Sunday, 19 August 2012

39 comments:

Yu said...

I loved this post, I always found the big blogger/small blogger thing weird, because I always find it comes down to the blogger themselves. Great post :)

BeautyBecca said...

great post :) I agree with what you've said here!

faye said...

I still see myself as a small blogger although many newer bloggers tend to see me as a big blogger (weird). Blogging is a learning curve and i'm constantly learning. I don't see it as a big v small, we are all two sides of the same coin.

Charlie said...

Great post with loads of points I'd like to discuss, but I'm not going to.

The only point I wish to make is, unfortunately, a negative one. #bbloggers drives me insane and I avoid it like the plague. Whilst there may be good in it and I am quite sure there is, having to filter out all the sniping, cattyness, superiority complexes, pimping, sanctimonious bullshit is tedious. I much prefer to talk to bloggers away from #bbloggers, a much more satisfying and pleasing experience.

I once saw someone tweet that they didn't like blogs with words, and only scan for good quality pictures. That is of course fine if that's their preference, but tweeting it out in a manner that implies blogs that use actual words to you know, talk about stuff, are boring as if that was a fact that all bloggers should consider when producing a blog post, well that kind of thing just irritates the crap out of me. And I've seen far too much of those tweets, expressing how people think a blog should be.

As for big bloggers and little bloggers. What about those of us who are most definitely established but neither big or small. Can someone invent a nice little category for me please!

London Beauty Queen said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post as it's something that's been festering for so long. Every Sunday night I dread the chat because inevitably the big/small blog debate raises its head. Personally I don't see myself as any kind of blog, other than a blog-blog, so I can't stand it when people make assumptions.

I've not been around as long as many, but for the past 2.5yrs I've worked my arse off to get to where I am. Suddenly this is a negative thing to some who assume because I have experience I don't ever want to talk or engage with newer blogs... They could not be more wrong. I continually get emails and tweets from people asking for advice, which I always happily give (after all, we all started in the same place) and have even set up events for the benefit of newer bloggers.

I don't understand where this 'divide' came from and have come to think it's only in the mind of a few rather than being an actual problem. I'm rambling now and don't really know what I want to say, but again BBB has hit the nail on the head and written something that's been some time coming...

britishbeautyblogger said...

Charlie.. i used 'experienced' vs 'newer' because it's not size related. in my eyes you are 'experienced' because you have time behind you on it. init.

Helen said...

I'm going to tweet and ask everyone to read this because you've really put it so brilliantly. Bloggers are bloggers and I haven't yet come across a mean blogger yet but I can very well imagine that the higher the traffic the more open to abuse you are. Im still a relatively new blogger and Im enjoying myself. I'm not in it for PR samples at all and think approaching companies is just something I'm not ready to do yet but I would love to start forging relationships in the future! I think though that a lot of newer bloggers need to be aware that blogging takes years of hard work, sweat and inspiration to attract not only readers but respect from companies (much like youve proved here with BBB). Thanks for this post because its really important to get subjects like this sorted out.

Also you're right about Sunday night TV. Loving my TV set right now :)

Helen xxx

MissGreenEyes said...

I really liked this post. I see a huge divide in the smaller blogging community, and by smaller, I just mean those of us who have been doing it for a year or less. I genuinely don't see a divide between 'big' and 'small'. What I DO see is an awful lot of sarky indirect comments on blogs and twitter from people who started blogging around the same time as me, and I don't like it. If you want your blog to succeed, don't sit there giving out about people 'ignoring you' or 'leaving you behind'. Get off your bum and post more, make the effort to read and comment on other blogs, and don't alienate a huge part of your readership by being a bitch on twitter if your twitter is linked to your blog. I'm not trying to make money from my blog or to be the next Scrangie, I just want to take pictures of nail polish. Simple. The reason I get comments is because I have over 100 blogs on my blogroll and I make an effort to comment and read as many of them as I can as often as I can. What's the point in following otherwise? Yet I have been accused of 'sucking up to the cool crowd' to get ahead. What bloody cool crowd?! One of my favourite bloggers recently had a giveaway that only 2 people entered. Did she moan'nobody likes me, I'm not part of the cool crowd, it's a conspiracy, I'll never fit in' - no. She got another prize and gave them one each. There's no 'big' or 'small', there's just those who want to make it work and those who want something for nothing. The difference is blatantly obvious and the latter die off fairly quick. Sorry for the essay.

