Writing Product Reviews on Your Blog is SO Weird

Guys, it’s 2015, is it really still worth your time to review products on your blog or has it become totally passé? When you want an honest opinion, do you read bloggers or go straight the reviews on a website?

This post will to dive into this topic and debate whether it’s really worth it to write product reviews anymore or not.

Do you still write product reviews on your blog? Read this to find out if it's really worth your time or not.

Product reviews are the bread & butter for most bloggers. I know because I am one! For me, it’s been a great way to connect with new brands, try out cool things, and then tell the internet just what I’m thinkin’.

But recently I’ve felt very indifferent on this topic so let’s explore that…

What’s the big deal about reviews?

Blogging is a business and part of that business is getting monetary compensation in exchange for writing reviews about different companies.

In a world where writing a review is as easy as having a Yelp account, why are bloggers getting paid to write about these things on their blogs?

A reader might not know what entirely goes into the making of a single product review on a blog. Most of the time, bloggers get paid and are given writing prompts beforehand from the company to ensure they get a positive review. While it’s stressed that they should be honest, very rarely do you read poor reviews on a blog, right?

Bloggers Under Pressure

As a blogger, there is a certain pressure to perform for the company, especially when a paycheck is involved. No matter how awful a product is, your job is to sell your audience on it even if that means pulling out positives from thin air.

Though, if you’re following a good blogger then they want your trust and will do whatever they can to only review products that align with their values. Even so, what if the product disappoints them after they’ve already invested so much into a review? Then what?

Would they still write the same review, be that good or bad, if the company sent them a product for free without compensation? Do you think they would write something negative even if meant severing the relationship they built with a company?

Bloggers and YouTubers are kind of our new celebrities (this video sums up my thoughts perfectly!) and their voices hold a lot of power. They wouldn’t lie to us, right?

Should we trust strangers?

When you’re shopping online, chances are there is column of reviews left by real customers who’ve bought the product. These reviews are almost always brutally honest and maybe even a little comical.

The problem is, these are faceless people you’ve never met! For all you know, they could be internet trolls who are out to confuse your shopping habits.

Because of the anonymity of those reviews, you’ll likely feel more comfortable getting product recommendations from your trusted internet influencers whom you already have a long standing relationship with. Which if you do that.. you’ll be right back where we started in this post.

So WHY do you write product reviews?

Where do you stand on the blogger vs. anonymous product reviews? Is it better to trust the review of a blogger you know and love? Or is it better to take the unpaid opinion of an anonymous stranger on a company website? Do you think we shouldn’t question the ways of the internet?

These are the big questions and I’d love for you to sound off in the comments below!

P.S. If you’re a blogger yourself, please be careful about what you endorse. People like me are counting on you!

catch-upBLOGLOVINTWITTER | FACEBOOK | TUMBLR | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
  • I think there’s a way of doing it that’s honest, creative, and not boring, but many aren’t sure how. Some posts are for sure getting passe but others are actually engaging. Most bloggers are good writers before they are great pr/marketing people so I can see how it happens. Good topic for discussion, Hannah!

    • So true! I kind of nerd out when I read a sponsored post and it’s written so well in the voice of the author that I’d never guess they were paid to write it. Good reviews are truly an art form.

  • I’ve yet to receive anything for free or get paid to review an item but I would probably be interested in doing it if I liked the item being offered, etc. I can’t help but be honest, though. When I review an item I bought for myself, if something is weird about it or it fits odd somewhere, etc, I have to share that. I tend to be a very blunt person (as my friends tell me haha) so it’d be hard for me to fluff a piece simply because I was getting paid to do so!

    A good example would be the Dress of the Month Club from UV. For awhile, I took part in the club and featured each dress on the blog. Part of me hesitated to bash their zipper quality but I couldn’t help but share after one of the dresses got stuck ON me and we had to break the zipper to get me out of it. Info like that SHOULD go to the buyers. They should know! UV uses terrible zippers. It’s just a fact. I would feel weird omitting that fact and acting like my dress was perfect. haha

    saralilyphoto.blogspot.com

    • I’m glad you said something. It’s interesting to know there’s a struggle to be honest even when you’re unsponsored. I think you’ll do great at sponsored reviews, if you ever should do one. 🙂

  • I think it’s fairly easy to point out when someone is “over-fluffing” a product. The first thing I do is check out their prices. If the piece they’re reviewing is way too much for what it’s worth, that’s an instant giveaway for me. I’m not paying $50 for a scarf or $500 for skincare. I recently watched a GRWM video on YT where this girl repetitively used Clinique products that looked completely staged and extremely “fake”, almost as if I was watching a Clinique ad on tv! It was so much so that it embarrassed me and I ALMOST gave it a thumbs down (I’ve never done that in my life!). Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be sponsored by big league beauty companies like L’oréal or CoverGirl or even Clinique, but I can’t be so easily bought just because I love their stuff. The YT girl knew as long as she gloats about Clinique, they’ll continue to send her more free stuff, in which she won’t have to pay for. She’s not losing anything. Her followers or people that rely on her reviews are the ones that suffer. They’ll be the ones that go out and buy the overly priced $50 moisturizer plus the $89 corrector concealer because “there’s nothing that works better and she totally can’t live without it.” If you think about it, there never really was a time where all reviews were 100% reliably honest. Back in 09 when online reviews started booming, bloggers were basically bowing to any company that gave them something for free, whether they truly loved the product or not. Not much has changed since then. Even now if you look closely at reviews on Amazon, you’ll see where people state “this product was sent to me free of charge for my opinion”. This makes me feel uneasy about buying the product, especially if it has ratings that are almost too good to be true!

    My motto? Don’t put your trust (or your wallet!) all in one blogger’s reviews just because you like him/her. Do your research. Watch 5 review videos on the same product from 5 different people. You’ll learn a lot about the product, plus you’ll get to enjoy or gouge your eyes out at some of the reviews!! Lol 😉

    • That is some solid advice, Lyndsey! Thanks for sharing your two cents on this post. You’re a wealth of info!

  • Hmmm, interesting post!! I think the blogging industry has sort of shifted from simple “reviews” to now producing content for the company. Do you see yourself doing this? I think its another interesting topic all on its own.

    Xx Taylor
    http://lightscameracatwalk.com

    • Yes, that is an interesting topic to explore! I see blogs viewing themselves as brands which then their content is shifting to appeal more to big brands & companies. So it does seem like a plain review just doesn’t cut it these days. Thanks for reading and leaving a thoughtful comment. 🙂