Well the short answer; of course, is that they don’t. Some do but you could be forgiven for hearing figures for the average ad campaign and believing we’re all rolling in cash and that’s just not the case.
Yesterday; while working on a video for a brand, my Dad made the comment ‘I just don’t understand how a couple of hours of work can justify X amount of money’. Usually I laugh and agree when people say that, sometimes it does seem silly to get (for example) £100 to post a picture on instagram or even £1000 for a video on YouTube. If you tot up the hours it takes to create the content, edit the content, promote the content – all that jazz, it’s still a lot broken down as an hourly rate.
I usually brush these things off because I don’t think it’s justified in ‘the real world’ but something struck me yesterday and paused my stock response. I may get these gigs from time to time that feel ‘lucky’ but 1. I have no idea when the next one will come and 2. I have no idea if any of them will actually follow through and pay me. On top of that, how did I get offered that job in the first place?
I work ‘hard’ (long hours – I’m not working down the pit) every week to produce content that nobody is paying me for. For this blog, for my YouTube channel, for instagram (although that doesn’t feel like work – more chatter) and what I earn from ad revenue on those things is not nearly enough to pay my bills. I did it for years without earning anything at all and it takes up a huge chunk of my life.
I know that most of you reading this are au fait with this lifestyle at this stage but whether you’re a reader who doesn’t ‘get it’ or a fellow blogger who has those same feelings of inferiority as I did, I wanted to share my little revelation.
Let’s say you’re working in an office and getting £10 a day. Once a month there’s a big stack of work that the boss hands to one person and that person gets a bonus of £2000 if they complete it. You don’t know who they’re going to choose but chances are that it will be the person who works the hardest or even the person that they like the most. You’re working for little money all month and if you get that bonus, you’ll have earned it.
It’s a strange job and when I hear of the big paydays some people get (and nobody really knows, do they? It’s all just rumour) even I roll my eyes from time to time but the truth is, they’re not getting paid for that job. They’re getting paid for the hours of work they’ve put in to put themselves in the position where this brand will pay them this money to promote them. It’s not the purpose of blogging but it’s the only way it’s sustainable.
I’m not sure I’ll ever feel confident enough to leave my office job and rely on my blogging income because it’s just so irregular. At the time of writing I’m waiting on 4 late invoices and we’re well in to the Christmas countdown. It’s not ideal and a really sucky side to it all but I’m grateful that 8 years on people are still reading/watching (however few) and I’m still being offered these little gigs to allow me to spend the time I do on the internet stuff.
Not a rant, more of a stream of consciousness after a conversation with my Dad who (definitely wasn’t intending to be rude but) still doesn’t really understand what I do.