Blogging: Expectation Vs Reality!

20th July 2018

Hey everyone!

Adding to my almost non-existent “blogging” section on here today. Some of the things people have said to me regarding blogging have been pretty hilarious. Mostly on the ease of it, how cool it must be to get “free stuff” and also asking if I can get them “free stuff” too. No hun, it doesn’t work that way. I thought I’d write about the hilarious difference between the glam expectations and the exhausting realities of blogging. I have so much to write about that I almost split this into two posts. But instead, it’s just going to be really extra long so grab a cup of coffee and get ready to read.

Working with brands / “getting free stuff”

I just want to start with saying that if this is why you started blogging or why you’re planning on it, you will be bitterly disappointed. You should be blogging because of a passion to share something with the world. Admittedly, it is exciting. I remember the first email I received regarding a collaboration with a brand. I told absolutely everyone who would listen because I was just so excited that someone had noticed my blog and wanted to feature their products on it. The more emails you get, the more you learn about awful collaboration deals, rude PRs and brands that like to ghost you.

Working with brands isn’t easy and it’s so important to know your worth as a blogger. I admittedly get most of my collaborations through companies reaching out to me. I know a lot of people who are experts at pitching to brands though, which is something I need to work on myself. The expectations are that you receive a steady influx of emails regularly about working with brands and exchange some small talk. The parcel arrives, you upload your blog post, get some feedback/social media shares and the payment (if a sponsored post) comes through in the promised time arranged. Sorted.

The reality is your inbox will be dead for a few weeks, then you’ll get a load at once. Several saying they need these specific requirements (often a do-follow link which is a no-no) and it needs to be uploaded by this date. OH and by the way, of course they don’t have a budget. You’ll also get your regular “grow your Instagram for just £5!” emails, which of course are weird companies encouraging you to buy followers and likes. Then there are the really odd companies who seem to think that a collaboration is offering you A HUGE 20% OFF EVERYTHING for you to promote their stuff when you wouldn’t normally be buying their crap anyway. How. Is. This. Beneficial. For. Me? I don’t even bother replying to these emails with a rant anymore, not worth my time. Binned, see ya, next.

That opportunity you were REALLY excited about by the way, will not happen. You’ll give the PR your address and choice of product and wait by your front door for two weeks. Send a follow-up email or two about when it’s arriving and then accept your fate. Ghosted faster than by the 6ft 2 hunk on Tinder. Did they stop the campaign? Did they find someone better? Who knows. Oh and it’s quite rare a company will actually pay you straight away, or even on time. Be sure to state your late fees on your original invoice, that usually gets them moving a bit faster.


I recently wrote a post on blog events and how some people get them so wrong. You can find that here if you want something a bit more in depth. Events are fun and I do enjoy attending them. I love networking with other bloggers and sharing my passion with people who truly understand it! The expectations are basically derived from bigger influencers who seem to go to all the huge fancy pants ones. Filled with instagrammable flower arches, expensive cocktails and food that’s so cute it probably won’t get eaten. Not to mention goodie bags filled with new makeup releases, jewellery and something adorably personalised.

I mean the reality is pretty sweet when they’re good events. You often get some sort of free food or beverages and something to take home with you. They’re definitely not as glamorous as those huge ones in London though. A lot of the time the lighting is awful to the point of having to up the exposure on your shots to the high heavens. Can’t have it all though, can we? Also they are totally full of people on their phones covering the event or just trying to get the perfect picture for their Instagram/blog. I’m not one to be on my phone as I’d rather be engaged in what’s going on so I can create good content. I am guilty of being a serial snapper on my trusty Olympus. More than often I stay behind the camera, though.

Blog Post Ideas, Scheduling & Organization

Us bloggers do have a lot of stationery – notebooks, diaries, sticky notes, you name it. If inspiration comes, it needs to be written down as you know as soon as you walk into a different room, it’ll be gone again. That doesn’t mean we’re ALWAYS on the ball with organization though. I’ve got to admit, this is probably my strongest area in blogging. I have a 3 day per week schedule that I very, very rarely stray from. I have my content planned usually at least a month in advance. It can shift around a bit sometimes depending on inspiration, brands contacting me looking for a quick upload and what photos I can take. For the most part, it is set in stone. I know a lot of bloggers struggle with this, though.

The expectations for this are having multiple blog posts written and scheduled ahead of posting days. Actually having particular posting days that you always stick to. Having a neat, tidy and pretty bullet journal. Scheduling promotions/Instagram posts and putting together and previewing your feed ahead of posting it. People seeing your new post and flocking to your blog straight away, what a dream.

