Rewind 3 years ago and I was the ripe old age of 20. Although it wasn’t so long ago I feel as though I’m grown so much in the past 3 years especially when it comes to saying no.


Growing up I really didn’t like disappointing people. It sounds ridiculous but back then I would have rather known I was pleasing other people then be completely comfy or happy with my decisions. This was in all areas of my life – my relationship, friendships, schooling, work and blogging. When I left university it was a big turning point for me. No longer did I feel the pressure to do the cookie cutter life thing and I started learning how to say no.


When it comes to blogging nobody teaches you how to blog and there is no real ‘right’ way to do it. Regardless of how much you think people have their shit together REALLY most are making it up as they go. I know I am.


I used to be really bad at saying no to press samples and sponsorships. I would say yes to most press samples because it was new and exciting. I was better at saying no to sponsorships I didn’t believe in but even then I still ended up promoting a few things, when I was completely honest with myself, I didn’t love head over heels in love with. It left me feeling a bit like a billboard for all paid and non-paid product. I let a lot of brands walk all over me because I was too intimidated by the potential relationships with PR’s and brands. Alot of people will say you have to work for free and allow some people to take advantage in the beginning because it’s how you get your name out there but I have to disagree.


When I left university there was a huge pressure for me to start earning big bucks from blogging because it was essentially what I was putting half of my time into. It was fucking scary! Looking back it’s probably why saying no was so damn hard for me especially when brands are waving considerable amounts of money in your face.

The turning point for me was when a government funded initiative wanted me to do a series of posts for them promoting a system that neither I or Isaac believe in. It was crazy amounts of cash however it was at that point I decided to make blogging about blogging rather then the money again. I said no and that same week my phone got cut off because I was behind on the bill.


I felt empowered and good about my decision regardless.


From then on I can confidently tell you the money I’ve learnt from blogging would not even pay a months rent and I can’t even tell you the last time I did a sponsored blog post or instagram. I haven’t done sponsorships because there hasn’t been an offer on the table that I’m fucking pumped about. Right now I’m focusing on building up our tribe here and figuring out the direction on where I do want to go. And I’m so happy with that.


What I’m wearing: Twisted Knit Jumper (size 10, gifted – can be worn with twist at front also as seen on the model) | Imonni Chloe Knit (size S, gifted) | Dr Denim skirt (not current) | Elroy Cairo Sunglasses | Lack Of Colour Fedora | Mollini Boots (not current)


Have you had a similar experience? How do you feel when you say no?

*products in this post may have been provided for editorial consideration. For more information please view our disclaimer.

Sarah About Sarah
I'm a retail manager by day and a blogger by night aiming to bring you the newest beauty, fashion and lifestyle news. More Than Adored was created to help beauty lovers, like myself, make informed decisions when it comes to buying new goodies.

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  1. 1

    Love this Sarah. I think it’s much better to feel comfortable in our decisions and know we’re being authentic rather than try convince ourselves (and other people) how great a product or brand is. I don’t get sent a lot of things but I still much prefer writing about the things I’ve bought rather than been sent. There’s just a lot less pressure and reminds me about why I blog in the first place – to provide honest reviews and feedback on products. Love your work xx


    • 2

      Thanks Kayte!! I completely agree. Now I’m much happier just plodding along doing my own thing then worrying about brands and products I need to review. I used to be so worried about not being ‘current’ and featuring the latest things but now I just don’t give a shit.

  2. 3

    I obviously don’t have a big blog with my measly 12 followers (whyyyy did I delete my old blog?). LOL. But I still sometimes feel like I am wasting my time with blogging if it isn’t going to lead to money or a career. Obviously, that’s not the point of blogging & I’m only doing it for fun but its still often in the back of my mind. I’m glad you shared this but I also kinda of feel like it should be common knowledge now that a lot of content that people share is so they can make a living. I think its a very confusing career choice. how do you stay genuine but also support yourself? It’s tough and I don’t think I could do it!

