Can authenticity exist under such faux circumstances?
When I published my first blog post, it was for the pure love of writing. I mean, I write for a living and it seemed only natural to extend that into the de rigueuer online world. After a while, I saw how some were creating a lucrative, successful profession out of it and I wanted that too. The seemingly glossy world, the freebies, the picture perfect life. And when brands came knocking, I was eager. That is, until I realised how many were very unethical and were only interested in furthering their bottomlines. I started saying no, and eventually, they stopped knocking at my door, I became completely discouraged and stopped blogging for a good two years. I did post a few things, once in a blue moon, but that was it.
Last September, I began again and this time, I told myself, I am blogging for me. I am blogging about things I truly feel connected to. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
We need to write about products we actually like. Knowing the name of the brand has to be a secondary factor. Knowing how the product/service/garment functions, how well, and whether it serves the agenda we’re after, must be first and foremost.
Blogging is an extension of one’s personality, one’s spirit and heart. And it’s only when we write about things that matter to us, that we truly feel connected to, will we write genuinely and with a passion our readers can feel, share and embrace.
Once (and thankfully, only once), a long time ago, I forced myself to write a positive review about something which I knew was junk, and yes, it was paid. And right after I wrote the piece, I deleted it, and emailed the brand saying I simply could not in good faith deliver a false recommendation to my readers. It did not end too well. Because of my inexperience, I had to (quite literally) pay my way out of the contract. It was a pricey lesson but a lesson well learned.
These days, I purchase as many garments and accessories, cosmetics and skincare products, as I receive samples, to style, test, and review. And I make my caveat where samples are concerned clear from the get go – I am free to exercise my independent opinion, no matter if payment is involved.
In a world that’s plenty plastic fantastic, it’s even more imperative that the opinion of an editor or writer or blogger remains true, genuine, real.
Thanks for sharing this with us. I’ve been considering blogging about skincare since its one of my loves but feel a bit discouraged by seeing what is already out there. It’s nice to read this post and know you have genuine intentions :).
You’re right, there are a gazillion and one blog posts revolving around skincare but knowing how personalised the topic is, I feel certain yours will be unique to your point of view. We all respond and react differently to products so … 🙂
You are right. And a lot of them are younger people reviewing products so it’s nice to read about 30+ and 40+ skincare sometimes.
I’ve started a new personal blog and I’ll be writing about skincare now and then along with my cooking and gardening obsessions ;).
I agree that blogging should be an extension of who you are. I’ve been exactly where you were, getting invited to cover events and products and then stopping cold turkey because they don’t really speak to you. I think the way you are doing things is much more authentic and gives your readers a better picture of who you really are. It may be a bit more expensive than riding the freebie train but I’m sure it’s worth it.
Oh it is. It most definitely is. In fact, purchasing my own products to review is such a liberating sensation, even if it weighs somewhat heavily on the wallet 🙂 a lifetime ago, I was on the other side of the fence. As a writer for publications, I was courted and extended so many privileges. It was fun, but along with that came the inevitable feeling of needing to “pay back”, if you know what I mean. I much prefer where I am right now.
For folks new to blogging like myself, these are important lessons and I thank you for sharing them. I have proceeded cautiously as I am still in the process of finding my bloggers “voice”. Your wisdom and experience is greatly appreciated.
Gosh, Lyn, I’m by no means an expert. I’ve only been blogging for a little longer than you. And when it comes to life’s experiences, not even the slightest modicum of what you have 🙂 my saving grace is that I write from the heart. I do not know how else to write xoxo
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Love your post especially your quote about blogging being an extension of one’s personality! I completely agree! I’m glad you ended up not reviewing the bad product! (:
Isn’t it true? Blogs are born out of a need to express who we are and how we think through words. To not stay true to that is akin to being a big fat liar, and I’m trying really hard not to be a big fat liar 🙂 happy weekend!!!
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