I’ve a question to ask you. Are you a nice blogger? Are you genuinely friendly or are you a faker? I’ve struggled a little with the blogging world even though I’ve found it to be one of the friendliest places on earth, I’m curious as to how genuine bloggers often are. Many people who have started blogging are eager to make money and I know that is a driving force for a lot of bloggers, they are motivated by money and are posting and promoting based on their goal of making some cash. To that end bloggers are perhaps often way too nice, and may say whatever makes them look good or gain a sale. Do you know what I mean? Let me explain myself.
Are you a genuinely friendly blogger? Or are you pretending to be friendly?
There’s nothing wrong with being nice, I’m not implying that bloggers should be more abrasive or intentionally offend people from time to time, but I am curious about the level of honesty that exists in the blogging community. There have been many articles written about the value of controversial posts and whether or not they are worthwhile and effective marketing tools. Of greater concern for me is why do bloggers find it so difficult to be honest about products, websites and their own opinions, and tend to be overly cautious about offending people? Bloggers in general seem to be really positive people. What needs to be made known is that being honest about a crappy product isn’t negativity – it’s just opinion, and it’s okay.
I was inspired recently by Brankica at Live Your Love when she wrote the controversial article “MarketMeSuite sucks“. Though her intention was only to be honest, bloggers retaliated telling her she way way out of line for writing a post of that nature and in such a definitive tone. It was taken as though she was attacking their reputation and potentially impacting their affiliate sales. I on the other hand applaud her integrity and willingness to speak her mind, and this is what I’m talking about when I ask the question are bloggers too nice? It seems there is this unwritten code in the blogosphere that if you’re blogging you must make sure everyone likes you.
I’ve found that a lot of the compliments offered in the blogging world are not genuine at all. It is hard to put your finger on what motivates a blogger. Did he really like my article? Or is he just saying something to gain a backlink in my commentluv links. Did she mention me in her article because she really appreciates me, or is she hoping for the same favor in return? (I’m really not this paranoid, I’m just making some examples.) Even I am guilty for dropping comments to gain backlinks (who isn’t?).
Sharing Your Opinion and Slandering are Two Different Things
I’m not one for insulting people publicly and I think the way Brankica handled her MarketMeSuite sucks article was really well done, she was true to herself and her writing style and other bloggers need to respect that. On the other hand there are some bloggers (I just won’t say who) who have intentionally gone out of their way to rant on people, websites and services that they think are garbage. What they are sharing may be accurate but sharing your thoughts and slandering someone are two different things! I’m all for sharing the truth about products and services (I just wrote a review on MyLikes which expresses my utter frustration with the service), but taking it to a level of being slanderous or retaliatory isn’t necessary.
Be True To Yourself
My objective with this article is simply to make you think about how you conduct yourself online, as a blogger, as a marketer, as a friend. Have you asked yourself what motivates you? Are you promoting content because it is quality and you want to share it, or because you’re manipulating hoping to get the same favor in return. When you vote on social networks do you read the articles, or are you just voting for your friends? The issue is certainly about integrity and I have written further about that as a guest blogger at Ileane’s blog basicblogtips.com, “Where’s your blogging integrity?”. As a blogger when you respond to comments do you say whatever you can to gain a sale and make the commenter feel special, or are you being true to yourself and offering the best advice possible. Do you take the time to research quality affiliate products or do you promote whatever offers you the greatest commission?
I had a reader on my blog ask me a question the other day about which product I would recommend between two. A sale with one would result in an affiliate commission, the other is free. For this particular individual the free program would be his best option. I seriously had to decided do I direct him to the pay product that makes me money? Or do I direct him to the product that will work the best for him? It was a tough choice (for a moment) but in the end I recommended the right thing.
What would you have done?