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, and my own musings on family life. I personally don’t like 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.
Disclaimer: no, I haven’t been paid, or bribed with toys, to tell you this.