Blogger Discussion: Do You Think Popular Bloggers “Sell Out?”

I was having a discussion with one of my friends about a popular blogger. This blogger has over 1 million subs on Youtube, a blog and regularly gets brand promotions. My friend was upset because she read a recent “review” on this blogger’s site and it wasn’t much of a review. The product was used for a week which doesn’t give anybody time to test out a product and the review was very short. The product was extremely expensive as well.

Now, I don’t follow this blogger but I know enough to look at more than one review when buying a product and I can smell bull from a mile away when it comes to bloggers. My friend feels that it’s getting harder and harder to trust more popular bloggers and loves this site because it’s helped her find bloggers with smaller audiences while I feel that a person will mislead you if they have no morals. It doesn’t matter how big their audience gets. I don’t feel that all popular bloggers “sold out” although I believe some did.

A few questions for you:

Do you think bloggers sell out once they reach a certain milestone?

Do you think they lie to us for free products and money?

Do you trust popular bloggers? Why or why not?

Do you think you can tell honest bloggers from dishonest ones?

Discuss below!

Author: Candice VanWye

I'm the founder of this community and a creative millennial. In my spare time I write on my my personal blog and make youtube videos. I also have a podcast called The Creative Millennial where I interview cool people. I love to eat, hate to cook, and shop too much. Click the buttons below to follow my socials and follow me on snapchat: @candicevanwye

  • Jen

    I feel some do, not all, but some bloggers get dollar signs in their eyes and that is all they see and it can be a real turn off. There is nothing wrong with a blogger branching out their brand or getting to become more well-known, that’s always a good thing, but sometimes too much of that can ruin things as it often seems the writing or the charm that brought you into their work diminishes. Nothing disappoints me more than when I see a blogger who was always so careful about their brand/words and about being cordial to their followers, gain popularity and then just feigns on responsibility and simple courtesy, and begins to write terribly or go astray from their target audience just to get those bucks and those followers.

    You can tell the bloggers who begin to take the easy way out and I tend to stop reading them when their genuine voice begins to reads mechanical in their posts. I actually think having a large audience is worse because of the pressure to always be “on” and they feed that pressure by doing nothing but sponsored reviews/’give me more money’ posts. Still you can be popular and be engaging. You have to find that balance, but money often times does a lot of talking and it becomes easy to fall in that trap.

  • I agree with everything you said.

  • Do you think bloggers sell out once they reach a certain milestone?
    Some do, some stay true, however for some I wouldn’t necessarily call it selling out. I’m all for blogger growth and brand collaboration, but I hate when bloggers/youtubers review things that don’t remotely fit into their niche style/subject of interest. The bloggers I tend to follow stay very true to themselves when working with brands and I really appreciate that.

    Do you think they lie to us for free products and money?/Do you think you can tell honest bloggers from dishonest ones?/ Do you trust popular bloggers? Why or why not?
    Again, some do, and if I pick up on an artificial vibe I lost interest. I only follow bloggers if, over the long run, they seem really genuine through their writing. You can definitely tell when bloggers continue to do it for the love vs. for the free perks. It’s a huge plus when, doing a review, they include a disclaimer saying their thoughts and opinions are 100% their own, and when they give both the pros and cons about an experience they are reviewing.

    Great discussion!

  • Let’s hope! :)

  • I don’t think there is anything wrong with brand opportunities but the slack ass reviews are annoying.

  • All very true. I do hope to gain popularity and an income through blogging so I hope I don’t fall prey to this stuff.

  • I agree. I always go back through the archives. One thing that someone on Instagram helped me put into perspective is that the more popular you get the more opportunities you get so maybe as a smaller blogger you wouldn’t have done something because you couldn’t afford it but you can with popularity because it’s free or cheaper… Idk it made me think…

  • Really good point about discernment and looking at the archives before following, Ola!

  • Ola

    It’s much like any industry, once you become mainstream, you tend to become watered down to appeal to the masses. I don’t doubt at all that there are bloggers who have poor work ethic and decide to lie about products to get money, products, and more viewers.

    I have a greater level of trust for the popular bloggers that I have followed during their early stages, the others that just pop up- I take them at face value and keep it moving. For new bloggers, I become the CIA and research their blogs. I want to see your early phases before I can become a follower. There are so many out there that discernment is definitely my best tool.

  • Yes, for the most part, popular bloggers do sell out in a sense once they reach a particular milestone marked by large followings on social media and revenue in ads and sponsorships. All one needs to do is take a cursory glance at many popular bloggers and see the difference in blog content and interaction with their audience from when they first started blogging to the present day and compare. The proof is in their posts.

    Yes, I do believe many (not all) popular bloggers lie for free products and money.

    No, I do not trust popular bloggers because many of them are only looking to get more followers just to say they have them and so they can work with more ad companies and brands. As their popularity increases, they become less interested in building genuine relationships with their following and the relationship becomes one-sided. Here’s a sponsored post, click the links and buy these things so I can get more money.

    Yes, I can tell the honest ones from dishonest ones because honest ones have fewer sponsored posts; dishonest ones tend to lean toward more sponsored posts, or only write a post when it includes a sponsored item.

    Drea –

  • I do believe some bloggers (and YouTubers) “sell out” once the ad dollars and sponsorships start rolling in. There are still lots of bloggers out there who may refuse to post sponsored content and if they do post it, they’re honest about it. I’m sure all aspiring bloggers/writers want to be compensated for their opinion and that’s all fine and well. It just becomes gimmicky once certain bloggers start talking about the same thing as everyone else in an attempt to increase site traffic or add money to their pockets from companies knowing that’s not how they gained popularity in the first place. I trust a few select bloggers & YouTubers I’ve been following for years and they’ve stayed true to their original audience despite their increasing popularity. You can gain popularity and still stay true to your passion and to those who support your original purpose. People appreciate authenticity.