A Blogger’s Dilemma: Featuring Brands or Products You Don’t Like But Your Readers Do
By: Julia DiNardo

What to do when you do not like a brand but your readers do
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In my experience as a blogger, I have tried my very best to keep an open mind, taking time to peruse and review a wide variety of brands and their offerings that might not necessarily strike an initial cord with me. There are, however, a handful of brands and products that for me, are non-negotiable in this department. On a personal level, I don’t wear real fur or exotic animal skins, and although I somehow have ended up with a few vintage hand-me-downs and faux items that replicate the look, I never quite feel comfortable wearing them and will avoid doing so.

We all have particular trends, brands, silhouettes, and even colors that for some reason or another, just don’t work for us.   Since my blog is a reflection of me, I find it difficult to mention or promote items that may fall into these categories of ‘dislike.’

However, I do acknowledge that this is merely my point of view that not everyone shares, and I have found that my readers do want to know about these things. I’ve tried to put the personal aside, and find a common ground that I feel comfortable with, which normally involves keeping the posts more matter-of-fact while trimming down the opinion in the text so that in no way does it come off as flat, biased, or trying to sway readers into conforming to my beliefs.

I’ve found that part of the key to becoming a good writer is to find a way to write about any subject, regardless of if it interests you, while managing to find a way to thoroughly engage the reader.

This can certain be murky water to wade through when it comes to blogs, since many of us do operate around incorporating a palpable amount of the personal into our sites.  To gain some perspective, I consulted with a few fellow bloggers regarding how they walk the line between items and brands that they aren’t particularly found of, but seem to be of interest to their audience.

 

Dianna Baros of The Budget Babe says:

“I think there are enough brands and products out there that you should never truly have to compromise your values as a blogger. For me sometimes there’s a conflict of taste- I may not love a particular trend but if I think my readers will, then I will totally cover it. Besides, if I only wrote about trends I wear personally, my blog would get boring, fast!”

 

Kat Griffin of Corporette says:

“Every so often my readers LOVE something that, for whatever reason, doesn’t work for me.  Case in point:  Nordstrom has this pencil skirt by Halogen that my readers absolutely love.  I finally tried it myself and, honestly, it’s not my favorite — just doesn’t work with my body shape.  But the fact that so many readers have been so vocal about their love for this skirt is really noteworthy, and still makes it a solid recommendation, so I continue to tell my readers when the skirt is on sale, and to mention it elsewhere.  You have to respect that sometimes the collective wisdom of the group is better/stronger than your own.”

 How have you dealt with posting about items or a brand that haven’t exactly been your cup of tea?

By Julia DiNardo, of Fashion Pulse Daily

Comments

  1. Avatar of Rhythm and Ruffle

    Personally, I would never write about a brand or item, I’m not at all interested in – or do anything with my blog I don’t love – even if my readers seem to have great interest in it. The thing is, I know how important it is to remain excited and completely in love with everything you as a blogger put so much effort into broadcasting. I don’t want to wake up one day and write that all too familiar “final post” because I’ve burned out &/or lost myself and my authenticity by chasing numbers. It’s just not worth it at the end of the day – readers who love my individual truth, will stick around and find satisfaction for those interests I don’t cover on another lovely blog.

    http://rhythmandruffle.com <3

  2. I have a series I do every Wednesday called “You Pick Wednesday” where I ask my readers to submit their own style questions/suggestions. I recently received a question about how to make “rockabilly” style work for the office. That is not my style at ALL but I decided I would research it and help my reader out. It actually helped expand my horizons and it was fun to do even if I will probably never dress like that myself.

  3. Avatar of Eva Tornado
    Eva Tornado says:

    I try to be honest with my readers. After all, when a particular item does not suit me, I can always write about my personal attitude to it, what a place it takes in the modern girl’s wardrobe, and make reference to the qualitative reviews of another blogger, or share photos of celebrities who wear this thing. If you have a subject – you can write about it, most importantly to find the necessary form for your publication.

    My blog Kisses From Europe

    Kisses From Europe via Bloglovin

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  4. Avatar of Lauren - Slowburn Fastburn

    I just turned down my first marketing opportunity, and I don’t think I would ever post something that wasn’t “me”. I take a lot of pride in the fact that I can go through my blog and everything I post is a reflection of who I am. I think my readers like that, and if they are really into something, I’m sure there is another blog out there that can provide them with the content that they are looking for.

    lauren
    http://slowburnfastburn.com

  5. Avatar of Nadya Helena
    Nadya Helena says:

    I think I agree with what you said that we can review it, but keep it on a non-personal level. No statements such as “It feels too musky for me” or “The crotch part is bothering me like hell”. I also only post stuff that I think is relatable both to me and my readers (aside from posting my illustrations). So it’s probably okay to review something as long as we stay unbiased in what we’re reviewing about.

    Nadya
    http://thedillychic.com

  6. Avatar of
    Andrew says:

    The most important thing when writing anything on your blog is staying true to yourself. So if you give a positive review of something that you don’t like, your not being honest with your readers. Plus, writing a positive article about something that you actually like will make the article more convincing.
    theinclub.blogspot.com

  7. Avatar of MonicaP
    MonicaP says:

    I’m open to talking about any brand as long as I have the knowledge to write about it. I’m not going to take on something that I’m clueless about and write a blog post ..

    As a pear shaped gal, you probably won’t see me write about skinny jeans .. even though skinny jeans are all the rage in fashion. What am I going to say about something I can’t get my big toe into?

