Why I Don’t Read or Refer Your Blog

Aside from the usual, ” I have no time” excuse, I also have many more reasons why I don’t read or refer your blog.  I’m not talking about all of you of course but a lot of you. 

A while back I needed a few bloggers for a campaign (I’ve done this a few times) and even though I knew of many that might fit, I decided to visit each blog and see what’s been going on with them.  It was at this time that I realized that almost every single blog I visited had at least 80% reviews and giveaways.  I was so sad.  I was sad because it took this long for me realize what some of those other bloggers were talking about.  I knew there were review bloggers and all but I guess I hadn’t realized that non-review bloggers turned into review bloggers whether they realized it or not.

As I skimmed through the sites of some of the people I have known for while, I kept thinking about how I remembered their blog and the fact that they shared family moments, personal struggles and big dreams.  And now it’s review/giveaway, review/giveaway, coupon mention, giveaway, review, review, family moment, etc……I remember when I first started blogging and how giveaways brought in traffic so I did them and I got free stuff so I reviewed them….but then I also got smart and realized that there needed to be more substance to me and my blog.  While I may not write amazing content, I do share bits of me and my family and my struggles and achievements.   I do feel as a person, I’m more than the constant reviews and giveaways and want my blogs to reflect that.  Heck, I even felt bad about posting three giveaways back to back awhile ago and apologized to my readers.

If you want to do reviews and giveaways nonstop that’s your business, but I’m finding that those very two things are what’s driving me away from your blog, you, and keeping me from referring you to companies.  Not that it matters because judging by a few things I see these days, companies are working with pretty much anyone, no matter the quality of them as a person or their blog.

I’ve been in a funk for the past 7 or 8 months, came out of it not too long ago for a few days, then went back into it again.  I finally realized that maybe this “mom blogging” isn’t for me.  I’m happy to continue things here and at my food blog but I need more stimulation.  I need to be a woman……not just a mom (although I thoroughly enjoy that roll).  It made me realize that I need to do something about the funk and not just sit and let things ago until I’m so depressed that i just end up quitting.  On July 1st, I’m launching a new site.  A site that will provide that stimulation for me, and hopefully you.

I never did refer any of those bloggers. In fact, I told the company that, “I can only recommend these three.” because I just wasn’t going to put my name and reputation on blogs that went from blogs with meaning to a review/giveaway type blog.  You can make money and get cool things to review and still remain authentic.  You don’t have to turn your blog into that you know…or do you?  There are couple of bloggers out there who do a lot of reviews and giveaways who, that if they really wanted to, could be so much more and probably even make more money.  I hope they see their potential and take action.  In the meantime, I hope that you find your true calling and remember that your blog is a reflection of you a person.  How do you want to remembered online?

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  1. says

    Hear Hear! Though we do reviews, I try to keep it down to one a week. If we do more than one review a week I at least try to do at least 1 other post that day. I appreciate Review and Give away blogs, but I don’t always want to read about the latest apple sauce.
    .-= Theresa´s last blog ..Daily Thought Introduction =-.

  2. Mary C. says

    Excited about your July 1st, new site launch! I tend to get into a funk every so often, too. Yes, an upbeat stimulating site sounds like the right medicine to cure funkitis! Wishing you well on your new site!

  3. says

    I know what you mean – but never really thought specifically about it before. I started my separate review blog in part just so I could keep ‘my’ blog free from reviews and giveaways for people who aren’t interested in them. I’ve thought at times about re-combining the two, but just can’t bring myself to do it. I still love having somewhere to just blog about my family and my life – which was why I started blogging to begin with. I’ve even started to add more personal content into my ‘review’ site so it’s not just reviews and giveaways 100% of the time. It’s so hard to find a balance though – I guess everyone has to decide what’s right for them. Great post!!
    .-= Deb – Mom of 3 Girls´s last blog ..Yes, this weekend I will be ‘Gleeking’ =-.

  4. deb@birdonawire says

    And this is why I truly love and admire you. There’s nothing like a woman that tells the truth and in an honest and sincere way. Thank you! (and I really do love you..you’re 1 smart cookie-pun intended)

  5. says

    Totally agree. I review free stuff about once a month, if that. Anything else I review/promote is stuff I bought/use myself. Mostly WordPress plugins of course, but seriously, my blog is about WordPress, so that fits.

    I’m with you. I do not subscribe to, or regularly visit review/giveaway blogs. I don’t have time to enter all those things. If I’m going to read something I want to be educated, humored, or encouraged. :-)

    Do you read Gussy? I totally HEART that girl. Every posts she writes, even if it is a giveaway, is FUN. She is relevant… even her giveaways are very much relevant to her topic/specialty which is crafts. But mostly, I read her for the smiles. :-)
    .-= Erica Mueller´s last blog ..WordPress Blog Security Issues =-.

  6. says

    Good post. I found your blog through a Twitter mention, and now I am excited to look for your new July 1 project. I want people to come to my blog because they feel like that can learn something or be entertained, not because there is a chance they’ll win free stuff. I have done a couple of give-a-ways, but they are items that I think are “super awesome” and want my readers to know about.

    • A Cowboy's Wife says

      No, not about you;) It might hurt cash flow a bit but I think it’s a loss worth losing. There are creative ways to earn cash and remain genuine. You just have to a put a little more work into it.

