I sometimes write reviews of products or books I’ve been sent for free. I will always write an honest review and, if I have been sent the product or book for free (or been paid to review it) I will disclose this.
I do take sponsored posts, though only those that I feel fit OK with my own ideas and principles (so, as an example, I’m definitely going to turn down any sponsored posts to promote the Tory party or meat, and probably won’t be writing anything for formula companies).
I’m particularly open to writing about reading and food and cooking, but you can ask about other products and services, too. No baby stuff any more, though – the girls are 7 and 4 and I don’t like anything overly girlie. Very happy to review toy cars and dinosaurs and so on – wouldn’t touch a Bratz doll with a barge pole.
I receive 50-100 PR emails a day, and I definitely do not have time to read all of them. You have to really catch me in the subject line, unless you’re a PR person I know well and have worked with, in which case I’ll read your emails regardless. I’m particularly open to fiction (momlit, crime and thrillers, general contemporary fiction, as well as parenting and children’s books). There’s very little point in just sending me a press release and saying you hope I’ll blog about it – if you send me a press release and then a further email a week later asking me why I haven’t blogged about it, I might well block your emails. Sorry, but I run a business and have a family – my blog is just a hobby, where I make a little money to pay for stuff I’d feel guilty about buying otherwise.
If you need things sent back to you, I will require prepaid envelopes or courier collection. And I’m unlikely to take on many reviews where I don’t get to keep the item.
I’m also open to special ongoing brand relationships, but again you need to catch my eye in the subject line of the email, as I receive far too many approaches every day to go through them all.
Blogging with integrity
I will always mention any affiliation, sponsorship or just free products I have received when posting about anything related. If I review something, I will do it with utmost honesty. If I hate something, I will say so. If I love something I will say so. And I’ll also probably blather on at length about the stuff in between. I will absolutely never accept money to post positive reviews – whether I receive an item for free, buy it myself or am paid to test and review something, I will always give my unbiased opinion. If you send me something to review, you risk my not liking it and saying so. If you read a review, you can be absolutely certain that it contains my opinion – whether that opinion would be the same as yours is a whole different matter, of course!
The form of disclosure will vary from post to post, but may include the following: ‘Commissioned Feature’, ‘Commissioned Article’, ‘Sponsored Post’, ‘Advertorial’, ‘In Association With…’ I aim to reserve the term ‘Guest Post’ for posts invited from others and that are free of any charge, in either direction (e.g. other bloggers writing about a particular topic).
Parent governor role
Although I am a parent governor at my local school, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and certainly do not represent school policy. And I will never use any confidential or sensitive information gained in my position within this blog or elsewhere.