Thursday, 18 September 2014

Ethical blogging

Working in the beauty industry and blogging about it puts me in the position of seeing the coin from both sides (as it were).
I see strange goings-on and usually dismiss them as a 'nothing to do with me', roll my eyes and just put my head down and get on with it. I've seen blogger (blagger) shopping lists and I've seen blogger demands.
In this day and age, when bloggers are still compared unfavourably to journalists (who also send shopping lists btw), I think it's more important than ever that we hold ourselves to a higher standard that that.

Today however, one of my brands received an email that was so unethical, inappropriate and with the potential to be fraudulent that I thought it may be worth a quick post to keep everyone's head in the game. The real game.

There has been a lot of talk about stats recently and I really feel for PRs and brands who are trying to decipher bloggers from blaggers and influence from paid-for stats.

We all know that stats can be bought. Twitter followers that jump to 60k in a week, Instagram, Facebook likes, we're used to that. All can be bought. I don't think a lot of PR's and brands - and more importantly - readers - realise that hits to your site can also be purchased quicker than topping up your Oyster.
I was going to demonstrate with a before and after picture of my own stats after I purchased a few hundred thousand unique hits, but as I carry ads on my blog, that would be tantamount to fraud. I am unsure if my ad agency have the software to detect such goings-on, I would assume so, but I have no intention of finding out. I take what I do seriously, this is not a game to me.

The tool that retailers use to gauge how often a product is searched for on Google - i.e. to see if there is a real demand for it and thus stock it, has thus far evaded being 'bought hits for' by this particular blog.

Google Trends can give you bang up to date knowledge of how many times a product, brand or blog has been searched for on Google. Now I don't know about other bloggers, but at least 50% of my readers come straight from Google. You lovely people just open Google, type in 'Caroline Hirons' and hit 'Search' ( and I thank you for it!) Every time that happens Google keeps a tab.

So, until that is unreliable - and it's bound to happen at some point, I would urge any PR or brand to simply do a Google Trends search if they are in doubt about a blog, the influence of a blog or even the effectiveness of their own press launch. Watching PR's compare their launches to their competition's is always entertaining. ;)

Feel free to use me in your analysis. I am an open book about getting between 100,000 and 200,000 uniques a month, depending on how often I blog and what the topics are. That equates to between 2 and 4 million page views a month for me (on a good month) because thankfully, my readers are engaged and will often read 5 or more pages/posts per visit.
Those figures will give you a baseline of where others will sit. I promise you this is no ego trip for me, you only have to search Zoella, Tanya Burr, Pixiwoo or Lisa Eldridge alongside me to give me a slap-down. And that's fine with me. Those ladies have worked long and hard to get where they are, as have a lot of us.

Interaction, influence and relationships remain the cornerstone of ethical blogging for me. I respect my readers, they respect me (for the most part) :)  and more importantly, a lot of you buy my recommendations. That is always at the forefront of my mind when I blog and I would never put that in jeopardy.

There is a world of difference between influence and hits. Some of the smaller blogs that I read have a huge influence on their readers. They are engaging and have built up really loyal followers who they interact with on a daily basis. For me, and feel free to jump in on the comments, a blog that has comments, interaction with their readers and has a definite knock-on effect in sales (where appropriate) is one that I want my brands working with. Maybe that's not for everyone, but I'm happy where I am. I sleep easy.

So if you fancy a bit of fun:

Search here; https://www.google.com/trends

All you do is click 'Add term' - you can keep going and compare 4/5 different things at a time, which is very interesting and I warn you now, completely addictive. Have fun.

It is not my intention to bring anyone down or upset the apple cart, but when I am directly involved via my day job, I feel it is appropriate to respond in kind and get a message out there. It's simply not fair. Good blogging and great blogs should, to my mind, come from the heart, not a credit card.

If you are a brand or PR that received an email in recent days from a blog claiming to be the biggest beauty blog in the UK, feel free to search for that blog alongside mine or anyone else's.
And maybe just bear the result in mind the next time someone demands an exclusive or First Class.

Just sayin'.



Now if you'll excuse me I'm just off to put the kettle on and get back to cleansers before this taste stays in my mouth.

