For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Can you Really Trust a Blogger?

There have been a lot of things happening recently.
Some good.
Some not so good.
Some great!

Without going into details, certain events have made me think long and hard about trust.
Being true to yourself.
Being a real and genuine person.

These thoughts about life also translate into the blogging world.
Begging the question...
How hard is it to remain honest, and open, when blogging?"
 Especially when your blog becomes your bread and butter!
Can you blog successfully AND maintain your integrity?

Can you really trust a blogger?

Blogs are wonderful places to connect with like minded women.
Bloggers can be a great source of inspiration.
When it comes to product "reviews" and "sponsored" outfit posts, can you really trust what a blogger tells you?

Surely if someone is being paid (by a brand) to feature a product then they are going to rave about it.
Even if it sucks!

I have felt seriously turned-off when a blogger I followed featured (quite frankly) horrible items, and went on to say how great they were.
I could see they were anything but great, and felt cheated.

I also dislike it when a blogger fails to mention the fact the items were gifted to them.
Being upfront and honest is always a better option.

Luckily, not everyone is pulling the wool over our eyes.
Some bloggers state VERY clearly that their post is sponsored and/or the items featured have been gifted to them.
Then they go on to create a blog post that is full of the same authenticity and creativity as a non-sponsored post.
This kind of blogging I like!
{Catherine at notdressedaslamb is great at this}

If I have been gifted an item, I ALWAYS state the fact very early in my post.

Alos, if I do feature something then I have to actually like it!

{There have been many polite "thank you but no thank you!" email replies to requests}

I did, however, once feature a dress that was not really my style.
Not a bad dress, as such, just not me.
I did my best with it then immediately gave it to a friend, who loved it!
See that post HERE.

See some of my other featured item posts...
These fab Tights.
This Cardigan.... that I have worn to death.
and, this lovely Jumper.

All of which I would have quite happily purchased and featured on FakeFabulous anyway.

Three ways to keep it real

1.  Don't say "Yes!" to everything

Bear in mind that a "freebie" is not really free.
Getting something for nothing might be exciting and feel wonderful, but writing a post about any gifted item takes TIME.
Lots and lots of time.

A tonne of effort goes into every post.
So only feature items you can really get excited about, and genuinely enjoy wearing or using.

2.  Only accept items you would happily buy (if you could)

As tempting as it is, don't accept items that are not really 'you'.
It will be immediately obvious, and put people off.
Keeping an open mind, and trying new brands, is a great idea but featuring something just because it is free is plain silly.

If you would never consider the item normally, then a polite "No, thank you" works much better than a shoddy post.
Something more suitable will come along soon enough!

3. Be open and honest from the start

If someone has paid you to write a post make sure you mention it, and quickly!
PLEASE NOTE: This post is sponsored by ***** a treat!

If whatever you are wearing (or using) was gifted to you, then let your readers know at the beginning of your post.
"When the nice people at ***** contacted me to ask if I would like to feature one of their ******s, I was delighted!"
"This lovely ****** was kindly sent to me from *****."
Both phrases are simple, honest and upfront.
Being straight to the point, and letting people know why you have these items, is always a good idea!

{A random image of a basket of puppies never fails to make me smile}

Bloggers are just normal people so (as in 'real' life) you can trust a blogger... just not all of them!

Some bloggers are too 'cloak and dagger' when it comes to gifted items and sponsorship.
Fortunately, we can usually tell!

If you like what someone is doing, then keep reading and enjoying.
If you don't, or you feel cheated, then move on to someone else.

The Internet is FULL of wonderful blogs written by inspiring and genuine people.
Enjoy it!
{See my sidebar for some great blogs and inspiration}

What are your thoughts on "gifted item" posts?
Do you like to know that an item has been gifted to a blogger, or that the blogger has been paid to feature items?
Are you happy just to enjoy a post regardless of sponsorship?

If you blog, do you disclose your gifted items, or sponsorship, immediately?

I would love to know your thoughts on this subject!
Thank you so much for stopping by.
Please leave your comment below, or contact me.



  1. It's kinda like I used to always say..."there are bad people in every profession" And good ones too!!
    Luckily we know you're a gem, Samantha!!

    1. You are very kind Jodie.... and right about good un's and bad un's! XXX

  2. Well I think it is true that there is rampant misrepresentation in the blogging world. Some people just lose sight of themselves when offered a bunch of crap. Personally, it isn't for me. I don't like fast fashion. I thrift and promote vintage and secondhand fashion. There isn't any money with perks in doing that but it keeps me happy knowing I'm promoting an idea I believe in.

    I have been offered other opportunities that don't align with my principles, almost all of which I have turned down for that very reason. I did do a post on an ethical Australian boot company I have long admired that makes long lasting quality fashion. Otherwise the thought of promoting more overconsumption of unnecessary fast fashion products that are destroying the world makes me ill.

    This is an interesting post!