Charlie said...

Oh yes, your terminology makes more sense than big and small because there are loads of in betweeners innit!

Nic @Strawbry_Blonde said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post Jane... your comments on the topic on twitter were so democratic and balanced - I don't know how you do that. You must be an amazing wife (totally OT but it did cross my mind!)

I decided not to participate in #bbloggers tonight as it saddens me how it has gone downhill after being such a godsend to me when I started blogging last year.

I think the big/small debate is silly, but also think the amount of pressure on 'big' bloggers is incomprehensible to newbies.

There seems to be a lot of panic & pressure associated with blogging at the moment and not enough pleasure.

That's all I have to say!

Nic x

Emma said...

You always write such wise posts on these ethical subjects :) I feel that the 'bigger'/experienced bloggers probably just do not have enough time to reply to every single new blogger, personally I get about 10 emails a week and that still takes a fair bit of time to reply to and while trying to reply to tweets, blog comments, facebook comments and photograph/write blog posts, it all takes a lot of time, so I can totally understand that an experienced blogger just cannot physically have the time to reply to everyone. I have a lot of respect for those who do go out of their way to interact with their followers, in whatever way that may be. x

Serenity of Beauty said...

This is actually a very good post.

Now it's been written and thought about, with the choice of wording makes it a lot more understandable. I think its 'terminology' floats around, often gets overused and tarnished to all, when really it's how the individual conducts themselves. I also didn't realise how much this topic 'rallied' a lot of people, which surprised me a lot this evening.

Anonymous said...

As a small blogger, I'd like to shed some light on the divide of small/big bloggers and give my opinion on what I think people mean by 'small' and 'big' blogger. For lots of people, a small blog is a blog with a small readership, according to the criteria that the individual blogger set themselves. A big blogger is anybody who has substantially more readership than them. Lots of bloggers will (and I am not saying what's right or what's wrong here) measure their 'size' according to the number of GFC followers they have, even though GFC is terribly restrictive (hello Wordpress!) and doesn't take into account page views and other ways to follow a blog. For some people, a big blogger will then be a blogger with more than 1000 GFC followers. Then there is this business of 'PR samples'. A 'big' blogger will be someone who gets lots of samples, again according the criteria of the blogger who is 'assessing'. Then we have the business of value of samples. A big blogger will be someone who managed to earn a big value item to review on their blogs. For some, a big blogger will be someone who is invited to PR events. and that's it. A small blogger will be someone who has never been noticed or not noticed enough, according to their own criteria.

Your peaceful article is great and I wish there were more big bloggers as helpful and nice as you. However there are still a big proportion of big ones who will ignore you, because they think you're sucking up to them, or want a retweet, or, god forbid, the details of a PR. So many small bloggers are so shy about asking for PR details from big bloggers for fear of rejection. Then you have the medium bloggers who are reticent about giving their PR contacts, because if others get the same samples as them, this means more competition for them and maybe less readership for them.

Helen

Charlotte said...

I dont get the whole big blog/small blog thing.. it just makes me sad to see people getting annoyed at each other over silly things like that, blogging is my happy place so I try not to get involved in that stuff. However, I've started having a couple of e-mails now and then that have referred to me as a 'bigger blogger' even though i would never ever describe myself that way, so I sometimes worry that when people are bitching about 'bigger bloggers' on #bbloggers they are talking about people like me.. it's weird, but I blog because I love it, and I comment back/visit new blogs when I have time. This isn't my livelihood and I don't always have the chance to get back to people if they haven't asked me a question directly. it's a free world, we should all be allowed to get on with blogging in our own way without judging each other x

Lizzy said...

The blog market is saturated. The only way to grow is to produce good quality, original content. That's the only secret.

Becky | life.style.flash. said...

Great post, I completely agree with all your points.

I'm GOBSMACKED at the "can you give me freebies to get my blog going" request - the CHEEK!

Millie Cotton said...

I think bloggers are far too wrapped up in what everyone else is doing/achieving. Why compare yourself to others? We blog because we love to share our opinions/thoughts/loves but the blogging community has become somewhat more of a competition for a lot of bloggers recently. It's really sad! Great post.

