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3.12.15

"FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT": IS OUR BLOGGING CULTURE SPAWNING A GENERATION OF CHARLATANS?

The birth of blogging was the direct result of our need for honesty, realism and a sprinkling of rawness. Over the last five years the digital world has exploded as we all become a little bit obsessed with finding people 'just like us' online, connecting in a way that's fundamentally based on a common interest or goal. I for one was a little disheartened with the glossiness of magazines and the falseness of reality television back in 2010, which is why I started to share my passions with others via this site. Fast forward a few years and blogs have evolved to be something altogether different from what they once were, almost becoming as glossy and aspirational as the magazines we once were revolting against. Bloggers are sporting their designer bags and brand new rose gold watches, sipping their soy lattes and flying off to exotic locations as if it was a trip to Birmingham; although we all grow, evolve and discover new passions (as well as disposable incomes,) it seems that our online lives are now completely controlled by our need to project a certain image of ourselves. Essena O'Neill has already had a breakdown about the whole thing (although how much of that was either a cry for help or publicity stunt to launch her new site we'll never know,) but it seems that so is the pressure of bloggers to project a 'perfect life' that many of those within the community are quite simply adopting the mantra "fake it til you make it".


We all like to read something a little polished and coo over that bag we could never afford, but it definitely feels like some are getting so caught up with being a 'certain type of blogger' that they're forgetting what the beauty of blogging was all about to start with. I've heard many stories over the last few months that shocked me to my very core, leaving a feeling of frustration and outrage that such things go on within an industry that prides itself on being so real. I personally love the rawness of someone talking about the bargains they found in TK Maxx, or a blogger admitting that they found an awesome copy for this season's Celine; I adore sites that talk openly and honestly about their rented apartment and the decorations they've picked up to cover the cracks in the walls, as much as those sites that make me wish I lived in a home curated by Pinterest. It's about variety and sharing your own passions online, not just about sharing what you think everyone wants to hear. Here are just a few of the things that are going on behind the scenes that most of us don't have a clue about...

1. Bloggers are buying their way to 'influence', believing the only way to get ahead is to pay a dude in India to create 10,000 new followers overnight. If they have 50, 70, 100k followers they must be worth working with right? With the growth in networks like Instagram providing an income source all on its own, it's no surprising that some are feeling the pressure to build their numbers in whichever way possible.

2. Bloggers are shopping online, styling an outfit and returning the goods to make it look like they're minted - but actually surviving on three pairs of jeans and a Primark clutch. (Although there's absolutely nothing wrong with that!) This is creativity at its best, but it's also providing readers with an unrealistic perception of your life - and how many shopping trips are socially acceptable before it's time to admit you have a problem.

3. Bloggers are buying beauty products from some of the most premium cosmetics companies (I'm talking YSL, Tom Ford, Chanel and Jo Malone) and labeling them as PR samples to make it look like they're endorsed by super special brands. If you're looking for new bloggers to work with, of course those that feature some of the most aspirational brands will be high on your list. But those 'samples' may not always be what they seem.

4. Bloggers are pretending that they get spotted in the street; yes, really. Essentially this is a way of proving their value and celebrity credentials, especially if they've bought their followers as per the point above. Now if you're talking to over a million people on YouTube every week I've no doubt you're going to bump into some fans, but when you're chatting to a few thousand bought Instagram followers then I highly doubt someone is going to spot you in H&M.

5. Bloggers are 'socially climbing' and using other bloggers to get ahead, befriending those with influence they can capitalise on. I've heard so many stories from heartbroken bloggers that have been dumped in an almighty fashion by those they genuinely thought were friends, only for their ex-buddy to move on to someone with more Instagram followers. Mean Girls at its worst.

