While I’ve been reading blogs for years, I’ve only just started my own. I’ve been musing lately on our shared medium. I love blogs and I love blogging. I really enjoy writing, I find it’s a great outlet, not just for the creatives in the world, but for those who have been searching for something they can’t find and choose to create their own.
My blog is primarily about beauty. I adore taking care of myself, investing in myself and my outward appearance. Fickle? Maybe? It’s my money, it’s my life, it’s what I choose to do! I remember, when there was no real alternative to blogs, relishing watching the Clothes Show on TV, or snaffling up every glossy magazine going, flipping straight to the beauty section, and buying every recommended product with abandon! So in this new, dare I say modern world, beauty blogs were invented for a girl like me! Product reviews, thought pieces, advice, tutorials all for free! Free I tells ya!
Hurrah?! Not quite! I find myself increasingly disappointed with beauty blogs. The really popular ones are stuffed full of little asterisks after every single product mention, signifying a sponsored post, or a glorified paid advertisement. I’m actually pretty shocked. I still avidly read and subscribe to beauty blogs, yes from the ridiculously popular to the more niche. Today I stumbled upon one that, shall remain nameless, subscribed to by several thousand people. Every single post, out of the last twenty posts had the tell-tale asterisk. Bravo for being honest about receiving freebies or being paid to write content (BTW not being honest and merrily blogging about branded tampons or deodorant is a little bit of a giveaway!) but how utterly dull?
Nobody really spends too long on the first twenty pages of a top glossy magazine now do they? No one really scrutinises the double page adverts? Well why on earth would anyone want to read a blog littered with pretty much paid for adverts? I’ve found getting the number of followers I have, hard work, I feel you have to earn every email sign up, every view, every ‘like’ and certainly every comment. It’s hard work attracting genuine readership. Yes I’d love for artofglamour.co to take off, hit thousands of subscribers, for Dior to send me lots of lovely things, for people to offer me pots of cash to advertise here, who wouldn’t? I’d love to share just a tiny bit of the limelight with Fleur, or Zoella or Spinkle of Glitter! But at what cost?
I love the line in Lock Stock that goes, (best East End accents now please) ‘when you dance with the devil, you wait for the song to stop. Know what I mean?’! I guess that sums up my view of these blogs. They are just plain boring for your readership, they aren’t genuine, they surely aren’t the reason why you started doing what you do in the first place? And surely there is no way back for you, you’ve lost us.
Surely worse still is the sudden phenomenon of selling off all your old freebies, slightly used to us lesser mortals? I’ve only recently come across this, I’m beyond stunned! No I don’t want to pay £30 for something someone sent you in good faith, that you’ve squirted on yourself for a photo and discarded because at seventeen, you have absolutely no use for a crows feet corrector, facial peel for fine lines, age spot destroyer etc etc. You get the picture! I don’t blame you, if you can get away with it go for it I guess, dollar bills ya’all. I blame the companies sending you this stuff more. Ten thousand followers, doesn’t equal a mature readership, able and willing to spend hundreds on and remain loyal to anti-ageing lotions and potions. It’s just a very weak marketing strategy by someone who doesn’t really understand the blogosphere and probably doesn’t deserve their monthly salary (ouch!).
I blog about what I know and love. I share product reviews, mainly at the moment about the products I’ve used for years, because guess what? I bought them, I trust them and I like using them. I’ve expanded my horizons a little since starting this blog, I’ve made some investments in different things. And you know what? I’ve been honest about what I’ve invested my hard-earned cash in.
I hope my perspective is truthful. I hope my writing is enjoyable to read. I hope my hard-earned followers, stay hard-earned! Yep I hope for fame, fortune and freebies! At the same time, I know my integrity will remain, my approach to being honest, caring, and trying to stay attuned to the reason for starting this blog in the first place, will not fall from my focus*.
* I’ll totally sell out for a Mulberry handbag, and yes of course I’ll do a weekly post for the next five years on how great Jaguars’ are if you deliver a brand new one to my driveway!