Bloggers’ delight


If you’re a fashion blogger or have any interest in the future of fashion blogs (which I’m guessing you are/do as otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this), you must read this compelling article by Nicola Copping in the FT about fashion bloggers and brands. One of the points it flags up is the attention bloggers are getting from brands keen to engage with them and how a blogger handles the seductive nature of being courted. Once a brand starts paying you attention, showering you with compliments and offering you freebies products for ‘review’, it can become increasingly hard to maintain your integrity. Brands and PR agencies are now hosting blogger meet-and-greets in order to build relationships with bloggers in a similar way to the PR-journalist relationship. But blogs aren’t magazines and bloggers don’t *have* to follow a code. However, in reality it’s very hard to be impartial about a brand or product if you have met and liked its representative, it makes you feel like a bit of a bitch if you have a negative viewpoint.

The answer I’ve found is to take a step back. Apart from anything else, if you find you’re spending all your time writing product reviews, it’s taking you away from the spontaneity of your original blog posts. And chances are, it’s the honesty and originality of the pre-PR-pitched posts that brought your blog to your readers’ attention in the first place. I’m stepping away from the competitions and product reviews unless it’s something I really like and concentrating on keeping things personal and honest. It’s better for the blog and less stress for me.
[Pic: FT.com, I’d love to see the thought bubble coming out of Susie Menkes and Michael Roberts’ heads!]
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12 Responses to Bloggers’ delight

  1. enc says:

    Not having been in the "review" position except once, more than a year ago, this issue really doesn't affect me.

    But I do think it's incredibly strange when bloggers say "this great box just magically appeared on my doorstep," then they post all about the $600 item. I can't fathom that. Shouldn't the item then be returned?

    I doubt seriously that I'll ever be in the position that most of the "famous" bloggers are. I've received all sorts of e-mails offering to pay me for posts, but the products are weak, and I can't imagine wanting to post about anything I wouldn't pay for myself. I'm not sure where this viewpoint fits into the blogosphere.

  2. Make Do Style says:

    So true – I did my blogma manifesto which said no to everything a few months ago – I like staying outside.

  3. Jasmine says:

    So true, bloggers are beginning to work their way up in the world, soon they will take over the fashion world with their thoughts and musings!

  4. Couture Cookie says:

    It's so funny that you would post this now! I was thinking about penning out a similar post. Recently, I have been showered with attention from companies who are basically asking for free advertising on my blog: giveaways, reviews etc. I recently hosted one and only one giveaway for an independent designer whose jewelry I really adored, but I decided afterwards that I will never do it again. I started my blog because I love writing and fashion, and most of my readers are very articulate, always starting great discussions in the comment field. Contests, reviews and giveaways take away from all of this – if corporations want to gain exposure on our blogs, why don't they just offer to pay to place ads in the sidebar?

  5. WendyB says:

    Congrats on your mention! That's the key thing… ;-)

  6. Hapsical Blog says:

    They could have at least given Suzy Menkes a little laptop table too..

  7. Sister Wolf says:

    Oh dear, that article made me feel a bit sick. But thank god you are sticking to your guns, disneyroller girl. It's nice to know I won't be subjected to constant gushing!

  8. All Women Stalker says:

    Yeah. Show 'em brands that us bloggers are not pushovers.

    -meream

  9. Blue says:

    great article .keep your blog as true as we all love it -maybe just use the non fashion brands like vodka or even better champagne. Or maybe cool cars ! don't be swayed by those fashion brands ! they 'll eat you up . It's crazy this whole blog thing .ithinkwe never realised how powerful icould be when we started out . The fact thatan innocent hobby could turn into a new type if job itself . Well done u for raising this in your blog .Keep up the good work x

  10. indigo16 says:

    It looks like we will come full circle and go back to buying Zines, all those ones without advetising that have sprung up! How ironic that the very reason we all fell in love with fashion blogs was their impartiality and now they too appear to be becoming not a little tainted.
    My blog is pretty pedestrian and yet even I have been approached on numerous occasions to 'try out' something. The pressure to be nice is too much and so I say a polite no thank you, but it must be so difficult when a free trip is involved.

  11. amanda@thewomensroonblog.com says:

    DRG this is a very relevant blog for all us fashion bloggers to take seriously, well done for bringing it up. we're at a really interesting development point in terms of blog influence, we think it's SO important to stay independant with our comments on our blog, but you're right, if we like the retailers involved and see how hard they are working to get things right, then we become emotionally engaged with them.
    Our aim is to build up a strong personality on our blog so our readers almost know what we're gonna say even before we say it, if that makes any srt of sense? Amanda

  12. The Shabby and The Chic says:

    Hmmm this is a tricky one as I am on both sides of the fence as a PR (beauty) and a blogger who is fairly new to the game, but yet have been offered products to review.

    I completely agree that a blog should stay true to the individual and hate the idea that the original integrity with which a blog is started should ever be comprimised due to the fact that PR companies have realised the importance of the blogosphere. That said I feel like I have created a good relations with the bloggers that I liaise with and in no way would expect them to out of obligation write glowing review on a product that I've pitched. I appreciate the honest feedback whether positive or negative and fully understand when a blogger politely declines a product that has been offered in exchange for a write-up on their blog.

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