Happy new year one and all. I normally start the year off with a post about resolutions (or lack thereof). But instead I thought I’d write out a little manifesto. I feel I need to make a few things clear, for old and new readers of this blog, just so we’re all on the same page.
This is a for profit blog. This is my job (albeit a labour of love).
I make my money from writing, always have since I trained as a journalist back in 2000. In 2010 I went freelance (and started this blog) as a way of continuing to write for pleasure but also as a vehicle to ply my trade while trying to work around my kids. I’ve been monetising this blog for several years now through sponsored posts as well as review items. This is not a new thing and has always been fully disclosed.
I love my job. I love writing this blog. But it is still a job. I put in on average 25-30 hours a week creating content for this blog as well as managing the associated social media. I work seven days a week, often in the evenings when my kids are asleep. I pay (through the nose like most people) for my kid to attend nursery three times a week so I can work on this blog.
As a journalist I wrote about fashion and retail. I still love to write about fashion and retail on my blog. I like working with brands, discussing trends, talking about products I love. And yes, I still like to go thrifting and find vintage items too, though I don’t have as much spare time to do that now.
I know some people have a problem with bloggers who monetise their sites. They suggest that a blogger’s impartiality is compromised if they’ve been paid (in money or kind). I can’t quite believe that I still have to make this statement but just for the record, I will only ever feature a company or product on this blog that I genuinely like and feel is relevant to my readers. That’s why, if something is featured, I’m usually writing a fairly glowing report about it. If I don’t like it or am disappointed in it, I simply won’t feature it because I’m not into writing negative, scathing reviews that might potentially damage someone’s livelihood. That’s just not me.
I make no apology for the fact that my blog is a generally happy, positive space. It doesn’t mean that my life is perfect but my blog is my happy place, my escape, my work and my play where I try to focus on the positive and share the good. I will not complain and moan about my life on here just to make other people feel better about themselves. That’s just not me either.
Instead, I write a regular Happy List and have done for a couple of years. It started as a post I wrote one day when I had the blues (like many people I experience periodic bouts of depression and anxiety) and it helped to try and write down a few good things that had happened that week. The Happy List was born and I’ve continued to write it as a way of both counting my blessings and reviewing my week as time hurtles by.
Unfortunately this sort of thing means that I come across as unbearably smug and self-satisfied to some people (apparently). I am actually quite critical, deprecating and doubting of myself in real life but I try to write this blog with confidence and positivity and I guess some people choose to interpret that in different ways. I’m not smug, I just know I’m fortunate and try to acknowledge that when I can.
But I will continue to write my Happy Lists and the rest of this blog, not because I’m not a hopeless people-pleaser who wants to be liked (I am) but because in spite of this, I will not and cannot change. I’m too long in the tooth for that now.
If you are that person who genuinely resents me for making a (modest) income from my blog, for earning a few honest bob using the only skills I have, then perhaps it’s better that we part company because I don’t think we will ever understand each other.
If however you do find my blog in any way interesting or beneficial then I promise I have never and will never blog about anything that I wouldn’t recommend to a friend and I hope you will always enjoy it.