Thursday, 14 August 2014

Why The Daily Mail Readers Will Never Understand Blogging

I find tabloids are best used as fish and chip wrappings - don't you agree? 

I'm not sure if you've heard, but today an article went live on the Daily Mail (both online and in print), featuring yours truly. Yes, you heard right, for some bizarre reason a week ago I agreed to be interviewed (and photographed) for the Daily Fail, as the majority of the internet-dwelling population like to call it. Why? Predominantly for the blog exposure, if I'm honest, but also because I wanted to expel some myths about twenty-somethings 'having it all'. Why I thought the Daily Mail was the right place to do that, I'll never know.

The article is about people my age expecting more out of life by now, simply put. After writing this post a few weeks ago I felt it the perfect opportunity to paint a wider picture for people - to let everyone know how our generation is feeling. I'm an honest person, and I always write honestly on this blog - that's why I deem it successful. I wrote that blog post, as I write every blog post, so that my readers can relate and perhaps find solace in the fact they might not be alone in feeling as I did when I wrote the post - like a work in progress.

Of course, the lovely people (can you sense my sarcasm?) at the Daily Mail took it upon themselves to turn my words into something all the more sinister - as they do the majority of their articles - deeming me a self-entitled brat with a head full of fantasies, who expects the world handed to her on a plate. A girl who wants the get-famous-quick lifestyle of the reality stars which the Daily Mail so often promotes (or rips to shreds), but doesn't want to work for it. Although I like to think the majority of my readers know me well enough to recognise that this is, quite frankly, a whole load of rubbish, I still felt the need to address a few things, and write a response of sorts. Not because I feel I have something to prove, but because I am most definitely not the type of person to sit in silence when I'm bad-mouthed, by anyone - including hideous tabloids like the Mail.

First of all - I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, and as such I have worked damn hard to get me on that path. After completing my GCSEs and A-levels, I went on to study for three years to get myself a degree in English, that I'm actually incredibly proud of. Whilst studying at uni I worked in a shop part-time to pay my way whilst gaining experience in the beauty industry - the industry I wanted to write about. I also spent months of my life interning at newspapers and magazines, staying late every night and all the time working for zilch - nada. I saved money so that I could move down to London whilst interning, and whilst doing all of this I also wrote my blog.

Now, readers of the Daily Mail might think my blog is a silly, insignificant place on the internet where I drone on about blushes and mascaras, but to me it's something I've built up over years of hard work, that has given me a considerable amount of recognition and has actually been extremely worthwhile in terms of giving me internships, and, would you believe it, even jobs. It has given me the opportunity to work with dozens upon dozens of incredible brands, which has given me further exposure. More than anything, it's been a platform for my writing - which you can think what you like about - but unlike the Daily Mail, every single word I've ever written on this blog has been the truth. I don't spin lies to get a good story - I write honestly and I know for a fact that is what makes my blog appealing to my readers - they trust me, which is something tabloids like the Mail will never be able to achieve.

Blogs might not be the be-all and end-all, but anyone who thinks that they are not worthwhile is most definitely misinformed. Blogging has changed the landscape of publishing - and maybe that's why journalists at the Mail are quaking in their boots - they know that bloggers do have power. Whilst some people might think we spend our days flouncing around doing nothing, a whole lot of hard work goes into running a blog. Whilst scrolling through the comments on the article I noticed a couple of people stating that blogging is never going to be a full-time job - well how wrong you are. I know dozens of bloggers who do it full-time, and make a great deal more than you'd think. They get to go on press trips, as would journalists, and get to try new products before anyone else. They work with huge brands on national campaigns and this wasn't all handed on a plate to them - it's down to years of hard work. Blogging takes time - it's not just a case of sitting down and tap-tapping at a keyboard. It takes research, trialling products, hours of photography and editing, proof-reading, promotion through social media... It isn't easy, and it definitely isn't for the lazy.

I don't expect the world handed to me on a plate. Whilst I do dream about having a certain lifestyle, I also recognise that not everything I want may be achievable. I also know fine well that nobody on this earth gets anywhere without putting in hard work. I'm a big believer that you can be the brightest spark on the planet, but if you don't put work in, you won't get anywhere. I don't think the Daily Mail wanted to paint that picture of me, though. It wasn't a good enough story.

