7 Confessions of a Product Review Blogger

1. I started my product review blog to get free stuff. 

After I had Jude we decided it was best if I stayed at home to take care of him. Going from a double income home to single was tough. I started entering giveaways because we couldn’t afford to buy anything other than essentials. I thought it would be a cinch to start my own blog and do the reviews and giveaways myself. Boy, was I in for a surprise. I’m on my 2nd year with this blog and am working as hard if not harder than I was when I started.

2. I have no idea what I’m doing.
Everything about The B Keeps Us Honest has come about through trial and error. From the design and SEO to my pitches and ad pricing. I’ve learned it all through research and trying it myself. I’m still tweaking and learning what makes a good blog so I don’t think I’ll ever really know exactly what I’m doing.

3. I stalk other product review blogs.
Stalking might be a harsh word but I like to know what is going on in the blog world. Knowing what kind of products others are reviewing, the way they run their giveaways, the networks they join are all ways I stay in tune with readers.

4. If a company treats me well I am more likely to buy their product.
Of course, the product has to be decent too. When I work first hand with representatives from companies it gives me more pros and cons as to whether I should buy their product. If they treat me with respect and have an awesome product I am going to talk up their product as much as possible. Likewise, if a company has an awesome product and treats me like scum I will not be buying anything from them anytime soon.

5. I was excited when I became pregnant because of all the review opportunities it opened to me.
True story, before I became pregnant with #2 I started a Baby List, a list of products I wanted to review when I had another child. Some products I could justify because I  had a toddler and he was still able to use them, but for others I just had to wait. When I became pregnant with #2 my mind went immediately (well, after the shock wore off) to all the great things I could do on my blog now.

6. I stalk my own blog.
I love to see how many people have entered certain giveaways. What posts are most popular. What products people like. How many new followers I have. Etc… I probably visit my own blog at least 20 times a day.

7. When I really need something I look into reviewing it before I look into buying it.
Like I mentioned in confession #1 we don’t have a lot of money so when we have need for something I try my hardest to get it free for review. I’m not one to ask for handouts but I will work in exchange for the product. That is how people did things back in the day, trading goods and services. It apparently still works pretty well today.

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  1. Well, youre doing an awesome job. Im somewhat in the same boat you were when you had Jude. Move + baby = no money. So ive been a giveaway entering madwoman! Ive also been thinking of turning my personal blog into something more. But its a big leap. Youre right, it is hard work. Im just not quite sure where to start.

  2. Bartering is great. Sounds like you make sure the arrangement works for both you and the company. Very nice!

  3. I loved this post! I was just chatting with someone about review bloggers that just blog for the free stuff. And you confessed, it's true. But you also admitted another truth: it's work.

    (And I would totally be thrilled with the opportunity to review all the cool new baby stiff that comes out every day!)

  4. LOL I have the same confessions! haha It's so true about starting blogging to get free stuff, and then getting a rude awakening! It's a lot of hard work. I know I work very very hard at my blog to grow it and get good companies to work with. I have actually bought a lot from companies I've worked with.

  5. Love it! This post rocks. I love your honesty. Yeah, the little I've done (for the purpose of getting free cloth diapers ;)has taught me that it is indeed hard work…truly a work at home job. I realized that I can't keep it up because of that. I get stressed too easily and have too many other things going on. I hope to do it from time to time, but I'm not counting on it since my blog will be mainly content and I don't think I can keep a competitive traffic flow up with just that. If somehow it does build and keep a decent steady flow of traffic I hope to offer ad space and do occasional reviews/giveaways.

    Meanwhile, I'll just be stalking yours and entering your giveaways!! 🙂

    Thanks for your hard work!!!!

  6. Oh yeah, I'm the same way about companies and how they treat me. I've been *very* tempted to post about companies that have not followed through or have been unpleasant to work with…which is only about two, but I knew I shouldn't. I will definitely not however every buy anything from them or promote their products/store!!!!

  7. Great to hear how you got started. I think you are doing a great job! I "stalk" other blogs too. 🙂

  8. Interesting. I sometimes wonder why individuals start blogs, how they figure out what to write about and how they keep people coming back. Seems like a lot of work to me:) You do a great job!

  9. It is totally a lot of work, but I LOVE it! I will be blogging for one year the end of April, and so far, so good. Yes, I stalk other blogs too to try to get ideas for giveaways, entries, things to review, etc. I seem lately though, to stumble upon companies wanting people to test out their new products, so they are willing to send them out for free, so we are trying for baby #3, for us, and for my blog, lol.

  10. I probably could have written this exact post, other than getting pregnant! I really enjoy writing reviews on my blogs, but when I get behind it's stressful and it seems like I'm always behind!

  11. You rock, Jessica! I like to stalk your site too… hoping that some of your expertise rubs off on me.

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