Why Bloggers Need to Get Over Themselves

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Ooh, did I get your attention with my controversial title? Good, bahaha. I’ll obviously point out that in today’s post I’m actually talking about why some bloggers need to get over themselves – the vast majority of bloggers we know are all super lovely swell people, but there is a certain attitude amongst some bloggers that’s been irking us for a while now.

As we work in digital marketing, we get to see both sides of the blogger outreach system, both as bloggers being approached and the brand approaching bloggers. And from both of these perspectives we now and then see the same things: namely, bloggers who need to get over themselves. Whether it’s making cringey requests under #PRRequest hashtag, or bitching that they haven’t been invited to certain events, I’m sure we’ve all seen this type of bad blogger behaviour.

Here are a few of my personal bugbears when it comes to bloggers:

Badmouthing a Company’s Outreach – Especially When It’s Legit

We know there are plenty of companies or individuals who are not great at outreaching to bloggers, but seeing people take to social media and blast a brand is a bit boring to read at the best of times. But what really grates on me is seeing a blogger slag off an outreach campaign simply because it doesn’t match their personal standards.

One shining example of this happened quite a few months back on Twitter. We saw one blogger furiously tweeting about a brand, and then saw her write a whole blog post about the way that this company was trying to scam bloggers. So what did this company have the audacity to do? They put a tweet out for blogger collaborations, which then turned out to be asking for bloggers to guest post for them on their own blog. Said blogger was properly furious about this, stating it was just brands getting something for free by using and abusing bloggers. I have several issues with this bloggers’ beef:

1. guest posting has been used as a way to help blogs for years, as appearing on someone else’s blog and getting a link back to your blog can help with your SEO (as we spoke about in more detail here)
2. social exposure and association with a fashion brand is surely something that, as a fashion blogger, should surely be something fairly interesting to you
3. this blogger had clearly been more than happy to work with the brand when they thought there was a freebie from it, yet not when they realised otherwise

For the record, we ended up writing a guest post for said brand. They still tweet out our article regularly, as well as promoting our other posts across their social channels, and we got a lot of traffic from it. We would rather that than a cheap freebie, ta.

Assuming There’s a Budget and They Deserve to Be Paid

Sponsored posts are fairly commonplace in the blogging industry, however there are many bloggers who are a bit too obsessed with the idea of getting dollar dollar bill. There are a lot of blogging groups out there where you’ll see bloggers slating companies who have offered guest posts or try to outreach with a ‘blog to win’ competition. Common complaints include

“We should not be expected to work for free, we’re valuable to brands and they should stop abusing us”
“There is a marketing budget for advertising so they should pay us”
“I bet the people working at the brands aren’t working for free”

First up, yes bloggers are growing increasingly important to brands, which is why so many of them are thinking of ways to work with us. However, it’s important to stay humble and also realistic. Just because you have 200 followers does not mean brands should be fawning all over you as if the fate of their company rests in your typing hands. Secondly, a blog for most people is rarely advertised as their work. Of course there are full time bloggers but what happened to all this “I blog because I love it” shit that most bloggers will always say when asked? So now writing about fashion, which you claim is your passion, is a chore? Convenient.

Next up, there is not always a budget for blogger campaigns, and this is not a snub. Often digital marketing budgets are small and paid marketing is another kettle of fish entirely to what blogger outreach falls under. Similarly, sometimes there will be no budget as brands have a policy of not paying for links (which should actually be the case, cough cough). Contrary to popular belief, marketeers do not spend their time laughing at how they’ve scammed you while rolling around in money that was originally in a bag labelled ‘Blogger Incentives’.

And finally… no of course they’re not working for free. Check out ‘blog’ and ‘job’ in the dictionary; quite different definitions. You berks.

Taking It All Too Seriously

I know we all put a lot of effort into our blogs, but the fact is that most of us set out to start a blog because it’s fun and is meant to be something we enjoy. To see people slagging off brands, making demands and slating outreach people (who are just essentially trying to do their job) just makes it look like they’ve forgotten why they started, or that they were always in it for the wrong reasons anywho.

Also, as a side note, being that outspoken and bitchy isn’t going to endear you to many PR people. Juuuuust sayin’.

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What do you all think about this topic? Let me know in the comments below!

