Are you reviewing products or just promoting them?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Are you reviewing products or just promoting them?Many times mom bloggers get products sent to them to review. In the first place let's go over why companies are willing to do this. Companies have found a cheap way of getting their products advertised - it's called mom blogging.

Companies are willing to send you a product to review in hopes that the people who read your blog will try it and buy it. Heck, even if they get new people to even see their product they are building and growing their brand so for them it is a win-win situation. Many times they don't care if you have 100 readers or 10,000. To them they are getting 100 new people to find out about their product. They are getting free advertising for a steal.

In the "real" world they would have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for this kind of advertising but we, for some odd reason, will do it for free. I am guilty myself. I love free stuff just as much as the next person. So, I take a product and review it to get it for free.

Mom bloggers jump at the chance to review a product because it gives them "free swag" as I like to call it. I know all about getting free stuff. I write about entering sweepstakes to "win what you can't afford" on my Sweeps blog and the thrill of getting something free is too much to pass up. Many people don't want to wait to win it, although you wouldn't know it from the crowds at the casino, and they see the vast amount of free stuff coming through the blogging community everyday so they jump at the chance to get a free product to review.

Are you reviewing the product or just promoting it?

Too many mom bloggers are just pawns in the hands of companies because they are writing an obvious glowing, positive review about the product they received instead of giving the honest truth. If you bought the product yourself you wouldn't do that unless you totally liked what you got and there were negatives about it but you would have a definite opinion about the product. When you buy the product you are reviewing yourself you don't feel obligated in anyway to right something you wouldn't normally write.

When you receive a free product from a company you are afraid of writing what you really think because maybe you will tick off the company and then maybe they won't come back and offer you anything else in the future.

An Honest Review

I received some Pampers just last week to review and while I couldn't review them myself I ask my daughter-in-law to review them because she has a baby. The only thing I could have done in the review is tell you yes, I have a diaper in my hands and it smell good when it's not used :-)

Well the review was so-so and the company probably wouldn't want to hear what she had to say. She came up with a basic PROS and CONS list of things about the diaper. She said that it passed the "pee pee" test and worked well overnight but failed the "poo poo" test because it came out of the back of the diaper. And she said that if they weren't so expensive she would use them on a regular basis because they were overall a good diaper.

Now THAT is a real review.

Next time you get a product to review think about what you are doing. If you are not being honest then you are just "pimping" out your blogging services to the company willing to send you some free stuff in return. The company is getting the better end of the bargain. You, on the other hand, should feel like you aren't doing the right thing.

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  1. Anonymous

    I enter a lot of blog giveaways and I've never read a bad review ...seems kinda funny..especially since all the bloggers have ethical blogger buttons everywhere...just sayin..

  2. Melanie Bremner said...

    This is so true. Thank you for sharing. Do you know any places I can get these free products to review? I have a mommy blog that I am sure my readers would love to hear real reviews about products I tried out.


  3. Wendy (Sweetie) said...

    There is a small list on my site that I update as I find products for review that everyone can get.

    The best thing is to start with what you have in your house and as you review more products and your site comes up on the search engine companies will contact. Also post a link to the review on Facebook so companies can find you.

  4. ApachesPrincess said...

    This is so true - I think that one of the reasons that people don't see very many bad reviews is that a lot of people don't post a review on a product that they don't like. I lot of times if someone writes a bad review, they will email it to the company ahead of time making sure that they don't mind if they post it.

    I received a product to review, and it was terrible! The things that I received were sooo cheap and old fashioned, and the paint was chipping off and they had spots that weren't even smoothly cut! And then, reviews for this same item started popping up all of the blogsophere saying that they loved the products!! It kind of makes me feel funny about reading those blogs now because I don't know if I am truly getting an honest opinion.

  5. Black Eyed Peas Tickets said...

    yah its really very nice thanks for sharing your ideas here

  6. Anonymous

    On the other hand, some of the few negative "reviews" are very badly done, meaning the "test" setup is poor. This can really impact the future of a small company that has a great product that's trying to go up against the "big guys" who have scads of marketing money. Most bloggers don't know how to set up a fair test and don't care about doing so, they just want free stuff. For example, they'll take one detergent and wash a load of laundry, then another and wash a second load, and compare them. Even though each load contains different fabrics and stains, so you're not comparing same to same, so it is not a fair or accurate test. Also, they don't realize that residue from previous detergents are still in the washer, which demands rinsing the washer between loads, because whatever you washed with initially is impacting your current load. These lax methods are comparing apples to oranges, and has done some small companies great harm. I will bet that all companies, large and small, will figure out these problems and stop sending samples at some point in the next couple of years.

  7. Wendy (Sweetie) said...

    You make a very good point. I think many times bloggers get products and since they aren't passionate about them they don't even go as far as you mentioned in testing the product out. Many times they just talk about the scent, color, packaging, etc. and don't understand what real testing is all about.

  8. Tara said...

    According to our accountant review items are taxable income. I have a feeling bloggers would be doing less reviewing if they knew that they need to pay taxes on all their "free" items.

  9. brittany vandewalker said...

    i have a blog and i post honest reviews.i have tried several things and have only came across 1 that wasnt so good.go check out my blog.

  10. The Flying Couponer said...

    Thank you very much, I love your blog!

  11. Making of a Mom said...

    You have failed to finish this article. So what happens when you do write a positive review but also mention the flaws, or the "cons" of the product. I'd be interested to hear the end of this. Is the company mad? Do they appreciate the honesty? I know the reader appreciate the honesty. Please finish the post!

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