Thursday, July 29, 2010

Not a corporate shill: A word on ad-free blogging

A growing number of companies are reaching out to bloggers to help advertise their products/services, and lately I'm getting a lot of offers for advertising. Full disclosure here -- I get free stuff. Some of it is unsolicited;  other times the companies contact me first. The companies send it in hopes of getting some coverage, but they don't push for it.

Now I don't blog for profit, but I don't mind getting free stuff because...
  1. Let's face it -- who doesn't like free stuff? 
  2. It gives me something to write about   (and when you post something every day, finding good topics can be challenging).
What about my no ad policy? 
Purists might say I'm breaking my no ad policy. I don't think this is true, but judge for yourself. Here's how I work:

I try a lot of products, some free and some purchased. The vast majority never merit a review--frankly I'm just not interested in writing a tepid or dissy review. I enjoy writing about products I like or can endorse. I enjoy talking about companies I trust/admire. If I write a positive review, if I speak positively about a company, if I feature them on my sidebar, it's because I like'em.

That said, if there are minor issues or weaknesses, I'll mention them too.

More generally...
 Many, many blogs are for profit. Mine is not. Accordingly...
  • I turn down offers from folks who want to advertise on my blog. I don't make money on this.
  • I am grateful if a company wants to feature my blog on their site (sometimes they'll email me to ask if they can post a positive review on their site).  This typically generates very little traffic, unfortunately.
  • Companies often provide products to give away to readers, usually because I contact them. Usually the products are familiar to me already, and so far they've been items I'm proud to have featured on my blog. 
I hope this helps to clarify my position on ads and free products. Thanks!


  1. Fine by me. I always like to hear about good products. And most ads don't bother me anyhow.

  2. I would say that 99.999% of the "offers" I've received to promote my blog also contain a request that I plug their product/website in return. And the writer is usually of questionable repute. But I don't blog for income, and am not interested in doing so, and I won't become a shill for anyone else either.

    But I have, like you talked about software, websites, tools, etc., that I have found particularly useful. That's something entirely different. And it's obvious that I do so as a satisfied consumer and not because I'm getting something in return. I think that type of "plug" is much more credible, in my opinion.

  3. This could solve my problem of not being able to afford a nice horse. Do you think, say, Iron Spring Farm would send me a young horse to try out and write about on my blog? Ha!

  4. I like your product reviews. It's good to hear about products from the point of view of a person who represents the average horse owner (with similar interests to me).

    Paid product reviews in magazines aren't worth reading. They aren't written by someone who has actually used the product, and most of the time they are just a regurgitation of the company's own advertisement.

    Full support from me! Only trouble is the products you have there may not be available here. That doesn't really matter though.

  5. Good to know they will send stuff; I have a monster list of companies (whose products we use) I plan to write to for a donation. I tried Project Wonderful for a while, but it was an unbelievable pain in the tail and netted me a whopping $1.46 in about 6 months (pulled the proverbial plug last week :o)
    Speaking of free stuff, I finally got around to posting a blurb about what you sent me:
    Thanks again!

  6. I think you do a wonderful job and I always look forward to reading your blog. I would much rather buy a product that someone I 'know' recommends, so keep up the good work!

  7. I don't mind reading reviews occasionally and if you genuinely like the product and endorse it that's okay with me too. I don't mind advertising on blogs or websites but, I don't like obnoxious ads with flash or music. They aren't that common anymore, thankfully.

  8. I am envious! No one sends me stuff. I occasionally get a horseshoe. Note: a horseshoe. Not a pair but a single shoe. I have a nice collection but you can't exactly use single shoes.

    In the past I have been given products to try because they were new or prototypes, and Farriers Formula supplied me with a supplement for my dog's skin problems for years (they make a great one--who knew?) but no one has ever asked me to write about anything, I don't think.

    I think it's pretty funny because my Jurga Report blog on is downright upholstered with ads from companies that have never even contacted me. (And whose products I may or may not have ever used.) I have nothing to do with the sale of those ads, of course.

    I'd actually like to find some product placements for my WEG blog or a clothing sponsor or something to help with my expenses while I'm there. As long as it's a company whose products I already respect/use/wear/buy. Like Range Rover. Yeah!

    But, like SolitaireMare, I'd be most tempted to hold out for a breeder who wants to place a horse with me so I can blog about our life together.

    As long as it's not a lame one for my hoof blog...

    Fran Jurga


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