  7. says

    Very well put. I am still somewhat new to this whole blogging thing, still trying to make some money at it while trying to balance what I write about. Writing is difficult for me, I never know what to write. I want to write about what I have learned and things that happen in life with a mix of couponing and teaching…finding the right balance of all those things is what I am still working on.
    Thanks for posting this article…it is well put!

    • A Cowboy's Wife says

      The thing is Treasure, many bloggers don’t know what to write so instead, the follow suit. They see that other do the whole revew/giveaway thing so they do it. It seems like bloggers are afraid to be themselves and write about whatever makes them happy. Be a leader, not a follower. Do what makes you happy:)

  8. Bobbi Janay @When did I go from a kid to a grown up? says

    I agree, I do an occasional review and giveaway but always post another post at the same time. I know longer follow just review giveaway blogs. It makes me sad because some of the blogs I used to follow were great bloggers.

  9. says


    When I got into “blogging” it wasn’t to be a “mom-blogger”…it was to make money from home so I could be home with my kids and I was following business women, affiliate marketers and such. I was also reaching out the MomPack (thousands of other moms working for themselves) and started promoting them and reviewing their products.

    After a few months I talked to a business coach who evaluated what I was doing and told me I was actually headed in the momblog direction. Being a frugal money saving mom by necessity yet needing to make an income from home realizing that I could be a “momblogger” was a liberating realization. And so I went for it. But I still needed to make money from home ;)

    And I’m glad I did. My passion is for moms working from home and small (like family) businesses as well as saving money, and making it work to stay at home. And I like the perks of working with bigger companies.

    I don’t depend on any bloggers to get me “work”. I’m an established professional blogger (meaning I get paid to blog …paid by money or products and companies “find” me. Although there are some I reach out to because I want their product in exchange for my review.

    My blog is all-over the place as far as topics ;) but being a mom, a work at home mom by necessity, a Christian and the family life is at the center of it all!
    .-= Tracy @ Hall of Fame Moms´s last blog ..Free Fun Educational Stuff for Kids. =-.

    • says

      Tracy I love your blog! (I love this one too!). I am just getting into blogging and trying to figure out what does work and what doesnt. I dont believe in SALES on my blog, but raher want to use it as informational. since I am a health and lifestyle coach, I wanted to keep it related…is that wrong? And how does one get into getting paid to blog??
      Thanks for sharing…it was fun stumbling across this and looking for more!
      my blog is http://www.energizedlifestyle.com but agian, there really isnt anything there just yet!

  10. says

    So what’s your excuse for not reading my blog eh? :D Kidding…I know we’re all stinking busy. But I also admire your honesty and I could never get into reading review blogs either. I suppose the odd time I’ve googled for product reviews, and they served a purpose then, but day to day? Nope….not interested.

    Can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on Lori!!
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..On Naming Offspring =-.

  11. says

    My blog is a product review blog and I honestly get burnt out. However, I have a hard time finding “my voice” and knowing what to write about. My life just isn’t that exciting!

    I am looking forward to your new site!

  12. Dorene says


    I love your blogs..and I’m glad you’re going to come out with something new in July! No matter what you do, stay true to yourself. That’s what we love about you..that and you have such a great way with words and I love reading about your family/life. You are an amazing woman, mom, wife, etc.


  13. says

    I love everything about your blogs, and I absolutely look forward to what you come out with in July. Each of your posts are so genuine in nature, such an inspiration for me.

    Thank you for all you do!


  14. says

    Personally, I believe it is a person’s choice as to the content on their blog and we can chose to read it or not to read it. I know there are a lot of bloggers out there that believe they are journalist and get a lot of fulfillment out of their writing. Some are actually good writers. However, there are a bunch of other women/men out there that LOVE doing reviews and that’s all they want to do. There are many that do it to subsidize their income and others who do it because they love creating a buzz. People make a living writing for Cnet and Consumer reports.

    Jolly Mom, Go Graham Go, The Mom Buzz are almost exclusively doing reviews with the exception of Wordless Wednesday posts – but I love them all and I think they have terrific blogs. I try not to close my mind because I don’t want to miss out on potential connections with fabulous women.

    It takes all kinds….

    Personally, I got burned out doing reviews and chose another path. I started a blog about …well, nothing. I would imagine that you have never been to either of my blogs – but I would never have expected you to because up until recently I have done mainly reviews on one of my sites. The other one has no reviews other than one local restaurant review. It’s okay though if you believe I’m not worthy because this is the first time I think I’ve been to your site. I’ll have to go look around now…bye!

    I respect your opinion, but I don’t necessarily agree.
    .-= Lisa from Life with Lisa´s last blog ..Help: Post-Mamavation Mom Support Group Plea =-.

    • A Cowboy's Wife says

      You are missing my point Lisa. I’m mainly referring to to bloggers who once wrote good, normal content and then turned it into review/giveaways whether they meant to or not.

      I am NOT close minded by any means and have no problem with review/giveaway bloggers. I just miss the content from people I use to read….

