When to say no to a review opportunity..

Blogging is a funny thing, and I’ve been doing it long enough to have had some amazing opportunities in my time. It’s tempting to say yes to everything, especially the really good ones! But what if..

They are asking quite a lot, and you’re busy that week…. But you really want the product?

Be honest, tell them that you love the product, but you are really busy. They might say that it’s ok, or they might say not to worry this time they’ll find someone else. But, they will remember you next time that’s for sure!

You don’t like the product, don’t want the product, but you think you can just sell it..

Really???? If you know you don’t want the product let someone else have it, especially if you’re going to just do a half hearted “review” (i.e. you unbox it take a couple of images and then post the product on a selling group..) Readers will know, PR’s will know. It’s bad karma baby. By the way, consider the tax implications of selling a review product.. (just saying!).

No one really cares what I write in the review, I’ll just make it up..

Really? Ignoring the fact that if you make something up you could fall foul of the ASA.. The reality is that if you falsify your reviews, you are going to alienate your reader, and everyone else too. Even other bloggers will look at your posts and think.. “Hmm, really?! How do they know that when clearly those wheels have never seen mud!” You may not care, but other bloggers often refer people whose blogs they like, so are they going to refer someone who writes honestly or the person who makes it up as they can’t be bothered to do things properly.

Reviews should be fun, and there are times when we all get a product and the review is late, or we don’t like the product, and that’s fine. Everyone appreciates a bit of honesty, so it’s ok to be honesty and explain why you don’t like something, I guarentee your readers will appreciate it.

Disclaimer: This is a ranty post. I make no excuses for being ranty.




  • Joanne Mallon

    I say no to reviews where there is nothing much of interest to say about the product, ie there’s no story to tell. Blogging is ultimately storytelling, whether it’s the story of your life or a review of a toothbrush.

    It takes a lot of time and energy to create a decent review and you have to think about whether it’s worth it or whether you would be better off putting your energy into something else (like playing with your kids). I don’t mean worth it in monetary terms because I genuinely don’t care about the monetary value of the item, but worth it in terms of – will this be fun? If the answer to that is no, it’s never worth it.

  • Tim

    Yes, yes, a thousand times YES!

    I’m not a big review reader or writer myself – I do a few here and there (maybe 8-10 a year) where a product has really caught my interest – but I am deeply cynical of blogger reviews that are gushingly positive. I would much rather read a thoughtful, critical review of a product that is positive but points out minor flaws. In fact I would be more likely to buy as a result of that kind of review than ones which just say “this is perfect”. I read reviews because I want to know what users don’t like about the product, which tells me more about how I will get on with it than a straightforward 10/10 review.

    Also, I am deeply cynical of product reviews which seem to have very little to do with the blog/blogger themselves. If I can see a relevant fit between reviewer and product, I’m more likely to believe it.