When bloggers are not genuine.

This post is mostly just me rambling, so it’s not my most well-written piece. Something has been playing on my mind a bit lately, but I wasn’t sure if I should write a post on it. Most of my followers are fellow bloggers, so I wasn’t sure if this would be a bit inappropriate. But then I realised that by not writing, I wouldn’t be being honest. Aaand….that’s kind of what I do!

I’ve been blogging for about 2 years now. Only in the last 6 months I’ve really got into it, writing more regularly, and embracing the likes of Twitter and Instagram. Before then, I wrote a fair bit, but I didn’t tell anybody. I didn’t join Twitter until September 2015, and did not have any sponsored posts. I wrote because I loved it, whether people saw or not.

With this in mind, I wrote this post about other bloggers and their reasons for starting a blog as well as things they do that bother me.


In it for the freebies.

I have come across new bloggers who have a whole PR page, but only a welcome post on their blog. On Twitter, there are some people that really bother me, because you can’t seem to find a company or post that they’re not latching onto, trying to grab a freebie.

Its not even so much the asking, it’s the absolute lack of tact. Its as if this blogger with their very few followers on all platforms thinks the company owes them something for the exposure.  It’s cringe-worthy and I think it gives genuine people who love to be part of this and love to write a bad name.

There are plenty of opinions from people that bloggers are only in it for the freebies and these people are the ones that make it seem that way.

Contacting companies.

Contacting companies constantly – mainly the ones we can actually see on Twitter – begging for a freebie or offering to do a review. Good on you, but you signed up to WordPress 4 days ago! Give them a blog to look at first.

It’s not just new bloggers I’m having a pop at. The people who have been doing it for a while can be guilty of overdoing this side of blogging. What annoys me when I’m reading a blog is when I can see that without the freebies, the blogger would have no content. There’s literally just review after review for products they begged for online.

I personally use blogs for reviews and opinions when I’m purchasing something and did before starting to blog myself, so I’m glad this medium is being recognised and that free items exist for these purposes, but when it’s all a person posts about, I find it hard to believe the views are honest and can’t help but think they’ll say anything to keep companies working with them.

Do not read other blogs.

Something else I have come across, which is really odd, is bloggers starting out who do not read other blogs! Why would you get involved in something you don’t even like? Some of my friends do not blog, but actively read them, watch vlogs and are really into it. They don’t blog at the moment as don’t feel ready to, or just don’t fancy it. I respect that they’re either taking their time or have made a decision that it’s not for them, yet still appreciate others who do.

Becoming popular.

I understand that people might start blogging in order to find like-minded people. I guess that’s what I was doing as I wanted people who understood where I was coming from, or liked similar things to me.
Saying that, I’m sure most other bloggers have witnessed the rise of a fellow writer. They suddenly become too popular to respond to you on Twitter, or even to their blog comments – rude! Its then that you realise they probably weren’t genuinely interested in connecting with others, but were using them to get a bit more popular.
I don’t mean people who actually have 20K followers, of course that would be difficult to keep track of (even though even they should try!). I’m talking about the people who’ve reached 200 followers and think they’re too great for this world!

Follow for Follow.

Just to be clear, I do not mean Follow Fridays on Twitter. People taking part in #ff share their favourite bloggers and are already following them themselves. I mean the people who actually announce they’ll follow you if you follow them. Oh yes please, I’d like one whole extra follower who isn’t interested in my blog. Give me great content, I will follow! And you don’t even have to follow me back.

Follow Unfollowers.

You know the ones! They follow you, they seem a bit like-minded so you follow them back. Then it turns out they unfollowed straight away. Or if you don’t follow them back, they unfollow you. Basically they’re playing the popularity game. It makes no sense to me, as I don’t think people look super cool having more followers than people they’re following, but somehow it makes them feel better about themselves.

P.S. You can see who unfollowed you by using Crowdfire.

Comment posts.