6. Bloggers are outsourcing not only photography, but video editing and even their writing, in an effort to look as polished as possible when they don't have the skillset themselves. In theory I have no problem with this whatsoever - as long as it's clear to your readers or viewers. If you've got the cash to spend outsourcing work, then go for it. But when you try to pull the wool over peoples eyes to make you look like you're juggling a million tasks a day while ensuring everything is absolutely perfect, then we need to have a word.

7. Bloggers are just outright lying about their stats or manipulating them to provide a much more positive impression of their influence. I know sites that have spent an absolute fortune on Facebook and Google ads to direct traffic to their site, taken a screengrab and from thereon in state that that's their monthly readership. It's not; it's manipulation.

So with all this crazy stuff happening, what can we actually do about it? Unfortunately, not a lot. As readers it's incredibly hard to tell what's going on behind the scenes without becoming incredibly cynical (and that's not good for anybody.) However, it is quite easy to spot when an audience has been bought. There are lots of tools to spot fake Twitter followers, while it's relatively easy to identify Instagram fakes based on the percentage of followers to likes - and the profiles of those followers. (I'm pretty sure that Christmas lattes and pink lipsticks aren't massively popular within the male population of Asia.) Simialrly, if a blogger is claiming they're getting 500,000 uniques a month but only actually have one or two comments on a post, then it's pretty obvious someone is telling porkies. From a brand point of view, it's about doing a bit of digging and taking the time to get to know those that you want to work with; checking credentials, asking for proof of stats or case studies of previous collaborations is more than acceptable - don't be scared to do so if you have your doubts.

The bigger problem is that until things change in the industry, this is just going to keep on happening. So much value is placed on the numbers a blogger can offer, rather than the relevancy of their content and the engagement of their audience; until the love is shared about a little bit more and brands really start to understand the different ways in which you can work with influencers, young men and women are going to continue to feel the pressure and fake their way to the top. What's even more concerning is that a lot of PRs actually know this inflation and fakery happens, but they're happy to continue working with these bloggers because the brands are super pleased with the stats they can provide during their monthly reporting. Although this provides happy clients in the short term, in the long term is doesn't help anybody. I have really mixed feeling about all of these things that happen within an industry I'm so passionate about: on one hand I feel let down by my fellow bloggers, but on the other hand completely understand the pressure we're all under to provide bigger and bigger numbers.

There's no magic answer. There's no right or wrong. There's only individual accountability - and I personally prefer to keep it real, even when it lands me in trouble.

What do you think about this 'fake it til you make it' culture that's saturating the blogging world?


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68 comments

  1. WOW, what an eyeopener this post is. I have been blogging for a few years as a hobby running alongside my full time job. I have no wishes to be a full time blogger and like the fact that I only have a small following. If this is the underhand tactics of some people then I am glad to be a little unknown blogger.

    Doesn't look good for any blogger though when one of the main points of blogs is to be open and honest, giving people a realistic view of things.

    Carrie
    http://www.cazmosworld.com/

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  2. Wow. I feel incredibly naïve. I didn't realise that anyone could or would do any of the above. I think the ones that shock me most are buying outfits and returning them just for a post and passing off bought items as PR samples. Thank you for sharing this post! X

    Holly ∣ Closingwinter

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    1. It goes on more than we realise! Unfortunately we've bread a generation of bloggers that strive to be bigger and better almost instantaneously, rather than working over a number of years - like we all did back in the day.

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  3. Coudn't agree with this post more. Blogging has literally turned into online magazines (in my opinion), and I constantly feel like I'm feeling left out as I don't have the latest Chanel lipstick, or the best cleanser (which is also £90, but obvs totally worth it). Such a shame, but there are still some realistic bloggers left!(I hope). Also, I can't believe people actually buy followers and pretend they have PR samples!! x


    www.beckieeschle.com

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    1. I constantly feel under pressure, so goodness knows what younger and less established bloggers feel like. It's hard, but I think 2016 will see a U-turn.

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  4. To be honest, as a newbie, it's a huge relief to read this article. So many times I see Instagram/Twitter posts with new things and I think "how on earth do they afford all that?" But truth is, they don't it seems. Bless me, it seems I have been terribly naive.

