3.01.2016

"I Hate Sponsored Posts" Part 2: Too Much of a Good Thing



First off, today is my 2000th post! TWO THOUSAND!! Also, thank you SO much for your response to this series! I was really nervous about how it would be interpreted. If you missed last week, you can get caught up here.

Essentially, for the past 8 months I listened and talked to other bloggers to find out their opinions on sponsored posts. I took 4 of the most common responses and am sharing them with you, as well as my thoughts, as someone who writes sponsored posts. Last week, we talked about sponsored posts in general. Today, we're talking about the number of them.

"It really turns me off as a reader when a blog is nothing but sponsored posts. Or all free stuff--like every post is sponsored. I immediately stop reading blogs like that."


Think about why you watch your favorite tv show. Do you watch it for the commercials? I'm pretty sure the answer is NO. Many of us watch shows on Netflix so there are no commercials or on DVR so we can skip them.

What if that tv show changed from mostly show to mostly commercials? Would you be less likely to tune in? Definitely. 

So why are some of us letting our blogs turn into commercials?

They are there to know about you, not a commercial. 

Commercials are loud. They stick out. They beg to be noticed.

This works well in the television advertising world. But in the blogging world? Not so much.

But--

I have had a few occasions where I either had 2 sponsored posts back-to-back or 2 or 3 within 1 week (I generally post 5 times a week). This was always, always due to a scheduling conflict, usually with the brand moving up or moving back a post date.

How To Fix It:

The biggest giveaway that a post is sponsored? How it's written! It comes across as fake, as an ad. A good sponsored post should be a natural extension of you and your blog. It shouldn't be obvious. It shouldn't sound like a commercial. It should sound like YOU.

If it feels wrong, if it feels fake, then maybe that approach or that brand isn't the best fit for your blog. And that's what we'll talk about next week.

What do you consider to be a good number of sponsored posts per month?

Extra Elle:
  • I had a great weekend--the weather was nice, so Charlie and I spent as much time as we could outside. 
  • I also continued my annual tradition of watching the Oscar Shorts (just as it sounds, short films nominated for an Oscar)--something I have done for the past decade.
  • I also had a Pjs and Prosecco Oscar party. I LOVE to dress up, but this was a nice change. Just hanging out with the girls and talking about the red carpet and the show. They left about 10. Was it my suggestion to play Oscar film charades? ;) I made it the whole show. Coffee was a must the next morning.
  • HAPPY MARCH!


63 comments:

  1. I love your Oscar party idea and kudos to you for making it through the whole thing. :) I agree that too many sponsored posts can be a bit of a problem. Especially if the posts are poorly written, I tend to trust that blogger a little less and to not want to read her blog as frequently. BTW, I think you do a great job with sponsored posts. You always come across as genuine, and I can tell that you work hard on your sponsored posts to come up with some original content. Your post yesterday was a great example!

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  2. Your Oscar party sounds fun! I don't know what a good number is but it should balance out between your other posts. There are several products that I tried based on reading a sponsored post so I think if you stay true to your writing style and pick products that interest your readers, it won't come off as a commercial.

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  3. PJs and Prosecco?! That's my kind of party!! And yes, I'm definitely one of the ones who get annoyed with all sponsored posts. It's one thing to have a few but if every post is sponsored In don't feel like I'm reading a blog any more, I feel like I'm watching a commercial. <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  4. i love the oscars! all the glitz and glam. and prosecco is the best pairing! i agree - nothing turns me off more than when a whole blog is all sponsored posts. you have to be real - otherwise what's the point? :)

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  5. I've slowly turned my back on Sponsored Post over the past year or so. When you have so many different companies asking you to write on the same topic {Prom, for instance} it loses the natural flow and feels fake.

    xx

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  6. I'm loving this series! I definitely agree with you about not letting your blog become like a TV show. I stopped reading one blog in particular because every single post seemed to be a sponsored post. I get that sometimes scheduling happens and a week here and there might be a little more sponsor heavy, but it shouldn't be all the time! I love your tradition of watching all of the Oscar shorts before the show! So much fun!

