Last Updated on January 31, 2012
I've recently heard that the fashion blogosphere has reached a point of oversaturation. It's becoming increasingly hard to "break through" and there's nothing new left to say. While a debate about this would deserve its own post, truth is that many fashion bloggers have resorted to abusing the community for unabashed self-promotion in hopes to keep their head above water.
When I joined Independent Fashion Bloggers after starting Dressful, I was immediately bombarded with unusual communication disguised as "welcome messages" from some IFB members. Those messages consisted of three to four words like "Hi welcome to IFB" followed by a plethora of links to the member's blog, Facebook fanpage, Twitter profile and even pleas to follow their blog.
It was more than obvious that they had been copy-pasting the same message all over the site not to make anyone feel welcome, but to promote themselves. In my case, the effect of this was diametrically opposite to these bloggers' intention: I was put off by their spamming and never visited their blogs. I also deleted the messages.
How much self-promotion is too much? Shoving your links into people's faces when you're leaving comments on other sites and blogs is unnecessary if you have the option to fill in your name and URL so when others click on your name, it'll take them to your blog.
Blogger supports this.
WordPress does, too.
If you click on a member's name on IFB, it'll take you to their profile where you can find all of their links.
Why copy-paste your links everywhere when blogging platforms make it easy to reach your blog by default? Nobody appreciates it. It's time-consuming. It won't do anything for your blog in the long run. Initially it might bring you some extra clicks, but if most people who visit your blog never come back, it means you're doing it wrong.
This is a frequent case with blogs whose owners desperately seek attention - the very reason their self-promotion is so aggressive is that nobody follows them because their work (or lack thereof) is mediocre. Blogs entirely filled with reposts and unoriginal content don't inspire, educate or make you think in any way.
I wish these bloggers knew they could get many more followers by improving their content instead of wasting time on shortcuts to success.
Shortcuts don't work. Especially not in blogging.
Sometimes it does happen that an aggressively promoted mediocre blog gains a big(ger) following, but only in numbers. Looking at the feedback they're receiving, you'll see it's just like the spammy comments those bloggers adopted as their claim to fame - generic and boring.
If you constantly bother people asking them to follow you on 5 million sites without a good reason, don't expect anything better in return. It's impossible to respect someone who wants all the attention, but adds nothing worthwhile to the conversation.