Home » Once upon a time … (The blogger version)

Once upon a time … (The blogger version)

Once upon a time, back in 2010, there weren’t many mummy bloggers around. 

Just a handful.
All with different stories.
Some with similar.

There were enough that you could read a bunch of regular blogs daily and keep up to date with what everyone was doing.

Occasionally these mummy bloggers would get an email offering an invite to a fantastic event like flying to Germany to see the Pampers factory, or going to see innocent smoothies, attend Disney Blu Ray launches, . They were grateful for each invite, it wasn’t an expectation of theirs when they started their blogging. It was just a nice way to meet up with the regular bloggers they read and build good relationships with companies.

 Then sometimes they would get an out of the blue email offering a product for them to try and review, like a sandpit, a slendertone face or a day out at Diggerland and they appreciated these products. But they didn’t go looking for them.

Blogging was a whole different world then. A smaller community. Different ways of doing things.

innocent

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying its all changed for the bad! The influx of new bloggers has both positives and negatives. The positives are getting to chat with lots of other lovely bloggers who you didn’t know before, and finding even more who are in a similar situation to yourself, for me its teenage/young mums and single mum blogs that I can identify with. I now have over 1000 people I follow on twitter rather than the small intimate 300/400 of the blogging world that was.

But of course theres also the downside. Theres a new way of doing things. When bloggers go and ask companies to try their products, sometimes known as blaggers although how you can define that im not sure. I chatted with a company on twitter the other day who said they are inundated with requests from bloggers saying  ‘let me review’ however they said often bloggers just don’t deliver the goods.  And then theres the ‘bloggers’ who literally have a blank blog and then go and ask for products to review to put on it!

Blogging was different back then. The blogging about your life came first and the reviews were just a nice background thing. Now reviews are the reason so many people start blogging and are then often sorely disappointed when companies refuse to send them expensive products straight away!

As I say positive and negatives like everything in life. So where do you stand, do you think the changes are for the better or not?

15 Responses to “Once upon a time … (The blogger version)”

  1. I started blogging because I needed to make sense of what happened when luja was born. Without a doubt, the friends I have made (most definitely including you!) because of that are the reasons why I am still going. Reviews are an added bonus but not something I wish to carry on. I love the writing and I do feel blogging is being tarnished a little now. Some blogs are just reviews and badly written- but that’s fine. I just don’t read them!!
    xxx

  2. Jen Palmer says:

    I’ve been blogging since May 2011 and didn’t really know the whole review/sponsored post thing existed until earlier this year. My primary reason for blogging is still to record the lives of my children so that I can show them our adventures when they are older but we do enjoy the odd review. I stick to things that are relevant and of interest to us but have heard from a lot of friends about how they are thinking of setting up a blog just for the “free stuff and money”. Makes me feel a little sad for them because they will just end up disappointed. As in anything, you don’t get something for nothing and if your heart isn’t in writing then it will show and companies won’t be interested in working with you. The majority of my posts are still regular posts, with the occasional review added as and when something fun crops up.

  3. jenny paulin says:

    i started in 2010 and it was so much smaller back then and suddenly it exploded and everyone had a blog! i liked the intimate feeling back then when i would log onto twitter and see familair faces anf chat more. I still chat to a lot of people but sometimes it is over whelming on my timeline and i tend to wait for people to start talking to me more than i did. i do get better review and invite opportunities than i did, but i feel i am more established now so that makes sense. i didnt start wanting free stuff, i didnt even know that would happen back then.
    this is an interesting debate Hayley – i do miss not chatting to those i did when i first started but i know you are all there x x

  4. Emma says:

    I started blogging in 2009 – not much and then lots in 2010 and I moved to a different platform and was pretty much hooked. When do you think it changed?

  5. Jo Laybourn says:

    Food for thought! Fairly new to blogging and have made so many friends. Love the fact I can share what my family and I get up to and am very proud to do so. not ventured into Sponsored posts yet (and not too sure I want to!) I have done some reviews but am grateful to the brands and far too shy to ask for much! I’ve a lot to learn from seasoned bloggers :

  6. I remember sitting there every night on blogger or GReader (once I discovered it, seems funny as even that’s gone now!) reading every single blog post from the blogs I followed and commenting on almost every single one of them. I had 4 blogs including yours I read religiously and went as far as reading all the posts ever written since the start of the blog. I formed a friendship with all of those bloggers and despite not chatting as much as we may have done in the past each one of them is there for me if I need them despite only having ever met one of you!

