The Problem With Bloggers & Vloggers: Thoughts, Insights & Harsh Realities From A Blogger

It’s been a rough week for the content creators of the Philippines whether it be online or offline… but let’s be honest, almost everything is online nowadays or will eventually find it’s way there. Whether it be about newbie bloggers & vloggers forgetting their social etiquette, Mocha Uson (NOT! hyperlinking her ever) or whatever grievance there is out there, it’s been bugging the hell out of me and of course, I would like to take the chance to air out my grievances in a semi- long blog post whether Filipinos actually take the time to read it or not. jab!


I’d like to believe that I’ve been in the blogging/ vlogging or as I’d like to generalize it as, the online content creation industry, long enough to be worthy of writing this post. Although I’ve already been blogging personally for the past 11- 12 years, I’ve only been a public blogger (jumping from URL to URL) for the past 5-6 years and a vlogger for the past 1-2 (but I did vlog back in college if that helps strengthen my point).

I’d also like to believe that I’ve been through the bests and the worsts of blogging as I will fondly and blatantly share memories in my career with all of you. I was there when blogging was somewhat “new” to businesses and traditional media wherein people would question our mere existence and say, “what are bloggers?”; to a time when bloggers where deemed as “vips” (which was quickly outlived, btw); to being “just another blogger”.

My favorite memory of this was when I met a prestigious, well traveled and highly respected senior writer who, after I had introduced myself as a blogger, plainly said- “Ah, I’m never going to remember you- anyone can be a blogger nowadays but not all of you can write!” At first I took this comment as an offence but I quickly came to the realization that she was in fact right. Based on my poor use of punctuation marks and run on sentences, I’m sure you would all agree with said senior writer and that’s fine!

I have been around top bloggers, pioneer writers/ reporters/ bloggers, mass com OJTS and newbies in the industry. I started as someone who had just as much no idea what I was doing at a press con, to someone who was given special services and attention at an event, to “just another blogger” who has hopefully earned the respect from her peers and seniors both in the online and traditional media world.

I am writing this article not to spread hate but to hopefully shine light on some pressing issues us bloggers and vloggers are having to face today. Our facebook groups have been buzzing with non stop discussions regarding the current situations and well, if no one is going to defend us, let me be the one to do so but not without sharing my own piece of harsh realities. So without any further ado, here are a few things that are wrong with bloggers and vloggers:

  1. IT’S ALL ABOUT NUMBERS

Just like any other industry the business of being online is all about numbers- how many views you make in a day/ week/ month, subscribers, followers, etc. I was once introduced to an online whatever-she-was who came up to me and said, “Hi! I’m _______, I make 100,000 views in a month. And you are?” Since I don’t pay too much attention to things like this, I simply introduced myself and stayed as far away as possible from her for the entirety of the night.

During huddles, people will talk about someone and account how many followers this person has and question his/ her authenticity, their “claim to fame” or whatever else there is to talk about. Online, there are a million and one articles on how an online influencer can increase their views/ following and most of the time it involves buying followers (which I am strictly against) or other somewhat helpful tips like bandwagoning, strategic titling, engagement, quality content creation and the like.

Now, I’m not saying that all these things are bad (except for buying of followers) especially because numbers are what companies look at first but as I’ve mentioned in a similar post:

“Sometimes you’ll meet an Instagrammer (influencer that posts purely on Instagram and has a wide following) that has a buttload of followers online and yes, while that’s great and all, sometimes the following doesn’t match their engagements aka likes/ comments. Instagram is a tricky place I tell you and I struggle with it quite often. A harsh reality is that followers, likers and comments can be BOUGHT (enter, Google!) so look for an influencer with a strong following, an engagement and mostly, someone who you think would be a great reflection of your brand.”

Every business is about numbers but when it breeds hatred and competition, it makes things go bad- really fast.