I started my blog because I wanted to pursue a career as a writer and I was told (by magazines, tutors and the like) that writing a blog would be a huge starting point. With the death of print looming around the corner, I think we all need to recognise that online media is taking over, and thus blogs will always be at the forefront of that. That doesn't mean bloggers are better than anyone else - but it most definitely does not make us lazy.

Whilst the readers of the Daily Mail might not understand the concept that people actually pursue careers in social media and blogging, I hope that my readers do. I also hope you all understand that I am not a self-entitled schmuck who expects the world without putting any effort in - I'm just a hard-working girl who likes to dream, but also understands that my dreams might be somewhat unreachable at times. I don't think anyone has the right to dampen a person's dreams however - and luckily, the Daily Mail hasn't dampened mine.
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48 comments

  1. Well said! What a shocking way to report something that should actually be embraced and admired. Blogging is not easy and most definitely does not promote an 'expectant' generation, I think it is the exact opposite. So glad it hasn't dampened your spirits, keep doing what you do best with energy and positivity. xx

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  3. Hi Hannah,

    I read the article and It instantly put a bad spin and negative look on our generation, and on social media.
    Yes, I think our generation we are all guilty of over using social media, but thats just what we are used to really..
    What the Daily Mail don't see to understand is that you CAN make money and a job out of social media and a blog..When I first checked out your blog I instantly thought wait a minute this girl is no dreamer, she has had features in all sorts, she has a lot of followers and seems to be doing really well with it..not what the Daily Mail are depicting at all!

    Like yourself i am a graduate, and i think part of that does give us big dreams and high ups - but so it should with a degree under our Belt!

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  4. What a cruel article, the Daily Mail makes my blood literally boil

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  5. I use to read the Daily Mail online regularly but a few months ago I decided it was just based on celebrity gossip. Regardless, I'm not actually surprised that they acted in this way. I seem to think they feel threatened by the power bloggers have. The younger generation were easier to pick on traditionally, because they didn't have a voice. Now we do and they have used dirty tactics to make it seem that we are in the wrong and shouldn't be trusted! I've read you version and I'm much more likely to believe someone reliable than a company based on hear say and gossip. xxxx

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  6. Excellent response!
    Sometimes I get embarrassed to talk about blogging with those who aren't in a community such as ours. No one really understands how hard it is to produce content and keep readers interested in a world that is saturated with blogs.

    http://cherriesinthesnowbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. I am yet to read the article that the Daily Mail have published but I still felt that I should comment prior to reading it. Blogging definitely requires an immense amount of hard work, dedication and effort. Anyone who thinks differently really needs to give it a go and see for themself. Stay strong :) X
    thefashion-junkie

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  8. I'm surprised people still read the Daily Mail to be honest, the amount of spelling and grammatical mistakes these so called journalists make is a joke, let alone the absolute tosh they write. It's a shame that they had to spin your words and your success and achievements into something that is bratty just to get read. You have every right to be proud of what you've done.. I'm not sure the same can be said for Patrick Strudwick and others. I love your blog and I love your response :) xx

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  9. While I think the article was unnecessarily harsh, and I genuinely love your blog, I see why people frown upon full time bloggers/youtubers and don't see it as a "real job". I work full time and it can be quite annoying to see bloggers having a dream lifestyle, receiving free items and holidays, not having to work, basically doing what they like all day every day. Youtubers that say that is their job often only upload once a week, and it's obvious that it's sponsored. You don't strike me as lazy or not hardworking though, so ignore the trolls and keep up with the blog xx

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  10. Oh Hannah I'm so sorry this happened to you. I work full time and I have a blog that I would love to turn into my job, and I can totally agree with you that it takes hard work, dedication and an entrepeneurial spirit. I just landed my dream job in digital marketing as a direct result of everything I've learnt through blogging. I spend hour researching SEO, PPC campaigns, learning html and commenting on things to increase my exposure. Blogging and vlogging has the highest conversion rate of all marketing, and you don't need to google for long to realise the power of these recommendations and a trusted readership.

