Are Corporations Killing Mom Bloggers?

Ok, strong words.  But, seriously, let’s take an honest look at what has happened to the “Mom Blogger” industry over the past couple of years.  First, let’s clarify who a “mom blogger” is.  The categories and assumptions are complex.  If you look at Babble’s list of the Top 100 mom bloggers, you actually see the Journalists, not the typical mom bloggers who write product reviews.  These are the strong influencers because they write about a variety of topics and often invite controversy – people read their blogs to be entertained or enlightened.  Clients of mine often ask how to get their products reviewed on High-Traffic blogs “like A-ListMom (http://www.alistmom.com/) and Dooce.”  The two are very different, but somehow they both come up as measures of success for product placement – maybe because people READ them.

The reality is that most mom blogs are not Journalists or High-Traffic blogs.  Instead, they fall into one of these categories or a combination of two or more:

Personal blogs – family photos, updates on happenings for friends and family to access

Review blogs – product reviews from spaghetti sauce to coffee makers to cars

Sweeps blogs – sometimes in conjunction with Reviews, these focus on giveaways

Coupon/frugal blogs – shared information and links about deals and coupons

Content blogs – similar to journalists, these blogs have well-written content and a specific focus

The success of some of the early “mom bloggers” (in terms of culture, traffic/reach and income), spurred millions of other moms into blogging.  Some just wanted a place to share and connect with other moms about the trials of motherhood.  Others wanted the swag – the free products in exchange for reviews.  A few others wanted the opportunity to turn a blog into a career.  It works for some for awhile, but now – with literally millions of blogs out there – the power of the individual blogger has diminished, while the overall value of the community has increased.  In 2010 and 2011, companies big and small decided they needed to tap into the mom blogger marketing machine.  It was seen as affordable and easy; you send out some products and get great “exposure” and improved SEO.

But that’s where the problem began.  Suddenly there was a frenzy of blogger networks, and hundreds of bloggers vying for the free products to be reviewed.  The companies and PR agencies needed to select the best, so they did what was easiest – they required traffic stats to judge the blogs.  After all, marketing classes taught us measurability was important, right?  Suddenly, bloggers needed to have 30,000 “uniques” per month to qualify for this or that opportunity.  For moms who became bloggers in the past couple of year, those are tough numbers to achieve.  But, moms are resourceful.  They formed ways to increase their traffic – giveaway trains, blog hops, link shares, automated click programs, and a variety of “I follow you, you follow me” strategies.  Then came the coupon craze.  A bunch of moms discovered they could share their passion for deals and increase traffic to their blog by posting coupons.

I liken this evolution to the concept of standardized test in public schools.  If we incentivize teachers to get their students to score high on tests, teachers focus on teaching the test, not the subject matter.  Similarly, if we tell a blogger her value is based on her traffic or “uniques”, she may start focusing on that rather than the original purpose for starting her blog – sharing advice, creating community, posting honest reviews, etc.  That’s how corporations (through selecting blogs based on rank) are killing mom bloggers.

Today there are a variety of genres of “mom blogs”, but they are commonly categorized as one.  That was a good thing when companies believed that tapping into mom blogs for marketing was a good idea.  But, more and more, I hear companies say they no longer want to do it because, “Mom blogs don’t work.”  OUCH!  ALL mom blogs?  Throughout 2011 I did my own tracking of promotions with mom bloggers.  I provided the bloggers coded links so I could track traffic, checked searches after promotions, calculated hits to campaign pages, and gathered feedback from the companies who had sought out the bloggers.  I made a few discoveries:

1)      In general, a blog post does not lead to any immediate sales of a product.  That shouldn’t be a problem except that some marketers expect an instant spike in sales.  But, let’s look at it from a consumer perspective.  She follows a blog intermittently and sees a review of a vacuum cleaner.  It’s honest and well-written and even a little entertaining.  But, she has a vacuum cleaner.  She’s not going to run out and buy a new one tomorrow.  But, several months for now, she may be in the market for one, searches for reviews of certain brands, and stumbles on that post.  That’s when it influences her – at the point of decision making.  Blog posts live on well past the marketing campaign.  Good reviews with original content will show up in search results.

2)      Brands and companies don’t measure results of their campaigns accurately.  If they did, they’d see that a post about a new $129 coffee machine on a Coupon/frugal blog does not generate traffic to the product site, even if the blog has 100,000 uniques per month.  This is called reaching your target market.  Someone looking to double coupons on canned goods is generally NOT (with a few exceptions) in the market for a fancy coffee maker.  However, if a company needs to spread the word about a coupon, deal or promotion, these bloggers can do it.