    Again, as a newbie, it's a relief to hear that some people are buying their followers, it feels like an uphill battle at times to attract readers when you're starting out, and to realise that everyone has/had that problem at some point is refreshing to hear. I certainly won't be purchasing fake readers, I'd only be fooling myself. I like to think every read is a genuine one, and that pleases me.

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    1. It's far more beneficial to have 100 real readers than 1000 fake ones : )

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  5. Like other commenters, I feel very naive because I just don't see this happening (not by large numbers anyway). I've been blogging for six years and blogging has drastically changed, I've struggled to keep up and almost felt grief for what once was. However, things do change and move on. I tend to think it's a much bigger problem on the ol' Youtube rather than in the bloggersphere, in both instances it's deceiving and manipulating. It's SO easy to feel under pressure to be blogging about the most pricey of products, day in, day out. But I'd much rather have a small following who interacts and appreciates my honesty rather than thousands of non-existant ones. I hope that makes sense.

    Barbie Sparkles | Beauty, +SizeFashion and Lifestyle Blog

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    1. Total sense! Thanks for your comment Charlotte x

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  6. This post makes me feel both sad and also a bit relieved. I started my little blog 3 years ago because I just loved this whole industry and I wanted to try it out myself as a hobby. My blog isn't famous, I didn't want to dedicate the time to it during my studies but I kept it going and now I'm trying much harder with it. Recently I've been getting SO down because it isn't growing as fast as I want it to and I've been comparing myself to others who got a large following so quickly. So thank you for this post, you've reminded me that what I see online isn't always real life and you've opened my eyes to what actually goes on.

    Great post, I think every blogger should read this!

    www.sartorialscot.com

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    1. Thanks Lynnsay - there's so much pressure on all of us, but so much of it comes from internal comparisons. It's about time we just took a step back and started to realise what's important.

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  7. Anonymous3.12.15

    Love a woman who isn't afraid to have an opinion!
    I don't get this obsession with appearing perfect and polished. I love blogs which have more of a diary feel and less than perfect photography. I think if readers find you relatable you will have a much more loyal following.

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  8. I really respect you for writing this post and keeping it real. Good for you!

    www.salmandean.com

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  9. this is the BEST thing ive read all year. So So true! People want to be something they are not. Its only a matter of time until things go back round and karma bites them in the ass ;)
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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  10. I've heard of people outsourcing before - I can understand it if you're outsourcing photography as you don't have the time or ability to do it, but I can't understand outsourcing your words! I read very well written blogs and also ones which aren't as good but I read them because I like the person, their opinions and character - knowing that's not real would be completely off putting to me!

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    1. I don't have a problem with outsourcing at all - if you're honest about it. It's trying to convince readers your wonder woman and then letting them feel like a failure in comparison.

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  11. wow I didn't realise so many bloggers you know of are being so fake. I'm starting to wonder which ones I follow have crafted this fantasy life for themselves too.

    Check out my Sephora giveaway!
    http://abigailalicex.com

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  12. Thank you for writing this post, this is everything I've wanted to say about the topic and more. Some of the "faking it" practices really seem unreal and impossibly rude - like buying products and naming them PR samples or having everything ghost-written.

    All that's left is to hope that not every single blogger gets stuck in the same vicious circle and that PRs who actually want a meaningful relationship with the blogger are willing to put in more time and effort to do their research.

    My blog: BOWTIE DIARY

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  13. TBH, I figure if I'm doing the right thing then that's okay as I have to live with myself and I'm only responsible for me. If others want to buy followers, pretend they've got PR samples or behave badly, then let them. These things all have a habit of catching up with people in the end.