    The industry is evolving and blogging is more important than ever. Keep going and keep writing. We're all behind you! xx

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  11. Wow just read the interview and cannot believe it. The way they kept calling you 'unemployed' was madness considering im pretty sure anything you make money from can be considered a job! I do agree that with the popularity of people like Zoella etc so many young teens will expect the same success and never achieve it but when did we become a world were people cant have aspirations and dreams? You cannot just start a blog and become an overnight sensation. It takes hard work and patience which so many wont have and will give up on. Those who are good at it and work hard will reep the rewards.

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  12. WHYYYYY did you go to the Daily Mail? Oh well, lesson's learnt, hopefully.

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    1. I second that. Didn't warming bells go off, didn't any friends advise you to tell them to bog off? it's the Daily Fail FFS :D No no no!

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    2. I wasn't originally told which publication it was for, and I was lead to believe it would be a positive piece highlighting 'the voice of a generation'. Typical journalistic twaddle, of course.

      My main reason for doing it was for blog exposure - which I have definitely achieved. So despite the article being horrible and completely misinformed, it's not all bad.

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    3. Tee Emm, it's short for "lesson is learnt".

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    4. Hannah Vickers, that's what I said in my second comment. I'm not sure why Tee Emm is so cross - I was being nice!

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    5. Apologies, Hannah: I thought he was a friend of yours who was being an arse because it (sounded like) I was criticising you. Turns out he's bona fide arse! Is he your first troll? He's mine as well.

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  13. Hooray, my comment posted! It wouldn't let me post earlier :(

    Like you, I have ALWAYSALWAYSALWAYS wanted to be a writer (though of fiction). Like you, I have a blog. My blog was only set up in May and has a teensy readership, but I'm still proud of it, as it gives me a chance to hone my writing skills and write about things that mean a great deal to me. My last blog post garnered rave reviews, from 3 people. A tiny amount of the internet traffic, but still gave me great feeling of achievement.

    Long story short: don't give up. Yes, the Daily Mail bratified you, but in a way, it could turn out to be a good thing. I, for instance, wouldn't have come across your blog otherwise. Hopefully it'll catch the eye of some top hotshot magazine editor and good things will come of it. And then you can recontact the Daily Mail, and show that What's What.

    Best of luck.

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  14. Very well said! A lot of these traditional journalists who also don't blog on the side or for the newsroom don't realize how much dedication, passion, time, and even money goes into growing your own brand. And that's what a blog is, even if it's something you enjoy: it's building up a brand and portfolio of work.

    The Daily Mail is pretty notorious even over here in the States for being pretty bad and I think it's very good on you to set the record straight and don't let them bully you into what they perceive a Millennial blogger to be. All bloggers I know have worked VERY hard, usually juggling motherhood and school and jobs, for their readership and content.

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  15. What a horrible article! Good to see you're not taking it to heart though, and your response is far more mature and thought out than anything they've written. Keep up your hard work and prove them wrong :)

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  16. The Daily Mail are scum! I've just seen the article, and I can see the places where they would have spun it. I can even imagine what you would have said, and how they would have thought 'let's spin this into a better story!' There will likely be a lot of negative comments on the site from DM readers, but try to ignore them - as you've said, they just don't understand the world of blogging. I was featured in The Sun a few months back in an article about young people not having any savings. I got the journalist to re-write and re-write my piece until I was happy with it, but still she managed to spin it so that I was a lazy bum living off my parents. You have to take what you read in the media with a pinch of salt. Anyway, opportunities will come your way, it just takes time, patience and hard work, which you are doing! Stay put, you'll get there. x

    Lola and Behold || Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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  18. we write blogs because we're passionate, simple
    www.styleandlondon.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. And what's so wrong with simplicity? As a very wise and well-respected authority - one with a similar name to yours, actually - commented on my blog: "Simplicty , clarity are better ." There you are: simplicity are better.

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    2. I have a job. I actually have two jobs. My employers know all about my OCD, and have been nothing but supportive. My father knows all about my OCD. He gave me the green light to write my blog post. This may stun you, but my name isn't really Maria Alison. And considering, in my future, I want to write about OCD, I don't see how my blog will be a stumbling blog.

      That is my primary obsession. Your primary obsession seems to be contrariness, with contrariness being a polite way of saying - well, something else.

