In Dia’s post today she linked to a great takedown of another blog genre, the mommy blog. I found the takedown to be quite amusing since it sounded a bit like the world of points & miles / credit card / travel blogs, but worse. A sample:
…Your shit is boring. Nobody cares about your shampoo you bought at Walmart and how you’re so thankful the company decided to work with you. Nobody cares about anything you are saying because you aren’t telling an engaging story. You are not giving your readers anything they haven’t already heard. You are not being helpful, and you are not being interesting… Tell me something I haven’t heard before, that someone hasn’t said before. From a different perspective, or making a new point at the end at least if I have to suffer through a cliche story about your faceless, nameless kid.
You’re writing in an inauthentic voice about an unoriginal subject, worse if sprinkled with horrible grammar and spelling, and you are contributing nothing to the world but static noise.
Speaking of which, I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since Chase Sapphire Preferred week! But back to the rant:
… You are willing to do backflips for basically any company that will throw a big enough bone in your direction. Oh, but let me guess, you’re a lifestyle blogger? I blog about our life, so really I can cover a variety of topics and brands. No. I used to say that shit too. What you’re really saying is that you have no direction… Stop selling your soul for peanuts. You have no credibility left when you do this over and over.
…On the note of being manipulated by brands, have you ever seen a negative review on a mommy blog? Ever? And if you did, have you ever seen one that still said “This post was sponsored by XYZ brand, and opinions are all my own” at the top?
Fuck no. Because every single blogger is terrified to tell the truth.
One thing I like about my blog as it currently stands is that I make almost $0 from my regular readers and $0 from corporate sponsors. It’s quite liberating. I can write whatever I want and piss off whomever I want. I don’t even have anything particularly scathing to say most of the time–George is already filling that market niche just fine–but I love the freeom.
I can take a couple of months off from blogging, as I just did, without having to worry about maintaining a steady stream of crap to keep people in the habit of reading my blog. I’ve got a few hundred regular readers, and I love you guys, but you don’t make me any money. But that’s okay because making money from you isn’t a goal of mine (no tears for me, I make a bit of money from search traffic, and I’m happy with that). Not that it’s bad to want to make money from your regular readers, it’s just that it limits one’s freedom as a blogger, and that’s no fun, and one of the reasons I started a blog was to have some fun.
But let’s get back to that rant:
In the last week, I unfollowed over 2200 uninteresting people on social media, and I’m not finished. Someone asked me “But what if they all unfollow you?!” And my response? #byefelicia I’m not interested in having fake friends in real life, and I’m certainly not interested in having fake followers that I don’t even like, on the internet.
This is a reference to one of the shady sides of social media: artificially inflating your followers. You can buy thousands of Twitter/Facebook/etc “followers” from various sites to make yourself look more popular, because nobody wants to go to a restaurant if they don’t see other people there, right? There are many bloggers in our niche who have gone this route.
Another way is to follow thousands of other Twitter accounts en masse. A certain percentage of them will follow you and just like that you’ve gained some followers. A lot of Twitter accounts who follow me have never seen a single tweet of mine, they only followed hoping I (plus the other hundred they followed that day) would follow back. If you see a Twitter account following 14,000 accounts but with only 7,000 followers, that’s what’s going on.
Anyway, it’s a long rant but a pretty good read if you’re into rants, and the original has already been taken down, so go check it out now in Google cache if you’re curious.