Bloggers' New Year's Resolutions (I wish)
Pic credit: Sweets and Bitters
Ah, New Year's Resolutions – it's that time of year again to self-flagellate and vow to give up everything you ever enjoyed in a quest for self-improvement. I haven't written mine yet – more on which tomorrow, and I'll be calling them #goals because I'm so hip to the groove – but I thought it would be a great time to use my elevated sense of superiority to tell other bloggers what they should be resolving for 2017. (They can thank me later.)
This is, of course, based on that old chestnut: blogger clichés. I've covered this ground before, of course, but the dawn of a New Year seems like the perfect time to stop, take stock and beg: let's all try to be at least a little bit original next year. Agreed? Okay, well here's what we need to do...
Give up your auld marble
The proliferation of marble has been so swift and so thorough that it's hard to tell any more: do I even like marble? Do you? Back when I was young (ahem), marble counter tops were hick and hoity-toity; nowadays, we're all angling to cover our counter tops in marble contact paper. (I've always wondered what happens when it gets wet...) It's safe to say, marble is done; it's over. The argument that starts with, "Well, I just love marble – I'm not giving it up because it's suddenly "trendy", is only valid if you owned at least three marble pieces pre-2015. If not, you're following a trend. And it's time to give it up.
Disclose your interests
And by that I mean, let your readers know when something is an ad. Fill them in when you're getting paid for something; it's deadly! You're making a living doing what most people would love to be doing (swanning around all day to "meetings" in fancy hotels, and going to the gym) – why shouldn't you be proud that it's working out for you?
Readers aren't idiots, and if you're someone who works as a full-time blogger, it won't take long before they start wondering how, when there are never any ads on your blog or social media. Similarly, readers don't mind if you use affiliate links – at least, mine don't. Give them an option to use your links or clear their caches – let them vote with their browsers. Treat them with respect. After all, without them, you wouldn't have this career.
Stop trying to make rose gold happen
It's already happened. I feel about rose gold the way I feel about marble although (see my rose gold headphones), I'm obviously not immune to the crazy. What I would really like is if – except when referring to jewellery – we could go back to calling it copper. That'd be great.
Stop saying 'I'll take you all with me!'
Unless you're hiring a minibus and quite literally bringing your followers along with you, then you're not taking anyone with you. You're going and, via the medium of Snapchat, you're going to show us what it's like. It's not so bad when it's a blogger going to Arnotts to shop the sales, but when it's a blogger heading off on a five-star holiday, it's a little more galling. I am very aware of the fact that I, sitting in my cold living room watching your snaps while listening to the rain outside, am not with you in any way, shape or form. Sob.
Don't open your post on Snapchat
Yay! Look what arrived on our doorstep this morning.. :) Found all our fave #Oishi treats and drinks inside.. And I really love the sweet and creamy goodness of the new Hi-Coffee Cappucino! :) Big thanks to @oishiph and @teambridgespr for these! You guys really put the #WOW in #OishiOWow! 😂😘♥️❤️️ #Oishiph #christmasgifts #holidayfunfaves #bloggermail #snacks #merrychristmas #OishiSmartC #OishiGreatLakes #OishiHiCoffee #HiCoffee #HiCoffeeCafeLatte #coffeelover #bloggergifts #christmastreats
Unless it's something really amazing or really innovative, that is – and we can also make exceptions for fledgling Irish brands, and correspondence from relatives you thought were dead. But in general? Opening up your mail on Snapchat to show your loyal following the hundreds of euros worth of free stuff you got sent today (#bloggermail!) is just crass.
If you get sent clothes, wear them in a blog post! If you get sent make-up, try them out – let us know what you think. Showing an item you got sent, simply because you got sent it, can have but one motivation in my opinion: to ensure that you get sent more stuff. It's the digital influencer version of showing off, and it's gross.
No more macaron flatlays, please
See also: breakfast eaten on bed; magazines carefully placed beside the Macbook; peonies; nails against the badge of your Mercedes / BMW (shout-out to Kirstie McDermott for calling this out as the worst blogger cliché going); food you most definitely did not eat (maximum 10% of all size 8 women can eat more than one burger a month and stay a size 8).
Quit trying to fluff your readers
"You guys, I have a really exciting announcement coming up – I just can't tell you about it for three months!" From what I can tell, these announcements either involve a clothing line / collaboration, a beauty line / collaboration, or a book. If you have a large online following, your audience will be pretty excited when you do announce – but the build-up is just irritating. (Although people might love it – do you love it when bloggers do this?!)
It feels like one of those confusing moments where you are really excited about something, and mistakenly think that your followers will be similarly excited without knowing any details at all about what's coming down the line.
Think outside the box
If a brand approaches you to collaborate, brilliant – but it doesn't always have to be on their terms. Talk to them about what you can do that will be more "you" than "them"; after all, you know your followers better than they do, and your followers (most of them, anyway) love you – you're the draw, not the brand in question.
Have a sense of humour about yourself
Blogging is mad. It's still new, and parts of it are ridiculous – you call yourself an influencer? You get paid for Instagram posts? You get paid to turn up to the opening of a pharmacy / the launch of H&M's new designer range? People are inevitably going to take the piss – and the only way to combat that is to laugh at yourself before anyone else laughs at you. At least, that's how I look at it!
So what do you think? Any glaring omissions? Am I being way harsh? Let me know in the comments!