Monday, 6 January 2014

Common Misconceptions About Bloggers

In my recent phase of pessimism, I've come to notice a lot of things that are often misunderstood about bloggers. We're not another species, that's for sure, but it seems we're perceived by readers and fellow bloggers as 24/7 workhorses at the top of our game. So in my own little way, I feel like I should put forward my view of what's expected of us, and why we're not perfect.

Bloggers know everything.
I recently read a blog post stating that a blogger should be an absolute professional in their field or they won't be worthy of attention from readers, and that's just me paraphrasing a quite vicious attack on us ordinary bloggers without qualifications pouring out of our ears. The consumers I aim my blog posts at, namely people who keep to a drugstore budget, don't know the ins and outs of a product's backside, so why should I? More often than not, someone wants to know simply if the product works or not, so that's all I do with my reviews. If I know more about a subject, then all the better, but I'm certainly not a qualified makeup artist. Judging by the response I received on my recent ombre hair post, it's expected that I'd done some major chemical research on the products I was using, when in fact I used the products that were available in Superdrug, not because I was aware of the chemical phero-poro-noxy-poxy-oxide in it. Any normal customer doesn't know what a product contains, and I have never once claimed to know exactly what I'm doing. I'm just a girl that likes playing with hair and makeup. Does that make me any less of a blogger?

Bloggers are always good at everything.
I have to admit, I'm frequently guilty of this one. If I'm looking for reviews of an eyeliner, I'd like to see that eyeliner being used properly, not applied messily or completely incorrectly. But the problem is, nobody's good at everything, and we shouldn't expect them to be. I'm terrible at applying false lashes, for example, so I don't review them despite hoarding a few. If bloggers didn't have flaws, we certainly wouldn't be spending our lives blogging!

Bloggers need money. 
With the likes of Fleur De Force and Tanya Burr, you'd be forgiven for thinking that bloggers require leaning on the Bank Of Mum And Dad, or at least a hefty income. That's not always the case. I've met countless bloggers like myself, unemployed and living off a student loan, so it's not always about buying stuff and reviewing it in a vicious cycle, it's more about your personality and what you can bring to the table than how quickly you can buy a new product.  

Bloggers need to write about things as and when they're released.
Far from it. There's no pressure to blog about a new release the day it comes out, because that just goes to show you haven't really tested the product to it's limits. Don't feel as if you've missed something because you didn't grab a new product the second it hit the shelves, if anything it's better to hang back and ensure you're interested in the product than throw your hard-earned coins at the cashier without thinking. 

Bloggers need to dictate to their readers.
I came across a blog post the other day that quite viciously announced that 'you should not use eyeshadow, foundation and powder because they're bad for you'. No thanks, I'll do what I want, even if it's bad for me. There were countless other ways that blogger could have expressed their views on the detrimental effects of certain face products, but to assume the right to actively guilt-trip readers into listening to what they believe, that to me is akin to shoving your religious beliefs in someone else's face. Fair enough if it's your choice, but it's not mine. This goes for telling readers 'do not buy this product' just because it didn't work for you - how do you know it won't work for someone else? Readers don't turn up at blogs to be ordered around, it's just about gaining information on all the products out there.

Bloggers need to post every day.
This is the most common one I've noticed, not least because I always feel the pressure to update every single day. It's fine to have a day off, it's fine to have a week off, it's also fine to have a month off. It's your blog for a reason, do whatever the hell you want! Nobody will think less of you for not blogging on Tuesday night, and I know that's something that won't sink in no matter how many times you hear it, but it'll always remain true.

Bloggers are measured by their amount of PR dealings and freebies.
This is probably the most contentious subject in the blogosphere, and in reality, it shouldn't be. If you're receiving PR freebies, then by all means, good for you, but it makes it pretty obvious to readers when all you review is things you've been given for gratis. Come back down to earth every so often, review something you bought with your own money, offer some advice, don't just bounce one sponsored post off another, because not all readers want to see you flaunting the privileges.

I guess the moral of the story is to blog the way you want to, not the way everyone else does or the way you feel you have to. You have a life beyond the computer screen, it's okay to leave it every so often.

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  1. I have encountered most of them, indeed. Especially the "bloggers need to post every day" one!

    x Dawn

  2. Loved reading this! It's so so true!

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  4. Oh God, don't look at my lipstick review today. I did such a shoddy job of applying it haha!


  5. I love this, and totally agree. I mean, I don't know everything about anything, and I'm still reviewing lip products even though I suck at applying them! haha

  6. I think this post is great, working in PR I come across a lot of bloggers that think they are 'holier than thou' because they get a ton of freebies and such. Its nice to find smaller blogs with a lot more personality :)
    Becky x
    Vintage Clothing UK


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