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But there is a danger that your blog, which presumably was originally made popular by your words, your posts about your family, your life… is now basically a review site with the odd sponsored post or photo of your child.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


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.


Emma · 04/07/2013 at 08:17

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

    Vicky Charles · 04/07/2013 at 08:47

    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 · 04/07/2013 at 08:45

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

    Joanne Mallon · 04/07/2013 at 15:16

    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 · 04/07/2013 at 09:12

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 · 04/07/2013 at 10:52

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 · 04/07/2013 at 15:56

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 · 05/07/2013 at 07:36

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 · 05/07/2013 at 08:12

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 · 06/07/2013 at 22:48

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 · 07/07/2013 at 18:49

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 · 09/07/2013 at 22:10

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 · 10/07/2013 at 11:16

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 · 10/07/2013 at 12:27

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 · 13/07/2013 at 17:08

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 · 16/07/2013 at 19:47

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 · 21/07/2013 at 18:45

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 · 29/07/2013 at 21:59

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 · 05/08/2013 at 14:57

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 · 15/02/2014 at 22:04

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 · 23/06/2014 at 18:36

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 · 23/06/2014 at 20:45

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 · 23/06/2014 at 20:46

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 · 03/02/2015 at 18:48

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

    Vicky Charles · 04/02/2015 at 07:10

    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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