74 comments:

  1. Great post Caroline.. it's so hard for anyone who doesn't understand stats to get a grip on what's really happening. I've found that the only real evaluator is something called Hitwise - it's massively expensive for brands to sub to so not many have it and can do their own search. So Google Trends is a good alternative. I'm not sure, if it shows, just as an example, bought facebook followers and so forth, but it's possible to advertise on FB (although it's an expensive way to do things) and increase your blog following (and FB obvs) that way. We all know you can buy Google+ followers (although god knows why since that place baffles everyone), Twitter followers, Instagram followers etc, but for those of us working in the beauty blogging industry everyone knows who does and who doesn't. It's those on the edges of blogging, such as brands and PRs, who often won't have a clue. I've always kept my stats an absolute open book - to the point that they're on my email sign off - and I don't care if they're not as high as anyone else's.. stats, after a certain point become irrelevant as you say, and it becomes influence. And you cannot buy influence, nor integrity. Or is there an app for that?

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    1. Not surprised to see a comment from you here, Jane ;)
      Your blog, Caroline and Jane's BBB, are my favorite UK blogs because you both have integrity, honesty and, may I say, a strong personality!
      I'm living in Dubai, and blogging here is not on the same scale compared to others countries, but I can see we still deal with the same problems: ethics and people misinterpreting big following & real influence.
      And yes, some people buy followers (come on girl, how could you have 2000 followers on Instagram and never more than 10 likes for your photos? You don't fool anyone!) but I also wonder what the value of a follower or newsletter subscriber is when you get them from giving away freebies from PR agencies.
      I'm still surprised how many PR agencies don't get this. They should be on top of this and know more than anyone else how all these things work especially if they consider it a success criteria for their (brand) clients!

      But it seems to be a sort of tacit agreement between them and some bloggers ready to play the game for freebies and invitations for events. As a blog reader (and as a blogger), I don't get it. I want to trust the people I'm reading, not see advertorial posts.
      I agree with you and Jane: stats and numbers should be shown more, as well as other signs of overall integrity...

      Delete
    2. I find it surprising how PRs do not get this either! Surely this is their job, to do analysis, both qualitative and quantitative (i.e. checking the stats) in their promotion of brands to the public and consumers!

      Delete
    3. I don't think that advertising on Facebook is the same though is it as buying followers? Lots of businesses advertise on Facebook and at the end of the day a blog is essentially a business. It's up to the FB user whether they then click through the advert, read a post, and then subscribe etc. I wouldn't consider that at all the same as say, buying Facebook likes, twitter followers or Instagram followers. Buying an advert on Facebook is advertising isn't it, rather than the scam that I often see where you can simply buy likes or followers that presumably aren't real? I ask this not to disagree but because I genuinely don't understand the difference, being quite new to the industry, between an advert elsewhere, and an advert on Facebook.

      Delete
    4. BBB: thanks for commenting. I struggled with writing this until I learned of one of my brands considering parting with a substantial amount of cash for what essentially, is not valuable to them. IMO.
      Like I said, I really feel for brands and PR's. I suppose it all comes down to relationships and a proven track record with responses and traffic to their sites from all blogs. Then it's up to them...

      Bonnie: thank you for your kind words. I think being in the beauty industry makes it even more important to be straight up with people. Otherwise what do you have left?

      Lipstick Mermaid: I think it's too easy to blame PR's - a lot of them work on very limited budgets from their clients and simply don't have the resources to subscribe/pay for all of the analytic information sites available.

      Rachel: I disagree that a blog is essentially a business. I think for 95% of bloggers it's a hobby. And one that they do on their own. I think once you are into the domain of paying for things and using multiple writers you are surely more a website than a blog? I dunno - be interested to hear your thoughts. I know for me personally, there's just me - and now my son to help with editing for YouTube but that's it. All content - everything is me.

      Delete
  2. Most of my beauty buys in the last 6 months have been as a direct result of your (and Sali Hughes) recommendations. I, along with tens of thousands of others, trust you women implicitly. We depend on your straight talking, fair and honest opinions. I've looked at other blogs but have found none as no-nonsense and truthful as yours and Sali's. We are very lucky to benefit from your experience and expert opinion and for free too! Please be assured that this beauty buyer appreciates the integrity and professionalism that you show. Thank you so very much. X

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    1. Thank you so much. I hope that's how we are seen. I've had to upset a few people in the industry (friends) by not giving them a direct line to the blog - but that wouldn't be honest/nor my opinion - so it's a no-go. I'm glad that comes through.