    These days I am lucky if I read blog posts once a week. I used to feel guilty if I didn’t read or at least glance at all of them, but I find myself clicking “Mark all as read” pretty quickly. It’s the sheer volume of blogs I follow now compared to back then, coupled with the amount of time I have available which seems to have halved, especially lately!

    I used to blog more about family life, write recipes etc, these days it seems to be sponsored posts with the odd review thrown in when I get round to writing them up and maybe a post from me once a week at the most. I used to write a post almost every day. I wish I had time to write more but other things are taking priority at the moment.

    I remember being absolutely thrilled at being asked to an event or to review something, I couldnt imagine why someone would ask me to go somewhere to learn about their brand or review something for them. I didn’t even know bloggers got invited to events or asked to review things, I still find it strange and rather flattering even now and certainly don’t expect anything in return for blogging – it’s just me rambling on like a loon as usual, it’s just that it’s online and not in a diary or in my head. It’s a huge perk, we’ve had some great days out and lovely things to review over the years and I’m so grateful for that.

    Blogging has led me to all kinds of great experiences, friends I really value, has given me lots of opportunities, including working in social media, copy writing and setting up my own website and there’s no way I’d have done that without my now rather neglected blog.

    Things change, they’re probably moving forward faster than I can keep up with them. It doesn’t have to mean the end of blogging as we know it (or used to know it) we can all control how we go about blogging and we certainly don’t have to “follow the crowd” if we don’t want to. There’s a place for all kinds of blogs, whether they’re set up purely to review items, “mummy” blogs, fashion blogs, foodie blogs, politics blogs, travel blogs or a mish mash of the lot of them. What makes a great blog is engaging content and not being afraid to put your opinion across.

    Here’s to the next 4 years ;-)

  7. MrsShilts says:

    I started blogging back in 2008 all about my weightloss attempts and our struggle to start a family. I started my blog for me so I had something to record the journey I’ve been on. No-one contacted me about reviews or sponsored posts back then. Since I’ve become a Mum, I’ve been approached by numerous companies wanting to send me products to review and whilst I’ve accepted some, I’ve also turned a lot down. In my opinion, there are a lot of blaggers out there having seen a few blogs spring up just to review stuff they have asked for and received (mentality of if you don’t ask you don’t get!). I like to ensure I take time when writing up my posts (including reviews) and hope this comes across in my writing and my posts. Saying all that I might have been blogging for 5 years but I have so much to learn.

  8. TheBoyandMe says:

    It’s hard to comment on this as a standalone post as I know the thing that spurred you on to write it, but I can see both sides to the evolution of blogging debate. I started in December 2010 and did so as a record of our lives, that continues as the main theme, mixed in with some photography and craft or play posts.

    Yes, there are a lot of reviews on my blog but over time I’ve learnt not to get excited by the offer of free cheese [;-)] and to be more discerning. Have I ever approached a company? I’d be lying if I said ‘no’, but it is more of a ‘Do you have a blogger outreach mailing list I could be added to please?’ rather than a ‘I’d like free stuff please!’ Reviews, done well, take time and effort, and by and large I’m proud of those I do. I take care to ensure that the people who read my reviews aren’t left with a fake impression, spending their hard-earned cash on my say-so. I’m not afraid to say if something is crap, it’s the way it’s written that gives the clues without landing a PR in a whole heap of doo-doo. I have very little respect for any blogger who just whacks out positivity after crowd-pleasing comment.

    As Susanne said above, you don’t have to read them, but the true blaggers (not bloggers who are ‘gifted’ items) give everyone else a bad name.

  9. I started to help me and other who have MS, I have met so many people along the way and I love where I am now.
    I like doing reviews, however they are overwhelming at times, especially when you just want to sit and write about being covered in poop in having a bad day. Its far from easy.
    I think growth is good, however there are a few who give us this blagging term. Eavh to their own I suppose :)

  10. My blog is about my life first. I started my blog so I could write about my bucket list.

    Over the months and years reviews have crept in and now feature very regularly – I enjoy trying different things out and writing about them. I am flattered to be offered all sorts of things (including cheese!) and I’ll accept if I want to at the time; every review is written based on my thoughts and feelings and in that way I hope they add to my life story and are of interest to my readers.