    1. I remember that boot post Suzanne. It made me think that the company must be doing something right if you are willing to feature them.
      I admire your eco principles and love of vintage re-cycling.

  3. oh yes, I agree with you, as sometimes I've felt disappointed by a blogger (which I loved previously), after some crap was published in her posts. And I think that honesty is the best option!
    Obviously, I would not refuse any gift by a brand I like, but that has Not happened to me (yet)!. Almost every offer I receive is practically spam!.

    1. Yes Monica, there is a lot of spam out there!
      Some of which is hilarious!
      Cheap jewellery companies offering a pair of earrings or sexy undies (how am I mean't to do an outfit post exactly???) :oP ... not for me!

  4. Well, I certainly feel I can trust you, Sam! I think your honesty, openness and down-to-earth approach are some of the reasons why your blog is one of my favourites. :)

    1. Thank you for such kind words Fran!
      That really does mean a lot to me. XXX

  5. I do like to know if a blogger has been gifted an item because it's only fair really. I always say when I've been given an item for review. I wouldn't feature something on my blog if it was a pile of crap but I know some do because they feel obliged to write a post and say nice things when they've been gifted it. I received an email from a reader recently asking about a company whose clothes I'd featured. She'd seen an item she really liked but wanted to know if they were trustworthy. I was very honest and said my experience had been absolutely fine but pointed out potential problems with sizing and returns as it's in the Far East.

    Some brands carpet bomb bloggers with freebies for review, which I think is to their detriment. Most people get tired of seeing the same things.

    Emma xxx

    1. I've noticed that Emma!
      There are lots of the same items out there... which can be a little boring.
      I'm glad you agree about our cards being on the table from the start.
      It is much easier to enjoy a post if it is transparent and honest. XXX

  6. What a very interesting post Samantha. I'm convinced that my maturity raises the bar for any blogger I choose to follow. I think I'm pretty good at detecting ulterior motives and like to believe that my critical thinking skills are "on point" particularly in a genre like fashion; which is definitively all about creating an "image" that appeals and ultimately sells.
    I'm more attracted to connecting with all of you amazing women; fashion is the vehicle and passion that enables that connection. If I'm being deluded, I'm old enough to carry the bulk of the responsibility for my delusions.

    1. This comment is spot-on Judy!
      We do get better at spotting a bad fake, or a dodgy dealer, don't we?
      Although I am still sometimes a bit of a numpty... and can be tricked with a practical joke or someone spinning me a yarn.
      Older and not much wiser really! :oP XXX

  7. Samantha what a well observed, honest article... Your points are on-point (if that makes sense)! Thank you so much for the mention, I'm really glad that you think I disclose sponsored posts clearly as it's something that really, really bothers me when bloggers *don't* disclose. I'm always looking for the best way that satisfies both brand and reader so am constantly tweaking disclosures.

    I've pointed out to other bloggers in the past (nicely!) that their (obviously) sponsored posts haven't been disclosed in any way which they need to do, and the reactions have ranged from the "Oh yeah I always forget that" (with no disclosures ever made in the future) to "Oh I'm sure that doesn't apply to me, I'm a small blogger". Even though I've said they need to do it by law it doesn't seem to register that they need to do it for that reason, never mind the fact that it's ethical and fair to your readers to do it.

    Oh well, some people are beyond help and never do things properly... What can you do? Vote with your feet, I guess - I switch off in the end and follow them less and less!

    Great post as always Samantha - you're a credit to the blogging community!

    Catherine x

    1. Gosh Catherine, you certainly know how to leave a comment! LOL
      Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words.

    2. hehe I don't often find time to leave them - but when I do, I make them WORDY to make up for it!! 😆

  8. I do indeed wonder why some bloggers accept their commissions when the outfits are relaunched blog is only little so I am not inundated with offers but the one I had I turned down, because it was not something I would wear. I like the way you did the maxi dress review: very objective, and I can see how much work went into it.

    1. Thank you Gail. I really appreciate your comment. I think a polite "no thank you" is perfectly fine...and won't stop the company coming back to you with something more suitable in the future. XXX

  9. If it's an item that the blogger would choose for herself that's OK. I also think it depends on the purpose of the blog, a personal blog or one that just promotes more 'stuff' on behalf of the companies who are sending out the freebies. Over 40s fashion blogs are a godsend for those of us who are 'women of a certain age' who are well and truly fed up with being invisible to the fashion world, but I'd far rather read about real women who live in the real world than read regurgitated PR statements from mouthpieces for the big brands. When I detect that kind of blog I just move on.

    By the way, thanks to this blog and a few others I'm starting my own blog about the very unglamorous niche market of support hosiery, because some of us old birds need it. But who wants to wear something that look likes their granny's old-fashioned surgical stockings? So I'm not exactly going to be a "fashion blogger" but I figured that if I buy the tights anyway I might as well review them.

    1. Please come back and leave a link to your new blog when it is up and running!
      I would be very interested in taking a look.
      Good luck!


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