Why I deleted my affiliate accounts

Sunday, 26 February 2017
I've been blogging for almost a year now; albeit very much part time. I don't stick to a schedule, I don't schedule tweets and blog posts to generate page views.. I sort of just plod along and post when I feel like it.

The main reason for that is that it was never my intention to start a blog because I wanted it to become my job. I have a job that I am really passionate about, and it has nothing to do with social media, advertising or, in fact, anything creative! I didn't start a blog because I wanted to make it into a business, or for it to become a main source.. no.. any source of income. That just wasn't my aim. 

Knowing that I've been blogging for almost a year means I've been looking back over old posts thinking about the things I write about and what I plan to write about. In particular, my first ever post. Start as you mean to go on. Except I didn't.

I feel like I fell at the first hurdle. I got enticed in by affiliate linking, advertising, being "PR friendly". I somehow got convinced that I needed to sign up for these opportunities and advertise my want to work with brands, to endorse brands... but I really don't! I did get sucked in by them, and it changed how I started writing my blog, even at this incredibly early stage. I don't want to work in advertising, so why did I start up these accounts and let them influence the way I write my blog posts?

But also, I cant help but notice that lots of bloggers recently are making an effort to stand up to PR companies; some of whom, are trying to convince bloggers to use follow links (a big no-no), try and get free advertising from blogs, and pay an absolute pittance for someone else to write creative content for them. There's also the fact that affiliate linking has become a booming business for the brands.. but not so much for the bloggers. If anyone is not familiar with affiliate linking, it means that someone has to click the link in your blog, go to the website, and buy something. Then the blogger gets about 10p. OK maybe that's an exaggeration, but its not far off.  Why on earth would I want to let that sort of industry influence the way I write?

Let me just say that, there are a lot of bloggers and advertisers (no, I will not use the phrase influencer.. because put simply, it means advertiser) who do this full time and do a great job, and make money from it. And those are the people that should be using those accounts, because they're good are it. But I'm not. Its just not me. I honestly have the utmost respect for anyone that starts a business, website, or even a successful social media account, and can make a living from it. It takes time, and dedication, and it doesn't happen overnight. But I don't know how i got this idea.. This need, to want to be a part of something that so obviously isn't me. I am not, and never will be, a perfectly styled flat lay, copper accessories, marble backgrounds kind of girl. I am a, not wash my hair for a week, handbag full of crumbs and receipts, maker of ugly (but yummy) food. And that's fine by me.

I'm sure there will be people that read this and misconstrue what I'm trying to get across; this isnt about anyone else or any other blogs. There are a million bloggers out there all writing about the things they care about; and they're all good for their own reasons. This post is simply about losing my way, in the blogging sense. About missing the point. And about giving up on my intentions far too early. And its time to change that.

I started this particular blog for two reasons. I wanted to write, about stuff. Things. Whatever pops into my little brain. But I also wanted to use the blogging platform as an excuse to do more. Adventure more. Try more things and go more places. Prise myself off of the sofa and do something worth writing about. And if that's interesting to some other humans out there, then that's awesome! And if its not, that's 100% OK. For me, it's not about analytics, page views, affiliate links, brand collaborations, media packs, whatever. 

Its not a case of saying that I will never want to advertise on my blog, or never even considering working with a company or brand. But my blog needs to find its place in the world first. And whatever comes off of the back of that, or not, cool. It'll be natural, it'll flow, it'll make sense. But until then, all my affiliate accounts are gone. And its back to being about me.