Monday, 13 February 2017

How To Avoid Blogger Scams

The Importance of Doing Your Research

There is no better feeling as a new blogger than being contacted by your first company for a collaboration. I remember feeling like I was really ‘making it’ as a blogger because some big company had discovered me and wanted little old me to promote their products. I did a quick Google search and everything looked fine, but if I’d dug a little deeper, I would have easily seen a whole load of sites that would have prevented me from parting with a single penny!

It was the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn as a blogger and one that I’m really trying to prevent other bloggers from having to learn for themselves! If you want to know the specifics of my experience, you can read my retraction about Mirina Collections & Nora NYC right here. But in the meantime, today I thought I’d share a few tips about properly researching companies that approach you for work.

Don’t Respond Straight Away
Hitting reply immediately and accepting every collab that comes your way is a sure-fire way to get caught in a scam. Take your time before accepting anything, think very carefully about what your blog ethos is and if you want their products on your blog at all. Then, when you’ve answered that question, you can start your research properly.

Don’t Trust Google Page 1
Look further, sometimes the most helpful sites aren’t promoted as well as they could be. Look through a few pages of search results before making an opinion.

Ask Other Bloggers
As many as you can possibly find, that have had something to do with the brand you’re researching. Comment on their posts, send them an email, a Tweet or just reach out and ask for honest feedback. Bloggers are a very supportive bunch, and we won’t leave anyone in the dark if we can help it!

If You’re Unsure, Do a Reverse Image Search
When I pulled images off Mirina’s website (too late to help myself) and uploaded them to a Google Image search, I found a tonne of results from much cheaper websites that weren’t falsely advertising the same products.

If it Feels Weird, Say No
So many girls have commented on my post that they thought it was weird that Mirina contacted them when they had a comparatively small following, and when they first contacted me, I felt the same way. I should have listened to my gut and said no, but it’s hard to do that when you feel flattered and like you’ve ‘been noticed’.  

Be Wary of a Rush of Brands
Quickly followed by Mirina, Nora NYC (supposed sunglasses designers) contacted me about working with them too. Since I was still under the impression that Mirina was a legitimate company, their sister brand contacting me seemed OK. In hindsight, it was shady since I hadn’t even written a single word in promotion of Mirina!

Being aware of possible scams online can be difficult, a lot of them look like the real deal, but if you do your research properly and thoroughly, you will always find proof of the scam if you look hard enough. Legitimate companies might have bad reviews floating around as well, but you’ll quickly learn the difference between a real company whose having a bad day, and a fake company that’s taking advantage of small and impressionable bloggers. Be vigilant, and if it feels at all off in any way, simply say thanks but no thanks and move on.

Have you got any more tips for avoiding scam companies? Let us know in the comments below! Liv x

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