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! 😀 ). 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.
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 🙂
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 🙂
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.