Most bloggers or industry-related professionals have their own agenda.
If you’re trying to work with a blogger or brand, I promise you that blogger or brand will only work with you depending on how much it will benefit them. The only person looking out for you in this business is you, unfortunately.
Not only are you the only person who has your best interest at heart, but there are a slew of bloggers, “coaches”, and “best-selling authors” that claim they can land you a deal of a lifetime to earn you tons of money. I emphasize claim.
A lot of these people have no idea what they’re doing, and they’re trying to sell something they think is popular, but they haven’t actually achieved themselves. You know what I’m talking about…the “Get Paid to Pin!” webinars and the “Double Your Insta Followers Quick!” courses.
Now, there actually are some great, credible, and honest people out there – it’s just a matter of finding them. And when you come across one, you’ll know because this person really does have your best interest at heart which is why he/she is so successful. Here’s what I do that you should to find bloggers you can trust:
Check out their social presence
Checking someone’s social media presence is like a background check. If the numbers add up, and this blogger has a decent following with decent authentic engagement, they’re most likely legit.
But if this blogger has only a few followers and the quality of their content isn’t that great, it’s safe to assume they jumped the gun too quick. (Side note: you have to be patient and “pay your dues” if you want to turn your blog into a business. You have to mess up, fall down, and get back up a bunch of times before you can call yourself an expert.)
For example, you shouldn’t take relationship advice from someone who’s single. Sorry, but if you’re not in a loving, caring, respectful relationship, how can you teach us how to be in one? Blogging is no different. You want to find bloggers who live the experience day in and day out. And when you check their social presence, it will tell you everything you need to know about the validity of the blogger.
Look at the free stuff
Every blogger provides free content through their blogs and Instagram. They write posts that are free for us to read, and they share style inspiration that is free for us to see on Instagram. The question now is, is the free stuff valuable? Is this blogger’s style tips totally original and legit, or is it generic and boring? Does this blogger actually teach us things or does s/he just beat around the bush and never give us a direct answer?
The quality of the free stuff is a direct reflection of the paid stuff. So, if you like someone’s blog posts or “free stuff”, you’ll most likely love the stuff you have to pay for. Why do you think grocery stores give out samples all the time? Because they know the free stuff is so good you won’t be able to resist the full package!
Not many bloggers have a page dedicated to testimonials, which is great news for you if you’re reading this because you’ll stand out by making one. I have one for all of my products because it increases my credibility and tells visitors what to expect. The more reputable people you can get to back you, the better off you’ll be. Because who’s to say you didn’t make up the testimonials yourself and stick a random person’s picture next to it?
Another thing to keep in mind when you’re reading other blogger’s testimonials is you have to be careful that these bloggers aren’t just all friends. I see this with a lot with authors and “blogger besties”. They all hang out together and endorse each other’s products (sometimes for money), which is great if they’ve actually read the book or tested the product. That’s why I try to look for real, authentic testimonials that aren’t too curated, and I try to get real, authentic testimonials from people all over the spectrum: bloggers, public figures, coaches, small business owners, etc.
If you want to play detective and go even deeper, search the product or book’s hashtag on Instagram and ask a non-bias person what they think. I do this with workout programs I’m interested in. Talk about a real testimonial, it doesn’t get more real than that!
In a saturated market like blogging, finding bloggers you can trust is tricky, but when in doubt, always follow your gut. If something doesn’t feel quite right, there’s usually something not quite right about it.
Who are your favorite trusted bloggers? Share your list in the comments below!