127 Comments

  1. September 15, 2016 / 3:08 am

    Ash, I love this post. So genuine and authentic. I’m completely with you on this! Thanks for having the courage to say it out loud!! Xo

    Makayla

    • September 15, 2016 / 2:40 pm

      I wish this post would go viral or something… hahaha because I feel like EVERYONE wants to say what I put in here!

      • Anna
        September 28, 2016 / 6:33 pm

        I’ve been talking about this with a friend for weeks now!! It’s so frustrating!!! Inloved reading this post!! So much truth here.

  2. September 15, 2016 / 3:34 pm

    CAN WE RE-PIN THIS AND TWEET THIS TIMES A MILLION?!!?!?!?!? You better preach. It is REALLY SAD and disheartening. We all work SO HARD and then these fakes get all these sponsored posts and brand partnership with fake followers. This is such a relevant and timely post. THANK YOU XO

    • September 15, 2016 / 3:56 pm

      No joke!! I want people to share this a ton!!! I want it out there!

    • July 14, 2017 / 10:56 pm

      Those fakes will get brand partnerships no problem but probably a one-time deal as those brands will soon realize their followers are fake and don’t engage.

  3. September 15, 2016 / 4:02 pm

    LOVED this post. Thanks for sharing this! This needs to be talked about.

  4. Anna
    September 15, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    The struggle is real, I never know how my picture will do, random no effort shoe pic will do phenomenal, while something I put effort into barely gets few hundred likes
    XO,
    Anna
    http://www.blushingrosestyle.com

  5. September 15, 2016 / 4:08 pm

    Love this post! As a small blogger it can get discouraging quickly when you see someone buying their likes and followers. I would be lying if the thought hadn’t crossed my mind to do the same just to keep up!! But I haven’t and I won’t because I know no one respects those bloggers and it just hurts them in the long run. Great read Ash!

    http://www.heykailymae.com

  6. Maggie
    September 15, 2016 / 4:37 pm

    I totally agree with this!! I’m not satisfied with the change either and glad someone else said it – and is exposing how there’s “fake” accounts out there!

    http://www.maggiealamode.com

  7. September 15, 2016 / 4:58 pm

    OMG! This is one of the best posts I’ve read in a really long time. You’ve said EVERYTHING I’ve been thinking of over the last few months. LOVE this and thank you for posting this <3

  8. September 15, 2016 / 5:03 pm

    Wow Ashley this is an AMAZING blog post! Way to go girlfriend! Everything you said is the TRUTH and I back you up 100%!! It’s so frustrating because it feels as if those of us who are genuine and working hard are just getting left behind. But post like this are encouraging! I’m hoping more brands catch on!

    Xoxo,

    Luisa
    http://www.peachestopearls.com

  9. September 15, 2016 / 5:03 pm

    Amazing post!!! Preach it girl!! I get so frustrated seeing those accounts where their likes are SUPER fast and then it slows down a lot. And then brands don’t really realize and just think they are a “big” and engaged account. It’s frustrating for those of us trying to grow the organic way!!!!!! Ugh!! Totally sharing this! And THANKS for addressing the DIRTY TRUTH!

  10. September 15, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    Literally the best post I’ve read!! Thank you for saying all of this! It is so frustrating and I hate the fake people doing this! Let me get to sharing the crap out of this!!

  11. September 15, 2016 / 5:10 pm

    GIRL!!! THIS POST – thank you, thank you!! Seriously. I get so angry with this all the time. I have a smaller following compared to most (6K) and get so discouraged when I see another account that’s only been LIVE for 6 months have like 40K followers, yet the same amount of likes. And they’re getting the brand partnerships that I’ve worked my butt off for. I did a few loop giveaways back in the day when they first started. But for the most part, have tried to focus on slow and steady and authenticity.

    With all that said, ha, THANK YOU for speaking for a lot of us!!! Will be sharing this in my link love post tomorrow!!

    Xo,

    Kristyn
    Primp and Proper

  12. September 15, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this!!! And I couldn’t agree with you more!! THANK YOU for sharing, being honest, and being AUTHENTIC!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

  13. September 15, 2016 / 5:25 pm

    You go girl! Thanks for being so honest and open in this post! Just keep being the #girlboss you are! The people who work hard for what they have are truly the ones better off in the end! Working hard for something is much more rewarding then paying people to do it for you and then taking the credit for it. Just keep being you girl!

    XO / Courtnee

  14. September 15, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    Wow Ashley, I was oblivious to this. I have seen my following and engagement drop but I had no idea you could buy them! Dang that stupid algo I guess it has made some people greedy tand hat’s why the number of likes or followers shouldn’t discourage anyone from working with a brand because there’s a lot of people out there just buying them and you probably do better work than them. Great post!

