Mummy Blogging 101- Corporate Whorism.

by Lori Dwyer on October 24, 2010 · 45 comments


This is one of those blog posts that has been hanging around in the back of my head for a while now. Fermenting. As most good blog posts do. And, as usually happens, something occurred recently that acted as a catalyst for the whole idea to grow into a mutant opinionated Web baby and be born into the blogosphere, kicking and screaming and burning it’s feed. Or something.

A question, on ye olde FormSpring account. E’nuff Nuffnang, apparently. Boom tish, anonymous FormSpringer.

I felt it was worth a blog post. I’ve been meaning to have a natter about this to you, my jellybeaners,  for a while now.

As you may have noticed, I publish here a lot. Five days a week, in fact. Some of those posts are “high value” posts, that I know people will love to read. Sometimes, they’re “low value” posts, that may not be so much fun to read, but serve a purpose.

I do my bestest to make this a high-value kinda place to be. I try to write my low value posts as entertaining as I can possibly can, but there’s only so much one do with air conditioners.
I started this blog as a hobby, and I’ve been lucky enough that it’s grown considerably. Why? I have no freaking idea. Some days, cyber-karma treats me well and my inbox is full and overflowing with offers to do reviews, competitions, pitches and sponsored posts. And some days, I take these random PR people up on their offers.

I get to do some cool stuff. I get some cool stuff for free. Most of the time, I’m obligated to tell you lot about it. That’s why I get it. I’ve read some very boring sponsored posts, in my not-so-extensive blogging time. And I’ve promised myself that while it may be many things, this blog will never be boring.

If you don’t like my sponsored posts, don’t read them. If you feel I’m doing too many of them, then feel free to let me know (just like our friend the FormSpringer), or just vote with your mouse and unsubscribe. Never feel obligated to read my sponsored posts, or comment on them. Never feel obliged to read anything I post, unless you’re thoroughly enjoying it.

As I said, I post here five days a week. I put my blood, housework time, sweat and tears into this blog (in a totally metaphorical, non-gross kinda way). I love to write. I love that people read what I write. I love being part of the mummy blogging community.

But I also get up to 40 emails in my inbox a day and spend up to 5 hours a day on the computer.

We’re a single income family here, with two very small children. More often than not, money is tight and we struggle to make ends meet. I published two sponsored posts in the last fortnight. I know those posts are low value. So, I’m guessing, are the FlogYoBlog Friday posts (good thing because no one reads the damn things anyway). But discounting the low value stuff, that’s still six high value posts I’ve published in a fortnight. And that’s reasonable… right?

I think it is. When you consider that those sponsored posts will pay for three months of my son’s swimming lessons, something that he dearly loves, and we would never give up, but always struggle to find the cash for. Or when you take into account that the trip my family recently took to Taronga Zoo, courtesy of my blog, was the first outing I’ve ever provided for my family, for my children. That I’ve provided. That I’ve earnt. Me. Independently. Without my husband’s wage paying for it. And I was ridiculously, inordinately proud of myself. If you don’t believe me, just as the Man. Because I could. not. shut. up. about. it. all. freaking. day.

Surely, you can’t blame me for that?

There’s a lot of chatter recently about whether we should all be charging for product reviews, how much we should be charging, and whether we’re undervaluing ourselves. I’m on both sides of the fence on this one. I understand that my blog space, my writing, my time, is valuable. But, while recognizing all that, I’m happy to do, for example, a DVD review in exchange for a copy of that DVD for me, and one to give away. Why not? It’s $40 value, for me. $40 that, had it been paid in cash, would have simply been sucked into the whirlpool of family finances. Instead, I get a DVD that I can sit and watch with my kids, and all of us enjoy.

To us, to me, that’s just as good as a cash payment.

What’s could be so wrong with that…?

In conjunction with Kmart, Aussie Mummy Bloggers recently ran a Kmart promotion. It wasn’t a competion I entered. I had 10 good solid posts sitting in my drafts folder ready to go, I wasn’t planning to write that day, and there was only just under 48 hours to enter the competition. It wasn’t something that tickled my pickle, right now. But six months ago, when I was blogging day by day and searching for ideas? This competition would have been perfect. Something creative to blog about, which was fun, and may just have won me $20.

