You must have a Shopping Problem! And other crazy things Bloggers Hear

I think I give up! I give up explaining what I do for a living to people who are not in my online world. I have even gone as far as to tell my kids to not tell their friends’ parents about my blog. I love that most people do not know about it. This way I can rant privately without worrying anyone in my day-to-day life will be offended. Nobody recognizes me from my blog and for the most part, I can separate my personal life from my work life.

But then there is a lot of confusion.

Recently a neighbour was over talking to my husband. We were all discussing things we were planning and my husband has some big projects on the go. Projects that will cost some money and take up a lot of our time. The neighbour jokingly said to me “You will need to get a job!”. My reaction was to snap but all I said was “I do have a job. I work from home, online”. He apologized for not knowing and I really did not care, but I think my face said otherwise. It was not that I was grumpy with him, but I had already been annoyed that day with others. Others who know I work from home.

See, over the holidays I received a lot of packages for toys from various companies. Living where I live, we only get deliveries from Canada Post. Small town and everyone knows everyone and everything. After a week of receiving many cool items that I worked for, I walked up to a group of moms at the school. There was my mail lady telling them all about all the stuff I get for free. I quickly had to explain it was not free. I work for companies and they send me products for compensation or to review. But all I got was blank looks from them. Many are on “The Facebook” or have email, but that is as far as their online world goes.

Another time I had a lady knock at my door. we had chatted a few times and she knew I did something online. She saw all of my deliveries, and once I confirmed I did not have a shopping problem, she knew I got stuff for no cost. When I answered the door I was greeted by her ready to sit down with me for the day. She wanted me to show her all the websites I go to get all of this free stuff, so she too could get it. *sigh*

I explained to her that it was not really free. It was review stuff, bartering, compensation etc. I explained it took me many years to build up a reputation, following etc to get what I get. She left confused and frustrated and feeling like I was holding out on her.

Now when people ask me what I do for a living I tell them I do “online marketing” or “Social media promotions and I write for a website”. I leave out as many details as possible. But once, recently, I met a small business who had worked with bloggers. This mom was excited to meet me, a real life blogger. She knew our commitment and our value and I did not have to explain anything to her. But she was the exception to the rule.

Last month when one of the other parent volunteers took on more hours at work, he could no longer commit to the half day a week volunteering at school. My daughter’s teacher called me and said “Since you are home anyway, can you cover an extra day to volunteer”? Um nope! I am already having a hard enough time as it is doing my one day. As well as helping the PAC with events, volunteering to school trips and whatever else is needed. But she is not the only one, I get many working moms saying similar about watching their kids after school. I am all for helping, but tell them “Yes your child can come over, but I will be working”.

I even had one mom give me a wish list last year. I had a bunch of baby stuff sent to me. Stuff I did not request, swag and samples I would not use. So I gave it to her for her new baby. When she asked me where I got it and why I was gifting it, I replied that I work with the company online. I said, sometimes they send me things I can not use. Of course questions were asked and assumptions were made, then the next day she gave me a wish list. On the wish list there was even a big-ticket baby item for $1200. I explained that I would not be requesting these items. I work for what I receive and it is not often that I receive things without previous consent.

More confusion and people being offended thinking I am holding out on them.

So I vented on my Facebook and asked my blogger friends if they experienced similar. Here is what they all said :

“So people just send you free stuff? Wow you’re so lucky you get to travel for free. ”

“So you just pretend to like stuff to make people buy it?

What exactly is a blogger and how could you possibly make an income to support your family playing on a computer?

Oh, so you’re one of those!

Must be nice to get so much free stuff for nothing!”

“You must like to shop!” – Delivery guy.
“What’s a blob?” – relative
“Must be nice to get it for free!” – relative

“What makes you so special”
“Why did you buy that? Can’t you just get that for free?” “I was going to buy {item} today, but … you think maybe you could just get for me for free instead?”

“If you’re going to give me a gift, don’t give me something you got for free on your blog.

Teach me to blog so I can get free stuff delivered to me every day. ”

 “I told my father about a trip to Dominican Republic we did, and he said that he could write something up for a cruise line and give it to them if they’d give him a free two week cruise.”
“Do you have an extra coffee maker/vacuum you can give me?”
“Whenever something is needed……maybe you can “blog it” and get me one?”
“I have, on multiple occasions, been asked to teach someone how to do everything I do so they can get everything I get…for free. ”
“so are you planning on getting like, a real job. ___ is hiring”
“People I meet say, “Oh, what a nice little hobby you have!”
When are you going to get a real job?
Umm I noticed you get a lot of boxes… into something I don’t know about? So if you happen to ever get ” exact make and model of an item” I would totally take it. Your kids are so spoiled getting all that stuff you must have a lot of money.
“can you watch my kids, you’re home all day anyways”
“When are you going back to work?” Http://
“So when are you going to stop this bloggy blog nonsense?” (Like it was some cute hobby of mine that distracted me from having to get a real job, like being a doctor). ?
“You get so much free stuff! How can I do that?”

“Only after their son began media studies at college did my SIL become interested in my social media world.

Nephew: So YOU actually work on social media campaigns with companies?

Me: Yes, I have FOR YEARS.

Her: oh, I get it now.”


And so on and so on.
These are all quotes from bloggers who make an income from working online. They have successful blogs, great readers and wonderful relationships with brands. Many have been doing this to support their families for YEARS! It takes a lot of work, commitment and we do many things to keep our blogs going behind the scenes.
It is a job. A real job!
To all of you who are online and supporting us, thank you! To all of the agencies and brands who know our value, thank you! To our family and friends who take us seriously, support us unconditionally, we love you and thank you!
To everyone else who is still trying to ‘get this blogging thing” read some of my posts about blogging here.
And finally, to all of you bloggers who continue to make your mark, set a standard and work hard every day, keep doing what you are doing.
Have you ever heard anything crazy like the comments above about blogging? I would love to hear about it below.


