I want to talk about something.
It’s a topic I’ve wanted to blog about for a while, but I wrote a post some time ago and never hit publish because it just wasn’t the right time for me. I was in a place where my emotions were too raw and was still in the depths of my PPA.
Interior design blogger Emily Henderson shared a blog post Monday that really resonated with me, so I wanted to share some thoughts here since I’ve been receiving a higher influx of cruel comments than usual lately (and not just “your shoes are ugly” – those I don’t mind at all). It seems like bloggers are speaking out about this more and more lately, including Kristina Braly, who shared this post yesterday. I want to add my voice to this conversation because something alarming is happening with our generation/society on the internet and ignoring what’s happening isn’t productive.
When I shared my struggle with postpartum anxiety, I mentioned that when Lincoln was 6 months old, I stopped reading what people were saying about me in online forums. I made a commitment to myself/my mental health that I would no longer read those comments because at the end of the day, it’s detrimental to read them, even if you know they’re not true. It’s draining, disheartening and sad, and after seven years of blogging, I was done with them. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I’ve said this to a lot of my blogging friends who experience the same types of comments – it’s never about you, and always about the person writing the comment. My favorite way to look at it is like this: people who dislike you will make you into the person they want you to be, to justify their hatred of you. Period. When I used to read those comments about myself online, I never recognized the person they were talking about. None of my family members, friends or co-workers would recognize the woman they were talking about either. It’s because the person they’re talking about doesn’t exist. The woman they’re breaking apart, making up lies about, throwing assumptions all over the place – she’s simply a “person” they’ve created in an attempt to justify what they say. But that, of course, doesn’t make it hurt any less. Do I have thicker skin now? Absolutely. Do I wish I didn’t have to? Of course.
This article by Lindy West on the topic of online trolls spoke to me as well– this quote is from one of her trolls when she communicated with him via email, and I think it hits the nail on the head …”I think my anger towards you stems from your happiness with your own being. It offended me because it served to highlight my unhappiness with my own self.” This TIME magazine article is also a great read.
I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I have regrets and have said and done things I’m not proud of in life, just as all humans have. I’m certainly not above criticism. The online world though, has created an environment where empathy can seem nonexistent and where compassion and kindness are often overshadowed by someone’s desire to release their anger, fears and insecurities onto someone else. The ability to remain anonymous while doing so has made it even more appealing, as there are zero consequences or accountability for what someone says, no matter how untrue, unkind or toxic their comment.
It becomes easier to be unkind when multiple people are joining you, egging on one another, as though it’s a competition over who can write the most cruel comment. The conversation often takes a “she deserves it for putting herself out there” tone, which, in our society of victim-blaming and shaming, doesn’t surprise me. Do women deserve to be trashed, lied about and torn apart in online comments for sharing their outfits and bits and pieces of their lives on their blogs? Are we “asking for it?” A blogger “deserves” to be trashed online just as much as a woman wearing a fitted top “deserves” to be cat-called as she’s walking down the street.
Over time, I’ve learned not to take what I’ve read about myself in the past too personally, made slightly easier by the fact that I know the comments aren’t actually about me (ie: the actual human being, real life me, not the “Veronika” people have created online). It doesn’t make it easy, but I try to place logic above emotion and remind myself of another fact: a stranger writing something about someone online doesn’t make it true. At all.
One of my blogging friends ended up quitting blogging over the hate she received when she became a mother (comment below shared with permission):
“I was continually harassed over my choices for being a mom. The fact that I didn’t breastfeed, the fact that I put him in daycare at 7 weeks, the fact that he had an eye condition and it was probably because I didn’t breastfeed, or I didn’t take care of myself properly during pregnancy, etc.”
I’m a wife, mother, daughter, cousin, friend and co-worker. I strive to be kind, hardworking and compassionate. The people who know me in real life would describe me, I think, the same way I see myself – as imperfect, but always striving to be better, kinder, more patient. I know I’m a good person and I say this with pride and confidence – no individual or online comment can change who I actually am as a person or how I feel about myself.
But even if I feel this way about myself, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t care about what’s going on with bloggers and online hate. It’s not limited to blogs either – have you ever read the comments on Facebook news stories? The poor treatment of people – human-to-human, in the online world, is a horrifying epidemic. Our children are growing up in a society where being angry, mean, rude and overly critical is the norm. We live in a world where stopping to consider someone’s feelings as a fellow human being, woman or mother come second to the immediate gratification and desire to tear them down.
Another part of Emily’s blog post that hit home was this: “Hate-filled comments close me down. They make me less transparent and I become far less interesting and way less funny (plus nauseous, anxious, and riddled with vulnerability, etc). I find myself not wanting to write the posts, not taking risks, and just apologizing over and over with so many disclaimers trying to reduce the backlash as much as possible.”
Over a year ago, when I still read what people wrote about me, it 100% affected how I wrote and quite frankly, took some of the joy out of blogging. I would constantly over-explain and write disclaimers, anticipating every negative comment I would receive with every line I wrote, recognizing that those who dislike me would find a way to misinterpret and twist every word. It was exhausting to write so defensively.
It has been a hugely liberating feeling to write how I want to, without worrying what someone else will say or think. I now blog 3-5 days per week, when before, I barely posted once a week. A large part of it is that I no longer feel the weight of thinking about negative and cruel comments. I just share what I want, when I want, and separate myself from any kind of outside commentary that’s going on. My new motto is: if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist to me.
Lastly, Emily says in her post “So here is a good method: If you have a criticism of us you feel compelled to write then pretend that an 8 year old, someone who is just learning how people should behave in the world, will read your comment out loud in front of you. If that makes you uncomfortable then perhaps rephrase it. I think this is probably a great way to go about life, actually.”
I have always wondered how anonymous commenters would feel if they had to read their comments, aloud, in front of their family, friends, co-workers, congregations, etc. Would they feel proud? Stand by what they said? Feel that the comments are representative of who they are as a person? Feel that the comments set a good example? Would they want their own children to speak about their peers that way?
I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to like me, or any other blogger – that’s totally unrealistic and impossible. The beauty of our world is that there are over 7 billion people, and among those, people will find wonderful friends, partners, etc. I simply ask that you think about the human being you’re talking about, and try to find it within yourself to not always see the absolute worst in them. And, if you still do, refrain from saying things to that person that you wouldn’t say to their face, or in front of a group of your peers and family. Refrain from making assumptions, spreading lies and insulting someone and/or their children.
This post ended up being far longer than I intended, but the bottom line is that our words matter, whether they’re typed under the cloak of anonymity or using our real name. How we treat and react to one another is important. As a society, we are more active than ever in the online world and on social media. We have more reach than ever before and have the ability to share our thoughts and opinions with (potentially) millions of people online, from all parts of the world. What kind of digital footprint and impact do you want to have? How can we ensure that we contribute to conversations more respectfully online, even when we are in disagreement? How can we engage ourselves in online activities that foster togetherness and community instead of hate?
I’m eager to hear your thoughts and opinions on this topic. As always, comments that are hateful or mean will be deleted/the IP will be blocked. This is a place for a respectful dialogue. Criticisms and disagreements can be stated in a way that doesn’t involve tearing the other person down or insulting their humanity.
I can’t quite end this post without taking a moment to acknowledge that the vast majority of you are kind, uplifting, supportive and all-around incredible women. I have enjoyed chatting with many of you over the years in my blog comments, via DM on Instagram, etc. You come to this blog because you like something about me/my content and I’m incredibly thankful for your support. I love this community so much and I am so grateful to have this blog. As with all things in life, there are challenges and I appreciate that you took the time today to read this post, even though it’s not an easy or happy topic to write about.
I know the site you’re referring to, and I completely agree. It’s awful that someone has made a full-time job out of hosting a space to mock and harass others. If everyone ignored it, it would disappear. Wishing you the best!
I know the site she is referring to as well. When I first heard about it, I checked it out. It is honestly disturbing that people go there to post. It is pathetic to me that people spend their time there. They just seem like a bunch of jealous, sad individuals. Veronika is right though, it says everything about them and nothing about the bloggers they criticize. What happy person would have the time or inclination to go there?
Thank you Cheryl! The other issue is that the site doesn’t moderate comments according to their comment policy. People can say whatever they want so there is no incentive to not post the most brutal things possible. I’ll never understand it.
Not only did someone create the site, but that person also places very little value on people actually following the commenting policy, and it’s why that site has gotten so out of hand and brutal over the years. I even contacted the site owner in the past to beg her to remove comments about my children and she did not respond, nor did she remove them. It’s truly alarming that there is absolutely zero control or accountabilty there.
I’ve been following you for years, before you were even pregnant with Harper! You even inspired me to write my own blog! I think what keeps me always coming back is how real you are and open with sharing about different aspects in your life. Your followers love you & always have your back!
So well said! It baffles me when I read mean comments online, why would you ever say that to or about a person? We should all follow Flower’s philosophy: if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. One of the reasons I’ve followed your blog for so many years is because you actually write about real, interesting things and share things about your life. I’m glad you didn’t let hateful people ruin blogging for you so the rest of us normal people could still enjoy your blog!
Penny Morris says
I just started following so many of you ladies recently on Insta. I’m fifty and my children have started their careers . I totally enjoy watching all of the new stories of the families the beautiful clothes and the way different home decorating . I admire all of you for sharing your lives with us and am totally ashamed at what people would comment just out of pure jealousy. Please continue and thank you all for sharing:) It’s strange but it calms me to watch all of your sweet families bloom ?
