A manifesto

blogging-for-profitHappy 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.

kat-sig(2)

 

Comments

Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely //

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe you’ve had to write this post, Kat. I’ve been reading your blog for so long now and not once have I ever considered you smug. I only read how appreciative you are of the little and big things in your life. I hope you’re okay xx

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Emma Cantrell //

It’s so sad that you had to write this but I love what yo’ve written. Anyone who doesn’t like it needs to perhaps get a tighter grip on reality … I think you’re brilliant.
xx

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BlondpolkadotsandTilly //

I have been following your blog since the start and love it and the way it has developed. You have a lovely delivery in the way you write so keep on doing what you do best.

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Alice //

In my opinion, the best blogs are the ones that are written with passion and a true love of their subject matter: you can definitely tell. Some are monetised and some aren’t – it doesn’t matter. It’s the writing and creativity that draws people in.
Yours is one of those which is why I always come back. I love the colour, the home stuff, the beautiful photography. And THE PASSION!
I’m sorry you had to write this – I love what you do. Never change xx

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Alison //

I never understand people who moan about bloggers writing commercial posts. Do they think bloggers pay their mortgages with magic beans? And do those same people moan about magazines having adverts and TV shows carrying sponsorship and ad breaks?
Your blog is one of my favourites – you can tell how passionate you are about style, and you deliver it all with flair and fab photography. Don’t listen to the haters. Chin up xx

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francesca //

I love your writing Kat, it’s probably my favourite, very honest, funny, lifelike and passionate. It’s the blog that I look forward to the most. I used to live in Harrogare too so love hearing about the place and seeing your photos. X

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Vicki //

Go Kat!! I genuinely don’t have a problem with money making blogs that are clear that they are paid for and gifted etc. And things like affiliate links are clear. Like you say it’s your job. If you can make money from it well done to you.

I think some people assume that bloggers are just yummy mummy’s passing the time while the children are at school and hubby is out earning squillions. In the hope of a few freebies.

Well done on writing a clear and concise post without descending into name calling and bitchiness there are a lot out there who could do with taking note.

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Caroline //

It is sad that you’ve had to address such people and comments. For clarification, I don’t find you or your blog anything of a negative variety. Your blog is a reflection of you, I’m sure.
So continue to do what it is you love, you are doing fantastic.

Caroline.x
http://www.notesfromcaroline.com

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Becky //

I’m new to reading blogs, only discovering the concept in 2015 (yes really!) and it has given me such pleasure, a highlight of 2015. I’m full of admiration for the owners of the blogs I enjoy but I ‘understand’ how it works, you are in control of what you blog, not me! The concept of demanding content and considering oneself entitled to anything other than what the blogger chooses to post is just weird and entirely missing the point of blogging. Anyway, good luck to you and your blog, which I very much enjoy, happy new year and I’m off to read about ‘Happy Lists’ Bx

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Karolina //

So well written. I don’t know why some people have problems with bloggers earning money from something they put tons of time, efford and passion in. I used to spend about 48 hours per week on my blog so I know how hard and time consuming blogging can be. One shouldn’t need to justify that. I came across your blog recently and am enjoying every post!!! Xkb

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Amy //

Hear, hear! Your hard work on this blog, your style and your passion are all an inspiration. There are blogs that lose sight of themselves as they start to monetise, but yours is definitely not one of them and, having had the honour to meet you in person a couple of times, I can attest that you are not smug! I’m surprised that people are still going down that road in criticising bloggers – every single person edits their online presence to some extent, whether it’s to make themselves good or simply because they prefer to share the positive (or in some cases, the negative!), so surely everyone knows that what’s going online is not the full picture? We all have our horrid days and our moments of anxiety, but I would much rather read a blog that celebrates life than constantly whines about it! Keep doing you, Kat! x

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Jennyff //

You have certainly cleared the air for the new year, well said with your usual passion. I only recently found your blog and I adore it.

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Rosalind //

I too only discovered blogs in 2015, so I’m still learning about them. One thing I don’t understand is why some people read a blog and then criticise it. If a blog doesn’t suit you as a follower, stop reading it and find another that you can relate to. I always enjoy your blogs Kat, which is why I continue to read them. Also if someone has the skills to make money from their blog – why not? I guess it’s ‘the green-eyed monster’ that brings out the trolls one finds in all forms of social media. It’s good to write positively – but for one minute I would never think that ‘happy’ bloggers are smug, never get depressed or don’t doubt themselves – blogger, or follower, we know we are all human. Looking forward to all your 2016 blogs Kat!