2. A LOT OF US HAVE A STRONG SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT

I recently read about an online content creator who walked into an establishment and demanded for certain services because of the fact that they created content online.  Whether or not the accounts of what happened were true, it’s not the first time I’ve heard it happened. Yes, I’ll admit, some of us do have a strong sense of entitlement and believe that they deserve more than they actually do just because of the fact that they can write or say anything they want about an establishment and get away with it (or can they?). My 2 cents on this is that, you don’t have to get things for free and if you want to try out something on your own, spend your own damn money! If you can’t afford it, then simply don’t write about them or like in the case stated above, demand for something without even coursing through the necessary mediums.

It’s not wrong to ask for something especially if you know your worth and have proven it to whoever it is that you need proving yourself to. Since I’ve taken blogging as a full time job, I will kindly request to be paid for my services, especially for promotions and I will even reach out to brands for possible collaborations by introducing myself to them in hopes of a deal. If the answer is no, I’ll put on a good face and understand that I am simply not what they are looking for at the moment and will pray that the day will come that I can work with them.

I also make sure that once a deal is set, to enumerate my expected deliverables and to actually deliver. It’s not rocket science and it’s good etiquette- one cannot simply ask for something without giving anything in return. Business is business.

3. BLOGGERS AND VLOGGERS REPRESENT NOBODY ELSE BUT THEMSELVES

In the day and age wherein creating content can be easily accessed and achieved, we no longer find ourselves having to represent anyone else but ourselves. Personal branding is what I believe a lot of us lack and just because you can say and do whatever you want because it is your brand, doesn’t mean that you should. Yes, you have the freedom of speech but it doesn’t mean you have to act like a complete nincompoop.

I’ve heard many stories of a blogger/ vlogger acting out of line during events to the extent of irking professionals in the media thus, creating a bad name for the other online content creators. I’ve seen it happen and as a human being, it is really f’in annoying to have to witness that in real life.

Recently there was a debate about the tupperware blogger (I don’t know who you are nor did I do the research about you, fyi), that vlogger who had their camera in a celebrity’s face during a press con completely blowing it for the other media people around, a vlogger who was too eager during an event and personally, I think it’s pretty bad. Although bloggers do not represent a certain establishment, company, etc. you have to remember that you are representing yourself and that is the most important thing.

3.1. EVERYONE WANTS TO HAVE THE BEST CONTENT

It’s true- I’ll be honest, that’s what I aim for but never at the extent of ruining everyone else’s opportunity. Wanting to have the best content out there is something we should all aim for but this should be done in our own means. Having been able to speak to a lot of traditional media professionals, many will express their dislike of the new age of bloggers and vloggers and to be completely honest, I don’t blame them. In fact, I share their sentiments. They too want the best content and their jobs require them to do so but they work in their own professional terms- so why can’t we? That’s the keyword: Professionalism. They show up to an event, listen intently, interact and keep their social graces at par. They don’t whip out their cameras mid event and steal the spotlight for their intros nor do they get in a person’s face shoving their cameras so close you can see their pores to get “extraordinary” shots and most of all, they don’t go over the top and disrupt an event just to do so. I cannot speak for every single traditional media person out there (just in case the nuisances do exist in their community) and I’m not saying that ALL bloggers/ vloggers are like this- a lot of us will make our introductions before showing up to an event or will simply find a strategic way to spice up their vlogs/ blogs but hey,  if the shoe fits, you might want to reconsider your choice of shoes.

4. ANYONE CAN DO IT

I would like to go back to the senior writer who told me that anyone can be a blogger but not everyone can write well- she was brutally honest and it hit me to the core but I won’t lie and say I’ve never said it before either, but just because this statement does present a harsh truth, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

The internet is a magical place and it’s given us opportunities we could have only dreamed of. In the next 20 years, I imagine that every single person will have their own blog or vlog because there are no requirements in doing so which is why I give workshops about it because the truth is, anyone can be a blogger or a vlogger but not everyone can do it right and I really want it for all of us! When I say “do it right”, it is in the context of all the things I have stated above. I will never tell another person what content they should make and how to make it because that is something we all need to figure out on our own and by all means, we ought to do it.