YES!!!! Word matter and there are a lot of people out there who are mean and will put you down. I’ve learned that too in the blogging world for sure. Keep your tribe close girl! You’re awesome and thanks for being so honest about it all. I suffered as well and wrote a post about it- it was picked apart a lot but I stood my ground. xo
I’m not usually the type who posts comments, but I wanted to let you know that there are probably many more readers like me who don’t necessarily post anything but who are in your corner. When I saw your post I must admit I was surprised and out of curiosity I looked up the forum that I suppose you are referring to. I couldn’t believe how pathetic the commenters are on there! I feel for you, because what these people are doing is awful. They seem to be utterly fixated on such trivial things, and it’s sad that this is how they choose to spend their time and energy. On the bright side, there is absolutely nothing of substance in there, so please don’t doubt yourself or your blog! When reading the comments an image popped into my head; I couldn’t help visualizing the commenters as those pathetic, ugly little creatures that hang around Maleficent in the original Sleeping Beauty film. I find the analogy works really well!
Thank you for your comment. I think sometimes the hardest part of all of this is that many of the women commenting about me/my life for hundreds of pages are mothers themselves. Just normal, everyday women, who are struggling in some way. It’s hard for me to imagine choosing to spend my time trying to find more ways to dislike someone, and then writing about it online. The lies are hurtful and exhausting and forever on the internet, and that is incredibly disheartening to me. I appreciate your support!
Great post Veronika, well said! I enjoy reading your blog (for 5 years now). I think you’re brave to share the your life story and passions, I admire that. Keep up the great work! No need to ever apologize, keep doing what you love.
Truly – Your Fashion Spirit Twin,
Rachel @ Better LIVIN says
I know what you mean about being less transparent/funny. I definitely find I filter my voice on my blog for fear of retaliation. And I can’t understand it, because if I read something online I don’t agree with or I don’t like someone’s space, I just don’t read it- it’s that simple.
Thanks for speaking out about this topic!
Ashley Allshouse says
Hey lady! I want to start this comment off by saying that I am coming here completely and totally with an open mind and I really enjoyed your post. That being said – I got to your post today via GOMI. I frequent the site and appreciate your perspective on the forum.
I do not agree with every commentor or the extremely negative nature a lot of the posts do go down. I routinely defend my favorite bloggers and shed light on mom issues being a mom myself.
The main reason I sought out a forum like GOMI was to really understand the financial side of instagram bloggers. I was getting frustrated by bloggers posting links to items that were nothing like what they were wearing. Obviously some articles of clothing are no longer available or sold out which was good to know … but what I really learned was that bloggers were monetizing EVERYTHING. Correct me if I’m wrong – but if I like a photo, click the link and then go to Nordstrom.com – my computer now has cookies tracking my every move. Whether I decide to buy the top the blogger wore or not – my entire purchase becomes a commission for that blogger. No? That is a lot of credit to give one person that put a cookie on my computer and received credit from shopping I was going to do anyway. My MAIN issue is the lack of transparency in this process and the financial gain bloggers receive not being clearly articulated. In addition to this – are the free products and product reviews that are not disclosed to be ads.
Not all bloggers do this but a MAJORITY of the large bloggers I followed for a long time do. When someone is dishonest about how they are making money off of me – it’s very difficult to trust and respect that person. When a blogger goes on to make contradictory statements online over and over about clothing, their life, EVERYTHING – what is the follower to do? That is how GOMI started. I don’t agree with the hate and no one should ever be made to feel less than but a large majority of the threads I follow are simply trying to keep the bloggers in check for their deceptive and illegal practices in regards to the financial side of blogging….
I applaud you for standing up to the true hate – I’ve read your forum and don’t understand the spite. But please understand that the industry as a whole as a fiduciary responsibility to the consumer to be transparent in the process.
I don’t know what GOMI is but in regards to the transparency monitizing issue. I have to agree, it causing a lot of distrust. I know it’s because there’s a lot of money being made or commission and that’s they way social media is going but can people be honestly wearing all of these items? And the dressing rooms one are the absolute worst.
I started following your blog towards the end of med school and through my residency to get ideas on how to dress office professional. That was fun, after years of scrubs it was refreshing to get to wear fun clothes, at least for the walk into work. I guess I’m just happy with my few dozen pieces That make up my wardrobe because all of blogging is drowning in affiliate link shopping spreads and it just isn’t fun. It isn’t inspiring anymore. I wonder if it’s an American thing, but where I come from women just don’t own so many of the same things. They style the same things differently. My grandmother is really good at this. She buys things that fit great and are of the same color palette (that complements her olive coloring) so everything can wear with everything else. I’ve seen some Nordstrom t-shirt on a dozen of bloggers, raving about it. Like it was a special initiative project but everyone is literally just wearing a t-shirt.
Thanks for the post, I’m sorry your getting negative comments. I’ve read blogggers talking about it must I must miss all of that unessary drama.
Hi Luxie! Thanks for being a longtime follower.
Bloggers definitely wear and own and disproportionate or “unattainable” amount of clothing and accessories (and makeup and products in general). But that is their full time job – styling outfits, sharing favorite style picks and recommendations, testing beauty products, etc. It helps put into perspective why they own and feature much more than the average woman owns, when you think about it being their full time job.
Think of someone who works as a beauty editor at Glamour magazine. They literally have entire rooms in their office called “beauty closets” where they store products sent by various beauty and cosmetic companies that they plan to share in upcoming issues, have to photograph, etc.
I often watch beauty bloggers on YouTube and marvel at their vast makeup collections – but if they do makeup tutorials for a living, then of course they’re going to own 99% more makeup than the average woman. In order to create content that can appeal to various viewers, it’s their job to create looks featuring different brands and products so that consumers can decide what may work for them.
I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I brought this topic up to a group of girlfriends last night and it was really interesting to hear what everyone thought. Someone pointed out that every time we have a formal event I wear the same dress and she admired me for it. And this is the short story of my dress. I bought the dress four years ago while on holiday with my cousin. She wanted to go in the shope for a quick peak, and there was the dress, just hanging there waiting. It was the perfect colors and the perfect fit. I don’t think we stopped giggling the whole time we were in the store. I happily paid a small fortune for it and then another to have it shipped to America. A few times a year I get to wear the dress, and I can still hear us giggling when I put it on. It just shows that people have different priorities and interests. And that completely fine. I just worry that there’s a modern day “keeping up with the Jones feel” with this online shopping trend. It’s just a few clicks on the computer and whatever it is shows up at your door. Sure online shopping is easy and convenient but it seems so empty and sad. Is another purse going to make you happy? probably not.
This is what I absolutely cannot stand about blogs now. I think it’s naive to say that it’s an honest way to make money off of people when you post the exact same items overwhelmingly from the same store. Is anyone really shopping at Nordstrom because of a tee you posted? Absolutely not.
For instance, I am a loyal Nordstrom customer and shop the anniversary sale every year. This year I spent over $5k on clothes for the entire family and Christmas gifts. Two weeks ago during the sale I clicked on one of your affiliate links to see if they were the same AG jeans as usual. So how much money did you make from my anniversary sale purchases that included literally not one item you posted about? Does that feel like honest money to you? I don’t mean this to be hateful or mean, but in my opinion it feels like freeloading and an inflated view of the “service” bloggers offer.
I do think people shop for items at certain stores when I post about them — in fact, I know they do, because of my daily analytics. If I post a shirt on Monday and on Tuesday morning my analytics show that I sold 40 of those shirts – that is not a coincidence. I drove those sales by posting my content.
I am not sure if I made any money from your anniversary sale purchases because the cookies disappear if you click on a link from any other blog or any other website using affiliate links. If you click on a link of mine two weeks ago, but in that time you read several other blogs and click their links, it eliminates mine.
It does feel honest to me because I’m creating content that people can choose to consume, or not. It’s a choice to read my content and click my links – I have a disclaimer on my site that I use affiliate links.
I feel like your response and perspective is one that is solely to justify your making money with minimal effort. I get it that people will by a $20 tee that you post. What I’m not buying is your previous justification for receiving commission from sales from stores that do not include the item you feature. I think it’s just blind justification that you repeat regardless of the criticism.
I’m so sorry you receive comments that hurt your feelings, but some of the ill feelings (not hateful, mean commentary) towards some bloggers is understandable given the exploitation of casual viewers.
I do t mean to come across so aggressive and trigger such a defensive response. I truly do not. I’m simply trying to articulate why some are so frustrated with blogs like this one.
With respect, I do not believe that your blog or others are even tangential to Vogue or the like. Editorial magazines that offer styling options, insight around upcoming trends, and journalistic content is much different. I hope that is not an offensive observation or opinion to you.
Again, I don’t mean this to be hateful, but no I don’t believe you are entitled to a percentage of my purchase when you neither led me to shop at Nordstrom nor to purchase your featured t-shirts.
I do not work in blogging; I am an engineer. However there are numerous top bloggers that are quite open about how much time they spend in relation to their commissions. I think you’ve even recently described your blog as a side/part time job but primarily a hobby. Which is completely fine, and I can understand that. But on one hand you say you can’t post the things your readers ask for because you’re a working mom, but you post daily , albeit often repeated, posts with links. The objective of your blog seems pretty clear to many. I not sure my comment that you want maximum financial gain for minimal effort is that offensive. Isn’t income efficiency a good thing? It’s just the refusal to acknowledge some of the ethical, perceived or real, gray area of blogger commissions.
I truly don’t want to get into this defensive back and forth. I was simply trying to point out where some frustration comes from.
And to answer my initial question, you received ~$250 from my Nordstrom sale purchases even though you did not lead me to the sale or to any of my items. I am a casual reader that browses several blogs during my morning coffee for entertainment primarily.
Have a great day!
Sarah- you did not at all offend me, and I’ve enjoyed hearing your perspective, even if we are on a totally different topic right now than what this post is about, I’m glad it’s generated a thoguhtful discussion.
I am able to post daily only because outfit posts do require less time (the writing part — the photos and linking are actually quite time consuming). From what I’m reading it does appear that there is a perception that bloggers do not deserve the amount of income they make for the amount of time that is put in (even if they do it full time, at 40 hours a week or more), because some people feel their income falls into a gray area of ethics, which I don’t agree with personally if the proper disclosures are in place, but of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion on the matter.
