Thursday, 21 April 2016

Transparency In The Blogging World | My Thoughts


When I first started blogging last Summer, I never realised anyone actually cared about stuff like DA (domain authority) or whether or not a company contacts them. I thought only 'huge youtubers' got those opportunities and I didn't really have an interest in it either if I'm totally honest. I just created a blog because I wanted one! It's fun for me, writing about make-up and beauty. It's what I call my hobby, I guess. The thing is, I'm not enjoying the blogging community recently, which makes me kind of sad. 

It's mainly the Facebook groups I'm in, because wow. They're littered with 'how do I get paid?' type posts and moans about PRs all day long. It's always weird to see someone fake random stuff. I've seen people do comment swaps on Facebook threads and then tell a PR that they have high engagement and girls write posts like 'how to get thousands of views in one week!!!' but what they fail to mention, is that they tag their blog posts in the retweet hashtags on Twitter every 7 minutes. I've seen people post in a bloggers Facebook group "I'm a new mummy blogger, any tips?" and then an hour later, "How do I get a company to send me a pram for review?" (Yes, I actually DID see that). I won't go on and on with examples, but you can see this kind of stuff every single day on the #PRrequest hashtag and on Facebook groups for bloggers (there is one serial offender) and it seems as though there are hundreds of people setting up blogs purely for free stuff. It has to be said, and it becomes seriously obvious as well after the 10th post you've commented on with your e-mail and DA after someone offers a sponsored post opportunity on a Facebook group. 

When I read a blog and someone has written a post about 'Tips for young drivers' and entered a shady advert for an insurance company they have never used and are never going to use, it makes me question their motives for blogging. Is writing a post about something that has no relevance to your 3,000 monthly readers actually a good thing to do? Is it worth the £20 you're being paid? Do you seriously think that benefits your readers in any way? Not really. It's kind of insulting, actually. But I'm glad you have earnt some pocket money.

A. Boring your readers to death and 
B. Vouching for a company you've never had insurance with! Woo. (Disclaimer: this was a fictional post I've used as an example)

It's way different when someone a beauty blogger reviews a foundation they've been sent or a lifestyle blogger is paid to promote a candle. If it's something someone has actually tried, tested and liked, then that's totally cool with me. It jut comes accross really lame when someone is paid to feature something on their blog when it is clearly not suited to their target audience, or that they have never even tried. Like, do you think your 18-25 year old readers are going to go out and buy a £200 'amazing blogger' lamp or expensive car insurance? I highly doubt it. I'm all for people making money from their blog, we all work hard on our little space on the internet, but try to keep the things you feature vaguely well written or relevant to your blog.

I'm going on a bit now, but my point here is try to keep your blog transparent, especially if you're trying to grow your blog. Don't expect it to pull in new readers if you're shilling out lame sponsored content/PR sample reviews all the time. The likelihood is that you're never going to be a Zoella or Essiebutton, who have had wild success from the days when blogging was half as popular as it was now. You're never going to have money coming in from product lines or books, so if you do ever want to make money from your blog, please respect the people that read it. There are thousands of blogs people could be reading, so let us know you care enough us to not act like we're just numbers. And remember, we all clicked on your blog and started reading it for a reason, and I'm pretty sure that reason wasn't a shady affiliate-link review of an amazing new £85 body scrub that's only 'amazing' because it was given to you for free. #SorryNotSorry


Do you guys ever feel like rolling your eyes when you see sponsored/paid for posts? Have they become too much of 'the norm'? How many should someone really put out?Let me know your thoughts!

 You can also find me at:

Natasha Kendall Blog
SHARE:

40 comments

  1. I totally agree with all of this. A lot of people just create blogs to get free things but I think that those are the ones that probably will never go to far. Blogging requires a lot of hard work, discipline and love. Love for blogging, photographing, engaging with readers and reading other blogs. People that only blog for free stuff will never, ever be successful bloggers in my opinion.
    I created my blog as an hobby and since january this year I have been consistent with my posts because I do love doing this and it kind of transfers me to another reality far away from nursing and hospital shifts. And I think that it is because I love what I do that I have had a couple of brands reaching out to me for collaborations although not having a big amount of followers at all.
    I think that the blogging community has changed a lot because people are focusing in the wrong thing (PR Samples) instead of focusing in doing something they enjoy and are proud of it.