‘Like this and I’ll comment on your blog’ ‘I’m doing comments so send me links’
This is very different to ‘looking for new blogs to check out’. This person is actually using you and your blog to promote themselves. Tell me they don’t put a link on your blog!
It’s much better when people comment because they liked your post or have an opinion on it.

Advertising space.

Has anyone else come across somebody with only a few followers offering advertising space on their blog? It’s a nice idea to make a bit of extra money from your blog and if the other person gets some great exposure then win-win. But when you have only just started out, it isn’t great exposure and again makes it look like you think you can do this for money. You know what I do when I like another blogger? I share their posts on Twitter, I comment and follow them. All for free! If I ever get to an amount of followers where it would be worth advertising then maybe I would. But I think it’s a bit of a cheek when you’ve only just started out.


This was not supposed to be a bitch-fest, even though clearly all I’m doing is bitching. I just think there must be other bloggers who relate to the way I’m feeling about this. It puts me off. I don’t want to have to wonder if people are genuine or not, I don’t want followers or comments on my blog to just be an ad. Yes, please leave your links all over my comments as I’d probably like to check yours out too! But don’t go around doing it to big up your numbers.

This type of blogging seems really dishonest to me. It shouldn’t bother me really and is nothing to do with me, but I actually find it offensive and disheartening that people like that can flood such a lovely community of passionate people. I don’t want to be a part of it in that way. Free things, companies contacting and blog stats increasing is amazing, but I want it to be because my content was worthy of that. I realise not everybody thinks in the same way and this is a really negative look at it, but I seem to be coming across it more and more now.

I think my main worry  is that with this type of blogger being so active on that side, they might become a bigger part of blogging than the people who are there just to write and connect and review the occasional product. It would be a bit heartbreaking if it just became another business, rather than a community of honest and opinionated people.

What do you think? Have you come across this behaviour and does it affect how you feel about blogging and fellow bloggers?

Tina x
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  • Just: πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

    • Thank you!! πŸ™‚ Scary one to write!

  • Great post Tina!!!!! To be honest I haven’t seen those bloggers just begging for free products, so maybe i’m not following the right people!? haaha! But I agree with you, it takes time and effort to honestly build a following and for brands to notice you!!! Don’t do it for the freebies and follower numbers!!!!! That’s not what blogging is about…..HUMPH!!!!
    I wish more bloggers were as honest as you babe!

    • To be fair, there’s a lot less of people like that than more genuine people which is great!
      Thanks for your comment, that’s exactly what I meant πŸ™‚ xx

  • I’ve only been blogging for about a week or two and I definitely see where you are coming from! Writing is a passion and to see people doing it just to earn money, big themselves up and promote themselves is honestly so disheartening!

    • Exactly. I’m not against that happening for them eventually, but I think if you start from a place where you just love to write, all of that will follow and you’ll actually connect with people x

  • I can definitely relate to the things you mentioned. It really puts me off when people just comment to promote their blog without showing any interest in the post. Sometimes I see them leaving the same comment on 10 different blogs. I think it’s easy to tell if a blogger (and Youtuber!) is fake or not, especially when it comes to reviewing products. So I think that in the long run, honest bloggers will remain the most successful (or maybe that’s wishful-thinking) xx

    • Yeah it’s frustrating. I know what you mean and I hope so! I just don’t want it to be so off-putting that some people give up or feel like they’re not getting anywhere. But I’m (almost) sure honest and genuine people will remain on top X

  • I’m so glad you were brave enough to write this post because I think you’ve explained everything every other blogger is thinking! I’m scared that these type of bloggers that are only in it for the freebies and popularity are going to crush all of the other honest and passionate bloggers out there. No one should blog for freebies, it should be because they love writing!

    • Thank you so much.
      Exactly! That’s my issue with it. I don’t care if others get some free stuff or extra followers, that’s great! But I don’t want that to be all that blogging becomes πŸ™‚

  • Agreed. Thing is, catering just for popularity is actually often counter-productive. There’s a huge body of branding theory that suggests that just being seen as a product space causes readers distrust and will tarnish the product. Selling primarily happens when people genuinely believe the blogger believes in the product and that the blogger themself knows what they’re talking about (the reason why film critics tend to know a lot about different genres of film etc).

