I’m a BLOGger not a BLAGger!

Blogger
noun
– A website containing the writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations and opinions, etc.,

Blagger
noun
– A person who tries to obtain or achieve something by persuasive talk.
(blag) verb
– To obtain by wheedling or cadging

blogger not blagger I am a Blogger. This is my blog. I started my blog back in June 2011. I had attempted a blog a year or so prior to that, but gave up. I love writing. I have gone through more shit in my 29 years of life than most won’t ever experience in their lifetime. I like to think I am wise and knowledgable. I like to think that my experiences may help others.

THIS is why I started my blog.

I do the odd review of a product I like or the kids may like. I do some sponsored posts to get a little pocket money. But that is all it is. Pocket money. I do not believe that you can “earn a living” from blogging that so many think you do.

It has only been this year that I have had many offers to review products, sponsored posts and attend events. I do not accept every offer that drops in my inbox. I accept those I believe that can work on my blog.

I still feel like a newbie. There are so many bloggers out there who have been doing it for so much longer, and I admire them all. There are also bloggers who started around the same time as me and their blogs have just taken off immensely. I am still a very small fish in a large pond, with thousands of other fishes all fighting to have their voices heard.

For me, my blog is my outlet. Without trying to badly quote Celine Dion – It’s my voice when I cannot speak. It is my thoughts and feelings when I cannot convey the words in to speech. It is where I make sense of the bad things, where I document the good and where I relive those special moments for weeks, months and even years later.

Everything else that comes from my blog is a bonus and I am grateful for every single opportunity that comes my way.

This is why it really annoys me when I see people setting up blogs for “freebies”. I see endless messages of how someone is new to blogging but wants this to review and who do they contact to get it. Or they shamefully tweet companies out of the blue asking for products and linking to their newly established, mainly empty blog.

These types of “bloggers” are referred to as Blaggers. In my eyes, being a blagger is not good. You will piss off people. Bloggers put a lot of time and effort in to the content for their blogs. They pride themselves in all they do. I am not saying that blaggers do not put in the same effort – but the outcome is different.

If you are thinking of starting a blog, or are new to blogging, and want to review products for companies – then don’t be a blagger! Write good, original content on your blog. Use grammar and spell check. Review products you already own and love (or even products that have disappointed you as it’s good to see positives and negatives!). Grow your blog. Grow its readership and following. Get active on social media. Interactive with people and other bloggers. Join the many different blogging networks out there. But most of all – remember it takes time! You cannot set your blog up and expect loads of requests to fall straight in to your lap. PR’s and companies want you to show them what you can offer them. Show them how great your blog is. Take pride in your writing – and don’t beg!!!

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20 Comments

  1. September 25, 2013 / 12:49 pm

    Yes yes yes! This, this is how I have been feeling recently, the blagger thing has go patten out. G hand and I have unfollowed many who do it all day long.

    • September 25, 2013 / 1:57 pm

      There does seem to be a few more than normal around lately!

  2. September 25, 2013 / 12:54 pm

    This is a great post. ‘Pocket money’ is right! I love writing my blog and I really love receiving things in the post to review – the kids get so excited – but mainly my blog keeps me sane! I made a tongue-in-cheek video on my blog about getting brands to sponsor me 🙂 I suppose the parody is along the same lines of this post! x

    • September 25, 2013 / 1:59 pm

      My blog keeps me sane too Kerrie. It is my outlet. The review products, events etc are all bonuses 🙂

  3. Sheree Lowe
    September 25, 2013 / 1:14 pm

    Brilliant blog, Rach xx

  4. mrstutey
    September 25, 2013 / 1:17 pm

    well said 🙂 i haven’t reviewed anything on my blog except the odd day out. i would never beg. i write to help other mum’s found in a situation i have previously been in. 🙂

    • September 25, 2013 / 2:00 pm

      It has only been this year that I have been getting more requests to review things. I mainly write about stuff I have bought or places I have visited and enjoyed x

  5. Joanne Mallon
    September 25, 2013 / 1:21 pm

    I get quite taken aback at the tremendous sense of entitlement from some new bloggers, who whine about having blogged for, say, a whole month, without getting showered with goodies. By no means all new bloggers are like this, but there is definitely a sizeable minority for whom blagging stuff is a major motivation for blogging.

    The other side of this, which I don’t think gets talked about enough, is how much PR companies are to blame for the rise of the blagging culture. If they were not prepared to send out review products to brand new blogs with little or no audience, then it simply wouldn’t be an issue. I was once at an event and a woman there was saying she was thinking of starting a blog, and a PR immediately jumped on this, saying “When you do, let me know because I represent X, Y and Z brand and could send you stuff to review” – the blog didn’t even exist yet!

