Simple Blogging Tips: It’s ok not to like everything and it’s ok to say so

by Paris B on · 23 comments

in Discussions,Simple Blogging Tips (for beauty bloggers),Tips

I haven’t had a lot of reason (nor time) to get on my blogging soapbox recently but I’m a little burnt out talking about makeup and skincare so I thought I’d make a little detour today (I was even soaking up info on car tyres recently, for a change of scene! icon biggrin Simple Blogging Tips: Its ok not to like everything and its ok to say so ). For those who are new, I like sharing some simple tips about blogging based on the experience I’ve garnered over the years and I like hearing about what you think too.

One of the things I’ve been asked is whether it’s alright to say you don’t like something that was given to you, or otherwise.

not like everything Simple Blogging Tips: Its ok not to like everything and its ok to say so

My answer has and always will be – why not?

There is no rule in blogging, whether about beauty or otherwise, that says that you need only say lovely things when writing a product review. Sure, it always come down to personal preferences, but I don’t see why personal thoughts and dislikes should be stifled in the hope of getting on the good side of a brand or PR person.

And this sharing of thoughts and opinions is, for me, what’s most important. It’s the whole essence of why blogs have become what they are – a repository of information. If you blog, do you ever feel a little conflicted about blogging about a product or service you did not like? Do you feel that you’d rather not write about it than say something that runs against the general raves?

As bloggers, the trick I think, is in how you put forward your opinions and your views about a product or service you dislike. There is no need to bash a brand or a product or say hurtful things that you may later regret.

Yet, I feel that as bloggers, who now have a little more social responsibility than before, we owe it to ourselves and to our readers to be honest. If a product fails to meet expectations or fails to perform as it claims to, we should be brave enough to say so.

Sometimes in the course of researching a product or brand, I come across 20 glowing reviews on it. But it will always be that 1 less than impressed review that has me thinking. Perhaps the person has a similar skin type to you. Perhaps they have a similar allergy you may have and in those situations, their thoughts and reasons of why a star product failed to work for them is very helpful to balance out the raves and put things in perspective.

Would it be callous to say something negative about a product that was given to you for review? Well, no if you go about it in a logical manner. I’ve met people who swear up and down about the efficacy of their product but when it fails in my hands, they turn on me because they can’t handle the truth that not every product works for everyone in the manner they expect. When that happens, I shut the book on that person/brand. There’s no point dragging it out longer than necessary.

Quite often, I find that the more outrageous the claims, the harder I am on a product to find out if it truly meets those claims and quite often, I am disappointed and I say so. I often feel that as much as I rave about products that work or that I love, I owe it to everyone to also share about products that I dislike or that didn’t work. Often, readers have shared glowing tales about a product I didn’t like and that can be very helpful to someone doing their research too. It always goes to show that there is no 1 product that works for everyone.

So as a reader, I like it when I get a mixed bag of reviews from blogs I read. It keeps me on my toes because I never know if that product will sit well with the blogger or otherwise and it’s always interesting to find out if it does, or if it does not, why not. As a blogger therefore, I hope to reflect the type of blogs I enjoy reading icon smile Simple Blogging Tips: Its ok not to like everything and its ok to say so

Bloggers, do you feel conflicted about writing a less than stellar product review? Readers, do you mind reading a less than glowing review about a popular product?

We discussed negative reviews once, where I shared some quick tips to bear in mind when writing a negative review. But today, I’m just saying that it’s ok for you not to like something and it’s ok to say so. If you’re afraid to say so for fear of alienating a brand or PR you’re working with then perhaps, you would have to consider your blogging priorities as I realise many people now blog full time as a job. If so, then maybe silence is the better part of valour. But otherwise, the beauty community thanks you for your honesty icon smile Simple Blogging Tips: Its ok not to like everything and its ok to say so

Paris B

Simple Blogging Tips are some simple tips I have for fellow bloggers, based on my own experiences. I’m no ‘guru’ but I hope they will help you. You may read up on previous Simple Blogging Tips here or please feel free to ask your question in the comment box or in email.