3)      Small companies do go visit the bloggers’ sites – after they arrange the review.  What they discover is that they selected a blogger based on traffic numbers, not on market demographics.  They complain the blogs are ugly, generic, or poorly written.  I blame this on the point about studying for standardized tests.  Bloggers are after quantity, not quality because that’s what they are judged on.  Companies need to view the blogs before sending the items for review to see if it is a fit.

4)      Those Journalist and High-Traffic blogs look very different than the ones who appear on all the PR-friendly lists.  Bloggers seeking product for review should spend a little time analyzing what makes those big blogs successful (hint: less clutter, decent graphics, real content).  You don’t have to “be like them” in order to learn from them.  Companies need to realize those “big” blogs are bombarded with review opportunities.  Don’t expect them to drop eveyything, write a post, and promote your $10 product for free.

5)      Facebook rules and formulas for presenting content in feeds have impacted the effectiveness of bloggers.  It’s become easy to unsubscribe, unfollow and generally tune-out.  With the constant stream of giveaways, the posts become background noise.  True influencers are rising above it.  Notice who they are.

6)      Most bloggers are followed by mainly only other bloggers.  I’ll get backlash from this, but I proved it last September when I organized over 100 reviews and giveaways on over 100 blogs.  It was the same people participating in all the giveaways.   The audience of 10 bloggers = the audience of the blogger with the largest reach.  In other words, 500x1100x1000x1000x500x1000x800x1000x200x1000 = 1100 (the reach of the biggest blog).

None of this is necessarily bad news.  However, it suggests that both bloggers and companies need to make some changes.

Bloggers, decide who you are and what you goals for your blog are.  In business, they say “dress for the position you want”.  In other words, if you want to be a Journalist blog, make your blog look like theirs – dump the buttons and banners and opt for strategic advertising.  If you want to be a High-Traffic review blog, set your site format to be like one.  Make it searchable by category.  If you enjoy couponing and frugal advice, be the best at it – don’t distract yourself with product reviews that don’t fit your market.  Readers will know you received the product in exchange for a review, so they won’t be interested in reading it.  Use your high traffic for sponsored posts and paid advertising.  On the other hand, do you like sharing honest reviews and tips on new products you’ve discovered?  Then stick with that.  Write quality reviews, double check your grammar and spelling, and use your own pictures of the products in use (unless instructed to use stock photos).  Make your site attractive like a pretty picture frame for the review.  Small companies love to point to pretty reviews of their products.  That will increase your traffic and get you more review opportunities.

Companies seeking bloggers, look past the traffic numbersRead the blogs.  What do they post?  How sincere are the reviews?  Are the other posts just cut and paste content from product pages?  Does the blogger put more time into collecting badges, links and memberships than focusing on content?  Some of the highest traffic “mom blogs” suffer from all those inadequacies.  On the other hand, note the ones that appeal to you.  If you’d read it, would your customers?  That’s what counts.

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36 thoughts on “Are Corporations Killing Mom Bloggers?

  1. GREAT article and salient points. This is SO important…there are so many bloggers out there and new ones jumping into the fray every day. The “market” is saturated with them. It really is time to focus on specializing, or the whole genre is at risk, in my opinion.

  2. I always ask anyone I pitch to visit my blog and see if they’re a good fit… I have fallen prey to the ‘numbers game’ too… and for a while I was watching my stats like a hawk and taking things personally… now I’m focusing more on my content – and I consider myself an eclectic blogger – some reviews, some giveaways, family stuff, recipes and more… Thanks for writing such a great article!

  3. Ah, yes, the numbers game. Instead of feeling proud of the loyal readerships we are constantly strategizing on how to boost numbers. Not that all networking strategies are bad – they do help get different blogs in front of new readers, but when it’s all we focus on and our worth is just a number.. that’s not good. And yes, a large portion of blog readers are bloggers. It’s kind of always been that way for as long as I can remember!

  4. Excellent article and something that I’ve been thinking for the past few months as I watch all these blog hops inflate everyone’s numbers. It will implode eventually and everyone will have the same number. Liking 50 FB pages and following 50 Twitter users will boost the numbers but are all these likes getting quality new potential customers when they never have to look at that page? I’m guilty for also boosting my numbers but the businesses must look at the quality over quantity and look at the overall blog/blogger.