Susann said...

As usual a really good thought provoking post and also lots of very good comments. A big blog for me is a blog that has lots and lots of followers. I would expect that companies will give blogs with lots of traffic and readers plenty of samples and freebies to review etc. I dont have many followers and so I don't expect freebies or samples to review. Why would they give me anything ?

It takes hard work to get to be a Big Blog if that is what you want to be.

It is a lot of hard work, you have to be prepared to post often, make contact with other bloggers, etc and never expect a free lunch.

Just my thoughts

Susann xx

Anonymous said...

Dear anon above - why would you ask a big, or medium, blogger for their pr contacts?! That is just rude! For some reason the attitude seems to be share and share alike when the 'big' / 'experienced' bloggers actually had to work for years to get pr contacts and build relationships with them. I for one (me being the smallest of the small blogger) would be reluctant to give out ANYONES email address, be it pr or otherwise. It is just kind of rude and presumptuous.

Also I really, really don't understand why bloggers need pr contacts? If you want to review something, buy it, test it for a decent amount of time and either love it or hate it. Then give your opinion. I dislike blogs that are just, for example, full of reviews on a shampoo/lipstick they have been sent and tried once and blogged about. And the reviews are always, always positive. What is the point in that.

I have also been unfollowing a lot of blogs/bloggers on twitter who moan about their lack of followers. Guess what! That constant negativity has only gone and lost you another follower. Well done.

This is quite a negative comment, I apologise, but I really did enjoy your post, I think you are bang on.

Phyrra said...

As always, I find your post thought provoking. My favorite line from you is that "The blogosphere is HUGE. Infinite, in fact and there is room for everyone to try and achieve their ambition."

When I started blogging in May of 2008 I had no idea that people got PR samples. I blogged about what I purchased. I still do. Sometimes now, I get PR samples and that's great, but I still blog about what I purchase and my experiences. I really get annoyed by the newer bloggers who expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter.

I answer as many comments on my blog as possible. I answer all emails on my blog. I respond to tweets, facebook and youtube comments. I go out and comment on blogs that I read and blogs that interest me. I stumble and pin from blogs I like. I try to show my appreciation for the content that is inspiring or entertaining or thought provoking. (all of which, as you know, takes a tremendous amount of time!)

My policy has always been to help each other out. Lift each other up. Be supportive. Don't tear someone else down to make yourself look/feel better. I feel like I've gotten further by helping and giving.

Sofia - As We Travel said...

It's interesting to see how no matter what blog niche it is, you'll find the same issues - whether it's beauty or travel or design.
Nice to see your perspective of it!

Bare Faced Chic said...

Helen,

Whilst to an extent I do see your point, I think that asking a blogger of any size for the details of a PR agency can be a bit tricky. The reasoning behind this is that bloggers work very hard to forge their own relationships with PRs do by asking someone else for the details you're sort of saying that you don't want to do the work of finding out who they are in your own, developing that relationship, you just want a quick intro. If you want to just know the agency then put a tweet out and if someone knows then they might tell you but I don't personally see why any blogger should have to divulge their own contacts.

This is nothing to do with being a big blog (I'm a mini blog!) it's to do with putting the work in, developing your own relationships with a brand and any agency they work with. Twitter is a great way to do this. Tweet with them, answer if they ask a general question, and it will take time but you will reap dividends. But to expect someone like Jane, who has spent four years developing her blog and for whom, because of the nature of the blog, PR contacts are crucial, to divulge what are essentially her trade secrets, it's not really on.

I've never met a "big blogger" I didn't like and I class big as someone who has a large readership and was publishing when I first started tweeting 18months ago but again, I think a lot of it is to do with developing a relationship. Would you approach someone you've never met for business advice? No! So people shouldn't be approaching bloggers who they've never tweeted with to ask for advice, regardless of size. I'm all for a sense of community but you need to put in thé work with the community too.

Lizzie

Godfrina said...

Despite the community issue behind it all, I think it is quite self-explanatory, that, if you post such a post on BBB lots of people will read, reflect, comment, complain etc.

