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My Summer “Vacation” | Wardrobe Oxygen

Open notebook with pen in front of open laptop with cup of coffee all on a desk in front of an open window
Open notebook with pen in front of open laptop with cup of coffee all on a desk in front of an open windowOpen notebook with pen in front of open laptop with cup of coffee all on a desk in front of an open window

Photograph by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Earlier than Friday’s publish went reside, I requested members of the WO2 Group to ask any questions that they had about how blogs earn cash. One requested how my life modified being a full-time profession blogger versus preserving it a part-time job. The most important change has been the pitching, the negotiating, the courting of manufacturers to safe paid sponsored content material.

I hate pitching. It’s such a unique headspace from writing, modifying photographs, crafting social media content material. Each job has features we don’t like. I additionally don’t like bookkeeping, engaged on the location underneath the hood to maintain it quick and trendy and efficient, or scrolling by means of 600 photographs of me with one eye open and my necklace lassoing a boob to seek out 7 good for a weblog submit. However these are givens, they’re the required administrative duties to perform the artistic. However pitching, more often than not it’s primarily me begging a model to love me and pay me to be what they need.

I can simply spend 40 hours every week pitching, replying to emails, taking calls, updating my media package, liking and interesting with manufacturers on social, and nonetheless not make a dime. It begins coloring every thing I do. Let’s take this instance, all points taken from actual experiences I’ve had:

You need to work with The Sweater Retailer, you’re keen on their sweaters, you’re keen on their ethics, the pricepoint is ideal in your viewers, as is the prolonged measurement vary. You buy a sweater from The Sweater Retailer and elegance it for the weblog and Instagram. You promote a bunch of sweaters from The Sweater Retailer, the submit does extraordinarily properly on Instagram. You attain out to The Sweater Retailer, inform them what a fan your are and clearly your viewers is just too. You praise them on their partnership with a charity and a current collaboration with a star displaying. You present metrics of how nicely their sweaters promote together with your viewers, supply some methods to associate. They ghost you. Or they reply saying they’ll ship you one free merchandise of their selection in trade for a weblog submit and social shares. Or worse, they reply again and say they don’t do paid collaborations although you noticed eight of your blogger buddies do paid campaigns with them up to now three months. What do you do, do you retain pushing to work with them or transfer on? Subsequent factor you understand, you’re writing for The Sweater Retailer, not in your viewers.

It’s two weeks later, you’re writing a bit that’s enjoyable and artistic and also you’re in that zone and phrases are spilling out of your fingers. You go to your browser to analysis one thing and also you see you could have new emails. You verify and there’s an e-mail out of your contact at The Sweater Retailer. She lastly replied again, they’d like to get on a name and chat about an thrilling new venture they’ve for subsequent quarter. YES, all that writing about The Sweater Retailer paid off! You drop that artistic weblog publish to answer again, schedule a name for the subsequent day and spend the subsequent hour or so organizing your media package, crafting some pitch concepts, pulling metrics for a way properly you promote their sweaters, sweaters as an entire, this yr in comparison with final yr, how nicely your posts on social that featured The Sweater retailer did (we will pull insights on Instagram and Fb to see how many individuals noticed the content material, what number of appreciated it, shared it, saved it, commented on it, clicked on the hashtags or mentions, and extra).

You get on the decision the subsequent day, considering it’s a name together with your contact however it finally ends up being her plus 12 totally different individuals from the model, the affiliate, and their PR agency. Come to seek out out, they’re having a brand new sweater come out subsequent quarter, a particular sweater they need to promote. They need to ship you and 499 different influencers the identical sweater in trade for a weblog publish and Instagram submit and a minimum of three slides in Instagram Tales about this sweater. It’s going to be big, it is going to be on the At present Present, it is going to go viral, they already tapped a Kardashian and a Jonas Brothers’ spouse and a YouTube star to be a part of the marketing campaign, it’s going to be superior. And nope, there’s no finances however you would be regrammed by The Sweater Retailer, you could find yourself of their publication, and the highest 100 pictures will probably be on the again web page of their catalog and it’s going to be superb publicity. Oh, and they’ll want full rights to the high-res variations of the pictures in perpetuity.

Within the meantime, you haven’t completed that piece you have been engaged on since you simply can’t get again into that zone. 99% of you needs to throw two big center fingers as much as The Sweater Retailer however 1% wonders if perhaps for those who do this marketing campaign chances are you’ll find yourself getting helpful publicity, perhaps this might offer you an opportunity to be in a paid marketing campaign with the model. And properly, you could have made an excellent quantity from their associates program and certain will promote a bunch of those sweaters. You assume, you already know that Kardashian, that Jonas Spouse, and that YouTube star all obtained paid six figures by The Sweater Retailer to take part. Doubtless a proportion of these 499 different influencers are additionally being paid, although lower than a Kardashian. Your cursor blinks at you in Phrase, mocking you that you simply’ve misplaced one other day to The Sweater Retailer and your artistic superior piece will now ceaselessly be a half-finished draft in your desktop.

