Blogs were once only a hobby, but over the last few years they have evolved into careers. Not a week goes by when a blogger’s wage isn’t speculated on. I guess the interest is understandable given this is a relatively new industry to be involved in. You can’t miss the amount of bloggers you see front row at fashion week, who have partnerships with brands, beauty lines and even publishing deals. Is this where lines become blurred? Can you trust a bloggers integrity?
People forget that if blogging is someone’s sole source of income, they really do need to make money. If you have a bill to pay then I’m not here to judge, and we all have to eat. However, there are times when you’re scrolling through someone’s Instagram feed and you come across an AD that is completely out of place against the rest of the content. Let’s not forget the whole Natural Cycles scandal and all those ‘detox’ teas. There are many bloggers/ Youtubers who have gone down in my estimation purely based on promoting these products.
As Bloggers How Do We Maintain Integrity?
There are three things that I always try and do, and will continue to do. I always think back to why I started blogging in the first place. Things have changed so much in those five years and it’s nice to remember why I began doing this. Secondly, I only work with brands that fit with my blog and align with my code. Finally, you wouldn’t recommend a terrible product to friends and family so why do it online? Honesty is key!
I think the moral of the story is probably to only follow bloggers you trust, that play by the rules. Think about whether an opportunity aligns with your own code of ethics. I think if you are a blogger who reads other blogs you tend to understand the process more.
You wouldn’t criticise someone in any other career for making money yet bloggers always come under fire for doing the same. I saw something on Twitter (I can’t remember the source) which basically said people don’t complain when magazines do about 50 pages of ADs yet there’s uproar when a blogger has one. Bloggers shouldn’t have to apologise for doing sponsored posts and they shouldn’t be seen any differently from any other content. Just remember, no amount of money will ever buy back your integrity