Bloggers, You Need To Stop Bashing Brands

tips for new bloggers, bloggers stop doing this, bloggers don't matter, advice for bloggers

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Alright, let’s get serious for a moment, and hopefully I don’t ruffle too many of my fellow bloggers feathers! I’ve partnered with my friend Katherine from The Slightly Savvy, who aside from being a blogger is a PR professional to talk about bloggers bashing brands & why it needs to stop. I hope you guys will head over to her site after this to read more about this topic from the PR perspective!

First I want to say, I love blogging. I am beyond grateful that it’s turned into my full-time career. I’ve worked with amazing clients on getting their blogs live and amazing brands who are making a seriously positive impact on the world. Blogging is an industry I didn’t know the power of when starting out, but quickly realized the connections and impact it has on the others.

As if I wasn’t excited enough about blogging, it’s becoming a mainstream viable career option and industry. If you’ve watched even one season of Younger (seriously who else is obsessed with that show?!), you know that publishing houses today are looking to bloggers as their next best seller! Which is pretty awesome when you think about it! Furthermore, brands know that the consumers they’re trying to reach have ad blockers on and skip commercials, so they’re turning towards bloggers with influence to aid with their marketing efforts, #winning! 

Everywhere I turn, it seems these long-standing industries are now pulling in bloggers to help them do their thing effectively. Which I think we can all agree is amazing! However, you want to know whats slowing the blogging industries growth? The bloggers.

Yep, I am going to talk some hard truth today to my fellow bloggers. I know you guys want to be taken seriously. I know you want to share your passion with the world and make some money from it (because, who wouldn’t?!?). And I know just how much work goes into being a blogger. So it really frustrates me when I see fellow bloggers ultimately bringing the industry down.

Bloggers bashing brands is nothing new. However, I don’t think their’s a conversation happening around the true detriment it’s having on the industry. Before I get into all of that, let’s first get on the same page about what I mean when I say “bashing brands.”

3 Ways Bloggers Bash Brands:

1) Straight up naming the brand and calling them out on a blog or social media.

This one is pretty obvious, most bloggers have seen someone do this and cringe. Most bloggers are smart enough to avoid this tactic altogether. So let’s hop into the not-so-obvious brand bashing…

2) Condescending emails directly to brands that “educate” them.

I will be the first one to admit I’ve sent these. Whether it was a bad day, or on a “high” from a Facebook group where everyone was cheering one another on for “standing up to the man”. I think it’s something that every single blogger falls pray to at some point in their career. You can only take so many “do A, B,C, and  X, Y, Z for free, plus give us your first-born child in exchange for this $15 trinket!”

But here’s the thing, after the adrenaline wore off from sending those emails, I felt like a brat. Sending emails where you “play dumb” to make a point comes off as plain rude. It’s like you’re talking down to the brand.

Example of this type of e-mail: “I certainly hope you wouldn’t walk into a marketing agency or photographers office and ask them to work for free.”

Do we as bloggers do the work of both a photographer, editor, marketer, and so much more? YES! Do we need to get that point across like this? Hell no! Aside from it being rude, it’s simply not factual as Katherine explains here, many marketing agencies and photographers work on spec!

Like I said, I’m guilty of sending emails like this when first starting out. Call it immaturity, call it naivety, call it whatever you want but don’t call it okay. Most receivers of that email won’t think, “oh wow, I never thought of it like that! I want to work with this person!” They just won’t. Most people emailing bloggers to collaborate fall into a few camps:

a) Small business owner: They don’t have a ton of money and are hustling themselves and probably working just as hard if not harder than the bloggers they’re reaching out too. Trust me, as someone intimately familiar with the start-up grind, please don’t be rude to these people, they are probably getting burned and making countless mistakes at every turn already and they don’t need to be talked down to.

b) Newer/Younger PR professionals: I equate PR professionals to a counselor at a mental health agency. I have a lot of empathy for them. Basically everyone is looking to them to F something up. Think about it, they have a boss, the brand, and the blogger to answer too. If one thing falls off, everyone is yelling at this person. Sometimes its the persons fault, sometime’s it’s not. To make things even more fun, it’s a highly competitive industry and so many get fired quickly. You can’t blame them for asking for free first, then offering payment second, bloggers do not sign their paycheck at the end of the week!

c) Seasoned PR and marketing professionals: These are obviously all of our favorites. They know a bloggers value, have already done crazy amounts of research on the blogger and are emailing with a budget and a game plan to work with. These are the rays of sunshine that keep everyone moving forward together!