    Lovely post and great point of view! x

    www.thelisasworld.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you 100% and it definitely does show through their blog. x

      Delete
  2. I completely agree! It's so sad how many don't realise that blogging is something that takes passion, commitment. discipline, sweat and tears. I always felt that if you don't love blogging, then it shows through your posts but honestly I think everything's changing due to the 'getting free stuff' mindset.

    I'd love to see more posts like this where you share your own opinion, it's like picking your brain a little bit haha <3

    Luceat Lux Vestra x

    Maz | www.mazrawrs.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely is hard work! People start a blog thinking 'okay, I've got a blog, now what? Where do I apply for free baby bottles?' lol x

      Delete
  3. Totally agree with you! I've actually unfollowed people for that exact reason, It's almost like certain people get so high up in fame and successful blogging they forget why people want to read them. I always say if I wanted to read an advertisement I would read a magazine. I come to read blogs for authenticity!
    Xx
    Http://www.inthegreyonline.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've un-followed people too because of it! I agree with you, it is like advertising in a more shady way haha x

      Delete
  4. I completely get where your coming from, I have nothing against people doing sponsored reviews or reviewing items and being honest because a lot of the time it does make for great content, but its so easy to see when people aren't truly being honest, or are just blogging for the freebies! Transparency is definitely key!
    Tenz
    www.shesabouthatlife.com
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I strongly agree with this! It's quite heartbreaking when you see people blog or start youtube just for the sake of making money. I mean the famous ones like zoella and essiebutton never went in thinking i'm going to become huge they were just looking for a hobby. It's easy to get caught in the whirl wind but i really agree with you, our blogs should reflect us. People abusing the blogging and youtube world for fake stuff are not doing a good thing. I get defensive of blogging it's really a refreshing hobby and escape for me where i get to have fun and talk about what i love. So those doing it for the wrong reasons are just injecting a lot of bad vibes into the blogging community.

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I know, I think people see big youtubers living off their blogs and youtube channel and think it's overnight success! x

      Delete
  6. When ever I get asked from people if they should start a blog so they can get things for free I always say No. No you should not. Because I hate to say it you wont get very far with that mentality. The whole concept great work comes great rewards should be a thing. Not just an entitlement.got to work hard for what you want. If you do not have good content and engage with your readers then you wont get the sponsorships etc. As a fashion err.personal style blogger everyone thinks I get a majority of my clothes for free. I don't. I have a few times but not a lot. I do post every now and then wish lists of places to shop, but mostly it is my outfits, my life, my crazy hair, and my nerdiness. I blog because I LOVE it. I enjoy it thoroughly, I enjoy it as an outlet. It sucks that so many get into it for the chance of making the big $$$ then their blogs disappear after a month because of nothing happening. Wonderful post. REally couldn't agree more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! x

      Delete
  7. Amen sister...the point of this is to be real with your readers, not to trick them in to buying expensive or crap products.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Couldn't agree more!!! When did blogging stop being fun and became such a competitive place? I am also on some blogger chats / pages and all I can see it 'this company contacted me, should I accept their stuff?', and then someone replies to that 'How do I get sent free stuff / get paid for my posts?'. ARGH, makes me so angry! And then genuine bloggers just get perceived same as the non-genuine time wasters.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Agree 100%. I really hate reading blogs that are not as honest as you'd like them to be, like I love reading people's actual views on things and not just the same recycled material or raving about the same thing all the time, especially if they're getting paid for it. I feel like a lot of bloggers deserve more out of the effort they put in their blogs but some people make it seem like a bad place when it relly isn't we should just enjoy doing it for the fun of it anyway! Great post! x

    - Eternalleigh.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely tars every person with the same brush when certain bloggers act like their blogs are a meal ticket x

      Delete
  10. Such a great post! And it's really been bothering me for quite some time now. I've actually stopped following a good handful of blogs because I've just gotten so sick of what blogging has turned into. Blogs that I used to love I've really come to dislike and have become very untrustworthy to me, and it's been actually quite sad to me that I've had to stop reading/following them because I did enjoy them and the bloggers themselves. All in all, the less personable content I see on blogs and the more PR reviews/sponsored content I see is really quite a let down, in my opinion. For myself I really want to connect with someone and their blog, not be constantly pushed products by brands who send them to bloggers to talk about (not counting products that are not even relatable to the blogs themselves, oh gosh). Totally agree with you!

