Mummy MattersI have been blogging for 5 years now!  Whoa where did that time go?  Yes I started my blog to write about my new and growing family, about the issues we faced, our adventures and our woes.  Along the way, I started being approached by brands as is the case for many a blogger, some offers I accepted, some I declined graciously.  As the years passed I discovered that I could place advertising on my blog and started being approached for sponsored posts, posts which I have been paid to write and as a stay at home Mum, I accepted those posts to help to ‘put some money in the pot’ as it were.

When it comes to the great ‘blogosphere’ I don’t tend to get embroiled in too much of the politics, the bitching and backstabbing because to be quite honest if it doesn’t affect me, what’s the point?  But there is one argument which keeps rumbling on which is doing my flipping head in and thats the one where people keep thinking it’s ok to keep bitching about bloggers LIKE ME who choose to review, to attend events and to write sponsored posts so I’m going to have MY say.  It might not do me any favours but I’m fed up of sitting back and reading how all these ‘holier than thou’ bloggers ‘don’t just accept a box of cereals’ in exchange for a post, how they don’t ‘sell themselves out’ for a sponsored post and some pennies in the bank or those that laugh at people who say that blogging is their ‘job’.

In my 5 years of blogging, I have had the great pleasure to experience some great brands.  Brands that I wouldn’t ordinarily have had the opportunity to use with my family because they were out of my price range or because I might not have come across them in my day-to-day life.  If I hadn’t started my blog and worked with brands as I do, my family wouldn’t have had half of the life experiences that they have had.  I would never have considered going to Butlins for a family holiday before becoming a Butlins Ambassador because I was THAT SNOB who thought that Butlins was full of chavs but now we have been lucky enough to go twice as Ambassadors and have been countless times as a result on day trips paid for from our own pocket.  I write about the things we use and the places we go because I want to, because I want to let other people know that there are products, places and adventures worth trying.  As a result of reviews on my blog I know of many people who have made purchases or discovered their ‘favourite family haunt’ because they have read about it on Mummy Matters.

Are my posts ‘dilluted’ because I write so many review posts?  Maybe, you’re the reader you tell me?  I tell you about the things I like and the places I have been BECAUSE I like them and want to give you the chance to decide for yourself if you want to enjoy them too, some of them have been provided for review (and I will tell you they have) and some of them are things that I have bought myself.  I don’t tend to write posts about those products that I don’t like because quite frankly, why would I bother wasting my time?  It won’t make for an interesting read because I won’t have any kind of passion for it.  Also, just because it’s on the blog doesn’t mean that you have to read it right?

For the record, I don’t accept every opportunity that is sent to me and likewise I don’t just accept the offers for high value items or luxury holidays.  I only work with brands who have approached me, I don’t actively seek them out.  I enjoy trying new products regardless of their value, I enjoy new experiences, I like being challenged and testing the creativity of myself and my family.  Is a box of cereals JUST a box of cereals or can it be made into a healthy snack or a piece of art?  Surely I’m teaching my children creativity, helping them to ‘think outside of the box’ rather than saying “here’s a bowl of cereals – eat them”.

It’s the same with a sponsored post – yes I have been paid for it, but it doesn’t mean that I haven’t taken the time to think about what I am writing or that I’m tricking my readers.  If they want to click the link then they can but nobody is forcing them to click it or read my post for that matter.  I see a sponsored post as a writing challenge, a prompt and I know other bloggers feel the same.  Sometimes the old grey cells get a bit jaded as a result of motherhood so it’s good to make them work a little.  And believe it or not, not every day/week of parenthood is exciting or worthy of a blog post but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to write.

Some people like to sit and watch TV night after night, I don’t.  I like to be creative, I always have.  Of course I watch TV but rarely do I ‘just’ watch TV, I’m always doing something else at the same time, be that blogging or crafting.  I blog when my children are at school or in bed.  The rest of the time I am a full-on stay at home Mum, we do crafts, we go for walks, we play games and we fall out!  I take them to school in the morning and I pick them up at the end of the school day.  I do their meals, clean the house and cook tea for my husband.

If it wasn’t for my blog, I would not have been able to stay at home with my children and we certainly wouldn’t have been able to have as many children as we do because I would have been at work and wouldn’t be able to afford the childcare.

I guess the thing that annoys me the most about this whole argument is that as bloggers, why do we constantly have to moan about what someone else is doing?  Who cares if her blog is too pink, too bright, too foodie, too crafty?  Why don’t these bloggers worry less about what everyone else is doing and just concentrate on their own blogs, their own lives and make them more perfect than they already are.  There are thousands upon thousands of blogs out there, there are millions of readers out there so what does it matter about who writes what and who reads what?  I’m happy with my blog, I’m happy with my stats, it’s my blog and I’ll write what I want to!

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This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Uju @babesabouttown.com

    Hear hear Sabina, great post and well done for telling it how you feel. I’m always interested to read different perspectives on blogging, sponsored content, writing for free etc because there are so many angles to this blogging game.