    Monica
    http://www.pear-shaped-gal.com

  8. Jenny says:

    I think it totally depends on the style and voice of your blog. I have a personal style blog where I only feature items/brands that I LOVE. I would NEVER feature anything on my blog that I would not purchase or recommend whole heartedly. I think it’s inappropriate and misleading for personal style blogs (for example Atlantic Pacific) to feature something they don’t love. On the other hand, for blogs that are more fashion focused, informative or trend related (like The Budget Babe and Corporette), I think it’s okay to feature items that you wouldn’t use yourself, sort of like a magazine would do. Not everything you see in a magazine would be worn by the editors, but they know their readers will love it so they feature it. I think as long as a blogger is not misleading readers about their opinion (by stating they love the item when they don’t) or on the quality/service/etc of the brand or product, then it’s okay.

  9. Avatar of When I'm Older

    I would never write about a product that I didn’t fully support. My blog is such a personal reflection of me, I would never want to feature something that isn’t entirely my taste.

    http://www.when-im-older.tumblr.com

  10. Avatar of Tiffy Diamond

    I agree with Diana in there are so many brands and companies that will fit your style that you should never compromise yourself. I was approached by a shoe company recently to do some modeling for them. I’m not a fan of their shoes, and I’m actually pretty vocal about it with my friends. I couldn’t bring myself to model for them because of it. It’s just not worth feeling like a sell out for me, I did however recommend them to a friend who loves their shoes. In the end everyone has an array of blogs they read so you don’t have to feel like you have to tailor yourself to their needs if your hearts not in it. :)
    xo
    Tiffy
    http://www.CuteLA.com

  11. Avatar of Onianwah
    Barbara says:

    Probably because mine is a mainy makeup/beauty blog I am yet to be in such a situation. If I do however, I believe that as always I will maintain the “honesty is the best policy” opinions I am known for.

    Barbara
    http://barbsiesmusings.blogspot.com/
    Lagos, Nigeria

  12. Peet says:

    Don’t do it, period. If you don’t like something but a million other people do – don’t wear it. Readers can find someone else who loves it and wears it to find inspiration or whatever. To be dressing according to your readers is the same as peer pressure. You can either cave under it or not.

  13. Avatar of RikaConfesses

    I haven’t really dealt with this in the area of fashion, because for one thing, my blog isn’t huge, and also for the fashion aspect of my blog I either do street style in which I look for the spark of originality but don’t editorialize much about, or I do post focused on my own aesthetic, partially because its hard for me to find blogs that really feature fashion I’m into (I don’t like a lot of things that are big right now, like neon colors or anything with ruffles.. but that’s another post.)

    One of the other areas I tend to blog in/talk about in social media/ youtube about is gamer/geek culture though, and honestly, I’m way into my games, but there’s a lot that falls under geek that I’m not that into. I don’t hate anime, but I’m really only a fan of a handful of people who work in the genre. I’ve learned that I usually don’t like whatever fantasy book is currently the hot seller, so I no longer read them to find out. I don’t watch Dr. Who. And I’ve never really been the action figure collecting kind of geek.

    But I do find myself all the time running in the same circles as people who are totally into these things. I can appreciate them as things that people I like like, I can take the time to understand why people like them. I never pretend I’m an expert when i’m not, but I can engage on a topic, if asked, in the way of “my friend is into that, she drug me to see ____. I never would have gone otherwise, but it turned out to be cool because….” And I find there are a lot of times where my opinion doesn’t really matter – I can just take on the role of an observer and let my photos or videos speak without my feelings about it being important.

    http://rikaconfesses.wordpress.com/

  14. Kylie says:

    I have quite eclectic tastes so I don’t worry that the products I promote are too samey. My style ranges from vintage inspired, Bohemian to trends. I wouldn’t talk about something I didn’t like. I would NEVER promote real fur or exotic skin products even if any readers like it because it goes against my beliefs. Too many of the top bloggers wear fur and could influence people who are in two minds about it to actually go out and buy it or wear it.

  15. Kristian says:

    I agree with some of the commenters above that it likely depends on what your blog’s focus is. A personal style blog should be just that- about your personal style. A blog that is more focussed on trends, or fashion or even bringing fashion to a certain audience (for example Corperette brings fashion to the office, or a blog that focusses on fashion for the curvy girl or something) is different. They are there to talk about fashion for a certain audience, so if an audience wants to know about a certain brand, covering it might fit more with the blog’s goals.

    I will say though, I think if you don’t like the brand/trend/whatever… it does not really benefit your blog to write about it. You will not be as passionate or as positive about it. Especially if it is a brand and most especially if they are paying you to review…. try to be honest and (especially if they are paying you) I’d stick with brands you like. It is not best for your blog/brand if you are writing about something you don’t like; it will just not be your best work. If it not best for the brand because they are not getting as much positive messaging out there as they could be going with someone else, and it’s not best for the audience because…they are not getting the best advice on the topic either. If you feel you really should have this topic you don’t like covered on the blog then, as some of the other commenters mentioned, if you are not into the brand/trend/whatever find someone who is and have them post about it, whether you have readers weigh in or a guest bloggers or something.

  16. Monica says:

    As a beauty blogger my goal is to review products I truly love (which is different from fashion blogging). It does happen where products get “love” in which I don’t get the hype but my readers appreciate honest feedback therefore I stick to what I like…

  17. Avatar of Julia Dinardo

    Great comments everyone- thanks for thinking about this!

  18. Sandra Costa says:

    i think a “blog” lose it senses of “blog” when you start promoting something you don’t believe in.

    xO!
    Blog da Sandra Costa

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