…Well, what a can of worms. If you follow the beauty/fashion blog stuffs on twitter, you’ll know that so much has already been said and I’m not sure what value I really have to add to the debate. I haven’t got my soapbox out for a year or two but I felt like airing my feelings about being nominated for the Marie Claire blog awards…
It’s flattering to be hoicked up there on a little blogging pedestal among the other nominees but recent Twitter events have revealed what everyone knew all along: that bloggers are generally not welcome in established journalist/beauty circles. We’re putting noses out of joint left, right and centre and it’s getting ugly.
Insincerity is my biggest bug bear within the beauty scene, and nothing displays that notion more proudly than when a magazine strikes up a round of blog awards. To be nominated or awarded for being a blogger by an established print magazine has the shine stripped from the accomplishment somewhat when you’re ultimately realistic about the motivations behind the accolade.
Having said that… do I really have anything against these obvious SEO building exercises? Not really, links make the internet go round. My blog would be nothing without people linking to me. It’s this free flow of information that has allowed blogging to become so mainstream but links are a two-way mutual appreciation thing and any brand, magazine or company that doesn’t acknowledge this simple truth is on a hiding to nothing.
Would I like to win the opportunity to write unpaid for Marie Claire? Well, I’ve got bills to pay like everyone else and writing is my full-time job. If someone asks me to write for them, nine times out of ten, I want to see some benefit to my bank account as-well as my ego but ultimately, how much of a massive ego would I need to dismiss the opportunity to write a post for Marie Claire’s blog? Surely it’s a great prize to be featured (even once) under the umbrella of a household name magazine – it seems that in established blogging circles however, it’s heinously uncool to express this opinion. But this is where it gets contradictory…
The fact is that I’ve had 4x the number of referrals to my site today from this month-old post on Beaut.ie than I have from the freshly published Marie Claire blog award announcement so I wouldn’t consider any potential traffic surges as hugely incentive. Nothing gets my blood pumping more than discovering one of my blogging peers or a brand I admire has linked to something I’ve written, most bloggers will recognise that feeling of pride, and it feels less hollow than an impersonal email from Marie Claire that essentially says: “Hai, You’ve been longlisted, congrats – here’s a badge to stick on your blog… nag your readers to visit our site will you? You could even tile OUR logo as your Twitter background…”
However, I’d be willing to wager that most of our mothers couldn’t give a shit that our blogs were read by over xxxxxxx amount of people in December but if we told them that we’d written something in X magazine (ok, we wouldn’t tell them it was on their blog), she’d be ringing all her bingo mates with the news faster than you could shout “full house”. BUT if we hold our own blogs in such high regard… why are we being sniffy about the opportunity to write for theirs? Maybe because we’re generally HUGELY passionate about blogging and magazines still mostly do the blogging thing like it’s an afterthought to their print publication. Magazines and blogs still feel like such completely different entities to me, which I suppose, goes some way to explaining why I can’t shrug off the old “can’t we all just rub along together nicely?” feeling.
It simply boils down to the uneasy feeling that by participating I’m…
a). being played like a fiddle in a greater SEO plan
b). betraying “my kind” by being flattered at an opportunity to play on the otherside of the fence
c). being occasionally ridiculed (on both sides of the fence) for even momentarily contemplating that my blog is genuinely admired
As a nominee, I should be sitting on the fence but my motivation to write this stems from the growing feeling amongst newer bloggers that established bloggers consider themselves above the whole “blog awards” thing and I just don’t think that’s true. I think many established bloggers feel that they’re damned if they do and they’re damned if they don’t. Despite popular opinion, most of us aren’t about to disappear up our own arses anytime soon but increasingly, we are resisting attempts at mining blogs for linkbacks without any personalised interaction with either us or our readers. Most of us just want to protect what we’ve worked hard to build over many years and trust me, the longer you do it for – the more protective you feel about what you’ve built.
What do you think about Blog Awards? (as given by magazines etc…)