Product reviews, affiliate links, ads, and staying in my own lane
Do you ever speak up, then think maybe you shouldn't have said anything? Or have you judged someone for doing something just because you wouldn't do it? We all have. But we shouldn't.
Oh boy, here we go. Am I going to rock the boat? Ruffle a few feathers? Who knows, maybe no one will even read this post. But I sure hope some people in the blogging community do. It’s time to stay in our own lanes. It’s not hard. Unless I ask you for advice, I’m not looking to be shamed, reprimanded, or coached on how I should or shouldn’t be making money off my blog. If I’m following all the guidelines when I post product reviews, affiliate links, posting ads, other bloggers really shouldn’t be concerned about what content is up on my blog. And in case you’re worried, I always follow the FTC guidelines when I write content that you should know I’m reviewing or being compensated for in any way.
With all that being said, I rarely do a product review anymore. I did one last year for a product that I really loved. I also did a post about my Girl Scout troop and Little Bites. I didn’t get paid for it, but we got a ton of Little Bites for our Girl Scout meetings and it’s a product that lives in my home year round. I also did a Best Buy campaign a few days ago. This one I was happy to do because of the mistakes I made during our remodel. I wish I had asked more questions when designing our space. It also paid a pretty decent amount in the form of a gift card. I had won a Best Buy gift card at a conference, so I thought that another card would be a great add-on.
Why am I over sharing? Well, I think a lot of people are shamed when they write this kind of content. Some people don’t think they should do it for whatever reason and feel compelled to share it out into the blogosphere. It becomes water cooler talk and toxic. So much so, that it might deter someone from posting something who actually could use the money left on the table, additional content, or just really wants to write about the product.
So before we get into the rights and wrongs of campaigns, ads, sponsored content, think about your words and how it will impact others. Ask yourself why you are really questioning the reasoning behind doing such campaigns. If it doesn’t align with you or your brand, that’s fine. However, stay in your own lane, do what’s best for you, and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.
Do I think we should be working for free? No. Do I work for free? Sometimes. Do I invest in my brand enough that I know when something will work or not work for me? Yes. Am I at a state in my blogging career that I can pick and choose what I do? Absolutely. Does it mean that I can tell others their worth? Probably never.