  15. September 15, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    Kudos to you Ashley ! Absolutely loved this post ! It is so disheartening to see so many bloggers go down that route when we bust our butts out to stay genuine and build a real following. Thank you for sharing.

  16. September 15, 2016 / 5:40 pm

    Preach it!!! I am SO SICK of people buying likes and just ruining IG for what it was truly meant to be – a social and photography sharing platform. Such a great post!

    xo Mariam | http://www.thepetitebijou.com

  17. September 15, 2016 / 5:49 pm

    I love your honesty in this post. Blogging is such a competitive world and people begin blogging for so many reasons. Some want fame, others want to have nice things, some think they’ll get rich without having to “work” others start a blog as a creative outlet that fulfills all passions that were left hung up to dry and unattended to. I blog to create quality content for brands and my readers. Content that resonates with likeminded people. Content that takes HARD work and time. This is my passion and this passion has its perks. This passion also has its downfalls like the slow, authentic growth you talked about here. But it is so important to remain true to yourself and your brand and when you buy likes/followers you are selling yourself short. I get why people do it, its a quick and easy way to get recognized. It is immediate gratification. But what does the long run, the future look like for these people? Probably not too awesome. I’ve found that remaining true to my brand and not focusing on the competition in the saturated blogging world has actually helped me succeed and challenged me to find new ways to stand out and grow authentically. I am so happy you decided to write this post! XOXOXOXO

  18. September 15, 2016 / 6:10 pm

    This was such a refreshing read! Thank you for having the courage to share a topic that is so relevant to all of us, yet always swept under the rug. My blog may be small, but I am proud that my interactions are authentic and real.

    Keep being a badass, Ashley! Xxoo

    • September 15, 2016 / 6:21 pm

      You’re too sweet! Thank you so much!! Keep killing it!!!!

  19. September 15, 2016 / 6:13 pm

    YES!!! Something I shake my head at every day. Sad to see that people are buying their “success.” Try hard work & honesty!!

  20. September 15, 2016 / 6:18 pm

    This post is EVERYTHING!!! Literally one of my biggest pet peeves is when people do this!! It’s so annoying. I absolutely love that you wrote this post because I feel the exact same way!

    Xo,
    Britt

    http://www.bybrittanilauren.com

  21. September 15, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    Amen, girl! Sharing this immediately! Thanks for keeping it real! XooX

  22. September 15, 2016 / 6:56 pm

    YES YES A THOUSAND TIMES YES!!! Way to go, lady. Saying what we are all thinking! I totally 100% agree with everything, especially the part that WE NEED TO FOCUS ON OUR OWN PLATFORMS. Investing all of your time and energy into a platform over which you have no control is completely stupid and totally bad business. We need to focus on being real, and unique, and authentic, and putting out the very best content we can. I totally feel that pressure sometimes, having a smaller Insta following. I see girls all the time with heinous photos and feeds who have 10x my followers and I just wonder WHY HOW is this a thing. Thanks for saying what we have all been thinking.

    xo Steph
    http://asparklefactor.com

  23. September 15, 2016 / 7:14 pm

    DROP THE MIC!!! This post is so 150% real and I love it. Thanks for expressing what everyone is feeling! XX, Donna

  24. September 15, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    Yes to every.freaking.thing in this post! I’ve been working on my blog for four years and all of a sudden girls that have been doing it a year have 20+ followers over night. It’s so frustrating and disheartening, but this post is ALL OF THE PRAISE HANDS emojis! LOOOOOOVE it and your blog! You’re a rockstar!

  25. September 15, 2016 / 7:31 pm

    This was a great read. it is frustrating to see people jump up in a few months. At least I know I have worked hard for every follower I have on Insta.

  26. September 15, 2016 / 7:43 pm

    Oh yes girl PREEEEEEEACHHHHH! I’m right there with you. I’ve actually unfollowed people that I’ve been faithful to following because it made me so annoyed that they would post a picture and within 2 minutes have 500 likes..ummmmm who are you fooling? We bust our BUTTS to have our accounts be successful and authentic so it kills me to see anyone take the shortcut. I spend countless hours interacting to get those likes and followers. Pay your dues I say!

    xo, Nina
    Law of Fashion Blog

  27. September 15, 2016 / 8:16 pm

    Yesssss!!!! Thank you so much for posting this!! I’m so tired of feeling like an Insta failure without the immediate 1,000 likes! I couldn’t figure out what all was going on, honestly, so thank you for explaining and encouraging us all to stay honest and do the ‘real’ work it takes for a successful blog!!
    Xo,
    January

  28. September 15, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    Sharing this post! I agree with what you say. It won’t stop people from buying fans / likes, but maybe it will have an impact in other ways.

