3.12.18 23

Blogging Confessions: Copy Cats, Fake Followers & Friends

Back to my blogging confessions series, because boy do I have stuff to discuss! Brace yourself, because this might be a long one… In today’s post, I’m spilling out all my feelings and beliefs on copy cats, fake followers and friendships.

Before I open up this discussion and dive in head first, I have one request from you guys. Let’s keep this space respectful, open-minded and most importantly transparent, OK?

photography by Nikki Neumann

blogging 101 advice and tips from a seasoned blogger

dress from Boho Lifestyle boutique in Napa

COPY CATS

Most people start a blog in hopes to inspire others. I get it. That was part of my motivation as well. To see someone take an inspiration from you and apply to their own life is truly rewarding. That being said, copy cats are a whole different story…

When it comes to running my blog and business, I gotta admit I draw inspiration from my favorite bloggers/ celebrities/ entrepreneurs all the time. How could I not?! However, there’s a BIG difference between being inspired by someone to do something similar because you can relate to the subject, and just plain copying someone else’s content. How to avoid the latter? Different EXECUTION. Don’t just copy a template that was already designed (and somebody probably put a lot of effort into the creation), change one font and claim it yours. BE ORIGINAL. Add new elements, start a new conversation and if you truly liked somebody’s content and want to explore the same idea – at least give them credit. Trust me, nobody likes copy cats, even if they say it’s the highest form of flattery.

blogging industry-tips-advice-Shenska-Napa-Valley

Now, it’s also worth noting that there are instances when bloggers do get offer the same opportunities within the same timeframe of a campaign, which means the content we produce and messages we promote might sound or look similar. And that’s OK – it’s part of the business and we should support one another! Similarly, I can’t tell you how many times I was about to publish a post only to find out right before that somebody else just covered the same topic. What to do when that happens? Stay humble, reach out to the person when that happens (only if you’re close and engage with each other a lot), comment on the coincidence and compliment their work. It’s all about being genuine and supportive, just don’t be lazy. 😉

blogging world confessions fake followers and friends

FAKE FOLLOWERS

Do I even have to cover the BUYING FOLLOWERS IS NOT WORTH IT part? I mean, the fact that we’re still talking about it and people still do it is scary. Of course, everybody should be minding their own business and not care about how others choose to run theirs, but what happened to the common decency?

I believe buying fake followers and then calling it “this is just one way of investing in my business” is a bunch of crap. Do you really believe ghost followers (or people who can’t even read your posts) will care about the content you create and promote on daily basis? No, they will come and go faster than you swiped that credit card, but I guess if you’re OK with that, then you do you. However, in my (follower’s) eyes, you just lost your credibility.

Napa blogger Shenska blogging confessions

DISINGENUOUS FRIENDSHIPS

I’ve been approached by a lot of people in the blogging world lately who I feel like just wanted to get closer to learn everything they can about my business strategy – offering nothing in return. Trust me, I’m all about collaboration over competition, provided that both parties bring something to the table. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of my time.

Have I helped and offered advice to those who were just starting out in blogging? Yes, of course! Let’s be honest, it’s flattering when you’re the person someone trusts and wants advice from. I’m all about helping. The problem I have though is people who don’t do any research but choose to opt for an easy way out instead. These days, there’s so many resources on blogging and photography, and I believe it’s only fair to do research first before you reach out to someone asking for a 101 on everything they do. I’m only saying this because that’s what I’ve done when I was just starting out. Trust me, I’m still learning something new about this industry every day and I don’t shy away from asking my fellow bloggers questions IF I can’t figure something out on my own. Thoughts?

Napa blogger petite fashion tips

DON’T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY…

…because nobody in this industry should be acting like they’re better than anyone else. Numbers don’t matter. We all started with 0. It’s the quality of the relationships you maintain and nourish within the following you currently have, not how many of them hit the follow button. How do I know it? From my own bad experience. Personally, I don’t like to keep following a person who never responds or treats me with a cold shoulder in the DMS – only to be showing off how much they love their followers on insta stories. I can see right through you and it’s not good look.

shadow play photography Napa Valley

Are you a blogger? Can you relate? I would love to hear from you!

 

If you didn’t catch my earlier blogging confessions, make sure to read this post on the Ugly Side of Blogging.

blog post signature Napa blogger Shenska

 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

23 Comments

  1. Olivia wrote:

    Loved this post! Literally every part is spot on! I especially related with the last part, about not wanting to follow someone who doesn’t respond to their dm’s (or responds with an “I’m responding to be nice but I think I’m better than you” tone) when they always preach about loving their followers! I’ve unfollowed so many people for that exact reason!

    Published 3.12.18
    Reply
    • Paulina wrote:

      Whoa, that’s crazy! I get that bloggers with huge followings might not have the time to respond to every body all the time or that sometimes we can misread the tone in the DMs but still! The point of blogging should be being of service to others, so I get how you can get frustrated when you’re not being “heard”. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, girl!

      Published 3.12.18
      Reply
  2. I’m glad you addressed these topics, especially the fake followers one! I just can’t understand why would people waste money on that. It’s so easy to see who’s done it and brands know it too so it’s useless. I’ve actually been writing a blog post on why are people so obsessed with numbers that I expect to publish soon.

