Jennine referred to seeded products (freebies, gifted items, etc.) in her recent post: “Do Bloggers Really Get Paid for Press Releases, Freebies or Campaigns?”, but it's worth noting again, and again, and again:
Bloggers should NOT get paid to do product reviews.
Bloggers absolutely should get paid for sponsored posts, or blogger campaigns. Especially if the work is done within a specific time frame, or featuring specific keywords or links.
A review is a thoughtful, critical, un-biased look at something. A review is not just a post with a picture and “I love these new shoes this brand sent me. Look how pretty they are!” A real review is an in-depth look at how the item fits, along with notes on the quality, value, and versatility. Since nothing is perfect, sometimes a review will have negative points in it.
The goal of a product review is to give your readers all the information you can about the item so they can make an informed decision about whether to buy it or not. A review isn't the same as a product “feature” or a sponsored post. A review could be of something you received as a “gift” or that you bought yourself, and you have actually worn or used.
Can you write a 100% honest review (perhaps also critical) of something you received for free?
Can you write a 100% honest review (perhaps also critical) of something you received for free? Maybe. But what if you are getting paid by the brand supplying the product? I guess it's possible, but there are too many variables at play to be sure (keeping the brand/company happy, getting paid…). And honestly, I'm pretty firmly in the “no you cannot” camp.
Would you trust a restaurant critic who'd been paid to write a review of a restaurant BY the restaurant?
Would you trust a restaurant critic who'd been paid to write a review of a restaurant BY the restaurant? Or a movie critic? Magazines, newspapers, TV stations, pay critics, not the restaurants or movie studios.
It's just not entirely ethical to take money from a company you're supposed to review or critique “impartially;” how can it be impartial if you've entered into a financial contract with them?
It can't, can it?
What do you think?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]