    A number of years ago I was contacted by a marketing company to do something on a big fantasy TV series in return for a fee. I had a look at it and agreed. They automatically sent me over the copy they wanted me to post (which they hadn’t originally mentioned) and were stunned that I wanted to write my own. They were fine with it when they saw what I wrote. I did enjoy the series, but as it was not the same thing as I normally wrote about, the post was literally ignored.

    Golden rule being authenticity is all. (Exactly what authenticity is is entirely another story πŸ˜‰ )

    • Thanks for this comment. It’s really interesting. I completely get what you mean about authenticity.
      It’s surprising to hear how followers reacted to something different, and definitely a lesson.

  • haileyjaderyan

    Yay, go Tina! πŸ™‚ One of my pet-peeves are those “Great post! *Insert link* comments. For me, this is totally not inviting to visit someone’s blog. I often read posts and when I don’t have something to say about it, I just don’t.

    And I totally agree on the not respondng thing. I mean sure, depending on the amount of comments or tweets directed at you, it may be difficult, but a quick thank you shouldn’t be too much of an effort. Maybe not for 100 comments, but some people don’t even do it with a handful. Personally, I may not respond directly to comments, but I try to find an hour during the week when I go through all of them and respond. But oh well, like in real life, people tend to let things get to their head and they just feel like they’re the shit. If it makes them feel better…whatever.

    Anyway, I think it’s great that you just put it out there because it is what you feel and some people will agree and some won’t. As long as you feel good about it, it’s good. πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to next week’s #latenightbloggers.

    xx Hailey – //

    • Thanks! And thanks for such a great response!
      Yes, exactly. I really don’t like when I take the time to write a well thought comment (and the effort of logging in to whichever platform is needed!) for it to be ignored. I’d never want to do that to people who are engaging with my writing, surely that’s the point of this? And like you say, some people only have a few comments!
      Haha ‘people feel like they’re the shit’ definitely!!
      I’m glad others can relate to this post and some agree. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one thinking it xx

  • Erin @MakeErinOver

    I’ve come across a few rude people recently, but what really angers me is when people buy followers then expect respect. Their content is non existent or just a bit poor, and they want you to be amazed because they have bout 2k followers across all platforms :/ no.
    I really hope I never annoy anyone. I always leave my link in comments and I always tag a brand if I do review their product, but I have never asked for anything for free. I do it because I spend too much myself lol

    • Haha! Yeah it does kinda justify purchases a bit for me!
      I know exactly what you mean. I like when people leave their link, as if they like my blog it’s likely that we have similar interests. It’s just when it’s done on purpose to make their following bigger. It’s a little spammy.
      Also I think asking for things can be okay sometimes, like if you’re not sure about a product, but you can usually get samples. Some people want everything free just because they’re a blogger.
      Thanks for the comment! These are my favourite kind! X

  • I really loved how genuine this post was. I work in blogger outreach by day and definitely see two sides of the coin. Especially now I’ve moved to work with smaller brands. The amount of bloggers that will outright lie to get a freebie is insane. It’s like they don’t know we have ways of tracking organic traffic and what not.
    I’ve been blogging since 15, took a break in uni and started Philocalist about a year ago. Things have changed A LOT since I was younger. Having said that, there’s definitely some amazing opportunities to meet new people and connect with the community these days, so that’s a silver lining at least!