  29. September 15, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    I am so glad I read this! It is the dirty little secret that no one talks about. I agree with everything here and love the advice to just be authentic, focus on your own brand and allow things to grow organically. Best of luck to us ALL

  30. September 15, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    I’m giving you a standing ovation right now. Thank you thank you thank you! #truthbetold

  31. September 15, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    Great post! I totally agree with you. I posted a Video yesterday on my YouTube Chanel talking about this too.
    Xox, Raysa

    • September 15, 2016 / 10:07 pm

      It’s such a huge issue and no one seems to want to take responsibility! haha

  32. Cassydy @wewonderandwander
    September 15, 2016 / 9:51 pm

    Best post of all time! You know I love this! Our DM messages about this stuff crack me up (and make me mad) but I’m just glad I’m not the only one that sees the amount of BS out there and yes… I will now share this post with every brand I consult when they want to know which bloggers to work with!! Love you girl!!!

    • September 15, 2016 / 10:11 pm

      Hahahahah, I know!! You are too sweet to share! Thank you!

  33. September 15, 2016 / 10:47 pm

    PREACH!!! This post could not be more real and authentic and I am loving every word! I am definitely a smaller blogger, but have worked my butt off to get there and I know the satisfaction I get when I work with a brand I’ve been obsessed with or the comments I get from girls who actually care and get something out of my posts. This post needed to be written and you were clearly the perfect one to write it! Thank you for being so open and honest! Obvi by all the comments on this post, there are a big portion of us who are behind this all the way!

    xox E
    http://thestylehuntblog.com

  34. September 16, 2016 / 12:24 am

    Such a great post! It’s is draining to see others ‘grow’ when you know it’s not real, but I agree. My blog is the foundation of this whole thing and it’s where I put most of my energy and even though I don’t have as many Instagram followers as some people, I feel good about what I’m doing 🙂

  35. September 16, 2016 / 1:51 am

    Fantastic post, Ash! Thank you for shining light on the very real and very frustrating fact that those of us who work hard to product unique and authentic content are often upstaged by dishonest practices. I will forever be a fan of your work!!
    Xo, Steph
    http://www.whitecoatwardrobe.com
    IG: @whitecoatwardrobe

  36. Anna
    September 16, 2016 / 2:24 am

    Loveeee this post. You comment such sweet things on two bloggers I know of that have purchased their way to 80k from like 10k in just a few months though 🙁 is it because you don’t know or because you don’t want to alienate them because they’re big in everyone else’s eyes? Love all that you post!! Xx

    • September 16, 2016 / 3:26 am

      Sadly, I still comment on everyone’s posts that comment on mine, whether they buy or not. And sometimes I cringe at the thought of it. Some people aren’t pleased with this post and have tried to call me out on it, but you know, they are buying because they are that insecure and want to look that much better. So, sure, I’ll comment because I feel sad for them! If they turn it into something more then I will just block them. ha! DM me who they are… I probably agree with you!

  37. September 16, 2016 / 2:31 am

    Yes!! Thank you so much for this post, I’ll be sharing for sure. As someone who has been. Blogging for 3 years and has really struggled to grow my social media even a tiny amount, this just makes me feel like it’s hopeless! Pure and simple, inflated your numbers for your own monitary benefit is FRUAD. How do they not see that?

  38. September 16, 2016 / 2:37 am

    Guurrrlllll…so so good. I know how frustrated you’ve been with this issue. I mean a lot of us are and you are right that it’s gotten so much worse. And I know (we know) those certain someones that are so guilty of this – those “fakies” hehe. I love this post. I’ve reached out to some of these bloggers before I realized what they were doing and the BS they fed about growth was eye rolling.

    • September 16, 2016 / 3:24 am

      uhhhhh, and I know exactly who you are talking about. It sucks!!! Why can’t everyone just be honest!

  39. September 16, 2016 / 2:44 am

    Hi luv,

    Thank you so much for posting this and addressing the elephant in the room. I can’t even describe how defeating it is to see others rise to the top over non-legit numbers, especially when there’s those of us that are going the organic, authentic way and we put so much into it.

    I have to ask you a question. First off, I never knew about SocialBlade and I absolutely love it! Thank you! Having said that, I’m very discouraged by my growth numbers in seeing that I gain hardly any followers a day. What would you recommend is the best way to increase the growth rate per day? I’d love any advice you can offer!

    Hugs,
    Becky at VelvetandVino.com

    • September 16, 2016 / 3:24 am

      As much as it sucks, interacting is key! With the new algorithm change it’s so hard to get any traction with followers. I spend hours a day interacting, if I can. It sometimes pays off, but other times it doesn’t. It’s so hard to see what works and what doesnt!

