Inauthentic Blogging on Blast + How to Spot it

05.16.17

denim-on-denim

YUP. We’re going there. Don’t get your panties in a bunch. This is no new news… am I right?

Rewind to last week when I got offered a great collaboration that I was super excited about. I was out & about doing a shoot for the blog when I saw the email come through on my phone & wanted to give it my full attention… so I waited until I got home to reply.

Unfortunately for me (& the brand), another blogger got back to them before me & ended up getting the job. I was bummed, until I found out which blogger they chose… & then I was just frustrated/kinda pissed.

Why? Because the blogger they ended up going with was very obviously NOT authentic, & it just wasn’t sitting well with me. I ended up sharing on my Insta-Stories one way to spot a pretend blogger (don’t worry, I will share with you guys too in a sec!) & the messages came pouring in… so I figured I am not the only person who wants to talk about this growing problem of fake-ness in the blog industry.

fashionlush, denim on denim, inauthentic blogging

Okay, so first of all let’s talk about the business of buying followers & why it doesn’t work.

If you didn’t know, which I am sure you did because everyone does it, you can buy your entire following on all social networks. You can buy the followers, the likes, the video views, the comments, EVERYTHING.

I am not ashamed to admit that I’ve done it in the past & if you meet a blogger and they try to claim they have never bought followers, they’re lying. I am really not trying to piss anyone off here, I just think it’s going to be the downfall of this industry & that’s not fair to all of the bloggers out there trying to do it the right, authentic way.

I have been blogging for 8 years now & have seen COUNTLESS people enter the blogging scene and fake their way right past me. The worst part is… sometimes it works out really well for people. They fake it so good, they do make it… they get the free designer clothes, the big paychecks, & the sponsored trips.

Here is where the problem lies though, brands are veryyy slowly catching on because they aren’t seeing the ROI (return on investment) you would expect to see with a blogger who has 500k+ followers.

At the end of the day, CONVERSION is king & if you’ve got a fake following, brands won’t see that conversion & the less conversion brands see, the less they will want to work with influencers.&

& THAT RUINS THE FUN FOR EVERYONE. Ya feel me??

SO- how can you tell if someone’s following is B.S.?

I’ve got a few little tricks up my sleeve… if you know anymore, feel free to share in the comments below!

+ ratios: first & foremost, the easiest way to tell a users following authenticity is to look at the ratios. If a user has 100k+ followers & 5 comments… I mean, no brainer that those followers are faux. You really don’t need to dig deeper than that… but if you’re good at math, you can calculate ratios.

Personally, I suck at math so I am not gonna even try… but if you want to get down & dirty with numbers, check out this site to go over all of the ratios.

+ follower quality: quick glance, look at the last 20 followers on a persons instagram account. If they are fake, you can tell. No picture, less than 5 photos, a 12 year old Indian boy or a 30 year old Indian man w/ lots of soccer photos, or someone who is following 7k+ people and has less than 50 followers. Those are all fake accounts.

+ Alexa website rating: Lastly, this is my latest favorite tool to measure bullshit. Alexa is site that measures global traffic rank, which is basically a measure of how well a website is doing in relation to other sites on the web over a 3 month time period. It combines a site’s estimated average of daily unique visitors w/ estimated pageviews over the past 3 months. It measure global rank & rank in your home country as well.

You guys can check out my Alexa rating here, because that’s what I am using today as a comparison tool. READY FOR THIS (mind about to be blown… maybe!):

☆ In the U.S. my rank is 163,264 & globally my rank is 474,577. It’s not the best of the best, but it’s DAMN GOOD & I am proud of it… plus, it says I am on the rise big time with my traffic which is a good thing… obviously.

Blogger A: whose name will not be mentioned, has over 1 million followers on Instagram & her rank is 120,454 in the U.S. & 445,214 globally.

Blogger B: someone who has been blogging for a short time & has already made it to 500k+ Instagram followers, ranks 210,304 in the U.S. & 615,540 globally

Blogger C: the one who was chosen for the job over me, has 200k+ followers on Instagram & had a global rank over 3.5 MILLION & didn’t even have a ranking in the United States.

MAKES YA THINK…. AM I RIGHT? 

Again, I am not putting anyone on blast, but just giving all you authentic bloggers out there some tools to help uncover the truth & maybe even spread the word to the brands you’re working with.

The more brands become aware of all of this, the better the climate of the blogging industry will be.

The last thing we need is for all the fakers to kill the blog game… ya know?