  5. Good article I agree with most of it way too much empasis on the numbers.
    It’s totally unfair to expect such huge numbers from us. I always give my
    honest opinion in a review so I do think other people will want to read it
    even if I did get it for free, contrary to your statement. I know we as bloggers
    always disclose if it was free or not. That does not mean we don’t give
    our honest feedback about it. I like doing reviews of all kind so I do wish they
    would do away with the constant numbers game it’s exhausting just
    trying to keep up with the post’s the way it is.

  6. Great article with so many excellent, valid observations!
    As a small biz owner who’s success is due, in large part, to the reviews and giveaways I’ve had on mom blogs, I think a huge part of that has been because of the personal connections I make with bloggers. While I get many requests for my products, I don’t just look at numbers. I have often said yes to a new blogger, one without a ton of followers and traffic if she’s a terrific photographer, or super engaging writer, or her blog is so well designed it just makes me linger and appreciate her talents. I don’t say yes to blogs that seem full of empty noise/traffic building tactics. Companies and bloggers can really work together to support each other. …Many of the gals that have reviewed my products continue to support me and share about my products and vice versa. We continue to meet on Facebook and Twitter and share tweets and posts. The initial review is, I hope, just the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship.
    I think, once again, authenticity will win out. Relationships and that personal experience is what it’s all about – great advice to those just starting out, and to those who’ve been doing it a while – when companies (and your readers!) can see a real person with something genuine to share, they’ll follow along and come back for more 🙂

    • You are one of a kind, Kelly. I love your product and I am fortunate to be one of the bloggers who has reviewed your easy lunch boxes and have that lasting blogger/biz relationship. 🙂

  7. I feel like you are making gross generalizations about some types of blogs. I have a mixed bag blog (couponing, reviews, giveaways and life). The reason I coupon is so I can afford the nice things in life, like that $129 fancy coffee maker and many many many moms are like me. They cut costs in certain areas to spend it in others.

    • But your readership will reflect that. The point the author makes is that people ONLY interested in a frugal couponing blog are going to tune out a fancy expensive item review. But readers for a ‘save to spend’ blog, where there’s big goals in sight, might be interested. The author’s point is for products and companies to find a blog and readers that are a good fit for them, NOT just someone with great numbers.

  8. I have a lot of agrees and disagrees but they are gray area’s not black and white. Our blog has been up for 3 years. My internet company made some huge changes at my home and then had to totally configure my information and we lost our page rank. Many companies we’ve worked for, forever won’t work with us because their company policy is 3 or better only on page rank.

    At first I was worried but our influx of pitches hasn’t changed and neither have our stats. There are so many blogs that are running different ways. I LOVE the individuality of all the blogs. I have made many friends and shared tips and tricks and each blogger. no matter the type has impressed information to us in some sort. GREAT article.

  9. I entered the blogging world with a sincere desire to push not only products made in the USA, but company features and city features as well. It takes me a lot of time to write a quality article. I became discouraged quickly when I saw blogs that were strictly giveaway blogs getting tons of products for review and giveaway. I wondered how that was good for the company offering it to them. I truly want to help the companies I promote succeed. I interviewed a small business owner who gave away products on my blog and asked him this very question. “How successful is it for you to feature your products on review/giveaway blogs when that is all those blogs do and don’t have the quality content?” He told me, it wasn’t so much successful in bringing in new business but it was successful in bringing backlinks to his site for SEO purposes which beats hiring an expensive advertising firm. No matter what, I think it is important as a blogger to write quality articles that will be representative of the companies we promote. If those companies insist on working only with those who fulfill the large traffic requirements, then bloggers will continue playing that game, but in the long run I think they will benefit having quality posts.

    I recently wrote a review and the company was impressed with what I said and the presentation and I was asked to write another post. That is more important to me than 1000 followers.

  10. This is an excellent article and something that I have been really struggling with. I pride myself on the time and energy that I put into my reviews. I only post 4-5 times a week and rarely with “filler” information. Although, I do take paid posts because it helps fray some of the costs associated with running the blog. I do have blog envy when I see other blogs with 10,000 followers but really what I crave is building a consistent following, getting thoughtful comments and truly supporting products that my family enjoys. Personally I follow a huge variety of blogs, each with their own style and the ones that I always go back to are the typical old-school mom blog with reviews and family talk as well as the more journalistic ones. Thanks for this article. It really made me think.

