Bloggers And Their Unrealistic Lives

Bloggers And Their Unrealistic Lives

There is an evolution process when you start blogging or at least there has been for me. The first time you receive an email from a brand asking to send you some products you are dizzy with excitement. Then you become overwhelmed by the amount of emails and finally you get to a point (where I am now) where you just think, this isn’t realistic, no one has this much stuff. Some days I even think maybe I am becoming a bit of a dick. (Do not nod in agreement here guys)

I am still such a newbie to this industry and maybe that is why I find it all a little uncomfortable. I just feel so conscious that I am in an ego driven industry. That focus’ on the ‘look what I have’ culture. It is such a contrast to my previous job working with the elderly. I am taking a lot of nice things from the universe and not giving enough back. In other words my Karma cup is running low.

Shirt The White Company Bag Soi 55 Lifestyle Jeans The White company Shoes M&S

There was even a point at the start of the year where I received parcels every single day for nearly a month. The post man was livid. Poor John. Obviously these ‘freebies’ are so much more than that. Brands don’t think ‘Oh Cara, she’s so sweet. I will send her a jumper to make her happy’. Influencer marketing is having a massive impact and the benefits for the brand outweigh the benefit to little old me receiving something. But you guys know that. You know how it works.

So what’s my problem? I guess it is because only two years ago I wasn’t earning as much. I felt inadequate not being able to buy new things. Thinking about that time has been a real reality check for me. It is why I am really clear about what has been gifted to me, what I have received as part of an AD and what I have purchased myself. It is also the reason I know turn down 90% off what brands want to send. Some of the things I have said no to will haunt me forever. (I am still talking about that £1000 coffee machine.)

I obviously feel extremely lucky to have the opportunities that I have and often pinch myself when big brands get in touch. It has opened my eyes to that old age problem of comparing myself to others though. I think what I want to say is that if I look at my own life and think its unrealistic then you should definitely do the same. Don’t compare yourself to anyone and especially not bloggers. With our gifted clothes, hairdos and National trust passes. (I don’t have one of those FYI) It is the weirdest job in the world to have and I am still not comfortable saying it is my job.

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31 Comments

  1. May 16, 2018 / 9:54 am

    I’m so glad someone finally mentions this. Because lately I’ve been having a hard time identifying with all the bloggers out there. Their lives are just so different to mine that I often find myself jealous, angry, disappointed and so much more. It’s a mix of emotions really. And it all stems from the fact that all we ever do these days is compare ourselves. It’s always about who has more and who has better things… And then I keep asking myself how bloggers could change that. And honestly… I have no idea. Because if you are a blogger, your job depends on you having all these things and showing them to others… It’s indeed a very strange world we live in.

    • Cara
      May 16, 2018 / 9:56 am

      I completely agree. It is difficult as I earn money from showing new products BUT the reality is that before blogging I would never have bought so many new products!

  2. Victoria
    May 16, 2018 / 10:09 am

    Thanks for sharing such an honest post. You share a lot more of yourself than you do products, which is refreshing, as a lot of Instagram accounts that belong to bloggers just have feeds full of advertising.

    • Cara
      May 16, 2018 / 10:10 am

      Thank you. I would hate people to think all I do is sell to them!

  3. Caroline
    May 16, 2018 / 10:19 am

    Very honest and refreshing. Might there be a way to publicise everything, but then auction some items to your followers for charity? Maybe to Teddy’s legacy?
    Btw I think you strike a really good balance, and I love the dry humour!

    • Cara
      May 16, 2018 / 10:20 am

      Hi Caroline, I have just started to research some charitable options! Thank you x

  4. May 16, 2018 / 11:49 am

    This is probably the first blog post I have read where someone is completely honest and open so thankyou! It is very very hard for us normal mums to not be jealous about wot bloggers get for free I mean we would all love a freebie especially clothes. Realistically we understand the effort and hard work behind the scenes but will always be a little envious and thinking how can we be like them! This is refreshing to read. I am a nurse on maternity leave and wish I could blog and earn an income to stay at home with my babies instead of going back to nightshifts and no sleep!

    • Cara
      May 16, 2018 / 12:01 pm

      I feel for you, night shifts are so so tough!

  5. Jayne
    May 16, 2018 / 11:57 am

    Oh Cara, you are such a breath of fresh air. Keep on just being you xxxx

    • Cara
      May 16, 2018 / 12:01 pm

      Thank you Jayne!

