Thursday, August 5, 2010

A blog observation

Free Milk?

I have noticed recently most of the blogs I read are becoming more infomercial than blog.  Every post seems to be about a product which begs the question...are we simply free advertising for companies?

I rarely blog about products unless I am 100% in love with them and before I post I always contact the company to give them a chance to participate in a giveaway to further promote their products.  Some jump at the chance, some ignore the emails...guess which businesses get the free promos?

I get a bit tired of the constant advertising everywhere I turn...Facebook, Twitter, the blogs...a newspaper or tv station wouldn't advertise for free...why do we do it but never ask the company for anything in return?

Small businesses approach me all the time to do giveaways on my blog but only one...ONE...has ever offered to give me something from their product line too!  Why?  Because that particular business person understands the value of blog marketing.  Is this a standard we should be trying to establish in the blogging world?  I actually hope so as I see so many of you sending all of your readers to stores, businesses and crafters to buy their wares yet you are never compensated - do you realise someone else is making money from your blog?  It's a shame to miss the chance to blog about your life and what you are up to as opposed to what clothing, cosmetic and shoe companies are up to.  50 years from now when you read your blog what do you want it to say?



From the comments it seems a lot of you think I am talking about blogs that do a lot of giveaways...what I am actually referring to are the blogs that every single day do posts on what cosmetics companies, shoe companies, clothing companies and any other companies are selling...which is essentially free advertising for those companies.  I wonder if these bloggers know they are putting money into these companies' pockets and are getting nothing in return.

Have a fabulous day!


Karen said...

You are 100% correct! This happens especially when we tend to get lazy in the blogging world. I have to admit I have fallen into the trap. You have to get right back out of it.

Great post!

Happy Summer,
Karen B.

a. said...

I think I've hosted about 2 giveaways in my 4+ years of blogging. I get annoyed when all I see on peoples blogs is advertising and giveways all the time.

I get approached all the time about advertising and giveaways but politely decline. And the 2x I did host giveaways, I wasn't really happy with how the companies handled them so that was the end of that!

I also found that the more I mentioned a product or company, the more that company expected me to advertise for them for free - so that stopped too.

Southern Living: Preppy Style said...

Companies approach me all the time to do reviews, but I never take them up, most of the time because I don't like their products.

I host giveaway, but for my current followers and it's just things I've picked up along the way and thought would be fun.

As for this week, I am posting all about SBS Sandals. But I approached them. And they were all ears and then offered a giveaway. I'm not getting anything out of it other than spreading the word about my favorite sandal.

I cannot STAND those sites that only post about giveaways. Defeats the purpose. I enter them, but only if I really like the prodcut and I like the person.

An Inquiring Mind said...

Interesting post! I know I'm hosting a giveaway to draw more traffic to my blog since it's still in the fledgling stage. I try to post other things I hope people might be interested in, and I mention products in a monthly favorites post. But I don't think of that as advertising, merely spreading the word about things I personally like. But where do you draw the line?

I'm going to keep an eye on this post today for the discussion. Great post!!

Julie (brown eyed belle) said...

I'm really glad you addressed this. I just had a conversation with another blogger recently about blog sponsors, for example. She used to have them and decided that wasn't what her blog was about. She didn't want to make money from her blog. I feel the same way. I do giveaways on my blog, but it's usually just products that I purchase. I don't want my blog to be just a 'giveaway' blog.

I love talking about my life and goings-on rather than this product or that product. I know that's what some people want their blog to be about, but it's just not for me.

Gracie Beth said...

I turn down companies ALL the time because I too get annoyed at people who constantly "pimp" their blog out. I do reviews but it is stuff I actually use and I try to do few and far between reviews.

Vynuss said...

What a great post and so true! :) I've only done 1 give away and it was something that I had personally bought and wanted to share with my readers for my birthday. I too have been approached by companies, but have just ignored them, mostly because I don't like their products or it's irrelevant. But I know I also fall into that "marketing" trap sometimes.
If I know there's a great sale, I'll usually promote it, because I'm usually shopping it, and figure if anyone else loves it, they might be interested too. But my favorite thing to blog about is life. Great observation from you and a good self-reflection for me!

High Heeled Life said...

Great post ...

I agree that if you "personally" use a product and think others may benefit from knowing about it, than its worth a mention. I know I have discovered many great and wonderful things through my BlogFriends [i.e. LillyP- which I'm now net-a-porter]. It's also great when someone shares a great sale that is going on or find.