    • Thank you. Great story!
      I’ve seen people lie about their reach and stats too! If you can check it, I’m sure the pros can!
      Yeah, I do really love the positives that come with being part of it all so you’re right, that side of things is great πŸ™‚

  • I’m so glad you decided to write this post! I totally agree with youπŸ‘ Too many people call themselves bloggers when they’ve never ever written a post but still think it’s acceptable to beg companies for freebies. I too dislike it when people say “follow for follow back”. I only ever follow people who interest me or bloggers I like and admire. I never follow just to get a follow back.
    Great post Tina!
    Kate x

    • Thank you!
      Yeah it’s sometimes about the status rather than writing and sharing. I think it’s great when people are successful and doing well, but it can’t feel good knowing you did it in these ways?
      And yes, I follow blogs I like. Other great bloggers inspire me and I think reading them makes you better. I don’t want a feed full of just anything πŸ™‚ X

  • Coffees and Cherries

    Good post! I TOTALLY agree with you on that follow-unfollow thing. I absolutely hate that! I can see now, who will unfollow me when I don’t follow back or do follow back. But it stays really ennoying. Indeed, begging for free stuff is not done. I love your honesty in this post!

    • Thank you! Honest is what I do, but definitely a little scary when I press publish!
      Yeah I’ve got pretty good at telling as well. I feel like it makes me not follow even if they have a good blog – I don’t want to be that person!

  • I’ve only recently started back blogging again mainly because I’ve never gave up reading blogs, this is why I don’t follow many blogs now as how can I trust reviews when every single blog post is a PR sample ? Maybe I’m missing the point & maybe I don’t have enough blog posts or even the greatest writer being dyslexic I try my best & that’s good enough for me,I’ve been around the blogging community for years & I see a change GREED ! X

    • Yes, that’s the thing. It’s great that some bloggers have been recognised as good for marketing, but there has to be more to it I think πŸ™‚ I hope you stick around X

      • Totally agree lovely πŸ™‚ thank you xo

      • Thanks lovely ❀ I hope to be back this week life has got in the way a little bit but that hasn’t stopped my love for reading blogs xo

        • I think everyone needs a little break now and then πŸ™‚ xx

  • Great post and said all that many of us bloggers think too x

    • Thank you πŸ™‚ X

  • I totally know what you mean with the follow unfollowers. This has been happening a ton lately on Instagram for me! They follow me, I follow them back, they unfollow me. OR They follow me, I don’t follow them back, and then they unfollow me. I can’t win. LOL.

    • Nope! You really can’t. It’s a bizarre technique! X

  • I love this! I’ve only been at it for a couple of months but have come across most of these things already. It’s so cringey. I think people see it as some sort of make-money-quick type thing, and that’s definitely not what it’s all about. Great read.
    Marc x

    • Thanks! They’re definitely going to be disappointed with that mindset. You’re right, that’s not what it’s about, or at least shouldn’t be.
      Thanks for your comment πŸ™‚

  • AJ Wathern

    I love this post, mostly because I love it when members of the community aren’t tiptoeing around everyone else so as not to rock the boat or whatever. I will say though that I’m guilty of the “send me your links, I’m going on a comment spree” thing HOWEVER I genuinely don’t link dump. I just know how good it makes me feel to get a comment on a post I poured myself into and so like giving that to other people.
    Hope you have a lovely day. Xx

    • Thank you! I completely agree, I don’t want to stop saying what I think just because people might not like it.
      Yeah that’s a point actually. I think there are always exceptions and it really is lovely to receive comments, especially engaging or well thought out ones πŸ™‚ thanks for your comment, it definitely made me think differently about that part of the post.

  • I completely agree with you. I have been blogging for over a year and originally started it as to fill on the gaps when i had no work( im a makeup artist) but it is such hard work to get your blog noticed. Twitter has been a great help for me thoughx

    • Yes, Twitter has been brilliant in that way for me too. Thanks for your comment, will check out your blog now as on lunch break πŸ™‚ X

  • Preach it! I have only been blogging consistently since xmas and that’s about the same time i actively started to get involved in the twitter community. I started a youtube channel and i have to say that us where the art of “great video sub 4 sub” generic link reigns supreme. I hate it you work hard on something just for someone to ignore the content and link drop! Jog on sweetheart. I haven’t come across it much blogging! Neither have i had the ‘pleasure’ to come across those peeps with whole PR pages and no content hahaha that’s so brazen my only response is too laugh in disbelief. This whole follow unfollow phenomenon is new to me but They can piss off if they think I am playing it haha xx