  6. Hannah
    May 16, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    Love this!! Such a refreshing post to read. I’ve really fallen out of love with a lot of blogs recently because they all seem unrealistic but, I still love reading yours and your instastories often have me giggling because you’re so dry and ‘to the point’, which is exactly how my closest mum friends are. Keep doing what you’re doing. I think you’re paving the way for a new blogging movement here. i.e. Cutting the bullshit.

    • Cara
      May 16, 2018 / 12:23 pm

      Oh my. Thank you Hannah. I am always surprised (and thrilled) when people get my sense of humour!

  7. Helen
    May 16, 2018 / 12:24 pm

    Cara, I loved reading this but, at the same time, I felt a little concerned (possibly incorrectly, it’s the mother in me) that you feel you have to justify your new career because of how SOME people perceive what you do. You have a valid and perfectly acceptable place in the marketing world. You and your blogger peers are simply replacing old fashioned advertising and selling your sponsored content in more fun, three dimensional way. Yes, I’d like to see how a dress hangs on a real person, not one rigidly posing on a set with god knows what holding everything in place. Yes, I’d actually like to see how YOU style that ottoman or cushion in three different ways according to your latest faffing session. If people can’t accept that, then they have to examine themselves not you. I don’t think your karma cup is remotely empty if you retain compassion and kindness in your every day life.

    Critics are well able to take a leap of faith and do this too if they want all the ‘things’. But it takes hard work and I imagine it’s that which makes them uncomfortable.

    Keep on keeping on (but only if you love it). You’re human, you’re bloody entertaining and I hope you get the coffee machine one day. 😉

    xx

    • Cara
      May 16, 2018 / 12:27 pm

      Thank you. I think I just wanted people to know that I know the amount of free stuff is ridiculous and not necessarily relatable at times. I am so new to this job and I still feel like it is such a whirl wind! Thank you for being lovely though. xx

  8. kathy
    May 16, 2018 / 1:03 pm

    So glad to read this Cara. Thanks for being honest and it is so refreshing in this instagram bubble. I too love your sense of humor!

  9. Lyndsey
    May 16, 2018 / 1:07 pm

    I love this. For me I see it as flicking through a magazine but that I really really like everyone in the magazine. I only follow people who positively influence me so although it’s advertising,it’s tailored to my likes and I WANT to see it. And don’t get me wrong yes I wish I had more cash to buy everything I like but I’ve realised the happiness in purchasing is short lived. For me Instagram is capturing the happy bits of each day and if you just so happen to be wearing a great dress doing it then 🙌🙌 ultimately the women I follow feel like personal shoppers to me-I spend less time shopping and have gained so much confidence -finally feeling like I’ve found my [copied from all the lovely bloggers I follow] style at 33! Thank you xx

  10. May 16, 2018 / 5:07 pm

    This is why I love you Cara! You just put it out there and say it how it is! I’m all for brands working with bloggers but it’s the oversharing of random shit that probably won’t ever get used or shared agains or when a brand works with so so many bloggers and then they all share the same thing all at the same time. I can’t cope with that. Work with brands that you are passionate about and keep that shit real! 😘

  11. Pru
    May 16, 2018 / 8:25 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for being so honest and open. I follow you because you’re real, bloody hilarious and just so bloody honest!! Sadly life has become so capitalistic and it’s all about being flash and show off.. I unfollow accounts who step away from their niche with ads just it seems for the free stuff and lots of bloggers do every single story on a “ look what I’ve got” I understand bloggers are there to make money but if they’re influencers they have a responsibility to their followers and how they make their followers feel about themselves says a lot about them. You’re a breath of fresh air Cara keep doing what you’re doing xx

  12. Selina
    May 16, 2018 / 10:45 pm

    Love your honesty. I’ve unfollowed so many people as their blogs are now just based on advertising. Keep doing what you’re doing. 😀

  13. Tina
    May 17, 2018 / 5:38 am

    Do you not the see the irony in a post that proclaims to hold a mirror up at the materialistic world of blogging – with a load of affiliate links in it!

    • Kelly
      May 17, 2018 / 8:04 am

      Spot on Tina! A post I almost started to get until I seen the ‘shop the look’ at the bottom.

      Bla bla I’m so lucky and humble… bla bla I’m so overwhelmed by all the free stuffI get sent… oh and btw if you want to buy the clothes on wearing, here is a link and I get a % of what you buy. *facepalm*

      • Cara
        May 17, 2018 / 8:15 am

        Actually I disagree guys. This post isn’t about me earning money from my job. I am comfortable that I do that. It is about all the free products and how that lifestyle isn’t necessarily attainable.

