Short answer: yes.
Long answer: keep reading.
Day after day, I can’t help but notice articles in the press about ‘influencers’/’bloggers’. I’m sure you’ve all seen them, haven’t you? Articles making us out to be the big green dragons of the world. Articles calling us lazy, calling our job easy, calling our content millennial (but definitely meant in a bad way). Articles that exist purely to demean something that is, generally, a hobby for most of us, a passion for all of us, and a job for the very select of us. We don’t all ‘make it’, and we know that. But most of us continue (mostly unpaid) pouring our hearts, souls, words and finances into a little bit of the internet that we can control. And what is so wrong with that?
Are we all trying to be the next Zoella? Nope.
Some of us are sharing our outfits because we want to. Or our TBR pile because we want to. Or our life experience because we want to.
Some of us use our platforms to help people. Some of us use our platforms to help ourselves. Some of us just write in the hope that someone, somewhere is listening. And what is so wrong with that?
Now, I’m not going to call out the news outlets directly because, honestly, there is too many to name and shame. There are too many articles in existence that function purely to bash us. There are too many to even link. But, I am almost 99.9% sure that you know which kinda outlets I’m talking about.
These outlets seek to criticise us for something that they clearly do not actually understand. And their articles are purposefully hyperbolic in order to rile their readers against us. You can’t have much influence if a national newspaper is telling their audience to hate you, can you?
And they have many reasons for doing this.
Reason 1: Competition
It is no secret that, ever since blogging dropped onto the scene, journalism has been a dying industry. Readers are choosing to opt for the free and convenient website and blogs, or small snippets of info via Instagram, instead of spending on a paper.
The outlets have tried to counteract this, of course, with their move to online papers. But the difference between these and blogs is that they are much less personal, so their readership is still down on what it used to be.
So how do they solve this problem? They take out the competition. And they do so through outrageous lies and stories that no one who has actually ever read a blog would believe. But, it’s not the people that are already reading that are their target. It’s their grandparents, or their parents, or their colleagues. The kinda people that will read an article, believe it and discuss it in the public domain.
They seek to undermine and embarrass; that is their goal.
Reason 2: Readers (Oh, the irony!)
Think about it.
An article goes live, it infuriates said blogger/influencer who then shares their rage with their followers. And, what do those followers do? They go and read the article!
Even if they read the article with the angriest of mindsets purely to defend their beloved influencer, they are still generating the site some ad revenue. Ad revenue x the influencer’s audience = a big boost for very little work!
It’s basically a lazy guide to digital marketing. (Yet they call us the lazy ones!).
Reason 3: Content
It must be a slow news day for the Notting Hill Instagram trend to be a full blown article, right?
I guess you could say that I’m being hypocritical here, as this post (my content) is *technically* content about their content about our content, does that make sense? But, the difference is, that this isn’t my job ;). Plus, they came for us first (many times) and I thought it was only right to address the constant barrage of abuse that we are faced with!
They often feature our images without permission, instead linking to our Instagram. Or they steal our posts to make into their own newstory again with a quick link back to our blogs. ‘Oh, that’s kind of them!’, you could say. Yes, I do understand that them crediting us is better than nothing. But, what they are actually really doing is exposing us to a barrage of abuse, whether that be in the article comments, or on our own feeds! They rile up their readers and then push them our way, and the ad sense is definitely not worth the abuse for us.
In reality, it’s the same old propaganda from the press that many people read blogs to get away from. It’s no different to their treatment of marginalised society groups, they seek to create anger and then direct it their way. And, in reality, I know that influencers definitely do not get the worse of this. I know that there are many many many other groups being made to feel this way over their religion, or identity, or sexuality, and those things are much more important. Those things are the fight that we should be focusing on.
But, nonetheless, we need to stop feeding this press drama. We need to focus on us, and doing what we do, and stay far clear of any opportunity they may have to humiliate us.
Blogs and newspapers are separate things and, ultimately, it’s better that they stay that way!