16 Responses

  1. Gwenayfer August 7, 2014 / 10:20 pm

    Thanks for keeping it real :) – I definitely agree. Even online we must remember our ps and qs.

    • Claire August 8, 2014 / 4:59 pm

      I agree, it basically comes down to politeness really :) xx

  2. Jessica Edmunds August 8, 2014 / 9:48 am

    EEEESH heavy man haha, I don’t like seeing people complain about people getting PR samples, but then at the same time sometimes it’s overload begging it has to be a balance. I really do love blogging and 90 percent of the time I work 18-19 hours a day for free, as well as Uni etc but I will do stuff for free because it’s about promotion too right? I dunno I just hate bad vibes to do with blogging in general I think, why does there need to be any bitching :( xx

    • Claire August 8, 2014 / 5:00 pm

      Yeah I think people get too focused on what others are getting from PR companies whereas it’s none of their business really – we should all just get along ;) xx

  3. Georgina August 8, 2014 / 10:04 am

    Personally, I think there’s a balance. I don’t think it’s fair to throw a tantrum on Twitter slating brands, no, but I do think some brands do take the piss a bit. I think it’s mostly about tone. I have no issues with a brand running a blog-to-win competition and I’ve got no problem with them emailing me to let me know it’s happening. What I find irritating is when these emails are dressed up as some amazing opportunity for me. Come on now PR person, we both know this competition is to help you get traffic, and that’s great, but let’s be honest about it, yeah? This isn’t something you’ve dreamed up especially for me as a special treat.

    • Claire August 8, 2014 / 5:02 pm

      I hear you sister! I think we’ve all also been victim to slightly rude outreach too, that’s definitely good and bad on both sides. And maybe some outreach people are a bit too enthusiastic which comes across as false and/or patronising, so I can see why some bloggers get wound up. Thanks so much for commenting :) xx

  4. Emma August 8, 2014 / 9:28 pm

    This post is brave and awesome. The title caught my attention on Twitter and I couldn’t agree more with the content.

    Great post :o)

    Emma xx

    • Claire August 10, 2014 / 12:49 pm

      Thanks so much for reading, glad you enjoyed it :) xx

  5. Camilla Delacoe August 8, 2014 / 9:57 pm

    Amen to this!

    I’m a blogger and have to say I’m always so careful about my PR relationships as I think they’re really important. It makes me cringe to the high heavens to see people pull the ‘do you know who I am’ rubbish, slagging PRs and companies off and practically begging for freebies on Twitter! I think it definitely worsens the stereotype of bloggers as blaggers. Some of us do take blogging seriously without taking OURSELVES too seriously and that’s part of the fun, you can’t snub every opportunity or you’ll never get anywhere.

    Great post!

    Millie x

    • Claire August 10, 2014 / 12:51 pm

      YES you’re spot on with that, and I completely agree that it just damages the reputation of other bloggers. Thankfully there seem to be 10 polite bloggers for every 1 rude one so hopefully we don’t scare PR people off too much ;) xx

  6. Albertine August 8, 2014 / 11:46 pm

    Brilliant post (as usual)! I hate seeing bloggers with such a self-entitled attitude on twitter, it’s definitely important to remember a brand is not 100% reliant on you as a blogger to promote them!

    • Claire August 10, 2014 / 12:52 pm

      Aw thank you lovely! I so agree, brands value bloggers but they’re not going to put up with rude, demanding people… especially when there are so many nice ones out there :) xx

  7. Amina Sophia August 11, 2014 / 3:30 am

    It always puts me off a blogger when they bad mouth or talk negatively about a company. I always say – if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I think that’s particularly relevant when a blogger has a big outreach or a great deal of followers that they have influence over. Important post and a good reminder for bloggers xxx

  8. Cole August 25, 2014 / 2:29 pm

    This is brilliant I can’t stand bloggers who abuse things like this! You should be grateful not everyone gets offered free stuff and to be feautured on other peoples blogs xxx

  9. Hollie August 25, 2014 / 2:38 pm

    I completely agree with this, love how honest you are! I’ve recently started a new blog because I wasn’t enjoying focusing on just fashion and the fact that I blog as a hobby so I should enjoy it like you said! (My old blog was called My Fashion Obsession). Would love if you took the time to have a little read of my new blog!

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