Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

Pay to Play?

Posted: November 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blogging | Tags: Giveaway events, i love my sponsors, Pay-to-Play | 4 Comments »

Here’s the deal. I love to write, which is why I blog.

Along this little blogging adventure I was struck with the urge to do product reviews. Everyone else is doing them, why can’t I? I’ve been doing this blogging thing for 5 years, why not?

So I jumped into the review and giveaway arena.

The thing is, I’m small potatoes compared to other bloggers. Sure I have a nice PR number and my Alexa is dropping like a rock (thank you MRM!) but if you look just at my followers? Not huge. Not tiny, but not huge.

So when I do a review and giveaway? You can bet your ass I am going to work hard to prove that I am worthy of the compensation I have been given. Sometimes that comes in the form of products (products I already know and love and use- so this helps my bottom line) sometimes it is cash. Either way, if I seek out a partnership with a company, I am going to do my best to represent them.

That doesn’t mean I won’t be honest if it’s a crappy product. Because I’ll be honest. What I won’t be doing is regurgitating a press release or just sleep-walking my way through a post. I want companies to be glad that they chose to work with me- even if my numbers aren’t huge.

A few months ago I saw an opportunity for a Pay-to Play giveaway event sponsored by CouponCabin. Pay $5, get a listing in the linky- tons of people will be involved so there will be lots of traffic. Of course there would be some required text and there were other rules, dates to start and stop the giveaway, certain dollar amount your prize had to be etc. But for $5 and the lure of extra traffic, I was in. I had heard of this before but never saw an opportunity to join.

I signed up that day, secured my sponsor that evening and settled in to meet this new group of bloggers. Coupon and Deal blogging is an entirely different world from my kind of blogging.

As time went on I wasn’t feeling it. As more people were added and then the linky was broken into 3 groups I just felt like this wasn’t going to be all it was cracked up to be. When the required text was produced and I saw that it was 300+ words, I knew I was done.

There is no way I was going to put 300 words about another company in a post that was to promote my sponsor. Especially since I had already paid $5 to participate and at this point I had not heard of one single thing the sponsor of this event was doing to promote this event.

With my tail between my legs I went to my sponsor and told her I was pulling out of the event. I offered to move her review and giveaway to another event that I was hosting on my own in the middle of the month but I knew she could have just as well said no.

She thanked me for being candid and was happy to move my review. I have to be honest- this partnership is worth way more to me than $5 and the promise of extra traffic.

So I learned my lesson on this one. The grass isn’t always greener. The easy way isn’t always the best way. I’ll keep plugging away here with my small readership and I promise I won’t try to buy my way to more fans ever again!

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4 Comments on “Pay to Play?”

  1. 1 pampreer said at 10:45 am on November 1st, 2011:

    Great review! Now I just hope those greedy affiliate marketers will read this and take note. I’m so sick if looking for reviews on products or services just to find more and more self-serving affiliate reviews with no real truth to them whatsoever. Thanks for sharing.
    My recent post Review web host

  2. 2 erinclot said at 11:02 am on November 1st, 2011:

    It's the #1 reason I approach companies I already know and love. So many bloggers don't want to hurt their reputation with a company by giving a poor review but they'll take any review that comes their way. It's not worth it. What would my readers think if I posted a raving review of a product, they went out and bought it and then they found out that it sucked? It's a topic that deserves it's own post for sure.

  3. 3 Mama Bee Does said at 8:49 pm on November 2nd, 2011:

    I had mixed feelings on this event after it unfolded more but figured since I was sponsoring my giveaway myself, all ready typed up my post and didn't learn about some of the things until the night my post was going live I went ahead and stayed in the event but will not get sucked in to the glitz and hype of a big blog hop like this again. Live and learn and boy have I learned.
    My recent post HEXBUG Halloween Party Fun #HEXBUGHalloween

  4. 4 erinclot said at 8:58 pm on November 2nd, 2011:

    I hope you get something out of it, and at least you know your sponsor won't be upset! I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt uneasy about it. I truly had no idea what to expect and although it sounded great at the beginning, it didn't feel right. How is it going on your end? I know it's early to tell.

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