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5 Things You Shouldn’t Say To A Blogger

Today I found a great post  (Things I Wish People Knew About Being Self Employed) that had me nodding my head because it was so true. It made me think about all the things people say to bloggers that make us cringe, roll our eyes and sometimes want to slam our heads on the desk (or theirs…. head, not desk). If you’ve been blogging for a while you’ll probably find your own trigger phrases somewhere in this list.

Anything about getting stuff “for free”

Day in and day out I hear this complaint the most (and share their annoyance). Blogging isn’t a magical button that we push and free stuff materializes in our living room. True, we are sent items and services that we don’t pay for out of pocket. However, we work before, during and after for those things.

Blogging (done correctly) requires many hours a day. Testing, writing, photographing, editing, promotion, video and more all go into one product review. You also don’t get fabulous offers right out of the gate. That blogger you envy because she just got a ‘free’ refrigerator? She spent 2 – 3 years working on her site to get to that point.

“Teach me how to get things for free”.  This drives me bonkers.  It isn’t free.  I get the products, sometimes have to assemble them, use it, take photos and sometimes videos, write the article, edit the article, add links, edit photos.  A good 2-3 hours for one article. – Nichol, KiddiesCorner Deals

“You just get to go there and/or get that for free?” As if I am not doing any reciprocating work for the brand. Grr – Nothing is free! –  Joy, JoyfulMusings

“My husband said to me tonight. “You’re a blogger, why didn’t you just tweet to get that new stove top you wanted?” …Ugh. – Anne-Marie, ThisMamaCooks


Calling it a hobby, project or a waste of time.

You don’t have to punch a clock every day to have a real job. There’s no denying that making my own schedule and staying in my pajamas if I want to is awesome. You won’t hear me disagree, there are definitely perks. But, what I’m wearing, or where I’m sitting, doesn’t change the fact that I work anywhere from 6 – 10 hours a day, including weekends – as do most successful bloggers. If you want a a profitable blog, you can’t type for 30 minutes and then take the rest of the week off. We work full time hours, and most of us work hard. It’s not a hobby, it’s a career.

A lot of people act like I don’t work or have a job, which drives me nuts. It usually comes out in little passive aggressive comments, like, “It’s a good thing you don’t work so you have time to concentrate on your cookbook.” Or “Are you going to start looking for a job soon?” Just because I’m self-employed doesn’t mean I don’t have a job! – Kiersten, OhMyVeggies

“When are you going to return to your real job?” – said to Penelope, PenelopesOasis

“You don’t need to spend so much time on a computer.” – said to Crystal, TidbitsOfExperience

“You shouldn’t call your self a blogger, you need to say writer or people won’t take your serious.”  – Said to Jessica, ThatTechChick

“You still doing that blogging thing?” Like it’s been some sort of temporary, silly little hobby. Yeah, for the last 10 years now – and most of that full time, too! – Anne-Marie, ThisMamaCooks


Can you get me (fill in the blank) for free? – Dee, DeeSaysBlog

It’s amazing that this happens often enough to mention it. You’ve been working hard – often for years – and a friend says, “I really want that new coffee maker. Can you use your blog to get me one?” NO. Let me repeat that, NO. Don’t do this. Don’t be ‘that’ person who wants us to work so they can get something. Remember all those steps that come along with requesting a product from a company? We still have to do that, only you’re asking us to do it without any personal gain because that coffee maker will be sitting in your kitchen.


Anyone can be a blogger. It’s easy.

There’s a big difference between owning a website and being a successful blogger. The main factors being time and hard work. Anyone can buy a domain, but to turn that domain into a full fledged blog – one that has readers, brand relationships and profit – takes not only work, but also determination, talent and an aggressive work ethic. You have to go out and get the work, it doesn’t float into your inbox. Most bloggers work without noticeable profit for the first few years. “If you make it, they will come” only goes so far in for-profit blogging. It takes someone who is willing to push through the time spent talking to yourself because you don’t have an audience yet or you’ve been turned down for every job to which you’ve applied.

“I can start a blog! I can do that!” Sure, anyone can START a blog but most people quit within the first 6 months once they realize just how much work it actually is. – Jamie, ToysInTheDryer

And my personal favorite…

“So….how’s that bloggy….thingy….going? What do you do again?”
Head, meet desk.


What do friends and family say to you or ask you that drives you up the wall?


photo credit: Noah J. Spidermen via photopin cc
  • YES! I have gotten the “you still doing the blog thing?” so many times, especially from my in laws, I have to bite my tongue every time!

