I still get taken aback when a stranger or friend asks me how much I make from my blog. There’s no beating around the bush. It’s always a straight out question and if I decide to give a vague response (because let’s be real, it’s no one’s business), they push for more specific answers. I’m assuming it’s because blogging is still an up and coming industry and a not-so-basic job. I also understand how confusing it must be to the non-blogger, a life filled with “free” clothes, glamorous events, unlimited salon services… even gifting suites where you are literally invited to a showroom and gifted one of everything you see. I get it. It’s a weird, weird life. I’m still not going to get into the nitty gritty numbers, but I will tell you that the majority of my revenue comes from company collaborations, and I’d be happy to shed some light on the topic with a Q&A of the most common questions I am asked.
Do companies actually send you stuff?
Yes, they do. I generally receive about 2-10 packages a week, all depending on how many collaborations I currently have in the works.
How do companies know what you’ll like?
Before a company sends me anything, they usually send me a link to their website or a lookbook of pieces I can choose from. I either send them a list of pieces I’d like to receive along with my size and address, or they send over a gift card code so I can shop for myself.
What if something doesn’t fit or you don’t like how it looks on you?
It’s important to stay true to your own style and brand, so if I receive something I truly don’t like, I tell the company. I simply tell them it didn’t work and ask if they’d be able to send over a new piece. Thankfully that’s only happened a couple times since I have years of practice shopping online and I also make sure to read the measurements beforehand so I know what to expect.
Do you get to keep everything?
Unless I’m borrowing a couture dress for a special photoshoot or event, I would not work with a company if I did not get to keep the pieces. There have been a few instances where I’ve done pulls simply because I needed a few more looks for a photoshoot, but in those cases, I keep everything on my terms with no requirements to post or tag. I simply borrow the clothing and return everything when I’m done. I avoid doing that though since there is too much liability.
How do companies find you?
Connections definitely come into play here. I constantly get email pitches from people I’ve met at networking events asking me to feature their products. For the most part though, I think companies find me through Instagram, either by randomly scrolling through feeds or by looking at who other bloggers follow. I have a lot of blogger friends and we all follow each other on Instagram so once they find one of us, it’s only a matter of time before they find the rest.
Companies pay you too??!!
This usually comes as the biggest shock to non-bloggers. “So, you get free clothes AND you get paid??” Here’s where I tell you just how much I hate the term “free clothes.” Let me tell you, they are anything but free. Every time a company sends me a tee shirt, that’s another Sunday I have to dedicate to waking up early, getting my hair done, doing my makeup, finding a photographer, and spending the day, whatever the weather, posing for hours on end. I then have to edit the photos, schedule them across social media, and write a blog post. That tee shirt definitely did not come free. That doesn’t mean I always get paid, but when I don’t, I make sure it’s worth it.
What was the most expensive thing you’ve ever received?
To be completely honest, I have no idea. I don’t usually look at the prices when I tell a company what I want.
What’s the difference between a collaboration and gifting?
A collab is a pre-negotiated arrangement. Whatever the specific terms, you guarantee to post about that company in exchange for product and/or money. Gifting is simply when a company sends over presents without any expectation that you’ll post. Sometimes this is done as a way to say thank you for working together previously. Other times it’s just a way for a brand to get on your radar.
Feel free to shoot me an email with any additional questions!