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[ 23 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Tine
Twitter:
May 30, 2014 at 9:47 am

Nope, not afraid to say if the product didn’t work for me. We can be tactful and professional in saying the product didn’t work for us without needing to bash it till Kingdom come. I think the problem a lot of bloggers face is how to say the provided product didn’t work for them at all without stepping on the PR’s toes. As long as you don’t get nasty about a product, most PRs welcome the the honest reviews because that’s what blogs are about (or at least, that’s what they should be). I’ve lost just a handful of brands I worked with because they couldn’t handle my negative feedback but that’s just a small handful. No worries, happy to buy my own s**t and not worry about the obligation anyway. :-)

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 11:12 am

Absolutely correct on all points, Tine! We should be adult enough to be critical without being nasty. I never see the point of being nasty and I can’t imagine why anyone would be. Like you, I haven’t lost a lot of PR relationships over a negative review but I’m gratified that some of them are so understanding that not every product is a stellar must-have. I know they’re disappointed when I don’t like something but they accept it and that’s the difference between maturity, knowing what to expect, and respect :) Oh and I much rather buy my own stuff. It’s just makeup and skincare, not like Birkins :P

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Tracy@Beauty Reflections May 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

You know me-if I don’t like it, I’ll say it. In my Tracy way hahaha. I’m too old for playing that game of I like everything! Because frankly, I just don’t!

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 11:13 am

Haha yes I know you Tracy and hats off to not putting up with any truck! :D We can’t like everything and the sooner people realise that, the better it will be for everyone. We need some honesty out here!

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Angelina May 30, 2014 at 10:57 am

Honesty is the best policy, to a certain extent. Don’t be too emotional when making a review. Some bloggers tend to praise some brands too much because 1. they are getting free products (and from premium brands with hefty price tags) 2. they are afraid that they might offend the brand (especially premium brands) if they were to give their real opinions 3. they look forward to more free products in future (they can deny all they want but the truth is, most love free products without spending a dime). I like honest reviews, irregardless of brands. I don’t rely on reviews only; I do my own research online and offline.

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 11:17 am

You’re absolutely correct on all points Angelina. Free stuff is nice but I think a true beauty junkie will buy stuff regardless of whether they get it free. So I’m a little leery sometimes when I see that some people don’t or hardly buy anything. It’s hard to be independent/objective that way when you have to depend on free products to run your blog LOL :) Most of us should do our own research, it’s the smart way :)

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Angelina May 31, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Hehe. I’ve seen (or rather, read) how some local bloggers would drop hints here and then on their blogs, asking for more free products. I also came across some who claimed on their blog and God knows where else that blogging is their passion, and the size of the product (provided by the brand) isn’t an issue. However, when a brand sends them sample size products, all hell breaks loose. Uh, so much for ‘blogging is my passion’. Last but not least, we do have countless pom-pom cheerleaders locally. Anything given to them free = it is amazing! They would however, mention that the price is high etc.

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 1, 2014 at 10:39 am

LOL I clearly don’t read enough local blogs or follow enough bloggers! :D So much drama eh? I always say that if people are truly passionate about something, you’d go all out to feed that passion and that usually means doing your own shopping :P

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lyn
Twitter:
May 30, 2014 at 11:03 am

If I don’t like it, I will say I don’t like it. I cannot be bothered if I’m not with the masses. But there’s no reason to curse and rant endlessly about something that didn’t work for you. It’s more helpful if the bad review is written constructively.

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 11:18 am

Absolutely, Lyn. Constructive criticism beats mindless rants although I rarely see rants these days. I think people are just walking on eggshells, hoping that glowing reviews will bring in the sponsors. Oh well, to each their own :)

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Kelly May 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Very well put. I appreciate your honesty as it really does help when deciding what products to purchase. I usually do a bunch of research before spending my money, so I rarely come across a product that I don’t care for. xo Kelly

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 11:20 am

Thanks Kelly, I think as bloggers, we owe it to ourselves and to our readers to be honest about our thoughts about products :) Not everything will work for everyone after all!

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Arpita May 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm

I don’t think it’s reasonable to suppress information for the sake of working with the company in the future. If your blog is truly worth reading, and you have the readership, these companies will pop up anyway. After all, there’s no such thing as bad press right? And to those who refrain from giving bad reviews because they do this on a full-time basis, all I can say is that maybe a change in career is in order.