My local vlogging community was outraged a couple days back at someones’ remark that vloggers shouldn’t use their phones and some other personal tips at how to make “good” videos online. Now, while I don’t disagree with all her points (I agree with you but it doesn’t mean I like you), I contest at that the thought of mocking someone for even trying. Anyone can blog or vlog but you need to ask yourself WHY you’re doing so and WHAT you want to achieve from it and HOW you are going to do so. If it’s by putting down another person, you’ve already set yourself to fail but if it’s by improving your craft by learning from others and being a decent human being then you do you.

5. THERE IS ALWAYS DRAMA

Someone once told me that the internet loves drama therefore, a lot of content creators will try to breed drama whether it be through their titling strategies aka click bait (much like this post. OK, I’M GUILTY!) or will create their own. This might not be applicable to the majority of content creators but, it is a reality that we still cannot deny and it’s something I want to talk about.

For the record, I could care less for drama but when the only thing you can post about on your social medias of choice is just that whether it be #chesmes or anything that breeds bad juju then don’t be surprised if people end up having a bad perception of you. Again, ask yourself WHY you are doing it and WHAT you can benefit from it. If your intentions were to catch attention and have people talk about you then there, you created drama- congratulations. Now live with it.

Like I’ve said, the internet is a magical place and we are all enjoying our moments in the sun being able to write or say anything we want- much like what I am doing in this post, but let’s go back to self branding and… well, you can figure it out for yourself.

 

I wish I could list down more things but it’s 11:30 in the evening and there is still so much work to be done and I’ve reached a point of peace as I’ve been writing this which is a good indicator for me to stop. It’s probably too long anyways. I guess the bottom point of this extremely long banter is that we could all use a little bit of respect whether it be respect for ourselves, the people around us, the people we work with and even to the ones we consider as competition.

Bloggers and vloggers or online content creators are not going away any time soon and we all just need to live with one another- we don’t need to like each other, we just need to learn how to live harmoniously. At the same time, we should at least try to be people who others can stand to live with.

We all have a voice and we all have a voice we want others to hear. To those listening, we might not always like what we’re hearing (like now) but people are going to talk anyways… so tuff (for you AND me).

 

If you’ve made it this far in the blog, thank you and if I offended you along the way- ask yourself why. I’m not playing God and saying I’ve never made these mistakes myself but it’s a never ending journey of living and learning which is what this post was meant to do- educate. I give workshops to share experiences and to help my attendees improve their craft and at the end of each segment, I always tell them to follow their passions and to strive for the best whether it be in through their content, editing styles, writing and most importantly themselves.

What are your thoughts?

 

Also read: Bloggers/ Vloggers/ Influencers & The New Age of Advertising- Content Creation 101 For Bloggers & Businesses

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21 Comments

  1. Very true. A content writer cannot dictate to another content writer of what to write about. It depends on the other party what content he or she wants to share online. And to those content creators being deprived by others that you are doing it wrong because they think they are right, “Don’t let anyone take away what your vision of greatness is; we all see things differently. Make your own path.”

  2. wow! I never thought that your world is kind of harsh… I have a personal website too where I can post blogs but it’s more of personal branding for career development in the corporate world, though I sometimes post personal opinions and thoughts because posting it in the social media is not always a good avenue (especially if you have multiple paragraphs hahaha)

    Marketing industry is really a hard industry because it has no specific measurements and everything relies on the client’s mercy or to make it less harsh, it is always subjective. Everyone that wants to win must try very hard.. well, I wish you luck! ^_^

    1. Thanks, Gino.

      Blogging is like any other industry with their our set of politics, drama, struggles and wins. We’ve just been under fire a lot lately because of sensible reasons which I really just wanted to address in this post.

      Thank you so much for visiting my site! I hope you come back soon!