  11. I definitely agree with many of your points! I have had companies turn me down because I didn’t have 100,000 followers or whatever their magic number is, but when I look at some of the blogs that DO have that their quality is horrible, the review was pathetic, and it actually turns me off to a company like that bc to me it shows that they are there just for the numbers and not for the relationship. I like to form a partnership with companies I work for and have always stressed quality content on my site. Yes, I promote a few deals here and there but the core of my site is for quality, not quantity. I actually have companies contacting me now bc another company has referred me to them for my quality content and I appreciate that companies realize I will bring them quality in a specific niche – not just a “LIKE” or temporary traffic to their site. I wish both bloggers AND companies would read your post – good points are made! My goal – stick to the reason why I first started blogging about ALL else – help others! Yes I make some money, not as much as most of my bloggy friends but I can say my quality has actually improved since I started blogging.

  12. You say “swag” (the “free” products in exchange for reviews) like bloggers don’t take the time to actually review products and services and then writer a blog post including relevant images and links is not work. Like promoting products for companies on the blogs that we’ve established by building loyal readers and creating content that attracts traffic is all fun and games.

    Moms are known to be “talkers”. If they like something, they’re going to spread the word about it and other moms are going to listen.

    We can agree to disagree, but I think you are discounting the impact of blogger marketing.

    In the business world, one new customer – just ONE – is worth a lot to companies over a lifetime.

    • I don’t think you read this post correctly at all. She is not discounting the “impact of blogger marketing.” Instead, she is saying that companies are missing the boat by only choosing to work with “mom blogs” that have high numbers.

      And her admonition to the mom bloggers themselves is that, to be successful, decide what you want to be and then be the best at it.

  13. I’d like to know where you are getting your information from. If anything, there are several articles from sites such as MSNBC, CNN, Business Week saying EXACTLY the opposite. Mom Bloggers are taking over, for sure. BUT the ones that will succeed are the ones that know how to work their influence vs. numbers.

    There are many R&G bloggers, like Simply Stacie, who have both numbers and influence as well as big couponers like Cuckoo for Coupons.

    Also I only partially agree with what you suggest about deciding who you are. Yes, everyone should have a big niche to fall into and that should be more than 50% of their content but if the bloggers is savvy enough, they can find a way to incorporate other stuff into it so I wouldnt limit and say ONLY do one thing, but make sure that is the majority of your content.

  14. Good post, I am a mommy blogger and a journalist. The two are separate in that I write for pay about pregnancy, infant, and children’s products for a major publication. While I do not mix or post my paid articles on my blog it does allow some great networking contacts for me. Since I do many reviews and giveaways in that niche on my blog, I do establish some good contacts that want me to cover their product on my blog. In that sense it is a great tool for generating niche sponsors on my blog. I also write about brand new companies in that field and again they are eager to promote their products on my blog as well. It is easy to get caught up in numbers and some PR firms can’t see past them, but when I recently changed my blog server, I had to have faith that my stats would come back up to what they were. It was scary because even though I had lots of readers, I worried that companies would just look at my stats which in the beginning were rough, as we had to establish our place on the new server. I ran into great companies who when I explained why my Alexa rating had gone up, were very understanding and since they liked my blog, saw my Facebook Blog page was well followed and very active agreed to work with me anyway.

    There is also something else I found out early on. There are some PR companies (especially smaller one woman operations)that play blogger politics and while they say they are looking at stats, I was being turned down while the other bloggers she gave review products to had Alexa Ratings over 1,000,000. When I questioned this, she grew defensive and then I read between the lines that when dealing with such a small one employee pr firm you may be dealing with less than ethical business practices. I have worked with many large PR companies and they have been great and ethical. I have worked with other small PR reps and they are also great but you are likely to run into a couple of rotten apples.

    I know that so many moms have contacted me for advice in starting a blog. The ones that went ahead with it quickly gave up stating they did not realize the time and work involved. I think you must have a passion for it to succeed. If you are drawn to it simply for the free products, you are going to have a hard time. I love photography and take my own pics of the products and us using them. I think that is one of the biggest ways my blog is different from the high volume Mom review blogs that churn out review after review using only stock photos and generic information, which is mostly copy and pasted from the sponsor’s website. I think more and more sponsors are appreciating the personal touch that I put on my reviews. Even when I have a high volume of reviews I take the time to get original pics and really give my thoughts on the products. If it is a baking product, I photograph the entire process. I cringe when I see bloggers doing reviews of baking mixes or pans and you can tell they have never even used them. I would not be able to do that because I have a great deal of integrity and I refuse to review a product that I have not used. I don’t just do reviews for reviews sake. When I come across a company I have problems with, or do not like their product, I am very honest with them and they usual thank me and ask me to just not go ahead with the post. Which is fine, I will not endorse a product that I would not buy. Some question why most bloggers only have good reviews on their site not realizing that the bad reviews were just not posted.

