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Sometimes Bloggers Spend Money

I am going to the Olympics. Yes, the ones in London that begin this week.

I bought tickets to two events several months ago with the idea that if I couldn’t go, they’d be easy to unload.  Every now and then I put something related to the tickets out there on social media because I can never keep a thought or emotion to myself, but it wasn’t until last week that the whole thing came together and I shared that my husband and I were headed to London together in two weeks.  For the most part people responded with a typical “Yay!” or “So exciting!’ but I had more than a couple comments made to me that went something like this…

Wow, you get all the cool opportunities!

That’s incredible! You are always so lucky!

You’re like the golden blogger. You get to do the best stuff!

Whatchu talkin’ ’bout?

To be clear, yes, I am very blessed.  I have a loving husband, two healthy and happy children, and family that supports my really fairly ridiculous profession.  My cat is even kind of awesome.

No really, look:

Does your cat stick his tongue out for the camera?

However…HOWEVER…blogging and luck have absolutely nothing to do with my trip to the Olympics.  I purchased tickets because I read carefully about the ticketing process and sat at my computer waiting for the tickets to go on sale, then with hands shaking grabbed two events that were available.  When I got to the payment section of the transaction I did not put in my Klout number nor did I type my Alexa ranking.  I told them my credit card number because they expected me to pay with money.  Oddly, the same thing happened last week when I booked our flights, and when I paid more for the seats that lie flat, I actually paid more.

Here is a secret that most people may not realize: Sometimes bloggers spend money.

I KNOW.  It’s shocking.

I have never uttered the sentence, “Hey, my X just stopped working. Does anyone have a connection with their PR so I can get a new one?”  I don’t contact local travel bureaus to notify them of my arrival when I take family vacations.  I don’t call around to see what other connections I can make (i.e. free stuff I can get) when someone does send me somewhere for work.  While I often tweet pictures of food that I’m eating, it’s because I’m a Twitter addict, not because someone paid for my lunch.  And yes, this means that those trips to Walt Disney World were almost all paid for with my own Disney Rewards Visa (points, baby!) and sometimes even at full price because I make last minute decisions and miss the very deals I tell you to book.

Are there bloggers who do all of the sketchy things I just mentioned above?  Of course there are, and they are embarrassing.  But there are also still plenty of us driving 12 year old hand me down mini-vans and eating store brand bread so that we have enough money saved up to do crazy things like attend the Olympics…without needing luck or a sponsor.  So if you see me tweet or post about the Olympics it is because that is what I do, share my life online, not because some brand sent me across the pond for the trip of a lifetime. And the fact that it was worth writing a post to explain that is a sad commentary on the state of blogging.



  1. 42

    Can’t wait to hear the stories! I suspect your trip is going to be full of awesome. The Olympics! How fun!

  2. 43

    I saw that update and I never once thought you got it through blogging. It would be cool if you did (just sayin’), but yeah, it didn’t even cross my mind. My thoughts were like, “how awesome! I bet she has a blast.”

    Funny related story, after taking the kids to the Brave premier (and some toys I got for her to review), my daughter now thinks I get everything through blogging. We are going to a water park this weekend and she asked if we are getting to go because of a “blog thing.” I quickly told her that no, it was a “momma paid for it” thing.

  3. 44

    How exciting, Amy! Have fun — and I can’t wait to see whatever photos of your trip that you tweet. Go, USA!

  4. 45

    Whoa neat, I didnt know you were going! You didnt say which events, but I hope they were ones you really wanted to see- so fun!!!!

  5. 46

    You are going to have a BLAST!!!

    PS: I spend money, too! 😉

  6. 47

    I had the same EXACT thing happen to me when I was tweeting and FB’ing about our Disney cruise. I even had bloggers say things like ‘wow how did you get the Disney cruise, they never give me one when I ask’. I never even tried to get a discount from Disney. The Olympics will be fun.

