I'm a Blogger, Not a....

8:36:00 PM

Well, not a lot things really. I'm not a sales(wo)man, i am not a celebgram (or celeb anything) and i am not a makeup artist/beauty guru.
I've been wanting to write this post for a while (you know i feel lost whenever i haven't been ranting for meaningless things for a while) but i've been postponing it for various reasons (the usual. I have more pressing posts i need to push, and i need a certain mood to write it) but today i have no access to my room. The reason? Hunny called a Go-Clean (you know, the cleaner you can call anytime to clean your place) to do a deep cleaning on our messy cupboards and my storage (which are the top of my dressers coz i ran out of space long ago), which would be overwhelming for my maid to do alone (see mum, i am not a horrible boss or anything, i do care about my maid too!). It's been going on for three hours now and no sign of finishing soon WTF. We are such pigs. Pigs who love to hoard. The worst kind out there. And we made each other worse by being married to each other FOL.

But i digress.

I've had a very good sleep last night (i fell asleep at 10.30 PM, i can't even remember the last time i go to bed so early!) thanks to an exhausting day doing a photoshoot with my fellow Surabaya Beauty Bloggers and WomanBlitz for an upcoming project i am so bloody excited about (this post is written last Thursday haha), now i am all awake and fresh-ready to work. But i can't do reviews or whatever since all of my photos are in my PC upstairs and the only thing i have access to is my beloved MacBook. So i went through my drafts (i always have like, 30 drafts, some will never be posted *LOL*) and see which ones i can work on without photos on my PC.

And i stumbled into this draft. I guess it is time to get writing!

The reason why i write this blog post is because i am mistaken to be something else way too often for my liking. Too much that it becomes somewhat of a nuisance. While i can't really do anything to those ignorant souls, i can unload my frustration here and that's what matters. You know, for my sanity.

First of all. 

I am NOT a salesman.

A while ago, i had the opportunity to work with a fashion brand. From the beginning they offer a certain amount of products' worth (i don't always charge for my blog posts, FYI. If i like the products, then i would happily accept them for an honest review without additional charge) for an exchange for blog posts. Usually brands reach out to bloggers to expand their visibility, to gain more popularity and also to make sure people can search their brand on the internet and find our reviews so hopefully they'd be tempted to shop for that brand without worries .

Now, after i made the preliminary blog post they asked, the brand's PR (who doesn't speak English really well, i must add) made me feel horrible when she complains about the lack of traffic from my blog post to her website. WTH. I did not know that i am supposed to be bringing TRAFFIC to their website! (of course, in the end it's all about traffic, but i didn't think they would be counting per head or whatever, usually this kind of campaign are counted a whole. Plus, i didn't even get paid WTF)

Like i stressed earlier, bloggers work to make your brand BETTER KNOWN. Like, if they never heard about your brand before-now lots of them does. Thanks to the bloggers who write about your brand and spread awareness. 

But we CANNOT guarantee you any sales/traffic!!!

I tried to explain to her that not all of the people who reads my blog post would immediately click to the link, they mostly would be TAKING A NOTE and maybe (hopefully) someday go to your website when they need to purchase stuffs from there. What we do is we open the door, connect you to our audiences. Make them know you exist, coz trust me-a lot of them don't.

Now, EVEN if a lot of my readers go to your website via my link, it also does not guarantee any sales okay -___-.  So yeah, if you are looking for salesman, you come to the wrong place, dear. 

If you are looking for advertisers, now we're talking.

FYI, thanks to that blog post i wrote about you, a lot of other brands approached me for advertorials/reviews. That means my piece REACHED them. And if they reach your rivals, you can be sure it reach potential customers too.

I've also been reached out by various brands for affiliate purposes. To be honest, i'm not into them. I prefer to do single (or multiple, whatever rock your boat) projects instead of having to promote brands without any assurance that I get something in return.

