Today I wanted to get a few things off my chest. You’ll always find advice posts on here about earning from your blog or, indeed, how I turned my blog into a job. I’ve been vocal in the past about when bloggers are getting a rough ride-like working for free or being scammed by blogging awards.
In other words, you’ll usually find me on the bloggers’ side-but today, I wanted to be honest and say: a lot of the posts I’m seeing on my twitter timeline and Instagram feed (from both bloggers and blogging opportunities) are quite frankly bullshit.
And I can’t help but feel as if I can no longer trust some bloggers who are willing to sell me anything if the price is high enough.
The rise of vague opportunities
Somewhere along the line, we have lost the personalised touch and it now seems perfectly acceptable to recruit bloggers via a tweet that reads ‘hi, a brand I know is looking for bloggers to review an item; leave me your email address below.’
And no. I am really not paraphrasing! That is the literal tweet. I take issue with these types of tweet for two reasons.
Firstly, a PR really shouldn’t be getting bloggers to recruit people for them-brands working closely with bloggers is what makes collaborations work.
Because the main issue here, is if you genuinely think all bloggers have integrity and are super-picky is to take a look at the sheer number of responses these get-which often go into the hundreds.
That’s hundreds of bloggers often replying ‘definitely interested’ ‘or ‘would love to’, without
However, I must say, it is not completely the blogger’s fault here: I do believe the market is essentially saturated in a sense and we all (understandably) want to jump on the bandwagon when something is tweeted-especially in January when ops can seem few and far between. Nobody wants to miss out on the potential.
After all, what if that tweet was about a trip to the Caribbean? Newsflash: it never is-as sadly, most of the time genuine, well-paid ops are not advertised this way. It’s even worse when I see bloggers tweeting: ‘I’d like to work with a brand, whose best to start with?’
In other words, I’d like to get some free stuff-who is
Finally, many many bloggers are using referral links to promote sites like Link Monster and Get Blogged-despite not using them themselves. I know because the former has had only had a few ops but has somehow recruited 1300 bloggers through this method-they’ve got lots of bloggers but no one can say if they’re any good as they haven’t worked with them! But anything for some free pennies right?
The problem extends to opportunities that are essentially illegal or exploitative. I’m not going to get into follow-links (since they’re not, but they can still harm your blog). Again, I see daily bloggers flock to accept posts on random topics (car tyres? I’d love to! funerals? I was just planning a post! male impotence remedies? my followers love that shit!) with no disclosure. The prices get lower whilst the number of bloggers grows bigger:you can see the issue.
I’m often told it is unfair to judge others who accept this type of work, as
However, I am essentially a reader of a blog (and therefore, I am entitled to expect good content) and a person working in the industry. If, when I worked in teaching, a fellow teacher behaved unethically: why wouldn’t I call them out on it? If blogging truly is an industry, why can’t we hold the people that work in it to the same standards?
More importantly, this type of content is never good and sadly, when a blogger is paid so little, they are loathe to make changes to it. With no disclosure, you’re essentially lying to your readers-so why should I trust you?
I don’t often accept guest posts for payment-but I do
Is lifestyle blogging a cop-out?
It shouldn’t be. A lifestyle blog can be a niche in itself-because, it’s YOUR lifestyle that I’m following. That’s why two lifestyle blogs can be completely different! However, a lot of bloggers are starting to use this as an excuse to sell me anything.
As you might know, I do blog outreach for Chronic Illness Bloggers and I am passionate about opportunities for those with chronic health issues. I am often flabbergasted by bloggers who apply for these-who not only do not have the condition themselves but have never written about the topic.
Again, if they’ve never taken the time to blog about it when payment isn’t involved, it clearly not particularly important to them or their readers.
I know it is difficult: but I do believe that in the
Brands Putting Words Into Bloggers Mouths
When blogging first started, we heralded it as a welcome alternative to traditional media. Our words couldn’t be purchased or restricted by an editor-and our opinions were 100% honest.
In fact, whenever I google anything, I’ll always add ‘blog review’ to the search term; as it was something I’d trust.
I’ve lost count of the same bloggers recommending their ‘go-to Shampoo’ and next week; saying they’ve only used another brand for years. I’ve seen others do ads for driving schools and then tweet that they think it’s pointless learning to drive. Things felt personal when I’ve seen bloggers promote a ‘gluten-free’ product (a diet I personally follow for medical reasons) in one post and then posing with pizza and piles of bread in the other.
I’ve seen brands wanting to work with fashion bloggers to promote things like intolerance testing and gluten-free products (one brief even going so far as to say they’d ideally only like those who follow it for the lifestyle rather than a medical need!); despite the fact these bloggers have never talked about the issues before.
So one week, they are so much less bloated after eliminating gluten and the next week, the #spon is gone and they’re telling their bloggers to never give up bread and #carbsforlife.
I genuinely think that it’s become such a fast, quick transaction that whilst smaller bloggers might have a handful of collaborations they pour their efforts in to and keep in touch with the brand long-term,larger bloggers genuinely can’t keep up with the ads they’re doing: the money is probably great but they’re literally contradicting themselves!
I will be honest and say I can no longer trust these bloggers. If you rave about an item and mention it again, it tells me you were only interested in the cash. I know it can be tricky-there’s brands I’ve worked with and then keep buying and talking about their product (cue awkward dialogue explaining it was an ad, and now its really not and hoping people believe you).
Going back to gluten-free for a second, one opportunity this week on Tribe asked
Luckily, there’s plenty of bloggers who do stand their ground.
But on the whole, we’re in denial if we don’t think we have a problem. We can keep rolling our eyes and sighing every time the media slams another influencer and calling journalists jealous-but we’re not getting to the root of the issue.
It’s not unsupportive or bitchy to say some bloggers are taking the piss. It doesn’t make you a bad blogger to actually agree when some bloggers are described as