How to Spot a Scam

blogger scams

Happy Friday, y’all! Earlier this week I got an interesting email from a particularly famous brand asking me if I would be interested in doing a collaboration with them. As a blogger, I’m always on the look out for brand partnerships. However, I exercise caution for a very good reason. Once I expressed interest in the collaboration, the brand representative that had contacted me fired back an email outlining the project and what it entailed. Just by the description I knew that it was nothing more than free publicity for the brand. Here’s how I knew:

  1. Key Phrases: The buzzwords that companies love to use to indirectly say that you will get nothing out of this “collaboration.” One of the most common is that they need you to help “spread the word” or give “tips to your readership” about what they can do with said product.
  2. Lack of Marketing Budget: The first thing I ask is what the budget is for the project. When there isn’t one, they really can’t tell you anything else beyond “well we don’t have one, we simply wanted to generate some buzz about…” Boom. Sorry, but you won’t be “generating buzz” on my blog. That’s when you know this is for their benefit and not yours. Move on.
  3. They Immediately Provide Links: While this isn’t always a bad thing, it can be a red flag. How do they already have links that will credit you with whatever referrals you give them? Oh wait- you don’t get credit for referrals. The brand is literally giving you a link to lead your followers a way from your blog and to the product. It would be one thing if you actually made a commission off of it, but in this case you won’t be.
  4. Flattering Words: The brand rep called me a “guru” in the particular product category she was marketing. I had written a few things on topics similar but in no way was I a “guru.” Flattery will get you nowhere darling. Unless you plan on paying me, then it will get you somewhere!

I wrote this post specifically for the newbie bloggers out there. When I first started, I participated in a few of these “collaborations” and got nothing out of it. Many promised that the best posts would be shared on their social media pages. That never happened. Don’t fall prey to these scams. Instead, keep your head up and know that your blog is worth more than free publicity.

-Liz (follow me on Bloglovin’!)

 

Bloggers Gonna Blog

Bloggers Gonna Blog

Monday mornings are good for two things: Catching up on favorite blogs and drinking copious amounts of coffee. I’ve perfected the art of both. I have more coffee mugs than Lorelai Gilmore and follow too many blogs. The funny thing about blogging, especially fashion/lifestyle blogging, is how superficial it can be. Little fashion blogs like mine and yours aren’t usually guilty of this; but big-name blogs have a running track record of it. This brings me to the 8 biggest lies top fashion bloggers tell their readers.

  1. Life is a never-ending latte: ┬áIn every single Instagram photo, in every pretty picture of their desk, and almost every snapshot of their “candid” strolls through a park, fashion bloggers always have coffee. And it must be carried in either a Starbucks cup (#littlegreenstraw) or a Kate Spade travel mug. Take your pick.
  2. We wake up with lipstick on: I’ve seen countless blog posts about “morning routines” and how fashion bloggers put their makeup on. The kicker is that no one wakes up with makeup on and if they do, their skin must really hate them because chances are it was a rough one the night before.
  3. Trips to the market are a must: Saturday mornings are meant for picking up fresh fruits and veggies at the farmer’s market and then arranging them in a chic little bowl on the (marble) kitchen counter at home. Obviously. The majority of us run to the grocery store for our food needs. However, fashion bloggers shop in more stylish, organic places.
  4. Brunch is a way of life: If they aren’t hosting a dinner party, they’re meeting a “blogging bestie” for a brunch full of fresh fruit and mimosas. The brunch is spent hashtagging and cropping the perfect Instagram photo of their drinks and yummy food. Excuse me while I go back to my Cinnamon Toast Crunch and orange juice.
  5. Pretty cars come with the territory: Because it’s totally normal to be 25 and driving a Mercedes Benz. Except it’s not. I’d take one if it were given to me, but at 22 years young, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
  6. The bag makes the woman: Prada is a necessity and red-bottomed shoes come with the territory. And they’ll link both below the photos they post on their blog so they can make sure to get the commission from Nordstrom in case you decide to buy anything.
  7. Jet-setting is a weekend thing: A little trip to Bermuda one weekend and then exploring NYC the next is part of the fashion blogger’s life. Either said fashion blogger pay for it themselves or there’s an event that the blogger is invited to that includes an all-expense paid trip. Hopping from vacation to vacation is just a part of life.
  8. We love to team-up: I’ve seen the phrase “I teamed up with so and so…” far too many times and know that it’s code for “I’m being paid to feature this product on my blog.” Everyone needs a paycheck, but it makes you wonder if they really like the product or not.

What do you think of the fashion blogging world? Leave me a comment!

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