This is why brands love to do affiliate thingy so much, it's basically a semi-free way of advertising. No offense of course, everybody's entitled to their opinion, but i personally do not like to feel like i need to make my readers buy a certain products so i can make a few bucks out of it. Of course, i did have a few affiliates, but after i try them out... I kinda feel they're not for me. Especially when a brand pretty much provides nothing but expect you to keep on promoting them (and if you promote enough then you'd get a meager prize). There are also ones which only ask you to put their banner in your website and you get some pennies whenever someone clicks on them-which i find a bit better because you have no obligation to do more work for them.

Still, i feel like the brands get the upper hand in this kind of things, do you know how much bloggers with decent page views charge for advertising in their side bar? Yeah... The commission is far from that.

If you are a blogger and you do a lot of affiliation, please do not take offense. Nobody should judge what you do and i am definitely not doing that, i couldn't care less about what other bloggers do in their lives, this is just MY opinion.

I am not an Instagrammer/Celebgram

A lot of times now when a brand approach me, one of the first thing they ask is my Instagram page. That would put me on a defensive mode because i know where this is leading. Instagram followers. 

Now, i know Instagram is arguably still the King of social media right now, lots of people gets famous (well, digitally that is. Most of the time they're still not THAT famous in real life as not a lot of people except Instagram-addicts would recognize them on the street) by posting gorgeous photos and gaining millions of followers in Instagram. If you are gorgeous and photogenic, good with editing but have no other real talents (or maybe too short/fat/girl-next door to be a model) like singing or acting, this era is the era where you can get famous just by posting pictures *LOL*.

As for me, i am kinda old so my life is not very exciting for younger audiences (which are majority IG users). I'm ancient compared to most Instagrammers. I am not all that photogenic, i am not skinny, and i don't have amazing aesthetics and i am too lazy/not-skilled to take magazine spread-like photos. I post whatever i like in my Instagram so my IG is quite a mess, i treat it more like a photo diary than anything else. Of course, i do get a lot of sponsored products that i post there-but far from real Celebgram (this is a very famous word for Indonesians, not sure if people from other countries are familiar with this term tho). I also don't follow the "rules" that they have to gain more followers, i just don't care. Being famous is never my goal. I want my blog to be famous (let's be real here) but not me the person.

So...  I don't have a lot of followers *LOL*. It doesn't matter all that much to me, but it frustrates me when brands making it such a big deal. Of course i understand that Celebgrams bring them a lot of customers and all, it totally make sense that brands love to collaborate with celebgrams. But we, modest bloggers (who stay true to their root as bloggers/writers) also have our own kind of influence, a slightly different one but still quite powerful enough-so maybe it's not time to discard us just yet *LOL*.

A lot of Celebgrams (and vloggers, actually) make their IG (and Youtube) their work and work only (as in they hardly post anything personal) so they have rates for everything they do. That's totally fine of course. I am a full time blogger, but only because i can afford to be one. I don't depend on my blog for money (which would make me super broke), so i don't always charge for a blog post (like i said earlier)-it's simply not all about money for me. It's about passion. It's about joy. It's about what i LOVE doing, and it's fantastic that i get paid to do what i love-but it's not #1 priority for me. I am not competing with anyone for numbers (except if you piss me enough to want to take you down) and i don't feel superior when brands approach me 

It amuses me when some of my "friends" brag about getting sponsors. Honey, i've been getting sponsors for years but you don't see me telling everybody about it every 5 minutes.
My point is, if brands want people with huge following on Social Medias, then contact celebgrams. But if you want people who writes honestly (honesty would always garner more long term customers in the long run) about their experience with your products instead of someone who just poses and look pretty with your products (sure, they would get you lots of sales, but maybe not repeat buyers-who are important too) then contact a blogger. Just don't insult us by insinuating that we have little followers (just don't ask? It's got nothing to do with our blog anyway. You can see how influential we are from the page views or other aspects).

Besides, i know a lot of celebgram with fake followers. Should i buy some just to make my IG look legit? LOL.

I am not a celebrity.

This one is not for brands, but rather a thing that bugs me from listening to my celebgram/vlogger friends (not pointing any fingers, not all of you are like that of course).