Tangent over, back to the not-so obvious ways bloggers bash brands:

3) Not naming the brand, but still going on social media and being super vague/subtweeting about recent collabs that have screwed you over

Listen, I get it. We work our asses off and sometimes brands take advantage of it. I’ve sent my fair share of “educational” emails that later leave my stomach churning with embarrassment that I thought it was okay to talk to someone like that. I’m even guilty of copy and pasting some of my responses in small private Facebook groups.

Look back on those three things, and I ask you, what business do you know acts like this? Your blog isn’t yelp and you can’t ask a brand to treat you like a business if you’re acting in any of the aforementioned ways.

[RELATED] Harmful Communication Tactics To Drop Today

When It’s Okay To Vent

On that note, I want to clarify something: When a brand screws over a blogger, I totally get wanting to vent. The need to vent even becomes visceral and the blogging community is so supportive. I think it’s perfectly okay to vent. PR people are probably venting about you to their circle too! But be smart with how you’re doing it. If you’re in a very small private group of people you trust by all means go ahead and vent.

In fact, in some ways I would encourage it! We as bloggers need to be transparent with one another on when it comes to working with brands. How else are we going to negotiate our way up to be taken seriously? My issue comes in when bloggers are taking things public outside of private circles. When PR professionals, consumers (who don’t understand blogging), and other laymen can see it. That’s when bloggers look petty AF and hurt the industry.

If you want your blog to be a business, then act like a businessClick To Tweet

Seriously, just take a step back and think about your blog as a business. Businesses don’t take to social media if a client doesn’t pay. They go behind close doors and take care of things. Otherwise they get mud on their face and look petty, greedy, and lose respect.

As an example: there was a brand that I wrote about when I first started blogging, I used affiliate links, posted it, and didn’t think twice about it. A few months down the road, this post took off on Google and Pinterest. I started to get affiliate sales notifications every single day. Sometimes over 50 in a day! I decided to approach the brand and ask about a formal collaboration. No response. I Googled to see other bloggers experience with the brand and stumbled upon a post that had a similar experience as mine. She loved the product but felt snubbed by the brand and updated her post to show the poor exchange she had with the brand. Want to know what the comments of that post said? Well it was a bunch of consumers (non-bloggers) all calling her greedy and petty.

Here’s Why Brand Bashing Hurts Us All

At this point, you might be thinking to yourself, “Well Rachel, that’s kind of hypocritical for you to say that we can talk about stuff in one setting, but not another… like that’s not authentic.” 

So hear me out: My entire goal with this post is to elevate the industry of blogging, not leave you feeling like this post is a personal attack about you. I really want you to re-read that last sentence and internalize it, because I want you to truly hear these next few sentences:

Bloggers need to share insider info with one another to elevate the industry. We need to know if we are under charging, we need to know what brands notoriously take advantage so we don’t waste our time, we need to lift one another up and support each other through the frustrations.

Not all brands are dream brands to work with. No matter how big of a blogger you are, I’ve still heard horror stories about what brands have said to bloggers. This post is not to excuse those brands, but this post is to remind bloggers, “when they go low, we go high,” as Michelle Obama would say.

Which leads me to…

The major issue when bloggers bash brands:

The blogger isn’t just burning the bridge with that brand in particular, it’s bringing down the entire industry. Just think about these scenarios:

– Direct impact to the blogger: When bloggers act poorly directly towards a brand or talks poorly about an experience with a brand, even without naming the brand publicly, that blogger should assume other brands are seeing whatever they just put out there. That will probably make brands not want to work with said blogger. Then said blogger gets upset that they can’t find sponsorships, hurting their self-esteem and bank account. Furthermore, I want to revisit the consumers comments on the blog post I mentioned above. Not only is this type of negativity hurting the bloggers self-esteem and bank account when brands won’t work with them, but they are also probably repelling readers.

– Blogger to Blogger effect: In a given week, I can’t even tell you how many screen shots, text messages, or DMs I get that start with, “did you see what so&so said on (insert social media platform)?” Seriously, who needs this negativity in their lives? I don’t have time for it. In fact, I’ve been actively removing myself from those conversations, unfollowing people doing that, and leaving circles were said people are. I don’t have time to feed off their vibes. I want to go places, I want to do things.

girl, bye

[RELATED] How To Manifest Anything You Desire In Life

–  Most importantly, the Butterfly effect to the blogging industry: The blogger talks negatively about or too a brand. The brand gets salty, takes it out on the next blogger they work with (because we are all human and LBH, this happens on both sides of the fence). The new blogger, get’s irked and get’s salty right back at the brand. Now we’ve created a salty cycle that is basically giving this brand a negative experience of bloggers.

