A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a brand with a collaboration opportunity perfect for my demographic. It was a great product, something that a lot of people would use…but something that I wouldn’t.
The campaign required me to use the product and post three updates on instagram with my progress and thoughts with some carefully curated photos. However, the way the brief was laid out, it would have been very easy for me to simply pretend I’d used the product and pose beautifully for my photos before picking up the big old cheque at the end with my followers being none-the-wiser.
No-one would have been hurt, my followers would have still found out about a new product on the market and I would have had a grand in my pocket. Done.
But I didn’t accept the job. I turned down the big chunk of money that would have paid all my bills for an entire month and I kept true to myself, my brand and the trust I’ve built with my followers over the last nearly 11 years.
But why is integrity important in blogging?
A lot of people think we as bloggers are simply human billboards for ads, glowing product reviews and stunning travel shots. That we take every opportunity that comes our way and rake in the cash selling our souls in the process. But it’s not true.
There are a handful of bloggers, influencers and celebs out there who take any skinny tea or product collaboration going without a thought for the truth behind their recommendation. But on the whole, that integrity, that transparency, that trust, is exactly the reason why blogging has become so big.
People open magazines and they see adverts. Turn on the tv, adverts. Look up at billboards, more adverts. But when they log onto their favourite blog, they’re reading a heartfelt personal review, an honest piece of writing around a product or place that not only gives a realistic and truthful account, but also an honest personal reflection on that bloggers experience.
Yes we are sometimes paid to try out products, restaurants, hotels or even countries! But I for one only accept jobs for products that genuinely interest me, that I already use or really want to try. And those products will only make it to the blog if they’re good!
I push myself out of my comfort zone with travel and love to explore places I’ve not heard of or those that are a little outside the box as well as the more popular places. These articles are always a true account of my experience and stories from the trip – yes I sometimes get paid to go, but you simply can’t buy personal experience and feelings, not for any price so although a blogger may have been paid they’re still sharing honesty and experience.
It is tempting sometimes when jobs pop into your inbox with a big paycheck to consider taking things that don’t quite fit, especially when work is a little slow. But personally I would turn down that £1,000 and keep my integrity and your trust every single time. And that is what I will continue to do.
So when you see a sponsored article, video or photo from your favourite blogger, interact, share, engage! Because although they’ve been paid for this one, the content has still been created from the heart and you never know the amount they’ve turned down to stay true before.