Today I want to start something new for my blogging and perhaps in other people’s too. Over the last few years I have grown slightly uncomfortable with the growing commercialisation of blogging, it’s gone from being a community with authenticity to what feels like just another ad space and I’m not always sure we know when bloggers are doing things as collaborations or for real.
On social media bloggers are now legally obliged to add hashtags and disclaimers to their posts when money has exchanged hands, yet that doesn’t feel like enough. I think we have reached a place where when any influencer recommends or shows us something, we are never quite sure if they are being incentivised to do so.
I often hear bloggers reject the opportunity to work with brands because what they are offering “won’t pay the bills” and so the hashtag I have chosen is in part a reflection of that.
I fully expect this concept to scare some people. Sticking my neck out and saying I will promote things I believe in for nothing sounds like I’m shooting myself in the foot a bit, but there is room for paid collaborations and genuine free praise. I think that having space to promote what we believe in (sustainability, great design and good food in my case) makes our own voice more authentic and will help us build our audience’s trust. Many bloggers support causes and products for free already, I’m just saying we should shout about it when we do.
This doesn’t mean I’ll be ceasing commercial collaborations. Sometimes a brand requires something that demands a chunk of my time which it’s right to charge for and I will continue to cherry pick opportunities with those products and brands I love and disclaim accordingly, but if I want to talk about something I love with no incentive, I’m going to flag that up too and I’m going to show you how I spend my free time.
So what do you think? Are you interested in joining me by tagging the things you do #ForThrillsNotBills on social media? If so next time you have a great day out, a wonderful meal, a fabulous haircut or you find a product you love with no cash or product incentive feel free to support the business involved and use the hashtag #ForThrillsNotBills.
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