If all bloggers had disclaimers at the bottom of every post that they use affilite links which leave cookies in yoru browser, would this suffice? What do you see as the ideal level of making consumers aware?
Do you think the men or women who work for a magazine (like Glamour for example) and run their website/create the content for it don’t deserve to be paid for the jobs they do? Did you know that websites like buzzfeed, glamour, jezebel, etc, all use affiliate links (and often don’t disclose it)?
Do you feel that my blog and other blogs require “minimal effort?” Do you feel the work I do is not worthy of compensation? (PS- totally OK if you do, I just feel very differently because I know how much work it takes).
I do agree with your overall thought: bloggers need to be transparent. I always have an FTC disclosure when a post is sponsored and I always disclose if an item was gifted to me. I think some bloggers don’t do a great job at this and it’s something we can all get better at. It’s unfortunate that some bloggers are not being honest and that it creates a perception that the entire industry is like that. But even with that said, the hateful comments are always about personal things and not about the use of affiliate links or revenue made on their blogs. They’re about a person’s appearance, weight, personality, relationship, job, marriage, finances, etc. Things that have nothing to do with the issue you describe (and to be clear- your concerns about transparency are 100% valid).
Let’s talk affiliate links. Affiliate links are my highest source of income. The way I view it is that I am providing a service by creating original content that drives a consumer to visit a site and purchase what they like (whether it’s something I link or not). Would that consumer have visited the site anyway, if they had not visited my blog? Maybe, or maybe not. If a make a commission from a sale, it does not affect the consumer in any way. You don’t have to pay more for the item. Let’s say you’re at a store and a sales associate working on commission is helping you by setting some items into a fitting room or getting you another size. And you decide not to purchase anything, but then look around the store some more and buy some jeans and a hat. That person still helped you and provided a service for you, so they would be the person to get that commission.
Honestly, I think it comes down to people being a little bit taken aback by how much money bloggers make “just for shooting outfit photos.” I think some people are angry that bloggers make a lot of money for what is perceived as very little or very simple work. But look at it this way—a blogger is creating original content constantly. They are basically running their own online magazine and they are the writer, editor, social media manager, photographer, photo editor, graphic designer, business manager (managing contracts and brand collaborations) and the list goes on. The time and effort it takes to run a blog is more than meets the eye and more than taking outfit photos. Though I don’t do it full time, I can 100% see how bloggers who do it full time basically run their own online magazine. A lot of people think bloggers don’t “deserve” to make as much money as they are – but why? If they’re being honest, disclosing when a post is sponsored and that they use affiliate links, I applaud them for turning their passion into a profitable venture.
I think it’s amazing that so many women have been able to turn their blogs into high-revenue generating businesses. Back in the day, the only inspiration people had were magazines, and digital content creators saw an opportunity for more real, relatable and personal content (or at least that’s how I see it). I value the community I’ve built and the relationships that have resulted from it.
I’m glad you’re standing up against “true hate” as you call it. The things people have said about me, my husband, my children, my job, our finances and the list goes on and on are not only lies, but they are so mean-spirited and hurtful, that I don’t know how people feel good about themselves after writing it. Trash my outfits all you want. Tell me you dislike my hair style. But don’t bring my life and family into it.
I don’t have a general problem with this as long as bloggers are being upfront about this. I do have to admit that I don’t read your blog as much as I used to. Hopefully you understand this isn’t being mean but i do wish you had less posts with various affiliate links. I wish there were more posts about lifestyle and parenting, but it seems like every post is the same . Very similar shirts and pants in the same background with affiliate links . It’s fine if you want to make money that way but I just miss the old blog content that had a better mix of both. Good luck to you.
Natalie- thanks for your respectful feedback! I did a reader survey in January and people wanted more outfits, so I’ve been focusing on that but still try to share various lifestyle content. To be honest, with working full time and running my blog part time, outfit posts are not only something I love to do (and my blog was mostly outfits when it first started) but they’re a little less time consuming than lifestyle/personal content. My goal is to have a good blanance of content, with the primary focus being on style.
Can you give me some insight into what bothers you about affiliate links? Does it bother you that I’m making money from sharing clothes I like? My goal is to share items I love with my readers, comment on sizing, quality, etc, to help with shopping decisions. Many women and mothers don’t have time to shop or go to the store, and I like to think blogs make it easier to decide what items are worth purchasing and seeing them on different bodies versus just the models in retailer photos.
No the affiliate links don’t bother me in general. It was about how frequent they are lately. I understand your blog is YOUR creative space so if you prefer it go that way , that’s fine, too. Some of my other favorite bloggers have gone more that direction too. Best of luck! Thanks for responding so quickly.
Thanks Natalie 🙂 When I post an outfit, I always use affiliate links, because that income is something that benefits my family simply from doing something I love and would do regardless (I have been blogging for almost 8 years and didn’t really start using affilite links on a regular basis until I was about 4-5 years into blogging – so for those many years, I was hardly making a cent and still creating style content).
Can I share what has recently started bothering me? It’s the point that Sarah above mentioned. If you pointed me in the direction of a tshirt and got me to click your link, I think you should make commission on that tshirt. But if there are other items in my cart that had nothing to do with your post, or if they came from ANOTHER blogger’s post/styling inspiration – why should you get that commission (just because yours was the last blog link I clicked on)?
I’ve been reading blogs for a while now, and I’ve read all the affiliate link disclaimers, but honestly, I NEVER realized that’s how it worked! Bloggers are very rarely REALLY FULLY transparent about it.
But I don’t hate anyone for it or speak ill of anyone because of it. I KNOW now though, and I think I’ll probably be more conscious of going back to the blog that provided the inspiration before making a purchase (so that they can make the money off of my purchase).
To be really honest, I’ve been following your blog since before you even had Harper. Back then, you would find things at the mall and post about them…from various retailers – Ambercrombie, Jcrew, little boutiques that didn’t even have an online presence, etc. I used to like your style back then….it seemed more authentic and your outfits seemed more “you”…and I liked that and was inspired by you. Now, it feels like a lot of your outfits feature Nordstrom items and some items just don’t even feel right on you. They seem inauthentic and I have to be honest and tell you that I’m very rarely inspired by your outfits anymore. I still think you’re beautiful, and your kids are adorable….I love bits and pieces of your home posts, but your outfit posts just fall flat somehow. Once in awhile I’ll click a link just to see what the price is on something, or because I’m curious as to where the item came from…and sometimes it’s just an involuntary reaction…I’m so used to clicking these days that even if I’m not REALLY interested in buying an item, I’ll just click as part of my reading process. I know it’s probably difficult to really find the time to curate and style fashion pieces like you used to. It’s probably easier for you to just work with the standard “blogger” pieces that everyone is featuring from Nordstroms and put them into a basic outfit. But one day, I hope you’ll go back to being a little more authentic and inventive. I used to love that side of your blog!
First of all, thank you for stating your thoughts in a respectful manner. As I mentioned before, I, as a blogger, do not have any control into how the affiliate linking process works. That is up to the retailer and totally out of my hands. If you’re shopping in a store and a sales associate helps you and you purchase the item they helped with, but in addition to that you find a few tops on your own while browsing before leaving the store, should that sales associate only get credit for the jeans? Or can she get credit for the other items too because she was the first “touch point” of your experience there and did provide a service to you?
As my life has evolved, so has my style, shopping habits, etc. Before I had kids, I would honestly go to the mall every weekend for several hours. I loved it and found it fun and relaxing. Now? I hate going to the mall. I hate how much time it takes and I hate looking through all the racks. It feels overwhelming and I’d rather spend time with my family. I realize some of my longtime readers loved my previous style and that’s great! Some have evolved with me to dress a little more like I do now and others prefer the old way of dressing – both of those things are OK. I’m thankful to have still been able to see tremendous growth in my blog even though I changed my style a bit.
Thank you again for your feedback!
I have been following you since the beginning (literally… I think I stumbled upon your blog after your third or fourth post) and I have always loved how honest and real you are. I will never understand the mean comments people leave online – if you don’t like someone/something that they do, just close out of the page. Thanks for posting about this! I think it’s so important.
I am speaking only for myself… trust me I am a chubby short girl, so fit is not why I come to your blog. I feel like in the past before you had kids (and I know how busy you are, I only have 1,hats off to moms of multiples), you would show us clothes you actually wore. You would snap your clothes on your way out the door or when you came home from work. If you were lying or not, I believed you were wearing those clothes and I LOVED your color combos! That is what brought me to your blog. I know I would never look like you, but the outfit inspiration was realistic and I would honestly look at your blog or pinterest for ideas when I really felt like I was in a slump.
I don’t believe for a minute you wear those low cut t-shirts to work, distressed jeans and some of your shoes. I really feel like you are lying to me (us?), that is where the dishonesty comes from. Like someone mentioned upthread there is no reason to have so many of the same exact things and if you do, like your pencil skirts, show us some NEW ways to wear them, get us excited. All of your pictures look the same. I do not have a problem how you make your money, but when I see your blog now I really do think you are only doing it for the money and the clicks. It seems disingenuous and money hungry and greedy. So affiliate link away, but make me not care that you have links because you are so original and fun to read and have creative content.
Maybe I need to start shooting mirror selfies before I leave for work for the day, because I assure you I do wear the tops I feature to work (if they are appropriate, obviously not the off-the-shoulder or low cut tops that I save for weekends). Mornings are hectic, but I can try.
