So, what exactly is a fake blogger, as opposed to a new blogger? We all have to start somewhere, but there is a way difference between someone with few followers and readers at the beginning of their blogging journey and a blogger that just appears from nowhere with grand claims and thousands of fake followers. Just because you say you are the best or the biggest beauty blog in the world does not actually make it true.
I’m looking right now at a Twitter account that according to StatusPeople.. the fake follower finder, has 93% fake, 1% inactive and 6% real followers. I’ve known “bloggers” actually blag their way into the covers of newspapers based on a lie such as this. And I can name them.
Most beauty and fashion bloggers work their hearts out and my objection to the fakers is that they’ve done nothing to reap the rewards that everyone else has worked so hard for. If a blog claims nearly a million hits a month and it only began five minutes ago, then that’s a red flag.
So, a message to PRs, please, please always run your new bloggers through http://fakers.statuspeople.com/ – it takes seconds. If you can’t do that, scroll down their followers – a lot of empty eggs is a classic sign; newer fake followers often look generic and their “About Me” section is rather meaningless, so just a life quote or similar. Like this: “Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future; concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Importantly, fake followers have only ever ‘tweeted’ once or twice and have few or no other followers – usually one or zero. It’s not that hard. If a blogger is contacting you hard and often and you feel pressured to give them free product, that’s another flag up – mostly real bloggers don’t do this.
It’s up to us true bloggers to police our network properly.. nobody likes a name and shame but if it’s going on, then do let the PRs and brands know. It’s not fair for the new bloggers trying to carve a place in the blogosphere and it’s not fair on the brands heaping out product that’s being seen by nobody, anywhere, ever.
And let’s not forget the YouTube ‘botters’ – paid-for robots that ‘watch’ to increase the view count. Yes, really.
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Thank you so much for writing this post Jane, it’s something that bothers me on a daily basis and I think it’s so important for brand and PRs to become savvier when choosing new bloggers to work with. Like you say, it’s a super simple and quick thing to do and will ensure the brand gets the best value for their brand.
I totally agree with you i think its time brands become a lot more selective in who they work with rather than just giving out things left right and centre because not only is it disheartening to us its costing the brands money too
This explains so much… *shiftyeyes*
Interesting!!! I didn’t realize people could have fake followers!
Finally! Someone calling out these fakers! I called out one last year and he wrote all this anon hate on my blog calling me a liar. Safe to say his cover was blown and no longer has 250,000 fake twitter followers!
I know exactly who that is!
Just checked on someone I suspected of being a “Faker” after they rose to prominence very quickly & claimed huge stats which we didn’t get close to in our first year. http://fakers.statuspeople.com/ confirmed what I’d thought.
Thanks so much for this important post. These fakers undermine the rest of us hardworking, genuine bloggers hugely.
Thank you for writing this Jane. As you know, I was going to write something similar myself but you’ve put it much more articulately than moi. My post would have been along the lines of “STOP BUYING TWITTER FOLLOWERS YOU GOBSHITE”, you’re much more ladylike 😉
It disgusts me seeing people buying Twitter followers and I hope the brands sit up and take notice of this post.
lol… well they certainly should take notice. and I much prefer your post title… still write yours though, won’t you? The more people write the more awareness will be raised.
Too diplomatic for my liking. Name and shame I say! Maybe that would deter others from trying it in the future.
I didnt know about this but so glad people out there are naming and shaming them hours and hours of hard work goes into blogging and to have people faking it its disheartening
Thank you for this post, which refers to a problem I was unaware of (although I’m aware of other dishonesty issues in the blogosphere and media in general). My question is about the technique you allude to for dealing with PRs who naturally often have their own agendas and calendars. I seem to recall you said in a previous post that you think it is a good thing to be proactive with PRs when you are trying to get advance scoops on products; that made sense to me at the time. If we always wait for PRs to set a blog’s agenda, that can be a problem, isn’t it? What I’m trying to say is that there is a comfort zone for PRs and there is one for bloggers, and sometimes it seems to me it’s good to be able to show your own point of view and requirements as a blogger.
What do you think?
Well there are many questions in there.. personally, I blog to my own remit and try to be ahead of any PR activity – which isn’t always welcomed in an industry that is used to controlling media. I don’t work to and won’t be set an agenda by a PR but good relationships are worth their weight in gold so sometimes it is a question of balance.
I’m with Andy (Pampered Prince) on this one. Call them out!
I don’t know if it worked but I posted your article on Google+. This is so annoying, especially for smaller blogs like mine. It’s extremely hard to get new followers and I’m glad to say that I seem to have only 1 fake. No idea where he/she comes from. Maybe if I were to follow everyone left & right it would be faster but I’m sure there comes a point where the bubble bursts so I’d rather not. Fake is fake, period!
