Honesty in Blogging

I have been writing a new post a day on my blog for quite a while. These have been anything from my thoughts, what we’ve done that day, reminiscing, lists of things or reviews. My blog posts are random, I write about whatever I think about at the time and they’re normally written a few days in advance – I like to have a stockpile of posts that I can post at the most relevant time. I also like to join in as many linkys/blog hops as possible.

The one thing that is consistent is my honesty in blogging.

Whether I’m writing about my day, a childhood memory or a review – I will always be honest. I will say if I’ve received a product for the benefit of the review and I will always mention any negatives with a product that I’m reviewing – I think that is only fair and I think I owe my readers that honesty – we all trust when we read reviews that they are going to be as honest as possible.

I have read a multitude of reviews where there is no criticism of the product. No negatives. Nothing that could be improved on. Forgive me for being blunt – Nothing is perfect. There is always room for improvement and I will always try and comment on where something can be improved.

Recently though, I have read a couple of incredibly honest reviews. This one springs to mind by A Mummy Too. Yes, it’s a bit extreme. Most products that bloggers are sent to review would not be inedible or unusable. Most would be fine – with positives and negatives that we should mention, like the Plum food review – if there is something bad about the product the reader needs and deserves to know!

I was on a blogging forum the other day where there was a conversation taking place about drinks that people had been sent to review. These drinks were said to be ‘disgusting’, ‘undrinkable’ and ‘foul’. Some bloggers had resorted to using them in cooking to give a different, positive slant on their review. Others ‘felt bad’ that they’d been sent the product and it was awful – so they were going to do a positive review anyway.

Why?! How does that help anyone!?

If you write a review and lie, you are not only lying to yourself and the company that produces the product but you’re lying to your readers too – and you lose every bit of integrity the minute you press ‘publish’ on a post that is anything but honest. Integrity is non-negotiable.

If you choose to review products on your blog or gain any kind of income from the blog then make sure you don’t compromise the values that made you start blogging in the first place.

My Life As A Mummy
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8 Comments

  1. September 5, 2013 / 2:09 pm

    Thank you for the mention – great post 🙂

    I agree it’s very rare that there’s any need to write a negative review. Generally, I aim to review stuff I believe we’ll like and that my readers will enjoy hearing about, so that means most reviews are largely positive. However, I always aim to be balanced and honest, mentioning negatives if there are any, so sometimes that means the scales tip over into a bad review.

    I worked in comedy PR for a while where getting a bad review is as normal as can be – something every act faces at some stage – and no review worth their salt would go around giving 5 stars to everyone, so the idea that some bloggers feel unable to write negatively just makes me giggle.

    My belief is that brands are looking to work with bloggers who have credibility and whose opinions are trusted. That means being honest, even when the truth hurts.

  2. Lauren (@laurenbigeejit)
    September 6, 2013 / 12:20 pm

    I think you are spot on. I know a lot of people give off about reviews and in truth there are some blogs that are all reviews and no substance, but I enjoy reading some of them especially products I might want to consider for the future. I would be really annoyed if I discovered that a review was dishonest, especially if I made a purchase based on it.

    I also think honesty in blogging also needs to come in the form of declaring all sponsored, featured and guest posts in a really clear way. Preferably in the title, so I don’t have to read it. I hate, with a passion, sponsored posts (apologies if you’ve done or are planning to do them). I especially hate sponsored posts that start off like a lovely normal blog post, suck you in, then sneak in a link right at the end, with a tiny footnote at the bottom saying sponsored post. I get so mad at that. I feel completely cheated, like the post was only written with the purpose of crowbarring that link in somehow, and the rest of the content is contrived and meaningless. Makes me so cross!

    Sorry for that essay, went off on one a bit there!!!

    • genuineplacebo
      September 6, 2013 / 1:18 pm

      No, I haven’t done sponsored posts yet – I don’t plan to. The only reason people do sponsored posts is to make money and it all goes a bit iffy then! I’d also hate to write a genuine post, include a sponsored link and make the reader feel that they couldn’t trust the content of the post because of it. Agree that all sponsored posts/reviews should be declared!

  3. lollinski
    September 8, 2013 / 7:16 pm

    I rely heavily on reviews for online purchases & I spend a lot of time writing them both for my blog & various websites / panels – I totally agree with the need for honesty.

  4. September 9, 2013 / 1:16 pm

    I agree with your comments about ‘reviews’. In a lot of cases, I’ve felt that I was reading an endorsement or advertisement rather than a balanced review. It’s good to hear that there are reviews that are unafraid to properly analyse – and if necessary – criticize products.

  5. stephaniearsoska
    September 9, 2013 / 3:49 pm

    Good point! I usually sense when a post is putting a shine on a product anyway and it puts me off both the blogger and the product. Honesty is always best.

  6. mother.wife.me (@motherwifeme)
    September 10, 2013 / 9:14 am

    Yip, keep it credible otherwise there’s no point. My policy is that I won’t post a review if a product is really bad, I’d rather not give it any space or use any of my time on it. But for products that I do post about, honesty is always the policy, not least because who wants to be responsible for someone rushing off to buy something only to find out that it’s c%@p!!! #MBPW

  7. April 27, 2014 / 4:24 am

    This is really interesting, to be honest I don’t tend to read that many reviews, mainly because more likely than not I won’t be able to get the product anyway!!!! However, the idea of just doing a positive review with no negatives, places to improve or whatever sounds a little lazy to me and as you say there’s no integrity in lying to your readers!!

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