      How was I a "failed smart-Alec"? That was his name! The word 'Filipino' comes from the name 'Felipe". I know that I'm biased towards myself, but I honestly can't see how that is a "failed smart-Alec" attempt.

      Just wondering: why do you put spaces between your words and punctuation?

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    3. I couldn't take his nonsensical ramblings any longer.

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  19. Tee Emm, there was no need for you to leave such a nasty comment! Don't call Hannah blonde when you insult her - what on earth has her hair colour got to do with anything?! Also, for someone who is so critical of other people's spelling and grammar, you appear not to know the difference between "your" and "you're".

    It's really unfair for you to call Hannah vacuous. So just because there are people in warzones, we're not allowed to write about beauty products? Beauty is a fun, enjoyable topic that people are entitled to write about if they so choose. Anyway, I think that well articulated opinions and trustworthy, honest reviews are definitely worthwhile having when you're considering spending hard earned money on a product.

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    1. You don't know what you're talking about! You have got it so wrong!

      You must be kind to others, anyway, even if you think you're only telling the truth. Who makes you the judge of what is the truth anyway? You make such wild assumptions. Selfies? I took my very first selfie last weekend! Didn't even have a smartphone til the other weekend when my ancient phone died! Still don't know how to use it. I don't even have a blog! I'm not on twitter or facebook and I wouldn't go taking selfies because sadly I am ugly and I know it!! Self-adoration?! I suffer with depression! (Not because of my looks, though that doesn't help).

      There are lots of women/girls like me who lack confidence in themselves, and make up and cosmetics really help with our self-esteem and morale. And playing around with make up is a fun activity and better than focusing on feeling sad. It makes us feel better about ourselves but it's not an obsession.

      Anyway enough of this I'm not talking about it any more, you don't know anything about me or about Hannah I'd imagine, though I don't know her myself. But I do know I'd rather be a kind person than someone that cruelly insults others. I would NEVER call someone a waste of space, like you did. Because you should have respect for some one as a person. You know, they're a human being and you should respect that and also show some empathy for their feelings.

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    2. Depression is not "very fixable". Ignorance at it's best right there.

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  20. Personally, with the likes of the Daily Mail, is partially the reason why I don't bother with the newspaper. It's load of whaff and can be just as bad as big gossiping magazines! It's extremely unfair to paint you in a bad light and realistically, you could, if you wanted to, sue them for it. It's a very bad stereotype to think that all tabloids or journalist are weasels like the person doing this was, but it really does just paint them in a bad light. Obviously you'll go through this with your head held high and show them who's better.
    Lauren | OhHay Blogs!
    xxx

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  21. The Daily Mail is full of spiteful 'journalists' who spin the truth to meet the needs of their mindless readers. Good for you for posting this post and not allowing them to bully you into silence! Your blog is amazing and it's one of the reasons I started mine. We can all tell you put your heart and sole into your blog and shows with the amazing posts. I personally think they feel threaten by the twenty something year olds who are passionate enough to make a name for themselves and they just don't like it. Well I say go for gold Hannah because you bloody deserve it!

    Paige x || PAIGEVIOLET

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    1. By 'we' she clearly meant the readers of the blog. There's no need to be nasty.

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    2. My phone autocorrected my spelling but that's irrelevant. You're purposely going out of your way to be mean to someone who has done nothing wrong. Hannah writes brilliant posts that us as readers LOVE to read.

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  22. I didn't read the article, but that' s because I refuse to acknowledge The Daily Mail as a legitimate source of journalism. There's no talent in what they do; they mock, scaremonger and lie. It's blatantly an article written out of jealousy, you're able to gain readers by telling the truth and writing well when they need to shock people in order to get attention. Don't stop doing what you're doing.

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    1. I didn't say that with the intent of worrying The Daily Mail. I just prefer getting my news from other, more reputable, sources.
      As you can see I said that their jealousy possibly stems from Hannah gaining readers who share the same interest as her rather than using the shock tactics they have a tendency to use.
      You're simply commenting to try and upset people who have a different interest to you. The great thing about this community of beauty bloggers is that is connects people from all over who share this completely harmless hobby. It's laughable that you have the audacity to insinuate that every person who has commented on this post is ignorant, or stupid, when you claim to have worked in a home with mentally handicapped children but still feel the need to try to spread hate. Go use your time more productively. Pursue something that interests you as opposed to being a dick to people who get pleasure from cosmetics.

