Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why I do reviews and giveaways




There is always a little mumble going on in the blogosphere about whether people love or hate reviews,  giveaways and advertising on blogs. Today I wanted to share why I choose to do them.

First off, I just want to say why I do blog. I blog for connection to the world outside my role as a (mostly) stay at home Mum. It can get pretty lonely at home day in, day out, with only children 5 years old and under to talk to. Also until very recently, B worked a rotating day/night roster which meant many a nights where I just couldn't sleep and I ended up turning to blogs to feel connected to people outside of my home. That is where the seed was planted for me to start my own.

My blog is also a place for me to share what I am sewing, baking, making and thinking. I did not start blogging to make money or receive free stuff. I didn't even know you could actually make anything or receive anything for blogging until a few months after starting this blog. And you know what, the little bit of money and 'free' stuff has meant that I haven't had to return to work in the same capacity that I did before I had Ethan. 

Sure I don't make a motza from this gig, but a couple of bucks a week to share my inane ramblings is better than nothing. It doesn't devalue what I have to say, everything written here is my opinion, thoughts and I stand behind it 100%. Sure there was the time I wrote about some Vaseline Moisturiser and then thought why the hell am I writing this. The product costs less then $10, my time and yours is more valuable than that and from then on I have changed my rules. I still stand by what I wrote in the review, but if I had my time over, I wouldn't write it again.

I will continue to review DVDs, magazine, households items and anything else that I think I might find useful in my home and that I think you could too. I hope to be able to run giveaways along side most reviews so that I can give you a chance to win something. It is a way for me to say thank you for the time you spend reading and commenting here.

I will also continue to run advertising on the blog. I know this seems to be a bug bear with some people, but again, I really don't see how it detracts from anything else here. This is my blog and these are my words. No advertising will change that.

Does that make sense?

So do you like or loathe advertising, reviews and giveaways on blogs? Please be honest, I would love to know your thoughts and opinions.

I am linking up with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for IBOT.

39 comments :

  1. Well said! I know exactly what you mean as I'm in the same boat.

    I completely agree that having some reviews and giveaways on my blog are a fun way for me, and my readers, to try new things and perhaps make a couple of dollars... which I then spend on more fabric.

    In saying this, I have lost some of my hardcore quilting blog followers who don't like reviews. Oh well, can't please everyone.

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    1. That's a shame Anorina! But yes, you can't please everyone, you just have to make sure you are pleasing yourself :)

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  2. Definitely makes sense!

    I am in the same boat really. I use blogging (and Twitter) as a way to connect with the outside world and while I am not working, if I can try something new for free or make a few dollars, then I will!

    X

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    1. I am happy that it makes sense! I was drinking my first coffee for the day while I was writing it so I was a bit foggy!

      x

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  3. I think you are exactly right, you can't please everyone. However, personally, i like reviews and giveaways on blogs! i think we tend to gravitate to read blogs etc on people that we find to be like minded - so if someone reviews a product, the chances are highly likely that its going to be something i also love or want to use. my partner may not agree particularly when he sees the bank statments, but thats not the point.
    i get more upset when i see people bagging others out for their choice to publish reviews and do giveaways - brcause i think how much flak they have copped for them to write these posts, and how little respect those flak writers have given that we have to defend our own personal blog space and choices. < rant over! >

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  4. I love your blog and the reviews don't bother me. If I'm not interested in the product I just don't read the review. Same with the advertising - if I'm not interested I ignore it and just read your content. After all it is your blog, you should be allowed to do and say and review whatever you want.

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  5. I think some blogs can over do the advertising, where it just turns into one big advert! That, makes me tune out. But Amy, I love your blog... you have a nice balance of everything. If the freebie is worth it, why not blog about it, I say!

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    1. You are right Cass, it is all about balance!

      x

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  6. I love giveaways!! I think it helps little blogs get themselves out there and grow!! Advertising is good too - but sometimes I think there is too much on a page and you don't know what is the bloggers or not.

    I do find it a little funny when people say that they aren't going to do any more branding/reviews/giveaways and then they go 'oh it came in the post and I couldn't resist' week after week. I don't mind though because I love entering giveaways!!

    More the merrier I say!

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    1. Thanks Yvette!

      And good luck for your wedding! It's this weekend isn't it?

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  7. My motto is 'your blog, your choice!' Blogs that will retain readers will have interesting content and personality interspersed with their advertising, reviews and giveaways. I blog for the connection too xx

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  8. I so so so think every blogger should be able to make up their own mind an be happy about how they choose to run their blog. I hate the inferred judgement about what is better. WHO CARES. Just do what makes you happy. Monetize, write for yourself, run giveaways, write reviews, write your own stories, if it makes you happy go for it :) I do all of them.