The reality is staying up until god knows what time finishing a post to be uploaded first thing the next morning. Editing photos until your device conveniently runs out of battery. A bullet journal that you started in January but gave up on in January. Or if you didn’t, it’s now just scribbles and weird little notes and doodles from when you had frustrating writers block. Forgetting to schedule your promotional posts and having a week of bad blog traffic. Then proceeding to punish yourself and thinking no one wants to read your blog anymore and you should just give up.

Social Medias and Support

Oh yeah, having a consistent social media presence is a complete breeze, NOT. The amount of times I’ve nearly deleted myself off of everything is ridiculous. If it wasn’t for my blog and wanting to grow and promote it, I would be non-existent on the internet. I think social media is brilliant for a lot of things but it can also be terrible, too. I’ll write a full post on this another time as otherwise this part will be huge.

The expectations are that you’ll be posting fabulous photos of you doing fabulous things. Gaining followers, getting comments, having lots of interaction. Getting the perfect Instagram feed and theme without even having to worry about it. Shoving a filter on and the photo is great. Setting up other social media accounts for your blog and expecting everyone you know to follow and support them.

The reality is really different, your blog, your audience and your social medias will take a while to grow. I’m talking years of lots of time, effort and passion. That’s okay though, if that’s what it takes to get a genuine and engaged following, that’s what I will do. If you are genuine and passionate about blogging, that’s what you should do too. Buying followers and likes is never the way and it will come back to bite you. It’ll also take you time to figure out your theme and what you want it to be, if you want one at all. I don’t have one.

Themes are a hell of a lot more work on top of blogging and I personally like sharing personal photos aswell as pretty products. My blog and social medias reflect me and my life aswell and I like it that way. You’ll also find out that people on the internet will most likely support you a lot more than people you know. It’s a real shame but sometimes you’ve got to take it with a pinch of salt.

Photography & “You don’t need money to blog”

It’s true, you don’t need money to just blog. Although I’m really sorry to say this but it’s only true if you don’t want to grow or develop your blog that much. Hosting your own site, having your own domain, keeping regular backups of your work, it all costs money. That’s also just the beginning. If you want to be a blogger with a niche such as beauty, fashion or travel, you are going to need money to buy/do things to write about. Which also brings me onto photography, personally investing in a good camera changed my blogging game. Although, taking good photos is far more than just owning a fancy camera.

Imagery is such a huge part of what draws people to a blog post. There are lots of different factors to an image aswell – composition, quality, colour, how much space is filled and more aswell as lots of little subcategories. The expectations of this are buying a few cute props, chucking them on your bed with the product you’re reviewing and bam you’ve got yourself a perfect flatlay. Nope.

The reality is spending (wasting) a load of money on what you think will be fabulous props, they end up being too big or the wrong shade of pink which sends you back to the store. Your bed sheets are also not a good enough background so you end up having to find some pretty fabric or huge sheet of card. Also you have to try and balance some of the products or use some blu-tack. 3 hours and a breakdown later, you’ve got ONE average picture, well done!

Last But Not Least, the reality of Blog Admin

KEEP UP WITH THIS. YOU WILL REGRET IT OTHERWISE. The expectations are a few comments and emails to reply to, some broken links to fix. A media kit update here, an edit there and you’re done. The reality is putting all of this off every damn day and saying you’ll DEFINITELY sit down and do it tomorrow. I’m not sure whether it was the 26th or 27th email notifying me I had broken links that finally broke me.

So blogging, in reality, is hard. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think it would be. It takes up so much time and there is far more to it than writing a few paragraphs, taking a few pictures and woohoo you’re getting free stuff and have gone viral. Nothing like that, sorry pals. Honestly though, blogging has completely changed my life for the better. Despite the difficult and frustrating things about it, I can’t imagine not doing it now. I’m so proud of my site and how far I’ve come since beginning. I often think about the skills I never would have learnt, the lovely people I wouldn’t have met.

What’s the funniest blogging reality you were slapped in the face with?

’Til Next Time,

42 responses to “Blogging: Expectation Vs Reality!”

  1. Miranda says:

    I’m the one who asks for free goodies 🙂 love your passion xxx

  2. ruthinrevolt says:

    I love this, it’s a nice dose of reality for anyone who thinks it’s a breeze! I think the biggest surprise for me is how exhausting it can be, trying to juggle everything and interact all the time. There are nights when I think at around 8pm, “gosh I need to go to bed” but then, as you said, I usually have a post to get up for the next morning 😉

    Amazing post, will be sharing it on Twitter!

