The Dirty Side of Blogging
Diving Into the Blogosphere
I have been thinking about these thoughts for a few weeks and I feel like I've come to a point where I need to get them down into a post and share with you. Just like friends would do. It's been bothering me and I just want to talk about it.
Not only have I gotten a ton of messages about social media advice, but people are asking me how to make thousands of dollars from YouTube before they even buy a camera to film. First and foremost I am not giving advice to Bob Joe who was in my English class in the 5th grade. Who are you? We haven't talked in 15 years so I'm not sure why you think it's okay to reach out to me to get my business advice about how I built my blog, social media and so forth. Read a book about it or something. There weren't books about how to write a blog post when I started my blog, so you're one leg up from my starting point.
The blogosphere can be like a sorority sometimes.
Before I get some stupid ass hate for this sorority comparison, I am going to give you some explanation. My comment is comparing the negative vibes of the blogging world to a sorority. First off, I was in a sorority for a year in college and it was the worst experience of my life. Since we're all friends here, back then my sorority sisters were sleeping with my boyfriend at the time. Real sisterly if you ask me. In addition, I was ostracized for thinking outside the box and being my own person. If the sisterly cheating isn't enough explanation for you, every night I went out with my sisters they got me completely trashed and then left me behind in random places. There was no looking out for one another, and while this is not every single sorority girl's experience, it was mine.
There are girls in the blogosphere who are so cliquey and they treat it as if the Alpha Phis are better than the TriDelts or the Chi Os and so forth. It's almost this us against them mentality and it's not only ridiculous, but very counterproductive. Not only that, but there's internal group drama too. It's almost like none of us can get along with one another. I will admit I see the MOST drama in the American blogosphere, whereas the UK is much more shimmered down. I know some European girls in Amsterdam, Germany, Norway, Greece and so forth, and the drama doesn't ensue there like it does here. We like to be dramatic.
Some girls think their shit doesn't stink.
Give me a f&$%*@% break. You are the same as the other 7.4 billion people on this earth. There is nothing special about you because 100,000 people follow you on Instagram. I can't help but do the biggest eye roll when I see a girl being absolutely extra about some dumbass thing. Sure we get free things, and we try to get free services to review and report on to our audiences, but you are not better than anyone else on this earth. This divides our community too. Some girls think everyone should recognize them in their hometown. I honestly do not look for that kind of attention. It's kind of awkward for me when someone watches my Insta stories in front of me, or even my YouTube videos. Something about it feels wrong, as if the person should be watching me in the comfort and privacy of their own home and not in front of me. I don't expect anyone to know me, but if I do come across someone who does I am so excited and beside myself. It's so important to be humble.
Loop giveaways are the most controversial topic.
I'm not exaggerating. I cannot tell you how many times arguments have ensued and bloggers have talked shit to each other about the concept of loop giveaways. Some think it's cheating. Others say it's part of their business. The arguments never end. I will always 150% believe that loop giveaways are a great way to grow your Instagram and that giveaways in general help increase an audience and reward your existing audience. It baffles me that girls are so anti-giveaways because they believe 1) people should follow you for you and not your giveaways (whateverrr) and 2) you're cheating if you're gaining followers from giveaways. Again I say whatever. We all choose to run our blogs and lives a different way. It's inevitable. Not every person selling donuts in their donut shop is doing the exact same marketing and business tactics. Why should we as bloggers succumb to ONE way of running our business?
Feuds are a thing.
Since I belong to the RewardStyle clan, I am part of some online support groups for Like to Know It. To be blunt, when I did a loop giveaway back in January or February, it gained me almost 45,000 Instagram followers. I was removed and kicked out of a RewardStyle group run by a fellow blogger. She didn't talk to me before blocking me. I just logged in one morning and tried to go in and do my admin responsibilities (since I was a moderator) and I couldn't see the group. It didn't even CROSS my mind that I was removed. I thought perhaps Facebook was having a brain fart, or I was logged into the wrong account. Well I Facebook messaged the girl in charge and she responded with a screenshot from Socialblade and the following:
Yes, we blocked you. I work my ass off to get my blog up there and when people buy followers it's honestly appalling. As admins, we've decided to remove anyone who is cheating the system because they are hurting us.
Maybe next time think about your blogger friends you're hurting in the process of buying followers.
I'm stuck where I am but I don't cheat. Have a good night!
When I got this message, I was actually shaking from fury. I was outed from a group I respected and participated in EVERY.SINGLE.DAY based on an assumption that wasn't even accurate!? I responded with the following:
Excuse me? I didn't buy my followers. That is BEYOND rude of you to assume, and think I would do such a thing. I participate in Martha (@marthasuch) & Ana's loops, which I've told everyone who has asked me. They do loop giveaways that gain 20-50k followers each time because we do them with YouTubers who have a million followers. It's fair and square. I see all of you planning giveaways yourselves, so I don't think you disagree. I honestly cannot believe you thought I bought my followers. Before you removed me from a group, you should have at least talked to me to hear my side of the story rather than assuming.
