or, About Blogging, Sponsored Posts and Authenticity
From 2009 (when I had my very first blog) onwards the blogging world drastically changed. What started off as a hobby and spare time activity for most people, turned into a full-on business for some. A very lucrative one, if you consider Chiara Ferragni and the like. And luckily, it also did for me. I’m not a full-time blogger and don’t make millions BUT I do make a little from this wonderful blog of mine. And while I went through the process of hobby blogger to #girlboss, I had to face some difficult challenges.
Blogging for money isn’t as easy and straightforward as it might seem. It’s not like i get up, pour myself a cup of coffee, open my windows and have millions of euros flowing in from all sides. It’s hard work. Sometimes it can be a pain in the ass. It’s a 24/7 job and requires dealing with criticism from the outside, as well as internal conflicts.
“Do I say yes that well-paying offer of a brand I’m not that interested in? Would my readers like this? Do I branch out my blog to fitness even though I’m lazy af because it’s what gets the most clicks at the moment? Is saying yes to working with brand X a good idea? Will I still be authentic and trustworthy? Is this the real me? …..”
Working with brands | The dreaded sponsored post
As, for me, blogging is so extremely personal, working with brands that I don’t support would to a certain extent mean selling my soul. From the very beginning, I knew I wanted to be as transparent with you guys as possible. I’ll always tell you when something is paid for, when I get sent something as a PR gift or when I’m invited to an event. Because, why the hell wouldn’t I?
On Miss Getaway I’m not only sharing pretty pictures, and telling you what I was wearing the other day. I share my deepest thoughts and struggles. I strip down and basically bare my soul. On a page accessible to virtually everyone on this lovely planet that we’re living on. And that is a frightening thought. So is being criticized for what I’m doing. Because if you say I’m doing too many collaborations, you’re basically telling me I sold my soul to a brand that doesn’t fit my scheme. So if I upload a post, you can be 100% sure that it will ALWAYS be my genuine and honest opinion. And money won’t change that!
Yes, I do work with brands. And yes, I also think that I should be paid for my work. After all, I’m spending hours working on a concept, writing a text and taking pictures. You aren’t working for free – so why would I? Each and every brand I’ve worked with is a brand I wholeheartedly trust. And I think you – my lovely readers – can also see that in my texts. You’re incredibly clever and I think I honestly can’t fool you. I wouldn’t even dare to do so. Because you’re responsible for where I am right now, and I’m utterly grateful for that. That is why I’m never ashamed of telling you that something is sponsored – it simply doesn’t change a thing for me. And it also shouldn’t for you.
Loosing authenticity through sponsored posts
The thing is, I can totally see why some people might criticise sponsored posts and making money through blogging. There are bloggers who just aren’t honest with their readers. Who change their opinion according to what brand offers them the most money. Who say yes, yes and yes to each and every opportunity that finds its way into their inbox.
“Oh, I don’t even drink their coffee – I’m just here because they pay well.”
“No, I never tag my posts with #ad on Instagram – when I do I get far little likes.”
“Brand X paid me not to state that it’s sponsored so I won’t. What does it change anyway.”
These are some REAL remarks that I’ve heard from other bloggers in the past few weeks (!). And it makes me hella angry. These bloggers are the reason why every honest one is given crap in the media and in general public. It’s why some people distrust bloggers. To me, that’s not only unfair but also extremely unprofessional. And lying to your readers for money does make you inauthentic in my eyes.
So here’s the thing… I hope you guys go through the world with open eyes. Question what you see. Ask when something doesn’t seem right. Compare posts. Sometimes 10 people post the same product on Instagram and only 5 of them add the #ad hashtag. I can guarantee you, the others were paid as well. They’re just not being honest. Oh and… don’t trust people who claim detox tea or their slim-queen-protein-whatever products make you lose weight. These are prime examples for what I’ve been saying before.
What do you think about sponsored posts and authenticity? I’d love to read your opinion in the comment. Especially from the perspective of a blog reader :) Also, if you have any questions concerning this topic, feel free to ask!