Keep on trucking, keep the conversation going, & your hard work will pay off (I’d like to kinda think I am proof… or atleast on my way to being proof!)

x, E

fashionlush, denim on denim, inauthentic blogging

wearing: Missy Empire oversized boyfriend jacket | White Fox ‘Dallas’ denim skirt | sheer crop top | lace bralette | hexagon sunnies | Chinese Laundry ‘Theresa’ platform

[ PHOTOS BY ARIELLE LEVY ]

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  • Love this! And you definitely ARE proof!! xx

  • indecisivelystylish

    As a newbie in the blogging world it really upsets me to see people just doing it for the money. When I first started I did an insane amount of research & asked other bloggers the authentic way to build a following because I wanted to do things right and I understood it takes time… these other bloggers who are doing it just for the money and the free shit should know it’s not going to last long. Clearly the brand didn’t do enough research when it came to choosing someone. Keep speaking the truth girl🙌🏼🙌🏼

    Xx Sarah

    http://www.indecisivelystylish.wordpress.com

    • Absolutely!!! The business of buying the followers is thinking super short term, if you build it authentically you will be in it for the long haul!!

  • Crayons in My Louboutins

    Love this babe! Thanks for sharing this! It is very frustrating, especially when you are trying to make it by working really hard and the honest way… I have spotted a few people who fake it and I am a little dumbfounded to see that brands don’t realize it, especially when it is so obvious… one day 10k, a week later 45k. Hmm…
    Anyway, thanks for letting us know about Alexa rating site. Going to check it out, and again, thanks for being so open about this. Great post (as usual).
    xx
    Nathalie
    https://www.crayonsinmylouboutins.com

    • Absolutely lady!!! I am so glad you liked it & I 100% feel your frustrations!!

  • Love that you broke it down with rankings (also love the transparency of posting your own!) I think sometimes bloggers get so caught up with numbers, and there isn’t a lot of discussion on how to talk with brands and secure deals at any point, regardless of your numbers. For some companies numbers are vital, but just like companies are looking for influencers with large audiences they’re also looking for influencers with specific skills as well. If a blogger is really good at something, there’s a way to market that and negotiate for a successful partnership even if numbers are low. It’s all so interesting, but I’m curious to keep watching how influencer marketing continues to play out in the upcoming years!

    Zauni / SIREN BLACK

    • Ditto girl! Thank you for all your insight!!

  • Kendall Keith

    I couldn’t agree more! And going to check out this Alexa site! Fohr card has something new and cool too with their analytics where they analyze how authentic your IG acct is! It’s pretty awesome and love sharing that transparency with clients. xx
    Kendall Keith
    http://ThatMoodyChic.com

  • Toni

    “If you didn’t know, which I am sure you did because everyone does it, you can buy your entire following on all social networks. You can buy the followers, the likes, the video views, the comments, EVERYTHING.”

    I did NOT know this because I’m an honest to God blogging noob and now I feel very naive. Especially since I’m aware that this has been a problem forever on sites like Instagram and Twitter. You’re such an “influencer” with your million followers but you can barely get 50 retweets? Riiiiight.

    I just don’t understand people. Anyway, thanks for the heads up!

  • Georgie McCarthy

    I totally agree with all you’ve said above. It is so frustrating to see amazing opportunities go to fake bloggers who’s content is literally just ingenuine ads, simply because of their ingenuine follower count. I spend so much more time and effort on content but it’s a slow process to gain a reputable following. I hope brands can start to see this sooner! It is so nice to hear that others have been affected and frustrated by this before too.

    • Yes- definitely. Slow & steady wins the race, and I am confident brands will catch on soon :)

  • Aneeq Lon

    oh wow. I’ve never heard of fake bloggers. I have seen some blogging sites with 50k subscribers and hardly no content or comments and I was quite surprised but had no idea you can buy likes etc. I’m going to check everything on Alexa now! Not going to check my own website rating because I know it’s going to be vvvveeeery low down!

    • it is such a weird world of inauthenticity! Glad to have given some pointers ;)

  • Thanks SO much for writing this. It makes me so angry seeing other bloggers cheat their way to the top and actually get opportunities they wouldn’t have gotten if brands knew they were faking it! And thanks for sharing the Alexa tool, it’s interesting to see that my blog is actually doing way better than a lot of popular bloggers in my city!

    • Yes! Alexa is such a great tool. I totally feel you on the anger- it gets so frustrating!!

  • Yes absolutely- thanks for commenting babe <3 xo

  • Arianna Georgi