I guess instant popularity (like one that we can get from the internet) can get to our heads. I had witnessed a celebgram friend saying that she needs to act a certain way in public because she has an image to maintain (and sort of tell me to stop laughing so crazily especially when there's a camera rolling). This makes me laugh so bad because... WHAT IMAGE? LOL. If you are a celebrity, a real legit one, a super famous ones (like Selena Gomez or something) then yes, you probably does have an image to maintain. But if you are a local celebgram who promotes cheap clothes and bazaars, having to act like you're a prim and proper princess in public is just... too much for me. 
Well, i AM not a celebrity (a real one or an internet one), i am just me. Plain old #Pink. And i hate fakery and hypocrisy more than anything. So i am always real (except maybe around new people whom i don't know how to act with yet), online and offline. And yes, when a reader recognize me and approach me, is got shell-shocked and act like an idiot because of that *LOL*.

Oh, this i also why i cringe when i heard celebgrams/vloggers/bloggers call their viewers/readers  FANS. Most of them are not really your fans you know (coz i follow quite a few bloggers/celebgrams/vloggers but i am NOT their fan. I like their work and support them, but a fan? Far from it). Seriously you guys, unless you're Jeffree Star or Zoella, can you please treat your audience as friends rather than fans? Coz if you think anyone reading/watching/following you are your fans, i am off to unfollow you this instant (except for Jeffree Star, coz i really am a fan).

I am not a vlogger/Youtuber

I know that vlogger is a blogger too, but with different media-mostly Youtube. Not every blogger has an active Youtube channel and not all vlogger has a blog (coz filming and writing is actually very different and you need to be passionate to maintain a long-lived channel/blog). I personally has a Youtube channel that i only use to post videos to compliment my blog posts, it's just easier to upload it to Youtube and embedd it to my blog post instead of trying to upload them to the blog directly.

Beauty blogging is unique, lots of bblogger also has a Youtube channel because their passion is one : beauty. And sometimes it is easier to show a technique through a video instead of words so they have both.

Why i mention this? Because people still confuse Blogger and Vlogger in Indonesia. When brands approach me sometimes they'd ask me for my Youtube channel (or more importantly, how many subscribers i have) and how much i charge for a video. Well, i freak because i have like, two subbies (one is my husband) in my Youtube coz who'd wach my mostly 15 secs to 1 minute videos i record from my phone anyway?

I am currently practicing talking to my camera a lot and learn to enjoy filming, but until i am totally comfortable with the camera then i won't even attempt to call myself a vlogger.

Brands, please do your background check before contacting influencers, if you contact a blogger like myself (who is more of a writer really) then ask how much Youtube followers i have... You put me in a very uncomfortable situation.

I am not a Beauty Guru/MUA

People seem to also confuse the difference between a beauty blogger to a beauty guru or makeup artist.

I have never claim to be good with makeup, but i personally think i am alright for myself (i dunno how to put on makeup on someone else tho). I do make makeup mistakes (lots of them) and i am not that skilled at applying eyeshadow or contouring or whatever. 
Then what is a beauty blogger? Well, we are (mostly) REGULAR people who loves (and often passionate) about the beauty world and we really really really love makeup (or skin care. I'm a makeup person tho). We are not (all, some of us are) an expert and you can't expect us to put on flawless, Hollywood class makeup everytime coz most of us are not trained/basically not that good *LOL*. Then we explore our passion into writing. That's what beauty bloggers are.

So next time you want to accuse someone of not worthy to be a beauty blogger coz she/he doesn't draw on the perfect eyeliner, think again...

I am not a social worker

While i said i don't always charge for writing about brands, i am also not a social worker. Don't ever expect me to write for free coz i ain't doing your work for naught, especially for big brands with fat budgets for promotion they don't feel like spending on small time bloggers like me.

I keep on getting requests to write a blog post and mention their websites for a CHANCE to get a  shoutout in their social medias.
If you are very nice to me, and if you tell me you don't really have that much budget and i like your products (and only if you have a product to send me! I don't care how nice you are, if you don't have anything at all for me but want me to write a free post for you.... Go to a hole and die, will ya?) then there's a (big) chance for me to write for you for free (call me a snobbish bitch-but bitch, i don't need the money. All of my blogging money goes to lipsticks and bags that i don't even need), just don't assume that i would be happy to write for you for a chance of a shout out. Seriously. Go eff yourself *LOL*.