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      It is most definitely not a breeze, is it!? Oh of course! Trying to keep up with everything can be so challenging but I love the community ❤️ you’re lovely Ruth, thank you! X

  3. Rebecca Allan says:

    Love this post Alice, totally agree with every point. Blogging is HARD!! ?

    Becca xo |

  4. Alice says:

    It honestly makes me laugh so much when a company makes out they’re giving you some exclusive “20% off” deal especially for you, and then you go onto their website and it’s just a general sale. To be honest, I thought with all the new GDPR laws coming in that I’d receive less advertisements via email but apparently not, haha! I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve had to chase an invoice, I definitely need to start chasing and adding late fees. I’m like you when it comes to events, I like to try my best to socialise and engage with other bloggers, of course I have to get my photos as I’m working but I can’t understand how people can sit on their phones texting and stuff! It’s like they’re missing the main point of paying attention to what’s going on in the event. I definitely need to get more organised like you, I’m the complete opposite in that I have absolutely no schedule, I need to get strict with myself! I honestly feel like I should direct so many people to this post – people think it’s easy and it’s all free stuff and lovely events, but they don’t realise when you attend those events you’re there to do a job, and it’s a lot more complex than that! I loved this post and you could make your posts as long as War and Peace, I’d still love every word 🙂 x

    Alice //

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      It’s the WORST. It’s like that’s worse than student discount hun?? Me too ? yeah it kind of bugs me when people are constantly on their phones as it’s like do you not want to network with other bloggers or the brand? That’s okay though girl, your content is always so good! Haha yes literally, it is like work. You have a checklist in your head you can’t just go and stuff your face for fun ??‍♀️ thank you Al ? x

  5. anaslilblog says:

    Loved the brutal honesty of this post.

    • anaslilblog says:

      (Didn’t finish it and send it by accident) I haven’t had many opportunities yet with my blog, and that’s okay because I know it takes time. I have been growing my blog and social medias for almost 2 years now, and I focus on that rather than the ‘goodies’. All I have received is discount offers for reviews when I wouldn’t ever go near the brand anyway so of course I refuse. Fab post!! X

      • blacktulipbeauty says:

        Haha thank you! It really does take time and people try and exploit you to do free work for them, never accept it! Your time and blog is worth more x

  6. Emily says:

    This is a great post! Though I haven’t been blogging for long, there are many difficulties that I’ve discovered that I wasn’t expecting – especially when it comes to photography. In the past month, I have been precariously balanced on many the chair, sweating and frustrated, trying to get the perfect shot. But the enjoyment that blogging brings, and the love that pours out of the blogging community makes the difficulties entirely worth it. I would love to grow, and have the ability to earn money from blogging, but that would just be an added bonus to what is already the most rewarding hobby. ?

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Thank you! Hahaha oh god I can painfully relate but I totally agree! I love the community, especially right now, I think it’s really thriving! I hope you get that opportunity girl ☺️

  7. Bexa says:

    I love this post Alice! I can definitely relate to so much. He he, the bullet journal comment made me laugh, I was exactly the same, I had good intentions but now it’s just a lot of scribbles & jotted down notes. How do people find the time to make them so pretty ?. Also the photos! I have to take about 20 photos to get one that I actually like… oh and everything is usually stuck down with blu tack! Blogging is definitely much harder than it looks and I often wonder what I actually did with all my time before I started the blog ?. Brilliant post, thank you for sharing ? xx

    Bexa |

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Thanks Bexa! I honestly never even started it as I’m too messy with my writing ? oh my gosh I know! It takes up sooo much of my time and I’m like how did I have time for the other things I used to do ? Xx

  8. Aaliyah Hunt says:

    This is a really great post and I will say I might have had some of those thoughts before I actually started my own blog! Sometimes I don’t even tell people because they might think of all these things! Loved this x

  9. This post is so relatable! I hate it when someone tells me i get things for free while no… I create content which is work. Blogger event are often disappointing to be honest and blog admin is so annoying!

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      I know hahaha isn’t it annoying!? 95% of the time the product doesn’t pay for nearly as much time put into the post/promotion either!

  10. BethRebecca says:

    I relate to this so so much! I’m pretty new to the blogging world and I got my first few emails from brands saying they wanted to collaborate but it turned out to be 10-20% their products if I post about them, I can’t afford that for a brand I don’t even know!