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    2. Tee Emm, I wasn't going to reply any more but I want to say, I think you should stop commenting now. I don't understand why you feel the need to be so horrible? If you are a guy then that's even worse as you should be respectful to us; I feel like as a guy you should be protecting us from abusive comments and not writing them yourself!

      As some one else said, we're not hurting anyone, why do you want to hurt us? We haven't done anything to you. By your reasoning anyone who indulges in any hobby is frivolous and emptyheaded. I am 26 years old and work full time but I also love Disney films and pretty things. So what? I'm not hurting anyone! What's wrong with finding happiness wherever you can get it in little things that are harmless?

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    3. Actually Bluebell the person you should disappointed with is Hannah.. She has allowed him to leave a nasty comment after every SINGLE one. I for one won't be reading her blog her anymore and I feel sorry for you and all the other ladies who have experienced this as well. You shouldn't have to keep defending yourself as Hannah should have blocked him from leaving any comments....

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    4. Hi Jessica. I've been trying to block him from writing comments for the past day but I can't find a single way to do it. I blocked him via Google+ and thought that would work but I'm guessing as this is a public blog he can still comment. If you know how to block him from commenting please let me know as he's doing my head in and I'm disgusted at how he's insulting all my readers - I just want it to stop! I'm really disappointed you won't be reading my blog purely because I don't know how to block this horrible man. It feels like he's won :(

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    5. Don't worry Hannah, I don't blame you, I know it's not your fault.

      Keep up the good work on your blog - I for one love your blog!

      x

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  23. What an awful thing, I dislike how easy it is to manipulate what people say. A lot of people enjoy the social aspect of blogs, reading about things that interest them. They do take time to write, although I write mine purely as a hobby I have seen blogging to be a very good career. But it is hard and quite demanding, the necessity to turn out high quality imagery and well written posts on a daily basis. Just like writing a newspaper. The cosmetic industry is huge and blogging is one of the social aspects of the industry. Carry on doing what you enjoy, as long as it suits you then that's all that matters :) xx

    www.lifeinthefashionlanee.blogspot.co.uk

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  24. Don't be disappointed by it your blog is amazing and every talented individual gets bad press at some point but if you can rise above it you can do anything :D Keep going with your blog-its bloody amazing! Cant wait to read more from you!
    Best wishes,

    Emma Louise xx

    theemmalouise.blogspot.co.uk

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  25. You seem to have deleted comments that disagree with your opinions and I think this is wrong if you are going to publish on a public forum . The critical comments were actually very well expressed and they made me consider that this is indeed a bit of a vacuous forum and I should stop reading it .
    I can see some sense in saying that its a bit tragic for a 26 year old woman to be twittering about Wilkinson glitter nail polishes when she should be out looking for the best schools for her children.
    So I think I've had enough of this specious nonsense . Goodbye.

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    1. The comments have all been marked as spam as they were insulting and needlessly nasty. I kept them up for as long as I could (as I believe free speech is very important) but when it comes to persistently insulting myself and my readers it had to stop. It was upsetting both myself and several readers and there was really no need for it.

      I'm not sure where the idea of a 26-year-old woman with children has come from - but I'm 23 and I don't have any children - so I'll happily write about nail polishes without judgement, thanks.

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  26. Hi Hannah!

    Just to let you know I have started a blog of my own! We can be as frivolous as we like! LOL!

    Seriously though you are inspirational to me, please don't get downhearted about one negative commenter. As soon as I found your blog about a month or so ago I was really impressed and I think it's one of the more professional looking blogs I've ever seen.

    xx

    www.beautybooksfashion.blogspot.co.uk

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  27. How dare they judge a community without knowing why it exist for the first place. My blog has been my little escape from life and more precisely, from the people who keep judging me and making me think lower of myself. Exactly what the Daily Mail is currently doing.

    Sitara x | Upper Dream

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  28. I hate how tabloids change the words of others and take things out of context. I really believe blogging is taking off and so they're bound to hate bloggers but they've got to accept that time's change!
    autumnleaves-x.blogspot.co.uk

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