The Misconceptions of Blogging and the Influencer Space

Monday, July 30, 2018


I feel like there are a lot of preconceived notions about bloggers and the influencer space just like there are stereotypes within, well, basically everything. There's a lot of speculation and raised eyebrows from the outside and even within the influencer space, discrepancies exist and turn into one big this versus that game that never seems to end. The thing is, there is no formula or right or wrong way to do anything (to an extent) and there's no set identity as a content creator on the internet. We're not vapid, social media obsessed consumers who buy and buy and don't really say much at all. 

There's a lot of misconceptions both within this space and from those on the outside who either consume the content created by bloggers and "influencers" (I still don't know how I feel about this word, but for the sake of this post, let's use it), ignore it, or choose to actively hate it. Have you ever tried to have a conversation about influencer marketing and someone will bring up a negative story that got press (i.e. the White Moose Café and Elle Darby drama) and will use that as the benchmark for anything influencer related? And then you just have to sit there awkwardly while they berate the entire concept of influencers while simultaneously sweating bullets and debating whether or not you even bother to bring it up that you blog, even to a smaller degree, and then worry if you continue to hang around them that they're going to want to follow you on social media and you realize that they're going to finally discover your Hannah Montana secret even if it's not actually a secret?

Not that that has ever happened to me...


I'm getting ahead of myself, but you know I like to ramble and make sentences fifteen times longer than they need to be. Do you see why I wouldn't do well as a journalist and why I made my career switch? When people are trying to create a blog or revamp their blog, there seems to be a lot of advice giving and requesting, which is all fine and great because questions are super helpful and the right community can guide you in the right direction, but I also feel like there is a lot of pressure in certain aspects to do one thing or act one way and...I dunno guys, but blogging and creating content isn't a one size fits all kind of situation despite all of the similar feeds because of that damn orange preset. 

One huge misconception that has always kind of bugged me but I still get to an extent is the hosting wars. Everyone has an opinion on which platform is the best. It's Blogger vs. Wordpress vs. Squarespace vs. Wix vs. Self Hosted and honestly...your success doesn't solely rely on your platform. I mean, think of Carly the Prepster (formerly The College Prepster), Krista Robertson, or Caitlin from Southern Curls & Pearls. Carly just switched platforms within the last year or so and so did Krista, but they were both using plain old blogger like Caitlin still does and have super successful careers in the influencer space. I do completely understand why people self-host, don't get me wrong, but I think there's a subliminal pressure that the right platform will determine your "success" and I don't think that's quite fair. I still use Blogger because it's free, I have like 1,400+ posts on here, and it does just what I need it to. Use whatever you're comfortable with, my dudes.


I think I'm going to use Carly from Carly the Prepster a lot as an example because I think she's a really great representation of creating a brand that doesn't revolve around excess and having "the most." This isn't anything against her nor is it anything against bloggers who create luxurious, glossy content. I feel like sometimes we get caught up in the Chiara Ferragani's of the world (she has #HouseGoals tho) and forget that there is a ton of different kinds of content in the world and you don't have to conform to just one thing. You can blog without the travel photos and designer handbags. On the other side, if luxury is your thing, then you do you! Just be authentic and like, I don't know, maybe don't photoshop an entire fucking galaxy of stars into your nighttime sky in the New York City skyline because we all know that there aren't any stars in the city with all of that pollution. I mean, we all saw the drama with Amelia Liana (I still love her, she's super adorable and creates beautiful content without the editing) where she would alter the backgrounds of her photos. If we're against photoshopping bodies and our appearance, why doesn't the same go for the integrity of the scenery? 

Carly, before she got her current photographer Carter, used to take a lot, if not most of her photos on her iPhone. Her iPhone. Guys, you don't need the fancy huge DSLR camera. You can certainly use it and have it and enjoy it, but having a DSLR camera doesn't make or break your existence on the internet. If photography is your thing, then great! If it's not (hello, look at me!), then maybe you're better at writing! This is not to say that I'm amazing at writing because I'm not, but my writing is definitely ten steps above my photography skills that I definitely don't pretend to have.

And how could I talk about misconceptions without talking about numbers? I hate numbers, number and I do not get along and never will. But the interesting thing about numbers is that...they don't really matter to an extent. The number that we all thought and that brands still think (they're getting better though) is the be all end all of social media is the number of followers. In reality, it comes down to a lot more than that. The percentage of engagement, to me, is much more important as well as the number of conversions.

Let's think of it this way. I have 20,000 followers (LOL) and someone else has 200,000 followers. We both do a post for a beauty brand for their new lipstick launch. My post leads to 100 sales and their post leads to 100 sales. We have vastly different followings but we converted the same amount of sales. This is all hypothetical, of course, but the number of followers isn't important. Now the number of engaged followers? That's the sweet spot.


I want to switch gears back to the perception of the influencer space from the outside. There's this stigma that exists revolving around the fact that influencers are greedy and selfish and don't really care. Is this a fair assessment of some creators? Maybe. But it's not a fair assessment of the entire influencer marketing space as a whole and it's really shitty to loop every single person into one category. Are there seemingly daily controversies that tarnish the space? Perhaps. I mean, let's not even talk about the new Dior Saddle Bag campaign with the complete and utter lack of disclosures (disclose your shit very clearly, people, nobody's gonna hate you if you got something gifted to you or if you're doing a sponsored post. Don't hide that nonsense in the hashtags at the bottom, it looks shady). 

As someone who works in influencer marketing but also partakes in the other side, I can see it from both perspectives. There are some people who work the system and it's really such a shame because for every person who goes about it the wrong way, there are dozens who have good hearts and intentions and just genuinely like creating content. Are we really at the point where we're going to hate on someone's interest because it involves social media and fashion and, quite frankly, stereotypically feminine interests? That's just a generalization because I'm quite aware that there are communities within the influencer space for all interests, even men's interests, and yet it's all pegged as one big luxurious and vapid industry.

Everything is not as it seems, guys. Don't sell yourselves short!


Top: Zara
Skirt: Zara
Shoes: Nine West
Sunglasses: Miu Miu

Photos by Emily Polner

1 comment

  1. Before I even get into your outfit (which is undeniably cute), I want to say how much I appreciate your balanced opinion. I personally don't think we should ever hold any one specific person for the actions of the whole...yet I find myself being really mindful of who I tell people I have a blog to because of these misconceptions about bloggers. I always want to be the exception to the popular misconceptions but at the same time, I don't like the idea of bashing other bloggers to make myself seem better. It's so tricky.
    I think my face turned into the literal heart-eye emoji when I saw that skirt! So cute!!!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

    ReplyDelete

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