  3. Personally, it all goes back to the purpose of having a blog/vlog and the discipline
    of maintaining that purpose. From the start, our blog was created and designed to:

    1) be an online resource for outdoor adventures (not just travel) in the Philippines
    2) help locals, outfitters, and agencies gain extra income by promoting them
    3) inspire people to get off their sedentary lives and embrace their passion

    We have been sticking to these trio of purposes; acquiring money, sponsorships, numbers, prestige, awards, etc. never crossed our my mind. They just happen to fall in place by always putting in mind our trio-purpose every time we publish our content.

    Regarding a sense of entitlement, we don’t feel entitled us bloggers. As backpackers, adventurers, and “wild” ones, it is instinctive of us to keep a very low profile. In fact, we even prefer doing travel and adventure DIY than sponsorships; the first-hand information we share is more relatable to our readers when we do it this way than the pampered experience we have in sponsorships. The only reason why we accept sponsorships is practicality; we are able to save money.

    We guess we blog the “old style” (at 43 and 38, we are literally old anyway). We are probably “old timers” by upholding and adhering to share stories.

    1. Hi Adrenaline Romance! Was checking out your blog yesterday after reading a comment you made on a Facebook post! hehe. I love your content and I hope to join you on one of your adventures in the near future! 🙂

      I love that you can clearly point out the objectives of your blog, I really respect bloggers who are aware of this! A lot of people get into blogging because of the “glitz and the glamour”- they only see the end product and end up wanting the same things. Now, I don’t think that this is completely wrong but one reality I present to who ever asks is that they need to recognize the reasons WHY the want to blog- if their reason is to purely to “make money”, though achievable, it will end up making them feeling frustrated as it is a loooong and tedious journey.

      On another note, I agree with the practicality sense of it gyud and I truly respect your stands. It’s really not about age, but about perspective sa tao and again, the WHY’s behind the blog/ vlog.

      More power to us and I hope to see you soon!

    1. Glad to have been your first, Chad! Though I usually blog about fashion, lifestyle, food and etc. I couldn’t help but share this side of me which is scary and liberating at the same time. Thanks for appreciating it! <3

  4. Saw this post on Facebook and read it from start to finish. I agree on your points. While I’ve been blogging (for personal purposes) for more than a decade, I’ve only written for brands a number of times in the past years (I don’t blog full-time). I’ve seen bloggers who do it for the love of the brand and those that are just in it for the freebies (that’s the truth). It’s just sad that a lot of people see the negatives while there are many bloggers who observe proper etiquette. I hope they will heed your advice on representing themselves because what they/we do will affect others’ perception of us and blogging as a whole.

    Just a question: what’s your take on companies who look at or ask the number of likes or follows on a blogger’s social media accounts to consider him/her for a project or write-up?

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. I actually wanted to talk about how a lot of bloggers want to blog for the freebies which is a grey area for me- it’s not necessarily wrong but it can have some downsides in the long run. But I haven’t really spent a lot of time thinking about it so maybe I’ll talk about it some other day. I was compelled to write this post because I am passionate about my craft and I love what I do but sometimes it just really sucks before of other people who don’t do their part in making our industry peaceful or livable and end up ruining it for those who take what they do seriously.

      Regarding your question- I think it’s normal to look at the following- I present my numbers to clients when they ask for my services. However, at the same time, they should look at the engagement or the authenticity. A person with 10k followers but less than 50 likes and 0 engagements can be questionable kasi baka binili lang yung followers, diba? More importantly, I think that choosing a blogger should be based on: quality content,branding, platform, following and their influence on their following.

      Thank you for reading this, Michelle! I really appreciate it 🙂

      1. About the “freebies” part, I guess what I wanted to say is that there are those who take advantage, like they sign up or contact the brand, get the token, and don’t write or post about it. Parang walang exchange. But like what I read in another blog, there are really no “freebies” because in return, the brand expects a deliverable in the form of a blog or social media post.

