I’m not sure if you’ve heard yet about the blogger who is causing a lot of outrage (and rightly so). She’s a healthy food and lifestyle blogger and a few years ago claimed she self-treated a cancer diagnosis through alternative health methods. She then went on to publish a healthy eating cookbook and was in the process of developing a healthy lifestyle app. It was recently discovered that she lied about her cancer diagnosis as well as other illnesses.
I just want to say that it upsets me that bloggers are given a bad name just because of one bad apple. I’m sure that she probably has mental issues and I hope that she gets the help you needs, but not all bloggers are liars and sociopaths. After I read this, It got me to thinking about all the bad things that go on with blogging that some people may not know about. This post is a list of things that highlight that ugly side to blogging.
1. Income Struggle
There are two categories of bloggers out there, one that blogs and one that blogs for money. Don’t misunderstand me, you can do both and still have your integrity. But, as any blogger who takes it seriously will tell you, it’s actually hard work to blog. You have to write, market/promote, keep up with emails, manage different affiliate programs and ads, work on your editorial calendar, etc. It’s not a simple task and it usually takes a full 8 hours if not longer a day to do all of this.
Of course, you could do your blog without monetizing it, but that means you have to also work a full-time job to earn your living. A full-time job is usually 8 hours a day, so if your working on your blog 8 hours a day and also working a job 8 hours a day, that leaves you with only 8 hours in your day for sleep or whatever else you need to do.
For this reason, most bloggers monetize their blogs so they can devote more time to it. However, monetization for blogging or whatever other outlets you use is not easy. You can obviously use Adsense or sign up for a bunch of affiliate programs and sponsorships, but you won’t see much return on these until you have a big following, meaning you need at least 2,000 or more page views a day to really make anything off of these programs.
The thing you need to know is that it will take time and effort to reach this. If you only put 10% effort into your blog, then you’ll only see 10% success from it. You have to constantly research, study, and work to improve your blog using different analytic sites and apps. I use site stats from my jetpack plugin on WordPress to analyze my numbers, but if you don’t have a WordPress blog, you could also use Google Analytics.
2. False Information
Like I said in the opening, there are certain (small number) of bloggers who present a falsified image of themselves to their readers. That blogger was a perfect example. The majority of bloggers are actually good people who are kind, honest, and open with their lives, so one bad person doesn’t represent all of us.
One way to tell if someone is being honest with their blog or true to themselves is paying attention to what they write about. Do remarks they make contradict what they’ve said in the past? That’s an easy way to weed out the liars from honest bloggers.
Also, a good thing to keep in mind when reading content from bloggers is to realize that any information they provide is purely their opinion and not necessarily an expert one. So if you read about someone healing themselves through an alternative method, feel free to try their methods but in the end, you should always contact a medical professional who can make sure you’re being safe when trying out these methods.
3. Stolen Content
This is a tricky one. Unless someone copies your post word for word, all post ideas are up for grabs because for one their not copyrighted and two, everyone has a different take on a topic then the person who originally came up with it which in turn makes their post new and fresh. This isn’t the stolen content I’m talking about. Stolen content usually comes from recipes. Food bloggers usually come up with original recipes and if someone else uses their recipe they have to give credit and link back to the blogger that inspired them. If not, that is what constitutes stolen content, therefore resulting in legal action from the blogger who came up with the recipe.
If you get specific or written permission from the blogger to use their content, then that’s obviously okay, but I suggest, if you do use someone else’s recipe, attribute them and provide a link to their site. It’s just best practice. You don’t want a reputation as a shady blogger. I’m sure most of you are aware of this already, but I thought I would add this for bloggers who don’t.
4. Creative Commons Issues
I’m gonna state another obvious one, but a lot of bloggers use creative commons photos. What is that you might ask? In simple terms, creative commons is a non profit organization that allows individuals access to photos posted on the internet that are free to use or only have a few restrictions. It can be difficult at times to determine what restrictions there are unless you are well versed in all the creative commons licenses.In all honesty I’m still unclear of this myself but i’ll do my best to do a quick run down of them.
1st one: CC By AttributionThis one means you can use the image across any platform and edit the image as long as you credit back to the original creator.
2nd one: CC By SA (Share Alike)This one is pretty much the same as the one above except with this one, you also have to license your creation under the identical terms as the original creator meaning the same license the original creator used.
3rd one: CC By ND (No Derivs)This one means you can use the image across any platforms but, you can’t edit or tweak the image and you must credit back to the original creator.
4th one: CC By NC ( Non Commercial) This means that you can edit or tweak the image, but you can’t use the image if it’s connected to anything your selling. For instance, if your blog sells things whether they are your products or another companies products then you can’t use the image. You also have to credit the original creator.
5th one: CC By NC SA ( Non Commercial Share Alike) This one is the same as the one above it except for this one you have to license your creation under the same license as the original creator.
6th one: CC By NC ND (Non Commercial No Derivs) This is the most restrictive of all the licenses. You can only download the image and share them as long as you credit the original creator and you can’t change the image in any way and you can’t use the image commercially.
There are actually people out there who hire someone solely to check the web to see if their images are being used illegally. Whenever you need to find out how you can use an image, look for CC By info or look for the little icons above.For more information on creative commons licensing click here.
The moral of this story is always make sure your legally within your rights to whatever you use or put out into the interwebs. Keep your integrity about you and be transparent about your blog and who you are. I don’t mean to sound preachy, I’m only trying to be helpful to anyone who is unclear about the “rules” associated with blogging.
On a POSITIVE note, Here’s my post on 5 Inspiring Women.
Thanks so much for reading! It means the world to me and please feel free to comment. All comments are welcome!
What would you add to this list? Have you heard about the sociopath blogger?