    So nice to know that everyone experiences the same things though and that it’s not as glamorous as it’s made out to be.

    Beth x |

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      It’s depressing because it’s just them trying to exploit you! What a massive joke eh. 100%, I think no matter how big you get you’ll always get the crap side! X

  11. SO MANY NOTEBOOKS STARTED AND NOT FINISHED ??? this is a bloody brilliant post Alice – I related to every single point and laughed at the realities of it all! The one thing that always gets me is brands messaging you/commenting on one of your snaps on Instagram saying they’d “LOVE to collaborate” which translates to a discount code for 50% off a pile of shit you’d never buy ? sometimes I wish keeping up with the social media side of things wasn’t needed – I hate that my opportunities are limited by my lack of followers on Instagram! When will brands learn?! Anyway, this is a fab post and I hope to see more on stuff like this – I’m sure you’ve got plenty to add ??❤️❤️❤️

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Aww thanks Gaby! I did have a giggle at it myself ? literally and I love it when they try and sell you a sob story like ‘we sent influencers stuff before and they didn’t promote it’ ? ok hun boo hoo still not buying your shit! Yeah i totally agree, insta is the worst of them all! I really do, there’ll be more as I become more experienced ? xx

  12. Nancy says:

    I can relate to these blogging expectations! Haha, I’ve been blogging for years and only got offers recently. It takes a lot of work to put yourself out there. Don’t expect things to come in overnight! UGH! I hate it when there are events that are meant to be promoted by bloggers but the host set themselves up for failure with the bad lighting and all.

    Hehe I’ve experienced the social media part. We lose some, we gain some – constantly. Blogging takes a lot of work but if you’re willing to put it in, you’ll receive great benefits for it!

    I find it so important to incorporate pictures here and there. People love to see things other than text – visual representation matters!

    Nancy ♥

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Oh gosh of course! I think too many people think the views and opportunities just roll in when it totally isn’t the case, you have to work hard for them and on the ball! Social media is definitely one of the most frustrating parts of it, I have such a love hate relationship with it x

  13. Fredrick Adehe says:

    You said it all. The expectations and reality are way different. I have learnt that in my 2 months of blogging.

  14. This is such a brilliant post! I like your point about your following etc taking time to grow. I’ve seen so many bloggers who have been blogging for like 3 months disappointed because they don’t have hundreds of followers like they expect it to happen overnight! That’s such a huge misconception in blogging! xxx

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Thank you ☺️ it will take ages and you have to consider that you have to build up a load of content too to get proper engaged people that are serial readers! Xxx

  15. Lozza says:

    This is so damn true! I can relate to every single point. Especially hearing ooh free stuff all the time! xo

  16. Really loved this post Alice!! It’s so relatable!x

  17. It is such a honest post! Loved going through it!

  18. The accuracy of this post is unbelievable. Like you, I think I’m pretty on top of my organisation. People’s reactions to ‘free stuff’ are always hilarious or insulting depending on what kind of mood you’re in. And social media is so hard, especially as someone who isn’t naturally one to share everything with the world. This was such a great post! x


  19. Nora says:

    Ugh, I totally agree with all of these. Although I haven’t worked with brands on my blog yet, I did on an Instagram account I had. They do ghost you sometimes, but mostly I agree with social media, I would probably only have Instagram if there wasn’t for the blog. Great post 🙂

  20. m4gical says:

    I love this! Very relatable and for anyone who says ‘blogging is easy’ needs to give this a read! Lovely blog x x

  21. dinasoaur says:

    Ah, I couldn’t remember if I left a comment on here or not. But, either way, the second time around reading this post and I am just kind of blown away, because I thought I was the only one who had a hard time with all of the blogging aspects that I never saw coming. I especially can relate to the whole Instagram thing. Like, somehow, you need to be creative but also have your own style? And, yes, I totally agree. If it weren’t for blogging, I probably would have been scarce on the Internet too. It’s overwhelming.
    Thanks for making me feel less alone. We’ll just keep on doing our best, right? Your blog is amazing.

    • blacktulipbeauty says:

      Oh gosh no you are definitely or alone in that! I never thought i’d get as obsessed with blogging as i have but it’s definitely the best hobby i’ve ever had. And yeah creating your own but also being aesthetically pleasing and marketable when there are SO many others can be hard! Aww I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and yes we shall indeed! That’s so kind of you, thank you ❤️

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