      Delete
  3. I can't understand for the life of me why these so called 'bloggers' aren't outed by someone. Not only are they misleading PR companies/brands they're also misleading us... their potential readers. I for one would not read a blog who had claimed to be 'the biggest blog in the UK' after buying tonnes of followers. I know outing them would give them the attention they so crave but I dunno I'd just rather know!! They'd probably disappear as quick as a flash anyway!

    Jade
    Beauty Butterfly | UK Beauty Blog

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    1. Hi Jade,

      I think it's really difficult to be honest. There were even attempts to make me feel bad/guilty for writing this post from the blog concerned. I'm not interested. They're the ones being unethical IMO and yet the 'Englishness' of society is to think 'well, yes, we all thought something was up, but it would be wrong/vulgar to say something/point it out.'
      Erm NO. It's wrong NOT to point out indiscrepancies if they may cost good people their hard-earned money surely?

      Delete
  4. We appreciate the time and effort you give 'us' despite your real life commitments. We love your wit and honesty, it's a big bad world out there. You are the voice of reason. Thanks for a great blog and for the real difference you make to 'normal' people including me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. I hope I'm the voice of 'normal' people because that's exactly what I am! :)

      Delete
  5. I don't believe I've ever commented before, but this post deserves it. I'm currently studying business in college and know how important it is for brands, especially PR companies, to know that who they interact with can greatly impact their reputation and influence those who do or do not purchase. There are a myriad of reasons why someone purchases something, influenced by a blogger or not, but knowing that reviews are sincere and the post's author stands behind their opinions is important and not a credit card. I have never doubted your sincerity and have purchased many products per your recommendations, have been wholly satisfied, and therefore return to your site. Transparency in regard to samples/sponsorship/unique hits is paramount. I'm glad bloggers get products in advance to review, but simply receiving them for the sake of raking up views against other bloggers is bad business and purchasing views in order to be "reputable" is fraudulent.
    /end rant.

    Sincerely,

    a loyal blog follower

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon,

      Thank you so much - you summed it up perfectly.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for your honesty Caroline. Your integrity shines through in your posts which is why if you say it is worth buying I buy it! You have recommended so many products that have made a massive difference to my rosacea prone skin and I really appreciate it. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Aisling, I'm so glad they helped.

      Delete
  7. Couldn't agree with you more Caroline. I love reading your blog. I never find it misleading, you are completely honest in your reviews and opinions. The information you provide on your blog is valuable to me and I'm sure your other readers too. Keep doing what you're doing and leave the 'blaggers' behind!

    http://madnessbymeg.blogspot.ie/

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great post! It's a shame that some bloggers feel the need to buy hits, followers etc. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a successful blog, but this is also one of the most rewarding aspects to blogging - seeing your blog and community grow, all from your own sheer hard work. It's not all about numbers and the bloggers who are passionate and driven enough to realise this are the ones who will (and should) succeed.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Alexis,

      I agree. This blog didn't really 'take off' until a couple of years in and I was so chuffed to finally see my hard work paying off. Unless your view is purely monetary and mercenary I don't see any joy in bought 'anything'. It just has no foundation.

      Delete
  9. Great blog post Caroline. Chasing stats is pure vanity. I agree that engagement and influence is more important for the blogging community to get right. I hope you know that your time and effort on the blog and YouTube is appreciated - especially with your integrity attached firmly to every post!
    Ting x

    www.thetingthing.com

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    1. Thanks Ting. I really appreciate you commenting... and reading!

      Delete
  10. Apart from this entire post being entirely spot on, do you know what point I adored most? "a lot of you buy my recommendations. That is always at the forefront of my mind when I blog and I would never put that in jeopardy.". To me, there is nothing more important than being able to trust a bloggers opinion, especially when products certainly aren't cheap nowadays. It means a lot to myself - and I am sure ALL of your readers - that your reviews are genuine, honest, because I know you're recommending a product because you truly believe in it - not just to make sales/impress etc. Thank you for this post - and for being fantastic! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sophia. It's true. If I said everything was 'amazing' no-one would believe a word out of my mouth. And more importantly, no-one would read!

