My last post was about a most peculiar message I got on my instagram from My Trending Stories. I was, as you might recall, more than slightly skeptical, but decided to reply to give them a chance to take their foot out of their mouth, and get a clearer picture of who they are and what their deal is for the benefit of my fellow bloggers who might get hit up by these folks. 

So, I replied, asking for one very specific clarification: what on my blog can be considered “lifestyle” and for the love of everything good and right in the world, why? I blog about a few different things, granted, but lifestyle isn’t one of them.

Not only did they utterly fail to answer this simple question, but their response didn’t acknowledge ANY of the content of my response to them. At all. It was a blatant form letter, and a clear aim at getting free content. What do you get in exchange? The benefit of their followers and freedom to promote your blog on their site. 

My thoughts: their followers probably predominantly consist of a lot of people who they contacted via instagram, so likely functions more as a blogging community than anything else.  

I fell for this gimmick once in my naive youth with the atrocity known as poetry.com, and while legitimate, actual, real followers and new e-friends are always a boon, I’m not a sucker, so my answer is a resounding, “hahaha. No. Fuck off.” 

I may not be entirely opposed to a sense of community (I mean, come on, I blog!), but only if that community is one of shared insight and interests, not one that exists as a conglomerate of poor, deluded souls who all fell for the same old slight of hand. I may not say much, or anything at all, for a week or two, but I work hard for my content-other than work, I spend very little time doing anything that doesn’t eventually end up blogged. I’m not going to devalue that hard work by throwing it at any wall I come across hoping the shit sticks, even if the only person the work has value to is me.

So, here for your information, my fellow bloggers, is how it all went down:

  • MTS: *Bunch of empty flattery* we’re very interested in your lifestyle content.
  • Me: what lifestyle content? I’m a music an arts blogger. Please specify the content you’re referring to.
  • MTS: *insert form letter here*

Hi SZ ,

Thanks for contacting us! We reached out to offer you a contributor position on our blog My Trending Stories.

My Trending Stories is a new website who prides itself on one specific value: giving back the power to the writers through freedom of speech and expression. Several blogging websites support a specific political view, ideology or mindset. Over at My Trending Stories no content is restricted as long as it does not contribute to racism, discrimination or anything that violates an individual’s human rights. Through this, we aim to be one of the top 5 biggest blogging websites on the internet.

We strongly believe that your writing aligns with our core value, and would love to have your content displayed so that it can reach an even broader audience. As a contributor on MTS, your creative work will remain yours at all times and we even encourage that you promote your personal blog on the website. Feel free to even post work that was originally on your blog, the most important thing is that your message and story gets out to the world.

Furthermore, we place importance in seeing our writers grow. We keep in contact with our writers in order to provide mentorship and personal growth. We will also be having our first annual convention in 2017 where writers will have the ability to network and learn tips from people in the industry. This includes media, journalism, editors, authors and publishers!

We also have several interesting features such as a video section, and will soon be expanding in French and Spanish.

We would truly love to have you be a part of this team. If you are interested in this opportunity email us back 

Sounds pretty, doesn’t it? If you can ignore the fact that they totally ignored the content of my response to them, and that they referred to their website as a “who”. (Is it sentient? Unlikely.)

So, there you have it, guys. As expected these are folks who want free content and are clearly not picky about how they get it.

Although, seeing my chosen initials in the context of a letter made me realize I kind of dig it. “Hi SZ”-I thought that was going to feel funny when I chose the name, but actually, it turns out I like it. Go figure.

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