    • 48

      “…they never give me one when I ask…” That blows my mind! Can you even imagine asking?

      • 49

        NO. I cannot imagine asking. In fact, the very idea makes me cringe. We ALSO, went on a Disney Cruise about two months ago and I was asked repeatedly if we were sent. We weren’t. We paid. Just like everyone else. We were happy to pay. It was an extraordinary experience.

        Like you, Amy, I don’t notify PR when I’m traveling and I do tweet, FB and instagram constantly, just because I enjoy it – it IS what I do.

        But I don’t ask.

        Have a spectacular time in London. It WILL be the trip of a lifetime.

  7. 50

    So well said. I get this all of the time and I don’t go most places as a blogger. I go as a consumer just like everyone else.

    • 51

      Oops. And I forgot to say have a wonderful time.

      When the Olympics were here in Atlanta in 1996, we were fortunate enough to purchase tickets to several events. They were some of the most exciting events I have ever attended!!!

  8. 52

    Great post Amy! I get this all the time when I feature products I love. Can’t a girl just like certain things? And I do know all about store brand everything to save a penny or two:)

    Hugs and Mocha,

  9. 53

    Yes. This. You said it all.

    Also? It is my dream to go to the Olympics – especially to attend the opening ceremonies one day – and I have to say that I am so jealous of your trip! Have a great time – and definitely keep sharing it with us… if nothing else I want to vicariously live through you during your stay in London.

  10. 54

    I hope you have a wonderful time with your family and SHAME on the people who harassed you and this experience.

  11. 55

    Sadly, all too many people only view their blog as a way to get free stuff. They measure how “successful” of a blogger they are by how many free items arrive at their doorstop from companies. (“Hey, I got two packages today! I hit the big time!!!”)

    In my mind, my blog is a place for me to vent, talk about what interests me, and post photos I’ve taken. Reviewing products is nice, but it doesn’t really matter in the long run. In fact, I’ve found it tiring those few times when I had multiple reviews at the same time. Too much focus on “stuff” and not enough on what I was interested in.

    If you measure the success of your blog by the metric of “writing about what I love”, then your blog will always be a success!

  12. 56

    Oh, and have fun at the Olympics. Take lots of photos. And, yes, blog about it, but only because you (hopefully) had a great time and wanted to share some photos/stories.

  13. 57

    Enjoy every minute and I expect many photos. Love this post!

  14. 58

    Coolness! Going to the Olympics is on my bucket list! Have fun and take lots of photos! Thanks! :-)

    Don’t waste your neurons over those kind of people. I sometimes wanna upload photos of my receipts and credit card statements but it’s pointless. People will always talk so I just let them. :-)

  15. 59

    I’m still hung up on lay-down seats. Most excellent. It is a sad state of affairs when we feel we must explain ourselves, but I appreciate this post and I hope many bloggers and brands read it. I’m pumped for the games to begin. Can’t wait to hear about them from your perspective. Cheerio!

  16. 60

    Wow! Have an amazing time!

    Sometimes I lie and say something was free, when I actually paid for it, only so my husband gets off my back. He seriously thinks I’m a Shoe Dazzle brand ambassador. Nope. I’m not. I’m just too lazy to go in and tell them I don’t want any shoes this month. So I get a new pair. But the Shoe Dazzle thing began two years ago when I was given a free pair because of my blog, so I consider this a half-lie.

    I’m basically the opposite of you.

    Clearly, you’re the better person.

  17. 61

    Amy, as someone who will always be grateful to you for your efforts in blogging, I say HAVE A GREAT TIME! You’ve earned it, you deserve it.

  18. 62


  19. 63

    Also, someone mentioned even with sponsored trips, you still end up spending your own money, and that is so true!

    Have a wonderful time on your trip!

  20. 64

    I can not believe you are attending the Olympics. I don’t think I could ever brave those crowds of millions of people. Hope you are having a fantastic time.


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