One of Those “Few Bad Apples” that Give Bloggers a Bad Name

You know, I rarely vent about things bad_apple_small but I saw a tweet that irritated me just a bit and I just can’t let it go.

Can anyone point me to a PR rep for Kodak, Sony, Olympus, Samsung, Fuji or Polaroid cameras?

May as well add Nikon, Panasonic and Canon too.  Anyone who’ll give you a free one right?

It’s things like this that make bloggers look bad.  This  is the perfect example of why we catch so much flack .  You’ve got these bloggers going around asking, asking, asking no matter what brand it is  all because they want a freebie. It’s okay to love different brands but to ask for contacts for all of them just to get something, is not okay.


If you want to be respected as a blogger, you have got to learn to pick and choose your relationships wisely.  I left a comment on MomSpark’s blog that reflects how I feel about this very subject.

“I do think building relationships, networking, staying authentic & genuine are key. So many bloggers today are saying yes to everything. They need to learn to say yes to the things they absolutely believe in. Give yourself high standards. Example: If you’re gonna praise  how much you love Tide today, don’t do campaigns to pimp up Wisk tomorrow and Purex the next week.“

Maybe I took the tweet wrong and if I did, I apologize from the bottom of my heart.

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  1. says

    I agree. First of all, I don’t think public forums like Twitter or blog events are the place to talk about such things. I think it should be done privately, if at all.

    It’s embarrassing- I was at an event recently and was asked about everything Ivy had on- her shoes, dress, sling- “who is your contact for that?” – it was assumed I had received them for a review or something when I had bought it all with my own moo-lah at a boutique near me. It just seemed off balance that those things were first on their minds. (Especially over connecting or chatting with me and other bloggers!)

    .-= Adventures In Babywearing´s last blog ..My Worst Enemy =-.

  2. says

    Hello Beautiful one!!!

    You rock!

    Sometimes you just have to come across these silly people to remind us all to pay attention to what we say online. How we post things online ~ Blog or twitter or wherever….

    I know I need to be more careful. NOT refarding cheap plugs in hope of freebies…(YUCK) but my problem is “choice words late at night” :( lots of crazy people online late at night. so being all around the world… They are out there 24 hrs. seriously.

    Whatever our meaning was intended for… freebies:( advice, direction, networking, or whatever…. make sure people are going to get what you mean!
    miss ya Girlfriend w/ all the Cowboys! ; )
    .-= Joelle DeNardo´s last blog ..Patrick Swayze 1952-2009 RIP =-.

  3. says

    This tweet did appear to come across as one asking for free products… Such a shame to see, especially when alot of us work so hard to build relationships in this space and with our PR contacts. The “gimmee” attitude really makes me sad!

    • A Cowboy's Wife says

      Yep, I think I’ve tweeted 3 times in the past few months about needing sponsorship and it made me cringe….just couldn’t do it anymore. Maybe I’m just in a bad mood today reckon? ;)

  4. Cate O'Malley says

    Ouch on the quick jump to conclusions! Having seen the tweet come across myself, and knowing the background, I can assure you, it’s anything but looking for a handout. She’s a journalist researching a story, for pete’s sake.

    • A Cowboy's Wife says

      and like I said, if I took the tweet wrong, I apologize from the bottom of my heart but this is what I told her.

      “Regardless of whether my claim is valid or not, it’s about perception……People aren’t gonna take the time to look at your site and decide whether you’re a good apple or not. They will see your tweet and judge…..You have to think carefully about what you tweet, and I just don’t feel you did that. If any one of those jerks who like to come after mom bloggers had seen that, they’d go on to say much worse. I’m trying to help bloggers be the best they can be. “

  5. Cat @ 3 Kids and Us says

    Very well written! This is one of the reasons I stopped reading blogs that are strictly reviews…there’s no brand loyalty, just cramming in as many free products as they can.

