I’m Not Cut Out to Be an Influencer

Not too long ago, I was on a journey to brand and possibly monetize this blog. So, I signed up at an influencer network site.

I’m sure these networks operate similarly, or maybe completely differently, but I’m also sure I ended up signing up for this particular one for a reason. This isn’t to say these networks are bad. Indeed, I have a respect for the millions of people who use and profit from them.

It’s just not my cup of tea.

For a few weeks, I would check and see what opportunities were being sent my way. There weren’t any I could do and was interested in, until recently. So, I looked at the requirements.

No criticism of the product allowed.

Okay. I get it. Why would a company pay someone to criticize their product? Of course that makes sense!

BUT!

I write book reviews. I write honest book reviews. I go on about what I loved and didn’t like and have zero problems saying a book was worth only one cup of tea. Or even that I ended up abandoning it because it was that atrocious.

But it sounds like, to be an influencer, I would have to sing a product’s praises.

Well, that would just put me in trouble. Who are you going to believe: the honest book reviewer who writes good and bad things or the influencer wannabe who gives everything 5 perfect golden teapots?

And then I got to thinking about what influence is. Personally, I don’t put much stock in what other people tell me I should try, not even my mom or best friends. Sure, I’ll take the information, but then I’ll spend a significant amount of time reading up on it before I decide if it’s something I and my family actually need. Most of the time, I decide it’s not worth it. So, clearly not influenced!

As an influencer, it would be my job to get people interested and to get them to buy. Being someone who doesn’t operate that way, I can’t in good faith do this. If I influence someone, it’s not intentional.

So, sorry, but I’m just not cut out to be an influencer. I’ll never make any money from it and, really, I have to wonder why I even want to do it. I never do anything for the money, so…why? Just…why?

I love my blog the way it was early this year. It’s a place where I can share, a place where I can just write and enjoy the conversations and engagement. If I talk about a product, it’s probably a book or something my family really, sincerely loves, but I still wouldn’t try to convince a single human being to buy it, too. I try my best to be frugal. I respect that other bloggers are probably doing the same. So, I’m not going to try to sell something to you. Promise.

  1. Alex

    Just keep doing what you’re doing. As Alan Watts says (a little tongue in cheek) “that’s the only way to become a master at something, is to keep at it. And when you become a master at it, eventually you can charge a good fee for it” 😉

    • kat

      That’s so very true! People so often get hung up on making money right from the start that they forget to hone their craft to make it appealing. Thank you, and thank you so much for your delightful comment!

  2. bitsanddragons

    You are an influencer. Simply you are *not* this type of influencer, the type they do whatever they can for money. Please don’t change, what you write is always fresh and it makes me think. That is to say, it influences me (tachan!)

    • kat

      Thank you, you are so very kind! I’ve never been one to do things for the sake of money. But the inspirational part of being an influencer, well, I’ll take that! Thank you so much for being such a loyal reader! It really means the world to me.

  3. Shannon

    That’s right! An honest review is the best review and even the product is not the best for you it may be good for someone else. They should know criticizing their products is the best way to improve.

    This is part of the reason I chose the Amazon Affiliate program. I choose the products I can relate to and actually use in home. My blog is all about being a mom so the options go on and on.

    You could try them out if you’re interested. Your blog isn’t self hosted so you would have to use the image only option when displaying the product but you get paid when someone purchase that item either way.

    • kat

      Exactly! I would hope that most people value honesty. I have no problems singing a product’s praises if it’s genuinely that good, but I need that option of saying what I didn’t like. Consumers are entitled to that, I would hope.

      The Amazon program is a very good one. I did try it out, but found I simply wasn’t writing about many products, so I left. But maybe one day, especially as my son prepares to start school, I’ll look back into it. It would be lovely to one day make a penny from my blog, and even more lovely to do it under my own terms.

      • Shannon

        You are absolutely right and I think it’s wrong for them to ask that of you. Just a shame they did that.

        Yeah that’s how I started off at first not really writing about their products with my first blog. You are writing books reviews maybe the books are on Amazon. I tried that too and loved it.

  4. OneLife

    There is no harm in making money but I second your thoughts on influencing people. It’s so heartening to hear the respect you have for your readers and that’s what makes you who you are :).

    • kat

      Thank you so much! I think that’s the dream: to be able to make money from blogging, or anything one enjoys. But to just do it solely for the money feels cold and impersonal. Influence is a powerful thing and should be wielded correctly, even though it so often isn’t.

  5. jordanquirkcole

    I feel very similarly! I have the same desire to be an influencer but am faced with the same feeling of not wanting to only pump out positive reviews for certain products. I respect other people that participate in it, I just can’t bring myself to do the same thing.
    I appreciate your honesty though, and I think that’s a big part of why I will forever be a reader of your blog. Other bloggers are not always so transparent and authentic.

    • kat

      Influence is a powerful thing and I commend anyone who can do it, and do it well. But there’s also a feeling of selling one’s soul, at least there is to me, that makes me reluctant, though how nice would it be to be able to make money from blogging? I’m so glad to know there’s someone else who feels the same way, especially when it seems like most bloggers are going down this path. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and I’m quite honored you enjoy my blog so much! It really means a lot to me, and I hope I can always be transparent and authentic.

  6. Unconventional Mami

    Hey, Kat! I am catching up on WordPress, since I’ve been m.i.a. for almost three months. Your post could not have come at a better time. Not sure if you know what’s been going on in the world of beauty influencers lately. Let’s just say there are few well known ones out there with their past coming back to bite them in the arse. Anyway, I’m glad that you chose not sacrifice your integrity, passion, and honesty for the sake of monetizing. Im hoping you’ll have the opportunity to profit from blogging soon. You’re good at! I mean really good at it! 😊

    • kat

      I hadn’t heard of what’s been going on, so of course had to do some reading on it. Greed and money unfortunately drive this world, but so many people can get hurt in the process. The social media-influencer cycle will constantly churn out good and bad eggs. But the whole process just puts my stomach in knots. Is making money more important than integrity? It would be lovely to make something of this blog, but they say the journey is more important than the destination, so I’m happy taking it slow, staying true to me, and just see what chooses to fall my way. Thank you so much for your lovely words! They really mean a lot to me, and I hope to see more of you around in the blogging world!

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