  15. says

    Always being a review/giveaway blogger first and foremost I really haven’t changed much. I have noticed however that I really enjoy doing content/recipe posts and those do still garner traffic and comments. People do actually read them which is fun and promising if I want to change directions! I would love to find a better balance between them for sure and would like to produce more content. It does get hard to fit them in and find time for my other committements which at this time are making me money.

    That being said, I do try and not let my reviews be boring to read. I feel like in a majority of them my personality shines through and my readers appreciate that.

    I haven’t really changed though so if you didn’t read me before I wouldn’t expect you to now. :)
    .-= Emilie´s last blog ..Canvas Press Photo to Canvas {Spring Event Review & Giveaway #43} =-.

  16. says

    I am just getting into blogging and I wanted to put healthy related items on it.
    Do reviews and giveaways too. I am also a member of “The Product Review Place” and a bunch of the members are trying to get followers. Well people started to follow, but since I haven’t done any giveaways, they unfollowed me. I made my blog so I could get extra entries on other blog giveaways at the beginning. Well I got my first real giveaway coming up next week, but what I have noticed is that if you don’t do giveaways people don’t want to follow you. What you wrote about is really true.

  17. says

    I can’t help but feel like this post speaks directly to me. Not saying you were writing about me but it sounds like something I would say to myself. (yes, I talk to myself)

    I try to find a balance in the topics I choose to write about but sometimes it gets a bit lopsided on one category (mainly reviews/giveaways). And then of course I feel guilty for devoting so much time to that over my personal blogging/recipes. But the truth is, I can’t please everyone, never could, never will. Whether I have one reader a day or a thousand a day, it doesn’t much matter to me because the I write for me. I’m sure I’ll lose readers bc of giveaways and I’m sure I’ll gain some because of recipes. There’s always that trade off going on when I write about so many different topics.
    .-= Cat – 3 Kids and Us´s last blog ..Picking Fresh Strawberries at Jefferies Orchard =-.

  18. says

    Yep, some of us that have been around the block a little while longer are at a different place as far as giveaways/reviews/doing stuff for free. Hopefully we can mentor new folks and help them understand that blogs are like other areas of life. The cow/blogger doesn’t have to give away the milk for free AND they do have interesting stuff to say without corporate influence.

  19. Lauralee Hensley says

    I’m not a blogger, just a reader and visitor of blogs. I like both types of blogs. Those with mostly reviews/giveaways and the ones with more content and substance. So, I think there is different strokes for different folks. I don’t read every review or enter every giveaway either, only those I am interested in. Even with the mostly content/substance blogs I can’t say I read every post, everyday. I tend to read the ones I’m interested in, on the days I have time. I will comment at times and at other times merely read. I wasn’t even on the computer yesterday because I’m fighting a killer tooth ache.
    I know I need to see a Dentist, but I don’t want a root canal and will need to find a Dentist that will simply let me get it pulled. The Dentist I have now will insist on a root canal, even if I say “No, pull-it.”
    Today I have tons of Tylenol and Ambesol going and so I thought I’d tried to get caught up on my email.
    Anyways, I got off the subject. I think each blogger has to do what’s right for him or her and I have to say I like the way you do your blog. I think you do a great job. I love reading about your boys and the horses etc.., so keep up the great work.

  20. says

    What a great post. You know, I am on the cusp of making changes at my blog, and I find myself looking down the review/giveaway road and thinking “at least I get something out of it”. It’s not the road I really want. I want more, but am unsure of how to get there.

    Blogging is a good outlet and I appreciate your point-of-view. It is helping me think about what I want to be remembered by.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Randomness and Butterflies =-.

  21. says

    I think there’s room for both. As you said, if you want to be a review blog, that’s all good; but if you want to blog/write more reflective content, don’t let yourself get so caught up in the review side, that the personal posts are all too rare. I agree.

    As a reader, I only have so much time for the personal-reflections type of reading and I do have a few favorite blogs for that.

    As a reader who loves contests, I subscribe to a ton of review and giveaway blogs and I scan them to see if there is anything interesting.

    If I had to choose between the two……. honestly, it would be difficult. Thankfully I don’t have to choose and there are both! Viva la Review Blog!
    .-= Kelly from Kelly’s Lucky You´s last blog ..Build A Beautiful Blog Week Giveaway – MommyDoodlesDesign.com =-.

  22. says

    It is so interesting that you wrote this post. I have been thinking a lot about where my blog is going and what want to do with it. I am so excited to hear about the new site you are launching, I can not wait to see it.
    .-= 1stopmom´s last blog ..Her first Brewer’s game =-.

  23. says

    Amen! The Party Planning Professor has standards. I was told I was wrong for trying to help other bloggers “not give the milk away for free” . I felt like I was smacked for sticking up for them. Glad to see I am not the only one.

  24. says

    I do agree with you, but lately all my blog has become is one big advertisement, and giveaway. I’m torn, I don’t know what direction to take. Hopefully my mind will start producing more interesting, encouraging, and entertaining content. Thanks for the reminder! :)
    .-= Liz´s last blog ..Let Yourself Breath With Breeze Comfort =-.

  25. says

    It is the truth. I am in this category of of giveaways but I am trying to take over this niche by building a gaming community and showing people all these bloggers with giveaways.