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  14. I never knew any of the above , I have noticed a lot of blogs getting a lot glossier though .
    I don't use any other social media ( Instagram , Twitter , etc ) but as a reader of many blogs I have noticed a big change in the majority and a lot becoming very alike and boring if I'm honest .
    Really interesting post , thank you 😄

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  15. I think that some of the blame can certainly be put on brands too. I've worked with brands for years, then have them drop me because they "only want to work with Instagram profiles in the 100ks"... they value numbers more than quality and it becomes an arms race. I've recently gone back to a very stripped-down style of video on my youtube channel... mostly talk throughs and no crazy kooky editing or skit acting. First off it's so much easier and it's just more real. It's what *I* enjoy watching and what I enjoy creating. I'd rather build myself and my brand on what I view as the real me than drive myself crazy trying to keep up appearances. Thanks for this post!

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    1. You're completely right Miranda; there's so much pressure to generate numbers and SO many brands don't want to work with me because my numbers are small in comparison to the super bloggers. It is moving towards more quality content and engaged readers, but it takes time.

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  16. THIS a million times over Hayley, what an incredible post. It makes me sad that I know certain people who have done some of the above and it's so sad. Another brilliant post. I will always stay true to 100% who I am but sadly I've seen bloggers who started around the same time as me sway other ways...

    Megan xo
    Thumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

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    1. Thanks Megan. I had no idea any of this went on until recently - and it's some of the blogs I've followed for some time that are the worst offenders!

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  17. This is sad but yea it's so damn true. Couldn't agree no more with you.

    www.carolinemayling.com

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  18. Very interesting read ! I didn't know some people bought themselves 'followers' and pretend to received PR stuff etc. Wow ! what an eye-opener !! I am proud to say that at least on my blog it 's all 100 % true and my followers are real followers etc.

    http://allornothing-blog.blogspot.co.uk/

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  19. I can understand outsourcing photography - to an extent, you don't need fancy equipment to do a good job and everything I've learnt and improved upon my photography is all self taught over a matter of months! Outsourcing your text would be a big no no for me as a reader though!

    I mostly read smaller blogs under 1000 followers - there are big ones I read too, but numbers bare no influence on me - I see the same names cropping up every time on my blog and other peoples blogs - I often think the audience is more dedicated. Don't chase the numbers, especially if you're willing to buy them!

    helplesswhilstdrying.com

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  20. I *love* this post. I've been blogging for over six years and am perpetually astounded by the changes that have taken place. Some of them are really amazing but most of them make me weep. Number three made me laugh out loud. I won't even get into the fakers or the "friends". My comment would end up being longer than your post!! :)

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    1. I love a long comment ;)

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  21. Great blog - thank you - and just as fascinating to people like us, who sit on the other side of the fence (so to speak) as it clearly is for bloggers and blog readers.

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  22. I wrote a post like this last year, but with a focus on buying followers. I'm not surprised that all this stuff goes on. I think you just have to keep it real, then you can rest at night knowing the little following you do have (talking about myself here!) is real. X

    ♥ Carly's Beauty Blog ♥

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  23. I was fully aware some of these things were happening but some I'm completely shocked by. I thought some bloggers didn't really want to reveal how many PR samples they get, so hearing that some are actually marking things they've bought themselves as PR samples sounds crazy. I've noticed in chats recently that one blogger likes to comment on how many PR emails she gets, claiming it's so many a day. I don't know what made me check (it might have been the number of Twitter followers she has) but I checked her Bloglovin and she has less followers than I do (and I only have around 600). She could be telling the truth, but based on that I get nowhere near the volume of PR emails she claims to get I'm inclined to think that's she's exaggerating and I personally just don't understand why you'd do it. I guess it's like bragging to a bloke you meet in the pub that you have a Ferrari when really you have a Fiat Panda! x

    Becky @ The Little Blog of Beauty

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    1. That's a great comparison! I've been to launches before where people have been basically trying to convince me they're a hugely influencial blogger, when it turns out they have 400 twitter followers. Yes that's great, but don't over exaggerate and lie your way to success!

