How Not to Sell Your Soul as a Blogger

I recently had a conversation with a colleague who works on the “Brand” side of things. We were talking about how they choose which bloggers to work with and what they expect. One of her comments was “not to sell your soul”. This really resonated with me so I thought I would share with you my thoughts and suggestions on this…

1. Be clear on your own “brand”

I’ve spent the last two years working out what my blog is all about. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% sure now but I am certainly sure what my blog is not about. Doing my “blog makeover” a couple months ago really helped me to get in my mind’s eye what the keep it simpElle brand is all about. That was brought to life by the graphic designer and produced what you see here, now.

2. Stay authentic to the brands that you love

There are certain brands I’ve loved for as long as I can remember and those are the brands I aspire to work with now. I’ll also work with brands I don’t know…so I can learn about them and find out if they “fit” for me. I never want to spread negativity and after all my opinion is just that, my opinion. So if I don’t love a product / experience I won’t share it. If I do, I will, then it’s down to you to make your own informed choices!

3. Know when to say no

I’ve said no to “doga” (I believe this was yoga with your dog…I don’t have a dog). I’ve also said to to any unpersonalised email that lands in my inbox.

4. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t post it

Sometimes you write a post and don’t click publish. You’re not sure why. It just doesn’t feel right. Follow your instinct. If your post doesn’t excite you, it won’t excite others. Come back to it at a later date. I recently published a post that was in my drafts for over a year. By the time I read it back one year later, it was way more interesting. To see where I am now compared to where I was then was exciting.

5. Give feedback to the brands you work with

It’s good practice to share both positive feedback and give constructive criticism. Stay in communication with the brand you are working with. I strive to inform them when I receive any product, when I plan for my post to go live and then send through a link when my post is live. If I chose not to write about a product then I feed this back to the brand.

6. Always be honest with your opinion

In the USA it seems that it is the law to share with readers when you’ve been compensated. I get that. It isn’t the law yet over here in the UK (correct me if I am wrong?!) but I guess we might as well start doing it now so we don’t get caught out when things change. It’s also common courtesy to state when you use affiliate links. I just created a new tag ‘affiliate’ to show when I am using them. I currently am only using affiliate links for 4 brands that I love (incase you’re wondering they are MyProtein, LessBounce, Simply Supplements and Activ Instinct). It will never become the case that every post uses them.

7. Build and maintain relationships 

When you get a chance, reach out to some of your contacts and share what’s coming up on your blog. If you have ideas for how you can work together, share those too. I mean, what’s the worse that could happen?! You get a “thanks, but no thanks” response?! You don’t get a response?! No big deal!

This one also goes for other bloggers too! No one reads blogs like bloggers do! They’ll be your allies! I created a group on Facebook called London Bloggers so that we could share opportunities, ideas and support each other! …I love to share amazing things with other bloggers! Turning up to events and knowing a few faces is the best feeling in the world!

8. Credit your sources 

If you use a picture that is not your own, be sure to mention where you got it from! I used a picture from pinterest once, edited it a little but kept the artists name on it. I was then contacted by that artist who threatened me with legal action. Since then, I tend not to use images other than my own; keeps things simple.

Whether yo u blog or just read blogs…any more tips or feedback for us?! What do you look for in a blog? What are your thoughts on advertising? Affiliate links? 

Elle 🙂 




  1. Georgina Spenceley
    January 8, 2015 / 18:23

    Love it. I feel the same. I think I was naive at first and excited to be offered reviews for loads of stuff, I ended up agreeing to try things that weren't really massively relevant. But when it comes down to it, it's really important to only write about and advertise stuff you like and would use yourself. I think there is a law in the UK about disclosing if you've received a freebie to write about and if you've received compensation. I always make sure I say so, but again when I first started I thought it was bragging! Now I know better! I want my readers to trust me, so will always be honest.

    • Elle Linton
      January 8, 2015 / 23:11

      You're not alone! I guess that is how we learn! Good to know about the disclosure stuff! It's also a tough balance in regards to turning people off reading because you've been paid / compensated in some way! But we shall continue to live and learn! xoxo

  2. Susie @ Suzlyfe
    January 8, 2015 / 18:21

    I wrote something very similar last Friday on Blogging with Integrity–wholeheartedly agree with you!

    • Elle Linton
      January 8, 2015 / 23:07

      Awesome 🙂 great to see we're singing from the same song sheet! Thanks for stopping by Susie x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Sweat etc. December 2014

That's it. 2014 is done. Here is a short recap of my final month of training.   This was the plan...