I realize that as a mommy-blogger-turned-life-blogger I am a bit out of the loop where most of the women bloggers I know are concerned. I haven’t kept up with the pressing issues of the blogosphere because quite frankly, I’ve been a little busy with real life shit. Planning a conference, getting sued for herpes I don’t have, nearly getting kicked out of my home…Pretty heavy stuff.
Today I read about the Blogger PR Blackout, and I wondered if in my absence the mommybloggers of the world have started drinking. Heavily. On top of their Xanax.
Seriously ladies. What. The. Fuck?
In the three years I’ve been blogging, I’ve learned a good bit about PR. I’ve been offered, and taken, some of the cool products offered in exchange for writing about them on my blog. I’ve turned down at least 20x as many as have been offered, and lately I’m not taking them at all, because quite frankly I’ve got no patience for that kind of thing anymore. I barely find the time and motivation to write, much less write about some dvd that I could give two shits about just because someone offered to give me a free copy.
The thing I’ve taken away from my blogging/PR experiences? Just like writing in general, just like any hobby, you have the choice of how much time to put into it. You decide whether to decide to post daily, or weekly, or twice a damn year if that’s what your schedule allows. And the same goes with these product reviews, contests, and whatever else.
That said, I’m sorely confused by why anyone feels so burned out on doing this sort of thing that they feel a ‘blackout week’ is needed. Who granted these PR companies the power to thrust products and press-releases at these poor bloggers who apparently have trouble with the word “no”?
As far as I can see, any blogger who feels “burned out” on these things is sitting in a shit-pile of their own making, and I have absolutely no sympathy.
Unless you are a pro-blogger (and not many are), the fact is this- blogging is NOT a job. Those free products may stock your cleaning cabinet or snack drawer a little better, but most bloggers are not getting paid for these reviews, yet they seem to like to act like they are. They take themselves and their ‘job’ so seriously you’d almost think they are best buddies with the CEO of whatever company they are shilling for at the moment instead of a blogger giving away their time and effort for little more than a $3 box of yogurts.
And let’s face it, those reviews you so pain-painstakingly labor over? Unless you are giving away a product yourself, no one reads them. Even having previously run a review blog myself, I can honestly say in general, I’d rather have toothpicks rammed under every finger and toenail I have than read about why your little Johnny or Suzie loves pudding pops. It’s boring. as. hell. I may love you and want you to be my new online BFF, but please, for the love of christ do NOT make me read that shit.
My point here? No one is making you do it, so if you feel burned out, just STOP DOING IT. It’s not that hard, and unlike coming off your Zoloft, you don’t even have to ease off it. Just stop. Learn to say no. You know, that word you use so often when your man gives you that come-hither look? Yeah, that word. Or hell, maybe the reason you are telling him no is because you are too busy writing those crappy reviews.
The PR industry is not the problem here, it’s the bloggers who take the products and then bitch about how busy they are because they have to pay the piper for that cool new gadget they got.
And the fact that MomDot is the one calling for this “PR Blackout”? Did I miss the part where they have given up their own ‘special relationship’ with certain companies they work with? Somehow a site that very regularly runs sponsored contests and giveaways suddenly changing their tune and issuing a “PR Blackout week” reads less like concern for others, and more like a publicity stunt. But hey, what do I know?
Overall, I think this is yet another self-induced tempest in a teapot that mommybloggers are getting behind because by their very nature, they are quite prone to
A. Needing a cause to rally behind to give themselves a sense of purpose and
B. Having a hard time saying no. It’s a powerful combination, and one that I’m sure gives Excedrine a fair amount of sales every year.
It certainly gives me a headache reading about it.
In short, cut the crap, and just stop doing the damn reviews. I promise you the world will not come crashing down, and everyone will still think you are just as special, even when you don’t get the joy of saying you are working with this company or that.
And hey, without all the promotional garbage, I just might start reading your blog again.