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  24. I think I may have been a little naive! I learned about the buying followers thing when there was that big Twitter drama earlier this year but I had no idea about the others...xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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  25. Great post Hayley! So many truths. I started my blog whilst I was writing for mags and soon preferred blogging to writing for someone else due to the fluid natural nature of stuff, but things have gone full circle now and blogs are becoming so mediated and thought out that it doesn't have that natural, real life appeal that drew us all to it in the first place. I have no idea if that phase of blogging will ever come back, here's hoping!

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    1. I see a LOT of comments about wanting to get back to realism and rawness, so I think that's going to be big in 2016 as we revolt against the glossiness. I love a bit of gloss, but sometimes it's nice to read something a bit less contrived.

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  26. I blog as a hobby they love and love engaging with all "levels" of bloggers I feel sad for those that feel pressure to "keep up with the jones" but think this is true throughout life not just bloggers... Unfortunately we're a generation who feel pressured to have the best of everything... Many feel the need to Instagram filter their life and it's incredibly sad! X

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  27. I totally get it. I've been in a blogging lull recently, I've lost the passion and drive because there's so much negative energy out there in the blogging world. Yes, I admire those that are running a business off the back of their blog, I'd love to be in a position to do that one day. But girls, lets remember why this became so popular in the first place! Community, honesty...

    Great post!

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  28. This post resonates with me so much and was going to write something very similar to myself. As a newbie blogger I can't help but feel caught up between being myself and then portraying some kind of glossy lifestyle. Half my Instagram pics are so cliche and I can't help but laugh to myself and think what am I even doing and why do I care? Just recently I was invited to review something that I would probably quite like and I've been putting it off and off as my real life has to come first but I can't help but feel like I'm an awful person for rearranging the whole time, but why do I feel like this? On one hand I'd probably enjoy it but then on the other hand I'd be putting a business transaction to promote on Instagram and get a false sense of self worth before actual genuine experiences.

    Blogging lately has just become one big cliche and source of contradictions and advertisements and you just really can't rely on genuine opinions much anymore. Just recently I've opened up a section all my site called 'musings' which is where I'm going to talk about much more personal thoughts in a hope to relate to my readers more rather than just pushing promo work: http://www.britishjet.co.uk/girl-talk/dear-diary

    xx

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    1. I think we all go through those same struggles Jules - you're definitely not alone. It takes time to find your niche and where you're comfortable. I turn down work I don't feel comfortable with, but it's hard when I've got bills to pay. I personally enjoy writing much more opinion lead pieces than reviews, which people seem to love, so that's something I'll continue to do next year. I'm sure your musings will be very popular! Keeping it real has its benefits!

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  29. THIS. A MILLION TIMES THIS. 🙌🏼 xx

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  30. This is so true. I saw a blogger the other day with like 50 followers and a very basic .blogspot site template. Yet on Twitter she was like 'I plan my content months in advance to allow for the many sponsored posts' I was like who is sponsoring you! I wondered if she was just pretending to be sponsored.

    I will be honest that my stats have never been amazing-I have a fairly niche topic -health/chronic illness/gluten free- but the readers who follow engage with me. I have my own Facebook group where people ask advice, I get email and Twitter messages all the time. Yet when I blogged about fashion my stats were higher but my comments were pretty much 'great blog!' I remember as a fashion blogging feeling like I wanted to fit in but now I've finally accepted my blog for what it is!

    Luckily I have had some lovely opportunities since starting my new blog and I'm honest with PRS About this. Interactions feel much more genuine, most PRs appreciate it and know that it is better to have a thousand readers who actually want your advice than a hundred thousand who don't. I some actually appreciate the niche and my honesty. Yet I still some brands post for certain type of bloggers on Twitter and see many replies like 'I don't blog about this but I could...' To take an op they can. I wonder if more PRs will begin to consider quality over quantity.

    And also for those people who have 100,000 Instagram followers and 500 Twitter followers-just stop now!