I do not wear distressed jeans to work, but I wear them on weekends. I wear ALL of my shoes to work that I wear on my blog. Feel free to ask my co-workers. I used to basically wear nude heels most days, but it’s HOT in Texas and yes, my feet sweat, so I love wearing my sandals to work now with my skinny pants or sometimes a dress or skirt. Today I’m wearing leopard print faux calfhair pointed toe heels, olive green skinny chino pants from three years ago (j.crew) and an old blue and white striped dress shirt (also j.crew) tucked in, from a couple of years ago. I actually wore it a lot when I was pregnant too – it’s the best!
Will we see that outfit? Probably not because (my guess is) there is no affiliate link for those 3-year-old pants.
V – I think you are missing an opportunity to appeal to a lot of readers by restyling what you already own and actually wear…Like the outfit described above. The majority of your readers cannot afford to shop at the rate you present new clothes; we wear what we have and mix and match to create new outfits.
And here I’ll echo many other sentiments: based on your posts and affiliate links now, it’s obvious to your longtime readers that you’re in this for the money, not really the joy of blogging or sharing inspiration to your readers. That’s fine, but own it. Don’t pretend like you’re actually wearing everything you show us more than the one time it’s photographed for your blog. I have been curious for months of you actually keep all that you show us. If so, you must have so many blue / white / grey tops and off-the-shoulder tops to make it through this trend + until it’s a trend again in 20 years! 🙂
Of course I’m happy that I can do something I enjoy and also make money doing it. The money is a perk, yes, but remember I did this for years before ever making a cent.
Based on the feedback I’m getting from a lot of my readers (not here, but on Instagram), they like shopping from my blog. They say it makes it easier for them to shop and they don’t mind affiliate links because they value what bloggers do. Having said that, I realize not everyone feels this way. That’s OK. They can choose not to shop from my blog or any other blog.
I do have a lot of white, blue and grey tops. I love them 🙂 Wearing lots of different clothing is part of my job. I’m showing my readers styles I like and commenting on fit, quality, etc. My blog is about helping people find things they love. It’s part of our job to share the new styles, trends, beauty products etc, so of course we will have more of these things than the average person. That’s just part of the job.
Michelle V says
Veronika I have seen the hate directed at you and other bloggers and it makes me angry and sad for you. I love your blog and IG stories. I’m so glad you have stepped away from the negativity and it has made a positive impact on your life. Keeping being you because you have a ton of supportive followers!
Longtime blog follower (since before Harper) and now on Instagram. I will never understand why someone takes the time to leave a hateful comment, just move on or stop following! Enjoy reading your posts and following your family. You are doing a wonderful job raising your children. I have always told my own children (who are now young adults) the best compliment is to hear my children are kind and empathetic towards others. Keep on posting what you want- from a follower old enough to be your mom!
Thank you 🙂 I am trying to teach my children the same thing. We have regular conversations about kindness. I often ask my daughter “what is something kind that you did today?”
I have to agree with the majority. Though I think it is absolutely vile to spew hate about someone’s looks, family, etc., I think the affiliating linking has gotten so far out of control. I don’t even really know how to describe it. Say I view an outfit post and click on the link for your shoes. They are cute, but I am not willing to buy. Those cookies are saved on my computer, so when I do go buy a tee shirt on sale the next day, you receive a commission. To me, that makes me feel absolutely USED. It doesn’t have to be a matter of costing me anything to use your links and have them stored, it is just the basic principle. And I have got to say, the whole cookie saving issue is totally not disclosed. I have yet to read ANY blog that outright references this unless prompted by a reader comment. So maybe it just seems like there may be even more disengenuous things going on behind the scenes? I guess I just miss the old days of lifestyle blogs, before links links links, loop giveaways, dressing room try on pics (the absolute worst cause I know bloggers don’t buy everything they link up $$$), and apparently I am not in the minority here.
Hi Lynne! Thanks for your rspectful feedback. In reading these comments about cookies, I’m trying to have an open mind and understand where consumers are coming from. I would never want someone to feel used due to clicking a link and me making a comission from it.
This post was focused on the topic of bloggers and truly hateful comments, which you addressed and I appreciate that, but it seems that most of the comments are geared towards transparency in how bloggers make money. It’s interesting to me that most people would never ask professionals in other industries about their salaries and how they make money (especially in jobs that are comission based).
I am going to add something about cookies in my affiliate link usage disclaimer. Thanks for the idea.
In regards to fitting room photos — I don’t do those a ton, but when I do, I’m simply sharing items I like and commenting on style, fit, quality, etc. I have gotten feedback that this helps people shop and make decisions on what they want to purchase.
And I just have to add- is there something about Nordstrom?? Maybe this is more of the “behind the scenes” stuff going on that readers wonder about (I do!!!), but 95% of the bloggers that I read always always link to that store!! And no, unfortunately it is not just during anniversary sale season… I mean feel free to keep it to yourself if you don’t want to share what their perks are, but dang if I hardly see someone link to old navy (you state below you wear their work pants) or other affordable stores!
Lynne- I love shopping there because they have really cute clothes that fit where I’m at in life and free shipping and returns (I do most of my shopping online so this is important to me). They do offer a good comission rate, but so do many other retailers (in fact, many offer more).
My readers like to shop there too, so it just makes sense. I still shop at other stores, but Nordstrom carries such a huge selection of brands and affordable tops, that it’s my favorite.
I have to agree with some of the other comments on this post. I don’t condone the comments people make about your family, career, finances, etc. but I do struggle with some of the content you create.
I’ve followed your blog from the very beginning (hello Knot days). I totally understand that since the start of your blog, you’ve become a mother and moved up in your career, so time isn’t what it used to be. But, it is a turn-off when you post photos wearing the same AG jeans over and over again, only changing out the top. It comes across as lazy and hungry for commission. I understand that more goes into blogging than just pictures, but when post after post is showcasing the same jeans over and over again, it leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. And then knowing that you’re making money off of that is frustrating.
I worked in a commission based environment for 8 years and understand everything that goes into it. I think people should get paid for the work they’ve done. So it’s frustrating for me knowing that there’s people out there who put time and effort into their work and aren’t being compensated, while you’re posting photos in the same jeans over and over again and making money off of items you didn’t always direct me to purchase. For what? Directing me to Nordstrom.com when you purchased those jeans on Shopbop?
It’s the perception that I think I and other fans of yours struggle with. It comes across as dishonest when that’s probably not your intention. You used to come up with great content: stylish clothing you can wear in a professional setting. And I personally think it would be nice if you returned to that. Even iPhone snaps would be great because I know it can be difficult to shoot every day.
I appreciate your perspective! I think sometimes though, bloggers can’t win. If I constantly showed new pairs of jeans, people would say “why does she own so many pairs of jeans when she can’t even wear them five days of the week because she’s at work?” Or people could think “I thought she said she loved those jeans the best, why is she posting all of these new ones all the time? She just wants money.” No matter what I do or share, I sometimes can’t win.
I own six pairs of work pants – 3 from Banana Republic, 2 from Old Navy and one J.Crew pair that I wear rarely. Literally wear them on repeat every single day of my work week. Sometimes I wear the same pair 3 days in a row. Would it bother people that I’m always wearing the same work pants that fit me, are comfortable and flattering and then liking to those? I like to think that bottoms (jeans, pants and shorts) are something we own less of and then we mix those items with tons of different tops and accessories. I’m sharing the same jeans all of the time because I love them. I own 4 pairs of jeans, total. 3 AG and one new pair from the Nordstrom sale. I link to them constantly because they’re all I own.
I’m going to try to be better about sharing my daily work outfits on Instastories, but I wear the same pants and a lot of the same tops over and over, which is more relatable, I think.
I don’t think the issue is affiliate links per se. Your blog used to feature clothes that you actually wore to work. I know you decided to broaden your appeal by featuring more casual clothes, but that space is super saturated. It’s not fresh content if everyone is shilling the same thing. And it’s hard to believe you’re actually wearing all of those things and not returning them after you take pics because you’re always dressed super casually at home, and we know your work environment is more formal. All I see you wear are the AG jeans and Nike sweats. That’s the transparency issue a lot of readers are having issues with. Bloggers want me to spend my hard earned money when they didn’t. Yes, there are meanies on GOMI, but a lot of the comments are constructive, e.g. you look really pretty with your hair up and bold lips, or you look great when wearing more color, etc. That’s not bullying. When people are sending you makeup for free it’s not providing anyone a service to use it in an imperceptible way. And to the FT bloggers acting as magazine editors, stylists, photographers, etc, if it’s really taking you 40+ hours a week, know that except for the elite few, you’re being severely underpaid. I’ve read your blog for a long time and I always thought you seemed sweet and genuine, just my two cents.
Thank you for your comment 🙂 I’ll start off by saying it’s a huge stretch to say that “a lot” of the comments are constructive. It’s more like 5%, and truthfully, it’s hard to even respect those when the same person saying something “constructive,” is 10 pages later in the thread calling you vapid and saying your child is overweight.
I used to dress a lot more formally at work, but to be honest, most people in our office don’t. Most days I wear skinny pants and a cute top with a cardigan (and yes, many of the tops I share on my blog like the peplum tees and tanks, etc, are tops I wear to work). There are of course, some items that I can’t wear to work, but many of the ones I order are pretty versatile. If I have an important meeting, I dress up a little more. I won’t deny that I’m a big fan of sweatpants at home though, haha 🙂 also, leggings.
Regarding bloggers being underpaid for their work, I think you would be surprised by the income even mid-level bloggers are able to generate. A lot of them end up quitting their “day jobs” because they’re making more investing in their blogs.
I appreciate you being open with me and sharing your thoughts.
Comments about peoples looks, family, etc are unkind, but I agree that the majority of the issue is that blogs are a business. No one (hopefully!) would post this stuff on a person’s private facebook page as a private citizen, but a blog makes money off its readers. Other businesses are open to this criticism– think yelp. So if it’s comments on a moneymaking blog, to me that is different. If someone is selling you something, I think it’s valid to critique if it’s actually flattering, whether the product works, etc.
