Cue the lights, sad music, black and white show reel of past posts. “Let’s get serious guys“….*eye roll. I do want to get serious, without that fake piousness. Buying fake followers isn’t something new, but what is bothering me is that it is almost becoming normal. There are a few known Bloggers who have upped their numbers, buying fake followers and likes ( they come as a package now, because it is too obvious if likes don’t match the following). Some Bloggers are paying for services that follow and unfollow en mass, and fake bots that like anything and everything. From a random village tribe of a guy holding a slaughtered goat, to some baby in the bath, that they definitely don’t know.
Normally I would say keep to yourself, that’s none of my business, cheaters never prosper, and they will get caught out. The cheek of it is, they aren’t. Not only are they not being called out, but some brands and PR know exactly what they are doing, but apparently don’t care. Let’s face it, said Bloggers are pretty, and skinny with swishy hair. The perfect Blogger checklist. No joke, really look at the swishyness of a girl’s hair, to advocate how well she will do in this blogging world. It’s ridiculous, and there are exceptions to the rule, but so damn true. The fakers are getting the invites to the exclusive dinners, the prestigious brand collaborations, all the while smiling like Cheshire cats/Zoolander pouting, telling us to Liketoknow.it.
I have been blogging for six and half years, and honestly it is something I have thought about. Big numbers mean actual money, and while these girls ( boys too, I know this particular humdinger, you probably do too) cheat to get free holidays and designer bags, to further perpetuate that seemingly ‘perfect life.’ I work hard to secure collaborations and commissions to pay bills, feed my kids and keeping the roof over my head. I never have, and I never will buy followers. With my smaller social numbers, but very good hits on the blog, it hasn’t hurt my chances for opportunities, because brands come to me for the quality of my photography. As a plus size black girl I have seen that movie, the black girl dies first. The double standard means, if there was even a whiff of me buying followers, I would be blacklisted so fast. Fake it until you make it, is not a chance I am willing to take for a short-term gain.
This kind of conversation has been creeping up on Twitter, and most of the points focused on the fairness to brands, and the unfairness to the rest of us, who have worked to building a following over time. Every collaboration should be a good fit across many factors like DA, quality, engagement and what objectives the brand need, as an end result. I personally feel that brands need to really stop looking at just the numbers. Take for example on instagram, a person with 5k followers who are fully engaged, comment and like is actually waaay more value than say a suggested account with 100k. Some suggested accounts ( promoted by the platform, you will see this on Pinterest too) have a poor engagement % because the numbers are made up of new random users, that first sign up to instagram, but really don’t care who they follow.
The most important point we should all focus on is this kind of fakeness is making us all look bad. Blogging is such a new industry, and we have somehow already garnered a reputation of being young girls sitting on our beds with nothing important to really say, but given the earth. For the industry to continue to recognise the force that we are, we need to continue to be authentic, and keep producing hotness, that will make the critics shut up, and be envious. I am being completely selfish here. I. Love. Blogging! I do not want to go back to a retail shop floor serving ungrateful customers, or worse an office job. If I don’t flatlay, what is my purpose? What if brands decide to stop working with Bloggers altogether, because they think most of us are trying to scam them?
Trust me this affects all of us.