Saying “No” to Brands

I’ve been blogging for several years now and at least once a month I’ll get an email that goes something like this:

Hi Mary,

Wow, we love your blog, and I think that we have a great idea for a post! What would you think about writing about *insert random idea here that probably doesn’t fit in with blog at all*. What do you think? Here are some examples, and let us know if you want more details!

All the best,

Very Generic name here

So I usually reply:

Good *insert time of day* Generic Name!

I’m so happy you like my blog and I really like that idea. I would love more information! I am attaching my media kit so you are aware of my rates.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Mary

Then I usually get a reply that goes like this:

Hi Mary,

Thanks for a prompt response! So happy you like the idea, unfortunately, at this time we are unable to compensate. However, we would love to share your blog (if we like it enough) on our website and with our social media followers.

Please consider our offer and let me know if you decide to go ahead. We would really like to work with you.

*Generic Name*

To which I will respond,

*Generic Name*

I understand, however, as a person who needs an income at this time I unable to give out my services for free. I hope you can understand that. As I love the idea, if you ever find the budget for me, please let me know and I would be more than happy to work with you on this project.

Best,

Mary

Now honestly depending on my mood I’ll just stop responding, however, I’m very tired of offers that will not profit me or my readers. My media kit is actually very generous, I don’t charge nearly as much as I should, and I give the option of NO MONEY! Just a discount code for readers. I don’t want to hurt a startup trying to break into their industry, but that doesn’t mean I should let companies (that definitely have some type of marketing budget) take advantage of me.

Have I fallen for this before? Heck yes. Why? Becuase the people are so nice, they try to make a connection with you- it’s how they get free publicity. Once I started thinking about it though, it didn’t make sense. The only things I give free publicity to are services or products that I know and love. I shouldn’t be giving away my service for free to a company who wouldn’t even give me a sample of their service.

At the end of the day, you have to put you and your dignity above whether or not it will get you free publicity. All of their responses are contingent upon whether or not they like your work enough to share it, and honestly, you might have more “real” followers than them anyway. If a company is trying to use “smaller” bloggers to gain traction and attention, they might be doing some other undignified practices of gaining attention on social media.

Be careful and don’t let people take advantage.

 

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Dating Diaries: “Costco Sunglasses”

 

So I’m dating again. As you probably know, I hate dating. It’s the worst. But alas, I would like a boyfriend because one day I’d like to get married and have a family. However, it’s not going real great so far so I thought I would start a new series about dating*. I like to consider myself fairly low maintenance when it comes to men, I don’t want to be paid for (example A bought my own coffee), I’m fine making decisions for myself, and I don’t require excessive amounts of attention, all I ask is for them to be upfront with me.

This afternoon I went on a first date. Personally, I thought it went well. I did a lot to prepare, got a new outfit (okay I wanted an excuse for a new outfit), shaved my legs, used a facemask, did my makeup very well. To be honest, most of that was just needed as some mental self-care. Went to meet him at a local coffee shop, he was late and the wait at the place was 30 minutes so we walked to another. We sat in that coffee shop for almost two hours. Then, we walked all over downtown for nearly 3 hours. By the end of the date, it was nearly 5:30. He walked me to the car and said he would definitely text me with plans for another encounter. Well, he did.

However, he said that he didn’t think that we would be good romantically. THEN WHY THE HECK WOULD YOU LET ME GET BLISTERS WHILE WE WALK AROUND FOR THREE HOURS.

Hindsight, I definitely agree that we wouldn’t be good romantically agree. I mean, he showed up in plaid cargo shorts, what the boys in elementary school would wear! Add onto that his Costco sunglasses, he would need a little fashion change, and that’s coming from me who rarely matches. I realize this is something that makes me sound extremely shallow, and that there’s something wrong with all Costco sunglasses, or Costco in general and there isn’t. However, I think the look of the sunglasses, the fact that they were worn inside, and the plaid cargo shorts showed a level of immaturity that I’m passed at this point in my life.

I also had to push all of the conversations, ask so many questions, and just try hard. I definitely am just tired of being single and wanted it to work very badly. However, still a little offended he waited to text me that it wasn’t going to work out. We spent five hours together, plenty of time to tell me!

Be honest people. Dating attempt one: check.

*This segment is the first of an ongoing series about my life dating. I will go into things like waiting until marriage, what I’m looking for in a potential husband, as well as delving into my dates.

Baby Boomers are the Best and Millennials are the Worst

I am a millennial. Now before you try and fight me on it, just let me have it. I have done papers. I fall in the years of millennials so please don’t even go there. I’m not Gen Z. I am the “problem” generation.

I am constantly pulling HR articles for social media posting at work and so many I come across are about millennials in the workplace and essentially what a PIA we are. SHUT UP. PLEASE. SHUT UP.

