The topic of sponsored posts has been on my mind for quite some time. Some time back, I was going through Instagram and came across a comment on another beauty bloggers platform that said: “I never read blogs anymore. Everything is sponsored so you can’t trust their opinions. Bloggers aren’t honest they just write about everything to get sent stuff”.
Bloggers aren’t honest. That one really struck me.
I think some readers, for some warped reason, have entitlement mentality. They feel the need to dictate how we should run our blogs, social media, what we should post about and even get offended and dismissive if we blog about something that was sent to us. Here’s the bloggers point of view.
WE BLOG ABOUT EVERYTHING WE GET
I get sent a lot of product, especially beauty items. But I only blog about products I genuinely like and use. If a shampoo made my hair fall out, or a skincare product made me break out: I will not blog about it. It’s as simple as that. Bloggers need to be sent product to be up to date (and in turn, keep you in the loop) with new items that are launching and fashion trends that are happening, but that doesn’t mean we blog about everything that arrives at our doorstep.
WE GET PAID TO BLOG ABOUT IT SO IT ISN’T AN HONEST REVIEW
FYI: Bloggers are living, breathing things that need food/water/shelter/WiFi to survive. Said food/water/shelter/WiFi costs money.
In South Africa, the blogosphere is slowly evolving. More and more companies are recognizing the value of bloggers and how much their influence boost sales, so are willing to pay bloggers for reviewing/using their product (because I unfortunately cannot pay for things like groceries with heat protective spray. I’ve tried). But the difference is that we work with reputable, trusted brands that we actually use. I can bet my life that you didn’t know half the time I was paid to review a product, because I gave an honest review about the things I liked and disliked about it. If I’m offered to review something I know I don’t believe in, even if they’re willing to pay me good money, I won’t do it. It has to resonate with my brand and blog. If I suddenly wrote about how much I love a certain bikini brand, you’d immediately realize I’m blogging about something I don’t actually use or believe in.
WE ONLY BLOG ABOUT IT IF IT WAS SENT TO US
99% of my fashion posts are clothes I bought myself. I don’t always list what I’m wearing because 80% of the time it’s something I bought 5 years ago (don’t you love when things come back into fashion). My style is to give a gist of how you could put an outfit together. For example, this outfit is a jeans-tee-jacket combo. I can give you five thousand other colour combinations. It would look equally stylish with a black jacket or a black shoe: something just about anyone reading this post owns. I don’t share my style to say, “Go buy what I’m wearing”, I blog about it to say, “Here’s inspiration. Now go to your cupboard and work with what you have”.
And on the other end of the “I hate you, blogger, for blogging about things sent to you” there’s…
“YOU SO LUCKY YOU GET SENT THINGS FOR FREE”
I had to add this one in. The process of blogging is incredibly time consuming, especially if you want quality content. It takes hours to take pictures, find the best ones, edit them, write a post, edit your writing. If you have a full time job, this process happens from around 10pm until 3am on weekdays and most Sundays are “blog days”. For beauty products it’s an entire month of testing and trying out a product (at least, for me it is) to make 100% sure the product is good enough to tell people to buy it. That often means getting to test the crappy products too (like the shampoos that make your hair fall out and skincare products that make you break out). Going to events are time consuming (and energy draining for an introvert/hermit like me).
But also, the concept of even being sent anything at all is the result of spending a lot of money buying things to review in the initial stages (aka 2 years), in hopes of building a reputable blog and being recognized by the brands and companies you want to work with. It doesn’t happen overnight. It certainly wasn’t free.
PS, I’m wearing: Jeans and Sunglasses: Forever21 | Top: Balmain for H&M | Jacket: Old, but saw a similar one at Rage | Shoes: The Fix SA