However, if someone with less readers, influence would have - it probably would've boiled down to bitterness, arrogance and what not.

THAT is what divides "big" and "small" imho.

Makeup Advice Forum - Sam said...

Big blog, schmig blog!

If you're happy doing you're thing then keep at it.

The 'problem' with #bbloggers is that people don't read it foe what it is. Other people's opinion.

I know I upset Charlie the other week when I said I like blog posts that are picture heavy. It's not to say that I don't like wordy posts, but that if the pics grab me, I'll stay to read the words.

I don't see big blogs as those with lots of comments. There are some very new ones out there who've gaIned lots of commenters but are still very green as to the etiquette of the social networking world.

I think a lot of the negativity around #bbloggers comes because bloggers, whether new or established make statements as to what you should or shouldn't do on a blog. I've done it. A few weeks back, I stated that a decent picture speaks a thousand words. And while yes it does, that doesn't mean it's gospel fact as to what you should put on your blog.

What I was trying to do, was be helpful in response to lots of people worrying about not being good with words. Taken out of context, it sounds awfully arrogant, and I think that and other established bloggers saying similarly strong statements is what naffs off the newer bloggers.

I don't get lots of 'how do you get freebies' emails, but I get lots of 'can I have a copy of your contacts list please' (2000 email addresses? I don't think so!) and lots of 'can you teach me how to be a makeup artist, for free' emails.... often followed by 'which hotels and photographers are you the preferred artist for, I want to see if they'll take me on'.

Facepalm...

NikaMikano said...

A great read... and so true...

Pampered Prince said...

Great post Jane. I must admit I've avoided #bbloggers chats for a little while. This topic & others always seem to keep cropping up again & again & again, it gets a bit tiring.
Completely agree with I don't like the term bigger & smaller blogs, it's more a case of newer or established.
Personally speaking as a newer blogger, there have been some amazing established bloggers, such as yourself that have been invaluable when I've asked for advice and help. It's annoys me when other newer bloggers complain so much! Like you mention, they need to put the work in, just like every other blogger has before them!
I hope one day that I feel like an established blogger and I can be just as helpful to someone else just starting out. Time will tell on that.
There maybe the odd blogger that doesn't respond, sometimes at all, like you say it's no big thing, everyone knows where the Unfollow button is.
Andy x

Anonymous said...

I'm a small blogger. A small blogger who has been bullied by a "big blogger" that has much respect in the blog world.
Did I commit any of the sins referenced in comments, ie: asking for PR info, samples, any of the things which are taboo? NO!
I apparently personally annoy this person for some unknown reason. They have chosen to privately talk badly about me to other members of groups we are in, in order to isolate me. I have been kicked out of groups unceremoniously, where this blogger is in a power position.
Why am I in groups and/or attempting to establish contacts? Because I also believe(d) this is a community. I thought this was a kind and peaceful community where others would be happy to help a new blogger learn the ropes.
In the case of this large blogger, ABSOLTELY NOT!
While I remain somewhat active, I am quite discouraged by said blogger and her vile henchwomen. I feel isolated and extremely hesitant to really reach out to anyone again.
I don't want free stuff, I blog for friends. I was pushed into some groups that promised to "teach me" how to be more effective blogger. These groups REQUIRED self promotion and I obliged since I was in need of guidance. When I didn't promote enough, I was tossed. And what did I learn? Big bloggers are unfriendly a LOT!
I am slowly getting over my trauma and trying to get back into the swing. Sadly, the experience has soured me from wanting to really do what I intended.
If you don't want to help someone, I think the proper thing would be to say "I prefer not to help you" instead of privately tearing someone apart while you wear your public "I'm so kind and helpful" face.
That's just ugliness the beauty blog world doesn't need.
I posted as anon since I fear further backlash from said blogger.
For that I apologize. I'm usually quite outspoken and direct.

This is a wonderful article! I appreciate your words. They were quite encouraging to someone like me who has seen the ugly side of blogging.

You are truly an asset to the blogging world!!!!
<3

Charlie said...

I must just leave a comment to clarify that Sam absolutely in no way upset me at all!

Emma said...

