I’ve been thinking a lot lately about authenticity. Blogger authenticity to be exact.
Whilst at our most recent Aussie Curves Meet Up the topic of blogging inevitably came up – a fair amount of us run blogs, and we generally frequent each other’s websites from time to time – and the topic jumped to your online authenticity. We were talking about a blogger who ran a series with a food company about mid-week dinners and copped a lot of grief from followers about it not being authentic to her brand and that she might have ‘sold out’. We found this quite entertaining because knowing the woman in question, we know that is exactly what she’s like and that she buys those products already.
The conversation then swung to another Australian blogger who ran a Head & Shoulders sponsored post. This might not sound out of the ordinary except for the fact that she generally promotes luxury brands and clearly does not use Head & Shoulders. This seemed to make a fair amount of her followers angry – they felt she had sold out for money and wasn’t representing herself as she actually is. Some of the Curvettes said they felt betrayed by her cashing in on their readership with something that was so clearly out of the scope of her website.
Whilst these conversations continued I thought about my own blogger authenticity. I thought about what I have previously been offered and what I would do if offered lucrative deals in future. I am fortunate (haha) to not have a whole range of sponsors chomping at the bit to advertise on my website. I have been invited to industry events with companies such as Target & Westfield, but these are places I frequently shop anyway so it was a no-brainer.
I am generally a budget brand kind of person – our disposable income being fairly low – and if I were to suddenly start peddling luxury brands & $700 dresses it would be completely out of character & not faithful to my readership at all (That’s you guys!).
This whole topic made me think about a specific website I used to practically worship. It was a fashion/lifestyle/positivity blog run by a woman who really inspired me with her self-love teachings. She was about my age & lived in a similar situation so I found her completely enthralling. This was probably about 6 years ago. I still read her website but it has completely changed. No longer are there weekly confidence boosting posts, fun outfit pictures or the general posts about her life. Now it is sponsored posts (some of which are really not aimed to her target audience), advertising her side venture or pay-per-month subscriptions for brief daily emails. I understand that she wants to make a living off of her hard work (and she had put in a LOT of work in those days), but she lost me when she stopped showing herself. When it stopped being a website I could connect to & that gave me something. I signed up for a round of emails and was nothing but disappointed with the amount I paid for such little and terrible content.
When I think about this website, I think how much I DON’T want to become that. I never want to start charging for basic content and I don’t want to stop sharing my life with you. I want to keep my day job & my blogging life completely separate for now. One day perhaps they will combine but for now this is my uncensored space to tell you about my life and share what makes me happy – and working on this website makes me very happy!