Is Blogging Fake? Why I’m Tired of the Tactics & Games in this Industry 

I feel like this post has been bubbling away under the surface for quite some time now, itching to come out, and yet, after finally writing it all down, I hesitated before hitting publish. 

For some reason it feels totally taboo to be speaking out about something when it comes to the blogging world, as if by speaking up you risk being ostracised, forever excluded from the blogosphere for the rest of time. The thing is, I’ve had enough. Enough of unsupportive peers, enough of the bitchy undercurrent in this industry. 

When I started my first blog, back at the start of 2011, the blogging community was totally different. It was tight knit, it was friendly, it was a totally fun group to be a part of. 

Over time, due to huge life changes I went through, I lost touch with my original blogger friends and fell out of love with my blog. When I started this new blog up two years ago, things were very different to how I remembered them. The sense of community was still there, to an extent, but it didn’t feel as genuine. 


Nine times out of ten, bloggers comment on other bloggers’ posts, and on their Instagrams, because they are obliged to. There’s a whole world of ‘comment pods’ and ‘Instagram instants’, which until the start of this year I had no idea even existed. 

I’m not pretending I haven’t taken part in these groups, I have and probably will continue to. After all, it’s nice to see interaction on something you’ve worked hard on, even if the interaction is not entirely genuine. However, being a part of these groups, seeing how they work, has made me cynical. How many of the comments and likes on blogs and social media accounts are real? How many are down to obligations, a comment for a comment, a like for a like? 

Back in 2011 bloggers would comment on other blogs because they were interested in them, and to show support to friends. Now it feels that everything comes at a price. A few years ago it was ok to simply write about what you wanted to, what you were passionate about. Nowadays it’s hard not to get caught up in the stats. 

Being a part of blogger groups means that I’m constantly feeling competitive, worrying that my blog isn’t ‘good enough’. Good enough for what exactly? I was so much happier a year ago before I found out what a DA was, I mean seriously? Moz themselves have admitted that their algorithm which determines this measure is only currently 70% accurate at best. Why should this number make or break your confidence in your site? 

The Instagram algorithm is messed up. Everybody knows this. It’s so difficult to get engagement on the platform. As someone with a fairly small following it can be very demotivating when your content isn’t even being seen. Of course it will be frustrating for those with tens of thousands too, but if those with smaller followings lose twenty followers, it makes a lot bigger a dent! 

I’ve likened Instagram to a game of snakes and ladders. It really does feel like you take one step forward and three steps back all the time. It’s exhausting. As a result, people have resorted to tactics to beat the system, and as a result of this, Instagram’s shadowban has reached ridiculous levels with the hashtag #beautyblogger currently being banned entirely!

The follow, unfollow game has become so commonplace that it’s rare to find someone who hasn’t experienced it. What happened to genuinely liking somebody’s content enough to want to see more of it? Instead of enjoying the accounts you follow, this constant need to increase stats leads to these tactical moves to get ahead of the game. 

I know for some people their blog is their sole income, after all, I’m hoping to get to this stage myself. It can make a difference in the way you look at things when getting ahead isn’t just to feel good but to ensure there’s food on your table. It’s amazing when your passion is also your job, but I totally get that it also makes it hard to just relax and enjoy things. 

I read a brilliant post yesterday about ads and sponsored content. Like Lauren, I’ve noticed an opposition to those who are receiving money or payment in kind for a blog post. But what is most upsetting is when it’s other bloggers who are being less than supportive to those simply making a living from their writing. 

I’ve also noticed an increase in backhanded insults over social media if a blogger takes on a campaign that isn’t to another’s liking, or if people are willing to accept less than what would be deemed appropriate for a campaign. With the risk of sounding like the rainbows and smiles girl in Mean Girls (she doesn’t even go here), can’t we just all get along? It’s difficult enough in an oversaturated industry to try and make it, to feel positive and proud of our little corners of the internet, without feeling like other bloggers are against you as well. 

So next time you’re online, scrolling mindlessly through social media, why not like that Instagram photo, comment on that blog or share that last tweet? Not because you ‘have to’ but because it’s nice to be nice. 

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15 thoughts on “Is Blogging Fake? Why I’m Tired of the Tactics & Games in this Industry 

  1. You’re so right. It’s all fake. I doubt many of my social media followers are ‘real’ followers and for the most part the ones that are, aren’t bloggers!

    I always feel almost guilty when people are saying things like ‘been offered this fee for working with so and so…way too low blah blah’ and I’ve accepted it because at my stage I wouldn’t be offered higher, like I’m letting blogging down!

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    1. Yes, this is my thought too. I actually missed out on something I would have loved because I said I wouldn’t take below a certain fee, when I should have just ignored everyone else and taken the opportunity x

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  2. Whenever any content appears in my personal feeds on all social media platforms from other bloggers and even small businesses I give it a like or comment if I have something relevant to say. The weird algorithms of social media feeds means it’s hard to get seen unless your followers actively engage with your every post.
    You’re right a like costs nothing to you but can really help bloggers and small businesses.

    Like

  3. I started my blog as an escape from everyday life. Somewhere I could go and just be myself. I thought maybe, just maybe I could connect with other people who have similar interests, or lifestyles, or whatever.

    Then I decided to join some blogger fb groups to help get my blog out there so I could make that happen. I found out quickly about the follow unfollow thing.

    It is frustrating when you are trying to support other bloggers and make real connections, but they are only in it for your like or your comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your post is my thoughts exactly from 2012 when i started its now pants on the community front. There are one of two out there still that care but its a numbers games to so many now

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  5. So true. The best thing about blogging (I started my first blog back in 2007) was discovering fresh, honest points of view. Now it is an industry with lengthy lists of hoops you have to jump through. I used to get excited about people’s comments before, but I’ve noticed that I am now more sceptical of niceties. It’s hard to tell nowadays: what is sincere communication and what is a part of a “networking” strategy

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  6. Interesting to learn from someone who has more experience 🙂 I’m such a new blogger and enjoy supporting other bloggers that I come across, Tweeting articles I enjoy etc…and sharing stuff on Facebook. After all, I think my followers would be totally bored if I only posted my own content 🙂

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  7. Great post, made me think.

    I enjoy the perspective you offer here. Whenever you want to monetize something, like a blog, it’s going to lose authenticity. Statistics are going to feed that machine, too. As someone entirely new to using online platforms, I’m finding myself agreeing with your semi-pessimistic assessment of the situation. I don’t do what I do for money, I’m a student.

    Comparing my experience online to my experience hanging around local galleries and physical settings, I’ve found the physical scenes less…shallow. I use shallow lightly, because there is plenty of authentic content online. The problem is, this content isn’t what’s pushed. It’s a large and competitive platform, so this is probably a natural progression of medium.

    The platforms construction is also an issue. Facebook, Instagram, etcetera, all quantify your presence of the platform. This is intentional, it’s conducive to production. It’s also insidious, and as you put it, inauthentic. You’re rewarded for mechanically liking, commenting, and shallowly assessing those around you. In a pool of aspiring creators, I doubt how many people who like/comment actually even read the content.

    So what do we do? What can you do? Not much, aside from be true to your beliefs, avoid pandering, and be creative. Not that that’ll give you an advantage, you’d be lucky to come out even. But what’s the point of creating if it isn’t worth sharing, if it isn’t really you? Then again, what do I know? My audience is essentially comprised of loved ones, friends, and artists I personally know and have worked with. I don’t wear politics well.

    Liked by 1 person

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