You see, the blogger isn’t just impacting their relationship with the brand, they are impacting the lens that brand looks at bloggers through! Thereby pulling down the entire blogging industries ability to be taken seriously and elevate itself.

Bloggers, We Are Valuable!

People don’t understand what goes into running a successful blog with true influence over an audience. People think we take a few pictures, hit publish, and spend our days getting blow outs and brunching. We know, that’s not true. We know it can take four hours to write a blog post, four hours to take and edit photos, and then 10 hours of promoting it, all for a few hundred bucks.

crazy computer lady

People (not all, but there are people out there who think this) believe we blog because we couldn’t make it in a real career, we are lazy, we want to sleep in and watch TV all day. All things my family has said to me. Meaning we have to work twice as hard to be taken seriously. We have to know the creative side and the business side and maintain authenticity without getting burnt out. That’s no easy feat. So why are we making it harder on ourselves by putting things out there that could chip away at our credibility?

[RELATED] How To Connect With Brands For Sponsored Posts

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but I strongly urge you to think things through before putting something out there. Here is a good example of a photographer talking about a brand who doesn’t pay. What makes it good? Well he talks about how past brands who have made the same mistake as this particular brand did, responded in kind. The brand was over the top rude to this photographer. Still, the photographer shared based on facts not emotion. He wasn’t cryptic and condescending, but factual and authoritative.

On that note, please keep in mind this is not a personal attack on you if you’ve done these things, this is something I think we are all guilty of when starting out blogging, I owned my fair share of this type of behavior in the post. Also keep in mind, I left plenty of opening for exceptions to every rule. There is a time and a place to “stand up” but this passive aggressiveness needs to stop if we want to be taken seriously.

I strongly hope you will: Pause before responding to the email or sending that social media post and ask yourself, is this from a place of emotion and ego or facts and self worth? I hope you will take this pledge with me!

heated blogs

Want to hear more on this topic from the PR side of things? Hop on over to Slightly Savvy’s to read her perspective. Also make sure to sign up for her Summer Camp! She’s using her ability as both a PR professional and blogger to break down the walls of communication between PR professionals and bloggers.

>>> Sign up for Summer Camp Today <<<


Feeling pumped now and want to work together?
>>> Click here to find out more! <<<

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  • YAAAAS GIRL. A thousand times yas. I can’t even explain how much I lovelovelove this post. The butterfly effect of saltiness is SO TRUE. And really, your tweetable about wanting your blog to be a business also sums it all up so beautifully. If you want to be a business, act like one – be professional. Being an asshat is never okay. Ever. There are most DEFINITELY times where bloggers might want to scream at brands – and vice versa – but sending a nasty email is absolutely never going to end well. Chances are, even if you’re sending it in a “well, the bridge is already burnt” situation…now you’re just hurting other people. There is really nothing lost by being kind and professional always. It might take more self-discipline and grace on your part, but there’s NOTHING wrong there.

    Instead of sending harsh or nasty replies, I *might* take a moment to educate (always professionally) if it genuinely feels right, but otherwise, don’t let it take up your mental space. Just whip up a quick, short n’ sweet, and professional response about it not being the right opportunity at the time, wish them well, and call it a day!

    Coming Up Roses

  • Neely

    100% YES YES YES! I said something similar in my post today but there is a polite way to say “thanks but no thanks.” I have said to brands before “I completely understand it’s not currently in your budget, please reach out to me in the future if money frees up. I would love to partner.” It does hurt us all when bloggers bash brands! AMEN!

  • Kathleen Brown

    Fantastic and accurate point of view. I loved reading this post for your well thought out ideas. Brand bashing only hurts us and needed to be pointed out.

  • You make some valid points. It all boils down to the art of communication. Stay things which make a positive impact and helps the matter take forward. Just venting is not immatures πŸ™‚

    β₯ tanvii.com

  • Christa Stull

    I’m fairly new at blogging and have a small and I mean small group of people I can vent to. But as a previous boss, I understand how to handle issues professionally, behind closed doors, not make a public display when someone screws up. I’d truly like to see bloggers helping ones another more..sometimes I feel like I’m.thrown to the wolves to fend for myself…it’s okay. I’ll make it.