  40. September 16, 2016 / 3:10 am

    Okay can we just take a second to give you a freaking standing ovation? This post is EVERYTHING for real talk. You finally put into words the emotions and thoughts I’ve been feeling for so long now. THANK YOU. More realness like this needs to happen in the blogging world. You rock my socks off. Definitely sharing.

    Stephanie // SheSawStyle.com

  41. September 16, 2016 / 3:25 am

    Hi Ashley,

    I just wanted to say that this post really reassured me about my slow growth. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been tempted and have contemplated buying followers initially just to kick off my new blog. But the whole point of my blog is to help people, so why would I buy inauthentic followers just for show? It can be frustrating starting a blog especially now– the market is saturated and there is a lot of good content already out. But at the end of the day I want to feel like I actually earned my sponsorships and my following. Thank you so much again and good luck to you!

    • September 16, 2016 / 3:29 am

      Keep kicking ass and you will rise to the top. Just create great content that people are interested in and you wont have a problem. Have a competitive advantage over these bloggers and you will definitely stand out over the rest!! 🙂

  42. September 16, 2016 / 3:50 am

    I’m SO glad you wrote this post! I actually have been using socialblade since the first two months I started blogger and been tracking other bloggers growth, more for curiousity in the beginning but now to see who’s buying followers! Its so crazy when you see Instagram wipe out the bots and they lose 13k followers and then they jump back up…it’s pathetic. I work full time and run my blog with the hopes of being able to do it full time one day but it’s hard when these cheaters are ruining for everyone! Everyone just needs to be genuine and know it’s not a race and there is room for everyone! Grow your own branding and have companies reach out to you cause you fit their aesthetic!

  43. Hailey
    September 16, 2016 / 3:54 am

    THANK YOU for this post!!! You’re so real and that’s why I love you so much. It also makes me feel like I’m not alone – I haven’t had a photo over 900 likes in weeks (and weeks). Huge decrease from before the algorithm was implemented…
    Hailey
    http://www.themiddlecloset.com

  44. September 16, 2016 / 3:58 am

    Of course I am praise hand emoji-ing this entire post, but my fave part is the encouragement! It’s so frustrating for smaller bloggers like myself because Instagram actually used to be my biggest referrer to my blog! I’ve asked people all the time who have same amount of followers as me what they’re doing and the lies I hear are ridiculous hahaha. Thank you for being so real and motivating me to keep it up!

    P.S. I REALLLLYYY wanna know who you’re talking about, but I appreciate you not calling them on this too I guess. Lol

    http://goodtomicha.com

  45. September 16, 2016 / 4:08 am

    Absolutely loved this!! I definitely feel like it’s a topic us bloggers don’t like talking about but I feel the exact same way about those who are buying! I can definitely see how it’s tempting bc my growth has been slow but I want to grow organically and with real followers, not ghost followers. Thank you for addressing this issue and saying it how it is!

    Xoxo,
    Yvan
    simplyyvan.com

  46. September 16, 2016 / 4:18 am

    You’re so completely right! It’s been discouraging to see interaction down, and I don’t even have a very large Instagram following, but buying likes and followers just isn’t honesty, or good for business! I’m curious to see how this issue plays out in the future, I feel like this issue could start taking the spotlight in the way that copyright issues online have. Couldn’t buying likes and followers in order to make your numbers seen better by brands technically be categorized by the FTC as internet or sponsorship fraud?

    -Eva
    thepreppyballerina.com

  47. September 16, 2016 / 5:15 am

    As always, I enjoy reading… Your honesty and killer attitude is what I love! Thanks for being inspiring and encouraging all of the time, and for taking time to comment and interact. It means a lot to me as a “young” blogger. I can appreciate all of the time you put in so much! (And while we’re on the Instasubject… can Instagram just also take some time to clean up the raunchy and fake accounts!? I feel like I have to block half of my new followers each day because, ewee, lol YUCK!)

  48. September 16, 2016 / 6:19 am

    I know so many bloggers who are close to just giving up over these and the algorithm changes! I feel like all of my posts cap at the same amount of likes every time and it’s frustrating! Thanks for writing this!

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  49. September 16, 2016 / 8:55 am

    Someone shared this post through the InfluenceHer Collective group and I saw your mention on Snapchat. And girl, you are 100% on point! I think what I realized too though is that Instagram isn’t everything. I was looking through sample media kits and there are a ton of people who have crazy monthly page views but with a very small IG following. I think brands should focus on the overall audience reach and also do their research on whether that person has fake followers. I didn’t have about that site that you recommended but I’m going to check out so many suspicious people’s accounts now hehehe

    Tina
    http://www.justatinabit.com

  50. September 16, 2016 / 10:55 am

    As soon as someone shared this in one of my Instagram blogger chat groups, I HAD to read it! What a great post! I think you’ve honestly said what so many of us were thinking. I saw a girl go up 5k in one day and I was like hmmm- fake.