In brief response to Lizzie's comment above - you would ask somebody you've never met for business advice... that's what networking is for. You get out what you put in. Maybe the blogger asking for a PR email is just looking to ask for info about a new product or to tell them about a blog post you have written. I am by no means a big or even a medium blogger but I like to treat such situations as 'you get out what you put in'. Maybe one day a particular person I may have given help/advice to will do the same when I have a problem. I am of the opinion that there is no shame in asking, it is clear that everyone has a different stand on the issue of giving out PR contact details and as such, the worst that can happen is that the blogger rejects your request, the best that can happen is you get the contact details... I really don't see how it is offensive because really that is down to the individual blogger being contacted, who is completely within their right to decline. x

britishbeautyblogger said...

Hi Anon.. please feel free to contact me at britishbeautyblogger@gmail.com and I will try to help with whatever you need x

liloo said...

Aww bless you, sweet heart. Xx

Philippe Bijnens said...

I'm by no means a big blog -whatever your criteria might be- so take what I say with a grain of salt.
I started blogging for myself and the 2 or 3 friends that kept asking me about skincare. To make things easy I just wrote it all down and they could read it whenever they liked. Isn't that the base of blogging? Sharing something of yourself, be it opinions or whatnot, it's your words on something.

So after doing this for a year with no outside help, all self bought products and researched knowledge from 9 years of testing things, I finally discovered twitter & pr's. Hell I couldn't figure out why on the blogs I read, everyone seemed to have the same blush or product at the same time! 'Must be that great then' I figured.. but that's another topic.

As you find your own voice, way of writing, handling the blog and it's ups & downs, you discover some valuable information that others shouldn't give freely to you. Call them (life) blogging lessons that we ALL have to go through. Sure you can ask for guidance these days, and there are more than enough bloggers willing to share informations/tips/tricks.. but what do you learn from this? You get instant gratification and perhaps a solution to your problem, but you're missing out on a big part of the blogging experience.

If you hollow it all out and make it purely about 'getting pr info/freebies, more stats & followers', where does this lead you to? A scrawny blogger that relies purely on all this, because you never experienced the hard work that goes into making a blog 'work' and thrive.

I made quite a few mistakes myself when I started out, but I've learned from them and am still building on those experiences. Reverse engineering a 'gotten' solution to what I did wrong to begin with, is practically impossible. I'm not saying you can't ask for help every now & then, we're a giant community after all brimming with knowledge, but always make sure that you do the legwork yourself. It's SO much more rewarding if you finally get to that point you focused on in your head, and you did it mostly yourself. That's another gratification some of the new bloggers are missing out on.

If you jump on the bandwagon that screams 'give us everything we want now and for free' be it info/emails/tips, you're setting yourself up for a bitter experience down the road.

Since you're putting in the work, you won't be occupied with 'who is bigger than you or who gets more than me', but you'll grow at a normal pace. Focus some more on yourself and not the others. They won't pay your bills or make you happy about your blog. In the end it's you and you alone who makes or breaks the blog.

Don't rob yourself of the blog experiences, and stop trying to outdo others. Good things come to you if you keep your head high and focus on what's really important. Blogging should be fun... why does it feel like some turn it into a competition?

sharnek said...

I'm commenting as a non blogger, but I am a bloggers audience. I stopped buying magazine 2 years ago, much preferring to read blogs. I read many, many blogs: Beauty, food, sewing, fashion, lifestyle, illness, comedy. My bookmarked list of blogs is pretty random. Small, large, new, experienced, it matters not a jot to me. I rarely subscribe, some blogs I like to 'rediscover' and read chunks of posts in one sitting, others I visit daily. I follow a few bloggers on twitter and every Sunday #bblogers chat shows up my feed. It often reads like blogging community is folding in on itself. I rarely find the topics discussed interesting, new or positive. I almost never bother clicking the links included in the twitter profile of those tweets I see complaining that their small / inexperienced blog is being over looked. I'll admit as a non blogger the #bblogers chat isn't aimed at me, I have little to add to the discussion, at times it's akin to eavesdropping, but it's worth remembering that it takes place on a public platform and what you say is a reflection of your blog and could detract new readers. If your blog is well thought out, well written, quality photos if relevant (not instagramed beyond recognition) thought provoking and not full of 'look what I got for free' (regardless of size) I'll be back to read more.

My Lips But Better said...

