Blogging in Second Life is one of the many activities one can take part of, whether it be a fashion blogger, a content creator or you spend your time like I do with a combination of many niches, if you feel like it, you can probably do it if it peels your interest.
This is the part of my MBS Blogging in SL series; where I talk about subjects like blogging, how to start, Branding yourself and representation and the social media game.
Please note that these posts first go live on my Patreon and then made available publicly.
Before we start, I have written before about the reality of blogging in Second Life and Blogging basics in previous posts, please take the time to read through them as more than once will I refer to them.
MBS | The Reality of Blogging
MBS Blogging in SL | Blogging Basics
MBS Blogging in SL | Am I a brand?
MBS Blogging in SL | The Social Media Game
The most common question I am asked in SL as a blogger manager or a blogger is how many sponsors do I have and how do I handle the amount of content I need to create for them and the answer is both simple and complex. I handle it all by learning when to say yes and when to say no. So today we will discuss the Art of saying No and the importance of balance for a SL blogger.
We all wish we could apply to all brands all over the grid and be able to blog 100+ brands, but let’s be honest we don’t have time. We have RL, SL, other hobbies and much more.
Let’s start with what is balance?
Balance is defined as a state where things are of equal weight or force.
On one end, there is the bloggers of SL that depending on who they are, their styles, their goals, needs and wants they are able to portray in specific ways to a particular audience, but also depending on how much they can actually do may need to find the perfect spot where they are not overwhelmed, but also they do not underperform.
On the other hand there is the needs and wants of brands and brand managers, what they want to show to the world, the people they wish to create long-lasting relationships with, the way in which they seek to portray and announce their brand, as well as where they want to position the content.
It is a game where there is things given and delivered, and this is where understanding one-self as a brand comes into play and makes things easier for all parties involved.
So why should I have balance in my blogging life?
Because when it comes to blogging (SL or RL) your job is to perform and produce content for a brand with which you have entered into a mutual agreement with, they give you something, you ggive something in return. If you are not careful and you take too much, your time, quality and effort becomes highly unbalanced and you could end up in a position that is precarious both for you and those you work with.
On the other hand, as I mentioned in the Am I a Brand? post, knowing what works for you and where you want to be present will also determine who you should blog for. Not every brand likes specific content or colors. Not everyone likes “true-to-form” bloggers, just like not everyone enjoys art-like bloggers; in knowing who you are, you will be able to know who you should enter into a working relationship with.
Wait, so you are saying I should not apply everywhere?
Correct. It is very tempting seeing a brand come into your feed or your Flickr or your favorite place to check and find that they have openings for bloggers but you need to be able to determine if applying to that brand is in your best interest or viceversa if it is in their best interest. For example:
Say you run into your dream brand having a blogger search where they ask for 3 blogposts a month with only new releases before other releases being counted but you already have 10+ sponsors and you work a 9-5 job, plus you have your housework, Roleplay/Tabletop game sessions and you need to make dinner, how do you prioritize this? Would that brand fit into your schedule? Or, do you drop another brand to make space for the sole possibility to be with your favorite brand, eventhough they may reject you?
Another example, a brand you love holds open casting but they require all applicants use Facebook AND Flickr no exceptions and you only use Flickr and Twitter. Would you still apply? Would you be willing to learn a new social media just to work with THAT ONE brand?
Another example, you applied to a brand that explicity mentiones “No nudity/sensual/half-dressed pictures or styles whatsoever” would you still apply knowing full well your stream and socials have NSFW content? Or would you start anew to please that one brand?
This is where knowing what type of blogger you are comes into play and understanding not every blogger fits every brand and viceversa and that it is completely okay to walk away from a brand where it seems you might not fit with. In the end that business relationship is based on exposure/product exchange, because of this fact the rules for each brand are different and they set them, but you also need to have your own set of rules and see where they balance one another and see if it will work out.
This is where the art of saying no shows up, no is a two way street, saying no to yourself is as important as saying no to brands.
This is why I am always reminding my clients of the importance of having policies and disclaimers. There is a misconception that only brands can set their rules when also bloggers need to have rules of their own. I have a very clear policy that states what I am willing and not willing to do/say in posts. That is why when I take a picture where the sponsored item clips or is hard to adjust or something similar, I mention it in the post.
If a brand comes and asks me to boost a specific item my answer is no, because of the rules I made for myself and my brand. Same goes for any item I would personally pick from a brand I liked, if there is an issue I would mention it, but also I would praise them, because those are my rules for my brand in my blog. Same should go for every content creator.
This is why on all places where I help manage their bloggers I request that an additional disclaimer is put if the item is in any way. shape or form altrered in post process to be mentioned clearly in the post.
If there’s a lesson to be learned from this post is that:
Knowing all of the above will help you when the times comes to say no to applying somewhere mostly to yourself, and if you really want to make the hard decisions as to when to leave a brand and when to expand (apply) for new opportunities.