    It sort of sucks because on first glance, their ridiculous amount of likes make those of us who are doing all the hard slogging look worse. But I think you’re right in saying that brands are starting to notice.

    **Insert a million sassy finger snaps for how on-point this post is**

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

  51. September 16, 2016 / 12:38 pm

    A billion time YES!!! It is so frustrating that I work day and night to have authentic followers and bave never paid a dime for likes, comments, followers. However, all influencers see is a follow count and offer these people money to advertise. Like you, my true followers, sales and ROI are what matters. I just wish advertisers could see this.

    • September 16, 2016 / 3:25 pm

      I really wish they could too! I was hoping this post would be shared enough to potentially go viral but apparently that is harder than it sounds ha ha!

  52. September 16, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    AMAZING post Ashley! Thank you for saying what we were all thinking! Definitely sharing this!

  53. Nstaly
    September 16, 2016 / 5:45 pm

    Wonderful post! I am glad you said what I’ve been thinking for a while now. Slow and steady is the way to go these days. It is frustrating at times, but I’m not going to give in! Thank you for speaking your mind and being true to your audience and yourself! Way to go girl!

  54. September 16, 2016 / 9:22 pm

    Thanks so much for this post; you tell them, lady! Makes me also feel better on a personal level, as I have an underperforming IG account, all the while my blog does incredibly well. Sucks to lose brand collabs to other with fake followers/likes, though, as most sponsored content has switched to Instagram. Apparently brands in Canada aren’t really checking :/
    xo Cristina

  55. Pingback: The Friday Edit
  56. September 17, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    This is such a wonderful post, and I love your genuine explanation of this. Slow & steady is definitely the way to go, I used to participate in 3-5 loops a WEEK and gained this following, and I stopped doing the loops since they went haywire really. Seems like they’re coming back a bit? I’m not really sure, but I’m going to be in my first one in the next week and I’m excited to see a large increase (hopefully) from the loop. It is super frustrating to stay within the same numbers for so long, and I do feel like my content is better than some people’s and I even see bloggers with huge followings posting once every few days and that drives me INSANE because I post 2-3 times a day, and am trying to get as much engagement as I can. It just seems so weird when I see an account with 5000 followers getting 1000 likes…there’s just no way, it doesn’t make sense for every single photo. Thanks for sharing your candid thoughts on this, loved reading through it! xx Adaleta Avdic

  57. @pearlsandwhimsy
    September 17, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    I am beyond obsessed with this article! ! I started my Instagram account over a year ago and my progress had been so slow, but at least it’s REAL. I noticed a huge difference when the algorithm was added, but I still believe in growing my account the fair way. I also get sad when I hear about people buying followers. Why would you not want your followers to be real people who actually like your style? Beautiful piece that I hope will be reposted over and over again!

  58. September 17, 2016 / 8:44 pm

    WHAT A GREAT POST. I’m new to the blogging world and not going to lie it hasn’t crossed my mind. BUT I realize one you start “cheating” you are caught in the web of lies and then you have to continue cheating and cheating. I want to be authentic for myself and authentic to my followers. Thank you for posting this. ❤️

  59. September 18, 2016 / 6:17 pm

    Okay so question though. How is comment “lb please” “first” on Kylie Jenners photos, as you do, different that getting fake likes? Essentially youre trading off the promise of liking someone else’s photos so they’ll up your own like count, but they don’t actually interact with your brand outside of seeing “lb” on Kylie Jenners pictures. Really just looking for some insight about rhat

    • September 18, 2016 / 8:28 pm

      So… How are those fake in your eyes? I’m not sure I get where you’re coming from. I interact for hours a day on multiple people’s accounts, celebrity, blogger, etc. I get countless amounts of followers from interacting with these accounts, so how is that fake? I’d really love to know since I have built a very successful following and blog from spending all of those countless hours interacting. So, if you think my likes are fake from spending my time liking photos on Instagram, you are sadly mistaken. I have never once purchased my interaction or followers as this is what the entire blog post was about, if you actually understood what it was saying. Hours of interacting that equate to likes on my photos is not equal to buying fake likes from a website that gets you thousands in 2 seconds. If I don’t interact, my photo wouldn’t get as many likes; that’s just how it works now. The people who don’t feel like busting their ass to interact or the people who want to look popular, buy likes from these websites. It looks to me that you started your Instagram when they had already started making major changes so I don’t think your account has been affected like most of the larger blogger’s accounts have. And most of us can attest to that, if you care to ask anyone else about this issue. I mean, just read the comments. I hope I clarified this issue for you. If not, let me know and I will go into more depth on what buying fake likes vs authentic interaction means. Thank you for your concern though! 🙂