    I stumbled upon sweepsadvantage and seeing what websites are linking to it and was dumbfounded on how many blogs in the mother niche were linking to it and they like you are saying giveaways blogs.

    I can see how it will be real hard to get away from the giveaways if this is how people are getting great traffic from it. The other route you are saying is being authentic. Well being authentic will take time to build up your readers and make some good money. So I can see how it is hard.
    .-= Brian P´s last blog ..Check Out These Free Giveaways! =-.

  26. says

    What a great article! I found you through Jennifer James (always the source of “great reads”). I am a fairly new blogger, still looking for ways to make more money, but my blog is ALL about my writing and I plan to keep it that way. Please come and visit (shameless plug). I would like to be blogfriends with you. :-)

  27. says

    This reminds me of the age old debate who is the better mom the one who stays home or the one who works? You’d think we reached a point in our ‘female evolution’ where this ‘debate’ would just plain be deemed ridiculous, right?

    Not all bloggers wish to have their blog read as ‘online diary’.

    A blog that reads as a diary is not ‘better’ written. Your day at the piggly wiggly is no more Shakespeare than someone’s review of XYZ company’s widget du jour is.

    Not all female bloggers are ‘moms’.

    Many blogs have holiday buying guides, if you went to visit one while they had more giveaways than their norm, your results are skewed. That doesn’t make them a ‘giveaway blog’.

    It’s bad enough that companies and PR reps will decide if we are worthy of them or worse, pigeon hole us, can’t bloggers come together as a community and support one another or at minimum respect our different perspectives without throwing up labels?

    ‘mom blogs’ (or can we just say plain blogs) to some degree have become the consumer reports of this century, there is enormous power in that, just be sure to wield it wisely!
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..Win a Fathers Day Grand Meat and Cheese Basket from 1800baskets.com! =-.

  28. says

    I just came across this post via the Mom Bloggers Club, and I have to say that I’ll be one of your newest followers as result. :-)

    I’ve followed a lot of blogs over the past few months and have ended up un-following quite a few. I guess we are all looking to get different things out of this experience. For me, it’s about the stories, the support, etc. Being a parent and a military spouse is a definite challenge for me, and I’m looking to realize that I’m not alone in those challenges.

    When I follow a blog and discover that it’s nothing but reviews and giveaways… I end up being really quite disappointed.

    So, yes… we’re all looking for different things from this experience. I understand this, but really have to agree with you on this matter.
    .-= Dawna´s last blog ..Weight Loss Wednesday and Mom Sexy Updates =-.

  29. says

    Lori – but don’t you think that this is part of the exploration process? I remember my pre-teen and teenaged years very well. I also remember some of the not so great as well as wonderful decisions that I made during that time that eventually became a part of who I am today.

    It’s the same with blogging. We need to explore the various avenues if we are to find our home (the place that is comfortable for us). I actually find it INTERESTING to see how others are exploring their blogging options. Just like growing from a pre-teen to an adult, these things take time. I’m going to bet that in the end there will be a lot of well rounded bloggers…they (we) just have to go through some growing pains.
    .-= Zippy´s last blog ..Join us tomorrow night on #couchritics =-.

  30. says


    I felt for a while I was the only one who was seeing all of these fabulous blogs turning into review blogs…. not that review blogs arent fabulous– but why does everyone have to go there? I love reading real life- blog posts that I can relate to.

    I have limited and cut back my reviews/giveaways a lot! I only “review” if it is a product I could see raving about to my real life friends and try to work it into a narrative if I do review- instead of the reg. old’- “And this product retails for:… and features include…blah blah blah”

    PS- I am loving the new look! :)

  31. says

    Wow, this seemed to generate a lot of talk. I really thought the post was good. I agree, people do get lost in the review/giveaway thing. I have found myself getting there a time or two. I sometimes find that I don’t know what else to blog about on a day to day basis. Yes, I live with 3 Crazy Monkey’s (hence the name of the blog) but don’t always believe we are that fascinating to always blog every little thing. I started this blog to write about our journey through life, for my family when we moved. Being away from family and all, it was the easy to keep everyone updated. I still like to do that… with a bit of thrown in things here and there. But in the end… I think so far I have kept a pretty good balance. I hope I can continue!
    By the way… love your blog.
    .-= Monica´s last blog ..Bears…. oh my!!! =-.

  32. says

    I totally agree with you! There have been some terrific blogs out there in the past that I don’t pay any attention to any more. They were the reason that I started my blog in the first play. While I do want to grow my blog, I don’t want to do nothing by reviews. I love writing about our new life in our farm. Why would I want to lose that in amongst nothing but reviews. I think those who do could find a balance if that’s what they want to do. It doesn’t have to be one way or the other. OK – lack of sleep has me babbling.

    BTW – I love your blog and I’ve now subscribed to it! Keep up the great work!
    .-= Steph´s last blog ..Recipe: Grilled Pizza =-.

  33. says

    I’m so glad you wrote this post, I have been thinking this very thing for a while now. I have done a review or two but they don’t come naturally so the posts usually fall flat. I’ve noticed that more and more bloggers are doing reviews and giveaways and if I stop by I usually leave before anyone notices me.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Talking to Myself =-.