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    1. Having an engaged and passionate audience is like gold - so much more value than those 100,000 instagram followers! Thanks for your comment Jenna x

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  31. I do love your honesty and transparency. I can see through some peoples post, and it is obvious about some, but I guess the younger generations, who aspire to be beauty bloggers need their eyes opening too. But for now, let's carry on being our open and honest selves, and that will make us happy. I am enjoying things as they progress, with my 2 years in the world, and I am glad I have some one like you to guide me :)
    haveyouseenhowshspeaks.blogspot.co.uk

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  32. Wow! I totally believe in fake it until you make it in terms of confidence, but making things up!?! That's taking it a step too far in my eyes. I've known that there are those who buy followers & have heard tales of people befriending to improve their own reach. I've witnessed someone lying about their stats at an event, though I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they didn't fully understand their stats rather than them bare faced lying. I'm shocked that people would lye about PR samples though, saying you've received them from a brand when you haven't is as bad as not declaring in my opinion. A very interesting read, thank you for opening my eyes to what's taking place among some bloggers. Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

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  33. This was a really interesting read. I'm relatively new to blogging and am trying to build up a following, but I want people to read my blog because they're interested in what I've got to say. It's sad that some are buying their way to a readership. Keeping it real is the way forward, especially if you want your audience to trust you and your opinions.

    https://athomewithlife.wordpress.com

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  34. Thanks for a super interesting read Hayley - I always love a bit of blogger juice!

    Gem x | flutter and sparkle blog

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    1. Things have changed since we started, eh Gem!

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  35. A great article, thanks very much for sharing! It's scary to think about how some bloggers aren't being true to themselves, the principle reason why most of us want to write in the first place. I'd much rather build up a readership slowly, and know that the people that read my blog are genuinely interested in what I have to say, than try and fake it to get ahead.

    https://athomewithlife.wordpress.com

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  36. Reading this really makes me sad. But I'm not really surprised about it.
    In so many parts of the blogging comunity it's all about numbers. If you have blogged for two months and still not had a single post going viral you are just not good enough. And if your pictures isn't perfecly edited you aren't good enough either.
    I blog becasue I love to write and take photos. But also because I love fashion and to conect with others. And I hope that there still are a place on the internet for people like me. Who want to share their words, without being self proclaimed experts at everyting.

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  37. "while it's relatively easy to identify Instagram fakes based on the percentage of followers to likes - and the profiles of those followers. (I'm pretty sure that Christmas lattes and pink lipsticks aren't massively popular within the male population of Asia.)"

    Interesting that you would say that when your own instagram follower count is massively out of sync with the amount of likes you get per pic, and a quick flick through the first 100 accounts in your followers list shows a shitload of foreign spammy accounts (private, following thousands, few return followers).

    I assume you're not shitting on other people while guilty of doing same thing yourself, because who would do that?

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    1. It's not 'massively out of sync,' nor are my followers 'foreign spammy accounts'. I've built up my (relatively small in comparison) Instagram following over the last year through sheer hard work, the use of hashtags and conversation. Instagram is a worldwide platform with a lot more users that like than actively post; I can't control who follows me or why. I don't like your tone or your accusation - it's not helpful, not positive and certainly not welcome.

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    2. Just doing what you've done in your post: judging a book by its cover.

      Point is you can't throw shit at other people based on assumptions and off the cuff judgement and not expect it back in spades. I'd (personally) rather assume that the vast majority of bloggers have good intentions rather than bad, because most people are not being deliberately malicious.