      Delete
  11. Really interesting article. Thank you very much! :-)

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  12. This was an absolutely fascinating post to read! I'm pretty new to blogging in the grand scheme of things, and didn't realise quite how naive I actually was about the whole thing - buying followers and stats seems like a whole other world from the miniscule little corner of the internet that I've carved out for myself to warble on about clothes and makeup. It saddens me that blogging has gone from being enjoyable and fun to a popularity contest. I created my blog to write about things that inspire me and I enjoy, but yet I find myself feeling inadequate because I haven't even hit 100 followers on Bloglovin' - I think it gets so easy to get caught up in the stats hype, and the excitement of receiving PR samples that you can quite quickly forget how simply the influence you may have over other bloggers can be the most important thing.

    So I thank you for writing this post, it's given me a lot of things to think of and consider as my journey into the blogosphere continues, and I think that it will always serve as a reminder to stay humble, keep my feet on the ground, and remember that the way I portray myself on my blog is much more important than a little stat counter hidden in my sidebar. xo

    Lucy-J Loves | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle

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    1. Hi Lucy-J,

      Welcome to the mad world of blogging! :)

      I think as long as you always remember that your readers aren't idiots you'll be good to go! ;)

      Best of luck with it.

      Cx

      Delete
  13. Yet another reason to religiously read your blog! Thank you for being your blunt, honest self and I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that you're going to see yet another increase in followers once people get wind of just how brilliant you are! I will never go anywhere else for skin care advice : )

    Cheers,
    Allayna

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    1. Thank you Allayna, that's very kind of you to say! :)

      Delete
    2. You're very welcome Caroline.

      I don't think it's overly kind of me to say, it's a very well deserved compliment. After following your advice (I've read every single blog post you've ever written and every comment within every article for information!) I no longer have cystic acne. It took a couple of months and a couple of product swaps (UK products can be difficult to find/afford!) but my skin is amazing, especially considered what I came from - painful, inflamed skin that was difficult to even touch.

      I'd love it if you used my photos as an example of what can be achieved following your skin care regime. I want EVERYONE to know that it's possible to accomplish even if they're unable to schedule a consultation. (I'm from Canada!).

      I cannot express enough gratitude to you for the information you provide. Truly. You not only offer skin care advice, you offer hope in terms of teaching people how to take control of their own skin quality.

      I wish only the best things for you in the future. Thank you again for the time you spend providing free, easily accessible information for us all.

      *I'll stop now before I write you a novel! The difference in my skin, because of you, is truly remarkable. If you have any interest in using my photos, please don't hesitate to contact me at - a.moretti@live.ca (this is my primary e-mail that I check often and I don't mind at all if my e-mail is posted on your website since it's part of the comment to be approved. I want people to be able to contact me if they need yet another example of skin that's forever changed! It would be so phenomenal if people who read your blog from Canada could connect to share product information since it is so vastly different from the UK and sometimes even the US)

      <3!

      Delete
  14. Lying about stats and followers also puts fellow bloggers at a disadvantage. You can be honest with the figures but then be 'overtaken' by a blog that's been around for 6 months and claims to have 75,000+ uniques per month.
    Some PRs and brands may believe it, but wild claims can make companies blacklist you when in fact they might have worked with you if you'd been honest about the numbers.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lucy,

      I hope it at least gives some PR's food for thought. It was getting silly.

      Cx

      Delete
  15. I've got a blog for 6 years now, 4 during which I kept it "anonymous" (without telling my friends or family and being away of any social media) and what I can tell is that people buying likes are usually those writing very poor articles (not a lot of info, usually more focused on themselves rather than on the "service" they claim to offer through their blog). If not, then they are quickly tired of blogging and give up after more or less 2-3 years (if not less...). Yes, because buying likes is way much easier than doing some researches, writing reviews, taking the time to take pics, etc. Blogging, as you say it well, is a matter of passion and involvement. Nothing will ever be able to replace that and PR are sometimes too easily fooled by "blogging glitters".

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    1. I like that term! 'Blogging glitters' :)

      Delete
  16. Thank you for such a blunt and straight talking post. I think a lot of bloggers have forgotten the reason they started blogging along the way, placing focus on being 'the best' or 'the biggest' or 'the one with all the exclusives' rather than the one that people actually trust and enjoy reading. I will never understand buying followers, lying or manipulating stats or even faking exclusives just to make yourself look more important than you are. Numbers aren't everything and brands are increasingly aware of this - so many are now looking at niches and those with higher engagement, rather than focusing work on those that shout the loudest. It's always said that the ones that scream the loudest often have the most to hide, which I think suits this situation perfectly.