Fact. I don’t care if a company gives me a t-shirt, lets me wear whatever I want, or has pets in the office. All of those are perks, but not the most prevalent ones. We still want retirement plans we still want benefits.

I don’t know why every person who is not a millennial knows what we want and I’m also very curious how you can generalize a whole generation. You simply can’t. We have Google, Facebook, Amazon, BuzzFeed, and all of the media giants of today influencing people’s opinions of millennials, but in all honesty, they’re just adding icing on the cake. Companies are taking their avant-garde ideas that they add as pluses to their other benefits, but are forgetting to give people the OG benefits that are expected with a salaried job.

Let’s take BuzzFeed for example, ask anyone interested in digital media between the ages of 15 and 25, I would say 80% of them would be willing to work for BuzzFeed and 90% would at least be willing to make an appearance in a video or have a Tweet quoted in an article. Yet, their turnover rate for a lot of their “successful” employees is extremely high. Search “Why I Left BuzzFeed” on YouTube and you will find a million and one reasons. However, most of these are either centered around not having enough money to scrape by, or not having enough control over their personal brand. Their casual dress code, puppies in the office, popular videos, and overall portrayed energy promotes an idea of ideal work/life balance and displays people who seem like they generally want to go to work. This is what people think of millennials

So take away the “millennial wants” from BuzzFeed, you would see the reality of the situation there. Less than thrilled employees, not making enough money, and you would see the reality of a high turnover rate. It’s the idea of the perks that appeal to millennials, but it’s not what keeps them. 

So just a question: Why are millennials treated like we are the glutens, goldfish, and idiots of the workplace? All we’re looking for is someone to leech off of until someone new comes along. We don’t have the focus or attention span to stay with a company very long. And last but not least, we don’t really know anything (on top of literally everything we have ruined like department stores and fancy napkins).

Social media, as much as I love and cherish it, has given baby boomer and gen x to become afraid of the power they do not understand and attack us verbally. Naturally, the hashtags they try to dominate with why we’re the worst are quickly taken over by millennial “trolls.” We are not the snowflake generation, we are just not afraid to stand up for what we believe in. We are not cry babies and whiners, we’re just saying what we think to a larger audience. I’m sure gen x and baby boomer did just as much complaining back in their day, they just didn’t have a platform that would allow it to be so widespread. Back in their day, it was 15 minutes of fame, not the kind of fame we see today and they’re scared.

Back off, let me live tweet your breakdown and go viral because of it. While you continue to complain about how millennials suck (on the internet when we use it too much apparently) you’re going to be missing a lot of success. Stop being a precious snowflake and realize that millennials are starting to dominate the workforce and there’s not much you can do to stop it at this rate. We aren’t taking your jobs, killing industries, or whatever else you want to blame us for. Next time, don’t ruin the housing market and maybe I’ll buy a house as soon as I have a stable job, but too bad you did. If you want something fixed, go shop at more department stores and fix it. 

The One-Size-Fits-All Blogging Method

I’m sure you’ve seen it, heck, maybe even my click bait title got you here, but here’s the thing: There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to blogging. According to the “experts”, I’m a failure. I’ve yet to make a dime off of this corner of the internet, so if that’s why you’re here you can click off this page.

Let’s be real, everyone wants to their blog to be successful. Most people would love to quit their job to work from home and make ridiculous amounts of money by blogging, here’s the thing: that’s not the reality.

If you get on Pinterest and look for “blogging tips” or really just anything to do with blogging, it’s all about trying to make $20,000 in the first month. Quite frankly unless you already have a huge online following, like Poppy Dayes, it’s not going to be your reality, well, unless you get super lucky.

So here’s my question: why do so many of those posts exist? How are there blogs dedicated to making money via blogging?

Personally, I believe that it’s because there are a handful of people in the “public” eye making buckets of money via social media, blogging, YouTube, etc. That’s not why people started doing those things though, they did them because they liked it. They fell into the money and now people see it as a get-rich-quick scheme.

It drives me crazy the number of posts I see on how to make $8,000 your first month blogging, or $20,000 your first three, or even “How I quit my six-figure salary full-time job to become a stay at home mom and blogger.” That’s not how it works for everyone. You need your blog to be filled with passion, good content, and it to be what you want it to be. If you formulate your whole blog around someone else’s definition of what a successful blog is, how does that make it any different from the 9-5 job you hate? You still aren’t doing what you love.

There isn’t a one-size fits all blogging method. Plain and simple. If it worked like that we would all be rich. While your content, SEO optimization, keywords, pictures, and outlook is all extremely important to blogging and striving to make money from it, there is an element of luck. The right people need to see your blog and think it’s good enough to be successful. At the end of the day, make it something you love and you’re proud of. Don’t worry if it translates into money or not, don’t count on it is my advice. If it happens, think of it as a happy surprise. If you’re going into it looking to be rich, I just don’t know how successful you will be.