    I don’t think you will ever truly eliminate blaggers, but I do think that PRs will inevitably have to get more choosy about who they engage with, and what return their clients are getting.

    • September 25, 2013 / 2:03 pm

      You’re right – I don’t think blaggers will ever go away. I think PR companies are now starting to realise that they got things wrong and are fuelling the whole blogger/blagger thing.

  6. September 25, 2013 / 1:34 pm

    Well said!

    I agree with every word except the bit that you can’t make a living from a blog. You can if you have the determination and especially the inclination.

    For most people, myself included our blogs are hobbies, we write them because we’re passionate about the subject we blog about or others because they like writing.

    Personally I don’t even like writing that much and I’m not that good at it but I do love sharing my love of food and restaurants. I hate being labelled as a blagger, yes I get invited to press events and receive freebies but I also spend a fortune on eating out, far more than I have ever or will ever make from my blog.

    • September 25, 2013 / 2:05 pm

      Interesting that you think that you can make a living from blogging. Possibly you can if you have a lot of time to spend on it and are very good at it.

      I think the majority of bloggers write more about things they have paid for, than things they have been given.

  7. Katie B
    September 25, 2013 / 2:02 pm

    Fab post. I’m always SO grateful if I’m sent anything to review & I never accept anything I won’t actually use & keep (if allowed!) I’m so new to the whole blogging thing still & would be utterly mortified if anyone thought I was a blagger. I hate posting too many reviews without some ‘normal’ posts in between. 🙂

    • September 25, 2013 / 2:08 pm

      I always try to break up reviews too. However, I do love sharing places I have been or books I have bought and read that I love. I just make sure I always put a disclaimer that it’s my own personal recommendation (and I have a personal recommendation tab under my reviews too!) 🙂

  8. September 25, 2013 / 2:52 pm

    When I started mine I reviewed things I already had, got on and wrote my own posts, crafts etc. Now I’m emailed constantly with offers which I do ofter turn down. I turn down more than I accept. Events I rarely attend 90% of those I’m invited to as they don’t interest me and I just can’t be bothered.
    I work hard on my blog and I’m sick of those I know asking for free stuff just because I blog they think I can get it for them.
    I don’t call myself a blagger as I dont ask for any of the things I receive but have been called one many times :/
    If you want it, work hard for it and it will xome.
    We have had this discussion recently and I’m also like you fed up with people thinking its easy and we can get free shit for them.

  9. Infusapalooza
    September 25, 2013 / 3:17 pm

    Super new to the blogging scene, and started it up as a means of keeping my passions alive and hoping to network with like-minded food and drink lovers, as well as hoping to shift my career in to the industry.

    In the space of just a few months I’ve achieve it all and it’s worth so much more than money or freebies!!

    It’s great seeing this post as it keeps newbies grounded and sets them on the right path! The odd delivery will always be unbelievably amazing, but the networks and sharing side is what made me want to keep all the plates spinning! ….and on that note, mine could do with a new post!!

    Thanks for a lovely guide!

  10. October 11, 2013 / 5:21 pm

    I actually started this blog because I was reviewing things and needed somewhere to put my reviews in public aside from You Tube, but I never for one minute expected to review anything else for anyone else, that was a whole side of blogging that still stuns me. I find it even more amazing that people expect to be able to walk into it without any proven track record and just start begging openly – don’t they have any shame at all? One of the comments is spot on – the PR’s are really at fault for encouraging it.

    • October 15, 2013 / 5:53 pm

      I think that is what it is – that people just walk in thinking that they should be given all this great stuff because they have just set up a blog. You were doing it before on YouTube, then transferred to a blog, it’s slightly different.

      I have actually had a few emails from PR’s about this post and they too are stunned at some companies that do just give stuff out to anyone.

  11. Katrina Fox
    October 30, 2013 / 11:35 am

    I couldn’t agree more. I only set up my blog on Monday although I’ve toyed with the idea for several years. I wanted to blog – 1. because I like to talk and write about things I enjoy and there is only so much listening my partner can do before his eyes start to roll and 2. I think blogs are a great source of information. I love reading blogs and I’ve learnt a lot from reading them. I would hope that my blog can be as helpful.

    I also love the blogging community, lots of like minded people sharing things they love. It’s great, especially when you work from home and you live in the middle of nowhere, reading blogs written by real honest people feels a bit like a long distance friendship. Interacting with people with the same interests is a great combat to loneliness.

    There are loads of positives to blogging that aren’t even remotely about ‘blagging’ freebies. I think it’s important to remember that not all newbies are after free stuff though.