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  7. Another great post on such a prominent topic in blogging. I agree with you that it's all about the writing of the post and whether or not it feels genuine! I want to watch the Oscar shorts-- such a great idea for a tradition.

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  8. PJ's and Prosecco sounds like a blast! You are doing such a good job with this series, this topic would make a good book too! I hope you have a terrific day!!

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  9. I love your oscar traditions - sounds like a really fun night!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  10. Your Oscars party sounds so much fun, Elle! And on sponsored posts, yes, I agree it should be an extension of you and your blog. And the ones that irked me the most? Cheap China prom dress sites, I always comment and ask if the blogger have any idea about the quality.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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  11. I love this series, Elle! I totally agree, a sponsored post should just be an extension of your blog, seems less ad-like for sure!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

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  12. I don't know that there's a good or magic number for sponsored posts. I agree with you, though, that how they're written is key that they are what they are and if you're going to do one, try to make it natural.

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  13. What a fun Oscar party! Sponsored posts are all about scheduling and being honest. You do a great job at it.

    Xoxo,

    Whitney & Blaire

    Peaches In A Pod

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  14. This is such a stunning post! Hope you have an awesome and productive day!!!

    NEW POST: The 10 Best Fashion Books To Add To Your Coffee Table!
    Facebook
    Bloglovin

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  15. A PJ's and Prosecco party?! Sounds like so much fun! And I couldn't agree with you more on the sponsored posts, it makes me so sad to see blogs that I used to love become mostly sponsored or "how to" posts. Fabulous post <3
    Green Fashionista

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  16. I always want to look at all the documentaries the Oscars nominate. I love documentaries

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  17. An oscar party is the best! Love the theme! I used to watch all the nominated movies and I want to watch some of the shorts now too, where did you find them? I agree, a sponsored post should still sound like yourself!

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  18. Congratulations on 2000 posts! That's incredible and something to definitely celebrate!! I think sponsored posts can be tricky. As a blogger, it's always in the back of your mind to be able to pay your bills (if this is how you pay your bills) but I also think you have to be true to your blog and only do posts that resonate with the theme of your blog. Also, I refuse to do sponsored posts one after another. They have to be balanced out. I get frustrated, even as a blogger, when I notice bloggers only doing sponsored content, that has zero to do with their blog. You can tell it's just for the money. I just think it's important to still be true to you and your blog and I guess, at the end of the day as long as you're happy with what you're doing, then that's all that matters! Now if you start losing a lot of readers, then it might be time to do something a little different!

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  19. Yep, if it's too many sponsored posts or if it's obvious this isn't a product they actually used--I'm turned off. A company reached out to me about doing a post on their glasses...I don't wear glasses, so I immediately said no. If you're saying yes to something like that, there's a problem!

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  20. Congratulations on your 2000th post Elle! That's a very impressive blogging milestone! I totally agree that a good sponsored post should be in the same voice as the rest of your blog. I think 3-4x /month is reasonable.

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  21. Happy 2000th post! I don't get paid for posts as of right now but the ONLY time I have more than one post in a row that I am talking about or reviewing a product that was sent to me is when I don't have other posts ready to go. I try my best to get posts finished so that I have a couple to choose from ahead of time but sometimes my daily life gets in the way and I don't have enough time to finish them. That is why I cut down my posts to 2x a week. To give me more time to write posts. I can definitely understand if people get annoyed if someone constantly has sponsored posts. Spacing them out definitely helps with that.

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  22. I really like comparison between sponsored posts and commercials. When a blog or even more so a YouTube channel becomes like one big commercial, people lose interest. I'm glad you're talking about this on your blog. It's a discussion that needs to be had in the blogging community.

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  23. Congrats on your 2000th post! That's such an amazing milestone. My number one problem with sponsored posts is that they don't come across as sincere. I'm really enjoying this series!