  6. Mercedes says

    I wish more bloggers would heed your words. Seriously, how can your readers trust you if you are willing to pimp just about anyone?
    I also have to say that there’s something to be said about disclosure as well. I see so many bloggers promoting this brand or the next and not a blip about whether they are being sponsored in any way. In a lot of cases I know they are and that just takes away from their credibility as well.


  7. says

    Way to go, Lori! This is an issue that seriously bothers me especially since blogs that I loved for content have turned into nothing but reviews.

    Also, I think readers are smart enough to know when a blogger is using her posts just to get the freebies.

    If you actually believe in something then yes, push it. But if you just wanted a free bottle of Tide then spare us the details of how Tide has transformed your entire life and soul. =)
    .-= Sarah Roe´s last blog ..918couponqueen: RT @CommnSenseMoney: One of Those "Few Bad Apples" that Give Bloggers a Bad Name – Smart words from @acowboyswife =-.

  8. says

    I’m so glad you posted this! While getting freebies can be a perk of blogging, we all need to take responsibility and realize we are the new “press” and that loyal readers trust those bloggers to tell the truth. No wonder the FTC might start cracking down on reviewers! It’s people like the author of the Tweet you posted that will make all of our jobs more difficult in the end.

    I’ve come to realize 100% that I only want to speak about products I stand behind. I have a relationship with my readers and I don’t want to break their trust.
    .-= marybeth at´s last blog ..Free "Potty Prints" From Huggies Pull-Ups =-.

  9. says

    No, you got it right, I am sick of seeing bloggers constantly shouting daily, repeatedly, sponsor me for this, sponsor me for that. I can rep your product. You know what that is a terrible way to go about it. Build your relationships with brands. I’d like to think that I’ve gone about building my relationships without being someone shouting for a handout.
    .-= BenSpark´s last blog ..The Crayon Experiment is Growing. =-.

  10. says

    Great point, regardless of how this particular tweet was intended. Another major annoyance of mine? Bloggers who feel entitled. No matter how large your site gets, a little bit of humility goes a long way.

  11. says

    Yikes…even as a journalist looking for information, it might not be taken that way. And I love what the reader above said about late night…I know I may not post at all what I meant when I am working in a rush or when I am too tired…spelling errors, lack of tact, lack of humility or whatever are bound to show up. thanks for the reminder Lori

  12. says

    I can see how that would be annoying. My question to you is how do I establish myself as a blogger and get readers? Nevermind the freebies. I have a catchy name, I am tweeting and am in the process of registering with Blogher. I comment on other blogs as much as I can. I fear that when I comment on high traffic blogs my comments are lost in a sea of comments and nobody will find me. I find most of my blogs from reading other peoples comments linking to their blog. This is how I found your blog. I am not about to whore myself out on Twitter or Facebook as that just looks bad and desperate. Maybe it’s my own falt for being anonymous…
    .-= Avoiceofmyown´s last blog ..Breech =-.

  13. says

    I wonder if bloggers who have done this gig for a few years now are getting irritated by newer bloggers. Didn’t these more established bloggers have moments? When you have few followers, you do have moments of desperation when you might tweet something controversial or funny or off-beat just to get someone to read your post/enter your giveaway/leave a comment/sponsor your trip, etc. Some days I’d like to be a famous blogger and others I’m having to tweet in my own little universe.
    .-= Musings from Me´s last blog ..Wanna See Dan Zanes Live! =-.

    • A Cowboy's Wife says

      You may be right. I do think bloggers need to pay their dues and these days, it seems like they juts want, want, want without the work.

      On a side note….I’d love to know what bloggers you consider “famous”. I can only think of 2 or 3 that I’d consider famous…..
      Darren from problogger
      John Chow

  14. says

    As always a genius post. And excellent comments from your readers as well. Thank you for reminding us all to remember our manners, and how things may be perceived on a social media platform.

    Tara’s point about it going both ways as far as non stop PR pitches that have nothing to do with our websites content also hit home to me. How could we possibly write about everything? It would not be helpful to our readers nor does any one person have the time to post every possible pitch. PR companies need to be aware of the blogger’s style and content. Even those of us that “review” are not message boards for everything. Lately I find I’ve been even more swamped with impersonal requests to just post this and that about every product, promotion, or contest varied companies are hosting.