Then i also get a lot of content writing requests lately (no idea why), you know those advertorials where i only write about a brand/website without any experience with shopping with them in the first place (there are also brands who would give me a press release and pay for me to copy-pasted it on my blog. This is confusing for me but i am not about to refuse the money). I charge less for this because i feel like i do (a lot) less work.

What i hate about brands asking for this kind of collab? They love to haggle. My rate is quite low already, so when a brand keeps on haggling, it upsets me. Then they also love to challenge my rules.  I always state beforehand that i only accept projects where they PAY ME IN FULL before i would even consider writing the article. Most of them would pretend not to see this line (in an email consisting 5 lines. How smart) and agree on my price but then try to force me into writing.

One incident really boils my blood where a brand blatantly told me that they had been conned before (if you don't think i'm reliable then please don't contact me) and "if we don't pay the money you can always take down the article whereas if you don't write the article we can't take the money back." 

Again WHAT. THE. FUCK. That is sooooo degrading and so so so RUDE. You think we don't use our time/brain/energy to write a good article on your boring products??? So you think MY time, my effort and my expertise is worthless? That you can just tell me to write things for you and then i'd be happy to delete it when you fail to pay? Every single article on this blog is written with passion, with heart. So please don't ever insult me by saying that writing an article is easy and even if it gets me nothing i should not be angry about it.

I am also not a free advertiser (yes, it's sorta the same thing but i need to emphasize this point)

I like to review things, but even when i am given things for free-i will write my honest experience with it (advertorial is similar actually, i do take more effort like taking nicer pics somewhere insta-worthy and write more about your products' advantages, but i will still write about my experience super honestly). You can't expect me to write only good things about your event/product just because i get them for free WTH.
That's why i'm also over blogging competitions *LOL*. I personally think blogging competition is worse than affiliation, brands are just getting free promotion from the bloggers competing for the prizes. And i see one pattern especially when it comes to beauty blogging competition, they will only choose the one who raves about the product. It makes me totally dispassionate because i personally know a few bloggers who hates the products (they told me about it personally) but write a rainbow painted blog post about it (with some pretty photos) and they win. LOL. I don't think there's a place in a blogging competition for me since i cannot write a blatant lie and live with it.

That's why if you are a brand and you invite me to an event then give me a goodie bag, or a brand sending me free stuffs expecting i will write a post praising you to the gods, just don't. You'd be sorely disappointed *LOL*


I think that concludes all for now. 

WOW, this feels so liberating to write. I've been holding everything inside me (and to a few friends who would listen *LOL*) for so long that it almost feels like a rock has been lifted off my shoulders.

If anyone's reading this, thank you. I know it's a long ass one hahaha.

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  1. Gw juga bukan vlogger dan gak pengen jadi vlogger. Tp taun lalu ada brand yg nanya dan ternyata mau ngasih fee lumayan kalo gw bikin video. Akhirnya bikin dan ternyata fun lho bikin vlog Hahaha
    tp tetep aja gak mau bikin lg kalo gak dibayar... Makan waktu soalnya ngedit nya haha

    1. Gw mau kok kalo cuma di suruh bikin video Man, sering juga d mintain video sm brand. Yg gue keberatan itu kalo di tanyain jumlah subbies secara gue gak punya subbies ahahahaha

  2. Setuju banget sama postingan mu!!
    Banyak orang salah persepsi dengan kegiatan blogging.. Nice post, Mindy! :D
    Anw, mind to follow my blog back via gfc? :D

    Mei Mei

  3. laughing from the beginning to the very end, ce Mindy..
    i love your writings by the way :)


    1. Aww thank you Vitrie, you totally made my day :)

  4. "Especially when a brand pretty much provides nothing but expect you to keep on promoting them(and if you promote enough then you'd get a meager prize)" LOLOL XD brand sapa ya ini ya sapa ya