    Great post Rachel. Thank you.

  • LuzΓ©l Opperman

    So important for bloggers to be good influencers! Good post to keep us all in check! πŸ™‚

  • Girl, PREACH! I honestly have nothing to add. I agree with everything you mentioned in this post! Being unprofessional is never the answer. And your tweetable about wanting your blog to be a business is just 100% true. It sums it all up amazingly!

  • Randi Nuorala

    I love this! It’s so true that as bloggers, we need to elevate our industry as you said. With so many people getting started on their own, this is such a good post to remind us all that we ARE in this together, even if it feels like we’re just alone at our computers sometimes. Thanks, Rachel!

    • You’re welcome! so happy that’s what you pulled from this because that’s exactly what I want people to know! we are an industry and need to band together in the best possible way to be taken seriously!

  • Sarah Jean

    Rachel, this is so much wisdom in this article! I relate to blogger’s frustration but also agree we should be careful about broadcasting that frustration. This is also great advice for any career actually. I’ve seen so many people complain about their bosses blatantly on Facebook.

  • Love this! I haven’t worked with many brands so I don’t have too many experiences, but know I probably wouldn’t bash a brand knowing it could hurt bloggers as a whole!

  • mQs

    Such a great post. I think there’s definitely a way to give your honest opinion without bashing brands. It’s just achieving that find balance.

  • Love love love your insight. Part of being an “influencer” is using your influencer to spread amazing messages like this. And you go above and beyond in breaking down a controversial, hot topic with so much value. xx

  • Love this post! I’ve seen so many bloggers ripping apart brands on Twitter and it makes me CRINGE! Something as simple as tweeting your emotions can hurt other bloggers as well. Great insight!

    Carrie | https://carrieeliseandkho.com/

  • Muna Kenny

    I’ve enjoyed reading your post and can relate to it. I hate it when bloggers go off on brands on Social Media. We all make mistakes and should take things easy. I love working with new brands even if small, I like the idea of growing big with others. It’s best to address the issue privately with the brand than go off sounding crazy on Social Media, that not only hurts one but other bloggers too.

  • Lauren Kunin

    What great insight! Going to subscribe to you!

  • Super Millennial

    I will admit I might have been gone a bit crazy on Allegiant Air but I really think they had it coming lol. Otherwise I would totally agree with you! I’ve found that I need a “cool off” period then I can be a little more rational haha

    • HAHA! Okay, I would probably consider that different… did you fly them and have a bad experience? I was talking about brands reaching out for collabs – I’ve had AWFUL experiences at hotels or with an internet provider I tore a part on social media because I couldn’t get their attention otherwise and I was PAYING for that service, so yeahh, tweet away! — on that note though, I do have a separate twitter account that I use for stuff like that, which is different than my blog’s twitter account! It still has over 10k followers though so it does the trick lolol

  • Hannah Gierosky

    Such great advice! As a relative newbie to the blogging industry, hearing experience like this from others is so valuable. I’ll definitely keep this in mind!

  • I think there’s a huge difference between critiquing and bashing. I’ve seen a couple popular beauty youtubers who have gone out of their way to bash smaller brands and I don’t think thats cool at all! It’s one thing to give an honest review on a product but to go out of your way to bash a brand is just rude and unprofessional in my opinion.

    • Totally agree! There’s a big difference between critiquing and giving an honest review of a brands products/services (what consumers will be consuming) versus just talking trash because you were rubbed the wrong way or had a bad experience on the PR side of things. Consumers work with customer service, not the marketing department of a brand and its our job to make sure that we are providing relevant, factual, and informative information to the consumers that will actually impact their experience of purchasing.– the example I gave in this post, about the blogger who updated her post to reflect an exchange with the brand and the comments were super negative; the issue was that she wasn’t critiquing the product anymore, she was just talking about the brand not treating her well, which is not good; and why the comments were so bad because the consumers were like, “uhhh so the product is still good…” #smh

  • I definitely feel more for the small businesses! I know how it is being a small business and how tough it is to even give away free items. I once saw a blogger completely blast an Etsy store that had just opened for not meeting her requirements. It’s definitely a two way street. As blogger we need to be wise and see when it’s time to speak up or not.

