Selling your soul for a *name of product here*


When *name of company here* first contacted me I thought “What on earth would I do with *name of product here*?”. Those of you who are regular readers of my blog will know that it’s been a long time since any *name of product here* have been anywhere near my house, but only hours later there was a *name of made up incident here* which *name of product here* would have been perfect for! Can you imagine?!

So of course I just had to get back in touch with the lovely people at *name of company here* & tell them all about it, sure that they’d get a kick out of the irony of it all, and blow me down with a feather they said they’d send me some *name of product here* to try, and not only that, they’d send me some *name of product here* to giveaway right here on my blog, too! How great is that? Now instead of you having to go to the supermarket & look in vain at the confusing shelves for some *name of product here*, all you have to do is go to *name of company here*’s website, tell me in the comments which of their products you’d like to use the most, follow me on twitter, follow *name of company here on twitter, like me on facebook, like *name of company here* on facebook, blog about this giveaway, tweet about this giveaway & take a picture of yourself standing next to a lettuce and you could have a one in sixty-three chance of winning some *name of product here* instead! How EASY is THAT?!

Of course you know I’m not in it for the free *name of product here*. Just as I would only review the *name of product here*, the *name of product here* and the box of *name of product here* if I thought they were a quality product that you would be interested in, so it is with *name of product here*. I have been using *name of product here* for over a week now and I have to say it *verb here* my *noun here* better than any other *name of product here* I have come across. I can’t believe my friends hadn’t already told me about *name of product here* – I mean, what, are they trying to keep all the *name of product here* benefits to themselves?

*name of company here* even has a special offer for my blog readers! That’s right, if you aren’t lucky enough to win one of the *name of product here* that *name of company here* has so generously offered, you can get 5% off your next *name of product here* when you go to *name of company here*’s website, sign up for their newsletter and sign over your third-born child! Awesome, right?

What are you waiting for? Enter NOW!

*name of blogger here* xoxo

Right. I know you’re wondering what the hell *name of hallucinogenic drug here* I’m on after that, so I will tell you what it’s about;

“Mummy blogs”. I was reading my usual blogs yesterday when one click lead to another & I was suddenly staring in horror at shades of brown & pink & blue, flowers & birds & caricatures of women (as in, real drawn in Illustrator caricatures, although I think perhaps the other way is also true) staring out at me from unfamiliar blog headers.

If I wanted to, just yesterday, I could have entered into a gazillion competitions to win anything from disinfectant to puppets, from snow-cone makers to magazines… & every single one of those giveaways was available because someone had reviewed it on their blog. Someone had actually said “Yes. I want some free *insert name of product here* & I will pimp out my blog to get it.”.

And these blogs have, apparently, people reading them. People participating in them. Quite a lot of people. Not only that, but there are SO MANY OF THEM. It’s like a whole other bloggy world that I quite honestly had no idea existed. Almost all of the blogs I come across are linked from a blog I already read or tweeted about by someone I like & although some of them aren’t my cup of tea, most of them are. And when they’re not my cup of tea it’s because I’m not overly interested in the content or there aren’t any pictures (I know, sorry) or the pictures that are there don’t grab me. They’re not ‘not my cup of tea’ because they are reviewing back-scratchers & flea shampoo. Nor are they raving about some great new “handmade” product that looks like it took 2 minutes with a hot glue gun & a lobotomy to make.

Look at the title of my blog. I am a mum. I blog. A lot of you (most?) are Mums. YOU blog. But I am just labelling here (as wrong as it may be to do so) a certain type of blog, as one might label someone (as wrong or fun as it may be to do so) a “bogan”. That’s why I’m using the inverted commas. You can do that & get away with anything “apparently”. I was told on twitter that it’s not just “Mummy Blogs” that do this & make you feel dirty just for having looked at them, there are others too… the mind boggles.

This post is a bit of a de-brief for me, because I was seriously (naively) shocked. Blogging to me is such an awesome thing; I have made friends that I have met & that I may never meet, I have gained inspiration & motivation, shared, laughed… all that soppy stuff…

I could never sell myself or my blog out for a free voucher to McCafe, nor would I like to read the blogs of people who do. I was curious as to what else these people even blog about so, taking a deep breath, I went back to try to look past the glaring giveaway/”review” posts, & was disappointed (or validated?) to see a ratio of something like 3:1 for giveaways vs “real” content. A couple would have been really nice – stories about days away & musings on what it means to be a mother – if at the bottom of that nice post there wasn’t another giveaway or an advertisement for face cream or something. I guess, like everything, blogging means different things to different people.

Having said all that though…

"Every man has his price." This is not true. But for every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing. To win over certain people to something, it is only necessary to give it a gloss of love of humanity, nobility, gentleness, self-sacrifice - and there is nothing you cannot get them to swallow. To their souls, these are the icing, the tidbit; other kinds of souls have others.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

…my icing might be the idea that I could enrich your lives through showing you the fun I could have on an all-expenses-paid trip to Disneyland…? (Please blog, tweet, re-tweet, facebook & re-re-tweet…)


More on the foibles of blog giveaways here.


