The Blagger Debate – why bloggers are seen as grabbers

by Hannah

So why am I blogging? Am I just seen as a blagger?

Every now and then there will be a debate on someone’s blog or on social media that really gets people’s attention. The particular debate I am talking about is the whole ‘blagger’ debate. I actually think that these discussions are good and really make people sit up and think.

Whether they are defensive because they fear they may fall into that category or whether they simply feel all that has been discussed is against their principles and doesn’t apply to them anyway. We all have our own viewpoint on it, that must is true.

I have found it fascinating and have been talking a lot about it with my blogging friends. I am still relatively new to the blogging world having only started my blog at the beginning of the year and I feel I have learnt a fair bit along the way, as well as having a lot still to learn.

Personally my blog started off as a place to write about life with my toddler, the same as many mum’s, and I really wasn’t sure at all of what I was doing. It did all look rather intriguing whilst I waited ever so patiently for my Brit Mums membership to be confirmed and the rest is history.

It all started off as a bit of fun fiddling around creating a blog platform I liked the look of and getting excited when I received my first few comments. It was strange knowing that randoms were reading my posts but at the same time addictive and satisfying.

I have followed the lead of many bloggers and I think it’s fair to say we all do when we start out. You wouldn’t otherwise have any clue about what to do next and where to gain readers and subscribe as a reader to other blogs.

My blog is evolving along with me and whatever is going on in my life at present. This is the bit where I get to the part about blagging and Response Source (RS). As I commented on the post on Mummy Tips I have tried RS as I had heard about it through a fellow blogger.

My blog at this moment in time is heavily bogged down with posts primarily about pregnancy (sorry!) seeing as it’s it a major life event for me at the moment. My focus therefore for topics is about all things pregnancy amongst other aspects. I want to keep my posts relevant and in line with my life so I decided to ask about companies specialising in maternity wear/accessories.

If I had managed to find more items on the high street then maybe I wouldn’t have put out a request but it was a genuine request to see who was out there trying to promote products. Of course money is tight and unless it’s entirely irrelevant to you, I see no harm or no quibble with accepting products to review in return for a post featuring the product to share with other fellow bloggers, whoever may stumble across it whilst using a search engine and anyone else that might see it on twitter/facebook.

I am of course interested in writing posts about what interests me and if I can share some valuable information to others then to me I have ticked one of the boxes on what my blog is about, right?

To start with I posted some reviews about products I had previously bought myself and loved. The essence of writing a review is to share your views with your audience. The same applies to items sent for review, I have been approached and similarly wanted to share information as well as my son being able to benefit from the review product.

If that’s not what appeals to you, then each to their own.

We are all blogging for various reasons, some have advertising on their blogs, go to events and register with blogger outreach companies. It’s all the same to me really.

They say there is no such thing as a free lunch and it’s true. It’s a two way agreement between a PR and a blogger. For all these people that are blagging, I have to hand it to them if they are ‘bagging’ items to review when they don’t have much of an online presence or followers. Then they must either have very gullible and trusting/blase PR or they actually do have something to offer.

If the PR wants to send out items to review then it’s their choice. The blogger must then fulfil their end of the bargain, simple?

I’m aware that this has been talked about to death but I had a itch I needed to scratch in writing this post, as if I need to justify my reasons for blogging and how I feel reviews are very much part and parcel of my blog. They keep my blog current not only for those days I sit looking blankly at the screen because I have zero inspiration but also because I want to keep some variety.

Essentially I blog for me and when all is said and done, I think that this is all that matters. People can assume what they like but we all have our reasons for reviewing or sharing products, don’t we?

Do you feel that you have been tarred with the blagger tag?

6 comments

HELEN 8th November 2011 - 7:34 pm

you shouldn’t feel that you have to justify yourself and at the end of the day if we are sent items to review (whether large or small in value) it’s not as though we have conned anyone out of it, these Companies are getting something out of us in return too. No one is forcing them to send products to us……and it really is hard work doing a review isn’t it!
x

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Katie @mummydaddyme 8th November 2011 - 7:41 pm

Well said. I was very much the same as you, I started off blogging as I enjoyed it and enjoyed writing about my daughter- I had no idea about the world of reviews and I also had no idea about the community of bloggers out there. I just did it because I enjoyed writing and playing about with the look of my blog. It is weird because I can’t even remember what made me start, I had read a few blogs but all of a sudden I really wanted to start one.

Slowly I started realising that companies out there approached bloggers to review, at the end of the day I will only do reviews that are relevant to my daughter- I would never just ‘blag’ free stuff. I am on a part time wage, my husband has had to take a huge paycut and money is extremely tight so if someone is going to give me a product in exchange for (at least a good hour) of my time then why on earth wouldn’t I do that and give my baby opportunities she otherwise wouldn’t have?

I must admit I have seen blogs out there that seem to start out and just want reviews after reviews without building up the audience, and I don’t really understand that- but those are the ones that ultimately won’t still be going in a year or two years time, whereas ones like yourself will be.

At the end of the day we don’t have to justify it, we all have different personal circumstances and as long as we have a good audience, build good relationships and blog a wide range of material, why is it anyone’s business? We are all entitled to our own opinions.
x

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SAHMlovingit 8th November 2011 - 8:53 pm

Whether we do reviews or not we are all bloggers as we have blogs. There are people who don’t do any reviews and people who do loads – I’m not any of those. I started out and said I wouldn’t do reviews but every so often something sparks my interest in the hundreds of emails – I’ve turned down some cracking ones that could have earned me money, why? Because I did. I don’t have to justify it and you don’t have to justify what you do either lovely.

I get annoyed when all the debates about blogging and blagging and whatever-ing come up. If we were all the same life would be bloody boring. Variety is the spice of life after all 🙂

Hurrah for you and your lovely blog my dear! Long may it continue.

xx

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Debbie O'Connor (@motivatingmumuk) 9th November 2011 - 2:23 pm

I had this debate with my hubby just before it kicked off online. He’s embarrassed at the size of some of the items we’ve been sent to review for Christmas – worried that it is somehow immoral to accept them – also that the kids will get spoiled in advance of Christmas.

I don’t share his concern. I don’t consider myself a blagger I don’t ask for products – just take my pick of the best of those that are freely offered to me. If the PR agencies want my reader stats they can have them freely – I don’t pretend to be anything I’m not.

Each product gets a fair review – that’s time spent using the product and time spent writing and crafting the review. I also tweet about my reviews and promote them on facebook and sometimes in my monthly newsletter. Why shouldn’t I keep the product as a return for this – what are they going to do with a used product anyway?

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sarahmumof3 9th November 2011 - 6:27 pm

I’m abit late in joining in this debate too but I have just wrote my post about it everyone blogs there own way and thats what makes blogs intresting! http://thisisme-sarahmumof3.blogspot.com/2011/11/blogger-blagger.html

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would like to be a yummy mummy 16th November 2011 - 1:56 pm

I am loving blogging and doing what I am doing. I never set out to review products but really enjoy it. I also feel as though I work for them too, sometimes reviews can take a while to write. I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a blagger. I seriously think there is room for all sorts of bloggers including those that like to review products!

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