        • Kelly
          May 17, 2018 / 9:39 am

          I get that. I commend you on turning this into a great career as i am aware that there is a lot of work and time involved. However I am just getting tired of all these ‘humble’ bloggers who are constantly mentioning about how grateful theu are for all the gifted stuff they get that they know their followers could never afford.. why not auction your free gifts for charity or do giveaways for your followers (that doesn’t involve a like and share).

          In addition..something to think about.. If you look at the comments you have received on here from your post…the majority them have been extremely positive yet you have put the most effort and words into replying to those who have critiqued you rather than praised you. To me, that shows alot.

          If you agree with what you are doing, and you are obviously doing it well that youve made a career and following out of it then don’t defend yourself and focus on those supporting you. As a blogger, you open your life to be critiqued so you need to accept that not everyone is going to love what you do.

          All the best in the future.

          • Cara
            May 17, 2018 / 9:43 am

            I completely do accept not everyone will agree with me. I did take the same amount of time to reply to as I did any other comment. I think potentially you are just assuming I have reacted in a certain way to your comment. I haven’t, I just said that I disagreed with you.
            Thank you for taking the time to talk about your opinion. As always I am open to debate.

  14. Lottie
    May 17, 2018 / 8:03 am

    I feel like this is half an article. Where’s the suggestion of what next? How do you propose to improve the situation?

    • Cara
      May 17, 2018 / 8:32 am

      I don’t have the answers. I hope by being honest in writing pieces like this people will be clearer about the industry.

      • Lottie
        May 17, 2018 / 10:07 am

        So you’re content to acknowledge your job is to sell a lie and leave it there? You are the future of this ‘industry’, surely someone can add some value to consumers? Remember the days when it used to be about reviewing products and separating the freebies from the faff?

        • Cara
          May 17, 2018 / 10:09 am

          I have no idea what you mean by sell a lie? I am being honest about how the industry works from my perspective? What do you propose the solution is?

  15. Lottie
    May 17, 2018 / 10:20 am

    You put your name and personality to something that we follow, because we think that if you like it, perhaps it is worth liking, that is the essence of your employment. You have just acknowledged that you get more stuff than you need or use for yourself, it is too much and as you say in your title, it’s unrealistic – it’s a lie. Few people can afford to or really feel the need to try every new product or range that is presented, what we really need is someone to narrow down the plethora of options.

    Well done you for being honest, but I think your viewers are smarter than you give them credit for, that isn’t ground breaking, and they’re telling you that in the feedback above.

    You’ve been honest and highlighted a problem whilst also being honest about not caring that it’s a problem for us, not you.

  16. Michelle
    May 17, 2018 / 11:06 am

    You show us nice stuff. Some of it we can afford and some we can’t. Some of it we’ll like and some of it we won’t. It takes up your time to post, blog, test and review and you are paid to do that. Most of us understand that and are fine with it! You include other content besides what you’re selling – stuff about your house, family and dogs – it’s done with humour and is entertaining. I don’t see the problem with any of this. You are upfront about it all. Don’t feel guilty. If you can incorporate the idea that someone mentioned above, of syphoning some of it off to benefit charities, then yeah! It’s a win, win. There are always people who will moan about something. I suggest they log off! Enjoy your day x

  17. Nathalie
    May 17, 2018 / 1:46 pm

    Lovely, keeping up with the Jones’ is not a new thing. It’s just that our favourite bloggers are now the Jones’ rather than the n’bours, so-and-so from PTA, or such-and-such’s wife. The reason you’re in the position you are is because we as a following have gravitated towards you &,from what you’ve said, that has been a natural thing. You don’t seem to have really courted it, I remember reading that you had said you hadn’t used hashtags on Instagram, as well as being lovely, you can be snarky & self deprecating, you don’t seem to be putting on a Stepford-esque front to keep from alienating an audience. Maybe we all need to take a little responsibility for our own feelings, be grown-ups & realise there are a lot of brand relationships coming into play, & be happy that our favourite bloggers (who we have bought into on a personal level) are getting to experience & enjoy little luxuries. I think the fact that you are aware that this isn’t “normal life” & aren’t just taking up & backing everything that’s offered to you, shows that your karma cup’s just fine. In fact, maybe this is a little pay back for the nights away from your family, in a very emetionally charged, demanding job. Also, maybe the exposure you give when working with smaller, independent brands is a tick in your good karma column? I’m sure it make a huge difference to the owners of the small businesses you work with. I’m sad you feel a little undeserving of these things because I feel like you deserve them & I only laugh at your Instagram stories when I’m having a tough day, or read your blog when the baby’s giving me five mins & I want some “how to be cool” inspo, haha.

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