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  24. Right ON, lady- balance is definitely key. Sure, things happen, and sometimes with sched conflicts you end up with sponsored content falling right on top of each other, but finding a balance between sponsored + original content is the best. And writing sponsored content in YOUR own voice is key, too! Your readers can tell when you're shilling, so it needs to be positioned in a voice you're used to communicating in on your blog. :)

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  25. Congrats on your HUGE accomplishment!! 2000 posts?! That is so exciting, and I can't wait to see what you have in store for us in the future!! XO

    Shauna

    www.lipglossandlace.net

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  26. Congrats on your HUGE accomplishment!! 2000 posts?! That is so exciting, and I can't wait to see what you have in store for us in the future!! XO

    Shauna

    www.lipglossandlace.net

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  27. I agree with you, sponsored posts are more natural and believable if they are written like you always write. Your Oscar party sounds so fun!!!

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  28. Okay wait - how did I miss part 1? (Don't worry I just went back and read it) LOVE this series!!

    I've always worried that readers hate sponsored posts, but never even considered that other bloggers have a problem with it. I'm not (really) monetized yet, I just started looking into sponsored posts last month. And even though I'm a newbie I've already turned down a plenty of opportunities because they didn't fit with my values & aesthetic.

    Here's the thing: you can tell when a sponsored post is ONLY about the money. Key word: only. Obviously all sponsored posts involve money, but if it's a product you're genuinely pumped about then I think that sponsored post will flow with your blog and be fun to read. If you're a lifestyle blogger awkwardly acting fake excited about any and every mediocre product... yeah that turns me off. It destroys that bloggers credibility in my eyes.

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  30. Wohoo! 2000th post, what an accomplishment!!
    I don't get paid to blog, but I honestly cringe when I see a blogger post more than 3 times a week. It can become a bit too infomercial-y, in my opinion. Especially if they aren't sincere.
    I don't like when people do sponsored posts/videos only for the money...it shows.
    I just recently started looking into sponsored posts, but I don't think my following is big enough to really even try applying.
    I'm loving this series, Elle!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

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  31. Yay on the 2000th post, Elle:) That's awesome! And thanks for this series as well. I'm not a well-known blogger, so really, I don't see sponsored posts in my horizon :P, but it's great to see the in-and-outs of people who do it. You strike a nice balance doing your personal posts vs the sponsored posts one, which is why we love you:) What I hate is when bloggers are dishonest. If it's sponsored, let us know!

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  32. Congrats on 2000 posts! Woohoo! I know I am past 1000, but I need to see how many posts I've done... I try not to do more then 1 sponsored post a week, but sometimes a product won't be available in the store and I have to shop later and then the date gets moved and I have to do 2 in one week. It happens, but not a lot! Loving this series! I watched the Oscars too and I was so excited for Leo!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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  33. Holy cow! Congrats on 2000 posts! That is seriously amazing! I've had it before where sponsored posts are right after each other and I hate when that happens, but we often have no choice in scheduling. I agree that if you make it more an extension of your blog it flows so much better! It's something I am really working on!

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  34. Happy 2000th post birthday (ha ha). I'm actually okay with sponsored posts, so I would say every other post would be fine for me. X

    ♥ Carly's Beauty Blog ♥

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  35. Happy 2000th post Elle! I think someone could have ten or more and still maintain a realness. That's my biggest line. If I can't tell if I trust the author. You know? I want to feel their personality shine through every post, especially the sponsored content.

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  36. Happy 2000 posts!

    Your Oscar party sounds like fun.

    I've done some sponsored posts. Sometimes companies want the post written a certain way so it does come across rather boring. But if I can, I try to make it interesting.

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  37. [ Smiles ] Congratulations on your 2000th post.


    I am not into sponsored posts; but if a blogger chooses to go in that direction, I am cool with that.