  1. OK I've blogged it, tweeted it, Facebooked it, G+'d it, and then re-tweeted it. Phew! I hope I get to come to Disneyland with you now!

  2. "...raving about some great new “handmade” product that looks like it took 2 minutes with a hot glue gun & a lobotomy to make." Are you talking about my sewing? ;-)

    I think a lot of "Mommy/Mummy Bloggers" have a fantasy about becoming the next Dooce. If you haven't discovered her blog go check it out. She was one of the first bloggers around, and when she bought a new house last year Verizon paid for her office installation in return for blogging video features about how they set up their free Verizon products. When she tweeted about how her brand-new expensive washing machine was broken and the company wouldn't service it, a competing company gave her a free top-of-the-line washing machine. She's very influential but doesn't frequently have giveaways. When she does it's things like Wii's. When she features something custom-made for her by an Etsy seller I'm sure their sales go through the chart.

    Her blogging is a registered business employing herself, her husband and an assistant and it's a full-time job for all of them. But the thing is - she hasn't sold her soul. She's genuinely interesting and hilarious and the bulk of her blog is personal entries. I haven't gone far back enough to read about her PND, but when she managed to meet Gwyneth Paltrow last year it was Gwyn who told Dooce how much her work meant to her.

    One of the best comments I've read about Mommy Bloggers saying they want to be like Dooce is that there will never be another Dooce. They can't go back in time a decade or more and turn themselves into a trend-setting blogger, and the big companies aren't going to suddenly start sponsoring someone who's only been blogging for six months and clearly setting out to build a commercial enterprise.

    It's painful seeing people who blog purely in an attempt to make money. I don't mind seeing occasional sponsored giveaways on the blogs of genuinely interesting people. If it's a really good giveaway I'm happy for the blogger to have made such an impression on the sponsor! But I won't even 'follow' a craft blog for the sake of a giveaway if the overall content doesn't interest me, and I'm really turned off by "comment & follow & reblog & like & tweet & skywrite" attempts to build readership.

  3. Great post! There are so many blogs I have stopped reading because of 'sponsored' posts.

    Sorry, i had more to say, but have now been interrupted three times and I have lost it....

  4. Har Har Harrrrr. I've stumbling in to those places.... I ran the hell outa there!

  5. I hear ya. After blogging for six years I stumbled into the world of which you speak late last year. I wrote about my annoyances a few weeks back. You write it in a much funnier way!

  6. With you all the way - particularly annoying when a great blogger gets side tracked with giveaways and no longer does genuine Mummy blog-posts.

    Now to go and spend all morning completing my list of requirements in order to win that trip to Disneyland!!

  7. Could NOT have said it better myself! It seems to be a giveaway free for all in it for what you can get type of thing.

  8. Although I don't think I've quite discovered this world of which you speak, I certainly have had glimpses and ran away screaming.
    I guess blogging and keeping an audience interested might be a challenge to some and this might be a way around it. If you don't make or bake or tell funny stories, or have a specific obsession, how do you entertain your readers??
    The most offensive advenrtising I have come across was a voice over that came on when the page loaded. A voice over!! Crazy world out there.
    Anyway, great post, loved it, laughed at it, gotta go to pop the thongs over the socks and head to the toilet block, see ya! xx

  9. Hilarious! Hilarious, but also a little disturbing, because it's SO TRUE! The saddest thing is when you're following a nice little blog, and they suddenly hit the right level of popularity, and, like you said, they sell their soul and *poof*! There goes the nice little blog.

  10. Forgive me for I have sinned and did 2 such name drops when I was young in blogging. I've even got a wonderful flokati rug from "insert company name here" for which I am very grateful. I now see the eror of my way though and pledge not to repeat those mistakes unless they are to my benefit. etc, etc,....
    I totally agree that giveaways that have nothing to do with the blog psyche cheapen the blog. But I like blogs with Soule. I like blogs that teach and inspire not commercial channel ones that promote products. I'm a cheapskate and want to know how to make yo0yo's without the clever maker and how to stiffen my bags without wasting my prdecious pennies on linings that no one will ever see.
    I guess that's why I read more eco and re-fashion blogs than 'mummy-blogs'. I think that term could almost be becoming a four letter word.
    Word verification is 'drabi'. I think I'll stick with drabi rather than fabi becdause it's more fun.

