Blogger Entitlement. I'm Over It.
Contrast Stripe Jumper* from WearAll.
Paperbag waist trousers* from WearAll.
Baker Boy Hat from River Island.
Trainers from Adidas.
A few weeks ago, it was nearly impossible to avoid the over-saturated story of the blogger who emailed a Dublin Hotel asking for free accommodation in return for a review. The hotel owner posted a screenshot of the email and rather terribly, attempted to censor the name of the blogger, only for it to be leaked. It was social media chaos - chaos that led to a debate on blogger entitlement. And I'm over it.
When I started this blog in 2012, I had absolutely no clue that bloggers got """free"" stuff or even got paid. In fact the first offer of payment I received, I was so convinced it was a scam that I had family members in IT check to see if it was a scam. I was so baffled by this prospect of money in exchange for my fairly bland blog - but it was the start.
Now, there's no denying that the blogging world is oversaturated. Everyone has a blog, whether it's active or not and everyone now ""knows"" what blogging is. But do they really?
This whole social media 'event' surround the Dublin hotel email prompted an outcry from non-bloggers claiming it was simply asking for a freebie. And I agree and disagree.
The email was absolutely asking for a freebie and even stated that they would be given a positive review. Whilst the blogger in question has over 100k on Youtube, are they genuinely entitled to free things like these? Whilst I'm sure that every blogger has engaged in conversation about how important influencer marketing is, is it our place as bloggers to force it upon businesses?And quite frankly I was almost aghast at some of the comments that claimed that bloggers were an asset and always deserved to be paid or have compensation. I'm sorry, but your value as a blogger or journalist is equivalent to your reach. If you only have 100 followers, are you truly an asset to a brand?
Along with the oversaturation of the industry has come a wave of bloggers who regularly use the #PRRequest tag in order to be sent things. Blogging has moved away from the authenticity of a favourite lipstick from Boots to commercialised and sponsored to the point where there is a definite sense of entitlement.
And this sense of entitlement is hardly new. For years I've received messages from bloggers asking for PR contacts, because if one blogger gets 'free stuff', then so should I. But that's not true. Receiving PR packages simply shows how hard a blogger has worked. Whether it involved brand pitches, or simply improving their blog to a level where it has the DA and quality of photography where brands choose to work with them. It's not a right. PR is a privilege, not a right.
But then it comes down to the value of our work. Am I saying we need to work for free? No. But am I saying every single person who sets up a blog as a whim deserves £500 for their .blogspot blog posts? Absolutely not. We just need a bit of perspective.
So perhaps we all need a bit of a reality check. Do you really think we're entitled to everything we ask for?
What are your thoughts?