I've been blogging for a long time (since 2004) and I've seen the steady progression of products into the mom blogoshere. I write a lot of product reviews and I really enjoy doing so. But do you think there is a lot of noise going on right now as far as products and giveaways are concerned? How do you think companies will begin standing out so their product is really noticed among online moms? Or, do you think companies will continue to shower products on us en masse and hope the collective, viral buzz boosts their product lines?
I'd love to hear your thoughts. I believe companies will have to find more creative ways to get the attention of the mom blogosphere just like Wal-Mart and Disney have successfully done as opposed to sending 75 of us the same product to review. Then again, perhaps 75 product reviews is great to a company's bottom line. What do you think?
I've notice that marketing companies are trying different approaches to see how things pan out. It will be interesting to see where it goes.
In response to what some of the other people have said, I agree there are a ton of products coming across the boards. I've had a quality over quantity approach since I started my review blog. I've tried to be selective of the products I review to ensure I can provide a story to go with the review. I encourage giveaways because they bring the traffic - who can complain about that?
I haven't been offered anything fancy like a Wii or a Kitchen Aid mixer or a piece of exercise equipment like some blogs. But I'm happy with the products I receive and I'm enjoying what I'm doing.
I personally have yet to do any product reviews, I'm new to the blog world, but in all honesty I usually skip them and don't have any interest in writing any myself. I prefer reading the "mom stuff". You know all the knitty gritty, diaper changing, potty training, nose blowing goodness..
This may be a dumb question but how do you get involved in doing these reviews and giveaways? My blog is only a few months old and very focused (single mom, parenting, divorce, dating, custody, etc.) I've noticed a couple of the big name single mom bloggers saying that XYZ company approached them about doing a review/giveaway but I guess I'm not there yet. I have a good friend who just wrote a book about single parenting and after I plugged the book a few times on my blog (just because I love her and I'm so excited about it), she sent me an e-mail saying that she'd love to send me a copy to give away to one of my readers but that's it. I don't want products to take over my blog, but we all love free stuff and I think it would be fun to do some reviews and giveaways that are relevant to my readers. But how do you get started? Do you just get popular enough that the companies find you or what? Thanks! (BTW, if it's relevant, Google Analytics says I have about 100 loyal readers...more than I ever expected but I don't know where that places me in comparison to other mom blogs!)
Personally, I'm not interested in reading commercials, and to me that's all most reviews are. If I'm considering purchasing a product, I'll search for some reviews, but I'm going to read a blog because they do reviews, even if there are giveaways attached. I DVR almost all of the shows I watch so I can fast forward through the commercials--I'm not going to spend my free time on the Internet reading them!
This is true with a variety of people including myself. I branched off and made a second blog that is only a review/giveaway blog. My main blog readers didn't respond well to the few times I reviewed there, that's not why they came to read my blog. And, I feel that about other blogs I love. Keeping it separate allows for choice. If you KNOW my review/contest blog is just that, you can visit or not. But, you won't see me unudating my main site with other than my blathering on, mixed with great photos! ;)
It does seem like there are a lot of products flooding blogs. I think it is a good way to get word out about products.
I appreciate reviews that act like reviews and not commercials. I want to hear the good and bad of products. I understand if you are doing a giveaway it might read more like a commercial because you want your readers to be excited but I don't feel like a blogger is telling the truth if all they are saying is good stuff.
I have not bought many specific items because of blog posts, although.... I have been influenced by blog posts. I read a lot about children's books, and I've bought books because of blog posts. Now I check items out of the library because there are so many interesting reviews.
My impression of WalMart is strengthened knowing how they are using Mom blogs and valuing mom bloggers as a huge target audience.
I found a gift on Etsy for my niece as a direct result of a blog post -- learning more about WAHM businesses ha been great! I see a lot of WAHM business promotions, moreso than commercial promotions.
A lot of the mom blogosphere is started to look cluttered with advertising though.
I have been doing reviews for about 6 months. I'm very picky with the products I choose. I turn down a lot. I will only do a review on a product that will fit with our family ... ie I did a skin cream earlier in the week which was perfect for us because I have 2 kids with really bad skin problems and I thought trying this product would possibly benefit us if it did work like it claimed it did and I could pass that information onto others. I've also reviewed tv shows that I will actually watch or are airing soon and I want to watch and milk products etc, which when you have 2 toddlers was beneficial to us and to a lot of my friends who are switching their kids from formula to milk.
I do get annoyed when I'm contacted by companies who have not researched what my blog is about and try to pitch something that is completely not suited ie a Casino who contacted me a couple of days ago wanting to sponsor my blog. I don't gamble and my blog is about raising twins and a teenager, I shouldn't have anything associated with gambling on that blog KWIM?
Right now I'm running a contest but it's for a kids band that we really do love in our house.
Even with affiliate advertising I only choose sites I actually use. I'm not about to advertise a real estate company or insurance or something else that we would never actually use their service.
To me seeing random reviews on every kind of product imaginable on other blogs just doesn't feel right because I get the impression they are only doing the review and giving a glowing report because they are being paid or getting the free product. I want to know that you actually legitimately would use that product or service before I take it seriously.