From my post on Mom Spark...

This issue has been boiling inside of me for a few months now, and was reconfirmed, again, when I attended the Type A Mom Conference town hall meeting, and heard the same conversation ignited.

Product reviewers. Giveaways. Apparently, it is a HUGE deal.

Product reviewers seem to be looked down upon, or considered the "bottom rung" of the blogging ladder. Why? Maybe because it doesn't fit inside the blogger mold? Some would even dare to say that review and giveaway bloggers are not real writers. But, then, what is a real writer, and can bloggers only be real writers?

I think the underlying issue is that, to some, review and giveaway bloggers are not bloggers at all, so this raises a very important question-

What is the definition of a blogger?

Definition of a "blogger" via


And, just to clarify what a "web log (blog)" is, by definition:


So, after reading the true definition of a blog (weblog) and blogger, what are the rules, now? Notice that in the definition of a weblog, it mentions "commentaries and recommendations complied by the user" AND "also may include journal entries". The definition is VERY broad. Basically, if you use a blog platform with "chronological order" of postings and "links to comments", you are a blogger. There are no other rules beyond that. YOU choose the content.

So, why the discontent for review and giveaway bloggers? I heard at the Type A Mom Conference that levels, such as the "cupcake level", is okay at first, but you obviously need to work your way up. You may have seen my tweet during the conversation that said, "What if you are content at 'cupcake level'"? My point being that not all of us are unhappy with our "level" or "status", yet there is an angst in the air that tells us we should be. The negativity is discouraging, and honestly, not necessary. Many of us are happy making little or NO money. Heck, some of us even feel blessed to have what we do, as little as it may be to some. Some ARE successful doing product reviews. None of us are entitled to ANYTHING, and I am embarrassed by fellow bloggers who believe they are. The very fact that anyone values our opinions, at all, is compensation enough.

The truth is, products are a part of our lives. A HUGE part of it. We are consumers, so in my opinion, it is natural to discuss products and give recommendations. Not all product reviewers are "sell-outs" or "product whores". If reviews and giveaways aren't your thing, don't read it and don't blog about it. There is room for all of us, and an audience for each one of us.

I say blog, and let blog. Support ALL bloggers.

What is your opinion of a product reviewer?

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Comment by Erin Tales on October 23, 2009 at 5:57pm
I probably do a lot more reviews than personal blogging. But I add a personal touch in what I write. It's not just press. And my friends and family can definitely keep up with my on the blog. My sister even called me to day to talk about something I said offhand. So it's a personal diary of sorts. And I don't think anyone looks down on me. LMAO! I love my little buzz site and love everyone who visits!
Comment by Cat Davis on October 23, 2009 at 12:20pm
Oh hun I don't consider that a status, more like a little community. :-)

Believe me, I'm not fabulous blogger that anyone really knows, never went to any conference and have declined all event invites thus far.

A lot of it is about confidence. PR will work with everyone but it's about developing a relationship, knowing your readers (whether it be 50 or 5000) and setting yourself apart from the crowd. I'd be more than happy to talk to you more. :-)
Comment by Shraddha on October 23, 2009 at 11:15am
you have no status?
i saw your blog, you have over 1000 subscribers, 700 on google friend connect.
When i reach numbers like yours, i will do a happy dance and look for sponsors.
Comment by Cat Davis on October 22, 2009 at 8:48pm
What status?

I have no status and I don't usually get rejected, even when I only had a few thousand visitors a month. I think what it comes down to is presenting yourself professionally, making sure the company you are pitching falls in line with your content and what your readers would expect to see on your blog.
Comment by Amy {Mom Spark} on October 22, 2009 at 6:33pm
Good point, Shraddha!
Comment by Shraddha on October 22, 2009 at 6:21pm
amen to you sister! i completely agree!
so what am i ? i plan to never ever attend a conference unless sponsered( i am rolling in laughter now)
and guess what? to be able to do reviews too, you need to have certain status or they reject you!
Comment by Cat Davis on October 22, 2009 at 3:58pm
I don't have a low opinion of product I am one. But my entire blog isn't consumed by products either, it's a mixture. Truth be told, I don't visit many blogs that are entirely reviews/giveaways

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