Saturday

Blogging and Bloggers Rant

I feel the need to address a recent issue that has been brought to my attention.  I want my readers to know my thoughts and stance on the subject as well as fellow bloggers.  Please do not read this if you cannot be respectful AND mature in your response or comments.  I completely understand and of course respect everyone's difference in opinion but please just appreciate the same in return. FYI...this is long so read when you have time :)


So as a blogger there are several things I have learned over the past few years (and I am by NO MEANS and expert, I still have far to grow):

A.) This is a competitive trade as in most other careers AND this is a job for some of us.  Though I believe those who blog as hobby still have to worry at times about its competitive nature.  A little competition is good but not when it turns nasty.  Blogging is still fairly new to some so we should be educating others on its benefits and encourage companies to work with more bloggers/individuals than just you.

B.) Bullying seems to be spreading into the cyber world very quickly and even with GROWN and seasoned adults.  What goes around DOES come around.  I have had several large bloggers help me when I was little and I am willing to help those who need it from me now (ask around...I do). Karma.

C.) HONESTY is key (although some believe they can hid behind a computer screen with their lies).  Individuals, Friends, Family, AND Companies actually appreciate the feedback we provide even if it is BAD feedback.  There is always a way to remain respectful and professional about how you say something negative.

D.) Because any form of social media is a form of selling yourself (to friends, family, companies, or fellow bloggers) people tend to forget sometimes too much is TOO much.  No one (at least I have never met anyone) likes being blasted with spam even by their friends.  Be respectful and not pushy, change things up every once in a while, and no still means NO.

My reason for these specific four lessons is the ridiculous amount of complaints I personally have received from friends, readers, fellow bloggers, and companies alike.  None of which have thankfully (or just yet) been directed at me or A Lucky Ladybug.  I may tend to be a very brass person at times and don't always have the appropriate filter.  BUT, I genuinely try and read every comment, criticism, or compliment I receive - I READ, HEAR, and take to HEART.  Sometimes I may not always change when criticized and especially if it is minor (in my opinion) and it may only be one complaint but I take note and try to fix things to fit the common good for everyone involved.

I was given a fantastic opportunity a while back to with the company Ohio Flame.  They were phenomenal in every way!  Not only did my fire pit ship right away they were upfront about how it would age, what the expectations of the review were, and everything including quality, which exceeded my expectations.  I truly believe that had they not been, their VP, would have been understanding and still worked with me.  I have had several companies thank me for my negative feedback because of how tasteful it was.  Though this was not the case with Ohio Flame as I LOVED mine, I have had the opportunity to be a contact for their VP through any and all of their bloggers and blogging program.

Quite frankly I was in shock to learn several bloggers had taken advantage of their graciousness and either took MONTHS (2-4) to complete their review and some not at all.  Each blogger was contacted several times with little or no response and excuse after excuse about why they hadn't completed this review.  Now keep in mind this is not the first company that has complained this was happening.  The most recent blogger had taken 3 months to complete as she was sick and had an unexpected move - yet still continued to complete other posts and reviews.  Then after posting the review finally she decided she had a poor experience with her fire pit and was "unsatisfied" another month later but instead of contacting the company first to see if it could be resolved she changed the review and proceeded to blast Ohio Flame on every form of social media she could.

Of course, I would expect a blogger to change the review if something happened after it had been posted but it is as common as when you purchase an item to contact the company to get a resolution rather than being "ugly and immature" about it.  This kind of behavior gives those of us professional bloggers a bad name as Ohio Flame has now decided to discontinue their blogging program after this final incident.  This is happening with a lot of companies lately where bloggers are leaving a bad taste in their mouth.  VERY UNFORTUNATE and I am very offended.

I CANNOT stand people who think I do reviews only to get free products or bloggers who say they do it for that reason too.  I take a lot of offense when I hear things like this because I work very hard NOT to copy and paste the same info you can find on a company website and at times I am overwhelmed and behind with the amount of products because I spend SO MUCH time with EACH product that comes through my door.  I make it a point to support EVERY company I have worked with good or bad and I take every project they are working on to heart as if it was my own (which is also why I feel a little crazy at times).

I don't expect everyone to be exactly the same or feel the same but I think all in all no matter how or why you are blogging we all need to remember once something is out on the internet it is out there forever.  You may be able to hide behind a computer but remember you can't hide from your actions and everything eventually comes back to you.

16 comments:

  1. That is crazy. And horrible. I'm so glad when I get a contact that I try to go above and beyond, I can't believe anyone would get a great opportunity and then just let it rot like that! And I agree with you COMPLETELY about the negative stuff in the reviews. How else is the company supposed to get a real opinion from a real person so that they can improve unless we are honest? Plus the more real you are in your opinion, the more your readers trust you - that's my thought anyhow. Seeing something like this makes me wonder if there shouldn't be a blogger certification program somewhere so that bloggers everywhere have to remain at a certain standard of professionalism. Like the BBB, but for Bloggers. Better Bloggers Bureau LOL ;) Sorry this was long, and that is really crummy about Ohio Flame :( A few bad apples, you know?