  • This is a great post! My blog is not a business just yet (not sure if it ever will be TBH) but I definitely think it’s not a good thing for bloggers to call out brands after bad partnerships. And this can also be translated to every day life with bosses and co-workers and misc. clients!

    Tori

  • I really don’t think a lot bloggers realize how bashing a brand makes them look or how it reflects on other bloggers!

  • Stephanie Parrell

    I have to agree with this. Although I think that it is important to be honest. But I agree that bashing hurts the trust between bloggers and brands everywhere.

  • andreajesus10

    I can’t even imagine a blogger being that tacky and “slamming” a fellow blogger!

  • Thanks for working on this collaboration with Katherine! I can definitely relate to the salty butterfly effect. If I get a snarky email, I am 100% sharing with my co-workers to make sure 1) I’m not being unreasonable and 2) to give them deets on the blogger. We typically have a year end meeting where we compile a list of bloggers for next year with Yes, Maybe, and No. How a blogger works with us is definitely a factor.

    • Also want to add that if we EVER bashed a client online (from an agency’s perspective), we’d be in deep trouble. Hoping bloggers can use this same mentality if they’re thinking about posting something publicly.

      • EXACTLY!!! Bloggers should be held to the same standard and need to get into that mindset too! Oftentimes the bloggers point of contact is one blip on the chain of command and they shouldn’t generalize or jump the gun on anything! People have rough days and we should all show some grace! – Question, from the PR perspective (assuming based on how you wrote your comment that you’re in PR) – do you think if a blogger responds in a poor way via email because LBH, we all have bad days, and takes ownership/apologizes for their email (nothing was said publicly they just sent a bad email) do you think the relationship can be repaired?

    • YES! I love that you brought up the unreasonable factor! I always share stuff with my husband before hitting send for that exact reason! and that year end meeting tip is gold! Thank you!

  • Yes, I totally agree! It’s one thing to acknowledge your worth but you can do that without burning a bridge with a brand. I’ve seen some super rude responses and it always blows my mind.

  • Woo hooo! I was super interested in reading this since I’ve been seeing a LOT of this lately in the blogging Facebook groups I’m in and even a few times in person {YIKES}. Most recently, I attended an event with another blogger & after leaving we stopped in another store at the same shopping center. She’d worked with a manager in the second store before and proceeded to tell her how awful the event had been and that the store didn’t have their stuff together. I was shocked that she didn’t see this as being unprofessional or worry about word getting around that she was talking about badly about a brand that had invited her out.

  • I didn’t even realize so many people bash brands! Yikes!

  • Robert Stukowski

    I never bash brands, but I will make it public when they do something wrong. Consumers have already made up their mind on a brand’s a year before they make their announcements thanks to leaks and bootlegs. Therefore, providing criticism is a good thing as it gives brands the chance to make corrections before the inevitable bad sales numbers come in.

  • Loved this post, Rachel! I have perspective from both sides and this is so spot on.I think biggest takeaway is just to keep it professional, it works out for everybody on both ends. Enjoyed reading both yours and Katherine’s posts!

  • Jessica Devlin

    this is an amazing post! I treat working with brands like I do my relationship. I don’t vent to other people because they don’t make up and figure it out. Plus is can be very unprofessional. Now venting to a very close friend who isn’t going to share it is different.

  • Anna Hubbard

    Okay so this is an amazing post! Even though we all want top dollar collaborations, we need to remember to be sympathetic to the people behind the brand as well. Every blogger/influencer should read this!

  • Rachel Loza

    YES YES YES! And although I have received the non-compensation emails, I have responded with “I’m going to have to pass” instead of the email we all want to send!

  • YES! This is sooooooo good, Rachel! So, so good. I love your perspective and I think you are 100% spot-on!

  • slynch223

    This is so true! I try to always be positive when I write things. I may complain to my husband, but I don’t ever take it to social media or my blog. As you said, we all represent the industry and we need to represent it well. If bloggers start bashing companies, then it hurts us all as companies will be hesitant to work with other bloggers in the future.

  • thesophiadiaries

    These are great things to think about! I have yet to have worked with a brand that brought up my internal anger, but i totally see your point – bloggers shouldn’t bash brands. But also because it reflects poorly on themselves in front of their follow and it’s only a temporary solution. In the end, bashing solves no problems, so why not move on right?

