Nine times out of ten, my purchases are influenced by recommendations from websites and Youtube content rather than purely impulsive buys. I’m going to be honest with you and say that this isn’t always the wisest decision. As opportunity grows for bloggers and vloggers to earn a significant amount of money, the reliability of recommendation wavers.
My main qualm with some beauty gurus is that they push products they haven’t tried or don’t actually rate as much as they claim. Where advertisements are transparent – as we all know their end goal is to sell a product – online personalities give off the whole ‘girl and boy next door’ vibe. It’s hard not to get drawn in by their lives as they’re relatable human beings and we feel inclined to believe that their tips and suggestions are genuine.
This is most obvious in the realm of Youtube, which used to be a creative outlet for self-expression and now seems like more of a place for fame-hungry corporate sell-outs. Content has become almost robotic, with the shilling of the same products and a loss of personal style and identity. What was before a snapshot into the lives of others has become an over-filtered version of reality. Now, I find myself becoming slightly repulsed as their over-animated faces work to achieve one thing, and that’s to convince you to spend your money, which is frankly insulting to their supporters.
Having said this, it feels a bit bitter to begrudge people who have turned a humble hobby into book deals, make-up and fashion lines as well as television opportunities. It is an incredible feat and their business minds cannot be belittled. As well as this, there are still an abundance of bloggers and vloggers that do what they do for pure enjoyment. I have been watching Lily Pebbles and ViviannaDoesMakeup for years and I absolutely respect their recommendations. It’s okay to earn a living by selling products, it’s just important that you are not manipulating your audience in order to do so.
Although I am not under any delusion that my blog is big enough to earn money on this scale, I have turned down opportunities that have not fit in with the ethos of Little Bit Soph. Some guidelines that I will always stick to when blogging include:
1) Only advertising products that I have tried out and genuinely belive in
2) Always disclosing whether posts have been sponsored/are done in collaboration with other companies
3) Crediting where I sourced tagged posts, photographs and big ideas from
4) Not being fake. Obviously it is impossible to evoke a completely accurate portrayal of who you are when you’re only writing a couple of posts each week. Having said this, I would never intentionally mislead my readers.
Do you guys feel a similar frustration when watching videos online and reading through blog posts? What guidelines do you stick to in order to ensure that your content is genuine? Let me know in the comments below.