Jill- I am 100% fine with people critiquing my outfits in a respectful way (if they don’t like my shoes or whatever it may be) it’s the hateful and cruel comments that have become rampant that I have an issue with. Just because my blog is a business, it doesn’t mean that someone has “the right” to make up lies about me and talk about things that have nothing to do with my blog. Nor do any bloggers deserve to have people be cruel simply because they generate revenue.
And yes, other businesses are open to critiques on yelp or elsewhere, but do you think that Mike who ordered a pizza at Dominoes and had a bad customer service experience is looking up who the owner is and then posting lies about that person online or saying that their child is ugly? Most of the time, they’re just posting in relation to their actual customer service experience.
This post is about examining one’s own online behavior and how we can learn to recognize the humanity in those around us and treat them with respect. Someone doesn’t have to like me or my content, totally fine. It’s when someone takes it to the next level and acts brutally towards that person online where it becomes a problem, and one that I don’t want to be silent about. How will things change if everyone accepts that “this is just a part of being a blogger.”
Brooke W. says
OMG–this is all so out of control! I think it’s so ridiculous for any blogger to even acknowledge GOMI! Why would you ever! Your readers that don’t leave hateful comments are OF COURSE going to agree with you! Then you can get all the reassuring and agreeable comments that you are craving. Who would ever, ever comment to you that saying hateful things about someone is fine. No one from GOMI is going to post here. You’ve now opened this exhaustive forum of comments about links. A high percentage of readers are highly annoyed by bloggers who have excessive links. This is apparent from many of your comments. Just realize that and appreciate the readers who purchase from you. You are way over justifying your “job.” If you have a highly public blog, it comes with the territory. Go back to never reading the comments. Your post is way over stating the obvious and you are preaching to the wrong audience. Don’t you think this just feeds those trolls?
I don’t care if it feeds them. Maybe they need some nourishment 😉
I’m actually getting more feedback that people don’t care about affiliate links, but they’re messaging me on IG, not posting here. I do very much appreciate the people who enjoy my content and find things they love for their own closets.
Just curious — why did you put job in quotations? I pay quarterly taxes, I submit W9s, I work the hours.
Sadly I think that hateful, destructive comments are more the ‘norm’ these days on the internet. Its scary how easy it is to hide behind your screen and say things that are just so awful about other people. Also, I think its very unusual that people take time out of their day to go to a website (or websites) dedicated to making (usually negative) comments about other people and their blogs. Ive always felt – if you don’t like it, you don’t have to look. I don’t read gomi and I wouldn’t want my girls (age 3 &6) thinking that visiting a website like that is okay. I don’t disagree that bloggers should make money off of their content – I’m very okay with this. I enjoy seeing outfits on people – I think the only thing Id like more of is how items perform (with washing, wearing, etc). Sometimes I feel that some posts bloggers post are just ‘money grabs’ (for lack of a better term) but I choose to not really care about that. If I read a blog its because on some level I’ve connected with that blog/blogger and I enjoy their content. They’re not always going to post things that I 100% love and agree with – its not a big deal. I think it really comes down to the choices people make – some choose to say unkind things on the internet about others (whose blogs they CHOOOSE to read) and others do not. I have never been much of a commenter but I do feel that the internet hating is out of control and a huge waste of energy. Veronika, I think its great you’re raising awareness about this topic since it is not okay. If nobody talks about it then it flies under the radar and I worry about how that can affect our children who will use the internet someday. Take care 🙂
Thank you so much for your comment Laura. I do worry about our kids growing up in a world where so much of what is online is angry, reactive and cruel.
I agree that it’s about choice — if someone doesn’t like it, they can find a blog they do like or voice their thoughts in a respectful way. How they would speak to another human, face-to-face.
Bethanie Garcia says
Love this post SO much, V! So much of it resonated for me.
Thank you friend <3
What I don’t understand about these negative people is why they are reading your blog and then going on a forum to be nasty and critise, if they don’t like your blog, don’t read,Simple!
You can’t do right from doing wrong sometimes as somebody has always got a bad opinion about something, as you said it says a lot more about them than you , the fact they are reading your blog and then taking the time to complain about it elsewhere, it shows what a sad life they lead if they have nothing better to do.
You have to remember that there are a lot more good people in the world than bad and a lot more people who enjoy your blog than that are on these forums, hence the reason that it’s still going strong after all these years. Content changes because life changes. You are such a strong women.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment! And yes- you’re absolutely right that there’s more good than bad and I’m so thankful for that.
No blogger will ever please everyone, that’s why I’ve had to separate myself so much from people’s opinions and not let those comments shape my content and my desire to simply write and share what I want to, in the way that I want to.
You’re so right- definitely more good than bad in this world, thankfully. I just want to generate a discussion of how we can be more respectful online. More human. More empathetic.
I enjoy your blog mostly (although I am completely exhausted by the Nordstrom sale, esp since it’s all sold out anyway) but reading through these comments I have to say:
-if I click a link and buy a top YOU featured, I 100% believe you should get credit for that, you are the one who made me interested!
-if I decide I’m not into that top or they don’t have my size (ahem anniversary sale) and I click on a top Nordstrom features in the “other items you might like” section, you should NOT get credit for that, you had nothing to do with it. Sure you could say you drove me to Nordstroms website, but that’s a bigggg stretch…. your readers are shoppers by nature, that’s why they like your content, and would be shopping Nordstrom anyway
You don’t have any control over how affiliate links work so I’m not really personally bothered by this, but I think that’s what is bugging people about bloggers and affiliate linkage.
Thanks for your comment and feedback about affiliate links. As you mentioned, bloggers don’t have any control of how affiliate links work, and there are plenty of times where a sale “should have” been mine but perhaps the person clicked another link on another blog and that blogger got the sale even if the person purchased the item I showcased. That’s OK- it all evens out.
That does make sense, thanks for that perspective!
As for the conversation diverting – I think it’s all related. People start getting frustrated, and many bloggers (not saying you) block or don’t respond to questions they don’t like (affiliate links, the free stuff being so frequent you can’t really believe what skincare someone actually uses anymore vs what they are featuring that day, etc) , so when people find these forums they think “great! Others who are frustrated like me about these small things and I won’t be ignored!”. Then… it spirals to other things in a group think manner. And I completely agree it’s outrageous some of the things you have mentioned being said about you and your family, I am so sorry for that.
I want to say I am sorry if you received disparaging comments about your looks/personality. That isn’t fair. I also think that Kristina Braly received a few constructive comments about things people did not enjoy in her vlog and then made not one but two disingenuous Facebook posts to receive praise and attention. She also recently took not one but two staged pictures on IG of her literally crying, put on filters and text over her crying face to elicit further attention. That is absolutely unhinged behavior and not a real example of online bullying. If anything it makes light if real bullying which we all know occurs. Thanks for hearing me out. I appreciate your post about this.
I don’t know the comments or posts you’re referencing so I will refrain from commenting on their content, but I also know how much criticism and brutal comments bloggers face, and so I have to think eventually someone hits their threshold and responds in a way that is unexpected. These hate forums are absolutely despicable and it’s incredibly alarming and sad.
I enjoy affiliated links because bloggers spend the time to search for, photograph, and review items I’m potentially in the market for. I’ve bought many items that bloggers post that I would have never thought to search for myself.
My shoe collection is awesome, thanks Veronika! 😉
Sorry this comment has nothing to do with what you posted.
I think that many people do not realize the time it takes to curate content and then create it. I sometimes spend hours each week combing through different sites to determine what I want to order or what I want to share that I know my readers will love. I’m glad you see the value and work behind it. My goal IS to make it easier to shop, especially for busy women and moms who prefer to shop online like I do.
I have enjoyed reading many blogs like yours for a long time but I agree with some previous posters that that it has started to feel like I am only reading paid for content. But more than that after reading through some of these comments I have to say I am deeply disturbed and really feel mislead about the issue with cookies. So many bloggers are now using what I can only call clickbait where you literally have to click a link to see what they are talking about. Lots of “see here, here, and here OR this, this, and this” labeling. One particular post recently (not here) discussed increasing your water intake and mentioned that to do so you “really need this” and there was no way to find out what “this” was without clicking it. THATS deceptive and the kind of deception I see ramping up in the blog world and it all makes sense now if your blog is leaving cookies on my computer. So say I click that link and then go about my business for the day, return later to make some amazon purchases for my family-the blogger deserves that credit?? If you talk about a sale and or top from a online retailer and I with full knowledge click that link knowing where and why I am going to get THEN yes you deserve the credit-even for other purchases that I also add to my cart. But if you have led me there deceptively or forced me to go to a site just to get more information thus purposely pushing a cookie then no thats not right and I’m sure thats what these companies like Rstyle probably push bloggers to do to “increase their revenue”. You mention this cookie stays one my computer until I go to another blog and that cookie replaces yours- does that mean after I go to your blog every site I go to to make purchases are commissions you also receive (i.e I look at the top you just bought on Nordstrom, decide its not for me, then go to mason to restock on household products)? So as many of the other posters have pointed out its issues like these that are turning people off. So how about a blog post to call out these practices? YOU are by no means a major offender in this area but its hard to read you so defensively defending this practice in the comments section without stopping for a minute to consider why some of these practices feel deceptive to your readers.
I also know I can’t be the only one who has noticed that many bloggers are getting rid of their “my favorite blogs/reads” bars and which was something I LOVED about reading blogs. If I like your blog then I want to know what you read too and find new gems to add to my already morning reads. Looking at how blogging has transformed into a business first model it now makes sense to me why bloggers don;t want to link to any other competition. that makes me sad.
If you want to be more transparent you should have admitted a few posts back that Nordstrom pays/rewards bloggers really well in comparison to most other sites and as one blogger put it it was her biggest money maker and she wasn’t giving up linking there despite some of her readers calling for the Nordstrom boycott a few months back.