    Also, I loooooove younger πŸ˜‰

  • This is a GREAT post! I definitely cringe at some things I see on social media. I think of my blog as part of my job. For example, I would never bash my boss or co-workers, so I kind of consider the brands I work with as co-workers. I think this is especially important if you ever want to work with them again. There is no need to tarnish a relationship that may be something in the future.

  • You make such a good point! I completely agree that we all need to be careful with how we handle situations with brands – fab advice.

  • What an incredibly detailed post. Seriously, loads of help! I have yet to work with any brands, as my blog is still growing slowly. But, this educated me so much on many things I did not know! Thanks girl xx

  • Taylor Smith

    This post is FIRE, R. Absolutely nailed it.

  • YES! SO many wonderful points here, and I appreciate the way you not only lay them out, but also give examples. As a more general comment – you have a wonderful way of writing that is so engaging, entertaining, and clear. That is a true skill – thanks for sharing it with us πŸ™‚

  • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

    I think this is great advice. If you’re planning to do more with your blog, you should act professionally because you’re representing your brand.

  • Popofstyle

    I agree with this 100%. There are so many out there who love to “teach brands a lesson” and I admit I’ve fallen victim to this way of thinking once or twice and to be honest, it was an idea put into my head from reading several posts telling bloggers “not to take it anymore” but in all honesty I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that real businesses take care of their stuff behind closed doors and just “handle it”. They don’t bash others because that sends a message and these days online–things like that can’t be taken away or unseen.

    Thank you for your perspective πŸ™‚

    x
    Missy
    http://popofstyle.com

  • Allison Ellzey

    I love this take on brand bashing! It’s so irritating to see bloggers subtweet brands–seriously!

  • Monica Delmonico

    Such a good article. Thank you for sharing this! All bloggers (& brands!) should read this.

  • Denay DeGuzman

    Oh my goodness, I would never even think of bashing a brand. I too cringe when I come across a blogger that has done so publicly on social media. It’s such a shame. Thank you for collaborating on a discussion about this important topic in our industry. It’s good food for thought for everyone.

  • Ashley Vickney

    This is amazing! As a blogger and someone who works on the PR side this was a great post. I will say, there are a lot of smaller businesses that we have to convince of the great influence that bloggers have, so we have to start smaller and ask to do thing for trade, and then later down the line we’ve been able to pay those influencers and do as much as we can for them. We have a brand right now who decided they wouldn’t work with anyone under a certain number, but when a smaller blogger produced some amazing content, we asked if they would be willing to pay them to do more and they would! A good PR person can be a great advocate for you if you build a good relationship with them, and I’ve gone to bat for a couple of awesome influencers with my client because they understood my side. This is a great post Rachel!

  • Adriana

    I. LOVE. THIS!!!! So many times I see name calling from bloggers onto brands on Facebook, and while I usually can relate or know the feeling, I just can’t stand when people publically shame them! Everything we put out on the internet is view-able whether we think it is or not, and instead of hurting the industry we should be working together to build it up!! I am so glad someone finally wrote this, and I’m so glad it was you – you said it perfectly!! xoxo

  • i dont work a lot with brands but thankfully, i have not had too many bad experiences with them. i have had couple not so good ones but i wrote to them straight instead of bashing them (because i dont think its cool and i think it will help them next time).

    i learned quite a lot from this post on PR side of things. thank you.

  • Great post. I have totally sent a couple of those emails, but usually only after a brand has consistently undervalued my work and the blog. But I totally agree – it isn’t helpful to call them out specifically or vaguely on social media. Thanks for this post. – Katy

  • It’s honestly scary that some bloggers think it’s a good idea to bash brands. I get when people are frustrated but be professional!

  • Miss ALK

    Professionalism is always key when blogging, even when brands don’t treat you fairly! I agree with you in that when you need to vent, doing so to blogger besties is smart!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • I completely agree with you! I took a lot of your points into consideration when I was writing one of my latest posts on beauty products. Because I don’t want to banish a brand at the same time I want to discuss what works/doesn’t work for me. But it doesn’t mean that I need to bash a brand to get my point across, I can leave out the information all together.

    xx
    The Felicia Renee | a minimalist lifestyle & beauty blog

  • All the yes! to this haha. Too often I see fellow bloggers take to social media to bash the heck out of brands that wronged them. And I totally understand that the situation is terrible, but we still have to stay professional! And being polite, but firm, as possible in those email responses will end that salty cycle!

