A Rant on The Blogging World

There’s a lot of built up anger around this topic for me, I don’t quite understand what has happened this year but I don’t like it. I’m clued up, I understand deadlines, bosses, targets and everything else that people will throw at me for writing this. But I do wonder if brands and PRs realise what’s happening on our side?
I don’t want to write about 1 single item, most times I can’t as it doesn’t make the word count I want, it’s not interesting to my readers and it’s not interesting for me. If a brand can’t even say 300+ words on their product, why should I struggle? I do lots of roundup posts on here and then solo features where a product truly deserves it for being extra special and there’s lots to say about it.
Products actually take time to review. I’m not the type of blogger to put a cream on once and rave about it. If that’s the type of blogger you want to work with, then go for it! I want the time to be able to try products out properly and how regularly I would actually use them, as an average person. I don’t wash my hair everyday with working at home, so I’m certainly not going to wash it for the sake of it and wash all my colour out to review something quicker. My hair dye isn’t free and it takes an enormous effort to dye it every time. I take my time, I actually find out if I like a product or not and I’d like to think that my audience appreciate that and trust me more for it.
The Blogging World
I run 3 businesses now, my blog, my magazine and my social media business which means from time to time, there will be natural delays. Just like those bloggers who have full time jobs, especially those with long commutes and long days. I may just walk into the room next door but it doesn’t mean that I’m at everyone’s beck and call. My clients always come first, that is my job and my main income. My blog earns me money every so often and so sponsored work does become a priority, when and if I have it. If you’re not paying me for my time, please do not talk to me as if you are. Everything sent to this blog is sent for consideration and consideration only, otherwise it has to be classed as income. Consideration means that I may write about it, or I might not. It depends if it editorially works. I generally write about everything I am sent, eventually and where it fits in editorially, but sometimes even a negative review would be pointless as the item works but it’s just unfit for my personal use. Usually when I’m not giving coverage for an item it is decided by myself and the brand together where we deem it unnecessary as there’s nothing for me to really say on it.
At any given moment I am working with around 30 brands, that is just the standard number of brands I need to write about and it’s been this way for years. I’m very happy that I run such a busy blog, but I do feel like sometimes brands and PRs forget that we are just human, we have lives, some of us have other issues going on (like my chronic pain) which may mean delays sometimes too. I am always apologetic for any delays where I have given a timeframe and where I haven’t, because I’m just polite like that. I just wish that brands and PRs would realise that for most of us, blogging still doesn’t pay the bills. Blogging doesn’t pay for much at all most months, and yet I’m expected to be a machine, throwing out posts and social coverage left, right and centre, emailing over the split second something is live and always answering my emails within minutes.
Maybe I’ve just had some bad experiences lately but the tone in which I’m being spoken to and the constant hounding of emails is really starting to annoy me. It’s made me really think about how I actually want to run my blog and so, I’m switching things up. It has also highlighted those amazing brands and PRs who are truly beyond lovely and a pleasure to work with, so it’s not all doom and gloom!
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  • Yes girl! You tel them! Your voice and blog should come first, not PR samples!

  • YES. I think as brands are becoming aware we’re more ‘valuable’ than traditional forms of advertising, coupled with the fact that bloggers are often trying to make ends meet, they feel that we’re 1) expendable and 2) have no idea what we’re doing in the realm of contracts, turnaround, and law. IT’s SO INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING.

    Your content is honestly so fab, I’m glad you have such a strong stance and loyalty to both your voice and your readers <3

    Fii | little miss fii | uk fashion & lifestyle

  • Debra Hall

    Well done for saying, Georgina, the way I see it is that there are so many bloggers out there writing and presenting complete and utter drivel, and clearly jumping to the PR tune of being advertorial in their speak to protect brand reputation. And no matter how well a blogger dresses things up on their individual platforms, the product reviewing format is jaded because of the approach that has been adopted by many band wagon jumpers. Now everyone has a blog! And this has become boring for readers to see and hear. Marketers have also tarnished the effectiveness of a genuine reviewer (of the likes of you and I) who offer quality content and honest review writing, and who puts the public first in our minds when communicating and providing feedback about consumer goods and services. I’ve found that many (on both sides of the fence) invest cheaply in the principle and tend to put numbers over quality content provision first. This year it seems that team meetings have been held and decisions made to pull the plug on bloggers, having tarred them with the same brush as seeking ‘free stuff’ for saying something nice, preferring to keep their ‘in house’ because they think they do it better. But what they are communicating is not independent in viewpoint and the repeat, repeat, from the same mouth must drive their followers to distraction because of its gross banality. I know that companies are inundated with emails and requests from bloggers, but I think they are led by a criteria they have set for themselves when recruiting partners which ten to dampen rather than enhance their campaigns

  • Lacey

    Well said! It is refreshing to have a reliable and available source to base product selection on. Thanks to you I was able to find the best product for keeping my red hair RED! And let me tell you I had to sift through ALOT of products before I found your blog. Thank you for the time you take to review products!

  • *Applauds* I really do think too much is expected of bloggers sometimes – I will do a one-product review of a really exciting new launch but sending a product doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed that/should dictate how (or if!) I choose to feature it. I also totally agree about the time it takes to test a product – I always say I need about a month (2-3 weeks to test, then putting the post together) or longer if it’s skincare. Blogging isn’t my job and I commute an hour each day on top of professional qualifications so it’s exhausting being chased about when I’m posting on a product I only got about a week ago. Ughhhh! I love working with brands and I really do appreciate the opportunity but sometimes it feels like it’s not worth the extra stress when the work that goes into a post is often underestimated by people 🙁

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    • Yes I should have totally mentioned that! When the emails start the second it arrives, ‘is your post live yet?’ – annoying! x

  • The Sunday Mode

    This was really refreshing to read and I personally haven’t worked with too many brands (especially not all at one time) so this was interesting to hear the other side of things as well. I suppose I’ve been lucky enough to only really deal with lovely people most of the time, what bothers me the most was those emails people send where they address you as ‘Dear’ and then basically demand you write a post for them….definitely not a fan of those emails.

    http://www.thesundaymode.com