    xoxo
    www.hellohimawari.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, you're right, the products that are sent out are rarely ever relatable to the blog. Drugstore beauty blog gets sent a RRP £40 body scrub/cream or whatever and it's 'amazing' and 'they'd definitely reccommend it' but after 3 months you never see it photographed again! x

      Delete
  11. It's honestly amazing how some people behave D: I think it took me about 6 months to get a comment on my blog, never mind be sent anything! I've noticed a recent trend of people (ok mostly YouTubers) hyping up an expensive product they were sent and then running out of it and not repurchasing it or now suddenly commenting on the price... if it was that good surely you would buy it again with your own money? I've honestly turned down collaborations with brands because I personally wouldn't pay so much for the product and most of the time they've actually really appreciated the honesty. I also get tired of reading blogs that have become a dumping ground for every random sample that was doing the rounds, it really starts to ruin the blog xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, youtubers are the worst for it. I only buy a product a youtubers uses if I notice that they consistently use it over a period of time x

      Delete
  12. Wow this is a really interesting read Natasha. I totally agree with you about the Insurance example. One of my fave bloggers did a similar thing, writing a whole post about one subject (totally related to her blog) to then finish the final paragraph with something totally unrelated by the company that had sponsored her. I felt like a fool for reading the whole post, only to be let down right at the end. It was so badly done. For that reason I often turn down paid opportunities. But I do worry sometimes about my own blog, as I set it up to share my knowledge (I was a beautician & salon owner), but I was quickly getting paid offers (within two months or so), and so straight away I was on that track. Then I was shortlisted for an award and after that getting sent a lot of stuff. So I do a lot of reviews as well as advice. I would be devestated if people thought I was only in it for free stuff, wasn't being genuine and didn't love blogging or something though. I try to keep it all balanced, but who knows what the readers really think? Maybe the PR disclaimers put readers off? Thanks for the insight anyway. : )

    ♥ Carly Susanne - A Hair, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hae more respect for bloggers if they just make a sponsored post honestly. I get that sometimes the extra cash is useful but the way some people go about this stuff is so lame! Thanks for sharing your thoughts xx

      Delete
  13. I completely agree! It's very tempting to get paid opportunities but all this look so fake. I turn down lots of collaboration because they just don't fit with my blog or I'm simply not interested in them, I don't want force my posts and I want to feel good about those that I publish.
    To be honest there is very few bloggers or YouTubers that I trust their opinion and it's not because I think they lie but because it's easy to love something you were gifted but would they buy these products with their own money. x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't trust any youtubers now, I found out recently that they don't have to mark something as an 'AD' unless they are being told what to say about a product. So a company can pay a youtuber £5000 to rave about a product, but as long as they don't tell them to mention 'x' or 'y' there doesn't need to be a disclaimer. They can get away with anything just by putting 'in collaboration with..." right at the bottom of the description box! So bad. x

      Delete
  14. As a wedding planner and on the day coordinator I started my blog because I think it's important that my clients get to know who I am because they have to want me to work with them. I do promote products through my website but its about promoting the things I love and the things I think my clients will love, want and need. Some of the companies I'm not an affiliate for because getting paid isn't the point.
    Anyone going into blogging for the freebies probably won't manage to make a career of it because their readers won't be able to trust them and their reviews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, accepting lots of rubbish freebies is not good when you're trying to build long-term trust with readers! Thanks for sharing your thoughts xx

      Delete
  15. I never realized how big the market was until I started receiving mails from random Asian fashion online stores that offered money in exchange for a blog post. After getting five without ever having featured anything fashion on my blog and seeing them pop up on various other blogs I realized that something was going really wrong.
    Ever since I am extremely picky when working with a brand and rarely do any sponsored posts.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    ReplyDelete
  16. I completely agree, but also think that companies try to take advantage of bloggers. I've received emails for sponsored posts, replied with my rates & then stated that links will be 'nofollow', only to receive a reply basically saying "yes that's all fine, we need a follow link." So either they haven't read my email, or they think that agreeing with me & then contradicting that agreement is ok. I think they hope people just skim their replies & agree. Then have to stick to the follow link. I've had one asking for sponsored content with a link to used medical laser equipment! They even provided examples of bloggers they'd worked with in the past! Erm... Not on my blog you don't! I'd much rather not earn any money from my blog & keep it 100% authentic to me. Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