  34. says

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I keep reading ways to monetize your blog is do to reviews and giveaways, and in my heart I don’t want to do that and in turn feel like I’m failing. My head is full of meaningful and heartfelt posts that are dying to get out and I write what flows out at the time. Publishing those type of posts is what I want to do, and THANK YOU for saying that’s ok.
    .-= Sherry´s last blog ..A Time to Remember =-.

  35. says

    I want to be remembered as a girl who showed her love for God, her husband and children by capturing the (seemingly) minute and “mundane” in pictures.
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..Bubbles =-.

  36. says

    For the reason you mentioned above, I decided to create a separate review blog. I know people are still interested in reviews/giveaways, but they were taking over my blog. The transition has been slow and companies still want me to review on my old blog, but slowly and surely I’m getting them moved. I want my other blog back to the way it was and have it more personal again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    .-= Mimi´s last blog ..Texas Roads by Cathy Bryant =-.

  37. says

    i get tired of going to blogging event and the blogging expert panel were 80% straight review bloggers, who were supposedly representing mom bloggers to a room full of pr people. that made me sad — 80% of mom bloggers are not review bloggers, they’re like me, just sharing bit of my life and enjoying the community of blogging – and occasionally working with companies when the right opportunity comes along.
    i don’t read review blogs (even though two very good friends have very successful ones). i have no problem with blogs running occasional reviews/giveaways, but i’m not going to stick around if thats all you do!
    good luck with your new venture!!
    .-= melissa´s last blog ..god protected my baby and my sanity =-.

  38. Neatha says

    I stumbled across you blog via a newsletter and this post made me happy. I get aggravated when a blogs I follow post review/giveaways one after another till the become almost endless. Don’t get wrong I love a good review every now and then and giveaways can be great but I want some content to. I have done some on my blog but I stay true to why I am blogging and that is to be personal, to share accomplishments and downs and if people follow me great…if not well then my real goal was never to impress my readers rather to get everything off my chest. But when I do get asked to do a review if it is something I really like the sound of then I will do it. If not then I won’t. What is the point of a review if it’s biased because the blogger got something free or unbiased to the point that you don’t tell people what you honestly think? Absolutely none. So hats off to you for standing up for what a lot of us think.
    .-= Neatha´s last blog ..Siblings by blood =-.

  39. says

    Very Interesting Post!

    I have been blogging since 2005 and still trying to figure out which “box” my blog should fit into.

    Thank You for giving us food for thought.

  40. says

    I enjoyed this post, I agree with you 100%. I have to admit when I first started doing a blog it was for family and then I wanted to try to do reviews and giveaways or make money or at the least get free stuff but I never ventured into it, just never got offers. Now I’m so glad because my blog is about me and my readers and if I do a giveaway (which is maybe 2 times a month) it’s something that I buy with my own money for my readers. Something I think they will get use out of like gift cards or something I make for them. I want it to be about the relationship and friendship so I treat them like I do my real life friends. I visit them often, comment often, and support them, in return they give that to me and that to me is worth so much more than a free bbq set to review. Thanks for this post.

  41. says

    You put it so succinctly – thank you. Shortly after I started blogging I was contacted by CSN to do a review/giveaway. I was surprised at what an internal struggle this presented for me. On one hand, I knew it would help grow my blog, but at the same time I felt like I’d be “selling out.” Anyhoo, I am content with my decision to pass on their offer and your post just reaffirmed that for me. Thanks for sharing!

  42. says

    I think I found your article through Mom’s Blogger Club (I think), which I’m actually thinking of unjoining for this very reason. I initially went there to connect with other moms who had similar interests that I do (graphic design, simple living, encouraging art with their kids). Instead I got crazy people who never visited my blog come and tell me to check out their review. There are a couple of mom’s that have turned into reviewers since I first visited their site & I seriously unsubscribed because I think it is lame. I don’t even trust their reviews since I know they are doing it to get a freebie or make money. I don’t have any sort of ads on my blog, not to say I never will, but I’ve been so turned off by review mom bloggers that I’m holding off. On the other hand, I do love a giveaway if its out of the blue from one of my regular reads. Most of the time then it is something that interests me too. Great post! :-)
    .-= . tiny twist creative . ´s last blog ..simple toys =-.

  43. says

    Great post! I don’t read the ones that are constantly reviewing/giving away. In fact, I’ve been turning away from more and more blogs lately because of it. I read MANY blogs and I’ve been blogging my life since 2007. I don’t have a big following and I don’t make money from it. I’m totally cool with that. That’s not why I’m doing it.

  44. says

    Everyone follows blogs for a different reason. I follow some because the writers are interesting. I follow some BECAUSE OF the great reviews/giveaway. Why? Because I like to find out about new products and I love to enter giveaways. I’ve been entering sweepstakes as a hobby for years and I love to enter on blogs since the odds are so good. I like to host reviews and giveaways, too. To each his own…

  45. says

    I love this post. I am so glad Mommy Bloggers sent you my way! All this craziness of reviews and giveaways. It is tiring at times and I have quit following many people who went down that road. I even question having ads on my site because that even takes away from my blog. Then I failed:) I did a review/giveaway for an author recently. I hated it. I think if I ever did reviews I will keep it separate from my main space. I want people there because they like me, not the product. BUT I may just feel that way because I received no money:)!!!
    .-= Mariah´s last blog ..Take me out to the ballgame =-.