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  38. Congrats on the 2000tg blog post! That is awesome! I'm enjoying this blog series! Even if there's a number of sponsered posts in an amount of time, if I enjoy the blogger and trust their opinion then I don't see a problem with it!

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  39. Pjs and Prosecco sounds amazing! i legit never watch award shows but for some reason (Leo), i wanted to watch on sunday.. good lord i was tired on monday.

    i don't know about number of sponsored posts to be honest, 1 a week can be too much for one person, and 5 a week could be awesome for another - like you said, it's how they are written. so i think it depends on the blog!

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  40. Great post, Elle. I think there is a fine line in posting content that is sponsored if you want to build a long term relationship with readers that trust you. I personally question the credibility of a blogger if their entire feed is filled with content that is sponsored or connected to a link where they earn income. As a blogger, I try to keep this in mind when writing content for my personal blog. I also write sponsored posts but only when the product is something that I think would interest my readers. Also, I don't post negative reviews so I make sure that the company offering me the sponsorship opportunity understands that I will not write a post endorsing a product that doesn't do what it claims to do. Although it may mean making less money in the beginning of a blogging career, I believe it will pay off in the long run. At the end of the day, I prefer to maintain integrity and strive to be a trusted source to people that choose to read my blog.

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  41. I agree, commercials are what make shows annoying so when I see a blog that is all sponsored content I tend to look away. Cheers to the 2000th post and pjs for the Oscars sounds aweomse.

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  42. congrats on your 2,000th post. that is insanely awesome. great post and series topic, and your pj + prosecco party sounds like a dream!
    xx, lauren
    laurensparkle.com

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  43. I learn so much from you! congrats on your 2,000 post and YAY for warmer weather :)

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  44. Your Oscar's party sounds like a party I can enjoy! Also, congrats on 2,000 posts! That's such an incredible feat!

    What I consider to be a good number for sponsored posts in a month, is however many you want! Honestly, I'm pretty sure I said it in your first post of this series (which I freaking love) that I don't mind sponsored posts. Everyone's gotta make a living, and if blogging is your full-time job, then I see no problem in having alot of sponsored content. As long as it aligns with the person's niche/blog topic, then it doesn't matter if you do 1 sponsored post a month or 10. I myself honestly haven't gotten many opportunites in my almost 4 years of blogging, but this is what I want to do, so I'm working towards making it my full-time job.

    skinstuffbykaty.blogspot.com

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  45. I think it's awesome that you collaborated with other bloggers in the Ad thing! It's very interesting that you all would work together on that. And it makes me happy that y'all did:) congrats on 2000! That is so much! I know you put your heart and soul into it and it shows! Thank you for all you do❤️🎉

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  46. Congrats on 2,000 posts! That is awesome!

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  47. Great comparison with blog/tv shows and ads - brilliant! You do a great job with sponsored posts. I've been reading your blog for years and have never felt like anything you posted wasn't something you put your heart and soul into. Remember that one time you used a petri dish to determine the level of bacteria in a makeup sponge after you applied makeup to an orange using fingers, a sponge, AND a brush?! That's genius, unbelievably dedicated, totally outside the box and shows how much you LOVE your job. You're in a league of your own, Elle!

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  48. PS: Congrats on 2000 posts! <3

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  49. Congrats on your 2000th post! That's awesome! I don't follow blogs that have too many sponsored posts, especially ones that used to produce more unsponsored content. Lately I have been feeling the same way about Instagram. Some people's entire Instagram feeds have become all 'read more at my blog!' posts :(

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  50. Too many sponsored posts after connecting with that particular blogger becomes apparent. I'm definitely not against a couple paid product reviews and sponsored posts a week if the review is genuine and not like a commercial as you described it but when bloggers lose their voice to just advertising I no longer become interested in following them.