    ReplyDelete
  17. Good stuff Natasha. I get irritated alot in the groups too. I've also noticed some snobbery among some bloggers that I really don't like. I have read that you shouldn't do sponsored posts for products you don't believe in and in my opinion that should probably go for ads as well.Everyone is putting banners in their posts though. I have a small facebook group that yes is about engagement and promoting each other but it's friendly and small facebook.com/groups/crazy4blogging

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm glad your bringing this topic to light. I think it's far too accepted. I've seen people reviewing a certain brand of sweet treats, amongst other things. It's just so excessive. I personally won't even really engage after they just keep accepting, promoting, repeat. I prefer smaller, more authentic, relatable and personal blogs. It's a community, and should be used to make friends. Not a competition, or who can get the most followers.
    Words By Katie

    ReplyDelete
  19. I blog because I enjoy it & want to spread things I think others might be interested in & I believe in pure honest reviews. Blogging simply for free stuff is pretty shady and guvujg stellar reviews just because a company sent you something is so wrong on so many kevels. You have to care about your audience & let them know what they're really in for when buying whatever product it is! x

    Http://missspexyface.Blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I blog because I enjoy it & want to spread things I think others might be interested in & I believe in pure honest reviews. Blogging simply for free stuff is pretty shady and guvujg stellar reviews just because a company sent you something is so wrong on so many kevels. You have to care about your audience & let them know what they're really in for when buying whatever product it is! x

    Http://missspexyface.Blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love this post, I totally agree. It wouldn't be the first time I've seen a beauty blogger writing a sponsored post on lightbulbs or wallpaper, it's shocking. I've never done a sponsored post where I get paid, but I have done posts on free samples but I always make sure it's relevant to my blog, usually make up or perfume or a restaurant review as that's an area my blog focuses on. When bloggers take free stuff just because it's free or do a completely irrelevant post because their paid it really shows an reflects badly on all of the honest bloggers. Love this post and how honest it is :)

    Ashley | hiyaitsashley.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I seriously love this post and it's so true! Thank you so much for speaking some truth.

    http://www.thatsobee.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. It's so important to write your blog for yourself, no one else. Write the content YOU want to. It comes across very obviously if not. I try to be as transparent as possible in my posts and that's why I don't write regularly, I probably have nothing to say.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I do see this on some sites but I blog about stuff I like & do it for fun that is why there is sometime a big gap in between my post because I like to fully try something out! I think you can tell when people are promoting something just for the sake of it. I to keep it real & read blogs that are real to x x

    ReplyDelete
  25. It's so important to stick to relevant posts for your blog. I was offered men's trainers last week 😂...I genuinely couldn't believe it. I think they saw my name (Jamie) and didn't even bother to check what my blog was about or even my profile picture. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  26. very interesting post lovely. transparency is very important in the blogging world xxx

    ReplyDelete
  27. You've hit the nail bang on the head here, Natasha. There's nothing more infuriating than reading bog standard paid posts which are blatantly obvious. I couldn't have summed this up better had I tried.. If we're going to spend our precious time reading a blog then it's typically for the quality content and the individual personality of which is portrayed within the text, not yet another advertisement. Sure it's nice for people to be able to receive some form of payment for something they adore but there are ways of going about it without risking readers interest in the process.

    I'm becoming obsessed with your blog already after reading only two posts. I'm so glad you stumbled upon my Twitter and chose to hit the follow button, thank you! xx

    ReplyDelete
  28. packers and movers in delhi are one of the leading packers and movers. Movers Packers are offering our services not only in Delhi but also other major cities of India.Movers engaged in packing, loading and unloading, transportation/moving, car transportation, warehousing, Packing And Moving services in India.
    packers and movers in ghaziabad Just oversee the ancient system of managing everything all alone and hire professional Packers and Movers in Ghaziabad if you are in Ghaziabad. So if you are ...
    packers and movers kolkata There are many packers and movers companies in Kolkata. If you are planning to shift to Kolkata, then availing the services of Movers and packers in Kolkata is ...

    ReplyDelete

What do you think?

Blogger Template Created by pipdig