    I think companies are realizing the relatively low cost of creating a lot of buzz for their products and company by using a blogger to promote them. I invite all my sponsors to visit my blog prior to agreeing to a partnership. I send them the link when it is posted and share it on their FB page as well. I am proud of my blog, I know my sponsors like my work and once I work with a company we often have a partnership that ends up with me doing reviews on more of their products because they like my style.

    In the end do what you do with great passion and love. If you do it will show. If you don’t have the passion for blogging, then move on. Your lack of passion for your work will show and life is too short to spend it doing something you don’t love. Happy Blogging!!!

    Carolyn
    mommyramblings.org

  15. I was a stat watcher, too. And for a while, I was so eager to get review opps that I wasn’t being very choosy. Writing a great review takes a lot of time and when you add in a giveaway, whoa mama, sploady head. So, I’ve started to change things up and focus more on my content again. I’m not watching my stats like a starving wolf anymore either. I know that this strategy isn’t going to skyrocket me to bloggy fame, but I also know I will be more happy with what I’m putting out there and less distracted by “selling” myself. My hope is that by embracing what makes my site mine I’ll attract readers and businesses that really want to develop a relationship. If that takes a while, I’m not going to cry myself to sleep at night.

    Success takes time and is also a matter of perception. If a company doesn’t value what I do because I don’t get tens of thousands of uniques in a month, they’re probably not wanting to sincerely work with a mom blogger based on their target market, which won’t be beneficial to anyone involved. Not all moms–or readers in general–are created equally, so taking opps that don’t pertain to the ladies who love my blog will only drive them away. And as much as I like to see those pretty, fluffy high-traffic numbers, they’re often not coming from the people I’m trying to truly reach.

    I hope that in a market as saturated as mom blogs, there will be a turn in corporations’ perspectives of what qualities are truly valuable to them. It’ll only be then that everyone will win.

    This is a fantastic post. Totally sharing.

  16. This post is very true. Most mom blogs are followed my mom bloggers. But that is ok because before we are bloggers we are simply moms. And “moms” buy the products. So if person offers a product that moms buy- well the mom blog is still the place to be. And as far as traffic I’m sure you are right again. Sometimes they have a ton of followers because they have hosted a blog hop EVERY week for over a year. Who knows if those people actually read that blog.
    Interesting topic and I’m sure the landscape of mom bloggers will change frequently.

    I know it’s very easy to get attention from companies. My blog wasn’t even out one month and I received quite a few offers. I also have an upcoming featured article and appearance for Yahoo Finance. Seems offers abound for mom bloggers. Good for us!

  17. Last year I started really trying to push my stats. All was fine till a family crisis brought me to a creeching halt. I have spent the last few months really searching what I want this blog to be. Your article really puts it into perspective for me.

    Thank you for your time and the help you are offering bloggers.

  18. This is a great article. It is definitely all a big numbers game. When I did product reviews, I always made sure I went above and beyond to promote for this company – because I used to own a small company and knew what it was like to be on the other side of reviews. I enjoy reading actual content instead of just reviews, coupons, and giveaways, and I’m super stoked to go check out Babble’s list of the Top 100 Mommy Bloggers. I hadn’t seen it yet. Thanks for sharing.

  19. I really enjoyed reading this. I started blogging about a year ago and stumbled around for a while. I finally found my niche and really tried to focus on those types of posts. I also began to hold giveaways and review products. I am very careful about what I review because I built up my readership based upon content, not prizes. I do not want to lose those who actually like to read what I write in exchange for a few bucks and some free stuff.

    Early on, I did go through a need to increase my stats. I joined all of the hops and follow-backs. It felt fake. I still look at my stats from time-to-time just to see what’s happening. I’ve noticed that since I quit trying to increase my numbers, they’ve taken off! Now, a year after starting my blog, I actually have companies asking *me* to do reviews and giveaways!

  20. Thank you for all the thoughtful comments everyone. The main point I wanted to make is that mom blogs are not all the same and they certainly aren’t as simple as a traffic rank. The kind of blog you have, the quality of the reviews, and the rank are all separate factors. Companies big and small are starting to realize this. As some of you said, influence is much more powerful than the number of hits, follows, or page views.

