I've got to be honest with you. This has been on my mind recently and I think we should all discuss it. A few weeks ago I wrote a review for Vega's new Sport Performance Protein. It was terrible, and I told you all that. I wasn't scared and I wanted you all to know my honest thoughts; that is the point of reviews, right? I received the protein to try though my ambassadorship with Fitapproach as a SweatPink ambassador. I had actually just done another review for Vega on their reformulated bar products and had a much better experience with those. For both reviews I was honest and gave me true thoughts and feelings about the products. I didn't make anything up, I wrote and honest review.
Later that week when all the ambassadors were posting their reviews (which is really boring and annoying, but that is a whole other post in itself), an ambassador asked if she should still do her review even though she didn't like her product either. I chimed in and told her about mine and how I still wrote about the product even though I did have anything good to say.
Before I did write my review, I emailed one of our ambassador managers and told her I didn't like the product and if it was okay to still post, even though this was a sponsored campaign. She never really answered and just asked if I would like to try something else. I was kind of annoyed with this, so that definitely made me want to write my review honestly.
A review is your thoughts, options, evaluation, critique of a product or service. It should not be influenced by outside sources or pressure from a brand or company to highlight them in a good light because you received the product or other compensation.
I know that not everyone likes everything, so when I know there is a big campaign going on and see reviews for the same products for weeks on bloggers posts, I know some of them have to be stretching the truth. I rarely ever see "negative" reviews. But those are the ones I want to read! If I want to know that a product is great and contains this and does not contain that and is so awesome, I could just go on that company's website and read about their product in their own self-promoting marketing.
Why are we scared to write our honest feelings? Peter, from the Blogologist wrote a great post on honest reviews back in 2013. I like the part where he discusses the fear of trashing a product in a review. He goes on to state that it is actually beneficial to do so and to stay honest. You might think you will lose all ties with a company if you don't give them a good review, but usually that is the total opposite. Companies like to hear what you think so they can improve their products and make their services better. You are essentially their test subject and they want to hear what you have to say.
If you really just absolutely hate a product that you receive and don;t even want to mention in to your readers, just let the company know you don;t feel comfortable writing anything up. They are usually fine with it and ask you for your personal feedback in an email. But don't be scared to write you thoughts on your blog either. Especially if you bought something with your own money, you should not feel pressure to be utterly positive and upbeat about it if you don't like it.
I want to read the negative reviews. I want to read the real thoughts on a product or service from real people. Not polished over sponsored posts that completely praise a crappy product. I want to hear you thoughts on all of this, so lets have a discussion in the comments! Keep it classy and no bashing, lets just be honest!
So tell me:
+ Do you feel pressure to write only positive reviews?
+ Are you sick of seeing only positive reviews? I am. I hate when campaigns come around for the big companies and about 50 of the bloggers I read, and more, write essentially the same post, praising a product. It is so boring and I just skip them now. No one wants to read that unless you are not a blogger and are really looking into a product. That's why if you put your real thoughts, it would be a hell of a lot more interesting and more helpful for readers and bloggers alike.
+ Do you have a personal policy on writing reviews? Do you discuss this with the company or brand before you write?
*I am linking up with Amanda's Thinking Out Loud today, since this is definitely me thinking out loud!*
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