      • September 19, 2016 / 8:43 pm

        No no I wasn’t saying getting likes that way is fake. What I was more so wondering is where your thoughts were on obtaining likes in that way. I’ve seen you post on famous instagram accounts saying things like “lb please” “first please” and I understand that is an interaction of sorts but is that sort of interaction that you’re saying is a positive way to grow your brand? I’m legit not trying to hate on you at all here I’m actually just wondering. Wouldn’t it make more sense to interact specifically about your brand (ex. check out my new post about (blank)” rather than doing the “lb, first” etc comments? I understand that by commenting your converting the people that see your comments into likers/followers but wouldn’t it be more authentic if you were more brand specific? I might just be one of those people who don’t really like to see people (for the lack of a better word) spamming famous accounts for conversion of likes/follows.

        • September 19, 2016 / 9:00 pm

          OHHHH, gotcha!! Honestly, with the way Instagram has changed, any type of interaction that brings awareness to your account is legit in my eyes. It is so hard to get interaction on your photos from a different group of people, in addition to who follows you, so you have to start getting creative on how to reach a new audience. I definitely am spending time liking fashion accounts, etc. but sometimes it’s just not enough to get that reach. Most people on celeb. accounts don’t even look at the comments people are saying, whether it is look at my new post, or LB, etc. They just click an account and start liking away. They have actually done quite a few articles on this type of interaction and if it gets your post to go viral, you will be seen by a massive percentage more than just your normal 1.8% interaction from your followers. I would have never interacted this much if Instagram would have just stayed the same, but they have made it nearly impossible for people to see our hard work!

          • September 19, 2016 / 9:25 pm

            I’ll have to look up those studies they seem like a worth while read! And thanks for the clarification. Some Instagrammers do the spamming of pages but then try to act like they don’t but I like how you’re honest about it. The whole interaction and viral stuff makes a lot of sense too. Just wanted to see how you thought about it!

          • September 19, 2016 / 9:35 pm

            It’s definitely not my main form of interaction. I normally will comment a couple of times right after I do a post to get more attention to it and I’m done. I strongly suggest people interaction through their fees, through the “suggested” posts and with relevant hashtags that are similar to what you are posting. But to get that added reach to a brand new post, you definitely have to get creative in a very short amount of time. Just keep that in mind as you grow. You’ll be fine with where you are currently. It definitely gets harder as you get larger!

  60. September 18, 2016 / 11:18 pm

    It’s so sad that this is true. I still have so much to learn about the blogging world, but the one thing that has always been most important to me is that I grow organically. I want people to follow my blog because they are truly interested in what I have to share, because that is what I do. Thank you so much for speaking your mind, Ashley!

    Kim
    http://www.mrscliftonscloset.com

  61. September 19, 2016 / 3:25 am

    I love this freaking blogpost so much babe! Yea, you hit every points and I agree with you 100%!

    Boyu xx
    http://www.boyuba.com

  62. September 19, 2016 / 6:49 am

    Girl yes!! I’ve been seeing sooo many people doing this lately and it’s so frustrating! It’s hard enough to grow and get collaborations through Instagram, and now this algorithm is making people cheaters. It’s definitely not fair to everyone else. Keep preaching! Happy to hear that someone is willing to talk about this issue.

    http://www.littleblackshell.com

  63. September 19, 2016 / 2:15 pm

    There is so much to love about this post. It drives me nuts when people buy followers and likes. Yes, the instagram algorithm has changed and it kills me and discourages me so many days out of the week. But, with that being said, I’ve NEVER considered buying followers or likes. Some days are so shitty and I just have to suck it up and remind myself that my blog is my baby. But then I see people grow and now I know (thanks to that website) that they’ve BOUGHT. Like…how do you sleep at night?!?!

    So much yes to this post.
    xo
    Lauren

  64. September 19, 2016 / 6:54 pm

    Love this post! I have seen those random Insta accounts of buying followers & it seems so odd to me. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂
    Dani // http://www.daniellealexandra.com

  65. September 19, 2016 / 11:35 pm

    love the raw honest truth. we need to rally together in the blogger industry and be fair to the people who work hard.

