When I started my blog/recipe development pages three summers ago, I did so to kill time and to keep myself intellectually stimulated and busy between jobs. I had given myself a couple of months to recalibrate after being worn down and worn out by a terrible employer, and I took to documenting a few recipes as a way of holding myself accountable. I needed structure in my day and my hands were itching to create. It started out with simple ideas (bread, crumbles, cookies and pies) but soon my blog morphed into restaurant reviews, travel posts, and a journal-like storytelling of my infertility struggle.
Fast forward to 2020 and I am working, regularly, with clients across the country on campaigns that I am extremely proud of. Whether it’s working on holiday menus for apple farmers, or writing posts for Dollywood, each and every piece of work I do is genuine and something I am delighted to work on. For a time, I wanted to do anything and everything – “give me all the freebies! I’ll promote you, I’ll promote whatever you send me! You don’t even have to pay me!” but where is the heart and soul in that? It took me a while to realise, but making deeper, more meaningful connections with brands means I produce more meaningful content, whether directly for them, or something I share myself. Of course I’m not going to say no to being sent a product to try, but if I wouldn’t really use it, or if it is completely off brand, I decline. I know who I am.
Long gone are the days where I worked for just the product. Now I demand, and receive, what I am worth. This allows me to reinvest in myself – whether it is taking classes to improve my photography, purchasing a newer, smarter lens or camera, or upgrading my props or backdrops, I am now running a business. Getting paid my worth also establishes me as an investment to brands: I charge as much as I do because I am good at what I do. Sure I have a ways to go and I’m not quite demanding five figure checks (yet) but for now, clients and brands are working with a content creator who is enthusiastic, clever, artistic, and reputable. As I mention in my media kit, “my love of food and travel is documented through innovative, inviting photography and relatable, realistic writing” and I’d like to think that just one look at the food content on my blog and Instagram serves as a testament to that statement.
Today I don’t have nearly as much time as I would like to have to pour into my blog. I set aside a few hours each weekend to develop recipes for one of my regular brands, but evenings and weekends are now all about family. When the right brief falls into my lap, however, I clear the books and throw myself into a collaboration with such vigour and enthusiasm, it makes me wish I could do this for a living. Autumn is by far my busiest season in terms of paid blog work due to all the holidays being squeezed in to the last three months. Halloween is not one I’ve tackled yet, but stay tuned for some incredible recipes and campaigns for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year!
Thank you for following me, cheering me on, sharing my posts, and commenting and liking. Every interaction is such a win for me, and it warms my heart and fuels my fire. Here’s to the next 100 posts, and to knowing my worth and adding tax.