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    1. Hi Hayley,

      It makes me sad to be honest. The last thing I want on here is negativity pointed towards our own community - I thought long and hard about writing it. I guess I'd just been pushed over my unethical bullshit ledge. :)

      Cx

      Delete
  17. Well said Caroline. Most blogs today are just advertising windows, a monologue with no personality. I love the person that you are and I am not surprised in the least by your rant. I believe you're the only blogger I genuinely trust, along with Lisa Eldridge. True professionals, not puppets.

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    1. Thank you Maya. That's a massive compliment.

      Delete
  18. I totally agree with this post. I am a very new blogger and I was completely surprised by how I was almost instantly followed by people offering to sell me likes and followers as soon as I created a twitter account. I began blogging because I love beauty products and I wanted to share my enthusiasm with others who have the same interests, as well as the engagement you get with the beauty and blogging community. I was concerned for minute that I was only being followed by these blog manufacturers, but thankfully some kind and real people have left me a few comments. I also have to say I have become disenchanted with some bloggers that are not upfront about sponsored posts, or their business affiliations. Often it is obvious that people have an affiliation with a company but there is no disclaimer to be found. I appreciate that although you are often sent products from companies your opinions are honest and your own, and that you assess for whom the product would be appropriate for.

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    1. Hi Stephanie, I always try to. And I am by no means claiming to be perfect - but if something raises your eyebrows more than once I suppose it's time to say something? :)

      Delete
  19. I didn't even know that buying followers was possible! I'm writing a beauty blog on the fringes of the Internet but I didn't know I was this uninformed. That's horrible! How could you even feel good about the 'success' if you know that you paid for it? Totally takes the fun, gratifying aspects of blogging off the table. I'm disappointed that I'll never know exactly who these bloggers are so I can give them a big unsubscribe.

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    1. i guess some people gauge success really differently?! :)

      Delete
  20. Great post. I trust you along with Lisa Eldridge and the Pixiwoos (not so much in Tanya Burr).

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  21. Caroline - I have loved your blog for a while now (your advice really helped transform my skin, so thanks!) but before now, I've never felt the need to comment. I love reading your blog and now watching your videos, and I adore how your honesty shines through everything. I appreciate how you make knowledge and education about good skincare accessible and transparent to regular people like myself. I've never once doubted your authenticity, and this post about ethical blogging just makes me respect you even more. If we ever met in real life, I have a feeling we would get on splendidly. Keep up the fabulous work!!
    Mara xx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mara, for reading and for commenting! :)

      Delete
  22. Apart from yourself Caroline and 1-2 others that I know are very ethical I never EVER trust anything written by a blogger or a journalist as I know 9 times out of 10 they have received a free product and are essentially performing a paid advertisement.
    I review everything skincare/makeup related (before purchasing), on Makeup Alley. If it gets poor reviews then I don't waste my money. Has saved me thousands over the years and is especially important for me as I'm allergic to a lot of chemical/ingredients in commercial products. Regards, Laura :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laura,

      I really appreciate you saying that. Makes sticking my neck out easier to bear! :)

      Cx

      Delete
  23. As I'm very new to blogging I did not know that this practice was so common. I guess others have an agenda - they want things.. as you say exclusives, etc. For me it has just been the fun of it so far. Sure, it's a lot of work for a max of 50 hits a day but if it gets higher and grows into something it will be well worth it. I agree with you - comments are a must but I'm not sure how to get people to interact. I leave questions in my posts but they go unanswered. Perhaps I need to do some blogging research....

    As always, thanks for your blog - it has been life changing for my skincare although I'm still figuring out what exactly works or not!

    lifestylebynumbers.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. And don't worry about the comments - they will come! :)

      Delete
  24. I study Onlinemarketing in Sweden and the problems are the same over here but since a beautyblogg who writes in swedish can newer become as big as i the uk (due to the fact that the population is smaler) the problems are not as big.

    I would say that PR companys need to start use Adwords and the Search Queries thats offered in the program. There you can search for all keywords and get estimated montly hits. Google trends only show large and big trends and all may not show there but they do in adwords.

    Also PR agencies need to evaluate the outcome of a blogpost diffrently. Does it contribue to anything in the serp?(search engine result page first page). And take that in consideration when comparing to other blogs.