  1. I hear the “real job” bit all the time. Yes! It is a REAL job! We bloggers work to even be noticed, let alone be chosen for campaigns or to work for brands. Explaining what we do can be frustrating sometimes.

  2. I think I’m lucky in this sense as most of my friends and family are supportive and after very much explaining they finally understand that this “stuff” I get is not “free” it’s a payment. I have my brothers baby shower next month and of course some stuff I have been “collecting” for their gift – they follow my blog so I’m sure they’ll know where some of it came from – they may appreciate it and they may not but at least I know I worked hard for it. Really, that’s all that matters!

  3. It never ceases to amaze me what people will say. I have to say, having a dedicated office helps. I close the door when I’m working even when family is visiting. I’ll be with you in a few hours, enjoy the coffee and your book… I’ve got a post to finish

  4. I’ve had some very interesting comments about what I do, haha. I’ve learnt to let it slide. However, it is SO nice when someone gets that you are a professional working from home (or a coffee shop…) – just like many other freelance professionals. Great post!

  5. I have heard a lot of the above comments too. I feel pretty good about the work I do and the success I have had. The occasional silly comment is okay. I used to hear often – Take me with you next time you go on one of those trips…..SURE…I am free to bring anybody along for a working media Fam… Do you ask your neighbour to go on their next business trip? Probably not. Great post!

  6. This totally made me laugh, thanks for including mine. I think we could write a book with all the things people say to us about our job. Even after 6 years of blogging I still get it … maybe one day people will realize just how much work goes into blogging and that we are not just laying around, stuffing our face, and playing with “free” stuff all the time LOL!

  7. binabugged says

    I’ve been online and we ran a bulliten board back in the 80’s and I frankly don’t understand the whole click thing internet make money thing…I’ve read emails that say just opening up a bloggers email makes them money..WOW… I dont have the time or patience to blog, love that others are elequent enough and spell correctly (I just didn’t spell that work right). I love getting free samples when a company offers it and in my tiny town most people know that I enter to win things (or I tell them about going thru ebates when shopping or that indigo gives better cash back on ebates then amazon books do lol) I’ve learned plenty of things from bloggers and sometimes I think it seems like you guys are always online…after all all of a sudden my tweet just got liked and I just tweeted it like 3 seconds ago…i get auto matic responses when I am having a form filling issue lol ETC …etc ..i see countless tweets go by or tons of fb posts. My bum goes numb if I sit too long LOL and I’m old enough now that I have seperate reading glasses if I am online too long … anyways, I’m babbling now

    • GingerMommy says

      That is a bit different. I do not do anything with affiliates or page views. I get paid direct for my promotion. Opening up an email, clicking on a link makes no difference.

  8. Robin rue says

    I have been blogging for almost 8 years now. I am never surprised by what people say anymore LOL. And that’s a little sad.

  9. I live in a large city and I still get the rude comments about the items I get paid. Takes all kinds of people.

  10. Hahaha! I loved reading the things everyone shared! It is so funny all the things we hear (and possibly say to others) when we aren’t aware of the full situation.

  11. Some people don’t even realize how rude they sound. I do like how you explain what your job is though.

  12. Some of what they say is hilarious. People don’t always understand that we work for the products we receive. It takes years to build up a blog and the relationships with brands.

  13. People just do not understand what I mean when I say I am a Blogger/ VA. Then when I try to explain they still just do not get it. I will have to start saying Social media promotions.

  14. Bloggers definitely get a lot of grief. I have a friend who’s a blogger and her most heard line that clueless people say to her is that she must have a master’s degree in b.s. to be a blogger.

  15. Oh, God. I have heard so many crazy things. CRAZY things. It’s unbelievable what people think bloggers do and don’t do.

  16. The biggest one I’ve heard since I started doing this is “You score so much free stuff!” They don’t understand everything that goes into it. I get it though. I didn’t either until I started doing it.

  17. CanadianMomEh says

    What a great post! SO SO true! When people ask me how I got what I got or how much I’m being paid, I have such a burning itch to ask them how much their last paycheque was, then respond…oh? Too personal?

  18. This use to happen to me all the time. I use to do more reviews and everyone thought I could just get all kinds of stuff for free. If only they knew!

  19. mistywright271471215 says

    I have literally had neighbors and people that my husband works with come to my house, so I could teach them how to get free stuff. And people on his side of the family send me messages on facebook asking how to do it. And when I say no, they think I am holding out on them. Unbelievable.

  20. brianne Manz says

    This is such a great post and so true! I get looks from my neighbors every time i pick up packages from my doorman!

  21. Even after all of these years people do not get it! God only knows what my UPS man thinks!

  22. Ginger,
    We are not alone in such treatment and misconception for a job called BLOGGING.
    “Blogging” is an outdated job description for what we do.
    There always be people who drop their jaws and raise their browse at what we do.
    We cannot educate everybody how this thing called “online marketing, blogging, social media promotions & more” works.

    What we can do is to keep our hearts passionate about what we do and support our families with the trade that we ADORE.

    I give you KUDOS for this post, my awesome Blogging Sistah (that’s what I call my blogging friends – this is an explanation for those who do not blog.)

  23. Elizabeth Matthiesen says

    A great post, I can understand that others don’t know what blogging is all about (I didn’t a few years ago). Now I visit a lot of blogging sites and realise how much work it must be, merely by the time it takes me to read post and it takes much longer to compose them. I believe that you all work hard to earn anything that comes your way, whether it’s a payment of something for review. Keep up the good work 🙂

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