I definitely will my dear! I’ve a much clearer head on me now and will channel your eloquence 😉 It’s something that really gets on my wick, so will try to do it without pointing the finger directly at that person 😉
Haha I just tried this out on me… 4% fake, the rest real! Phew! 🙂
I think it’s absolutely shameful that people are doing this! I hope this helps to deter people from even trying to be fake!
I didn’t realise that either, that they could have fake followers! Thank you so much for the post.
Too sad that this happens! Never knew
Couldn’t agree more! This can get super annoying when it comes to “bots” or whatever even commenting on my blog and trying to promote theirs by inserting their link into the comment. Had no idea about the fake YTubers though. That’s crazy.
great post jane,as always and I’m in the thinking like what Icaria says.The fact that new bloggers are trying so hard to get followers and companies contact us to be told we don’t have 500 followers is very sad for us,but i just checked on a blogger who started same time and less interesting posts and has loads of followers.it suddenly got me feeling maybe people just are not interested although sats prove otherwise. Just done a check and over half of her followers are not followers as such ,so now do i feel a little happier or should i feel peed off slightly, but thank you for the post and i hope more of you well known bloggers do a similar post,i feel it needs readdressing again.
I was well aware you could buy Twitter followers- it’s quite the black hat social media technique. What about Bloglovin though Jane – there’s some people who’ve only been running a blog for a year and they’ve got nearly 30k followers!! I’ve got 30 🙁 I can’t get anyone to follow me on the damned thing!
Oh wow. I had no idea this stuff was going on or you could get fake followers :S … I don’t see the point of fake followers though. Part of the joy of blogging is when your readers appreciate what you post.
It is common knowledge about people buying fake twitter followers but playing the devil advocate here, would people even try it if brands and pr even bothered to do a bit of research into who they associated with? i have a moderate following but last year a brand completely dismissed working with me solely on my numbers even though on many occasions they have stressed how much they love my blog.
A successful collaboration is more than just numbers but some brands use this factor as the be all and end all to decide if they want to work with you regardless if they like your content. i don’t respect the blogger in question but at the end of the day it was the pr who were letting them get away with it.
Whoa – how naive I was. Never even knew about this botters thing!! Great post!
I don’t think there is anything to be gained from publicly naming – nobody wants to see a raft of twitter bullying which is what I suspect could happen. That’s the last thing I would want to cause and therefore it’s better dealt with in a quieter way that protects the blogger. However, he fact remains that it is effectively fraud and hopefully it’s enough of a lesson that everyone knows we know. It’s best to just leave it there and hope the few that do buy their followers realise that there are some moral codes in beauty blogging and that isn’t one of them.
Excellent post Jane, I have a few names to add to that list myself… As a brand, we figured it out the hard way.
I agree with Adorngirl, this practice has been carried out for years and not just by bloggers. I don’t condone it at all but if the PRs were not so obsessed with stats and didn’t take into consideration things such as great content and something called interaction with an audience then maybe some bloggers might not feel the need to do this. These tools are easy to use so it is up to the PRs to do their research. But will they? The passionate ones who believe in Social Media will but the ones who don’t really buy into blogging and are only incorporating blogger outreach into their marketing mix because their clients demand it won’t. The fact is that in every cool and popular industry you will get people who try and cut corners and that will be on their heads but does it really call for this behaviour? What we seem to be having now are new bloggers who have generated a huge readership legitimately being viewed with suspicion and insecure bloggers who are threatened by others bloggers success will be logging onto these sites in order to try and validate themselves. Seriously, who has the time to go round checking how many bloggers have fake followers on Twitter? Oh and by the way just because you have bought followers on Twitter does not make you a fake blogger? It just means that you have bought a bunch of followers. I am sure the blogger in question has written her own content. I find the language that is being bandied about very worrying and quite dangerous.
It’s a strange thing.. your comments are genuinely valued at all times but every time you comment it’s negative and angry. I can’t think of one positive comment you’ve ever put on my blog. If you don’t like what I’m writing, don’t read it. The bottom line is that if you look up the definition of fraud you will find it is obtaining goods or money by deception. I think being fraudulent is probably more dangerous than getting a bit alarmed on Twitter and whether you like it or not, claiming to be able to share product news with thousands of readers you don’t have as a means to get hundreds of pounds worth of product is at the very least dishonest. Blogging is sure to become more heavily regulated at a certain point and it is maybe as well to realise now while it can be undone that buying followers isn’t a good message for anyone to be sending. If you have any more queries then please email me.
I actually agree that it is wrong to buy followers…but I don’t get how the last comment is angry or negative. It’s an opinion. the only angry comment seems to be this one.