Performancing Metrics

Being Approached to Write about Products on Your Blog

Recently, I was approached by a company to write about a product on my blog. I found out that I did not fit their criteria, and that really bugged me since they wanted to work on a viral advertising method to promote the product.

Their criteria were very strict, and so I was disappointed. When we were talking about it, they made no mention of needing me to be positive about the product, but they probably would not try to do such a thing with a product that has not tested well before.

I think such things are going to become more prominent with larger and smaller bloggers in the blogosphere as companies look for cheap and effective advertising, and in my mind, word of mouth is some of the best advertising a company can get. Impress a few key people, and you can sway the opinion of many.

This does not mean that I think you should hide the fact that you were approached to write about such product. I think being honest with your audience is the best thing you can do to retain your journalistic integrity. Some people try to hide that the article they wrote was in a way sponsored by a company or service, and I think this is a sad way to run a blog, and a fast way to ruin one.

If you are approached by a company to write a post on a product, be as objective as you can, and don’t just turn it down because if you approach it correctly, you won’t be doing anything wrong according to me.

What do you think though? Can you trust a blogger that has gone ahead, tested a product and written about it on his site?

Categories: Blogging Tips

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  1. May C says: 8/18/2006

    I do try to be as objective about a product as I can. Of course, especially if I’ve been asked to do a review on a product, I need to be careful about not slamming it (I don’t really slam anything) but try to provide as objective of a review as possible, pointing out the positives as well as negative. And if I have something not so positive, I do try to stress that it is my opinion (to cover my butt) and that results may vary.

    From time to time, I do get some emails from readers who don’t agree with my review and sometimes they are a bit hard to deal with. I try to avoid confrontation and just continue on.


  2. steven says: 8/18/2006

    If they have a good product, they would have no reservation for placing it under review. That’s what customers ultimately do.

    Your job is to be accurate and thorough in your evaluation. If it is indeed a good product, it is beneficial to both the company and the customers to get the word out. If it is not . . . that’s important too.


  3. Martin says: 8/18/2006

    I have no problems about being approached – it’s the way traditional journalism essentially works.

    As long as that those doing the approaching know there’s no guarantees.

    What you don’t want is to be told how to write-up a piece. The company should give you every available materials so you can come up with a totally unbiased review.

    If there’s money changing hands well that’s another story and is in fact just simple “advertorial” copy – if you don’t disclose this then you’ll soom be found out, called out and lose your credibility.


  4. Angsuman Chakraborty says: 8/20/2006

    Normally my reviews are pretty direct and self-motivated. I don’t try to wash my hands off or save my a**.

    I think a paid review, if undertaken, must be prefixed with the highlighted information that it is paid and what are the conditions of payment.


  5. Leslie Hanes says: 11/29/2008

    I have a question for the blogging experts. I own a small company that has a very unique product. It’s actually a towel that dries way faster than conventional towels. It contains Silver, which kills bacteria, therefore it never gets moldy smelling. With virtually no advertising budget, we have mainly been providing a sample to major magazines such as Sailing, Backpacking, Travel, and many Yachting magazines. Now, if you “google” wicking towel, you will see many, many articles about the towel. Every single one is positive and I have never asked them to print opinions either way…just try it and do a fair review.
    My question: I do not really understand how blogging works. How can I continue to educate consumers, and get exposure, using blogs? I put every cent I make into production of a wonderful product, and I simply can’t pay for advertising. (People don’t believe traditional advertisng anyway, no matter where it is) Do bloggers give their opinions without being paid?

    Thanks, I appreciate any tips or “education” you can provide!! I am posting my website so you can contact me if you have ideas.


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