    I read a post recently that I agreed with to an extent (in terms of blogs that are becoming saturated with PR/sponsored stuff) but that’s mainly because sometimes I’ve felt my own blog struggling under that weight of ‘PR/brand demands’ and am taking steps to regain control! But it doesn’t mean that working with brands, or enjoying the perks or earning a profit from blogging is wrong or should be criticised or makes your blog less relevant, and so I wasn’t keen on the tone or subtext of that particular post.

    Many of my favourite bloggers are rocking it on all levels, from fantastic content to the relationships they’ve built with brands and I commend them for it. Blogging has created so many opportunities for people and this should be celebrated and like you I do wish there was more focus on the positive! Don’t hate, elevate! ;-) x

    1. IamMummyMatters

      Thank you Uju, I have a feeling that the post you read was perhaps the post which pushed me into writing this one or more so the comments following it. I too have been feeling the weight of PR/Brand demands and trying to hit the right balance on my blog but as you say I’m making the effort to pull it back BUT I wasn’t going to sit on the fence any longer x

  2. Marie Sampson

    Interesting read my lovely! Keep smiling and down let the b******ds knock you down. One thing I have learnt since setting up my business is not everyone will like your style and the way you do things, and us small business owners need some serious back bone to get past being upset by it! I discovered just today that a friend of mine has gone elsewhere for services I provide having previously discussed using me! Kick in the guts? Yes, but my business is growing and expanding daily so does it matter? Not really! I for one don’t read every blog post that pings through on my email. I read your headlines and if it interests me then i open it, if it doesn’t I move on :-) Big hugs x

    1. IamMummyMatters

      Thank you for your support Marie, I appreciate it xx

  3. Mari

    Bloody well done you. I nodded all the way through that and applaud you for saying what many of us should (it didn’t occur to me as I too stay out of it all.)
    I also do reviews and sponsored posts as the money helps plus I can stay home with my children. Also, I struggle at times to find the right balance, I find everything seems to come together and I get bogged down but I’m starting to learn to say no and am still enjoying this blogging lark.
    Well done Sabrina for a great post

    1. IamMummyMatters

      Exactly Mari, I’m not at the point of wanting to stop yet. I’m happy in my own little bubble and what everyone else does it up to them but I shall only sit back for so long whilst the digs keep coming x

  4. Kim Cooper

    I don’t blog perhaps cos I don’t have a clue how too but I do enjoy reading your blogs and sometimes it give me some inspiration on what to try with our 6 Grandtwinkles. Keep it up Sabina it’s fab x

    1. IamMummyMatters

      Thank you Kim, maybe ONE DAY we will find the time to get together and I’ll show you how to get going on this whole blogging malarky, lots of Grandma bloggers out there for you to connect with ;) xx

  5. LittleJennie

    Great read, and I think I know the article that sparked your post. I read that too. I think the original was trying to remind bloggers to find a balance, and remind brands that sometimes it’s not just about the coverage. It’s about the quality. And I think both points, in addition to yours, are also valid. You do a great job, Sabina – you know I think that of you. Keep it up! xx

    1. IamMummyMatters

      Yes I know you did Jennie, I saw the comments. It wasn’t that I didn’t agree with the post either, it made some valid points but it’s not the only post like it and it’s the constant comments on FB which get on my pip. Thank you for your support xx

  6. Michelle Twin Mum

    I am so out of the thick of it nowadays that I have no idea what many other bloggers are saying. I’m with you Sabina, I’ll take good ops as they come along and I’ll work hard to make them good blog reading. Mich x

  7. shannonagains

    Thanks for this post – as a new blogger, the whole should-I-or-shouldn’t-I debate has been one that I’ve struggled with. After spending some time thinking about it, and reading several parent blogs that I admire, but who have sponsored content – I’ve come to the same conclusion as you. Working with brands brings new opportunities for you and your family, and as long as you provide proper notification to your readers about the story behind each post, there’s nothing wrong with writing reviews, being a brand ambassador, etc. Personally, I don’t like reading blogs that are saturated in that sort of content, so I just don’t read them. But I also don’t bitch and moan about them. To each his own. :-)

    1. IamMummyMatters

      Thank you for taking the time to comment Shannon. I am very much a person who feels ‘to each his own’. I don’t criticise others for their choices so why should anyone judge mine. I’m not hurting anyone :)

  8. Mummy of Two

    Completely agree! I am not one to join in with all of the bitching either and try not to read much of it. I do do a lot of reviews and sponsored posts and it makes me feel like I am contributing to the house with not working at the moment. I will still carry on writing the personal posts which is the reason I started, however, if something is offered to me that I like the sound of, I’m not going to turn it down! I really don’t see why it concerns anyone else what other people do or don’t blog about – if they don’t like it, why read it! Keep up the good work :D

    1. IamMummyMatters

      Nice to know I’m not the only one, thank you :)

It's always nice to receive comments, let me know your thoughts . . .

IamMummyMatters

Stay at home Mummy to 3, stepmum to 1. In my 'spare time' YEAH RIGHT I love crafts, shopping, music and catching up with friends. Family always comes first!