Blogger for hire
As a beauty blogger I am often consulted by a brand to write a paid advertisement or supplied product in exchange for my review. Prior to publishing a review on any product or service, I spend a considerable amount of time researching the brand and the product being considered for review. If a product does not live up to marketing claims, or my due diligence reveals unhappy customers or negative feedback with agencies such as the Better Business Bureau I opt not to publish the review. In fact, the majority of product reviews that I write are for products that I buy and after using them, decide to share my opinion about that product on my own accord.
I wrote my first blog post in 2009, at a time when bloggers were not considered “influencers” and rarely contracted for paid sponsorships. My how times have changed in recent years. Cosmetic brands have realized that consumers respond to the buying advice of “real, everyday people” better than they do to celebrities. The public has come to understand that most celebrities only endorse a product because they are being paid to do so. The assumption has been that people who share reviews on YouTube, a personal blog or other social media outlet is doing so because they authentically LOVE the product they are endorsing. While this is true for some, it is definitely not true for all bloggers.
In fact just last week I accepted an opportunity to write about a specific product line (“brand x”) along with several other bloggers in the beauty blogging community. During my pre-review research I discovered more than 30 complaints from customers that had purchased different products from “brand x” and experienced negative results. I immediately reached out to my contact with “brand x” via email expressing concern over the customer reviews and included the link where these reviews were posted. To date I have not gotten a response. As a result, I chose not to endorse the brand on my blog or any social media outlet. The disheartening part of this experience is that I saw multiple posts for “brand x” by trusted bloggers who I can only assume, were not aware of the negative history on “brand x”.
Just yesterday I was made aware of certain bloggers who, after reading a colleague’s review of products or services, were republishing these reviews as their own. In every instance, the plagiarizing blogger made no mention of the content belonging to another person. Thankfully, the majority of bloggers in the community support each other and are bonding together to take a stand against this type of unethical behavior.
In addition to blogging/writing, I also work one-on-one with women in my Alpharetta makeup studio. In every client consultation, women express their level of confusion and frustration with the oversaturated cosmetic market. In many cases, they are spending an excessive amount of money on products that are not designed for their specific issue or desired outcome. Once I explain to them why they should or should not use a particular product, they always ask the following question:
“How do I know what I should buy and what I should not buy?”
My advice is always the same, “Do your due diligence on the source that provides beauty advice to you.”
If a blogger doesn’t have integrity or a real passion for what they are doing it will be visible if you look close enough. For me, a dead giveaway is a blogger who uses social media solely to post “solicitation ads”. If the majority of their material is designed to sell you something with links to influencer networks such as “like to know it” chances are they are most interested in their personal earnings. Don’t get me wrong, blogging is most definitely a business and we would like to be paid for doing our job. Reputable bloggers spend at least the same amount of time that is in the average 8 hour work day researching products, writing and editing posts, taking photographs and editing images, all things that have to be done to produce material that others will be drawn to and enjoy reading. The difference is, a blogger you can trust, one who cares about her audience shares more than a list of products you should buy.
The best bloggers are not afraid to be real with you, share part of herself and her life with you and treat you with the same love and respect that she has for her friends and those closest to her. That my friend is a beauty blogger that understands that beauty, true beauty starts inside the heart.
Sending peace, love & happiness to all!
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