Once again, there’s been a whole pile of hoo-ha about sponsored posts, and review products, and whether or not people should accept them on their blogs.
I’ve spent the past 20 years writing for women’s consumer magazines, so I understand the symbiotic relationship between editorial, and advertorial. I don’t have a problem with reviews, and relevant forms of advertising – provided the mix is right, and the content is engaging and interesting.
If I’m giving up my time (time I could be spending with my children, or reading a magazine, or sleeping) to give a product exposure, I don’t see any problem with being recompensed in some small way.
I don’t insist on it. In fact I often write about products just because I think they’re fab, or because I want to support a great company, or a cause that strikes a chord with me.
People argue that the best professional review sites and magazines don’t accept freebies, but what they forget is that the journalists are being paid a salary. They’re not doing it for nothing, so why should we, if we don’t want to? (if you want to, fine – go for it!)
Keeping a review product doesn’t mean you can’t give an honest opinion about it. If I come across something I can’t wholeheartedly recommend (which is not often, since I carefully select what I want to feature) then I let the PR know I won’t be posting the review. My blog isn’t about slamming bad products, it’s about highlighting great ones.
I’m careful to strike a balance between review posts, giveaways, memes, and my own musings on family life. I personally don’t like going on blogs that are just review, after review, after review. I do enjoy reading about new products, but I also like to get a sense of who the blogger is, and feel like I’m being granted a sneaky peek into their lives.
I think I get the mix right most of the time. I’m sure some people still don’t like my blog, but that’s fine. I don’t expect it to appeal to all of the people, all of the time.
Now, with that out of the way, you really should check out this great competition in the post below, being run by my lovely friends at Wow Toys.
No, I haven’t been paid to tell you this, or bribed by a mountain of their great toys, it’s just something I reckon you might want to know about…