This comment may seem out of place here because the kind of hate you are talking about has no place anywhere but I think its important to see why people are getting more and more frustrated especially with long time readers and then lash out behind their computer screens with inappropriate remarks.
Hi Rachel! Thanks for your respectful comment.
I am going to address your comments one by one so that there is clarity about affiliate linking.
If a blogger is spending the time to create original content, then a way that they can earn a living and be compensated for the time they invest into it is by using affiliate links. If a blogger has a disclosure on their site that they use these, it is up to the reader to choose to click on the links in their content. Or, you can clear your cookies before making a purchase.
I only receive commission from a link to the website you’re purchasing from. So if you click one of my links to old navy, and then you later buy something at target, I do not receive a commission for this.
I also continue to have a blog roll and support other bloggers. You can find my blog roll here: https://www.veronikasblushing.com/blogroll. I regularly promote other bloggers on Instagram stories and share their content on my own Facebook page. This can actually make me lose a sale, but I support my blogging friends regardless.
I had problems with ads on my site for several months that were re-directing my readers to spam sites when on mobile. I tried endlessly to plead with my ad network to address the problem and they wouldn’t – so I pulled the ads from my site because I care more about user experience and my readers not being frustrated than I do about the ad revenue. This post has been one with very high pageviews and due to the ads I pulled, I will not be compensated for that, but I don’t care because it was the right thing to do.
As I mentioned previously, many retailers pay similar commissions –some a little higher, some a little lower. I shop where I like to 🙂
I wish, that if people were frustrated about transparency in blogging, that they would ask bloggers directly to explain to them how things work, as I have throughout this post. Instead of going to hate forums that quickly escalate from discussing transparency to tearing someone apart and insulting every fiber of their being.
Thank you for your comment – I am definitely going to add a disclaimer to the front page of my site.
I appreciate that you saw the intent of my message rather than some of the awkward wording given that in some instances my use of the word “you” would have better been stated with “bloggers”. I hope that you understood that (i.e. I still read your blog because you still have a blogroll etc). I can see your frustration from feeling like you wanted to have one conversation (about online hate) and readers taking it to a place you were not expecting (affiliate links) but I think as someone else pointed out readers across many blogs are really wanting to have this discussion and see it addressed fully and honestly. Your reasons are legitimate but the process needs some exposure. With other jobs we don’t ask about how they are paid because when other business make money off of me I know and understand it (I pay a lawyer for a service; I pay a store for a shirt; etc.) so thats why people are not up in arms about other types of jobs/ businesses. You are extremely articulate in your comments here and make really good points so why not publish on this topic and allow readers to read your perspective and give them space to articulate their own frustrations. I’d love to see you take 2-3 of your actual past posts and explain what went into it and the actual analytics much like you stated above about showing a shirt and then selling 40 the next morning from your link–it demonstrates how your specific work created sales for a company. Seriously transparency is everything. And to make sure I am very clear I don’t I or any other bloggers here are staying you are a major offender at all- just commenting on what has become a trend across the platform.
It is irritating to see some commenters here say if you don’t like it just quit reading and stop reading blogs. Thats not helpful and doesn’t allow true discourse. I like your style and what you post and have no problem with you getting credit if you helped me find the perfect outfit so I am going to keep reading you blog and others that operate in a way that we both understand what is going on here.
I realized I forgot to address one part of your post- “I’d love to see you take 2-3 of your actual past posts and explain what went into it and the actual analytics much like you stated above about showing a shirt and then selling 40 the next morning from your link–it demonstrates how your specific work created sales for a company.”
I am not allowed to share my actual analytics with any third parties/individuals – it is against the terms of service of most affiliate link networks. I think the best thing I can do to be transparent is to explain affiliate linking and cookies, which I feel I’ve done here. After that, it’s up to the consumer on whether or not they want to see my content and click my links.
I have heard from so many of my readers on IG who are happy to purchase from my links, knowing I make a small comission from it, because they enjoy my content and it makes shopping easier/more enjoyable for them.
Yes! I didn’t realize what people meant by “click bait” – you described it perfectly! That’s exactly what I was talking about when I said sometimes I just click as part of my reading process! Hello – it’s presented in a way that I HAVE to click as part of my reading process! Thanks for describing it so well!
I have been following your blog for about 4 years now (and follow other blogs as well) but have never actually made the effort to leave a comment, until today when I feel highly compelled to do so. I’m so sorry about the all the hateful comments that are being made about you and your family. Nobody deserves to be treated that way but as you said, the anonymous nature of online interactions allows people to get very nasty. In reality, if you had to put two people together in a room and have them confront each other, it would not be that easy for them. Having difficult conversations (you had a post about this recently as well) is not an easy task. There is endless literature, self-help books and courses on how to have difficult conversations face to face. So clearly, people are not easily as nasty in person as they are secretly behind a keyboard.
In terms of your blog content, I find the reason I keep coming back is because I am able to relate to your style. I too only own 2 pairs of jeans which I wear ALL the time. Most of my casual clothes I wear on the weekend I am able to “dress up” for work either with a cardigan, blazer or different jewelry. We have very similar tastes (sometimes I’ll buy a top and see a post from you in a few days featuring the same top). You’ve helped with sizing, introduced me to my FAVOURITE pair of dress pants (the pixie from Old navy). I never knew they fit exactly like the BR Sloan pants. I now own close to 10 pairs and wish you had received commission from them. Another great tip I have learned from you is sizing up to get extra length in tops. Seems pretty obvious but honestly never occurred to me until I read it on your blog. You have saved me from dry cleaning my Sloan pants
As for people complaining about the affiliate links and commission received by bloggers – while I respect their opinions, would they prefer if they had to pay a subscription fee for each blog they followed instead of clicking on any blog link they desire and reading content for free? (Many newspapers only allow readers to read up to X number of articles for free before the content is no longer free). They feel it’s their right to visit your webpage (which you as a blogger pay for to host, manage, etc.) and get ideas/info from you (may not always like the ideas but still) and get irked because you make some extra income in return? So what if they bought a blue sweater instead of a blush purse you had originally posted? If they’re so concerned about giving credit to you, they can refresh their cookies on a nightly basis and definitely before shopping online. Heck, sign up for ebates and log into your account before every online purchase and earn cash back yourself for shopping online. I guarantee 99% of websites these days have affiliate links that are monetized.
Lastly, kudos for all the hard work you do for your blog. I had an etsy shop for a few years (sold headbands and hair clips for baby girls) so I can appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes. Preparing outfits for flat lays, taking high quality pictures in good lighting, editing the pictures then uploading on various social media platforms was exhausting enough!
I shall end my long post on that note…keep doing what you do best 🙂
I really enjoy reading your blog! As a fellow Houstonian I love to see the places you go and how you have decorated the home for your beautiful family! Nordstrom is also where I do the majority of my shopping so your links/outfits are super helpful! I am disgusted that people could be so cruel.
Regarding the numerous comments on affiliate links my perspective is that you are choosing to invest your time into this blog so if you get money from it that is amazing! In my eyes, you are providing a service much like a personal shopper so you should be rewarded for it. Even if you get a commission from an item that you did not direct the reader to, you also likely missed out on commissions from other readers who ordered later or via a different computer – it all balances out.
Additionally, if you purchase something from a store that offers its salespeople a commission (i.e Nordstrom) the salesperson is getting a commission regardless if they truly helped your or if you found the item on your own. I wouldn’t go to the salesperson and demand my commission back for items that he/she didn’t guide me to.
As long as the blogger discloses the links are affiliate, I feel like the commission structure is between the blogger and the store. The reader is not paying a fee, so frankly it shouldn’t matter to them.
I am not a blogger so I am not biased about this. Not looking to debate anyone just sharing my view!
Thank you Jen- I feel the same way about affiliate links and the work bloggers do. Have a great night! Thanks for reading.
Your comment seriously made my heart feel warm. Thank you so much. People like you are the reason I love blogging and sharing the things I do.
have a great night <3
Jan Fisher says
Wow. Great post! I have read comments on GOMI and all I can say is it is horrible the things women write about other women. If they don’t like a blog DON’T READ IT! But really they go to read the blog just to find things to be negative about. As for the links and how bloggers earn commissions, I totally have zero problem with that. Many times I find cute outfit or decorating ideas from a blogger. Why should they not earn a small commission on that? I am not paying it. If you don’t like this practice. Don’t click links! Thanks for bringing this issue to light. I enjoy reading the blogs I follow. I appreciate your work
Thank you Jan! I always wish people who had the desire to speak horribly about me would just find a way to stop reading my blog, just as I’ve stopped reading their comments.
I’ve been following you since way, way back on your TK days. As someone who has intermittently dabbled in blogging myself, and someone who works in digital marketing professionally, I’ll share my opinion that you do a fantastic job. Content curation, writing, SEO, website maintenance, cross linking, analytics reviewing, graphic creation and cropping, etc. etc. etc. is a BIG job. (I know; it’s what pays my bills.) I think people are often jealous of those that are highly compensated for a job that is perceived as glamorous and “little” work. It also doesn’t help that you’ve got a face and body to rival many models. NOT all women, but MANY women, can be bitches when they’re jealous.
My childhood best friend is TINY. She’s a size 00, but sometimes even that’s too big for her. Despite that, she wears a 30H bra and her boobs are real. (Yes, that is a thing.) Women are NASTY to her because they’re jealous of her metabolism and appearance. That is about them and their insecurities. It’s not about her (or you!) People often lash out at those they perceive to “have it all”.
When people look at you, they probably see a beautiful, articulate, stylish woman with beautiful children, a beautiful home, her “dream” job, and a blog that rakes in money. And that’s all they care to see. They don’t consider your struggles (of which I personally don’t know, but everyone has their struggles). They don’t think about the possibility that after a long day, you bickered with Kevin and begged him to tuck Harper into bed so you could finish the blog post they were berating. They don’t consider how reading their venom after dealing with a cold, a sick baby, a quarreling spouse, a flat tire, a flooded basement, an insane IRS bill, etc. could push a person over the edge.