  66. September 20, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    WOW! I am just reading this now but I wholeheartedly agree. I, in fact, have stopped posting on Instagram as much because of the falsities of it and the fact that it is an app and at the end of it all we don’t own the platform. Having my own blog is so important and having that ownership is paramount. I do still think social is very important but I think we should remember the other platforms out there like Facebook and Twitter where users are engaging and they are actually clicking through! Instagram has completely lost its originality and I’m not nearly as interested in it anymore. And yes, I hate the accounts that get 1,200 “likes” within the first 5 minutes, then stop: with about one comment. Nope…

  67. September 20, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    Oh wow, finally someone said it as it is! I cannot agree with you more, babe, and I totally understand the frustration that you face because I face it too. “So the people who are buying likes and followers are screwing up your collaboration and pay structure; thinking we aren’t as valuable as we say we are because companies don’t see the ROI so they cut our rates and want more work from us in exchange. ” – EXACTLY THAT.

  68. Ashley
    September 22, 2016 / 3:39 am

    THANK YOU! I’m so glad you brought up this issue!!!!

    xo Ashley

  69. Samantha
    September 22, 2016 / 4:05 pm

    AMEN sister! I’m glad you are speaking about this!

  70. Sophie
    September 22, 2016 / 10:33 pm

    Yet you comment spam on high profiles like kylie jenner “lblblb” And “First Please” Ring any bells?

    • September 23, 2016 / 12:13 am

      Uhhhh, THAT IS NOT BUYING LIKES!!!! GET A CLUE!!!!!! Did you even read the post and what the premise was about? No. You didn’t or you wouldn’t spam my post with BS comments. But thank you for your concern. Contact me when you have a successful blog and Instagram and we can chat. k, Thanks! And hey, get some damn balls and comment with an accurate email address. Coward.

  71. September 23, 2016 / 4:40 am

    I feel so much better reading this. I’m new to this, I recently launched my blog and I’ve been posting on Instagram, however I’ve been discouraged by the number of likes I’ve been getting especially when I happen upon ridiculously tacky images getting hundreds if not thousands of likes. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what’s going on. Am I doing something wrong, is it that the world doesn’t appreciate beautiful images anymore? The whole thing’s got me baffled. I feel better knowing there’s an explanation for this, but it’s discouraging knowing that you have to fight through all these fake accounts to get people to notice your good work.
    Thanks for writing this article

  72. September 28, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    100% YES to allllllll of this! Thank you for taking a stand and not being afraid to speak the truth! This is the first time I’ve been to your blog, but I will go ahead and tell you that I’m not going anywhere. We need more authentic influencers such as your self so I’m excited to be a new fan and follower!

    • September 29, 2016 / 1:12 am

      Thank you SO much!!! That means the world to me.

  73. September 29, 2016 / 4:43 am

    I agree. Short cuts never prosper, in the long run. People who live inauthentic lives, on and off social media, ultimately deal with a disastrous downfall–it doesn’t matter how long it takes. That is what living a lie reaps. Sad and unfortunate. One can only pray people learn and do better.

  74. October 6, 2016 / 11:44 pm

    I LOVE this post! I’ve hovered around 1500 followers barely getting 100 likes per photo for so long now. But it’s frustrating especially seeing people follow me, never like a singer post and the ones I follow back unfollow within days! It’s so easy to tell the phones buying followers if they’ve got 10K followers and only get 150 likes per photo and I cannot understand why some people engage in buying followers. It won’t get you anywhere. I think it’s fantastic that you’ve written this post and addressed this practice of cheating! Awesome work!

    Ellie
    http://Www.Maplesyrupandteacups.blogspot.com

  75. October 7, 2016 / 10:30 pm

    Ugh, I have done quite a few loops and I hate myself a little more every time. It just feels so dirty. I may gain 300 followers on a good one but then lose 150. And so many of them are giveaway accounts that are never checked so I wouldn’t get any engagement from them anyway.

    When the loop trend started I did like the way they were run. For me it was usually a few bloggers I had relationships with joining together to offer a larger giveaway prize to followers than we would ordinarily be able to provide alone. I ran one last year in November with just 7 bloggers and I did feel like we gained authentic engagement from it. Now I’ve just been doing one every 2 months or so, led by someone who I legit think makes a living from just organizing loops. I always say I’ll stop but somehow I never do… I don’t plan on doing another until December but who am I kidding… I may cave in before then. It’s addicting in a way.

    -Nathy
    http://earnestyle.blogspot.com/

  76. October 26, 2016 / 1:25 am

    PREAAAAACHHHH. Preach. Preach. Preach. So with you on EVERYTHING here! So glad that Style Miss Molly linked our posts in her most recent post. Authenticity is everything and I’m so glad I’m not alone in representing that in the blogging and social media world. I literally laugh and get so aggravated with bloggers who are CLEARLY buying followers or doing heavy follow/unfollow. I’m super against both. If something isn’t authentic…it’ll be found out in the end! Thanks for this! Sharing! Would love to connect!

    • October 26, 2016 / 1:11 pm

      YESSSS! I just hope people are found out sooner than later… Aggravating!!!!!

