Wednesday 9 November 2011

Blogging and Blagging - My Take

The blogging world is abuzz following this post from the lovely Sian at Mummy Tips, and lots of other bloggers are posting about this too. One of the best I have read is from Salt & Caramel.

So for those who aren't in the know, let me give a quick run down. When I started blogging I thought a blog was an on line diary and a place for me to have a voice. I had hope that people would read it, mainly my friends and those who have had a premature baby. I thought nothing more about it.

However, many Public Relations (PR) people use blogs to help promote the businesses they work for the products that they sell. They often use bloggers to write reviews of products. In return the blogger can usually (but not always) retain the product for their own use.

I have done a couple of reviews but not many. Partly because I haven't been asked, which is fair enough. Because my blog is reasonably bespoke, most reviews are not relevant. I am about to do a review of toothpaste and products around dental hygeine, but this is directly relevant to my blog as far as I'm concerned, and I was lucky to be chosen to review a toy set for the Wooden Toy Shop.

I am not against reviews but don't generally seek them out, I am usually approached. I am up front about my subject matter and am not afraid to say when something is just not relevant.

There has been criticism of bloggers who seek out product for review. I can understand that PR may find this annoying, but they can filter and delete. You don't have to read a "blagging" letter if you don't want to, just the same way I can delete an approach I am not comfortable with.

Equally as bloggers, we're not paid. We do this for fun, for interest, to keep ourselves active, and to have a voice. Why should I host advertising or write posts for nothing?

But funnily enough, when the question was asked at Salt & Caramel I do actually use blog reviews in my decision to purchase. For example, with toys, I know for a fact that The Boy and Me does very honest toy reviews, and she has helped me in the past decide whether something is worth buying. And an added bonus is that "The Boy" is a similar age to my boy!

Another review I trust is Lou over at Bloggomy  whose recent review of these pyjamas  sent Father Christmas into an excited frenzy.

So in short I do think reviews have value if they are honest and well written, and I do think its ok for bloggers to accept the products they are given to review.

I don't think its ok to use your blog primarily to get product, I think that's an abuse of the system, and the best blogs, to my mind, are ones that have fantastic content with the odd review in the mix.


  1. Only just catching up on this blogging vs blagging issue so thank you for clarifying it all. Couldn't agree more with your POV. A blog that is only used for reviews is ultimately a review site, not a blog! That genuine content is necessary.

  2. good post :) I think there is room for everyone, those who write reviews well will continue to get products offered to them, those who don't and use stock photos and steal descriptions of the products will probably dwindle out themselves before too long, writing up a good review does take alot of time, there is space on the old internet for everyone, and if people don't like reviews they can skip past them :)

  3. Great post, and a very good point. With time, we learn which bloggers are honest and truthful in their reviews. If you buy something on the recommendation of a blogger, and it is junk then it would make you wary of following another tip from that person.

  4. I am honoured you referred to me in your post and yes I LOVE those PJ's (he has them on again tonight :) xx

  5. Thank you so much for mentioning me, and yet again being so kind about my reviews. Until you tweeted me recently, I hadn't thought anyone took any notice of my reviews. I really appreciate you letting me know that they do and that you do!

  6. well said that girl! Well said xx