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 11:22 am

Absolutely right Arpita, yet it happens a lot, this whole pom pom waving business. I’d prefer a little more critical input but then pom-pom cheerleaders do get more attention, locally anyway :)

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Sunny
Twitter:
May 30, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Hey Paris, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I agree with you. I think not being able to say you don’t like something actually diminishes your credibility as a blogger. I dislike it when someone loves everything and calls everything a must-have. It’s just impossible. If it’s a shade that’s not for me, I say maybe this will work better if you have a different skin tone. If it’s a formula that doesn’t perform too well, I say so. You can’t love everything equally, and I think the readers appreciate knowing about why something doesn’t work too well for you.
Sunny recently blogged…My Lashes Are Powered by Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara & Bottom Lash Mascara!My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 11:24 am

Hey Sunny, to an extent I’d agree with you. Being human, we can’t possibly like everything and as you have said, it’s helpful to point out that people of different skin tone or skin type may like a product we dislike because things like makeup and skincare are such personal things. It’s helpful to point out something that doesn’t work as it is to rave about a product that does :)

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Grace May 30, 2014 at 6:35 pm

You must have read my mind Paris!? I was thinking about the same topic today. I don’t have a blog so I am not bothered with PR people. My dilemma is that I wanted to start blogging/vlogging as a hobby. I do have a job in the skin care industry. I work on the management team. I don’t feel right to rave about other company’s skin care products in my blog/video then go back to ask my team to educate the customers to buy our products. I love the brand that I work for but it’s impossible to love everything in the brand. I don’t know if I should start on blogging/vlogging or just give up the idea all together. Any advice?

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 11:28 am

Hi Grace, I’ve been told I’m a mind reader LOL But seriously, you have an interesting question. As you work within the industry, I would check first if blogging/vlogging might be a conflict of interest, especially if you plan to talk about brands from competitors. Also, if it wasn’t an issue then a clear disclosure that you work for X brand would be important so you aren’t called out on it in the future, especially if you don’t like a competitor’s brand and they call you out for it. I”d say it’s quite a delicate balance and one that’s even more precarious in the situation you’re in. The alternative as some people have done is to do it anonymously or incognito so no one knows who you are or that you work within the industry. Ultimately though, it will be up to you how you’d like to disclose this fact and potentially face criticism from competitor brands, or whether your own company will allow it. I wouldn’t give up on the idea just yet, but it will definitely need some thought on how best to implement it so you maintain your credibility :) Good luck!

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Lana Ray May 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Nobody’s perfect… And its more so for makeup products. When I see a less than stellar review for a beloved product it makes me alert about the fact that the product might nott work out for me as well. Another thing is diversity in people. Nars Orgasm is so popular everywhere but does not suit Indian skintones well. Hence most Indian beauty bloggers have given it a bad rating. Such reviews help me avoid products that are not suitable to my skintone
Lana Ray recently blogged…To Fulfill All Your Glitter Cravings – Maybelline Color Show Glitter Mania All that GlittersMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 1, 2014 at 10:35 am

I absolutely agree with you Lana :) Nars Orgasm is such a good example of product with hype and yet people are sometimes afraid of saying it doesn’t work for them because it works for everyone else. What’s great about blogging is that we get to share our own opinions so this is when our personal dislikes can play a part to help others, because as you said, it may not suit everyone of a particular skin tone even! :D

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Joann June 2, 2014 at 7:47 am

Yeah, I have definitely mentioned products that have not worked for me. Also, if you end up reacting badly to the product, can’t really give it a good review.
Everyone’s skin is different. What works for someone, doesn’t necessarily work for someone else. I had an eye serum I tried, and it started to burn when I put it under my eyes. I stopped using the product after a few days, with the same results. Didn’t work for me. But I had read good reviews on it previously. That’s the risk with trying new makeup. Doesn’t matter how many positive reviews I may read. Once I read a couple of bad ones, I’m immediately more critical about the product.
Joann recently blogged…Kao – Essential Damage-Care Nuancy Airy Hair MaskMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 7, 2014 at 9:43 am

Oh yes, bad reactions can never equal a good review LOL! I have less issues about makeup. So far, its come down to personal preferences, but for skincare I’m always a little wary because we just never know what might irritate our skin!

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Kathy June 14, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Hi, I was so glad to see this article. I am a retired Nail Tech and decided to purchase a bottle of polish that had made the news as being a great nail polish (I even added a link to one of the articles on my site) After trying the product and not having such good luck with it, I felt like I should let my readers know my experience with the product. So I wrote an article about my not so great experience. I am more of a how to site and not a review site and was just wondering if it was ok to write the article and your article helped me to feel better about it. Thanks

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