  11. So funny, I just had this experience yesterday when I went to a blog I hadn't been too in a while and was disappointed to find it had gone all "commericial." While some people might see this as a sign of success, it really did turn me off:( I do like the odd giveaway but content, real content is what keeps me coming back:)Cyndy

  12. You're so right, Vic, and so well articulated, as usual :)

  13. OH Vic, I have not laughed so hard in a long time.
    Your the awesome.
    What a slightly disturbing and strange ( and superficial) world that sounds like.
    I feel sort of lucky that I haven't had that much do with it and not really experienced it much ( and got to read about thru you).
    I guess whatever floats your boat really, but well I'm so glad I'm in the blogging world I am and not that one. xo

  14. Interesting food for thought. I am approached probably on a weekly basis to giveaway things on my blog. Things like cheese stringers- that bare no relation to what I do on my blog or what I believe in ( that is, the environment being kind to it, making things etc)at times I will giveaway something that I genuinely think is good but that is probably only one tenth of the products I am offered- or opportunities I am given- such as as I blogged about last week- INTERVIEWING Miss AUSTRALIA??? As I said- what has this possibly got to do with my blog????

    I cannot support huge multinationals and still regret so massively that I did a cadburies giveaway on my blog, although it was after the stopped using palm oil... I still don't like that i did it. I think marketers have also cottoned on to the fact that it is another way to get there products out there... you could argue that my blog is one huge add- its named after one business I run and often promotes the other... but having said that - it is not why I blog. I blog because the people that read my blog- whose blogs I read are my buddies now. I want to see what they are making and doing and hear their voices and see their photographs. I think crafty blogs are a league unto there own. the sense of sharing, swapping, giving and support can not be faked by marketing... because its roots are in the handmade movement which I would argue is a respose to multinationals...I think there are different types of blogs for everyone and I don't really know what those blogs you mean are but I know I won't like them. I am only interested in blogs with themses like my own liek this one and the others I read.

  15. So I fully expect you to stop following my blog now; I have promoted things and probably will from time to time. I don't seek your approval nor need it.

  16. I totally agree. A creative giveaway or destash of craftiness is good as far as I'm concerned, but I'm seriously not interested in products that help me clean showers and the like.
    Very funny post!

  17. OH man that was complex! But I follow. I will just dream a Disneyland trip... I dont tweet. I spend way enough time of the 'puter...

  18. Seriously?

    Come on Bec that's not at all what I'm talking about...! If you want something that is offered to you in return for featuring it on your blog then that is your decision to make. I am talking about, & I'm disappointed it's not clearer, blogs that are JUST about the reviews, promos, ads & giveaways. Blogs that have no soul; no blog I read regularly even comes close, & most DO have the occasional promo, as I think is to be expected in the blog/online world.

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  20. Bloody hubby's laptop. Let's try that again.

    I love the post Vic.

    To each their own. But I do remember working out a couple of months ago that people just google "competition" and "giveaway" so that they can browse blogs to enter giveaways. I was naive but I hadn't worked out why one of my "giveaway" posts is my most read post.

    Those sorts of blogs are a commercial or business blog I guess, not what I would consider a personal blog, but they certainly have an audience.

  21. I just remembered a weird story about giveaway-centered "Mommy Blogs". A genuine Mommy Blogger was at a blogging conference where she met a man who identified himself as a fiction writer. He told her he writes two Mommy Blogs for the purposes of advertising revenue and free products, and one of "his moms" was currently pregnant and the other was about to find out her son has ADD or something. Now THAT is a bizarre thing to think about - maybe the personal entries being used to fill the gaps between giveaways aren't even about real people!

  22. Oh man - I am so sick of emails like that - and after you've told them you're not interested they email back sounding hurt/shocked and have more lame offers. Argh!!

    Love this post - some sense in amongst the madness!!

  23. Sorry I laughed when I read this. Too funn. I know to some bloging is ther business, but I find a lot of sponsored posts boring, and they are written in sch a different style to that of the blogger normally.

    PS I don't wat to go to Disney land can I swap for a trip to Humptydoo. Just so I can say I've been there?

  24. Grrr just lost my huge comment! Oh well. Upshot was - I hear you! Well said. The blogs of that type are really quite cruddy. I'm also over the emails to promote things, and the invite to 'blogger breakfasts' etc. Everyone starts with a link in to my blog as though they've read it... And then ask me to shamelessly promote or buy into something that is clearly against what I stand for! Whacky.

  25. This post (and all the comments) has really got me thinking about how I blog and the reasons why. Thanks sweets x

  26. whenever i get offers like this, the husband likes to remind me that my blog is like abc radio national not some crappy commercial station. am i that daggy??

    most of the bloggy people we hang with would much rather a sweet find at the oppy than some blingy giveaway any day. i like it that way.


  27. I agree. I don't like advertising on blogs. I got offered the other day to put up two links on two of my posts to score myself $20 bucks through pay pal. i decided not to sell my soul for the money. I know i made the right choice.Go team independent!!!

  28. I so get what you are saying. I recently agreed to receive a free sample of a product and write about it, and I'm still going to do it because I believe in the product, although I feel a bit guilty now!!

  29. O.M.G. How on earth did I miss this post??! That was one of the funniest things I've read in a while! Love CurlyPops' comment too, cracked me up!

    I am in total agreement with you on this, it's really starting to drive me batty, all this promoting and nuffnang sponsorship. Arggh, nuffnang!!!!

    And Bec sweetie, I don't think anyone would put you in the category that Vic's referring to, not at all. xx


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