  • Most people get it because they SEE how hard I work…even so, a good friend of mine makes comments about how lucky I am to get XYZ for free now and then – but I always reply, “Yeah, just like your paycheck is free, right?”

  • Sure, anyone can start a blog, but not just anyone can be a successful blogger. It is a lot of work – not in a bad way, but it’s not easy street like some people think it is.

  • deb

    ACK!!! My mom is always saying how I get things for “Free” or “I bet you didn’t have to pay for that!” She has no idea the amount of work I put in for those “free” items.

    My personal favorite “If you want to travel for free start a blog” ((banging my head!!!))

  • Sue

    I have been blogging for less than a year and even though I post things on my facebook page, not many people have asked me about it. Hopefully, I can get to the point of having people envy all the “free” things I get. BUt right now, I am working on getting there.

  • Your husband’s comment actually made me giggle! Sounds like something my husband would say. Whenever we are out and about I am always thinking of sharing my experience w the world, so I am taking certain pics and my husband says ‘there ya go, Dog w a Blog’… I giggle w him .. It’s funny because not until yesterday did I realize that ‘Dog w a Blog’ w a show on Nick or Disney.. Silly husband of mine.

  • brett

    Oh, don’t you love just getting stuff for free? What a fun hobby you have!

    Insert expletives.

    I bust my butt!! Thankfully people are STARTING to see that I do really do a lot of work and not just fun stuff!

  • This post is speaking to me right now! I constantly hear that my website is just a hobby. Well, it’s generating enough income for me to call it a CAREER so I beg to differ. Argh. Good points. Big thumbs up!

  • I love this post! My husband doesn’t always “get” my blogging. He thinks every time I’m on my laptop on blogging. He doesn’t get how much work it actually is!

  • Oh dear Lord yes!! I have had all of those things said to me at one point. The two that drive me most mad are the ‘you got that for free’ or ‘can you blog about this so I can get it for free’. Seriously, people come out of the wood work when they hear about the ‘free stuff’ I get.. I can’t roll my eyes back in my head far enough..

  • Alison

    I just started Blogging, so I have not experienced these comments yet, but I can certainly imagine it will happen.

  • These all drive me crazy, too. I hate the assumption that we get things for free- there’s lots of work involved!

  • I think you run into this with any job! I used to be a teacher and someone said “How is it singing songs and playing all day then getting paid?” Yup. That’s what teachers do. My husband is a dentist and without fail someone one comments on how much it costs to get dental work done. Like it is free on the dentists end and he didn’t have to pay for medical school or anything! Funny how the grass always seems greener when it is not your job!

  • Hahaha you really hit the nail on the head with this one. I hear that “teach me how to get stuff for free” a million times a month, I swear. People don’t realize you’re actually working for what you’re getting!

  • Ashley M

    I don’t even know what to add – you really nailed it with this post! Things I wish people would stop saying all. the. time.

  • Oh my gosh!!! These are so true about blogging. People just dont take it seriously like a real job. That Dog with a Blog show drive me crazy. lol

  • I’m surprised how many of my friends REALLY understand what a blog is, and what it entails. Maybe that’s because a good bit of them actually have a blog!

  • Word!! I feel like this perception may never change, but there are jobs that I don’t know much about and my questions may be off kilter or bother them I guess. Makes you laugh though right?!?!

  • OMG the whole ““So….how’s that bloggy….thingy….going? What do you do again?” drives me nuts. My co-workers do this to me ALL the time. I must have explained to them what I do and how it works a dozen times and they still do not get it. These all made me laugh!

  • My husband is really supportive of my blogging endeavors. He sees how hard I’m working on it every day and all the time I spend on it (in addition to my paid full-time non-blogging job) so he respects what I’m doing. Blogging is definitely a lot more work than people realize. And all that “free” stuff? It takes a lot of effort to get that while simultaneously working on every other aspect of building a good blog with quality content and getting it seen.

  • I do not think anyone but bloggers can truly empathize with what we go through on a daily basis. Blogging is real hard work. It’s managing all aspects of a small business but the regular layperson does not understand that. Great article!

  • i JUST had a conversation with one of my best friends about this. She kept asking the same question over and over and it was aggravating me to no end. “How can I get a free trip?” UGH

  • This is a great list. I hate it when people say I need to do what you do so I can do all this free stuff. Um I have to work my butt off for that “free” stuff.

  • You got it exactly right!! I have a ton of people asking me if I can get them something for free. I like to be generous with opps I have but don’t expect it!

  • I LOVE this post. I hate when people want me to help them start a blog because they think it’s easy and free stuff just rolls in all the time. Do they not realize that we work for that “free” stuff and have to pay taxes on it. Geez.