I would be lying if I said that blogging full time isn’t my dream career because it is. There are a few things in life I’m passionate about and blogging is the biggest one. I’ve been doing this for almost four years and I’ve made microscopic amounts of money from it, but it doesn’t matter. I love every second that I’ve poured into my corner of the internet. I treasure every person that I can call a friend because I decided to write a blog. I have a job with benefits because this blog is what made me passionate about the internet. Take those things into account if your blog isn’t literally paying off because psychologically it probably is. There’s no way I would be where I am today without this site.

Blog because you love it. Blog because it will change your life. Blog because you want to. Don’t blog to make six-figures a year.

What do you think?

30 Things Before 30

I’m getting old, my mom won’t like to read it but it’s true. I will be 23 by mid September. I started a big girl job. I’ve been eating salad. You know, adult things. So 30 is just under 7 and a half years away and there’s a lot I would like to do between now and then so I thought I would share my 30 things before 30 list!

  1. See at least 30 states.
  2. Get paid for a freelance gig.
  3. Travel to a new continent.
  4. Develop a healthy diet and regular exercise routine.
  5. Visit 7 new countries.
  6. Start the adoption process.
  7. Read 300 books.
  8. Curate a collection of my own recipes.
  9. Take three random classes just because.
  10. Go vegan for a month.
  11. Take a vacation just to relax.
  12. Buy a house.
  13. Volunteer using talents.
  14. Get Leslie a friend.
  15. Visit somewhere new for at least a month.
  16. Become a blogging “expert”.
  17. Make time for vacation every year.
  18. Create a budget and stick to it, allowing it to fluctuate as finances change.
  19. Learn how to let go of material items.
  20. Strive to spend majority of time with enjoyable tasks.
  21. Find a go-to therapist.
  22. Take a real picture everyday for a year.
  23. Post 700 blog posts.
  24. Take 20 minutes once a week to do nothing.
  25. Face a fear every year.
  26. Figure out how to use the Super 8 camera.
  27. Have a real “Treat Yo’ Self” day every year, but save for it.
  28. Live alone.
  29. Share passion with others.
  30. Make a positive impact on someone’s life.

What do you want to do before you turn 30?

The Newest Addition to My Life: Leslie Knope

As I mentioned briefly when we having coffee last weekend, I got a cat! She is five years old, rescued from a cat specific rescue league. Her name is Leslie Knope (but really goes by baby or sweetheart) and she is the most precious thing ever.

She doesn’t like to be held but she need to constantly be at my side.

 

 

If she’s not playing with my makeup brushes or jumping on and off the bed she is sound asleep at my feet or at my side.

 

So this is my kitty, Leslie.

Weekend Coffee Share: New Apartment

If we were having coffee we would be sitting in my unmade bed (the sheets are in the dryer) with Leslie Knope, my new cat. If we were having coffee, I would probably make you help me move my dresser out of the living room and into my new room, once we finished our coffees of course

If were having coffee I would talk too much because I’ve been alone in my apartment for two days with only my cat to talk to. I would tell you all about my new job and how I’m so excited to dive in with the real work this week.

If we were having coffee, after I went on and on about my job, I might ask you how you’re doing and what’s new with you, but it is sometimes more like me just to keep talking about myself. So then I would go on and on about how this blogging transition has been hard for me and content creating has become difficult. Not because I don’t like it, but because I’ve just been in a rut with my thoughts and ideas. I’m either too ambitious or too underwhelming.

If we were having coffee, I would probably give your the mini tour of my new apartment, and it would definitely be a mini tour. I’d tell you how excited I am to have an office, but since we’re still unpacking it’s pretty much unusable. I would also show you the coffee maker so we could make a second cup. Then we would go back to my bare bed because the dryer takes forever.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you what I should wear to work tomorrow, and then tell you about my idea for a photo shoot of different work outfits but I lack a photographer, since that is what I do for others. I would also tell you about all the ideas for that I would need help to accomplish which is sometimes very frustrating.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you for advice– what should I do with my life? Like yes, I have a job and I love it, but what should I be doing with the rest of my time, certainly not just watching Netflix and coloring like I have been. I just want to know what’s next.

If we were having coffee and our time was up, I would walk you to the door and thank you for coming. “I’ll see you next weekend my friend.”

It’s like I blinked…

This year I served as editor-in-chief for my college paper and I just wrote my last “From the desk of the editor.” In it I wrote about my college experience (it’s coming here soon) and I can’t get over how fast it all went.

