I have decided to write this post in order to answer a few questions that people have had. Now bear in mind that this is my experience and my opinions. I’m not saying that I am right and I am not saying that I am wrong. I just want to clear up a couple of things.
Some of you may know that I was a contributor for another site and had been since last year. I decided to leave this site for a number of reasons. Now some people had called for me to be ‘sacked’ from the site after the whole Dupe-gate issue – I was not sacked. Some saw it as an opportunity to get themselves on the site and that’s fine – if that’s how you want to get ahead then go for it. For me, it didn’t sit right with me and it was the final push that I needed to leave.
I had been feeling disillusioned with the site for a while but it was the addition of a new contributor that made me finally leave. This is nothing personal against the blogger in question – it just rubbed me up the wrong way and showed me that the site really is a business – there is no loyalty to the writers. (I’m not even going to go into the bullying accusations and how they shouldn’t want to be associated with me – anyone who knows me knows that I am far from being a bully).
There were other issues which helped my decision – I felt that the pieces that the contributors wrote were far more in-depth and with far better photography than the owner and face of the site, but the products we were offered for reviewing purposes were the general PR that most bloggers are sent … the good stuff never came our way. Now I understand that the companies probably really only care about the pieces that the owner writes, but it felt like we were doing a lot of the work for no reward. You don’t get paid for contributing to the site but our posts would have affiliate links added to them … to me, that was wrong. Why should someone else profit from our work?
So put these issues together and I just felt like it was time to jump ship and go it alone. Then it got interesting …. I had an email from the Managing Director of the site threatening me with legal action if I carried on bad-mouthing the site. The only thing that I had ever said publicly about the site was in reply to a comment on an Instagram photo where I said that I didn’t feel like we were encouraged to be all that honest in our reviews … MY OPINION.
They never told us to only write positive reviews, but sometimes our posts would be edited and I just got the impression that I couldn’t be as free with my opinions as I would be on my own blog. Apparently ‘multiple sources’ had reported to them that I was being slanderous about them – funny that, as I had never said or written anything other than that one comment. I had some private conversations about the site, as I am entitled to, so I am pretty sure who likes to report back to them. I replied to the email giving them my number and saying that they were welcome to discuss it with me – no reply.
I emailed the member of the team who the contributors deal with asking for the name of their solicitors so that I would know who I was dealing with – no reply. Then Mick emailed the MD as he was extremely pissed off that I had been threatened – no reply. It’s bullying tactics off a much bigger site and I refuse to be intimidated by them. I am allowed to have my opinion on my own experiences – there’s no law against that.
There are a lot of things that I have been told about the site that I could have said but I didn’t and I won’t – there’s no need and I have been told that she will probably get me blacklisted from certain PR companies … I don’t care – I really feel like I haven’t actually done anything wrong. I’m aware that my blog will never reach the heights that her’s has and I am fine with that … people have different ways of operating and I prefer how I deal with things.
Also, some of you may remember that I was signed up to a management company at the start of the year. I have also decided to leave that as I didn’t feel like it was a good fit and that I am capable of managing myself. There’s no bad feeling towards the company at all, I just want to get back to running my own site, writing purely for myself and not having to worry what anyone else will think. Since making these decisions, I have fallen back in love with blogging – although social media needs a damn good kick up the arse at the moment, but that’s a whole other post.