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daisy jones //

Kat oh my goodness! I think people like that are very bitter and unhappy people, we should probably pity them, but they dont even deserve our pity!!
Keep on doing what you do, you lovely shiny normal happy girl!!
I’m with you all the way.
Happy new year…
xx

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Candy Pop //

I’m sorry you’ve had to write this. I love your positive, honest and inspirational blog and I wish you a ton of happiness and success in 2016! xx

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Vicky //

You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone, you write beautifully and you photograph just as well. You know I’ve been reading your blog since we bonded over a love of charity shops, and I’ve loved watching it grow and evolve over the years – if people don’t like it, stuff them. Big loves xxx

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Kelly Glen //

I only recently found your blog and I am so glad I did, you come across as a very nice person with a lovely family and you are obviously so proud of them. I don’t know people would want to criticise you, you are making a living just like everyone else has to.
I hope you don’t let these people stop you from doing what you love. I look forward to continue reading your blog this year.
Take care and all the best.

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Felicity //

It makes me so angry to read this, because you shouldn’t have to justify yourself. We bloggers are often guilty of sharing the glossy, the happy, the lucky, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get the gritty, the grotty and the hard to swallow too. Some people are maddening. Keep on doing you : ) you’re doing it so well.

xx

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Becky | Spirited Puddle Jumper //

Grrr, I am so cross on your behalf that you’ve felt you’ve had to justify your lovely blog! I think lots of non-bloggy people don’t ‘get it’ and think bloggers swan about all day and do not a lot (which couldn’t be further than the truth), when really they work bloody hard to make a success of it. Never change, and I’m looking forward to keeping on reading in 2016 x

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Rachel (vintage actually) //

Such a shame you have had to justify yourself, I love reading your blog and hope it continues to be successful and profitable and well done for making it so!! Happy new year x

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kk //

I have followed your blog and watched it grow for the past year and congratulations if you are able to make some income from it. You come across as a hands on mum as well as someone who works hard outside family life. It sounds like envious comments have come your way. Ignore, ignore, ignore, and keep listening to your blog fans. Your writing and photos are gorgeous and you come across as down to earth and someone we’d like to be mates with and have a giggle with too. Best wishes for the new year,
kk

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Alice //

Ignore them, Kat. Not sure why blogging ‘humorously’ about being a crap parent is somehow praiseworthy but visibly enjoying the life you have chosen to create is looked down upon. Idiots. You’re on my daily read list, please keep providing engaging and honest content x

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highstreetedited //

You’re staying on my daily read list Kat. Don’t let the good for thing b******s grind you down. Keep doing what you love in a way that fits for you. Sue xx

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Nathalie Hachet //

Hats off to you, Kat, for your Manifesto! Come to think of it, every blogger should write their own Manifesto and post it on the ‘About’ section of their blog, as their House Rules. This would hopefully clear off any potential false expectations from the outset. Your blog is your happy place – and a happy place to us readers looking for quality lifestyle inspiration. It is also great that you are able to monetise your labour of love! Writers need to be able to earn a living. Those who shrug this off as ‘selling out’ must be ‘sold out’ to some job out there, or else, be independently wealthy. Well done, Kat! You got the cream!

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Lisa //

Sending you all the support I can muster chuck. Love your manifesto, love your blog and you’re rather awesome too. Catch up very VERY soon. Will message you xxx

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Lizzie Woodman //

Sorry you had to write these things down. I love coming back and reading your blog. Personally, I much prefer reading positive, upbeat stuff. We have enough boring gloomy stuff in our lives – I’d much rather read inspiring words and see pretty photos. A thriving blog like yours is a bit like a reading a glossy magazine – it seems perfectly normal that it makes you money, you’d expect that of a magazine after all. Don’t let it get you down x

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Sue //

Kat! You’ve brought a little tear to my eye with this post. I’m shocked you’ve had to write it tbh but the way you’ve articulated yourself here is exceptional. Bravo lady, please just carry on being yourself because I for one (and clearly not the only one) think you’re fab x

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Anna //

I admit to being a bit aghast at reading this. To anyone who has suggested Kat is in any way smug – you are so wrong! You’re one of the loveliest people I’ve met. Your blog is perfect: down to earth, accessible, fun, honest, and just you. Ignore all the haters and do whatever makes you happy and helps you live life in the way you want to. I wish you all the very best for 2016. x

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claireabellemakes //

Wowzers, I can’t imagine who would ever feel that way about your blog and clearly most others can’t either judging by your comments. Your blog a favourite of mine and you write from the heart. I actually admire your blog more BECAUSE it’s monetised and you make a living from your passions. You’ve nailed it and they can sod off in my opinion.

Keep on keeping on and being you because you’re ace xx

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