Saturday, November 13, 2010

Is it a sell out?

I went along to the Sydney Bloggers Festival last week - leaving India at home with a babysitter for the first time - of course despite my slight anxiousness she was fine.  I had a great day learning and chatting to other 'bloggers' and 'mummy bloggers' and I relished the ease of which I hoped into a cab (albeit late after having to feed at the last minute - but seriously when do I ever get anywhere early these days so that was nothing new), I did find myself hiding away expressing in the disabled loos a couple of times - not quite somewhere I had ever envisaged myself hanging out, but we do what we must.

One of the 'hot topics' of the day was 'for love or money' and when does it appear that someone who writes their own blog has sold out?  You have to remember that some bloggers just blog - and when I say 'just blog' I don't actually mean 'just blog' as there are many hours of time, energy and much love that has gone into creating their virtual home.  It got me thinking about some of the posts or more specifically reviews that I have been doing of late on here - is that a sell out?  Is it the right thing to do? I pretty swiftly started to doubt my decision or my quest to invite others to share this space with me.  I have thought about this a lot over the last few days and spent time thinking about whether it was, in fact, the best thing to do.  I understand that I don't have to explain myself to anybody but on this occasion I felt compelled to broach the subject and to clarify why I wanted to include other people and other brands on my blog.

From the word go I have not hidden the fact that I am reviewing products - their logos and branding have been clear for everyone to see and I am glad you have.  My search to partner up with other like minded individuals and businesses comes from a desire to build my own network of trusted and reliable businesses. I also have a desire to bring these businesses and people to you.  I will only ever partner with a business that either aligns with what I do and how I feel in a moral and ethical sense or that I believe will make your life as a mum easier - after all I am a mum and in general mums like to help other mums, myself included.  The reviews will all be favorable towards the brands and businesses I work with as I am not in the market of putting down or badmouthing anyone and I wouldn't have chosen to bring them to you if I hadn't strongly considered as to whether they were a good fit for myself, for you and for Body Beyond Baby.

The other thing I asked of these businesses was to give something back to you guys - yes, I receive a product or service to review BUT you are also given the opportunity to sample their goods also by getting on board and entering our giveaways so it's a win win all round.

At the end of the day, myself and many those featured on my blog are small businesses, many of them mums and many of them working at home and I truly believe that there is nothing bad to come of introducing you to these fantastic brands and showing you what else is out there that might just help you get through your day a little more easily or efficiently.  And who needs to go searching for something you need?  A referral is so much better and less time consuming.  We are all supporting each other and I hope to continue to support both yourselves and many other brands that align well with myself and Body Beyond Baby down the track.

For the record, no money has exchanged hands during this review process to date, but hey, if a blogger was given the opportunity to endorse or promote a brand that aligned well with them personally and/or in a business sense for a monetary or other gain I say go for it - after all many of us spend many hours writing and typing and it is OK to know that your time, creativity, knowledge and experiences are valuable and perhaps to even want to make a living out of it.  As for me, you will know I have sold out when I bring you good reviews on fast food chains and soft drink ;)


mamamia said...

Fair enough I say!

I enjoy reading what you write, and it's very helpful to see reviews on products I might not normally even look at!

I'm glad you enjoyed your time at the blogger festival and that you had the chance to reflect on your motivation and be happy where you are. Good job!

Eden Riley said...

Jen ... came over to thank you for your comment on my blog, and I really loved this post. I think you're spot-on. There is *nothing* wrong with working with brands and sponsors, especially when it's done the right way. It's part of the reason I started Jack and Jill ... to have a space with a dedicated spot in there for reviews, so I'm clear from the beginning.

I really like the look of your blog, your header is really clean, good-looking and simple. (My 2-cents-worth, you're welcome!)

And how cute that you were pumping at the bloggers festival. Mummyblogging indeed!

Eden xo