Now I’ll start this off by saying I’m not overly familiar with Blog Networks outside of the two I've been a part of (Handpicked Media and Glam Media). They aren't a new thing in blogging, They seem to have popped up everywhere within the beauty and fashion community in 2014. Becoming the new go-to between brands and blogs. As a new blogger, I totally see how daunting it is working with this people who seem to speak in an alien language can be. PR is a whole new world to most people, and admittedly it’s one of my least favourite aspects of blogging. Blogging networks are intended to be the middle man between brands and bloggers. Promising things like sponsored posts, samples and event invites - Sounds great huh!. But all the while I do ponder the benefits of being in a blogger network and if it really comes to anything at the end of the day. 

I had a little spat (well I say spat, it was really nothing) on Twitter about a new blogging network. Not over what they do - I do think its a great idea in principle - but I’d noticed they’d actually bought about 23,000 of their twitter followers. I mentioned it to warn other bloggers and brands alike because it's misleading. The social media practice and apparent flippant nature towards buying followers of this particular one that's rubbed me the wrong way. How could you trust someone who is misleading to potential brands & bloggers by making them seem like they have a bigger following than they do. It’s misleading and unprofessional, and I'm not even going to go into their rude replies to me.

I see why these networks are so appealing to new bloggers. Being promised what is now a lot of people’s end game in blogging - free things, events and money. But I cant help but feel that the reality of Blog Networks are not like that. I get why bloggers join, its free, and you think “oh well, no harm in trying” as you may or may not get something out of it. But even so, you’re signing up your details to something without thinking about the consequences. You have to remember they are going to be using your blog credentials to get brands interested in their network in the first place! So if they are going around ruffling the feathers of influencers and being sneaky, how can you trust them to help you?

I do understand the pro’s of Blog Networks, they sound like they could be great for new bloggers looking for guidance and brands to work with. I’ll take a wild stab and say the majority of blogging networks are legit and do try their best to get brands involved. It's just really worth thinking about if it will actually benefit you as a blogger at all. I do feel that working with PR's directly is much better as you're building a relationship with a person, but trying to connect with those people in the first place is pretty hard! It's very obvious, but brands and PR’s don’t have infinite budget for samples; there will never be enough samples to give every single blogger something. So how exactly is it measured who gets what within a network? I'd be very interested to know how fair networks when it comes to dishing out things because naturally they'll want to get the best coverage for their items so choose the bloggers with the larger followings. From my own experiences as part of Handpicked Media and currently part of Glam Media, they both promise the world but in reality it is not all that great.

Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent , but I really want to stress the importance of being careful what you sign up of and give your details to. While it might seem innocent and that it doesn’t matter, data is valuable on the internet. You never know what will be done with your data once you sign up for something. Just be smart and cautious.

As I have no real experience with blogger networks, I’d love to know some personal stories about the ones out there if you have any. Have you got any benefits from joining any of them in the form of review items, sponsored posts and events? Do you feel like they are helpful or valuable to your blog? Please let me know in the comments!