    As a blogger building relationships with the brands that really matter to you is so important and vice-versa – PR firms/brands should do their best to have some inkling about the people behind the blogs.
    .-= ClassyMommy´s last blog ..Back to Pre-School in Style! =-.

  15. Jenna says

    What many do not realize on top of all of this is that for every little freebie that is given all of the public is paying for that thru the nose. Companies do not do things out of the goodness of their hearts. America wake up stop paying three times for everything.

  16. Jenna says

    Buy the way I don’t Twitter, Blog or Facebook , I barely e-mail, I sit and write old fashioned letters with pen and paper, it gets better results!

    • Elizabeth says


      As far as your paper in pen have fun writing….we do, we just use keyboards. How can one be better then then the other? We use Twitter, facebook and blogs to communicate.Sometimes a Pen just can’t give feedback…..unless you use different pens??? Lol

  17. says


    You know when you read a post, exit out of the page, but never really leave it and you continually think about it? That was this post for me. I have digested it and returned with some thoughts.

    I get people always asking me to review my product and write about it. The truth of the matter is I DONT SELL ANYTHING. My normal response is “Sure go ahead have a free sample of my product and review it, If you you would have taken the time to look into my site you would realize i am blogger —-JUST LIKE YOU.” I don’t sell balloons, I don’t sell my tips, I blog about being a party planning business owner and childrens birthday party entertainer. I seriously do not know what the misconception is with my blog???

    Does anyone ever approach you asking to buy a cowboy, Diapers from Christine or a kingdom from Alyssa? Maybe I should try to by some class with Colleen? LOL Seriously, bloggers DO need to build a relationship before they approach whether in tweet or email but………….

    Here is my issue,

    Perhaps this mom blogger is just lost and has an awesome creative marketing idea that she would like to present to a company that captures memories (btw was it me that sent the tweet…LOL Cause this would be up the alley for my blog LOL)

    Everyone is trying to figure out how to connect blogs with companies. Some are just not being seen. I feel bad for the hardworking moms that resort to tweets. Its not all of them looking for free stuff, I truly believe that some are just resorting to needing their hand held.

    Yes, tweets like this should not be sent but……

    Maybe instead of ALL OF US focusing on the bad apples we should start to coach the small companies on what to look for in a blogger. To warn them against those that just want free stuff and not relationships. In all honesty, I think the companies (especially the small ones) need a little hand holding too.

    ANYWHERE in the work place whether it be at the Grocery store, the bank down the street, or a blogger has BAD APPLES. The industry is so new we are talking to the wrong crowd. The companies need to know….people are always going to be selfish and there will always be a few “bad apples” around us on the playground, on twitter, or in the blogging world. Someone tell these businesses to stop feeding the stupid people that aren’t helping them. The industry is so new that they are just not seeing what we see.

    • says

      Your comment about people asking Lori to review a cowboy cracked me up.

      You are right that some companies feed the frenzy and they don’t have the investment in maintaining the community that we bloggers do. Ultimately, it is a feedback loop. We can either focus on ourselves, our blogs, our communities, and the partnerships that will benefit all parties…or we can play into the gimme frenzy and get more of the same back.

      I think a number of bloggers are consulting with companies. I do. And I tell them that if you want to work with quality people, you have to treat them like people. I give them ways to build authentic campaigns.

      I predict at some point the spotlight will fade and things will quiet. There will always be room for talented writers, community builders, etc. but it will no longer be viewed as a “get rich quick” or “get your house full of stuff” scheme and people who just were hoping to get something for nothing will lose interest.
      .-= Candace´s last blog ..HappyMELTS Make Baby Happy =-.