  • I totally agree with you on this, Rachel! As they always say, once it’s on the Internet, it’s there forever and there’s definitely some things that don’t need to be online. Finding a good blogging friend is so helpful as you’re able to get it out, without posting on Twitter about it!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

  • Thank you for being super honest about this and for collaborating with Katherine, I love her blog and that she writes about what it’s like to be on the other side working with bloggers. Writing about other brands on social media can definitely have a negative impact on your work with other brands since they can see what you write/post – that was a really great point and something I didn’t even think about before!!

  • I agree with you, Rach. I can see both sides. Mostly because I’m trained to do this as a counselor, but I can understand if a new boutique that only has 3 employees maybe wants to give a blogger a sample vs. a paid collab. It’s all about perspective. Thanks for being such a good person.

  • Oyinkan Ogunleye

    I think it’s important to speak the truth about items that we encounter but straight up bashing shouldn’t be done often.

  • This is was informative! I am really glad you wrote this post. I will need to reread it several times to let all the concepts soak in. Being professional is critical. Thank you for emphasizing that! Keep up the great work!
    xo Debbie | http://www.tothineownstylebetrue.com

  • This is such a great article and definitely I think one that needs to put out in the blogosphere! I’ve definitely had some not-so-great collabs, but they’ve all been a learning experience for me. Although I’ve definitely wanted to let out some of that frustration, I always try and take the high road (as hard as it is sometimes!).

    Xo,
    Courtney
    http://www.courtneyfashionista.com

  • Ash Neverson

    This is an amazing and educative post! I just want to say, since I started my blogging career I have learnt the hard way not to bash brands. I remember one where we even got into an email argument and in the end I lost the campaign. Sometimes, PR are annoying but we have to be the bigger person because we know better. Thank you for sharing!

    Ash // http://www.theashtreejournal.com

  • This is valuable advice for bloggers. I hope that whoever reads this post takes it to heart. I love the many advantages that blogging has given my family. I accidently became a professional doing it. However, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  • I love this post! I cringe whenever I see bloggers seriously bashing brands (especially ones they are working with) publicly! I just don’t get it! It definitely hurts all of us, because DUH those brands are looking, and seeing what people are saying! I love that you stepped out and said everything you did, because some people could definitely use a reminder!

  • Wife Sense

    Those who spend a lot of time on social media, like bloggers, often forget there are real people on the other end of their rants – businesses and observers. Good reminder to be thoughtful before shooting ourselves in the face.

  • Meaghan Gonzalez

    Loved this post! You have so much wisdom and insight, thank you for sharing in such an honest and open way. I definitely took away some big insights into the thought process of people in PR and where other bloggers are coming from as well.

    Meaghan

  • Lauren

    Great post! I haven’t personally bashed any brands myself. But, I’ve read a few blog posts and had to bite my lip! I do believe in professionalism and some of the brands these bloggers bashed I worked with without any issues at all! I think this is a great article for us bloggers to remind us that we need to always be aware of what we share with social media about brands!

  • Such great advice! I agree that putting it out there for everyone to see doesn’t reflect well on the blogger themselves, and may make companies a bit nervous to work with any bloggers. It’s really not hard to word things nicely, either πŸ™‚

  • What a well thought-out post! I agree with all the points you made, but I’d like to ask, I personally don’t feel comfortable around people with negative energy period. If a blogger is bashing a brand publicly, it doesn’t actually make me look down on the brand, it makes me think the blogger is difficult to work with. In any case, thanks for writing this! It’s important that we bloggers also maintain the same level of professionalism that brands and their PR people adhere to!

  • Interesting read. Why people go to the effort to burn bridges is beyond me.

  • Melissa Nelson

    I can’t believe some bloggers do this!! It’s definitely best kept private. This all goes back to professionalism…you need to keep it professional to keep your reputation up!

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    These are great points- there are both good and bad ways to collaborate and vent and respond. Thanks for the reminders!

  • Shani Ogden

    I was just over reading Katherine’s post and I love what each of you have said. I like how you point out that it’s okay to vent, but we need to be selective and private about it, otherwise, it’s just hurting ourselves and other bloggers.

  • Ashley

    Yes, yes and yes! I couldn’t agree more! Being rude and bashing a brand is unprofessional, and being unprofessional never solves anything! PS OBSESSED with Younger!

  • Literally clapping right now! SO TRUE! I’ve read so many things this past month that has me a little concerned. I know some people feel like this is the only way to solve problems but I don’t believe in this method at all. Sending this to all my friends!

