Last week, I received a comment on one of my blog posts. Usually, I love receiving comments and I opened the email with a smile. But it wasn’t a happy comment. I sometimes get those too and most of the time I just delete them, not bothering to give the person my energy. But this was a comment complaining that I had ads on my blog and it made me pause.
The world is full of adverts. On television, in our magazines, before the videos we watch on Youtube, on billboards as we walk and drive around. They’re a part of our society and for the most part, they’re accepted. Except that is, it would seem when they are on people’s blogs.
I never set out for this blog to be commercial, I started it because I love to write and share my opinions. During a time when I was really struggling with my 2nd child who had an allergy to dairy and I just needed to do something else other than being Mum, before I lost my mind. It gave me a release and some sanity. But brands surprised me by starting to reach out and contacting me. It was amazing and exciting and it became such a blessing because it meant I didn’t have to go back after my maternity leave and gave me a way to work around my children. A lot of parents dream, is it not?
Then there is where I am right here, right now, several years later. My reality right now is that I’ve quite badly hurt my back which has left me walking with a stick, it’s been like this for 6 months now. The pain, if you’re interested some days is unbearable. If I had a traditional office or retail job, I’d be on long term sick leave and there’s a good chance I would have lost my job now. But working how I am, I can take on as much work as I can manage and flex my workload, working times around my good and bad days. I’ve still had to turn down work, particularly those that need me to travel or go somewhere, some cool things too, which sucks. But it is what it is and hopefully, it won’t be like this forever.
Now let’s talk about the advert this person was complaining about. It was clearly disclosed at the top as an advert. There was no dishonesty there. Would you like to know what the money from that ad paid for? New shoes for my daughter, because she’s worn them out since September already and a bill that came through I had forgotten to budget for. Would it have been better if I had gone into overdraft to cover these costs? If I put it on a credit card, or perhaps let my daughter get wet feet? I earnt the money fairly and honestly.
I’m not going to make my fortune writing this blog, my income is modest. But it pays for everyday things that help my family. It’s not going to pay for a party on a yacht or a pair of Balenciagas, which some purchases will be doing with brands that people buy from every single day.
What you don’t see behind the scenes is the work I turn down. The unethical brands, the brands that refuse to pay me unless I take off the disclosure at the top saying it’s an ad (this happens more than you think). I won’t work with gambling companies for instance. Even if we’re having a tight month I would still refuse this work.
If you don’t like a piece of my content, please just scroll on by. Maybe my blog isn’t for you and that’s ok, there are plenty of others out there. Just unfollow and move on.
But maybe, just maybe if you want to be supportive, rather than judgemental, do you know what would be truly amazing? Giving it a like or a nice comment. It costs you nothing. Then maybe when my children’s swimming lessons are up for renewal or the new crazy energy bill comes in, another brand will want to work with me and help me pay those bills. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? I’m just a Mum of three, trying to get by, earning money doing something I enjoy, for which I am very grateful. It fills me with real happiness that so many people choose to read my blog month on month. A lot of the content I share is not ads and posts written in my spare time. Why do some people enjoy tearing people down, when it’s much nicer to build others up?
As the saying goes, kindness costs nothing.