        With the numbers, I see a lot of “looking for bloggers with X,XXX followers…” To be honest, I feel sad about that because my blog doesn’t meet the requirements so I can’t join even if I’m so interested, hehe! (I also work full-time so no weekday events for me.) Tapos there’s also the issue of buying followers or likes. I feel it’s kinda unfair to those who are really letting out blood, sweat, and tears to make it big in blogging.

        But that’s just me. Sorry for taking up so much space. I agree with your points and like you, I consider blogging as a passion, too. 🙂 Thanks so much!

        1. Yes, I’ve heard that happen countless times! I have a few thoughts about this but I’ll collate them properly first. hehe. Baka maka sabi ako ng hindi maganda! :p

          Have you read my previous article? http://issaplease.com/bloggers-vloggers-influencers-the-new-age-of-advertising-content-creation-101-for-bloggers-businesses/

          I made that blog post talaga for that main purpose hehe

          Don’t worry about taking space, Mich! You are more than welcome here <3

    2. For us, companies who simply judge a blog, vlog, or social media accounts based on number of likes and follows have a skewed understanding of numbers. Just think: anyone can just press like or follow just for the heck of it.

      The result is a very weak promotional material that barely reaches its intended audience.

      That’s why during our workshops, we strongly advise companies and businesses to take time and effort to read the blog, check out the quality of the content, find out about the owners, find out the blog’s purpose and its reader demographics, etc. to see if the blog matches their business’s objectives. This effort should be part of their market research.

    1. More so, I’d like to know why you find your opinion so threatenig that you are unable to post your true identity. This is an open space- you CAN share your opinions as I am allowed to reply to them 🙂

  5. Very good read. I remember wanting to start a blog so I could have a personal outlet and archive of my looks, experiences and adventures. Until, my blog became a place that helped my readers. There are several times I wanted to quit because of the pressure and trying to catch up with my friends who have x2-x10 followers then mine. I realized some of them were buying followers, which honestly tempted me to do the same but I didn’t because I’m a very thrifty person and don’t think it’s worth spending to buy followers, plus buying followers won’t really make me proud. I’ve been wanting to write a post about buying followers but I’m scared that I might offend my friends. So it really makes me happy to find bloggers who talk about this.

    ‘Anyone can be a blogger nowadays but not all of you can write!’ – a bit harsh, but the truth hurts. Well, I admit I’m not the best writer, still that’s why I’m a blogger instead of a writer. For me blogging is more of a personal thing, and if you can’t write, that’s not big of an issue. I think it can be developed overtime as well. Anyone can start a blog, yes, but not everyone can commit to it. I am struggling with blogging but at the end of the day I enjoy what I do and I am happy doing it.

    Anyway, apologies for the really long comment. I’m stopping here. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Hi Mica! Don’t feel the need to stop yourself oi. This is a free space! 🙂

      I know the feeling! Before I felt the pressure to stop blogging because I didn’t have a quality camera, a laptop or even money to buy expensive brands and I wasn’t the first to jump on trends. It was so hard and heart breaking because I was so frustrated but at the same time, I loved (and still do) love fashion and I wanted to have a small place in the world to share my love for it. When Instagram rose to fame,I just wanted it to be a personal space and a separate identity from my “blogger” side but I eventually had to get with the times. I was and am late, with only 5k followers, but money does not grow on trees and there was no way in hell I was going to soend my hard earned money on followers. I had real things to spend for.

      In the end, I dealized that it isn’t about the number but the people who follow you. It’s not about the brands you wear but how you wear them and even if we’re not all natural born writers,it still doesn’t matter. Hehe.

      Yes, senior writers comments were true but I still have great respects for her and I wish to be like her in the looong future- smart, witty and respectable. She challenged me to practice on my writing skills because I also love to write and I want to be appreciated for it. Ako na hinuon ang taas ug reply- kaloka! 😂

      Things will happen in their own pace and you just need to listen to the beat of your own drum. Blog when you feel like it and always be true to yourself! ♥️

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