on I'm NOT Disordered. I felt that they'd distract from my content and for me, my content was essential in achieving my aim of educating others in mental health in order to help minimise stigma. But I knew that such a decision was personal to each blogger, with each blog being different and featuring different content no matter whether they are from the same category e.g. beauty.
Because I follow primarily fashion and beauty bloggers and YouTubers, I began to view being gifted freebies as a sign of being a successful blogger and so that happened for a while... I was sent beauty products and asked to review them. I think I wrote two reviews before realising I'm not that kind of blogger; and that's ok. Readers don't come to my blog for beauty reviews and there's literally a gazillion beauty bloggers out there who can write a product review better than I can. And so I tried to think of the mental health equivalent of free products and free tickets to fashion shows and I thought of mental health events and collaborating with those prominent in the field. And it is in there that I found a passion and motivation to blogging that I never knew was in me. I get such a buzz when organisations ask for my opinion on prospective campaigns, invite me to upcoming events and collaborate with me on my own thoughts and ideas. It's an honour to have organisations as big as Time to Change requesting to work with me. They have given me the opportunity to go to London twice in one month. I'm very lucky.
Readers might be expecting some sort of discussion in this post about fees and monies. I won't be disclosing figures. It's crass and unnecessary. And I'd still be blogging without it. Blogging because you love it, stands for a lot more than blogging for the money. So to my readers, know that my blog may change content, you may see more '| 'Ad's in my post titles and photos on my Instagram of events and me talking of experiences that some may dream of, but be sure of this: I have worked my ass off for these opportunities. They were not, and are not, handed to me on a plate. My blog remains a blog and although sad to see other blogs becoming more of a business; each to their own. If my word means anything to you guys; I'm NOT Disordered will remain a blog. And you guys will remain my favourites!
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