  46. says

    I was so overwhelmed to read my thoughts put down in writing. This review and giveaway orgy had gotten out of control. I really doubt whether anybody reads anything anymore. The noise in Momblogging sphere had become unbearable. Giveaway, more giveaway and some more giveaway. Moms “like” and “fun” each other on FB, follow each other’s blogs for the traffic purposes, but does anyone actually read anything? Waves of hectic promotional activities sweep over portals, forums and blogging platforms. Traffic, traffic, traffic, followers, followers… I am just wondering, whether this crazy activity is the sign of an end of mom blogging phenomenon?

  47. says

    Enjoyed your post. Gave me food for thought. I’ve been blogging for a while now and I must admit that trends seem to come and go. Great bloggers fall by the wayside and new ones take their place. It’s really hard to have that herd mentality. It takes a smart sheep to make their own choices- whether that is to review/giveaway or not.
    I wonder if people are more cautious about privacy now than we were earlier so those personal posts are harder to have out there?
    Thanks for keeping it real.

  48. says

    To say a blog isn’t good quality anymore because the writer has decided to switch gears and go to more reviews/giveaways is a poor statement. A lot of those writers still write about their family within those posts too.

    There is no right way to blog, and there is a place for everyone in the blogosphere.

    So why the exact attack on review/giveaway bloggers? Review/Giveaway bloggers don’t do posts about non review bloggers, so why the other way around?

    I’m just curious. I do reviews/giveaways and have been trying to get more personal posts in when I have time (I also work full time). I don’t think any less of other bloggers out there who are posting all of the time about reviews/giveaways. I read what I want to read and move on if I don’t want to read. I don’t do a post drawing a line and casting them out like the Salem Witch trials.

    I do look forward to your new launch. I am interested in the changes you are going to make.

  49. says

    Last month I finally decided once and for all to stop doing reviews and even giveaways on Table for Five and take it back to being a personal blog. It was scary but you know what I found? All the PR people I regularly work with totally understood! I just reply to the emails with the URL and stats for MomReviews.

    I think a lot of mom bloggers are doing the same thing, getting back to the blog they started in the first place, a blog to post photos of their kids and tell funny stories. I’m curious though – if companies are asking you to refer them to other bloggers, aren’t they looking for bloggers who post reviews? Or are these companies looking for bloggers to partner with no matter what blog they post the information on? just curious.

    Anyway, I really, really hope you’ll come back to reading Table for Five. I’m working really hard on making it great again :)

  50. says

    I agree, that’s why I ended up dropping my successful Confessions of a Housewife blog about a year ago, I had gone from a ‘blogger’ to a commercial, and I hated it- I had sold out and it was eating me alive. I finally just quit and although I regret it when I see some of the neat products people get to review now, I am happy with my decision.
    .-= Eve´s last blog ..Quick Thank You to Some Bloggy Buddies =-.

  51. says

    Please don’t judge all of us harshly. I don’t blog about my life because frankly, I don’t have one. My kids are grown and because of my MS I spend about 80% of my time in bed. My husband works 24-hr shifts so I spend a lot of time alone. Too much.

    I love to blog because it lets me escape my real world and I blog about what I know, which includes reviews. I’m long past potty training stage, school issues, etc., and quite frankly no one listens to older moms when it comes to raising kids. Why is a whole ‘nother post.

    Just a thought.
    .-= Connie´s last blog ..June Is Home Safety Month — Be Safe With First Alert & The Lehigh Group Products — Enter to Win! =-.

  52. says

    An interesting post. I’ve never been a product reviewer, just a mom blogger and writer. I started my blog to help hone my writing skills, so I tend to blog about life in general. It wasn’t until I joined Mom Bloggers Club and a couple of other “mom” sites that I realized how many mom bloggers were out there–and how many were into product reviewing.

    I do find that I’m drawn to blogs that I can relate to in “real life.” But I also can appreciate book and product reviews as well, they can be helpful. And even though I don’t have any interest in doing that, I’m glad someone is willing to!

  53. victoria lester says

    A Cowboy’s Wife, I enjoyed reading your input on blogs. I would have to agree that the giveaways may play a key roll in why people visit blogs. I read some but some I visit primarily because they have a massive giveaway. Thanks for sharing your blog thoughts today. :)

  54. says

    I am so with you on this one. I’m from new Zealand and the money-making blog sensation hasn’t really hit us here because we are so small; but I get so put off when I come across blogs that ar nothing but reviews and giveaways.
    I write my blog as a reflection of me, and my writing voice. I hope to become a “real” (published?) writer sometime and so my blog is perfect for getting instant feedback about what I’m writing. It’s also a precious way to connect with real women all over the world.
    I have been approached by a few companies emailing me to request a product review: I have turned them all down. I’m just not a review site and I don’t hope to make money from my blog.
    I hope you might come by and visit me – I promise, there are no reviews in sight :)
    Luv from Simone
    in Auckland, New Zealand
    .-= Simone´s last blog ..Crinkly Squishy Cracked Warm =-.