  18. says

    I couldn’t agree with you more here. Sure, the perks of blogging are great when it comes to receiving free products, but it is definitely important to only agree to feature products and brands that you truly are passionate about and besides all of the free swag, why did you start blogging in the first place? It’s so important to remember that if you’re not sitting at your computer, nursing your blog like a baby at 3am, you should ask yourself if you really love what you’re doing. That is key.
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..Health and Safety Tips for New and Expecting Moms from Dra. Aliza and Baby Looney Tunes *GIVEAWAY* =-.

  19. cwaltz says


    With all due respect, I think its great that people have had opportunities to try products and get deals to promote them but I think the companies are crazy if they don’t think many of us view the bloggers recieving these perks as advertisers and PR people (whether or not you are “passionate” about the product.) When I see the reviews that have been compensated I am always mindful of the idea that Blogger A might not even be reviewing said product if she hadn’t been provided with it to begin with(particularly since being frugal and being brand loyal aren’t really synonyms in most instances).

    This isn’t saying I’m not thrilled that companies are going out there and giving folks the opportunity to try their products( truly think its great). I just think its kind of silly to harp on someone who is openly looking to find a company to give them the same opportunity that many of the more established bloggers have received to see if a product is a fit with little to nothing out of pocket..

    • A Cowboy's Wife says

      First of all, Walmart has nothing to do with this conversation so I’ve removed that part of your comment.

      Second, that’s the whole point of this post. Picking and choosing who you work with carefully. I’ve been asked to do campaigns for “B” company (with compensation) but declined because I’m a “Y” company gal.

      Third, the person who made the statement that this whole post is based around, is an established blogger.

  20. cwaltz says


    I think you are way off saying that Walmart does not care about your communities. I think that Walmart is such a big company it is just starting to use technology to find the needs of companies etc, etc,etc……” timestamp Sept 23 432 pm blogger Elizabeth

    Was posted in above post to which I was responding.

    If Walmart has nothing to do with the comment it should be removed from the above comment as well since I was responding to said comment(as a personal aside I WORKED at the above mentioned company first as a cashier and then as a CSM for three years so I’d pit my credibility against anyone caring to debate that particular topic. When companies(and I would go so far as saying this isn’t limited to Walmart by the way) behave altruistically it is because they believe it will improve their bottom line.

    My position is and continues to be that before you “cultivate a relationship” it is perfectly okay for a blogger to look or date around at opportunities(in my opinion it would IMPROVE someone’s credibility to try multiple products rather than say I’m going to limit myself to a single product because I’m loyal to that product and I’ve been compensated for that loyalty) I don’t think more highly of the frugal bloggers who review Tide and then refuse to try Purex because they feel some sort of “loyalty” to Tide, particularly when I know part of that loyalty may be as a result of a bright, shiny camcorder given to a blogger to capture their tender moments with a product. Again, I think it is wonderful that these companies are reaching out to its audience(mommy shoppers) but if they think I’m buying a particular product or shopping at a particular place because so and so, who was compensated with a free product, says it’s great, they are incredibly naive. They’d be better served to price point their product(and provide a coupon) to make their product more affordable for the average consumer.

    Again, I realize your opinion may be different than mine since we both are experiencing the web from different viewpoints(you as a blogger and me as someone who purveys blogs and sees this debate from a disinterested third party viewpoint with little to no interest in cultivating any company’s interest.)

  21. Sheena at Mommy Daddy Blog says

    This is why I’ve backed away and haven’t asked for anything, unfortunately that meant missing a few conferences, but hey. Since so many sponsors are getting hit up left and right, I don’t want to seem like one of “them”. It’s so frustrating because things are just so easy now, start a blog and in 2 months you got all these freebies without even establishing a following. I’ve worked hard for 8 years blogging and it’s like a slap in the face.

  22. says

    This is why I’ve backed away and haven’t asked for anything, unfortunately that meant missing a few conferences, but hey. Since so many sponsors are getting hit up left and right, I don’t want to seem like one of “them”. It’s so frustrating because things are just so easy now, start a blog and in 2 months you got all these freebies without even establishing a following. I’ve worked hard for 8 years blogging and it’s like a slap in the face.