    • Hahaha! Love this response!! I’m with you! Oh I’ve seen it a lot on Youtube comments actually. Which reminds me, I must come and subscribe to your channel! I’m the same, I only got Twitter in September, but have definitely learnt a lot from it xx

  • Thank you so much for voicing what a lot of us here feel strongly about too. I can totally related to what you have said above, I am not an established blogger and I was very naive to the underbelly of blogging when I started this year! I started blogging to find my own voice but sadly I sometimes I feel like I have no voice since I am not Miss Popular or Miss Endorsement. I feel like just a number for the bigger and more established bloggers who don’t seem very interested in supporting or promoting new voices. For small bloggers like me its can really feel onesided and its only for groups like the #latenightbloggers that I become happy and excited to be part of the blogging community again.

    • Aww thank you! That honestly means so much! I’m glad the group helps you feel better about it, I think we’ve got such a great group of people!
      I completely agree, it can get you down, but I really believe the genuine people will last the longest. Unfortunately sometimes the more social you are, the more you see of it.
      I am surprised by the lack of support sometimes. I’m only a very small blogger but even if I wasn’t, I couldn’t imagine ignoring people who took the time to read my posts xx

  • Oh my gawd everything you said is bang on! My blog is 3 years old in september and ii take a few breaks and really look in to what everyone is acting like or whats trending. Ive taken 6 months out of my blog (end of pregnancy and new baby, im busy) but starting up again this week. I hate beggers with the #prrequest tweets begging for freebies. It puts a bad name on genuine bloggers. Love this post.

    Im not sure if you wanna read my blog as its not been updated in 6 montbs but its it doesnt have a genre

    • Tina

      Aww, congratulations!!
      Yes, those tweets make me cringe! Thanks for your comment and for understanding what I mean πŸ™‚ I’ve just signed up to yours and will have a read soon xx

  • I am a new blogger, my blog doesn’t look so nice and professional as other ones so I feel like people won’t read it and that’s a shame because I am proud of my posts. I made a poll on Twitter to find out what people think of new blogs that may not look professional. Will they read it, or maybe be too snobby if that’s the word? It was suprising that there were answers saying no they will not read it! Hmmmm…

    • Tina

      That’s such a shame! I know what you mean, and it makes me think a lot about how my blog looks. I hope people care more aboutt he content, but it’s not always the case. Your blog looks great! Mine was beyond plain and boring when I started, I think new bloggers are much more aware of how blogs look now, whereas I was clueless! I have a few tabs open from your blog ready for a lunch time read πŸ™‚ xx

      • Thank you so much! That means so much to me. I really hope you enjoy my content, I know my pictures are not the best but I really hope you like it! You have yourself another firm reader of your blog πŸ™‚ Xx

        • Tina

          Aw thank you! That means a lot to me too! I’ve followed you on Bloglovin. Had a quick peek already, but love it. You get so many comments etc so it shows your content is great and the blog itself looks fab! I can’t believe it’s a newer blog! Xx

  • I have to defend those who unfollow people who don’t follow back. It’s not always out of spite or playing the popular one. I’m trying to curate an engaged timeline. To be followed by me but not a mutual I have to really like you. It’s difficult to see people’s stuff with the new algorithm so I try and keep it clean. I follow back anyone who has interactions on their page, even people who at first glance I son’t know why they’re interested in me. If they unfollow and they didn’t strike me by then I’ll let them go.

    But I agree with your bitching and there are definitely many spiteful people!

    • Tina

      I know what you mean. I often think if people unfollow me, then we weren’t connecting, but I do think it can be used too harshly too. I have unfollowed people if I don’t get anything from following, such as great posts or engagement, but I give them more than a day to follow me back! Haha my bitching – cheers πŸ˜‰ They are my most articulate thoughts hehe x