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Why I Don’t Follow Your Blog

Just lately, I’ve been trying to broaden my horizons by reading more blogs. I’ve actually started using Bloglovin for the first time since I set it up months ago, and actually reading all the blogs whose Bloglovin buttons I’ve clicked on.

One thing I was struck by is how many reviews and sponsored posts there are. I mean, there are a lot.

Single Mother Ahoy adverts
I get enough of this crap through my door; I don’t want it on my screen!

That’s a good thing, in that I’m more likely to buy a product if a blogger whose opinion I trust has said it’s good.

And it’s nice to see fellow bloggers doing well and getting to try out nice stuff.

But there is a danger that your blog, which presumably was originally made popular by your words, your posts about your family, your life… is now basically a review site with the odd sponsored post or photo of your child.

Just lately, this blog has been doing pretty well. I’ve been lucky enough to be approached to review a few products. I decided that, in order to maintain my “credibility” (lawks, what a pretentious word), I would not post more than one review a week; people would just have to wait to hear what I thought of this particular thing. I didn’t want to bore people with review posts, because I worried that the readership I’d worked so hard to build up might walk away if all they saw was product placement.

I was surprised then, to find that a lot of other blogs seem to have become very popular – presumably by posting original content – and have now become just a place to review the latest thing the blogger has been sent.

Of course, there’s no problem with that – by all means, get given free stuff and review it. But change the description at the top of your blog to reflect that. I don’t want to subscribe to read a blog about you and your quirky family and all the fun you have… and then find my feed full of posts about this website or that baby potty.

Am I missing something here? Is this just how things work? Am I being too much of an idealist?
Seriously, if I’m speaking out of turn here then please someone tell me to shut up.

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Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.

25 Comments
  • Emma

      REPLY

    I get what you mean, and I do try and do one &#39;proper&#39; post for every review, but sometimes it all gets on top of me and I tend to have to churn a few out in one go....<br /><br />I sort of think that my blog is a lot of work, and I need to give my family some benefit from it, and lets face it paid posts and reviews can be like buses and all come at the same time.<br /><br />If it&#39;s a

    1. Vicky Charles

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      I definitely follow more people than blogs - but on Twitter. I have some sort of mental block where half the time I don&#39;t even link the blog post I&#39;m reading with the person I was chatting to an hour ago any way; I can never remember who&#39;s who!<br />Regarding the reviews, I know how it goes - I&#39;ve had loads lately but nothing for a month or so beforehand. I&#39;m not just going to

  • Amanda

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    There is nothing that turns me away from following a blog than too frequent reviews &amp; sponsored posts! I read blogs for the stories behind them, the people, what they love &amp; hate, not reviews. The odd one is fine, of course, but not several a week. There was a time when I started blogging that reviews andd giveaways were run just because the blogger really valued an item or wanted to

    1. Joanne Mallon

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      It&#39;s interesting Amanda that you mention reading blogs for the stories, as this was the point I made in our session about writing better reviews at BritMums Live.<br /><br />I think that too often bloggers agree to review an item when there&#39;s nothing of interest to say, and so the review is inevitably boring. But if we focus less on what we will get and instead thing about what we will

  • Kate Shippey

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    Absolutely agree! Too many reviews make me click that little cross on the top right of the page and say &#39;no thanks&#39;.

  • Laura The Toy Tattler

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    You make a really valid point. I try to get the balance right between opnion / blog pieces, helpful guides and hands on reviews. Since my blog is totally dedicated to toys and fun, I make sure that any reviews do have a really good fit, and I prefer it of the brand offers to run a giveaway for my readers too. It&#39;s a tough call.

  • Alex Walsh

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    I sort of get what you&#39;re saying but I don&#39;t see why if you write with, for example, an irreverent voice, you can&#39;t carry that over into reviews. There&#39;s a great review from Pippa of a four slice toaster that is literally a minute and a half of watching a toaster (http://youtu.be/JSutGSeXzto) until the toast pops out. What more did they want? It&#39;s completely her, whilst still

  • Eeh Bah Mum

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    I tend not to follow blogs that post a lot of reviews - when i want a review i will search just for that and there are some good totally review based blogs out there. <br />If it&#39;s a more personal blog that occasionally has reviews i do get put off if they pop up a lot.<br />

  • The Chimping Dandy

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    I can quite safely say that I have never, and will never succumb to the evils of product placement on my blog... I am sure of this because:<br /><br />a) No-one should listen to the opinion of 40-something, bearded, larger than average males who blog about Motorcycles, IT, bacon and dogs - We&#39;re not particularly aspirational<br /><br />b) I&#39;ve never been asked to review anything because:

  • The Brick Castle

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    When I started The Brick Castle it was because I had been reviewing toys for a few months and had nowhere to put all my work, I didn&#39;t really expect it to be anything other than a couple of reviews a month. Then I ended up posting far more personal stuff than reviews anyway and now I have the worry when I have too many reviews that I&#39;ll lose readers.... :D

  • thedoubleparent

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    I include non-sponsored reviews to things like movies, books, videos etc that I think my readers will enjoy and behefit from. But, as you wisely said already, I limit them.

