One of the most asked questions I get as The Tipsy Housewife is, “What is it?”. What does it mean to be a food blogger or an Influencer? This can be a very complicated and difficult thing to try to explain to people not in the business. For example, try explaining this to your 80+ year old Grandmother…actually my Grandma seems to understand it better than a lot of younger people. I decided to write a blog post about it since I get asked about it so much! Below are the five questions I get asked most frequently and my best explanation.
Do You Get Paid?
The short answer is YES, I do get paid. How I get paid is a much more complicated answer. There are many ways a food blogger or an influencer makes money. One of the main ways a blogger or influencer makes money is by working with brands for sponsored posts. When you have people following you on social media or on your blog, and you have good engagement, meaning people like your pictures and comment. Brands will either reach out to you to ask you to collaborate or you can reach out to brands on your own. These are typically brands that fit your niche. For The Tipsy Housewife, that would obviously be food or alcohol. As an blogger/influencer you also pitch brands that you may find yourself using often or that your followers would be interested in learning about. Brands work with bloggers/influencers to show how “real people” use their products and real life recommendations. There are also influencer agencies you can join that facilitate in connecting bloggers to brands.
Another way food bloggers/influencers get paid is by working with restaurants who want to capitalize on that “word of mouth” business. Influencers and Bloggers get invited to places and in exchange for a meal or for cocktails you are encouraged to post about it if you liked it. Many bloggers and influencers also collaborate with restaurants and bars to organize and host influencer dinners, for a fee, where they invite their influencer friends to try out a place and if they like it, they will post about it.
Content Creation is another way of working in the industry. I sometimes get asked to create content by brands for their social media and their website. I create recipes, photograph the entire process, edit photos and share these with brands who are looking for content for their various media outlets. Other times I simply photograph how I would use the product in real life and then the brand uses those photos for their own accounts.
Community Management is yet another way that influencers make money. Many influencers curate or manage other accounts, meaning they may create content, manage posts and manage engagement. Another part of this is using analytics to optimize posts for the businesses. Managing a social media account could be a full-time job. Many businesses recognize that social media can be the lifeblood of their business, but simply do not have the time to manage it. They pay people like me, to do it for them.
These are just some of the ways a Food Blogger/Influencer can monetize their accounts. There are other ways and different opportunities for every niche, like fashion, mom blogs, travel and more.
Do You Eat & Drink Everything You Post?
That depends. I am The Tipsy Housewife, so for me, yes I mostly drink every alcoholic beverage I post. But as far as eating, usually the answer is no, I do not eat everything. For example, many times when you are invited to restaurants, they provide full size meals to photograph, but each influencer is only given a tasting of each thing, so that you have room to try everything. Other times, you are invited to restaurants to try their food along with other influencers and several of you share one dinner. It is difficult when something is really delicious and you can’t indulge because you know you have several more courses to get through. Also, you always have to save room for wine!
Do You Post About Everything You Try?
The answer is a firm NO! I get sent lot’s of things to try that I frankly just don’t like. I have gone to restaurants and not had a great experience and do not feel comfortable recommending it to my followers. This isn’t true for all bloggers/influencers but it is the policy that Tipsy follows. The Tipsy Housewife is not a food critic, while I have opinions about food I eat and products I try, I always try to highlight the great things about them. If there is something I don’t like I adhere to the old saying “that if you don’t have anything nice to say it’s better to say nothing at all”. I feel that this works well for The Tipsy Housewife, this way my followers know that they are being told about a product or a business that I really believe in.
Is it fun?
Of course it’s fun! But it’s not the kind of fun you think it is. Despite what it looks like I am not living a life of leisure. I am sent a decent amount of products to try and I work with several brands. Planning to try these products in my REAL LIFE, takes a lot of strategy and planning. When I do test out products or create content, I use it in my real life, but I also have to be thoughtful about how and when I am using it. Many things come into play. Seasonality is a great example, I was being sent Fall products and trying Fall menu items in the middle of Summer. This is to allow me time to use/try it, photograph it, edit it, create captions or blog posts about it, hashtag it, tag it and get approval from the companies I am working with to post it. Scheduling the post is a whole different layer of strategy. I have to analyze the who, what, when and where of when my followers are engaged on my various social media accounts and blogs. For example, I typically can’t post a picture of a boozy beverage at 7:30 am on a Monday when people are going to work and not yet thinking about drinks. But I am also not going to post it at 7:00PM on a weekday when a lot of my followers who have kids are doing baths and bedtimes. Optimizing my posts is something that takes a lot of planning and thoughtfulness. Representing products that fit my niche is also something I have to be mindful of. For example, I was asked to test out water that had electrolytes, now if you know anything about Tipsy, you know I am not a gym rat. So before saying yes, I had to strategize how I could make this brand work with the Tipsy brand. I very well couldn’t promote it by saying I like to replenish after a jog….Not believable. So I have to be creative about how I really would use a product in my real life and if I can’t think of a way, I have to say no, and this is lost income. PS, I was able to work with the water because I needed a filtered water to freeze my herbs for my cocktails so it worked out perfect!
Also the going out part….sure I get to try lots of fun places and meet lots of great people. Those are some of my favorite things about being in the business. That being said, while it may look like I am wining and dining all around town, you don’t see the behind the scenes. What you don’t see is having to take 345 pictures of a dish before you can dig into it, you don’t see the part where I am analyzing the menu and talking to the owner or the chef so that I am sure about how it’s prepared so that I tell the right story. You don’t see the part of when I have to go through hundreds of pictures, pick out the good ones and then spend hours editing the photos so that it highlights the food in the best way possible. Most of the time, I also have to make live stories about what I am doing, while doing all these other things. Then there are captions to write, businesses to tag, hashtags to research and then engage with the HUNDREDS of people who like the pictures and ask questions. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all of this, but it’s a lot more than me showing up to a restaurant, snapping a couple of pics and uploading it to Instagram.
There are also media kits you have to update, writing pitches, writing contracts, follow-up, writing blog posts, search engine optimization, posting to Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, all of which require very different types of writing. Not to mention that I also write a monthly food column for a local newspaper! Phew! But I love it all!
Do You Ever Get Tired Of It?
Short answer No. I love everything about it. There are days I get frustrated, like when I put my blood, sweat and tears into a post and NO ONE likes it. Or when I think write thirty hashtags on my post, hit post and realize it was 31 and Instagram deletes it and I have to write them all over again. Or when I work my A$$ off on a blog post and I get 30 visitors. But after all the planning and work I put into it, I feel as if I get so much more OUT of it. I have met so many great people in real life and on the internet. I have gotten to try so many new things and get paid to do it! Most of all, there is nothing more thrilling than creating a recipe and seeing others make it and share it with you! I love the idea of helping people live their best life, and create meals for their family.