Although this post is related to blogging I also hope it will be of interest to non-bloggers as I know you are the ones who sometimes read reviews and question whether the blogger has just written something really positive because they were sent the product ‘for free’. I did actually write a post about this recently so if you haven’t read it then it might be a good place to start as it will give you an idea of just how much work goes into a product review and how nothing we are sent is free!
I think one of the most important things as a blogger is to come across on your blog how you do in person, it’s something I aim to achieve and feel like I do a fairly good job of. My overuse of exclamation marks is a bit annoying but I use them because I don’t want to come across as too serious. I’m not a serious person at all so using them is a way I can reflect that.
It’s really important to me that I come across as genuine and honest in my reviews too which is why I wanted to write this post. You may or may not have noticed that I’ve never written a negative review and the reason for that isn’t that I’ve never been sent things I don’t have bad things to say about, it’s just that I will always go straight back to the company that sent it to me and give them my feedback first. Understandably in most cases they then don’t want me to write about it and I’m okay with that.
I know some people see it as being dishonest but I don’t look at it that way because I’m not lying to anyone about anything. I see being dishonest as writing that I love something when in actual fact I don’t. I know not everyone agrees with me about this though and some feel like it’s a good thing to share the negative reviews too but I just don’t feel comfortable doing it. If you take a smaller company for example who might be stocking a product that breaks easily, if I wrote a blog post about that then it might be the one thing that comes up when people search for the company and this might be put off ordering from them when in actual fact by giving them my feedback they then decided to stop stocking the product therefore solving the problem.
I don’t really think you can win either way as one of my blogging friends recently posted a review that was swaying towards the negative side although completely fair and helpful, she was left a comment telling her that it was nice to see as they had questioned how genuine her reviews were beforehand but another comment saying they thought she was being unfair!
I think a lot of non-bloggers maybe just don’t like to see reviews on blogs but I turn down so much of what I get offered to review and only choose things that we either need or I feel would make interesting content for my readers. In fact recently we’ve made a decision to stop buying toys and make them instead, I will be blogging about this soon, but because of that I won’t be accepting any toys to review (with the exception of craft supplies) because otherwise that wouldn’t be staying true to the choice we have made.
Over the years I’ve been sent a lot of things that haven’t made it on the blog for various reasons. A baby doll carrier that was really overpriced, absolutely tiny and smelt like damp. A kid’s necklace that fell apart within minutes of opening it, a spirilizer that was so flimsy it felt like it was going to break…
They are just a few that spring to mind, in all of the cases I go back and give very detailed reasons as to why I don’t like the product giving the company the choice to use that information to fix the problem.
So if you read my reviews and feel like they are too positive then it’s not because I’m being dishonest, it’s just because the product has to have been rated highly to even feature on my blog in the first place. That being said I will always try to give some constructive criticism and make my reviews balanced, see example here, but there have been some things where I just can’t find anything negative to say in which case I don’t want to try and make something up just to appear honest!
So I would love to hear your thoughts on this…
If you are a blogger then do you post negative reviews?
If you are a non-blogger do you question whether bloggers are being honest in their reviews?