Many people want to start blogs, but are they doing it for the right reasons? Is there a right way and a wrong way to go about gaining followers and views? Definitely. Keep reading for the unethical rookie (and sometimes veteran, surprisingly) blogger mistakes to avoid like the plague.
Don’t label yourself as a “blogger” if you don’t actually have a blog.
I wouldn’t say this one is “unethical,” but I’ve seen so many people market themselves solely as “Instagram bloggers” who don’t actually have an existing website hub of their own (and never have), and that just doesn’t make sense to me. Shouldn’t they just be called “Instagrammers,” or social media influencers? I’d love to hear your opinion on this one! In order to be considered a blogger, I think it’s important to have a blog that exists outside of social media that you remain active on.
Don’t start a blog for the wrong reasons.
If you’re starting a blog just to get free stuff, don’t even bother. If you’re not doing it for the right reasons, people will pick up on that at some point. Start a blog because you love writing, being creative, taking photos and simply sharing with others. It’s totally okay to have a dream to turn it into a side-business one day, but make sure you have genuine passion to back it up. If you dread any part of it, it’s not worth it. Love every aspect of it, especially the parts without free stuff, popularity and cash.
Don’t expect brands to work with you when you have little to no content published.
I’ve seen quite a few bloggers post one or two blog posts and say, “I’m officially a blogger now, where are all the brands that want to work with me?” This likely won’t happen for you until you establish yourself a bit more — you need to show brands what you can do, and that often takes more than just a couple posts. You don’t have to have a huge following or tons of blog traffic to work with brands, but you do have to show that you can create valuable content.
Don’t buy followers.
This makes me cringe. I’m not even sure how people go about doing this, though I do get emails all the time about “marketing” people wanting to help me “gain more followers” – which I can only assume is likely done unethically. Why would you want a bunch of useless bots on your account? These fake accounts will create false engagement, if any, and will diminish any current engagement stats you already have. It may seem important to gain an Instagram following fast to boost your legitimacy, but refrain from doing so because it will only hurt you in the end. If buying followers is on your blog to-do list, erase that sucker fast!
Don’t host fake giveaways.
A friend of mine (you know who you are!) made me aware of this terrible thing some people do, and my naïve self was in absolute shock. Apparently people will publish giveaway photos on Instagram, use them to rack up tons of new followers, then delete the photo hours later and pretend like it never happened. This is disturbing! I’m honestly so embarrassed for people that have done this because they’re practicing deceit and not following blogger ethics, or human ethics in general. Just don’t do it. You will lose the trust of the real followers you do have, and in my opinion, there’s no coming back from this.
Don’t spam people.
Following people and brands solely to DM them to say “hey, check out my blog!” can make you appear thirsty for views, even if you don’t have an intention of coming across that way. Form genuine relationships with people (bloggers and non-bloggers) by letting it all happen organically. Find people you connect with and interact with them through their blogs and social media genuinely. It’s always great to spread the love and leave nice comments on others blog posts and photos, but don’t do it just for personal gain.
What are your thoughts on each of these mistakes? Do you agree that they’re damaging and unethical? Are there other stand-out mistakes I missed? Let’s chat in the comments! If you enjoyed this post, check out my other blogging-related posts here, some of which are listed below:
Have a great weekend, friends!