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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Bloggy Thoughts





Hmmm. Tricky one this. I put out an IG post and it was a little tongue in cheek with me saying that I didn't go to nice bloggy events and have nice goodie bags and my lot was the grand opening of a local Aldi where I received a free bag for life and a trolley token. To be honest, I was quite made up - I've finally got an Aldi in the neighbourhood. Woohoo! 

What I hadn't anticipated was the lovely comments I got from many IG followers saying that they liked my blog for keeping it real and that it wasn't full of freebies. I wasn't actually complaining - believe me, if I lived a little closer to London where all the events are, I would think about popping in to the odd one. I'm nosey like that ;o) But thank you all - it means a lot that you enjoy the blog - it's my little happy space. And as for keeping it real - it's my life - it's probably a lot like yours. Kids play up, I eat cheese and onion Walkers crips, I drink a lot of Earl Grey tea. I like to think I'm fairly normal.

But but ... for the record, I never ever said I wouldn't take or promote anything from a brand - I just haven't found anything suitable to date which I thought I could write about convincingly that I really liked. I would do it but it has to be in keeping with my style though and what works for me day to day. I think you can tell when I'm delighted with something and if I think it's good, I'm usually happy to share my finds. I like to think I have a fairly well trained eye from days of old when I could indulge in more expensive things but I have a more modest budget these days than when I worked but I have a much happier life for being a SAHM. So I buy a lot at the cheaper end of the high street and then I supplement with the odd pricier item which I think merits the extra spend. 

What I'm trying to say is please don't ever be surprised if one day I do a review - I may actually find something I like but if I do, it's not that I've changed, I haven't, it's just someone actually approached me whose products I can identify with or like. I just thought I'd put it out there. I have this discussion with the hubs sometimes saying I've been offered something and he asks if I'm going to do it and the answer is usually "no - it's not me, I don't wear that kind of thing" and he says "true - I can't see you in that".

For the record, I don't have an issue with blog posts which contain gifted items especially if I can see that this works well with the blogger and their style - and some brands need a little exposure from different parties to show how their products can be worn and styled in a way I wouldn't have considered myself due to my own preconceived notions about them. 

Lastly, I don't actually have an issue with bloggers receiving/promoting gifted items as long as it's transparent and this might have something to do with the fact that I blog myself but it has to be recognised that for some bloggers out there, it is also their livelihood and it's not realistic to think they can fund everything. And they need blog content and we need to know what lovely things there are out there - why else do we read?



12 comments:

  1. Well said, Sue, perfectly put. I am like you. My blog is simply for me to get a little creative and it has given me the opportunity to meet and befriend other lovely bloggers such as yourself. I too am a SAHM and some days I don't speak to another sole. A blog, for me, is a communication tool and fun. If I am too busy, with real life or doing work for the Hubby, I don't blog. Simple. I love reading many blogs and I have no issue with bloggers being paid to promote as long as it is in keeping with their style. You have an excellent eye and long may you continue to blog!! H xx

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    1. The blog has been a lovely place for me the last few years and got me through many wordless daytime hours not that I'm a woman of many words anyway but on the blog, you have no choice but to witter. And yes, I have met some lovely supportive ladies along the way, you included.

      Thanks for the comment - I wasn't actually having a dig at people going to press days or receiving goodie bags (who doesn't want a nice goodie bag?) but I was just making one of my casual remarks like I do and it must have just struck a chord with some people. But it was too difficult to respond to on IG so I thought I'd just put a few words down here.

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  2. You are very diplomatic, Sue. Unfortunately the sponsored posts are becoming more and more regular with the bloggers trying hard to disguise the fact of sponsorship ('Oh I just popped into this shop and just couldn't leave without this jumper' - and the lady who I once loved following now seems to only shop in this place and the place itself seems to have a lot of her photos in their merchandise on their website). I appreciate its a career opportunity for some and am normally very happy to see that somebody -especially a stay at home mum - managed to turn her once blogging hobby into something bigger but there should be a healthy balance between keeping it real and staying true to yourself and promoting whatever you have been gifted. Some are trying to "pay back" too hard, the posts are becoming excessive and blatantly orchestrated and the blogging person untrustworthy and unrelatable.