  • psychologymum

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    I am fairly new to the blogging world. I started my blog a year ago but then left it for many months. Since I have come back to blogging, I have noticed many blogs have loads of advertising on. I find it interesting that people are even reading these blogs especially as I can see from Tots 100 that they are really popular. I used to work in online advertising and I am surprised by how it seems to

  • SarahMummy

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    Yes, yes, yes! With you all the way on this one! I get particularly disappointed if I click on a post which seems to be about a person&#39;s family and is then a thinly disguised sponsored post. Like you, I&#39;m starting to get offers in and, like you, I&#39;m writing no more than one a week. If I increase it to two, I will increase the number of family posts too. I want to entertain readers,

  • Victoriaaa

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    Recently some of the blogs I used to love to read have been full of this, when previously it was more what their little one had been learning or up to. There&#39;s a little handful that are quite big but have stayed more like a keepsake blog and I go to them whenever I want a little read instead now. Like you say all is great and well if your honoured enough to review products but there needs to

  • Pinkoddy

      REPLY

    I tend to try and review things that are for the kids/fit. I admit my posts aren&#39;t about what my son is learning any more as he went to school, so blogs change anyway.<br />

  • Angeline

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    I have been given a lot of sponsored posts in the past but what I do is for every post i do, I write 2/3 and I don&#39;t tweet them. I also make sure that it is relevant and try and take the fun stuff because I agree, too many posts are detrimental to a blog.

  • anna

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    I&#39;ll disagree a little bit with the majority :p<br />I quite like reviews! If it&#39;s the type of product I am interested in, like toys, homeware etc etc then I don&#39;t feel it detracts from the blog at all, if it is well written. <br />There are personal posts on some people&#39;s blogs which are very very boring and would not bring me back as a reader at all, so I don&#39;t feel its as

  • Jaime Oliver

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    I agree i think someone who is constantly posting reviews or sponsored posts that quite clearly are not relevant to the blog, blogger or their family do get on my nerves. <br /><br />When i review I always add Review in the title too so then if my readers dont want to read they will not pop over and the choice is theirs xx

  • Tiffany

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    Amen, I rarely follow blogs that have a lot of product reviews. The pages take too long to load. I know that most bloggers want to make money and that&#39;s fine.

  • Looking for Blue Sky

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    I&#39;ve stopped reading many blogs that I originally loved because they become full of reviews or even worse, sponsored posts, where you don&#39;t find out that they were being paid to write the post until the end, and then you feel a bit cheated.

  • slouchingtowardsthatcham.com

      REPLY

    I agree. I make a point of being picky about reviews and featuring sponsored content. I never do more than one or two a month, and I&#39;m pretty ruthless about only accepting stuff that has some kind of relevance to the blog as a whole, even if it means turning away paid content. It&#39;s not why I started up the blog in the first place.<br /><br />I do appreciate that for some the commercial

  • Dad Who Blogs

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    I don&#39;t post that many reviews, or that many posts at all!!, So why don&#39;t you follow my blog? Lol<br />

  • Dad Who Blogs

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    I don&#39;t post many reviews...or many posts full stop, so what&#39;s your excuse for not following my blog? Lol :p

  • Polly Mixtures

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    Been having a good mooch around your blog from the weekend bloghop. This is a great post and something I have been giving a lot of thought as only recently several companies have approached me to review their products, and while I am flattered (because I hope it means I'm doing something right!) I also don't want to push away readers. My blog so far has been very organic and I've loved connecting with lots of other mummy bloggers. I like your idea of one post per week. x Polly Mixtures recently posted...Ten tips for surviving hospital bed rest with PPROMMy Profile

    1. Vicky Charles

        REPLY

      Thanks, I'm so glad you've enjoyed what you've seen of the blog. I would rather read posts about you and your life than endless nonsense I'm not interested in... that's just me though! I love connecting with other bloggers too!

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