Opinion

In defence of bloggers (and why it’s okay to be paid)

IMG_2899Over the weekend Telegraph journalist Jonathan Moran criticised bloggers for a supposed lack of ethics and rules around disclosure. In this guest post, first published on Woogsworld, blogger Mrs Woog responds.

Jonathon Moran is a journalist for Murdoch’s Telegraph. On Saturday, a full page was dedicated to Moran, so he could vent his frustrations on how irritating fashion bloggers are.

The opening paragraph reminds me of when you hear people say “I am not racist, but…”

He wrote (of blogger Nicole Warne):

Bloggers do my head in, particularly those of the fashion variety. I’m not bitter, I just think you need to earn your position in the industry and anyone can be a blogger.”

And you cannot disagree with the fact that anyone can indeed, be a blogger! But if you want to earn your stripes in journalism, you need to start at the bottom….

BUT WAIT! Bloggers are not journalists!

He wrote:

“No disrespect to Warne – we’re sure she’s lovely. But the fact she has 590,000 plus Instagram followers (a phenomenal jump from the 71,000 she had in May when she was paid by BlackBerry to be an ambassador) does not make her a celebrity in our books.

“Warne has 19,000 Twitter followers and is currently on a freebie around Europe as a guest of Contiki in exchange for daily social media posts.

“This month she’s also been announced as the summer face of Westfield Bondi Junction.”

The truth is that many bloggers are throwing caution into the wind and are turning professional. This is not as easy as it sounds. It takes work. A lot of it.

Bloggers are “content creators”. We “report” on things that might be of interest to our readers. We have an intimate knowledge of just who that demographic is. I am not a part of Nicole Warne’s demographic. Fashion to me comes down to, does it fit, is it comfy and are there any visible stains on it.

The reason why Nicole Warne is in the front rows at fashion shows is because she too, knows her audience and can deliver the brands’ messages directly to them. And by all accounts, she has a shit load of readers.

Interestingly enough, I have also seen journalists carefully following bloggers on platforms of social media. I myself have seen many of my blog posts reworked and published, sometimes with very little changes.

It is also interesting to note that I have had dozens of emails from working journalists about how to blog, and what do they need to do to get started.

Hmmmmm.

And now for disclosure…

Of course buying followers is not credible! If a blogger has a huge load of followers and little or no community interaction, it is safe to say that they are full of shit and deluded.

As far as disclosure is concerned, the blogging community is starting to wake up to the fact that it is OK TO GET PAID FOR YOUR WORK! I run a commercial blog and I own that fact. There is nothing wrong with it. A few well known bloggers do have a reputation for non-disclosure, but they are far outnumbered by those who are doing the right thing.

And in my opinion, these laws will be introduced to Australia soon. They have to be. We run a few years behind the blogging scene in the States.

Again this comes back to morals. Recently I was asked to join a campaign for a brand that was neither a good fit for the blog, and something that I personally do not use. I gave them my fee, which was a live pony, and we all had a good old laugh.

If you are sneaky, you will be caught out, and if you are disrespectful of your readers, they will let you know.

Mrs Woog is a blogger who writes about her life and family at Woogsworld. This is a shorter version of the original post, which is available on the Woogsworld blog

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