Jealousy brings out hate and nastiness in people. You are right to ignore those comments.
Keep on keeping on, lady!
Thank you so much for your comment. I have blogged about my struggles numerous times because I want to be real and transparent and share as much as I’m comfortable with. I also want people to see I’m human and have difficulties just like everyone else.
Have a great night <3
Have loved your blog for years! Even before Harper was born.. used to watch your you tube videos too. You’re perspective is wonderful, love your style and your working mom- do it all superwoman qualities. Thank you for your blog, your IG and sharing your life with us. You certainly don’t need to.
Thank you so much, I really appreciate your comment.
It’s me again. I don’t expect you to post this comment at all but I just watched your InstaStory tonight. I am so sorry for engaging in your post earlier today.
You are clearly extremely insecure about much more than your blog and I’m sorry that I engaged in the post today. I don’t believe this was at all to increase awareness about hate on the internat and it was completely about venting an insecurity in your life that you don’t have an outlet for. If you haven’t read the blog in a year, how is it still weighing so heavily on you that it exists? If they are wrong and just trolls, then who cares. They’re horrible. Sticks and stones, right?
I feel by giving that site so much attention and a devoted blog post you’re legitimizing it.
I’m so sorry to have been part of whatever this list was really for. I wish you the best, but I truly don’t believe this is the way to achieve the best. You’re a grown woman with Beirut kids and a career. Let the trolls go. Otherwise you’re part of the problem.
I meant beautiful kids… not Beirut kids. Thanks apple.
I’m speaking about an issue that continues to be a problem for bloggers. I don’t read the site anymore, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. When I read Emily Henderson’s post earlier, it triggered in me the desire to talk about my own past experience and a problem that continues to be persistent in our society and the online world.
I listed specific examples and criticisms that people have made of me because I wanted to put into context that I wasn’t just upset because someone said my hair was ugly or my outfit was awful. These are people who are going much deeper than that — and ignoring it, just because I’m a grown woman with a job and kids doesn’t do anything.
Yes, they are wrong. Yes, they are trolls. But that doesn’t mean we should just pretend it’s not an issue and we should just be like “oh well.” There is so little accountability in the online world – generating a discussion about how we can ensure that more people are respectful online is not a worthless pursuit.
If I can make someone think before the post online about another human being and consider their feelings, then this post is worthwhile.
I actually think we should be like “oh well”. How empowering it would be for normal people to not give more attention to people that are bitching about someone successful.
We clearly don’t agree, though. I am accustomed to an environment where you have to put blinders on and work your ass off through sexism, missed promotions to the guy next to you, and the good ol boys club to even get half of what you’ve earned, so maybe it’s easier for me to disregard negativity that is based on next to nothing. I wish you strength and clarity to understand that comments on some lame website don’t actually change or affect your life unless you take them in and allow them to.
They’re high school bullies. They don’t matter unless you make them matter, I’m afraid you may have made them matter a little more today.
You are a good mother, you have a loving husband and a supportive family. Honestly just black out the people that gossip about toddlers and how many pairs of jeans you have. There are people fighting legit issues.
Thank you Sarah – I do appreciate your comment. It took me a very long time to write a post like this. I wanted to be in a place where I was no longer feeling like those comments held any power over me and it took me a long time to get there after years of reading them.I did mention in my post that I know I’m a good person and that someone writing something about me doesn’t change how I feel about myself.
But of course, in my stories where I listed specific examples, they bring back those same emotions for a breif period. I think that’s the insecurity you’re perceiving.
I’m thankful we can have a respectful conversation about this.
britt @ southern mama guide says
thank you for having the courage to write this V! it applied to me in many ways of my life and I feel inspired from your post! love you friend!!
Hi! I know this wasn’t the intent of your post, but I see this post has sparked a lot of debate regarding affiliate links. I think for me is isn’t so much about affiliate links, as it is the repetitiveness of it all (among all bloggers, and on your blog individually).
I know you mentioned above that you just happen to love shopping at Nordstrom; however, it seems pretty recent that this has developed (probably post-babies I would say). While personal style certainly evolves over time, we all know by now that Nordstrom is paying $$$ to bloggers where other stores likely aren’t. I used to love your posts of things you found at Express, J. Crew, Banana Republic, etc. It just seems boring to me that I know with 98% accuracy where your clothing came from before clicking on a link.
Your logic for affiliate links is that it takes a lot of time and effort to shop, take the pictures, and write the post. However, I already know how to shop at Nordstrom. Everyone does. If you had a post with 5 outfits, showing things from 3-4 different stores, I’d happily click your links if I thought something was cute, so that I could see where it was from. You could accomplish this many ways – have an entire post on one store (latest Loft finds!); one outfit per post (which seems to be your current format), with a mix of retailers in any given week; or maybe even a few real life “what I wore to work” posts. I know you have the BR work pants, but you don’t even feature them. Every single top is Nordstrom. I think this is where the “lazy” comment comes in (not saying you are, just trying to help you understand).
Additionally, it feels less like “sharing things I love” and more like “trying to make as much $$$ as possible” when every single blogger has no less than 10 posts and instatories every day about the NSale.
Anyway, I think it would be really interesting if you did a post about this, especially if you could disclose what the commissions are (not yours specifically, but the structure/how it works). You said people don’t ask you how you make $ at your day job, but that’s because people could generally estimate that based on location, title, age/length of experience, education level, etc. Sites like Glassdoor are used all the time for that.
I’ve met you in real life and you’re funny, smart and kind! Wonderful post!
Hi Veronika, this was a great post – heartfelt and well written. I completely agree with what you said about being kind and respectful, even under the cloak of anonymity. Kudos to you. That’s why I keep coming back to your blog week after week and recommended your blog to my readers.
As someone with a career in the corporate side of retail, I wish people would get over the affiliate link thing. Why does the customer care that a company is paying a blogger commission? Getting customers to a site to make a potential purchase is very very valuable, and bloggers should be compensated for doing that. Companies spend a fortune with other marketing techniques, so I don’t understand why this is any different. People don’t seem to complain about ebates which is another affiliate set up, because they get money, isn’t it funny how that works? Haha!
Thank you Jenny! Bloggers are indeed an important part of a retailer’s marketing efforts, especially those in the fashion/style/beauty world.
I commented yesterday, and also viewed your series of snaps last night. Consider me gobsmacked when I thought we had an informative and healthy discourse, only to be viewed by you as apparently diverting attention away from the real issue you blogged about, and further more “victim shaming” you! I literally think my mouth hung open through most of those snaps. Exactly what kind of response did you think this post would elicit? I have to say, I read most comments and almost all (mine included) started with saying in some form or another how awful personal attacks are, both to you and your family. You failed to mention any of that in your series of 50+ snaps. Do you think it’s possible you opened up an avenue for healthy discourse that many readers have wanted, yet felt like they had no proper way to communicate until now? I can speak for myself and say I feel like my comments could be viewed as “hate” (questions about affiliate links and the like) if I just posted them on any old blog post about a new top you are reviewing. Or, since you yourself say that you have not read gossip forums in nearly 18 months, is it possible that those have migrated away from talking about your family, children, finances, etc., to commenters being frustrated about links and sponsored content? Again, I was just surprised that you appeared to engage with so many commenters yesterday, but then went on a near 20 minute rant about how people didn’t comment in the way you felt they should have. Were you just looking for head pats? You ended the snaps with how wonderful the comments you were getting were, and how you just love your readers, so maybe so. Honestly, it seemed very insecure. No one condemned the type of bullying and hate you describe in your post, nor did they say you deserved it because you are a blogger. If you actually did receive comments like that and just chose not to publish them, I am sincerely sorry.
The responses I had hoped this post would elicit did not have to do with affiliate links and how bloggers use them – I will admit I was surprised by that, given that I was discussing cruelty online.
I hoped the post would generate a discussion about how we can strive to be more responsible online and have accountability for the things we say. I wanted to talk about what is going on with our society and why this seems to be an issue that is getting worse, not better.
Like I said- I think transparency in blogging is critical and an important topic of discussion, but I also think it’s a separate topic. Having said that, I can see now that a lot of readers feel frustrated about bloggers using affiliate links (and their disclosure of them), while another vast majority of people I have recieved messages from don’t care at all, think bloggers deserve those comissions and like clicking our links to support us for the original content we create.
And just to clarify – I did not view comments about affilaite links as hateful- in fact, I said I was thankful for the respectful way in which they were communicated. But my post is about online cruelty, and the fact that bloggers use affiliate links and monetize their blogs should not be a reason or justification for the cruelty towards them (I’m not saying that’s what you’re saying, but a lot of people feel that because our blogs are a business, we are opening ourselves up to criticism — except the “criticisms” many of us get are actually cruel more than anything and not constructive).
I will say a lot of the affilaite link comments have made me want to change my approach to how I disclose my use of affilaite links and I’m working to put it on the front page of my site.
Going to that website seriously gave me anxiety….I really don’t think those people are the norm in real life- at least I hope not. They seem to take it beyond the “gossipy gf chit chat.” It’s definitely not how I am with my friends, at least. I think part of the problem is the attention people get from their negativity (not in the form of this post, but people agreeing with them/commiserating with them). They just feed off each other. Once they have that camaraderie, it seems there’s no stopping them.
I’m a new follower and just wanted to say I enjoy the posts!
Jenny B says
I just read this post because of the title, I’ve never read your blog before, but now I am inspired to keep reading. I read some of the below comments about affiliate links, etc, and I feel like some people are living in a world where money doesn’t exist. Hey, I believe in socialistic values, too, but unfortunately we live in a capitalistic society where people need money to survive. TV has commercials or you pay a subscription, magazines have ads and subscriptions, we are getting your content for free!