    • 4

      I completely agree! I think if it ever got to that point it’d be about having a process when brands do approach you i.e. you try the product for X amount of time, you choose creative direction etc etc… I struggle with the blur of disclosing as well. I find, especially in Aus, the guidelines to airy-fairy and not many bloggers do talk about when they are getting paid. I don’t see why. I would prefer to disclose and talk about the money I’ve made then not say anything and potentially leave people second guessing!

  3. 5

    This is a great post to read about, saying no is hard as it is because you receive backlash in general. Blogging in the beginning from the videos and posts I read start out as a hobby or outlet, then it becomes a career which is fantastic but like anything has it ups and downs. Being true to yourself is more important that trying to discuss products you may not like (if that makes sense) Love your work and style! We wear similar clothes :)

    Love Jordyn x

  4. 7

    I feel the exact same way and I’ve actually had a few things happen lately where although I really want to earn money from my blog, I either didn’t believe in the brand or what they were selling or the brand wanted me to do something that I found to be shady so I’ve turned them down. In all honesty it sucks to turn down paid opportunities but I fell like I’m not going to sell my soul for a few bucks, you know? Too dramatic…? haha

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

  5. 9

    I haven’t had too many opportunities float my way yet (I had one come by recently, which I rejected on account of being unsure if it was the right fit for my blog), but I too don’t wish to sell my soul for a few bucks or products that I’m just not interested in. I know it’ll suck turning down those opportunities if & when they arise; but at the risk of sounding naive, I’d rather stay true to myself & be authentic & honest than try & convince someone about something that not even I would want to buy.

    Shell // The Novice Life

    • 10

      Exactly Shell! It’s been a journey to realise that it’s way more important to be authentic then to put pressure to earn money and not love the work I’m doing xx

  6. 11

    I just think you’re so brave for making decisions and speaking out about this! I don’t have a very ~amazing and well-known~ blog yet (YET, I mean a girl can dream), so I don’t come across offers that much now. Recently, I did just reject a certain offer to feature a couple of sites on my blog as part of my content. They were NOTHING like what my blog usually offers, it wouldn’t suit me or my content, so I simply had no interest and didn’t think it would work well anyway. I was quite taken aback because obviously it’d be great if I could just start monetizing my blog (I think every start-up blogger is always in that “ugh when do i start getting paid” stage), but it’s important also to keep our blogs consistent, right? The way I see it, it’s our personal space, and there’s no reason for us to place anything inside it that doesn’t align with what we’re comfortable with.
    Gosh, this was lengthy, hahaha it’s just that your post came at a really good time.
    Have a great rest of the week! x

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

    • 12

      No it’s so true and I love that so early on you’re like ‘no not doing it it’s not me’. It’s so hard but as you said there is no place for features that don’t align perfectly with our usual content x

  7. 13

    Good for you! It took me a while to realise I had to say no- here’s my rates. And even then so saying no completely if I didn’t feel aligned to a product or brand. I’m so over sell out bloggers.

  8. 14

    I can definitely relate to this, you are not alone! While I haven’t done many (any?) sponsorships I’m not proud of, I did continue using non-cruelty free products for a full year after I decided to go vegan because I thought it would hurt my blog. In hindsight I felt very selfish but justified it in my mind. It felt good to finally let go and just blog about brands whose ethics and standards align with mine. I wish I could turn back the clock and start fresh but we all learn from these things.

    Kate |

  9. 15

    I’ am the same when it comes to wanting to please people BUT my approach when it comes to blogging is different. I love my brand so much that I dont want to cheapen myself so I’m not afraid to say no and have in fact said no to numerous brands because I felt it would devalue my reflection of my brand and how I wanted to portray myself or felt that it was not my style. It’s important to think about you as an individual and also your brand. Because my brand represents modesty and shyness, I wouldn’t go out and promote a bikini company you know? Because it contradicts what my blog is about. On another note, good on you for having the courage to stand up for what you believe in for you and your blog.


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