    I hope we can continue this conversation. I do see a lot of moms frustrated that they cannot get the opportunities they want. Those are the ones who need to step back and look at what value they offer the product owners. Every customer does count, but someone “liking” a fan page does not create a customer. Businesses that are starting to measure their social media investment against their sales are figuring it out. Marketers have to justify the numbers to maintain the budgets. This will force everyone to take a closer look at what is working — and what is not.

  21. As one of those who has had to play the numbers game I whole heartily agree with everything you’ve said. It’s unfortunate that several of your commenters (some of the worst offenders) don’t see themselves in this light. They are saying one thing here but doing another out there. When I first started blogging a few years ago it was fun and a great outlet for me. I did get the swag as part of the deal and put it to great use.
    You’re right though focusing on numbers, links, and badges…whew….what a mess. Then there are those that buy their readership with giveaway money trains and a pot of gold at the end of the linky in order to gain those numbers. If we are going to spend our own money to make those numbers grow shouldn’t the return be more cash and less product? Who cares if you have 5000+ followers if you spent $1000 getting them.
    I’m so over all of it, I still get daily pitches but stopped replying months ago.

  22. This post hit the nail on the head. For the past few weeks I’ve been lamenting that so many deal and coupon bloggers are categorized as “mom blogs.” For those blogs, there is little that makes them mom specific as I know lots of non-moms who like deals and coupons too.

    I hope 2012 begins to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to what a “mom blog” actually is.

  23. Wow. Well said. You definitely nailed all the points that I’ve been thinking about but wasn’t articulate enough to put into such good writing!

    It’s a mess and I just don’t want to get on the hamster wheel.

    Let’s not talk about the peer pressure and wanting to fit in!

  24. As a small business owner who has been there and done that with blog reviews & giveaways, I could not agree more with your perspective. The mom blog review fad is dying. Businesses big and small are now moving away from them due to poor return on investment.

  25. I couldn’t agree more. I have been guilty of reviewing products That I really didn’t need or want just to have a plethora of reviews on my old domain. This article, is very insightful for my new blog.

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  27. Very nice article. There are just so many bloggers swarming over the web nowadays but the number of really remarkable ones aren’t really great. I think that if one decides to become a blogger he/she has to have a unique scope. Not only that, it has to be well-written and is able to capture the interest of readers.

  28. I’ve seen so many giveaway and review blogs where the ‘reviews’ are mostly the manufacturer’s blurb and links along with a token “and my kids really enjoyed it” for the blogger’s personal opinion. Despite that blogger’s clearly high numbers (she keeps getting products to review, after all!) I stopped following because the reviews didn’t feel honest to me. It’s like they’re just phoning it in.
    My blog has low numbers, but I generate decent sales (according to my Amazon Associates and EasyLunchboxes affiliate stats, anyway) on a particular lunch box [*coughcough* see Kelly Lester’s comment above *cough*] because I am passionate about the product and the idea behind it and post about it often. Which causes my posts to show up when people search for that product (as the author mentions above re: reviews,) as well as the links people can find on the manufacturer’s web site, since she does a great job at promoting her blogger customers for a mutually beneficial relationship.
    While I would love to whore my blog out, I don’t want to become one of those bloggers who accepts absolutely anything at all as long as it’s free. I’ve turned down some review and giveaway offers for products or services that I didn’t feel were a good fit for my blog (not a lot, mind you. I have low numbers, after all!)
    What a great post. Thank you.

  29. Thank you so much for acknowledging the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM! I have been feeling really conflicted about this for months. I started blogging as a way of clearing my mind. But with the lure of making an extra income for my family especially in this economy I too started doing the giveaway product review thing. It was nice to get free things, but When I went back and looked at my overall content I wasn’t proud of those types of posts.Now I have a small following who don’t comment on my posts about self awakening and person growth, they only enter my giveaways. The part that you didn’t mention is how catty, petty and just plain rude some of these “Mom” bloggers are! It’s so cut throat and secretive, and for what! A little product! Wow!
    I’m really not sure where to go next with my blog, except I want to be more true with my intentions.
    Thank you for this article I really needed it!

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  31. As a blogger myself, I value realistic quality of products that apply to the blogger than the quantity of the reviews. Everything has to be authentic in order for me to continue to read or follow another blogger. I work to keep those same standards for my own blog. This was an eye opening post. It makes me rethink reviews I do. So far, I’m only doing reviews for products that I could actually implement into my life.

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