Turning down

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

I've been very lucky over the years with this little blog; there have been some wonderful opportunities crop up and I've had the pleasure of sharing plenty of things I love on here. When I started writing way back in 2011 (was it then? was it further back? I can't even remember) it was a relatively new thing, some really quirky blogs were out there with the coolest of people I didn't know, yet felt like I'd befriended. We wrote about what we wore, what we ate, what we slapped on our faces. The bigger bloggers had over 1000 followers of GFC, remember that? I didn't dream of becoming that big. Fast forward to 2017 and the big bloggers have millions of followers and are online glossy magazines. They are models, they are celebrities and they are the chefs du jour. 
Things have snowballed. I don't feel like I'm their friends at all. I feel like I'm Cinderella who most certainly isn't going to the ball and instead is stuck in the back room, cleaning.
The blogs I do read are predominantly written by people I rely on to tell me it straight, not to sell me things or make me feel inferior. 

It's always been a joy to feature items here on the blog which are a seamless fit with things I usually talk about and we all enjoy. My favourite collaborations have been to style up clothes and shoes but everything I've been sent to feature has been a choice, things I believe in. 

I've been getting more and more grumpy over the conflict between Google's good practice for Bloggers and the way brands/PRs are operating. Everyone knows you have to openly disclose if you are gifted an item or include a paid link or have been sponsored in some manner for material. But did you know that if, for example, I am sent a watch to feature, then any links to that Brand's site have to be no-follow links (I'm poor at the technical explanation but which means that Google won't track them to count towards giving their site more credibility/thus ranking them higher in searches as a consequence of the link). 

Well, I've lost count of the amount of times I've been approached about featuring something (I get an interesting email about every two weeks at the moment, even that has plummeted), only for them to say they need a (do) follow link and therefore we don't proceed. While I'm talking about things, I signed up for goodness knows how many blogging site 'opportunities' years ago and have virtually only ever got press releases which are zero interest and clog up my inbox. Also so many things about reviewing vitamin pills and poor quality products of below £1 in value.... 

There have also been some really lovely offers to work with some brands/little independent businesses that I've turned down because I don't feel I can give them value for money and it would be wrong to go ahead with really only me benefiting from the arrangement. 
As a point of information I can only recall once asking to work with a local business on a post (and I'm embarrassed about that time). These days I wouldn't wish to approach anyone as I can't profess to offer much. I take great care to create content that everyone would like and stress over thinking that I'd ever get any feedback to the effect of 'we'd hoped for better' which makes me feel sick about. 

I'd like to think that people would say things like 'Sophie plays fair' because I really think it's important to stick to the rules. I'm not here to rip anyone off, plunder local resources or make a mint out of anyone, I use this blog to share things I enjoy and think that, as a reader, you might enjoy too. When I see plenty of other bloggers clearly flouting the rules of disclosure and Google's good practice policy it really makes me cross because clearly they're breaking rules but it's not being policed. 

It's been a real rant but I feel like it's just not fair on bloggers that play fair at the moment. The chances of my little blog growing are so tiny, I love what I do and wish that more people came to have a little read once in a while. Thank YOU for reading this and for coming back sometimes. It really makes me happy. While it looks like there won't be much in the way of collaboration opportunities on the horizon, I can assure you that my enthusiasm for sharing content I care about continues.

Take care,

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Sometimes I am sent items to feature as part of a post and these will be clearly mentioned as part of each post.Everything else is bought by myself. Any sponsored or collaboration posts will be clearly marked. Each post is my own content and all opinions are honest.