    As I see it there are 2 types of bloggers. Huge bloggs that help to boost a Pr activety instantly. And 2 bloggers who contribue over a long time by duing a good SEO work.

    I hope that what I write make sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon,

      I know what you mean but Google Trends would show a blog claiming to have in excess of 500k unique users a month. It's just impossible that it wouldn't show.
      It does make sense - what you write. ;)

      Cx

      Delete
  25. I shared this on FB, as I thought what you say is important for us readers to know. Very well written on a topic I knew nothing about.
    Thank you so much for finding time to blog and to do You Tube videos.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for enlighting us, Caroline. I, too, was unaware of the extent of this problem.
    Yours is, in any case, my favorite beauty blog, as anyone opening my bathroom cabinet will easily testify ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ayelet, I hope it's useful. XX

      Delete
  27. PERFECT. It's the age-old concept of quality not quantity. People need to engage and interact rather than play a popularity contest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi LM,

      I agree. But people also need to be genuine and not try and engage people through a false means. In my humble opinion. xx

      Delete
  28. Hi Caroline, been meaning to let you know for a while - I actually can only get to your blog via googling your name/blog - if I go direct to your url it says it's available to buy?! Not sure if it's just me, it happens on my phone and on the computer though (different browsers).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How rude of it! :)
      thank you for persevering!

      Delete
  29. I`m so happy that everything here is you,Caroline!i like the quality of your video and your son`s editing techniques.that`s why i`m here..i can see if statistics are fake and i really don`t like this becouse..trust!!! even if video or post is sponsored i like that you write it down honestly.pardon my english,i don`t speak on it,but can catch the amosphere and statistics=D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. I try and be as transparent as possible. Even declaring when legally I don't have to.

      Delete
  30. Really loved this post. I don't have a blog, but am an avid reader of more blogs than I can count so it's really interesting to read about the inner workings of the blogging community.

    Mentioned you to a New York Sephora staff member when she (gasp) testified she had never heard of double cleansing before!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL how rude of her! :) Spread the DC word!
      I don't think this is standard behaviour if I'm honest. It's a one-off.

      Delete
  31. I hate it when people buy followers on any platform. I just don't understand why you wouldn't want the sense of achievement you get through working hard to build up great content resulting in more followers. I put everything into making my blog the best it can be, and although I know it's still not as good as it could be, I'm proud of having recently reached over 6,000 followers especially in such a saturated field. But it's not about numbers to me, even if only 60 people read and supported my blog I'd continue writing it because it's something I enjoy. It is a shame that PRs have limited budgets and will favour higher statistics, but it does make sense really. Great post Caroline.
    rebecca-louise, autumnleaves-x.blogspot.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I agree with you on the buying of anything. It makes no sense to me personally.

      Delete
  32. Are you sure that there was something dishonest done? I had a feeling I knew who the blogger was because I probably accounted for at least two unique visitors that month [work and home IP address]. The reason I had an idea who the blogger was is because that blog was one of the few with 'sneak peek' shots of a then upcoming fall beauty line that about a million people were dying to see, which is what I think probably accounted for the uptick in traffic. It seems to me that the email you referenced displays more stupidity than anything---like maybe the person sending it didn't really understand how to interpret the results they were seeing and 'overinterpreted' them.

    Perhaps there are a lot more things behind the scenes that are weighing in to your feelings, but the email itself, based on what I have observed of that site, doesn't really seem unethical--as I said, it seems more stupid of them to think that 1 month of super high stats = 'I'm the most popular blog in the WORLD' than anything else. I tried to use the google trends thing but I didn't find it particularly informative from my admittedly non-techie perspective.


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    1. Hi Sandy,

      The email that went out was written by the business partner of the original founder of the blog and I have no doubt they were not confused about anything. It was very calculated. I'm just surprised to be honest - that the founder agreed to send out something that basically stepped (at least attempted to) on the rest of her community. Getting ahead at all costs and forget about anyone else that may have supported you along the way etc..
      I find the blogging community to be extremely supportive of each other and we all know who has the biggest genuine reach, and support them fully. This was a bit of a preemptive strike away from the community, which is perfectly fine, absolutely everyone has the right to do whatever they want with their blog. But if you have that much going on (teams of people, editors etc) surely you are not a blog, you're a website. I just found it really disrespectful and unethical, and certainly not a reflection of the support that we show each other in the community.

      Delete

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