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You can’t buy back integrity

You can’t buy back integrity



1. The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.


I’ve been thinking of writing this for a while, i don’t have any specific plan or a list of things i want to cover, so i’m just going to go with it ..and hopefully remember some punctuation at some point too.

Lately i’m (very luckily) being offered paid opportunities nearly everyday. So it seems strange that bar the 2 AD’s i’ve recently just uploaded to Instagram, i haven’t done a paid post before that for 15 past posts – or over two weeks for those who don’t speak Instagram. There’s two ways of looking at this, opinion 1 being i should take every opportunity i get and rake in the cash or, opinion 2: i should be selective with what i put out there. I scroll down my instagram feed everyday now and see campaigns i’ve been offered carried out by other people, and i get a little prang to the stomach. The devil on my shoulder whispers “you should’ve taken that” and momentarily i get a fleeting notion that i’m not cut out for this, why can’t i just push past the idea of promoting something to grab the cash? But shortly after that moment of madness i’m happy to report, i realise it’s probably quite a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong here (i was about to write don’t get it twisted, but i’m not cool enough for that) i have no problem with people, especially women, making money off their own back. If you want to upload paid for adverts within every single instagram post you do then GO for it, especially if you do it well, but even if you don’t and every one of them is a product selfie – who am i to tell you not to? My point is i’m not here for that; and the way i’ve been feeling was perfectly summed up by Lydia Millen-Gordon in the Take Fl1ght Podcast, when she said the words “You can’t buy back integrity”.

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Am i making as much money as someone promoting 4 different deodorants every month? No. Do i feel slightly like i’m a failure when i turn down someone offering me 3x my usual rate to promote an app that i’d never actually use? Yep (for a moment anyway). I’m reminded though that my no nonsense attitude to paid for content reflects how i want my ~life~ as a blogger to be. I want to be here for the long run, for people to look at the campaigns i work on and think “w0w, how the hell did she get on that?”, i want to be able to sit back look at what i promote, be proud and never run the risk of being known as the girl who changes her deodorant brand as often as her pants.

The cliches “quality over quantity” and “slow and steady wins the race” come into play here, sometimes i’m left feeling like i’m being left behind but to quote the ever so relevant meme, i’m – staying in my lane – and knowing what i’m doing now will pay off in the long run. Once you’ve sold out you can’t go back; you can pay for the camera equipment, the editing programs and all the lovely clothes to take photos in – but integrity is yours for the keeping, and i’d take long term success over a quick fix any day.

While you’re here take a look at some of my favourite instagrammers doing AD’s in alllll the right ways: Scarlett, Lauren, Ellie  and Laura.

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  • Absolutely love this post, and completely agree. I’ve turned down opportunities (mainly regarding “skinny coffees” aka coffee laxatives!!!) because they don’t fit “my brand” or even my beliefs as a person.

    Integrity and authenticity wins for me over a bit of cash any day. 100% with you that slow and steady is the best – it’s like the whole buying followers debate, yes you may get some opportunities in the short term, but people are generally quite clever and you’ll get caught out soon enough!

    Oops just realised this turned into a bit of an essay!! Fab post honey, keep them coming!

    Ali xx

  • What’s also good about being selective with who you advertise with is maintaining your credibility as well as your integrity. If your followers know you don’t just snatch up any old thing just for the money, they’ll trust your judgement and your recommendations are more valuable – that’s where the long term success comes in!

    Meg x |

  • I’ve got to hand it to you Maria that’s an incredible ethos you have and your followers and readers will definitely admire you for that! You’re slaying it big time and deserve every success you get xx

  • I completely agree with you here! It’s the same thing with buying followers. If you get caught it’s extremely difficult to gain the trust again. It’s nice to be selective now, promote products you actually enjoy, and allow your audience to fall in love with your content! You want to be known for being honest and authentic. Great post Maria xxx

    Melina |

  • I couldn’t agree more with this. Even I as a new blogger have gotten some opportunities that are just.. below my level. I want to be honest, and as you put it, I’m here for the long run.
    Yes, I can make some good cash pasting random reviews of products I have never used/will never use, but I know that I will be super embarrassed by it one day. And I don’t like being embarrassed.


  • Loved this post and agree fully with what you say. I think the same goes for knowing your worth as a blogger, and declining offers that are frankly a bit cheeky! In the long run, I think it’s actually better to be more selective- in my opinion, I think it gives your blog a far more reputable and image (which would make me far more likely to actually look into promoted products)!
    Gabija x

  • I agree with every single point made in this post! I will never promote something that I wouldn’t actually use or don’t like because I personally haven’t been brought up to lie, so I physically cannot bring myself to do it! You’re doing a fab job as you are and you should be super proud of yourself 🙂 xo

    Char |

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