A post by a Facebook friend the other day got me thinking about blogging. It seems that many of us who used to Write All The Time for ourselves, have stopped. Why is that? Why is it that blogging has become a chore? Why did we start writing in the first place and what changed?
I will tell you what happened: PEOPLE GOT GREEDY. For me, I started blogging because I needed an outlet that would "listen" neutrally. The faceless internet seemed like a good idea.
As I wrote, somehow I got an audience, and an audience creates attention, and attention sends advertisers. I took on advertisements and started earning a part time living from this blog. Heck, I started a blog about blogging because I made a GOOD living from it for a very short time.
The thing is: I have very strong opinions and cannot be paid to be swayed. It tears me up when I read sponsored posts and Tweets and Facebook plugs from other bloggers after they've been given ad money and the posts are no longer in their voice.
Some blogs and connected social media become nothing but pitches. #spon #ad
Where did genuine bloggers go?! Where are you?!
I didn't want to become that, and honestly I hate being called a shill. I used to enjoy writing about product because I USED IT or I LOVED IT or my favorite: I hated it.
I have lost that because everyone and their Mama is overexposing EVERYTHING hoping to get paid. I did get paid. I still have a trickle of advertising, but I can't push it as hard as I "could" because I feel like it alienates those who read my stuff (…for whatever reason they do?) and feel pressured. Bloggers who used to "connect" with me, I realize, I am no longer useful to them if they can't use me. It's sad.
Sometimes I felt like a fake by posting about products I didn't really like. I lost my oomph and advertisers took notice and dumped me. Sadly, sometimes I think it was a relief. I'm not your salesperson. You didn't hire me.
I think these days, most sponsored content needs to come organically. Why do "we" push so hard to be paid to do what we were already doing for free, for ourselves? If someone wants to pay me to be MYSELF, bring it. I can't change or remain silent because you don't like me as I am.
I feel like I have censored myself for so long because I have been afraid of the ADVERTISERS getting mad.
No more. Fuck them. If they're paying me to share product, it's because I AM WORTH IT, and if they choose not to? That's fine too.
Sorry. If I write about your product, it's because I USE IT, I LOVE IT or IT SUCKS. There's no ulterior motive, unless I specifically state that there is. ;)