  55. says

    I do giveaways and reviews, but only about 2 per month. I like writing. That’s why I have a blog! I’ve been blogging a long time (since 2005), and I’m definitely not a pro-blogger, but I do enjoy that some people like to come and read what I write. I do the occasional review when it’s a product I can truly endorse. But mostly, I just like to put little bits and pieces of myself and my thoughts. I have seen some great blogs go to straight reviews/giveaways/pay-per-posts, and I don’t enjoy reading them anymore. I like to enter giveaways, but I don’t spend a lot of times on blogs where it’s obvious they are only including a certain link to be paid. Kinda takes the fun outa things.
    .-= Forgetfulone´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.

  56. says

    You never know which of those bloggers might be where you were in the early days of your blog, though, who might yet realize their potential and blow your socks off. I hope you periodically check in to see if times have changed.

    I have only ever done one review blog, and it is hard sometimes to pour out my heart for absolutely no feedback. Sometimes it’s lonely in the cybersphere. Such is life, I guess.

    Great post!
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..Checking in from Living Life =-.

  57. says

    Great post, and too true. I think that the whole giveaway/review thing is tempting like fame – people give you stuff! And send you places! And make you feel special!
    I realized the pull towards this last year and make an absolute limit to myself – never ever do more than one giveaway a week, and try to do less. It’s been a good rule, and it’s helped me stay true to the reason that I started blogging: because I loved to write. Not sell products.

  58. says

    Wow! I’m so upset by what you wrote. I have been reading you for a long time and have been OR rather was a huge fan. I am deeply disappointed by your post and I feel as if you are saying someone like me who does do reviews and giveaways isn’t worth reading and that’s not fair for you to judge.

    I have several blogs but my main one is the one where I post everything from reviews on movies I love, tv shows I watch, baby products, and yes silly pics of my kids and how much I love them. What is wrong with product reviews?

    Most of us use the internet and if I see a product worth representing or a giveaway I want to share and feel my readers should know about, I blog it. We don’t get paid diddly for what we do, except maybe a free product here and there and going commercial isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. Blogging a review or giveaways is hard work, promoting, sharing with others and posting on it in your own words with a passion you want to share with your readers.

    I’d like to feel that although I do giveaways and reviews my readers also enjoy how I feel about raising my kids, a son with CP, special needs, a pre-teen, life with a mental illness, goofy family trips and more.

    You’ve lost me as a reader. I’m sorry and sad. I understand your need to change and good for you but to bash review and product blogs isn’t the way to go out. Is that how you want to be remembered online?

    Ask yourself this also: If your business was a small business that sold baby shoes and you wanted to share that passion with the world wouldn’t you want someone to review the product and get it out there so you could be successful. You are lying if you say no. Everyone wants to feel proud of what they do, who they represent, write from their heart and feel passionate about life. That includes some fantastic review and product giveaway mom bloggers I know of Like Erica Emm for Yummy Mummy.

    What you wrote in this post is a shame! A shame because you are judging.
    .-= JP @ Rants n’ Rascals´s last blog ..baby safe travel rocks for vacationing mums and dads =-.

    • A Cowboy's Wife says

      I’m afraid you’ve completely misunderstood my post. And clearly your attitude is leaving no room for adult conversation so I’ll just say this. My post was referring to people who once wrote about their families and life only and then turned into review/giveaway blogs only. Not people who have always wrote about reviews/giveaways or people who write about both.

      I’m sorry you took it wrong but I”m more sorry that you are so quick to JUDGE ME!

  59. says

    I haven’t misunderstood you. Again YOU ARE THE ONE judging by saying I cannot have an adult conversation when all I did was voice my own opinion on your post and my dislike for it.

    You stated: My post was referring to people who once wrote about their families and life only and then turned into review/giveaway blogs only. Not people who have always wrote about reviews/giveaways or people who write about both.

    So in other words those who made the transfer from family to review and giveaway blogs don’t deserve to be visited and you are bashing them, but not people who write both reviews and giveaways and family life????

    That’s judgmental my dear. I don’t care what you call it.

    Here is what you wrote that bothered me most:

    I do feel as a person, I’m more than the constant reviews and giveaways and want my blogs to reflect that. Heck, I even felt bad about posting three giveaways back to back awhile ago and apologized to my readers.
    If you want to do reviews and giveaways nonstop that’s your business, but I’m finding that those very two things are what’s driving me away from your blog, you, and keeping me from referring you to companies. Not that it matters because judging by a few things I see these days, companies are working with pretty much anyone, no matter the quality of them as a person or their blog.

    (In other words what they do holds no integrity)??? Nice.

    If you don’t see how that is judging and bashing these bloggers who choose to do this and that you could not have written this better, worded it differently instead of putting them down. Well that’s why I said what you wrote is a shame.

    I am an adult. I have my own opinions. If you don’t want people commenting on your posts then don’t title it why I don’t read or refer your blog and expect not to get a different opinion from someone who very much disagrees.
    .-= JP @ Rants n’ Rascals´s last blog ..mcdonald’s massive recall of shrek tainted glasses =-.