I don't think it's fair to say "experienced" and "newer". I know of many blogs (mine included) that are several years old and are still in the "small" category. I think it has less to do with experience and more to do with traffic, how often posts are published, and the type of content published (is it the most recent collection or just the blogger's favorite product?).

I'm okay with calling my blog a smaller blog because it's what I've chosen - I know that others, like you, have chosen to blog frequently to establish a career and I'm thrilled you can take that road. However I do take offense to being called less experienced when I've been around just as long or longer than some "experienced" bloggers.

Just my two cents. As always, I enjoy reading these thought-provoking posts!

Bella Luna said...

I would happily write a long ass comment about how great this post is, but I am work and being rebellious reading blogs! Either way, I think you are bang on- the blogging world can be quite intimidating/catty at times but this comes from the personality of the person behind the blog whether they have a higher readership or not.

I respect those who have managed to create something wonderful from their blog, particulaly as I often struggle to find the time to blog these days so I tip my hat to those who update regularly and give so much of their time to both their blog and readers.

I blog because I like to write, and I like to write about stuff I love, meeting new like-minded ladies is the only real bonus I hope to gain and so far so good!
Fantastic post
xxx

Anonymous said...

There's too much drama in beauty blogging, people should just focus on their own blog and stop talking about all this nonsense. Not everyone's going to be friendly. Forget about big blogs/small blogs or whatever name you want to put to it, there shouldn't be any categories! We are all blogging and everyone started in the same place!

MASPOOASE said...

This post and its comments made me think about so many things, I had to wait until I came home because replying on my phone would have been a nightmare! I agree with everything in the post, which was beautifully written, personally I guess I would be classed as a 'start up' as I've only been blogging for a couple of months.

Luckily for me, before I started my blog I'd never actually read anyone elses blog, and purposely didn't until I'd got mine up and running. I'm so glad I did it this way, because if I'd seen all this eliteism I would have never started. I left people with that kind of behaviour behind at school and I have no wish to have anything to do with them now. I personally just am blogging for fun, and hopefully to share info on beauty and nail products, and I agree wholeheartedly with what the anonymous poster said about some bloggers giving positive reviews to their free items, this annoys the hell out of me, and if I spot it I'll take myself away. It's not for me to try and tell them, everyones different, but 'it's a no' from me.

I don't have loads of followers, either for my blog, or on twitter, which other half finds pretty amusing, but it really doesn't bother me. Don't get me wrong, lots of extra friends would be great, who doesn't want that, but my blogs a spare time thing, not a job, if I'm supposed to blog on a certain day, and I'm not feeling the vibe, I don't do it! And no-one cares! This is a good thing.

Anyway, I'm rambling (am good at that), I think once PR's get too much power in the blogosphere theres a danger that it's sincerity may be compromised. In the bbloggers chat regarding 'bloggers and PR' I got really angry because the PR people were so condescending, they actually made me feel like I wasn't good enough to do a blog, very upsetting!

There'll always be people on both extremes, tons of followers, or just a few, and such a shame about bbloggers because it could be a great way to find like minded people.

Anyway, I'll just carry on doing what I'm doing, and hope that people like it, and if they don't, well hey, I like it anyway!

fairytalesandcoffee said...

I had no idea all this stuff was going on. I started blogging a month and a half ago after several years of dragging my feet on it because the "internets" can be a wild wild west and it kind of frightened me.

I finally dove in and for me it is a hobby I enjoy and it is a way to develop new skills that may be useable in my profession. I can't tell you how long it took me to figure out how to set up a "menu" or "categories." I had no real idea that there was a virtual backroom of beautybloggers behind the scenes...yikes....all this stuff sounds a little like a dysfunctional sorority...I have seen those at work...it's never a good thing.

I know that while I always like to check for new blogs, there are a few blogs I check daily, others I check weekly, and others I may check every couple of weeks. My interest in following what you have to say is dependent on different factors that are never the same and more dependent on the "feel" of the blog and the persona behind it, as well as the type of products they review.

This whole small/big thing sounds like sour grapes....

Sophia Stancer said...

Bloggers can have huge egos at times. At the end of the day we are all coming from the same starting line so the rest is irrelevant! Nice post. :D
XX