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  9. Doesn't bother me. Let's face it - in the end, if you don't like it, don't read it! And if you don't like advertising, don't click through! It ain't rocket surgery.

    Visiting from IBOT.

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  10. I don't mind reviews if there aren't too many of them, if it doesn't interest me I skip past but if I ever do a review it is because I really like the product and want to tell people.

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  11. I support and agree with you whole heartedly. I don't mind a review or two, doing them, entering them. but standards are good. I too don't really want to run a giveaway and less I think it's really of value.

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  12. I appreciate your honesty and share your sentiments! I wrote about products I use, see and hear about 6 years ago when I started my blog, which was intentionally for my family friends to read about. They are part of everyday life. And if I'm offered a sample of something I'm interested in & have the time to write a review, why not?

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    1. Thanks Joni. I was a little hesitant to write this, but it has been on my mind for a while, so I thought, why not!

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  13. I have no problem with people writing reviews/ having giveaways on their blogs, but to be honest if they do it too often I am less likely to read it. One every few weeks is fine. I also don't have a problem with ads on the side bar etc. If you want them, and they bring you a little income great.
    Having said all that, I don't put ads on my blog (at the moment), or review products etc, unless I am just writing about something I like (no free stuff etc). I have recently started to be approached about this kind of thing and have thought long and hard about it. I work 4 days per week outside the home, and just blog for fun. I think (for me) having to meet commitments to advertisers etc would be too much, at the moment. I may change in the future though...

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    1. I completely get what you are saying Jo. When it starts to feel like work I always dial it back a bit.

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  14. I think as long as its not over the top one review after another then its a great way of sharing fantastic products and offering things to people who are kind enough to read.. I dont like some blogs that have every free inch covered in blinking shiny ads... way too much IMO.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Sarah. A happy medium is what I am trying to achieve, still trying to work out what that is though :)

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  15. personally, my problem with giveaways is when twenty bloggers review and giveaway the same item at the same time over and over again. and then whine about how they're not going to do it any more, but repeat the same action the following week/day.

    I don't get asked to do reviews, but I've got an idea in mind for starting something, without having to work with brands and businesses.

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    1. I completely understand that too Cate. Over saturation isn't going to do anyone any favours!

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  16. Advertising actually makes sense to me. I like to know what is out there that is relevant to me. Reviews are always appreciated & who does not love giveaways? I think you have to be guided by what feels right for you. It's YOUR blog.

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  17. Well put Amy!

    I'm being a little more particular with reviews and giveaways lately, because it has to be worth my time, and of an interest to my readers. I have no problems with reading them, though to be fair if I don't want the product, I probably won't.

    As for advertising on a blog, there are adverts on everything these days! Who even notices them enough to complain any more?

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  18. I have always refused to do reviews and things when asked and don't have advertising- part of it is because I want my blog to be all mine, and I want it to be something I enjoy- not work. But part of it is also about fear. I don't think I'm important enough or clever enough to do them- and it seems too scary. Plus, like others have mentioned I don't just want to be another blogger reviewing what everyone else is. I would like to get to a point where I could expand and be brave enough to try it. But I don't mind it when bloggers do advertise or review stuff. I will admit to skipping a post when I see it is a sponsored one- but I have no problems with those who do it :)

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  19. IO think you are doing just fine Amy!

    Personally I am in the camp with cate - i find it really odd when 10-15 bloggers all post about the same brand within 24 hours and some of them i only know it is an advertorial once i see several others - i think reviews / paid advertorials should be clearer as it retains my trust that way (i feel duped when i am reading a blog post that seems to be just about a favourite product or store and then suddenly i realise it was not a genuine share of a great "find" but rather a promotion)

    also i think people should limit how many they do in a week or month unless they are specifically a review blog

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  20. Yes, disclosure is important Deb!

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  21. I love the way you have spoken about your love of blogging and combining it with the desire to try new things, but not be undervalued for your work :) This is exactly where I am going with my feelings about advertising/reviews. Although I haven't chosen to take up any review offers yet I will be happy to do so in the future if they are something I think I will use, and others will too.

    Great words :)

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  22. I think your blog is great Amy and you have a great balance of reviews and personal posts. I am so far out of the blogoshpere loop that I don't keep up with the Mumble. I also think Caz is right about it being your blog so do what you want. I trialled and reviewed products before I began blogging. I started my blog because I love writing about products and wanted to share it. I also love being able to chat to businesses, companies etc and not just talk Mummy all day. I don't write personal posts of my day etc because that's not really my style of writing, although my reviews are a personal opinion of a product. I always look for peoples reviews (especially if a purchase I am thinking of making is big)on something before I buy it, finding someone who has tried something and I can see if it is something I would like it is a good thing to me. I think advertising is okay too, although I don't have much experience in this area. I think you do a great job and have a great following of people. Keep it up :)

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