    • says

      I am not sure why you are so upset, JP. This post was just one woman’s opinion of review blogs. It doesn’t mean that your blog has been personally attacked, that your blog is inferior, etc. It is just one person’s honest reason as to why she doesn’t read pure review blogs, and good for her and her honesty. I have had many, many people tell me that they don’t read my political posts, either because the find them boring, they don’t agree with me politically, or because I am just wrong. It doesn’t make me a bad writer, unworthy of owning a blog. It simply means that my blog doesn’t have universal appeal. Chances are, those people aren’t referring my blogs to others, and I am fine with that, too.

      What I think she was trying to say, underneath it all, is that purely review blogs give little insight into the blogger, leaving the audience with little insight into who they are and what they are about. Referring a blogger who does purely reviews, with no insight into THEM, doesn’t make sense.

      The analogy I would make is this: would you refer your neighbor for a job, just because he or she is your neighbor and for no other reason, knowing nothing about him or her, knowing that your own reputation and credibility would be at stake if that person then turned around and stole from the company? No one would, and I think that is what she is saying about reviews here. You might take it as a personal attack, and continue to let it bother you, or you can simply accept the fact that not everyone loves review blogs, AND THAT IS OKAY, but then be very appreciative for the people who do read your blog. Many, many people don’t have the blessing of an audience at all. Those are the people we write for. Worrying about those who don’t read our blogs is an exercise in futility that will only leave you exhausted when, at the heart of it all, lies the fundamental precept, “To each his or her own.” Well, that, and “Live and Let Live,” but you get the idea.
      .-= Caroline´s last blog ..Checking in from Living Life =-.

  60. says

    I do understand your view of review/giveaway blogs. When I started blogging I didn’t even know about that side of mom blogs until six months later, I had a few readers and a base of great articles – mostly about health, green parenting, and non-toxic lifestyle. When I first became interested in reviews and giveaways I was pretty excited because as a SAHM without a steady income, I simply could not afford many things for my daughter. Even necessities like a car seat. I continue to write the same type of articles, and the reviews/giveaways that I do now are aligned with our green parenting beliefs – not just random products pitched to me. I don’t take everything just because it is free. My readers know that we are very particular about the products and companies we review!
    I do roll my eyes, I admit, at review/giveaway blogs that seem to pick up everything that’s pitched to them, even things that seem completely worthless. It makes others think that just because my blog has some reviews/giveaways, it is just like all the others. I try hard to set it apart with quality posts!
    .-= Anastasia B´s last blog ..Little Soles Shoes Review and Giveaway =-.

  61. says

    Very honestly written, and I easily see your point. There’s this guy I respect, great guy matter of fact, but every single post of his is a sales post. There’s nothing to discuss, nothing to respond to, because it’s sales 24/7. Of course, his opinion is that he’s only blogging to make money; I can understand that. My purpose for reading blogs is to learn something new and engage the writer; if there’s absolutely none of the engaging part coming, then I’m going.
    .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Customize Your Google Page; There’s A Caveat Though… =-.

  62. Lucy says


    I’ve just stumbled across this blog but I just wanted to say thanks for this post- I think its really brave to say. I’m new to the world of blogs, and started i suppose a little naive about the commercial nature of it, not realising people got paid to do giveaways and reviews. I’ve actually deleted a couple of blogs from my rss feeds this week because I just found the endless competitions and reviews getting in the way of what I’m reading for- recipes, ideas and musings on all areas of life! If I wanted giveaways and reviews (reviews being particuarily irritating for someone reading blogs based in the usa/australia when they live in the uk) then I would buy a magazine!

    I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Lucy :-)

  63. says

    I have been saving this to read for some time because I wanted to see if ‘Ethel’ and I were unwittingly keeping the masses away for some reason.

    I was glad to read you do NOT like review/giveaway blogs, because in our 2-1/2 years, we’ve had 3. The first was because it seemed everyone else was doing it, and as greenhorns, we figured we’d have a fun one while ‘Ethel’ was on a trip out west. It was mostly a dud :) The second and third times were last month and were personal – giveaway of a book I wrote and another of the book and CDs done by my mother. Again, nothing spectacular in the way of response, although the ones who won were appreciative. We don’t visit giveaway blogs, either, although if I happen upon a review of something that interests me, I’ll at least try to skim it.

    Since ‘Ethel’ and I switched to WordPress (thanks – I think! – to my daughter’s web design assignment), I don’t know who’s reading, and while it would be nice to know that SOMEone was, we’re carrying on for ourselves. We enjoy doing it and LOVE the connections we’ve made. Some have been amazing.

    We will continue to do giveaways in the future, but they’ll be few in number and personal in some way.


  64. says

    I try to do only a limited of reviews & giveaways on my blog and in keeping with items that reflect what I’m about. And honestly? I’d rather see a loyal reader of my blog win so I rarely go out there and “link it” all over the universe. I’d rather my giveaways benefit a reader than provide me with temporary traffic spikes.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  65. says

    I try to avoid the review, sponsored posts, and giveaway blogs. My time is limited is too valuable to wade through review posts looking for something interesting to read!

  66. says

    I liked your post. I too find that I am turned off by a blog that has a ton of reviews. I have only done a few and only one I was asked to do. The few things that I review are because they are items (usually homeschool curriculum) that we actually use and has beneficial to our family.

    I have been tempted to do the whole review thing just to draw in readers but that is never what I wanted my blog to be about. So I try to remain content with those that do contribute to my blog.