It’s like I blinked and my life is totally different. It’s like I blinked and I’m 22. It’s like I blinked and it’s not my friends getting their permits anymore, it’s my little sister. It’s like I blinked an all of the people around me are new but wonderful. It’s like I blinked and I’m no longer just about to graduate high school.

This time four years ago I was ready to blink college away, ready to move out and get a job. I was going to college not because I wanted to keep learning but because it was a step in the right direction for what I wanted to do.

It’s like I blinked and all of the sudden I’m done. Handed in my last final, handed in my last project, and it’s done.

It’s like I blinked and the majority of my life that I’ve spent in a classroom is over. It’s like I blinked and college was done. It’s like I blinked and my friends are about to be dispersed across the country killing it at life. It’s like I blinked and I’m putting away all of my dorm stuff for the last time.

It’s crazy to think that my learning journey is nearly over. This blog has been with me through it all. It hold the crazy anxiety journey that I’ve been through over the past four years, all of the trials and tribulations of my life. My thoughts, opinions, adventures. Everything. My life for the past four years can be pieced together from the posts on this blog. It’s like I blinked through over 600 posts, four years of writing, what feels like a gazillion jobs, just everything. While, yes my college years are over, this blog is not. Be ready for that rebrand my friends.

What have you been blinking through?

Why Start a Blog?

Chances are if you found this post you’re on the fence about blogging, well I’m here to tell you why you should and how it will positively impact your life.

  1. It’s fun! Blogging is a good and creative outlet for all of your thoughts that get stuck in your head. You have something to look forward to when you’re bored or have an idea and you have somewhere to put it.
  2. The people and community. I have found that the people in the blogging world and the community that they hold together is simply amazing. While I may not have my own niche community (yet) I have found some great friends and people that have turned into friends, even though I have never actually met them.
  3. Learning more about yourself and the things you love. With communities, commenters, and friends you never knew shared common interests you can learn a lot about the things you love. However, in addition, just by writing consistently you can learn a lot about yourself.
  4. Remembering to write down and document all the really cool stuff that happens to you. There are things I would forget about if I didn’t blog about them. It’s like a virtual, public diary for me. It lets me remember all of the good things that have happened over the past four years (maybe some of the bad too but that’s okay) and that knowledge can help you grow.
  5. Writing helps everything. There is proof that writing is good for you. It stops you from forgetting a lot when you get old. It’s yet to work for me, but hey, it’s worth a try!
  6. Get different opinions! Tired of hearing the same things from your friends? Well ask some internet friends, get a new perspective on a problem you feel like you have exhausted your options on. Share stories of how other opinions have impacted your decision making!
  7. Peer validation!  I mean I’m not saying I need and/or crave peer validation, but it does make me feel better about myself. It helps me from feeling as if I’m the only one facing problems and that there are other people in the same exact place as me. On the other hand, it’s also nice to know people like my blog (if I’m going to get real honest here).
  8. Simple but still creative. Making a pretty website and expressing yourself in your own way can be so simple today. It doesn’t take a lot to click your favorite theme and run with it. You can still be creative with your writing and graphics, but there are very simple ways to handle it.
  9. Simply being creative. (Get it play from tip 8 I’m hilarious) Everyone should just be creative. Take the time and energy and put it into something you love. You have something you like, make it creative and put it in a blog!
  10. Share your thoughts/views/opinions! Everyone thinks, has views and opinions, so why not share them? Why not share your love of tomatoes, fashion, being a mom, makeup, or really just love of anything. There are people out there that you never knew shared the same interests.

Share with me why you started blogging and why you stuck with it! Don’t have a blog yet? Tell me what’s holding you up!

Late Night Blogging with Mary: Part 29

Once upon a time, I started this blog because I was going to college and I wanted to document the most mundane of adventures. Did I ever really do that? Not really. It has been three and a half years of rants, thought vomit, out of this world adventures, and sometimes just straight non-sense.

Yesterday, I hit 500 followers. I didn’t cry or shout like I thought I would (well I was at work) but I did get teary eyed. a little shaken and quite frankly a little overwhelmed. That’s a lot of people my friends.

Anyway, so thank you for that. It’s very moving.

Speaking of moving, I have been watching “Girl Boss” which is slightly inspiring. Like Sophia is a one-of-a-kind type of gal who doesn’t always do what’s best and not always what I would do. However, she is quite the go-getter, which is admirable. The show starts off with Sophia (the main character) going on about how being an adult sucks; which is a sentiment I am starting to sympathize with.

While applying for many, many jobs I have found it to be barely bearable. I’m honestly so over it. It’s so boring and excruciatingly painstaking. However, I shall press on and find a job that will do until I have a million children and can start up my mommy blog.

So here’s just a short little LNBM for now. Still working on the re-brand. I’d say by June it’ll be full swing.