    Published 3.12.18
    Reply
    • Paulina wrote:

      I don’t understand it either and I see it all the time! You can fake your numbers but can’t fake your engagement. 😉 Looking forward to reading your post, please let me know when it’s up! xoxo

      Published 3.12.18
      Reply
  3. Very interesting post. I do agree there is a clear difference between being inspired by someone’s work and being a copy cat.

    I can’t believe that people actually buy followers, but now that I think about it, I think I read about it and even seen some some signs of that….

    You’re so right about some people being lazy, approaching a blogger without doing any research and just expecting that someone will lay it all out for them…

    I don’t do DM on insta because I don’t have Instagram installed on my phone, so technically speaking I can’t open it but I do get what you mean. SOme people go on about how they love their followers/fans hardly ever respond to anyone on any social media, including their own website…That’s not cool.

    Published 3.12.18
    Reply
    • Paulina wrote:

      Yes, that’s so unfortunate! There’s still so much talk about buying followers, but I’m really surprised bloggers still want to participate in that!
      Once again, thank you so much for sharing your opinion! It means the world to know you can relate!

      Published 3.12.18
      Reply
  4. i’m glad there is someone out there talked about these honestly and with open-minded. it’s still hard to understand why some people would actually buy fake followers nowadays, since it does not make sense if someone REALLY wants to build or run a business in this blogging world. such an inspiring post!

    have a lovely day! x

    Published 3.12.18
    Reply
    • Paulina wrote:

      I can’t wrap my head around it! What I actually hate even more is the fact people still are trying to justify buying followers as a legit business strategy…

      Published 3.12.18
      Reply
  5. Tricia wrote:

    Hi Paulina, I’m a fellow blogger and I’m so happy to see that I’m not alone in feeling/thinking a lot of the things you mentioned! I think overall, this blog post just highlights the importance of being genuine, which sounds so simple, but sometimes hard to find! Thank you for sharing this and for being so open and honest!

    Published 3.13.18
    Reply
    • Paulina wrote:

      Exactly, being kind and genuine goes a long way! I always give people the benefit of the doubt first and only expect good intentions. Wish we all didn’t have to deal with competition.

      Published 3.14.18
      Reply
  6. Laura wrote:

    Part of me is so glad I only blog as a hobby so I don’t take it too seriously. Otherwise it gets to be too competitive and stressful! Love your thoughts though!

    Published 3.13.18
    Reply
    • Paulina wrote:

      Good point! I think anyone who creates something online and has their own space only wants the best for it! Unfortunately, those other not so nice things come with the job, I suppose.

      Published 3.14.18
      Reply
  7. Kristen wrote:

    Yes! Thank you for saying it, girl! Blogging has a lot of fine lines. I just started less than a year ago and I’ve already seen everything you’ve mentioned.

    Kristen
    http://www.lovelyasamother.com

    Published 3.14.18
    Reply
  8. Amy wrote:

    So true! The buying fake followers one is so frustrating! Or the people who follow you to unfollow the next day. So rude and disingenuous. And making things harder for the rest of us.

    Published 3.14.18
    Reply
  9. Sooooo spot on!

    Published 3.14.18
    Reply
  10. Shannon Jenkins wrote:

    I can definitely relate to all of these! You look gorgeous! Love that dress!

    <3 Shannon 
    Upbeat Soles

    Published 3.15.18
    Reply
  11. Ashley wrote:

    Such a great read, lady- I’m totally with you on genuine connections. Like when someone reaches out just to leech all of the knowledge you’ve gained, only to disappear into the night. Like, GURL PLEASE. And straight up copying is never okay- we’re all inspired by each other, but copying word for word is just crazy.

    Lovely shoot, btw! The lighting here is so dreamy!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

    Published 3.15.18
    Reply
  12. Jessica wrote:

    What a nice read dear, truly insightful. I couldn’t agree more, especially on Not Taking Yourself Too Seriously. Indeed, no need to put too much pressure on yourself.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    Published 3.16.18
    Reply
  13. Amy Arnold wrote:

    I don’t get the fake follower thing at all! You look GORGEOUS!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    Published 3.16.18
    Reply
  14. I totally agree to all the things that you have mentioned in this post.A much needed post.

    Published 3.18.18
    Reply
  15. Felicia wrote:

    I love the dark floral!

    Published 3.21.18
    Reply
  16. Jessi Malay wrote:

    Loved reading this babe!! Thank you for being so open and honest about your blogging journey! And ugh fake followers is such an important topic because we’re seeing it everywhere on IG these days!! I completely agree that it’s not a good look.

    XO, Jessi
    https://jmalay.com/dtla-plaid-blazer/

    Published 3.21.18
    Reply
  17. Marah wrote:

    Hey girl! I’m a fashion and lifestyle blogger, so I can totally relate here on all your points. I’ve definitely had a tough go at the whole disingenuous friendships thing and others taking themselves too seriously. I can’t tell you how many bloggers I’ve followed that say “they love their followers so much” but then ignore a dm I send them. Definitely not a fan of that.

    I’ve also learned that you have to be very careful with who you choose to collaborate with and befriend. Some people will definitely just use you if you’re not mindful about it. These are great points to keep in mind and they’re so relatable!

    Published 4.13.18
    Reply