How I’ve Grown As a Lifestyle Blogger Over The Years

The blogging industry have definitely come a long way over the past decade. I was merely thirteen years old when I started my first blog in 2008, not knowing what I was doing nor any idea what a blog was. I’m twenty-six years old this year – literally half of my life is spent as a blogger, if I could call myself that. From a girl who was only starting high school to a university graduate with two kids, my blog has seen all of it.

Back then, everyone and their mother were blogging for fun. No one thought that you could make money out of blogging, having only thought that blogging was just a fun hobby where you could be nosy of other people’s life and not being called a creep for knowing too much about their breakups or weekend rendezvous or what they ate for lunch two days ago.

And then bloggers started making money from their blog.

I don’t know how or when it happened, but when I received my very first sponsored post in 2016, I was ecstatic! It wasn’t that great of a deal, I had to create a post and in return I received cash voucher to spend at their website which come to think of, is a loss on my part because in the end I was ‘returning’ the money I made to them. But it was an experience nonetheless. I couldn’t complain much as I was a small blogger and getting compensated for our own work is a huge joy!

Things sort of fell into place after that. I received more and more sponsored post opportunities with monetary compensation. It was great, to date I have made thousands from my blog. I received products to review as well. However, not every opportunity that came my way made it to my blog. I started being more vigilant of what I put up and collaborations that didn’t align with my blog or my own life principles got thrown away or dismissed in my hundreds of emails.

I was once offered to write about electronic cigarettes for USD500. The money was good but unfortunately I do not condone smoking or vaping so I had to say no. For a 23-year-old university student (this happened a few years ago), that 500 dollars when converted into my currency (around RM2000++) could help a lot! Similar thing happened to Jennifer Wakumelo, a food blogger from Real Food To Heal who received a strange brand request to write about slot game for Android phone on her health blog. Health blog and slot games do not go together at all and kudos to Wakumelo for declining and staying firm on her branding.

It definitely wasn’t easy for me – at least – to say no to that much money.

However, in this era where everything is online and social media presence is important to brands to boost their sales, I kind of understand why brands use the influencer marketing approach to boost their sales. Everyone has a smartphone these days where everything and anything can be instantly shared with just a tap of a button. Moreover, it’s much more cost-effective for them to approach and sponsor influencers with a niche target audience rather than, say, putting an advertisement on televisions that costs an arm and a leg, and then some.

In my opinion, this is a great opportunity for small bloggers like me to make some money as side income especially in this COVID pandemic where a lot of us are facing financial difficulties. I see it as a win-win situation for both parties. Brands can promote their products by sponsoring influencers and in return we receive some sort of compensation for our work. If you can make some money from something that you do during leisure time, I think that’s a huge plus point, don’t you think?

How have your blogging game changed over the years?