When a company tells you you have to do all sorts of stuff along with your review

I was just reading some blog posts about how it's bad business for companies to ask mom bloggers to put certain keywords and links in their post, etc.

Well, I just go an email that went above and beyond that. Not only did they tell me to use certain keywords and links, but they told me I had to post a review on another site (and they have me a list), that I have to become their facebook fan, post a link to my review in a certain place on their facebook page, link to their facebook and twitter.

First of all, I always link to a companies facebook or twitter. If they read any of my posts then they would see that, I also don't think it's a companies place to tell me how or what to write.

I am not a walking advertisement! I am a mommy bloger who gets a decent amount of traffic and reviews products that fit in with our lifestyle. I WANT to write reviews, and I don't want any review to have to be a chore.

They will be getting a "No thank you" response from me.

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Wow! That's crazy! That's great that you are standing up and telling them no! I mean, how is it a true review if they are teling you what to post!? Some people...

The Life Of A Coast Guard Wife
I just sent the following email:

Hi Karen,

Unfortunately I am going to have to decline your offer for review at this time. When someone tells me to do several things and include links and keywords in my review then it is no longer mine and my honest opinion. Usually when I review products I become a fan of them on Facebook and Twitter, and I always link to their sites if they have them, a company should not feel they have to tell me to do these things.

Here is a great blog article about PR pet peeves that I urge you to read, some of the comments that are left on the post are very useful too:

Thank you,
Jessica Westbrook
Good for you!
The sad part is there are some bloggers who don't mind jumping through all those hoops.

What we as bloggers have to remember, is that WE are doing companies a favor by sharing our bloggy real estate with them and reviewing their products.
I've actually recently come across a few blogs who have reviewed the product in question. It seemed more of an ad than the bloggers opinion. Totally sucks.

I don't have 5,000+ unique visitors a month because someone told me what or how to write!
Wow. I would say I do it my way or it doesn't get done.

I don't mine asking for some keywords as I hope that if someone linked to me they would use good SEO as well. I also don't mind a request for me to post my review on amazon if it's for my book blog as I state on my PR page for them to let me know if they want it on Amazon. I would ideally post all my reviews on amazon (or a part of them, a teaser) but I don't have time. I don't even remember to put them on GoodReads.

But requesting tons of stuff isn't okay. I would add something to your PR page about not being told how to do the review.
I am with you on that one! I would not be interested in working with a company that was more of a chore than fun.
I would decline such an offer. I am not sure why companies feel like they need to tell us how to blog. If I like the product, I will be more than happy to discuss it in numerous places~ but that will be MY choice~ not the companies.
Yeah, I'm not sure either! I write because I love to write. I review products that I know I will probably love because I want to send business to companies with GREAT products and service. Whenever I love something I always talk about it aside from just my reviews, so to be told to do certain things is really insulting! I'm actually doing them a favor by reviewing their product, I've done all the work to get the blog readers and they get to reach thousands of people by sending a free product for me to try.
It is crazy how some companies think they can get by with that!

I just recently had a similar experience, she wanted me to post a "before" review post saying how excited I was to review the product and link it to a specific keyword. I emailed her back and told her that for specified keyword posts, I charge, since it is like an free advertisement after all, and it takes time! I was surprised when she emailed me back and agreed to do it! I think sometimes companies like to test their limits to see how much they can get for "free" with bloggers, even though they are willing to pay for the work!

I'm glad you told her no thank you :) Good for you!!!
Wow, someone actually asked you to write a before review!? That seems so crazy to me. I should start charging for specified keywords, cause again, I'm already doing them a favor by reviewing their product and telling people about it!

I spend a LOT of time testing out products and then writing the reviews, it's not just some way for me to get free stuff. I wish the companies who send these requests would take the time to actually look at my blog and read some reviews, then they would see that!


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