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  51. Congrats on the 2000th post! How exciting! I would say 1 or 2 sponsored posts a week is a good number but I think it really depends on what the post is about and how the blogger is going about the post

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  52. A PJs and Prosecco party sounds like a blast!! I love what you said comparing sponsored posts to commercials (which seems obvious but I'd never thought of it that way before). I'm not too concerned with the number of sponsored posts a blogger has, but I like them to be mixed in with other content. When it's all sponsored posts and nothing else, that gets a little old.

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  53. I couldn't agree more with you here. I am "guilty" of posting sponsored content, I've even written in such a manner too (it's the copywriter in me!). I used to be in a position where I could turn down those kind of things, or brands that were so far removed from my own. But lately I've been accepting more and more of them because $$$ talks! That said, I try to be very "smart" with them. I remember reading a similar post to what you clicked on (mentioned in the first part of this series) and it was about sponsored posts and how to "do them right" (something along those lines) . And what I remember most was about posting them at "appropriate times" and making sure you followed it with transparency. I think this gets lost a lot, especially when it comes to social media which is where my root with this issue lies. I always aim for transparency.

    Sxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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  54. I think a sponsored post here and there is alright. I like learning about new brands, especially if they are smal companies! But too much is definitely off-putting. Your Oscar party sounded like so much fun!!

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  55. Congrats on your 2000 post, that is so fantastic!! I don't mind sponsored posts every now and then. However, I do find it annoying if it is almost every post. I think a few a month is fine.

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  56. Congrats on the accomplishment! If a blogger is doing the whole sponsored post thing correctly, you really don't even notice that it is sponsored. I don't have a problem with it at all as long as it doesn't come across as they are forcing me to buy something, which most don't.

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  57. Your How To Fix It is right on! I wish more bloggers (especially new ones) would learn this!

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  58. Happy 2000 posts!

    Interesting series. I never paid much attention to sponsored posts, but from time to time I'd actually read the article and found some to be useful and interesting. I guess it's a matter of how the blogger approaches it.

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  59. Wow, 2000!! Amazing...!! I missed the posts in this series, gonna go check it out. But yes, agreed. Sponsored posts should be natural and written in the way you would write other posts... Nothing worse then seeing one blog post after another be all sponsored content. Bye, bye!!

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  60. It's all about balance, I think. I have no problem with sponsored posts when they are done right - when they fit with the flow of the blog and done in moderation. This is all relative to how much one posts, I think. If someone posts everyday, I think one or two sponsored posts a week is fine. If one posts less frequently, maybe a couple a month. But it's not so much the number (unless it's every single post) as much as it is the overall feeling one gets from the post. You do a perfect job! I always feel like its you! :-)

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  61. Truth be told, I feel guilty for having been one of those bloggers that flames blogs with too many sponsored posts. And by flame, I mentioned it in a confession post once. I do think some are way too obvious about their sponsoring and do it too often, but as long as they throw some real life in there, I usually want to keep reading. I will say you do a great job of not making a sponsored post seem sponsored so rock on sister!

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  62. Real life is what I come to read on every blog I follow. As long as it's something the blogger truly enjoyed and felt like sharing (or warning against) I don't mind them. However, it is a turn off when there is nothing real life in the blog.

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  63. Hi Elle, I skimmed through this post a few weeks ago but I only now had time to read it completely. Huge congrats on 2000 posts. That is such an achievement. Also your Prosseco Oscar Party with friends sounds like a great idea (with yummy drinks!) and a great idea to watch the shorts. A lot of times those short movies are some of the best.

    To answer your question I think 1 post a week (at the max) is enough for it to be a sponsored post. Or 2-4 a month at the most is ideal. But you know a lot of bigger bloggers have more and more companies approaching them so more power to them. You are definitely a more successful blogger than me so I think 2 sponsored posts a week from you sounds pretty normal. I hate it when I go to a blog and every day is a new brand that they are being paid to talk about or every day everything they wear is c/o. It makes me look at those bloggers as simple paid endorsers and nothing more. It is no different than flipping through a magazine which is paid to endorse different products from different brands.

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