    ~Alicia Figueroa
    www.MasterofMom.com

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  2. I blog for a hobby, really, BUT I still am contacted quite a bit about reviews/giveaways. I really try the product out, I really take a good look at it and I write an honest, respectful review every. single. time. AND I do it in a very timely manner. The comapnies I work with on a regular basis (several of which I am a spokesperson, guest blogger or ambassador for) email me all the time telling me how much they appreciate someone who goes above and beyond to give an honest opinion of their product. I'm proud and honored when someone asks me to represent their brand on any form of social media and I try my very hardest to give them the respect and professional courtesy that they deserve. It's very sad to see so many companies discontinuing their blogger outreach programs because of the shoddy work a few. If you don't have the time, tell the company so and pass on the review.....don't take the free item and do nothing. It's rude.

    Charley Cooke
    www.cookesfrontier.blogspot.com

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  3. Very nicely put! I am at a position now, after 15 months, to start pitching for products I truly want to review and as a Canadian, it is a little limited. If I don't like the product, I politely refuse even if someone like you refers a sponsor to me. Not sure why other bloggers do reviews. I know why I am blog owner to monetize. All we seem to get going now among us, is traumatize. Whenever I have an opportunity to increase my social network, I thank the bloggers for it by making sure that it is promoted at least 5 times per week. I have affiliation buttons visitors don't use and make NO money. Therefore, I would take products (that I want and/or need) to review.
    Adriana of Central Bargains and Giveaways

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  4. That bums me out that people would let down their obligations!Not cool!

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  5. I agree completely, but you already know that. I have worked with companies not only through my blog, but as a consultant for years. The things companies have told me about bloggers is truly frightening. It really makes me since there are so many of us who take our blogs seriously and treat companies as they should be - with respect. Yes, there are some bad apples (both companies & blogs) but you should always act professional. I am also one of those people who likely spend way too long with a product. I think it's my duty to thoroughly test a product for my readers - no matter what the cost. It doesn't matter if it's a $12 product or a $500 one.

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  6. I couldn't agree with you more on this subject! I am fairly new to blogging (less than 1 year) and have had some terrible experiences with other bloggers. I have also had companies voice their concerns with me because they have had bad experiences with others. I can tell you I am truly saddened that Ohio Flame has stopped their blogger program. I was a lucky blogger that reviewed for them and I honestly couldn't be happier with it. It seems there are problems with ethical behavior and professionalism that is really disheartening in my opinion.

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  7. I always get my reviews out ASAP. That's crazy.

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  8. I am pretty new to blogging so I only get a few opportunities to receive products and review them (I hope I will get more as I go along). But when I do get a product, I feel it is my responsibility to get the review out as soon as possible and make it truthful and all my opinions... I can't believe there are people out there that act like that and take advantage of their position. It really does make all of us blogger look bad when they do this, even if most of us are serious about doing a good job.

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  9. Thank you for posting this. I am new to blogging also and I had no idea this kind of thing was going on.

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  10. I don't understand why people have no ethics now a days.......I have heard of companies having this happen. I wish people could really stick to their word.

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  11. It's so disappointing to reader about the unprofessional nature of other bloggers :( There is a productive way to express negative feedback to a company, and just out right blasting them on a blog without speaking to anyone there first just doesn't seem right. It blows my mind that some bloggers just "take the product and run." How awful...

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  12. This is a really great post. I think you really focused on a lot of the important aspects of blogging and working with companies, including those that slack with their work.

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  13. Thank you for this post. It is so frustrating to see how some ruin it for the rest. They have no sense of responsibility for their sponsors or for the community of bloggers as a whole.

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  14. First of all, thanks for writing this post. It is very sad and unfortunate to see that bloggers treat companies like this. I always go above and beyond and also spend way too much time on reviews without mattering what the price of the product is. I had the opportunity to review a book once and it was not something I would recommend so I told the company about it and gave them my feedback but decided not to review it. I am not a reviewer and so when I review products it is usually because they fit my niche and I want to find products to recommend to my readers. I would never bash a company or product on social media. Can't believe people don't realize the damage they are doing with this. So sad.

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  15. Thanks for this post - hopefully it will help some people realize what their responsibility as a blogger really is! I start to have a mini-panic attack if it takes me a couple of weeks to review something (even if it is something I know I need to use for a few weeks before being able to give an honest assessment!)- I can't imagine waiting months, or even one month for that matter.
    I hope people take this to heart!

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  16. Very well said! Everything! I have kept my mouth shut out of fear of getting blasted for making a comment about it. You took the words out of my mouth!
    - The Small Things

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