  • I get the “wow I want free products” thing all of th etime. While it doesn’t really bother me, I have almost a copy and paste reply for most people because I need them to realize this is WORK. Sure I have fun, I am happy and that is because writing is my therapy and passion that turned into an income. I love that I can sit at home and work, because to me doing what I love doesn’t ever feel like ‘work”. I do agree, it’s many hours. Even my Dad the other day was talking with me and he realizes I work endless hours some weeks, and usually I work weekends the kids are gone. I am constantly thinking about work too. It took me a good 2-3 years to be able to make enough to have my blogs as my ONLY income and even then I still live very simply.

  • Yes, I have heard all of the above. Several times. and this one: Can you help me start a blog so I can do what you do? I HATE that question. Because they don;t really want to do what I do.

  • I LOVE THIS! My mom comes over and just starts picking up the stuff I have all over the house saying “I guess you got this for free too”? It drives me crazy! She has no idea how much work it actually takes to get my “free” something. I’m still very much a newbie, so I’m taking reviews for products that have very little value right now to get my foot in the door. You have to start somewhere to get that “free refrigerator”. :-)

  • I told a few people in my family when I started my blog a year and a half ago. They dismissed it so instantly as ‘nothing’ that I haven’t mentioned it again, and I’m sure most of them don’t realize I still do it.

    The kids (even my grown ones) know I do it, and they think it’s fine, but they don’t take it seriously either. The only one who gives me blogger respect is my 6-yr. old (“Can I help you do a review?” he asks a lot, and enthusiastically too). God love the children. :) :)

  • I am just getting into the world of blogging. I have discovered that there is so much misconception of how much work it is to do this. I am glad that I have a supportive husband. Although he thinks my second boyfriend is my laptop!

  • Dina

    Ugh so true. People have no clue how much work it really is and no I won’t get “you” something for free.

  • I have had people describe what I do as “oh, she gets free stuff then writes stuff on the internet”. Yeah, that’s all I do….*eyeroll* My mom and sister often comment they wish they had something and then say, “Hey, can you get that to review?” Of course they never offer to actually review it for me!!

  • We have one relative who no matter what gift they get the question or implication “did you blog for that” is always there, implying it wasn’t work.

  • Those are all excellent suggestions for things not to say! Some of the things we hear a bloggers sure are amazing, aren’t they!

  • YES! Oh gosh..If I could count the times I heard those! I think the one where people ask like “so do you work?” and then when I say this IS my job their next question is “How much money do you make?” I don’t ask the man who makes my coffee how much he makes or my kid’s teachers or my doctor how much he makes! Why is it ok to just ask and expect me to answer!?

  • I agree with you 100% on these. While I’m not a full-time blogger, I still hate hearing that I got something “free”. I have to correct them every time. :(

  • Girl… have no idea how much I get it. This is how I make a living. You want to have my life you have to do the work/. I totally get it.

  • I have to chuckle at a few of these. People can be so clueless!

  • I’m thinking we should all share this one. :) great post–and I’ve heard many of those things from folks.

  • I’m sure I would have thought the same things before I blogged. There’ s really no way to understand it unless you’re in the thick of it. It’s a wild world here.

  • I have if someone says, oh it’s like a diary or journal right??? ugh, hate that!

  • Yes, this is a good list of things that people who do not understand the work say.

  • Oh, I have this one family member that every time I talk to her it’s “Are you working anywhere?” No, I just sit on my arse twidlling my thumbs all day, lol.

    And I constantly get asked for “free” stuff. And basically all of the people who ask me for “free” stuff have no idea what is going on on my blog because they don’t follow it. Ugh.

    It was the same when I worked in radio: people constantly asking me for “free” tickets who didn’t even listen to me or even know when I was on the air.

  • I definitely feel a kinship with my blogging buddies, they all get me and we all deal with the same thing :)

  • I totally agree with your post. My husbands always calls what I do my hobby and it drives me nut.

  • I’m a fairly new blogger and I’m totally getting ready to put in the hours and work to maintain a successful page. But many people don’t realize that it’s a lot of work. What’s kinda insulting is that many of your very own friends and family don’t take things seriously enough to even glance at all the work you do. Excuse me, how about you just click my link and see! Sure it’s not much of a commute from the sofa to the bed and back, but I know that I’m putting in long hard hours just to make my blog appealing to the eye. Not to mention regular posting which can be difficult during a spell of writer’s block or photographer’s block. Or, in my case, bento maker’s block. I just hope I can be as dedicated as the people I follow someday.