Now, now, before anyone sets me on fire, the misleading title was intentional. (Sorry for the clickbait.) Just a fair warning, this is a rant post up ahead of you; so, if that’s not your thing, this may displease you.
Lately, I have been seeing a lot of new “small” bloggers and YouTubers. Don’t get me wrong, technically speaking, I also categorize as a “small” blogger, considering that my follower/reader base is actually very small. So, there’s nothing wrong with being “small” — everybody starts somewhere; however, not everybody seems to understand that.
If you scroll through YouTube’s comment section, you will often see comments that say something like this:
“Any small youtubers out there that want to support each other? Subscribe to my channel! I’ll sub you back! I promise!” (Usually accompanied by an unnecessary amount of emojis.)
Companies, brand owners, proprietors, and sellers often get messages that say something along the lines of:
“Send me a PR package.”
“If you send me free products, I will review your products on my channel/website.”
“Hi! I really want to try your products! But I can’t afford them. I was hoping you can send me your products for free?”
“How many likes, comments, and shares do I need to get on this post to get free products?”
“I can promote you for free! Just send me free stuff!”
Understandably, the perks that “big time” bloggers and YouTubers have can make most people green with envy. They get paid to promote and feature products, they get coupons and discounts, and they get sent free products to try out. Now, who wouldn’t want that? However, what many people fail to see is that these people WORKED for their perks and privileges. Yes, honey. They didn’t wake up one day with a PR package at their doorstep. No, they did not beg for free products. That is NOT how it works.
Most of the popular bloggers and YouTubers we see today poured years of time, effort, and money into their craft or hobby. Their passion and dedication brought about business opportunities such as promotions and discount/freebie privileges. Bloggers start out with blogs that nobody reads. YouTubers start out with videos that people don’t watch. Both start out buying products with their own money. Their blogs/channels grew through time as they kept creating content and consistently kept improving the quality of their content. The really DID start small.
It saddens me that a lot of newbie bloggers and YouTubers (especially the younger ones) have this blown-out-of-proportion sense of entitlement. I hate to break it to you, dearies; but, being a blogger/YouTuber really requires a great deal of investment of time, money, and effort. Don’t get me wrong, asking for support and promoting yourself isn’t necessarily bad. However, there’s a fine line between that and being a “freeloader”.
So, here’s everything that’s wrong with being a “freeloading” blogger/YouTuber:
- You are not helping yourself grow.
– Sure, your follower/subscriber count is growing; but, you are not learning how to grow your community using your own effort. You are simply freeloading on somebody else’s established success. ‘Ika nga, nakikisawsaw ka lang.
- You are disrespecting the content owner of the blog/channel you are commenting on to promote yourself.
– Connected to No. 1, self-promoting on somebody else’s blog/channel shows disrespect towards the owner of the blog/channel. You are not following them and commenting on their content to express appreciation for their craft. You are using their popularity to boost yours. You are forgetting that they, too, had to start from nothing.
- You are disrespecting the brand owners/proprietors/sellers.
– Come on, this is pretty obvious. Companies/brand owners/proprietors/sellers strategically plan their business promotions. So, they select content creators based on their follower base AND content quality to feature and review their products. This is actually a mutual deal. The discounts/freebies/privileges are sort of like rewards or promotions for a job well done in the line of work. WORK HARD if you really want privileges and perks. DO NOT ask for them.
- You are lowering the value of your fellow content creators.
– Companies/brand owners/proprietors/sellers actually INVEST a lot in content creators. Content creators are either paid of sent PR packages because being a “big time” content creator is actually a JOB. These people are making a living; and, by asking for free stuff even just as a “small” content creator is like demanding your boss for a salary raise that is equal to those who have worked really hard for many, many years in the company.
- You are establishing yourself as someone who is bad with business.
– In relation to No. 3 and No. 4, self-entitlement reflects who you are in business. You would not be seen as fit to work with brands for promotions and business related content.
- You will prevent opportunities from coming to you.
– Again, related to No. 5. If people see that you are an entitled freeloader, who would want to work with you? Who would want to collaborate with you? YOU are shutting the doors to opportunities.
- Your “freeloader” attitude reflects your lack of control over your personal life.
– A common reason why “small” content creators ask for free stuff is because they don’t have money to afford the products that they want to have. Well, here’s the deal: you obviously do not have the means to sustain your hobby. That might be a good wake up call for you to set your priorities straight. Being a content creator is a huge investment, so invest. Find a way to be able to financially fuel your passion. If you can’t afford it, maybe being a blogger/YouTuber is not for you (yet). Make do with what you have; and, if it is still not enough, work harder until you have what you need.
- You are being unfair.
– Shallow point? I think not. Dearie, they/we had to WORK for what we have. I started blogging as a hobby in 2011. I started getting serious with it in 2014. I upgraded to a website in 2016. I only started getting discounts, promos, and freebies in 2017. It took me 6 years, and in those 6 years, I shelled out money, I allotted time, and I exerted effort. My progress was slow; but, at least I can say that I was never a freeloader.
- You are being downright selfish and inconsiderate (whether intentionally or unintentionally).
– This is basically it. Plain and simple. Maybe, your intentions are not bad; but, this is why I’m writing this article. The entitled “freeloader” attitude is just so wrong on so many levels — it’s not just some pet peeve of mine.
Just think of this: “Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.” Do you want people to randomly ask you to give them free stuff? Do you want others to avail of your services for free? Do you want people to take your job for granted? No? Then, don’t do it to your fellow content creators. Don’t do it to companies/brand owners/proprietors/sellers.
- You have the wrong motivation.
– Back then, being a blogger/YouTuber was not very common. Nowadays, plenty of people have gained the confidence to become content creators. That’s great! However, a lot of the newer content creators did not start because of passion. They are in it for the money and fame. Just as with any field, money and fame should NOT be the root of your motivation. Create content because it is your passion to share your craft and/or opinions with the world. Don’t do it because you have your eye on the monetary prize. If you have the wrong motivation to begin with, the foundation to your success is very weak to begin with.
It is not my intention to discourage smaller content creators. I only wish to eradicate (or at least minimize) the freeloader entitlement because it negatively affects a lot of people in the industry. There are many ways to grow as a content creator. Being a freeloader is not one of them. To new/small content creators, please, do yourselves and everyone else a favour. Respect the work and dedication that goes into being a content creator.
On that note, I hope nobody sets me on fire.