Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The perks of blogging - FREEBIES

I just wrote the most MONSTER reply to a thought-provoking post on Jen's blog (a little bird told me) and I thought I'd post my reply up here too. It's basically my rambling response as a beauty blog/youtube addict saying what I think about bloggers receiving "freebies" from companies and generally promoting companies & their products on their blogs & youtube channels:


"I don't mind adverts on a blog as long as they aren't getting in the way (i.e. those ads that pop up when you hover over certain words... UGH! so annoying!). They usually aren't too intrusive and I actually quite like the NARS ones as they keep me up to date with what freebies NARS are giving away with their orders! :)

Regarding "gifting"... hmmm. Sometimes I see blogs, and I have to agree with lily (who commented above) here and say that it is mostly beauty bloggers who receive TONS of products. I absolutely cannot stand it when bloggers just copy what the company website says about the product and uses a stock image and adds a little line "oh its really great, i love it". It actually angers me when I see those posts as the blogger hasn't bothered to give an in-depth analysis of how the product looks, feels, smells, works - they could write something like that without even opening the bottle! It is almost an insult to the readers who have come to their blog in hope of finding a good overview of the product. But I suppose the main point of those cookie-cutter posts is for those few selfish blogger to promote that item and remain in the good books of companies who are then more likely to send them products to gain good publicity because they know that freebie = a good word put in, whether or not the blogger believes in the product or not.

However, I do enjoy reading HONEST posts about affordable, accessible beauty items that have been sent to bloggers and have often based my purchases on some of these posts. It makes me happy to see that even though a blogger has stated that they were sent the item free, that the review is balanced and informative and not necessarily a glowing one!

It's understandable that beauty bloggers need new products to blog about (as who wants to read about the same foundation routine 30 x over?!), in fact it is kind of the lifeline of their future blog posts. This is in contrast to fashion bloggers who can technically buy their whole wardrobe from a charity shop and use 10 pieces in rotation with edgy accessories to create new, inspiring outfits everyday. Or even just DIY jeans into shorts and do something completely different! What I'm trying to say is that if a fashion blogger recycled a bin bag everyday with different shoes & accessories, it could be considered an interesting statement and quite possibly infinitely readable. Not quite so with beauty bloggers, as new products are constantly coming onto the markets and need to be tested before a general consensus can be made on its quality and the readership of a beauty blog will basically demand these reviews! The possible exception to this is make up gurus who use their existing make up to create different looks... but inevitably they end up posting "haul" videos and review videos too, as it is natural for their viewers to seek their comparatively "expert" opinion on the products that they come across and use in their capacity as beauty gurus.

IN SHORT...the readers of a fashion blog keep coming back for inspiration on how to throw outfits together and develop their own personal style, with a few nods to up and coming trends (but no one is ACTUALLY going to buy the £3000 burberry aviator jacket no matter how beautiful and gorgeous the blogger says it is... they'll just get the primark version). Equally, fashion bloggers do not seek primarily to "review" the quality of clothing and even less so the "style" factor of clothing - your style is made up of personal choices depending on your likes/dislikes and your character in general. No (self-respecting) fashion blogger would TELL you to wear a certain pair of shoes, they would just say whether it works with their style & whether they are comfortable, etc and leave the reader to make their own decisions on it.

Readers of beauty blogs however, return mainly for a different reason - to see new reviews of products in order to discover better makeup/cleansers/hair removal systems/whatever for themselves in the hope of going out and buying something new on the basis of these opinions. If someone was still using the SAME blusher/foundation/eyeliner/mascara/cleansing routine everyday, i don't think that they'd have many followers as they wouldn't really have much to blog about! therefore, i think that, to a certain extent, beauty bloggers NEED some gifting, in order to have access to new products which they can review and make an informed judgment on, using their experience and developed expertise from reviewing products in the past. BUT if they are just selling their (blogging) soul to get freebies and there are no swatches/good descriptions in the review then yes, that does piss me off."


What's your opinion on this issue?



  1. All I have to say is testify, sista! Nothing worse than a cookie-cutter post as you say, using stock images and marketing blurb from the company concerned. For make up especially I like to see 'real' photos of how colours show up. One example of this was MAC's Stereo Rose MSF which looked great on the MAC website but VERY different when swatched. For companies like e.l.f who you can only order from online, swatches from beauty bloggers are very important to me if I'm trying to suss a shade/colour of an item before purchasing. Honest reviews are the only way to go, but I think it comes across pretty clear in a post when someone is just raving about a freebie.
    By the way, great post!
    Kat x

  2. This is an amazing post and one that is so relevant for the day and age we're in. It's good to see that someone else feels strongly about this too. It was one of my issues about fashion blogging that I wrote here: http://bit.ly/boWOVF

    I think places like IFB are good for uniting bloggers and having them agree on the issues you raise. Companies and bloggers need to work better together, if there's going to be any respect for the blogging industry.

    Sarah Betty xx


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