When it comes to someone who is stubborn, and lacks openmindedness, you get responses like these:
Lmao ok I'm really not even going to bother arguing 😂
Yeah we plan small giveaways. Not ONE blogger, even huge ones, has gained that many followers in a day. So yes. It IS cheating. And I don't need to ask you to know. Everyone knows.
What a bitch right? You're probably thinking why does this girl even matter? She's a complete loser given she is bullying me because I found a way to make my blog blossom. However, it's principle. You know that I am someone who doesn't talk shit behind people's back, I say it to their face. When you're wasting my time (whether it's work, life, etc.) I tell you to your face. That's the most effective way. I'm not going to tell Sally, who may tell Jonnie, who is going to tell Charlie who will tell his girlfriend Martha. We're not in the 2nd grade. We're adults and we therefore need to communicate as such.
Needless to say, after this experience, I realized I didn't have as many "blogger friends" as I thought because they didn't give me a chance to explain myself. And even when I did, they laughed in my face and said "yeah no way, you're a cheater" and blocked me. Those are the type of people you want to avoid at all costs, because they are a cancer. They are useless in your life when they don't see your side and continue to believe only one track. I won't get into more details about this bully, but needless to say, life catches up with you when you feel so entitled in just about everything you do. People do get wiser with age so I'll fill you in in 5 years if she ever matures.
My point here is that we all have enemies and people we disagree with most of the time. It's inevitable. You will piss someone off, especially in this day and age. I could say I hate Fritos and someone will talk shit to me.
There's a divide based on following.
There are certain bloggers who are only friends with their clique. If they're in the 500k realm, they seem to know only the 500k girls and interact with them. Some of us on the smaller side of things tend to stick together. I do think it may come down to meeting these girls at certain events, and then having the opportunity to continue meeting them at those events. I don't get invited on blogger trips with Victoria from (inthefrow) so I wouldn't have a chance to chat with her or build much of a relationship. It's all a bit orchestrated by your management, PR companies and the likes. It's tough to be friends with someone when you're not in the same "PR circle".
There's a lot of jealousy.
It's so odd because men don't get jealous like women do. Half the time we don't even realize we're jealous, but it's the only explanation for how we're acting and the things we say and do. It's nuts. Girls don't want to share advice, contacts or help one another out. Blows my mind because I am usually willing to help anyone I can if I get their message and have the chance to respond to it. Of course, if you're getting hundreds of messages a day, it becomes impossible to respond to every single message but to some degree, interacting with others is a big part of being a team player in the industry. Especially if it's your peers. If someone does something differently, people instantly think you cheated, roll their eyes and just hate you for it. Sorry for being a trail blazer?
Some bloggers think they know everything.
Some swear on their life that XYZ is cheating and buying followers, or she's lying about this or that. It gets ridiculous, and following these stories is exhausting and quite honestly, childish AF. I am too busy working with my team and buying an empire to notice your frivolous shit. Grow up or get out.
Some can't mind their own business.
Moving into more detail from my last point about some bloggers thinking they know everything, it really comes down to they can't mind their own damn business. Me facilitating a giveaway has literally nothing to do with them. If I want to partake in a giveaway, I will do so. If I want to take my photos a certain way or share my opinion, I certainly can. If you think the entire world revolves around you and your blog, you are sadly mistaken. We are all different and we run our blogs differently. Get over it.
This is the cause of much drama when it comes to loops. "If she gains 20,000 followers from this loop, I'm 20,000 followers behind and she will get the opportunities." No shit Sherlock, that's how business works. However some think it's necessary and beneficial to bash others by saying it's cheating to do a giveaway. Focus on yourself, and the fact that your photos and content can always be improved. Fix the blurriness, fix the colors, fix your typos. Focus on yourself.
Some brands still don't get it.
This point moves away from bloggers and goes to brands. I cannot tell you how many emails I get from random brands saying they want to pay me $12 to post on Instagram in exchange for a $20 shirt. What the fuck f^$% are these people thinking? Don't get me started on the brands who swear they have no budget. Not only do we bust our asses to make incredible content, but we have to hustle our asses to get paid too. It's gotten a LOT better, trust me. But we still have a long way to go. Imagine having to convince your boss to pay you more than $10,000 USD for your job that should be $45,000. That's our reality sometimes.
I may add some more thoughts but for now, I think I have some of the basic ones covered. It feels good to get these thoughts out there. Blogging isn't all paychecks and Gucci, that's for sure. We have to fight each other for opportunities and even then, we still fight over stupid things like some bloggers doing giveaways or not. Not to mention we have to send fire drill emails asking brands to consider paying us a reasonable amount for our time and effort.