I get the good thing about pitching, however I do not know if it is sensible for my sort of content material and objectives for Wardrobe Oxygen.  I’m not trying to be a spokesmodel.  Loads of influencers, their aim is to be a mannequin of types, or a visible instance for a life-style or private fashion.  They concentrate on images, work to have their pictures symbolize manufacturers superbly whereas sharing a constant aesthetic or model.  And there is nothing fallacious with that, however I contemplate myself extra of a author.  And I most pitching on this subject is predicated on modeling a product. Perhaps all this pitching is not simply messing up my artistic movement however my path for Wardrobe Oxygen as an entire.

Taking a Sponsor-Free Summer time Trip

I’ve determined to take a summer time trip from manufacturers. For the remainder of July and August, I’m not going to simply accept any sponsored content material, I gained’t pitch to any manufacturers, I gained’t use my weblog and social media to attempt to courtroom manufacturers to hopefully receives a commission content material. I’m going to share content material like I did once I was a part-time blogger, however even when I’m provided a paid marketing campaign throughout this time I’ll decline so I can give attention to writing not pitching. I’m going to put on what I would like, share on Instagram when it feels proper and never when the algorithm says I’ll obtain the very best engagement, and share content material I discover satisfying.

What this Means

No sponsored posts – no mentions in posts, no devoted posts, no Instagram pictures or tales for manufacturers.  No sale alerts the remainder of the summer time. No Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, no Amazon Prime Day, no listing of promotions for Weekend Reads. I’ll make a fast point out, however no spending days previous to create that content material like I did final yr. All the things you see on the weblog and social is there as a result of I selected to have it there. No contracts, no favors to manufacturers, no dropping there now so I can rating some paid marketing campaign come September. I can’t spend any time pitching or negotiating. I’ll have a type reply saying I’m not accepting any collaborations till after Labor Day. I’ll focus my time not on sponsorships however on creating extra content material for the weblog.

Exceptions:

  • I’ve an open contract with a model. It’s for a collection of Instagram posts with corresponding Tales. The final of the contract was shot earlier than July began and despatched to them for approval. As soon as it’s accepted will probably be revealed.
  • I agreed to 2 journeys this summer time with manufacturers. These are manufacturers I’ve featured many occasions, even earlier than I labored with them. I’m not being paid to attend these journeys or share my expertise. I will probably be sharing on Instagram and writing journey recaps on the weblog, however they don’t seem to be paid for nor am I beneath obligation to finish them.
  • My household and I are taking a visit later this summer time, staying at a minimal of 4 totally different cities. We’ve booked and paid for the complete journey… apart from one metropolis. I labored with a lodge model up to now and final month requested if they might cowl our stick with one among their inns on this metropolis in trade for promotion. It has not been confirmed but.
  • If I’m sporting gifted merchandise, it’s as a result of I personal it, it’s a part of my wardrobe, I adore it, and would put on it whether or not or not there’s a digital camera. I do know gifted merchandise could be onerous to consider. Earlier jobs had perks – free computer systems, school help, 401Okay matching, workplace area… my job perk is usually getting gadgets of my selection from manufacturers I really like. I’ll all the time point out it was gifted, and might be higher about mentioning how lengthy I’ve had it and different occasions I’ve shared it on the weblog so you’ll be able to see it’s a product I actually care about.

Giving Again with Your Assist

I don’t share how a lot I make as a result of it’s truthfully nobody’s enterprise. However after sharing how blogs earn money, I need to do an experiment. I’m going to share how a lot I make from affiliate and advertisements throughout this “summer time trip.” For each $1,000 I make, I’ll donate $100 to a charity. Every month, I’ll decide 5 charities and you may vote which one ought to obtain the donation.

Most affiliate commissions are held up for no less than 90 days to have time for returns to occur. I gained’t have an correct quantity for what I actually earn from affiliate, however I’ll use the metrics provided to point out what I made off of open gross sales throughout that month. With advertisements, I can see what I made however that particular income is paid months later. I once more will use the metrics to point out what I made throughout that month, not what I acquired. To not go towards any contracts I’ve signed with these monetization corporations, I can’t break down this income, I’ll share a lump sum of all affiliate and advert income mixed.

I donate on a month-to-month foundation already, however not often share the recipient of the donation. I really like the thought of you, who assist make that donation be attainable, be a part of selecting the charity. I’ll do a submit after every month with how a lot was made, how a lot might be donated, and have a ballot so that you can decide the charity. All month lengthy you possibly can e-mail, remark or DM to me charities you assume can be a superb match and why.

On the Finish of My Summer time Trip

On the finish of this eight-week trip, I’ll share the outcomes. How did it have an effect on my creativity, my mindset, and my checking account? I’d like to say that this change will show extra profitable, however I worry it gained’t be. However I look ahead to making an attempt this and seeing the way it impacts the content material and my relationship with you!