Once you become used to the habits and behaviours of your fellow bloggers, it’s pretty easy to figure out who’s genuinely in it for the love of blogging and who’s reasons are a little less than sincere/worthy of respect. Here’s a list of the main toxic blogger types that I feel are making things that bit more difficult for the majority of us who are doing it for all the right reasons.
The Serial Unfollowers
The ‘Serial Unfollower’ has become one of the most irritating presences in blogging/social media in recent times. If you’re unsure of what or who exactly I’m referring to here, let me explain. Basically, the Serial Unfollower is someone who follows you on, e.g, Instagram, waits for you to follow back, unfollows you and then repeats the process twice or 5 times. What’s the reasoning behind this? I’m pretty sure the main aim of the Serial Unfollower is simply to boost their own following while maintaining a ‘followers:following’ ratio that favours them dramatically. What really irritates me is when that same person repeats the follow-unfollow process numerous times, I mean, you do realise I can see what you’re doing, right? You may think you’re boosting your own popularity but in reality, above all else, I’m remembering you as that one who keeps pointlessly following me to unfollow me – not exactly a smashing impression now is it?
After spending 18 years on this planet, I’ve come to the conclusion that cliques will be formed where ever you go and the blogging world really doesn’t stray too far from that truth. It’s like an animal instinct mixed with the assumption that there’s power in numbers. While there are some fantastic supports and networks for bloggers in this country, I’d be sugar-coating it if I said the blogging industry was one big happy family. In reality, just like in every other aspect of life, people will have conflicting opinions which will lead to divides in various groups or ‘cliques’ if you want to speak in Mean Girls terms. If one blogger clashes with another, each of their groups of blogger pals will naturally choose sides and that’s when things can get catty. The main reason that I dislike this element of blogging so much, is that it makes things a lot more difficult/daunting for anyone who’s new to the blogging scene. Just picture it as a grown up version of ‘new kid severely outnumbered in the playground’ with the addition of Instagram unfollowing sprees, Twitter feuds and the puppy filter thrown in for good measure. Not pretty.
One thing I can never understand is why bloggers feel the need to replicate each other. The way I see it is, if you’re going to go to the trouble of setting up a blog, choosing a domain, designing the layout, etc., why turn into a clone of every other blogger by regurgitating the same content on loop. Some people seem to think that if they mimic the work of a high-powered blogger, they’ll automatically achieve the same level of exposure and popularity as them, which of course is utter b*llshit. It goes without saying that individuality is the key to success in this industry – why be a second rate version of someone else if you can be a first class version of yourself? Of course, in a blogging industry as tightly-knit as Ireland’s, the chances of turning up to the same press event as 27 of your Instagram followers is pretty likely, as is receiving identical press samples on the same day, but that doesn’t excuse a lack of authenticity. Be original, think outside the box. Even the smallest amount of individuality or quirkiness can set your content apart from the next person’s. You’re far more likely to be remembered for your own ideas and way of thinking than for a half hearted attempt at copying someone else’s vision.
The Freebie Magnets
First and foremost, if you’re in the blogging industry purely for what materialistic goods you can nab out of it, you’re not doing it for the right reasons whatsoever and you WILL be found out. A common misconception by those outside of the blogging circle is that all bloggers, regardless of their credibility or following, are showered with freebies for the fun of it, which of course is not true. Brands and PR agencies will only offer samples and press release products to bloggers/social media influencers that they believe can promote said product/service effectively, and rightly so. If you’re a newbie blogger who’s hounding every cosmetic brand in Ireland for samples and can’t back up your request with an adequate pitch to promote their brand, then you’re quite frankly wasting your time and appearing rather desperate too. As the old saying goes, respect must be earned so in order to build relationships with brands and agencies, you need to showcase your abilities and prove that you’re in it for the passion of it, not for a bag of free lipsticks or detox teas.
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