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    1. Hi Irina, I also think it's lovely for those people who can make a living out of it and have the tenacity and drive to do it. It's probably given quite a few SAHMs a new working opportunity which they weren't expecting. I personally don't have that level of commitment but I think if you set out to do that, you have to be a little more driven and take the opportunities. I know what you mean about keeping a healthy balance of keeping it real and being true to yourself - some product placements don't always sit well and it sometimes feels like there is a script. I do prefer a more nonchalant relaxed approach but if you take on a product, I guess you are expected to extol it's virtues. To some people, that would be waxing lyrical far to make it feel that they have earned what they have been gifted. And I am rather diplomatic - I can see both sides and what is involved for those who accept the promotions - they do take work and time and to be honest I think it would be even harder work if you don't believe in the product - I know I've turned down stuff for that reason - that would stress me.

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  3. Well I can't put it any better than Helen! Also, I used to buy tons of stuff that featured on your blog. Not so much now that i blog myself because that would make me look like a crazy stalker lady, but I think the fact that you have obviously gone out and tracked it down yourself (and it's usually a total bargain, or a great investment) gives it some integrity. And I wouldn't mind seeing the odd sponsored post thrown into the mix, because I know you'd have to be super-impressed with something to agree to do it xx

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    1. I think it's quite nice to have a story to back something up. But it's not always the case and quite often I just bring home the most random things, basically it was there and I bought it. And then returned it - LOL. The only thing I'm not so happy about is when I change my mind on something after I blogged something. It's the change of heart that comes with suddenly realising I have no need for something no matter how much I love it and I can't afford to have it sat there.

      And thanks for the vote of confidence over the odd sponsored post - I have come close before now.

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  4. Standing shoulder to shoulder with you on this Sue.....you have put this perfectly! That is exactly why I always look to you for advice when I'm approached and I always get the reassurance from you that I am making the right decisions. I kind of like the stance that Caroline Joy who writes Unfancy takes on this, she has a disclaimer on her blog that says something along the lines of *if I'm wearing it it's because I believed in it enough to buy it.* I feel the same as you though, if I really loved something and felt I could do the product justice then I would have the confidence to review. If you were to promote something, I think because of what you put out there you would only agree to review because it was something you would actually spend your pennies on! xx

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    1. I remember when you were debating over something that you had been contacted over and then you had read Caroline Joy's statement and it rang home with you. I think it's great if you can do that but if that something you genuinely like comes along, it would be silly not to. I've always said I would struggle to find the words if I couldn't genuinely enthuse over something - I'd rather not do it.

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  5. I really appreciate this post in many ways Sue. I totally get your viewpoint and respect your choices. As a blogger who does attend press days and reviews certain products I am aware that to some it may seem like one big free party. But I fund all that train travel from Yorkshire to London myself, reinvesting some of the money I make from sponsored posts back into my blogging costs. It may sound crackers but I've always loved fashion, interiors and retail. It's what I wrote about as a journalist in my previous life and I still love it now. Also, nothing is ever really a freebie. I only review stuff I genuinely like or has a relevance / resonance for my readers. I try to mix high st fashion with more expensive items to keep it real yet varied and importantly democratic, to represent most budgets. And I earn that 'freebie' by spending time crafting content around it for my blog, which takes time and skill.
    Oh god, sorry, this is turning into an essay and it's not meant to sound like a chippy rant at all. I just wanted to put across my side and to say thank you for being so understanding. We are all just bloggers trying to do our thing the best we can while enjoying it as much as possible. Keep on trucking! XXX

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    1. I didn't set out to do a post but the comments on my IG post made me realise I couldn't just pop down a sentence back to the ladies who commented. I felt a need to explain a little about my position but to also clear up the fact that I have never said anywhere on my blog that I don't do reviews - I would do providing the right thing came along. I've been lucky enough to be able to offered things and I have to say, I have been lucky enough to be able to say no and just buy what I want to talk about. I take on board that it's important to try and cover budgets of all kinds - you don’t want people to feel alienated for something being too expensive so it’s good to provide a mix and some balance.

      You are however totally correct about nothing being for free especially in a blogger's world. I think you've summed it up for everyone who doesn’t blog, what exactly is involved as to the time, commitment and even your own money you have to put in to it yourself to do this blogging business. I’m pleased that you’ve managed to make your work pay itself back.

      And I’m in danger of writing an essay here too, but I think finding your own voice is important and every blogger will have their own committed core readers who relate and love your own personal style and blog. Your style and the brands you promote are very true to you - I think you do them justice and credit with your pictures and writing. I'm a little jealous that you got to go and have tea with Lisa Stickley in her home - it looks fabulous. And thank you for taking the time to leave such a considered reply. It’s much appreciated. x

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  6. Love everything you do Sue, your words and pictures are so entertaining. You always make me smile!

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    1. Thank you - I'm glad you enjoy the blog. x

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