Why Entitlement is Hurting the Blog World
Happy Tuesday guys! Today I wanted to write about something that has been on my mind for a long time now. I’ve had trouble writing this and finishing the post for the longest! Mostly because I don’t want to come off as judgy or as a complainer, but also I just haven’t been able to put it into words. I’m all about staying positive and spreading optimism. However, there is something that has been stuck in my head and bothering me about us bloggers that I really want to address. I just hope I am constructive. The goal of this post is to start a conversation, shift attitudes in the blogging world, and strengthen the industry.
I’m talking about entitlement. I see it come out in many ways in the blogger scene. I know, BIG surprise, right? Sense the sarcasm as I type? Now, there are many amazing bloggers out there who are hard working, professional, grateful for what they have, and grateful for those who’ve helped them get to where they are. But, there are just as many bloggers with a toxic sense of entitlement that just needs to stop. Bloggers have a terrible reputation due to these types of entitled people, and I am constantly fighting against these negative stereotypes in my own life because of stories people have heard, or unprofessional influencers they’ve encountered. Just in the past 6 months I have seen some ridiculous tantrums come from bloggers (who will share their tantrums publicly) about the Instagram algorithm, not getting invited to events, not working on certain campaigns with brands… etc etc. I also come across many girls who think just because they have been blogging for 6 months that they should be given free stuff, get all the insider info from other bloggers who have been hustling hard for years, and already be traveling the world and be getting free stays everywhere.
Let me tell you a little story to drive my point home. The other day I went to the hair salon to get a trim and the girl doing my hair was telling me a story about a blogger that just made me cringe! The blogger was getting her hair done by her (first time client) and while she was there in the chair, she mentioned how she would love to get a free hair sesh in exchange for social media coverage. This girl had no strong following, had never worked with this person, and asked in a manner that was not professional at all. Almost like she was doing the hair stylist a favor. As delicately as possible my dresser explained to this “blogger” she didn’t really have a large enough following to make up for the free hair, but if she got enough referrals and clients from her she could probably work something out with her. The girl left defeated, then came back a second time and mentioned she still wanted free hair. Still, no referrals or clients coming from this girl from the last visit. Not even a shout out on her feed. Ugh. CRINGE.
Really people? Where did this sense of entitlement come from? I absolutely hate when people just ask for stuff for free like this like they deserve it. There is definitely a way to work out a trade system with a company, brand, or individual, but straight up asking for it for free (especially without having anything to back it up) is not the way. Now you might be a girl that has done this in the past. And you might be thinking I sound like a complete biotch, but hear me out….
Blogging is hard work just like any other business. Any successful blogger has most likely put in thousands of hours, sweat and tears into trying to grow their following. Countless emails and meetings back and forth with businesses and individuals to build a strong foundation, then a relationship that all leads to growing together and eventually making money together. It also should always be noted that any business you are working with is working just as hard. You probably wouldn’t want to do anything for free, so why should they? There should always be a good exchange that is worth both of your time and effort. To have a newbie blogger come in (who has only been doing it for a short time, with no strong following) and ask for some free stuff is just plain entitled because it gives the impression that:
- You think you don’t have to work hard in order to get free stuff,
- You think you deserve everyone’s time and effort just because you exist.
This interaction is rude, inconsiderate, and even kind of arrogant. We can be 100% sure that after this encounter with a blogger, this hairstylist will not ever want to work with another blogger and tell all her friends about the bad interaction. Is this really how we want to be seen?
I see entitlement in our community in others ways as well. Yesterday, I was listening to Drinks with James on Youtube (my Monday treadmill watch), and James has a great perspective on the importance of the Instagram algorithm and how he thinks people should deal with it. Check out this video here to see what I am talking about (it’s in the last few minutes). Basically, the point of what he is saying is that Instagram owes you and I nothing. And it’s true. To be completely real, it could completely change again tomorrow and totally make things even more challenging for us. The key is to always adapt.
Social media is not about the platform. It’s about the community. The community you connect with, build with, share with. It’s about your story. At no other time in history could we have built our lives so beautifully around the things we love and share it with those who love those same things. That’s why no matter what platforms come and go I will always find ways to express my adoration for the things that give my life meaning. If anything, the algorithm has encouraged me to engage even more with the people who follow my page and my blog! How is that a bad thing??
I see this negative attitude in so many different ways in this industry and the reason I am writing this post is because I think people need to be more aware of their actions and what it is doing to the blogger reputation as a whole. Some bloggers get into this world just for free things and don’t even care/try and grow their audience or their brand. They have no story to tell and they just think calling themselves a blogger is enough. Successful professionals in this industry live and breathe this stuff and find blogging to be extremely gratifying. We work hard to keep good relationships with people, brands and other businesses which are built mostly over time. You can only burn so many bridges.
To sum it up, this entitled attitude ruins the reputation of other bloggers while undercutting the hard work and professionalism of the industry. In order to try to fight this stigma and help give the industry a good name we have to try our hardest to be collaborative, adaptable and have more humility. It all really comes down to being grateful. This is the craziest most awesome and fulfilling way I can spend my time on the planet. Not one day passes where I don’t pause and reflect on how fortunate and privileged I am to be buying groceries by doing this work. Blaming others is the easy route. Being accountable and improving yourself is hard work, and it’s something I try every day to perfect.
You’re allowed to be frustrated. This is a very frustrating profession. Every day you’re fighting for respect, to be seen, to be heard. It’s definitely a constant struggle to elevate yourself in the face of trolls, over saturation, people trying to screw you over. That’s why it’s not for everybody. And everybody has different ways of coping with not getting what they want as quickly as they’d like. But if you’re going to enter it, please remember: the universe doesn’t owe you a damn thing. Always be grateful for every single moment.
I don’t want to sound like a B guys, this is stuff that I also have to work on every day. It can be hard to step outside of yourself when your product is literally yourself, but I really think it’s important that we start talking about this. Know that this is written with love. I hope I was able to explain all these thoughts that have been going on in my head correctly. Let’s all try to make this blogging world a better place! Please tell me your thoughts in the comments.