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What Every Blogger Should Know About Blogging

by Deborah Cruz

blogging, blogger, blogI wasn’t sure that I should write this piece about blogging practices because it will probably piss some people off. I’ve been blogging for 4 years and over the years, I have made some truly great friends; women who have virtually held me when I was having my greatest breakdowns, shown me the blogging ropes and commiserated with me when I had lost all control of my household, had no sleep and was covered in spit up and baby shit. They’ve become my sisters. You know who you are and I love you ladies.

In these 4 years, I have also learned that blogging is not just about the sisterhood, it’s a business and there are a whole lot of ladies trying to be king of the mountain and that summit if pretty fucking small.

Me? Of course, I’d love to be queen of the mountain but I think I may have come to the party a bit late and I fear there is limited space but mostly, I just want to write. It’s what blogging has always been about for me. The friendships I’ve developed were an unexpected perk.

Writing is how I process but these friendships with women around the globe, they are what keep me sane and believe me, that is no small task. But I know, not everything is what it appears on the Internet and it’s hard to separate truths from lies when miles with no face-to-face interaction separate you.

I’ve worked my ass off to build my blog and earn your trust so I try my best to keep this site 100% authentic; sometimes it’s boring, sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it’s down right heartbreaking but that’s life. What you see is what you get. I am not perfect, I don’t fart rainbows, I have a potty mouth and I don’t pretend to be a princess but I am authentic. So, I expect that from everyone else.

Recently, a girl who I’ve known since college, the woman who first suggested that I start blogging as a way to build my writing portfolio, asked me to consider running a guest post that she had written. Of course, I had to consider it. I told her to send me the post and that I would read it over and if it was a fit I would run it on Friday. I never said yes, or that I would definitely run the piece.

I got the piece and realized that it was not a fit for my blog and it had 4 outbound links; to business pages. She specifically asked me to keep the links in. It felt compromising to my site and to our friendship. I felt like I was posting her sponsored post on my site and quite frankly, that’s pretty sheisty, right?

Long story short, I never confirmed. To my surprise, I received a rather scathing email that scolded me for my “unprofessional” business practices and went on to tell me how very annoyed she was with me because I let her and the client down.

What client? I never signed any fucking paperwork. I wasn’t working with a brand. I was doing a favor for a friend. I never fucking confirmed! If I didn’t confirm, why would you tell your “client” that the post was going live?

Is it me or am I the one who should be annoyed? Because, let me tell you, I am pretty fucking annoyed. As a blogger, I would never ask another blogger to run a sponsored post that I am being paid to do and as a friend, I would never ask someone to compromise his or her own site or ethics to do me a favor. I certainly wouldn’t have the balls to email them and tear them a new asshole because I assumed something.

This was a person who I’ve known in real life for 20 years. I’d say we are probably no longer speaking after our email exchanges. But this has happened before with online friends who make promises and tell lies to get what they want and then just discard you and the friendship. I used to look forward to social media exchanges with online friends and now, I feel like a lot of those relationships are parasitic and that’s very depressing.

I am all for helping friends out; promoting them, pointing them in the direction of opportunities and helping them reach their goals. I’ve had many of my mentors do the same for me. I have also worked with and for many of my friends who are bloggers in a professional manner and it’s always been great but this experience has left me a little gun shy.

When did blogging become about using your friends to get ahead, even if that meant burning that bridge? Just because you can’t see someone face-to-face that doesn’t mean that they are not real and don’t have real feelings. People are not brands and friendships should not be run like business deals.

Has something like this ever happened to you while blogging?


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Krysta 2013/03/20 - 12:44 pm

Well, she was obviously trying to take advantage of you whether she really realized it or not. Sorry, friend!

Deborah Cruz 2013/03/20 - 1:02 pm

Oh I am fairly sure that she knew exactly what she was doing. She only underestimated me figuring it out. It felt wrong to me so I never said yes. Obviously, not really a friendship if you’d gamble it all on something like this:(

Laurel 2013/03/20 - 12:46 pm

Not a nice thing for a “friend” to do. She seems a little short on the ethics side. Best business practice would be to have guidelines for guest posts that include things like relevance to your site’s theme, non-commercial content, etc. you could publish, or not. But have it in your back pocket to deal with such situations. On the other hand don’t let other people’s lack of (fill in the blank) ethics, empathy, etc. ruin your day!

Kate 2013/03/20 - 3:46 pm

As a brand new blogger, this is helpful! Thanks! That does not sound like much of a friend 🙁

Adriana 2013/03/30 - 7:45 am

I am new to the blogging world too and found this helpful! I too love the comradery that has developed so far simply from my writing a post every few days with other bloggers but its always a good idea to keep your guard a little up!

Jenni Chiu @ MommyNaniBooboo 2013/04/09 - 11:02 am

Your friend was being shady with a capital S. Maybe she didn’t know she was – sounds like she doesn’t know much about blogging, or she wouldn’t be promising links on someone elses’ site (or maybe she does and just sucks). It’s unfortunate that your friendship may suffer from this – but I would’ve done the same thing. You and I both are at the four year mark… and I think blogging has enriched our lives in a lot of the same ways – that’s why we protect it. xoxo

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