  77. December 6, 2016 / 1:44 am

    I firmly believe that the truth always comes out in the end and hard work pays off In the long haul. Here’s to more blog hits!

  78. March 20, 2017 / 7:31 pm

    Thank you for this post!! So freaking sick of seeing this in the travel blogger community. Seeing everyone’s likes just SOAR while mine have stagnated and even dropped. So frustrating, especially when the accounts aren’t even high quality. Sighhhhh. I was at my wits end (should I just jump on the buying likes bandwagon?!?!?) but thankfully, I found your post and it’s a great reminder to remain true to myself & to my brand <3 If that means I cap out at 1500 likes, so be it! lol

  79. Bernice
    June 15, 2017 / 1:52 pm

    Thank you for such a nice article. Superb work and keeping it up. It nice you revealed the dirty truth which is ever hard to believe. I’m the testimony having been in tech for the last few year I have seen people doing this!!!!

  80. Deidra
    July 14, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    Wow I am so glad I read this post. I feel overwhelmed everyday when I look at the accounts and the partner ships they are getting and I’m still struggling. Did know about the purchasing or likes and followers. WOW I knew about loops and did once and noticed that a great number left my account and I felt it wasn’t worth anything. 🙁 Now I know the real deal behind a lot of these accounts. SMH We all have to just keep pushing and don’t get discouraged. Thanks again for this info.

  81. July 25, 2017 / 3:18 pm

    I was about to push a purchase button to buy followers and then Googled to make sure it was ethical and found your post. I am VERY new, work part time, mom blah blah blah. I’m working late nights and any free time I have to build this business and on my blog content, making pics better but am in late 30s and in a small city that literally has almost NO fashion or shopping. I studied Design/Fashion in college and know what I want to portray. I feel like the only way to get a leg up and get started and for people to think I’m legit IS to buy some followers. I am very hesitant after reading your post and all the comments but do you have any suggestions for this newbie??

    • July 25, 2017 / 3:25 pm

      Keep your head up!! We all started at the bottom. It took me YEARS to get my Instagram where it is and it wasn’t easy. I would suggest doing some giveaways, posting on your stories and using hashtags and posting brands that are likely to reshare your photo. I wrote this post back in 2015 with tips of what had helped me then and most are still relevant! http://dtkaustin.com/12-secrets-to-instagram-success/ I hope some of this helps you!! Just keep trucking along and you’ll get there. Also, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Pinterest is a great platform to grow as well if you have a blog and need web hits!

    • September 5, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      As someone on the other side of things- a small business owner looking for ROI from home decor bloggers, I can tell you that it is truly not worth screwing over other business owners who think that you have a legitimate following and want to partner with you. You will always have that on your conscience and it is so much better to operate with integrity, even if that means that people with fake followers might beat you for a while. Keep your head up.

  82. September 28, 2017 / 3:45 pm

    Amazing post!!! Everything a blogger should know to start building an STRONG community and value followers.
    Thank you for the info!!!

    Best.

  83. September 28, 2017 / 11:11 pm

    Amazing post!!! Everything a blogger should know to start building an STRONG community and value followers.
    Thank you for the info!!! http://musadeviajes.com/
    Best.

  84. David
    October 25, 2017 / 1:32 am

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. These days it’s becoming more and more difficult to decipher who is “buying” their way to fame and who you can trust. I shouldn’t have to go through the followers somebody has just to see if they are trying to cheat the system. Very frustrating, but great post on the topic.

    David http://isum.com

  85. Nadia
    November 6, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    Hi there please post this up on Instagram. I have sponsored so many fake bloggers got caught in the lies.

    • November 6, 2017 / 1:46 pm

      Hi! It has been on Instagram and Facebook. This post is over a year old but feel free to share if you’d like!

  86. November 13, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    I totally agree with you!! And hatsoff to your honesty…. I am a blogger who has been slogging for the growth and often question my credibility of being a blogger but the problem is with the system and other people who buy followers/likes and make us feel shit…Thanks for the motivation that ultimately originality will win…

  87. December 11, 2017 / 12:50 am

    I think your assessment is spot on. I am a professional photographer of many years. I decided to really work Instagram as my main social media platform and like it very much. Let’s face it, your followers and likes are part if your bio design on Instagram. If its a low following or not many like per image, people aren’t interested in checking your feed, much less clicking on you website link. I see many other artists with not great photos, getting huge amounts of likes and comments. Very baffled, but now I know why. It makes it super hard for a business like me with many international awards over the years, compete with this fake garbage.

    Thanks for the great info!!

  88. May 8, 2018 / 3:53 pm

    Thanks for writing this! It’s exactly how I feel about it! It’s extremely annoying how so many people cheat just to make themselves “look good” . It’s a topic that’s been bothering me for a while.

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