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    This is such a good article!! From a young age I was always taught to never treat someone like that, even if in my mind they deserved it. It is just not kind and like you said encourages the salty cycle of business. I will definitely be keeping this in mind when I deal with brands in the future.

  • Rachel Li

    Thank you so much for this post!!! Haven’t been blogging for long, but honestly this is something that always bothers me and I feel like to get off my chest for a while now…Agree with every single point of you. And it’s so good to finally have this spoken out loud on our side, because I have been questioning myself and thinking that it’s only me, lol.

    • Thank you so much!! I went through the phase where I questioned myself too and fell into the peer pressure, but we need to elevate our industry and I’m happy the response has been so positive to this post!

  • “When bloggers act poorly directly towards a brand or talks poorly about an experience with a brand, even without naming the brand publicly, that blogger should assume other brands are seeing whatever they just put out there.”

    I agree 100%. Venting on social may feel in good in the moment but it can destroy your reputation as a blogger. It makes you look like a total amateur, not a professional who brands will want to work with. Even if you delete an inflammatory tweet or Facebook post later on, other brands may have already seen it and written you off. As tempting as it is to sound off on social, it’s always better to resolve your issues privately and professionally.

    Rachel Bright ✨ 🌈 πŸ¦„ | http://hellorachelbright.com

  • This is so true. While I can’t stand when brands are trying to recruit bloggers to work for free, I think a simple no from the blogger should suffice. I think it’s more important to educate all bloggers to say no rather than to try to “educate” (write a condescending email to) the brand, because it just looks super unprofessional all around.

  • Creating a good healthy relationship brand is a two way streak for both the brand and the blogger. I think bloggers can forget that. Putting a good foot forward, showing respect, and having an actual dialogue with the brand expressing concerns is how we’re going to get to that great partnership. Great feature!

  • Girl!! PREACH. I think so many people don’t realize and are naive and thinking that their rants won’t affect them. You never know who is watching, reading, or taking screenshots. I think this can be said about anything in life, whether you are a blogger or not. Always be professional.

  • Jordyn Upchurch

    I know I’ve been guilty of sending that snide email about not wanting to work for free, but lately when I’ve been getting those emails I have politely sent them my media kit and then asked if they had that in their budget. If not, maybe we could come to another agreement or possibly work together at a later date. I’ve gotten much better response from companies and I hope not burned more bridges!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

    • That’s awesome! Just keep killin’ em with kindness! I think it’s easy to get hyped up by the blogging community to send those snide emails, but i realized after a few conversations with friends, that people who are using that language to talk amongst friends aren’t actually sending it in an email to the brand… and i was pretty surprised like, “you are telling people to stand up and say X, Y, and Z, but you aren’t actually saying it??” that’s when i realized it was so not okay how bloggers talk to one another about this stuff.

  • Jazzmine Woodard

    This is great stuff, Rachel. I agree that it’s never a good look to bash a brand and would expand this to include other bloggers, photographers, etc.

  • Cathy Nugent

    Girl preach! I’ve heard those same things from my own fam too. Our want to be taken seriously leads to a lot of emotion, but you’re so right about keeping it professional. We can’t be taken seriously if we act like teenage girls being passive aggressive over email and social media!

  • I love this post!! super informative!!! I dislike when i see people doing this!!!

  • You’re right. Not cool.

  • Sarah Emily

    This is a great post. I agree that we as bloggers need to maintain professionalism. I wish there was a private blogger forum though where we could share good and bad experiences when working with brands with fellow bloggers!

  • Sydney Power

    I totally agree. I think there should be a private blogging forum site for this type of sharing.

  • I definitely agree with this! We all just need to smile and be happy for ANY opportunity. There is a difference between disagreeing with brands, bloggers, etc. and just being rude. We can change how things are without bashing a brand.

    xo, Kimberly
    http://www.lifeofkimberly.com

  • aaaaaamen! this is so perfect! remember in grade school when you had that ONE KID mess it up for the whole class? that’s how i feel about stuff like this. buuuut it does feel good to talk (IN PERSON.. lets not leave a paper trail here) with your blogger girlfriends about how a company tried to take advantage of you!

  • Macarena Ferreira

    Honestly, this is so amazing.Thank you for writing this!!! I agree where it’s better to respectfully decline and not burn any bridges in the blogging community.

    xo // http://www.thematerialgirl.co

  • Carly Ned

    Like some of the other commenters I didn’t realize people bashed brands so regularly!

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