However, if you are hosting give-a-ways and promoting/reviewing a product - because a company has approached you - and YOU - are not receiving anything in return, than yes- you may want to consider what your Time is worth! Time is a very precious thing.

I agree also that a Blog needs to be informative and offer something to the reader - that is thought provoking,funny, or just great to-know. If its just product promo, or advertising than it becomes like the magazines that are mostly advertising with very little substance; people will soon try of it.

So, here is a question... if there is a product you like and would recommend to Friends - and are compansated (via monentary or gift) for putting their logo with a link to their website - is that acceptable?

Again SP -- a great post very thought provoking -- will pop back later to see how the discussion is going...XO, HHL

Black Labs and Lilly said...

Such an interesting topic!! I am not a big fan of giveaways on blogs, be that hosting them, or entering them. I read blogs because I enjoy them, not because I think they can offer me something, and I hope people who read my blog read for the same reason.

Fried Pink Tomato said...

Great post!! I have mixed feelings about blog giveaways and advertising for stores you enjoy. Personally, I love mentioning restaurants and small stores that I go to and have great experiences at. I don't think I would ever ask for compensation from these places because I went there, they offered such a great service or product that I was actually excited to tell people about it. I am from a small town so I love directing people to the "mom and pop" stores rather than good ol Wal-Mart. And I personally LOVE when people share information about products they personally use and are pleased with. I much rather hear it straight from the consumer rather than waste money trying to find a good product myself. And it has been extremely helpful having other mamas post about which baby products worked best for them since I am clueless when it comes to baby items at this point. But I think there has to be a happy median. I tend to read blogs that have a mix of both personal posts, reviews, and a giveaway here and there. I have to admit, it is fun to go out to the mailbox and find a fun surprise every once in awhile!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Great post. I get approached weekly but its almost always to advertize. Not my thing. I do giveaways once in a while from other companies but even that's rare. I only review something that I've purchased myself. Haha- it amazes me how many companies ask me to write a review but when I ask to see the product, they say no. How can I review something I've never seen?!

Ms. Emily Ann said...

Great post! And I couldn't agree more!! I haven't done any giveaways yet, because, after working for a magazine, I understand a bit about advertising, and would never use my personal space, my journal if you will, to promote something I didn't truly love!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...


Contrary to what these advertisers want, when I come across a blog with advertising, I either ignore the advertising or (if there's a lot of it incl pop-ups), I delete that blog.

Enjoyment, friendship and entertainment is what I signed on for! If I want advertisements, I'll sit in front of my friend, Mr TV, instead of my friend, Mr Computer!

MCW said...

I agree! Not in it for the money! But, I guess some bloggers are????

Suburban Princess said...

MCW - but the thing is they aren't making money at it - every time they rave about mascara or shoes or clothes or whatever, they are giving the company free advertising.

Miss Janice said...

Interesting post! With the exception of a Southern Lady Magazine giveaway I did last year, every one of my giveaways are financed by me! I prefer to do my own giveaways. I realize that I'm giving free advertising to all the companies of the products I blog about and and I can only say I hope it's appreciated:)

Pearls To Hide My Neck said...

I've never done a giveaway and probably never will. I love to hear about a product that a blogger that I like uses but I don't want to see their advertising on a blogger's website. I have even stopped following a few blogs that seem to be more about advertising than anything else. I guess I just like a blog that is more personal in nature.

Tabitha said...

Hi there,

I'm from the same town as the broons - lucky you escaping to Canada!

College Prepster said...

All of my giveaways are either:

things that I have bought myself,

companies I have personally asked

or with companies which let me test the product first.

I love giveaways though!

Ruth said...

Great posts!
You are right it does seem a lot of blogs are about giveaways. Not to say I have not entered a few but those are for things I think are cute or know I would use.
I have not done a giveaway on my blog and don'tknow that I will do that. I have posted about a product or two on my blog but they are items I love and want to share with others. And I enjoy reading when fellow bloggers do the same thing. I look at those as something you would share with a friend anyways and most I have done that with too.

knitwit said...

I didn't get into blogging to make money myself, or to do it for anyone else. I just needed a creative outlet. So I simply don't advertise. If I love something enough to share that information publicly, I see it more as sharing something helpful with my readers than giving a company free advertising (though I certainly agree with you that they are getting free ad space from me). Blogs that advertise or review products daily, on the other hand, should be being compensated for that. I personally have little interest in visiting those blogs though.

Sherrie said...

I totally get what you are saying. I have been approached a couple times, but the products were random things I never heard of so I did not want to promote something I was not familiar with.