    Have I asked companies if they’d like to work with me? Yes I have – but only if I can see a perfect link to my life. And if they don’t want to, that’s fine, but sometimes it is worth sending an email to see what might occur.

    To be honest over the last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about what I want Splodz Blogz to be. My blogging personal; I do it because I enjoy it, and hope people enjoy reading Splodz Blogz and feel it lives up to my life is all about the journey mantra.

  11. Anne Wallwin says:

    i don’t blog but i enjoy reading blogs and follow quite a few. I like the fact you can easily find an honest review/opinion on a topic or product. Well written blogs are a source of information, honesty, ideas and more often than not humor. I wasn’t aware of any bad press so only know what i have picked up from reading blogs. I think it is a bit like having a book published – these days anyone can say they are an author as you can pay to publish your own book. This doesn’t mean you are a proper author! New blogs might pop but without a thought to whats going to go on it but they won’t last. Those of us that actually take an interest in what goes on a blog will lose interest and stop following.

  12. Michelle says:

    I started at the end of 2008. As a Dutchie in the middle of all mummy and a few daddy bloggers from the UK. It took a while until I was taken serious but it was fin and it helped me in a tough time in life.
    Like you very well explain it has changed. I felt being left out as in the Netherlands the type of mummy blogging is still far away. PR friendly is not something they have heard of here. My life changed. Being bullied because of what I blogfed about. I decided to stop my Mschelles blog and move to a food blog lifemorelovely. Just for fun.
    As you say that many blogs are about reviews etc and not so much about personal lives there aren’t many blogs I read these days. Not so much fun anymore. X

  13. Kate Davis says:

    I read your post several days ago, but as it has stuck with me I thought I should come back and comment.

    I started blogging in 2007 as a way to practice writing for an audience. I was using Live Journal before and I wanted to use a fairly informal style. I’ve used my blog as a way to log and motivate my productivity and working towards goals.

    Despite having two children I only discovered the “mummy blog” community a few months ago. I have no idea how I missed it for so long. I am really grateful to this community because I’m starting to develop a network instead of feeling like a lone writer.

    I noticed the number of sponsored posts and reviews were higher in this community than many of the other topics I follow which was a surprise at first. However, I guess this shows there are benefits to both the company and the blogger. I have found several of these posts useful and informative, but others appear to be of lower quality. I suspect things will sort themselves out in the future because companies will recognise the type of post and blogger they get the most value.

    On a personal level, I love the idea of being approached by a company but I would need to make sure I could write something natural for my blog before agreeing to anything. However, I do not think I could approach companies for products.

  14. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog via LoveAllBlogs. It is so true – while I have only been blogging for a year and a bit, I have noticed a change. I blog to share inspiration and my life so my family and friends abroad can keep up with whats going on. Anything else is an EXTRA bonus to me. I love blogging, it is my favourite hobby and I wouldn’t change it for the world :)

  15. Carie says:

    My gateway to blogging was through knitting, and craft blogs in general. As a community there just isn’t that same culture of sponsorship and reviews; the very very top level bloggers might get offered a little yarn to review but mostly they’re just writing to share a love of the craft and the pretty things we all make. When I discovered the parent blogging world it was a bit of a culture shock.

    I don’t mind reading blogs with reviews if they’re well written, and not the dominant voice of the blog, and I’m not averse to writing a review myself if it’s something that fits well with my family. What I think disconcerts me, and maybe makes me long for the good old days, is the assumption that your primary reason for doing anything on a parent blog must be to raise your brand so that you will get freebies and opportunities. And then it becomes all about manipulating stats and rankings, and that to me is not what blogging is about.

    I’m horribly aware that this could come across as sour grapes because my blog doesn’t have a huge following or masses of reviews and sponsorship etc but whilst I’d like to increase my readership for the conversation and sense of community, I’m happy with it being first and foremost a record of my family and all my favourite creative pastimes.

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