Friday, 5 December 2014
A message to other bloggers...
I'm part of a few different groups where bloggers get invited to see new collections, and sometimes recieve samples of products that haven't been launched yet to share with you. They can be a win-win- my readers get to see new stuff, I get more blog content and to try new things, and the brands get exposure.
Brands know that once you've found a blogger you trust you'll take their reviews quite seriously, and that means a higher 'conversion rate' for them. Think about it.... If you saw an advert for say, a L'oreal shampoo, you probably ignore it. This might have a conversion rate of say, 0.5%. 0.5% of people who view the advert will go and buy the shampoo. And it probably cost L'oreal millions to make.
Now say your sister or best friend said to you 'I got the best shampoo ever the other day, it's the L'oreal one', you are much more likely to go and buy it. Say, 80%. Because you know and trust your sister, want to get in on the action. It's a sense of community. Blogging is big business because it works much the same way. Once you find a blogger you like, you trust their reviews and feel part of the community. The L'oreal conversion rate for sending a blogger some shampoo, could be say, 40%. That's probably high. But even 10% is much higher than tv ads. All for the cost of some free shampoo.
Blogs are built entirely on trust between readers and bloggers. So why are so many other bloggers giving confusing messages, not being part of communities, and selling themselves out for freebies?
The event I went to recently was so disappointing. I got there as soon as I could after work, and the room was filled with bloggers on their phones. Which you sort of expect...except nobody was willing to talk to each other. I try really hard at these events to talk to other bloggers even though I find it really hard- not only to make friends, but also to learn from them, to grow my business and to make my blog better. At this event, nobody welcomed me with a warm smile, nobody would engage in a conversation, and it was all just fake, fake, fake. I honestly look through the pictures people posted afterwards and despite all the 'sooo good to finally meet @otherblogger" I doubt any of these girls are actually friends or ever going to talk to each other again.
The other thing was that I go to these events, often after work and across London, to collect samples of things to talk to you guys about. I know it sounds like I'm just after a freebie, but I am really really not. I want to make this blog financially successful on it's own, and I want to create good content. I don't need a freebie- I am lucky enough to have a job that means if I want to buy new eyeshadow, I buy new eyeshadow. I go to these things so I can get things early, get new things, and tell you about them and if they're worth the hype that will surround them. I read other blogs who do the same thing for me so I don't waste my money. That's the point. I got to this one, which was an hour journey, and they gave all the samples out at 4pm. What?! That makes the whole thing biased against people with jobs. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I have a different take on products, because I commute and work 12 hour days sometimes. I will have a totally different opinion than someone who can spend all day on their make up.
A review from them: "Gorgeous coverage, worth the tricky application." Which is useful, in it's own right.
A review from me, who couldn't get there at 4pm:" I can't get it on in the work bathroom in under 4 minutes and it makes a mess and stresses me out. Got though 10 paper towels. For weekends only." Again, useful but totally different! Different lifestyles!!
Also, while I'm continuing on the rant train...why are so many bloggers sell-outs to brands? I appreciate that getting a freebie can feel like success...but it is at the value of integrity. So many blogs recently are doing work with brands and it's confusing what they're being paid for, which means I don't really trust them any more. I hate it when a post says 'I've been working with'. What?! What does that mean? Does it mean I can't trust this post? It's so hard trying to wade through and find some truth in posts.
I deliberately keep it very simple. I monetise my blog through google ads in the sidebar and comission on links from my outfit posts. I mark freebies with an asterisk, and if I was to ever write a sponsored post, I would write in the top *this is a sponsored post*. Why is this so complicated?
Here's to bloggers maintaining their integrity, keeping their readers their priority and their voice real. Oh, and my quest for blogger friends who subscribe to this philosophy and will look up from their phones continues.