      Not really sure how you inferred tone from my comment but whatevs. You're not the only blogger who dislikes comments from people who challenge their viewpoint. Maybe I should blog about it, chuck a line at the end about these sorts "saturating" the blogging world just for good measure. :D

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    3. How have I judged a book by its cover? These things happen - it's fact. It's not assumption, it's based on numerous conversations, research and evidence provided by many others working in the industry, just as I am. I don't ever write 'off the cuff' posts or throw opinions out to just stir up some outrage. That's not what I'm about. You weren't 'disagreeing with my opinion', you were throwing direct (unfounded and unnecessary) accusations at me personally. The vast majority of bloggers *are* coming from a good place and I never stated otherwise - I think you're coming from a malicious place to suit your own agenda, which has nothing to do with the topic being discussed.

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  38. Love this article, I've only been blogging for 4 months and I do it to record my grandsons achievements for my pleasure and other posts because blogging is addictive and once you start writing it's hard to stop. I was thrilled when I got my first "real" Twitter followers (not family) and through blogging I have met some really lovely genuine people but have also come across some fake bloggers. They stand out from the crowd by the way they fill my timeline with self praise, unlike my lovely blogger friends who fill it with chat and retweets of really good blogs. Just stay true to yourself. Xx

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  39. This is such an interesting post and I really enjoyed reading it. I've only been blogging for a year and I would have loved to see the blogging world before which a lot of people talk about, before all of this fakery. I would much rather only have a couple of real life followers than a couple of thousand fake followers. I think people are catching on to things like this a lot more now, so hopefully if more people get caught out then it might deter others from doing it!

    Sian x Cakey Dreamer

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  40. OMG I thought I had learned a bit in my 6 months blogging, have already figured some "fake" friends, but THIS is a total revelation, In a way you have to feel sorry for these people for not being comfortable in their own skins, but I can totally see that they are driven by being pushed for numbers rather than quality and individuality, to be fair I dont follow any so called uber bloggers, it's all a bit yawn for me lol, said Mrs invisible, I think you can learn more about a blogger by watching and listening, rather than looking at the numbers, but in fairness to PR's that takes time. The whole thing just saddens me. Nice to see some honesty though x
    Lyn

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  41. Very interesting, and such a shame - I'd rather read honest down-to-earth accounts of real life beauty tips than people who pretend they've got it all. Keep it up, Hayley.

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  42. Woah! I must be so naive!! This was such interesting reading to me...I didn't know half these things went on. I don't get swept up in the whole 'perfect life' thing I see in blogs and on Instagram, I think I am just too old now, but I can see how it would easily bother others to the point that they feel the need to fake things out of desperation to get to a certain reach quicker. Thank you for this list - bookmarked for future visits as just so interesting!

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  43. Great post Hayley, I didn't know that people bought followers etc either, or actually bought expensive things and marked as PR samples, I feel it's such a shame that people stoop to those levels, I prefer the realer posts actually tbh, I.e the rented one etc to ha ha, I also think that people think there lives have to be so polished to make it, but I also think some of the bigger bloggers/you tubers grip on reality has gone also, when "I'm a celebrity get me out if here" was on, I read that many you tubers where saying they would love to go on there, and I did think to myself, ok I love your channel perhaps but you are NOT a celebrity.

    Laura:/ xx

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  44. I'm so disillusioned with it all, you can never tell if a blogger actually likes a product, or if they're just shilling it. Think I'll stick to trying things myself.

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  45. Wow, I didn't realize just how much of this was going on. I definitely feel the pressure to buy more expensive things to keep up with the Jones's, but luckily I have a good amount of willpower and practicality. Sometimes I do feel like I missed out on the bandwagon since I wasn't serious about blogging until 2014, but I'm just going to keep on keeping on and see where it takes me.

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  46. I had no idea the majority of this stuff was happening. I am learning so much from your blog.

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  47. Amazing post, a real eye-opener! As a new blogger, I understand how difficult it is to get noticed in the blogosphere being as large and as busy as it is. However, I would much rather interact with real readers, people who are genuinely interested in what I put out there, than to obsess over statistics. That being said, I think if you truly enjoy what you're doing and have good intentions, this will show through.

    Maira @ mxdemagazine.tumblr.com (because I can't afford to buy the domain yet lol!)

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