Thank you Jenny! I didn’t make a cent on my blog the first several years I was blogging and was still delivering regular content. The fact that I can make money now is a bonus for doing something I love.
I wanted to read your post after seeing your Instastories about it last night, and I didn’t want to not comment. I’ve periodically read that other site and agree it goes way, way, way over the top and some of the posters seem to live in their own fantasy land. That’s completely wrong. Especially attacking someone’s children.
I don’t read your blog as much as I used to though. It doesn’t feel authentic, and it has nothing to do with the affiliate links (though it does seem like it is a contributing factor). In your comments here, you’ve mentioned multiple times that you create constant content, but it really doesn’t feel like it. There have been several sponsored posts (which I really do comment you for being honest about when a post is sponsored) where I read something on your blog, then clicked over to another blog and saw another blogger say almost word for word the same thing, and then clicked to a third blog that uses again the same exact phrasing with just a few small changes. Also, so many of your outfit pictures lately, the clothes look wrinkled and your hair covers interesting parts of the outfits (like cutout shoulders, details at the neckline, etc). It truly doesn’t seem like, as a reader, you’re putting much time into creating content.
I really enjoyed when you posted more posts about what was going on in your life (like weekend updates with the kids), but I can understand not wanting to do that as much when your kids are going to be torn down by people.
As someone who used to post sporadically on the knot and “knew” you from there, I admire how you’ve been able to build “your brand” (not sure if that’s the right term, but I’ll go with it).
I agree with Jen. I have been on your thread on GOMI and I think in the past, some of their comments are absurd and mean but I think you’re thread is really different in that most of the commenters genuinely liked you at one point. Unlike Rachel Parcell or Amber Fillerup where people came in hating, on your thread everyone always talks about how much they liked you.
Obviously your life has evolved. Since I started reading your blog you’ve had two kids, moved houses, a lot has changed. I think it would be natural for your blog content to evolve accordingly. That is fine.
I understand your blog is a business and honestly, that is why I don’t really visit it anymore. It is a business that I feel no longer caters to me. I have kept you on Instagram because I like you and I feel like I know you.
I went into your GOMI thread and scanned the last few pages and there really wasn’t much about your husband, your children or your finances.The comments are about how you always style clothes in a similar way (same looking clothes, same hair, in front of the same wall) and about how there is very little effort (wrinkles, little variety). These are perfectly valid comments. This is a business, we are your customers.
Lastly, although I in NO way condone anybody talking about a person’s children, finances, significant other, I have to remind you that you made the choice to incorporate these into your business. I can’t imagine having to read about my little girl online but I know I won’t ever have to.
I am no way saying you are responsible for any of the hate nor am I saying it is okay. I guess my point is that you are a business AND a public figure. Just as people talk about the J.Crew catalogue they are going to talk about your styling. Likewise just as people talk about Kim Kardashian’s kids, people are going to talk about yours.
“As people talk about Kim Kardashian’s kids, people are going to talk about yours.”
But the entire point of my post is that this is wrong, unacceptable and people shouldn’t do it and that collectively as a society we should speak out about it. People need to think about how their words impact others and think about whether or not they would make those same comments to someone’s face or read them aloud in front of people they care about. What someone writes says something about them, and I am encouraging self-reflection on that.
You say bloggers and their children don’t deserve to be talked about that way, but then you follow with the fact that we “put it out there” by making lifestyle and family content part of our blogs (it’s worth noting that if we didn’t do this, we wouldn’t be relatable or be able to make the connections many of us have with our readers by sharing our struggles in addition to the happy things).
So by that logic, you are indeed confirming that at some level, you believe that a woman wearing a low cut top at the gym deserves to be cat called or harassed because she “chose to dress that way in public.” It is the exact same logic. It’s not right, not acceptable, and there should be consequences and accountability for people’s actions.
Since I haven’t read my thread in 18 months, I have no idea what they’re currently saying about me or my blog. Their current commentary doesn’t exist to me. I’m reflecting on the types of comments I have seen, over a period of several years, in the past when I did read it, about both myself and other bloggers.
It doesn’t matter if people “started out liking me.” Rachel and Amber also never deserved to have people “come in hating” from the start. None of this is relevant because the fact is that the types of comments are cruel and unjust, and you yourself admit that it is not okay. There are simply zero justifications.
If a store suddently starts making clothes that no longer appeal to you, then you, as a consumer, can choose not to shop there. You can never step into the store or visit their website again and find other stores that appeal to you. There are a vast amount of bloggers – one should focus their energy on connecting with and consuming content they enjoy.
Thanks for your comment!
Hi Veronika! I’m all for you making some money off your blog – it doesn’t take money out of my pocket that you make a commission. I think a lot of people are jealous that they can’t make such good money off of something that “seems easy” like a blog. Your blog is beautiful and clearly you put in a lot of work on it.
Also, I’ve read GOMI. They claim ridiculous things like your in laws cook all of your meals every day. I’m assuming this is one of the made up things you’re talking about? How would these stalkers even know anyway? And why do they care? LOL
When I was on a dairy free and eventually top-8 free diet due to my son’s issues with dairy (when he was a baby), my in laws did cook meals for us (they would bring them to our house one day a week). This allowed me to pump for an entire year and not have the stress of having to cook every day especially with such a limited diet.
My amazing in-laws have continued to provide this incredible gift to us and we are tremendously thankful that we can focus on spending time together as a family after we are at work, and not have to worry about preparing meals.
We have told my in laws numerous times that they don’t have to do this for us, but they continue to do so by choice and we are imeasurably appreciative that they support and love our family in this way. With two full time working parents, this is a gift we truly can never put into words what it means to us. They enjoy cooking and we are so grateful.
As an aside, that is a very strange thing to criticize. Every family shows love in different ways, and for my in-laws, who we have a very close relationship with, this is a way they display their love and care for us. I cannot see anything to criticize there. We feel very lucky and thankful that they support us as a family in such a special way.
“But the entire point of my post is that this is wrong, unacceptable and people shouldn’t do it and that collectively as a society we should speak out about it,”
Veronika, I agree it is wrong, but that is not how the world works. You will never stop people from judging and criticizing others. You are still part of the problem. You can speak about it, but if you do nothing about it, then you’re not trying to fix the problem.
I feel you have an excuse for everything to justify your points. You’d be more likable if you can say I agree with you and I’ll have to be more self aware rather than having an answer for everything.
On another note, these are strangers opinions. If they are spewing lies about you and your family, they shouldn’t hurt you. They only hurt you if there’s a smidgen of truth to it. The only opinions that truly matter to you should come from your family, close friends, and people you care about and trust.
I am going to respond to your post, but I’m deleting the part of it that shames my decisions as a mother. You are welcome to that opinion, but I’m not going to publish that here.
I have tried to “do something about it.” I have begged the site moderator to remove certain comments. I have asked that people be respectful. I have put my comments on moderation so people can’t just write whatever they want in this space. I’m not sure what else I can do. I welcome your suggestions.
I don’t feel the need to be “more likeable” to those who won’t like me anyway — you can’t please everyone. I did agree with many people here about transparency in the blogging world and there needing to be more of it — but I’m not exactly a high ranking “offender” in this area, as many people have noted.
I’ve listened to my readers and am taking steps to include an affiliate link disclaimer on the front page/footer of my blog so it’s right there on the home page. I am listening and taking this feedback seriously.
As to your last point, things can be total and complete lies and still hurt. It doesn’t hurt me because there’s “truth to it.” It hurts me because it is embarassing that you when google my name or my blog name hundreds of pages of cruelty and lies are right there on the first page of search results. That is the part that’s difficult, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
To your last sentence — I 100% agree with you — the only opinions that matter are from the people I care about and trust. That’s why I finally realized I had to stop reading all of the garbage.
You’re so right, V! Thank you for posting such honest and deep thoughts. I mostly don’t understand the intense need to be so mean. If you don’t like a blogger or a post, you don’t have to follow that blogger, you don’t have to follow their recommendations… just leave/unfollow/whatever. I have to say that as a teacher at a public university, I get to experience a bit of these mean trolls at the end of the semester when I ask students for feedback to make the class better. While some students are polite and thoughtful in their responses, some are just out there to say terrible things that are not at all constructive.
Thanks again V. You’re awesome.
Veronika, I want to send you some online love and thanks today. Three years ago I found your blog when my granddaughter was nine months old. My daughter had her daughter at a young age and before any of her friends did. I started reading some “mommy-lifestyle” blogs as a way to understand and get ideas from moms of babies and young children. Your posting about taking Harper to Little Gym led me to suggesting it to my daughter, who enrolled her daughter in a class. There she met a few moms who invited her to join a larger moms group. These women both accepted my daughter as their friend and equal and took her under their wings. What they have meant to her over the past three years really is immeasurable and priceless. We have you to thank for that.
Additionally, your post about taking Harper to a pediatric dentist came in handy when my granddaughter fell and chipped a front tooth. Your post about your interesting and challenging career has helped my daughter consider her career options after having graduated from Georgetown University this spring. Your posts about balancing children, a home, and other responsibilities have inspired her. And your posts about cute, fun clothes and toys have helped me. Plus, your great suggestions for clothing, beauty products, and home decor are enjoyable and helpful.
As a private, introverted person, I can’t imagine blogging myself, but I’m so grateful others do. It’s a platform where people can come together to share in the humanity we all have in common. A platform that everyone should treat with respect and kindness.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas, your struggles and triumphs, your beautiful family and life. I hope you continue to do so. Lots of good comes from it.
Getting messages like yours is what makes blogging fulfilling and keeps me wanting to continue to share my life, outfits, etc. Thank you a thousand times over and all the best to you, your daughter and granddaughter.
Well, her comment and all the $$ from white tees.