Picture stolen form Sodahead.

Twenty bucks, you say? Is that all? Well, OK, so you’re probably not saying that, but I know some people said that. Seriously, who is anyone to turn their nose up at $20? It may not be a lot to one person. That doesn’t mean it’s spare change to someone else.

It’s not always conceivable, for bloggers who are just starting out and don’t have much traffic, to charge exorbitant amounts for reviews. If your blog is big enough that you can charge a huge sum for a review, then awesome, and good on you. You do that. But don’t slag off the little guys. Everyone has their own worth, yes, and everything is relative. $20 may mean nothing to you. But hey, in the Purple House, a new DVD is a big deal.

I’ve written before about mummy bloggers<
/a>, what a valuable resource we are. I’m not diminishing that in any way. We shouldn’t undervalue ourselves. But try not to price yourself right out of the market either. Don’t let a company treat you like an idiot. Know your own relative value, in the big scheme of things.

If you spend 62 hours writing each post, and you believe your posts are worth $500 each, awesome, charge that. But if you can knock up a post in 20 minutes, then you may just be happy with twenty bucks, and that’s OK. Or, if you, like me, are happy to chatter on about a DVD in exchange for a copy of that DVD, then that’s cool too.

As long as you are comfortable with it, that’s all that matters.

And to my anonymous FormSpringer, I work damn hard on this blog. I try and make the majority of my posts high value. Occasionally, a sponsored post or a review will pop up. I’m not going to apologise for that. I love my blog, I adore all my readers, all my faithful jellybean people. But I won’t apologise* if I’m lucky enough to make a little bit of money for my family out of doing something that I enjoy so much, that I am so passionate about, and that I spend so much of my precious time on.

To quote my homegirl Holly Homemaker

Peace out with your crease out, y’all.

* I also won’t apologise for continuing to spell apoligise with an ‘s’, as Aussies do, Mr SpellChecker-Annoying-Wavy-Red-Line-Thing. Respect.

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

connieemeraldeyes May 12, 2011 at 3:32 am

If it says sponser post on it, I just delete it on my google reader. I just read the regular posts, which yours are great. There are so many blogs that all they do is advertise. I don't read those posts.


Jodie at Mummy Mayhem October 27, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Well said, hon. YOu know I agree with you 100%.

But I will say one more thing: no one owes anyone an explanation. Do what you want to do, and don't feel you EVER have to justify your decision. This is your blog, and you can do what you damn well please. Why can't some people get the whole "Each to their own" that most of us try our hardest to live by.

Your blog is awesome. You work hard at it. You should be proud. xxx


River October 26, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Go you! Any way to earn a little extra and help the family budget should be applauded. Unless you're robbing banks or little old ladies on pension days.
You know, $20 may not seem like much, but it's a lot when you need it and don't have it.


Corrie October 26, 2010 at 2:53 pm

hi there

I've been blogging for 4 years and this year has been the first year I've been getting some sponsored blog posts and some great product reviews! I love it and it keeps my husband happy – I figure if you're helping your family and the household budget then it's a good thing. If people don't like it then I figure they are jealous the good things aren't coming their way!

keep up the good work!


MultipleMum October 26, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Hey. Or yo as you prefer it. This is an interesting post. I have been wondering about the whole 'sponsored post thing'. Definately food for thought here. I love visiting the purple house. Keep doing it your way Lori.


BikiniMommy October 26, 2010 at 8:19 am

The only time it really bothers me is when a blog is completely reviews and giveaways. I mean giveaways are good most of the time but I get overwhelmed with those blogs and it feels like I'm getting spammed. In moderation mixed with meaningful content, sponsors and reviews are all good :)


Kevin October 26, 2010 at 6:00 am

I absolutely agree with you. Uhm, were can I get one of those paying gigs?


Kakka October 25, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Great post, and as you say, if you don't like it – bugger off – well that is not exactly what you said, but too right – they should bugger off. I have always found you to be honest in all you write and if it is a sponsored post that doesn't interest me, then I don't read that one. Common sense really.


toushka October 25, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Hear Hear. well said and all that. I am loving my free DVD's right now and I too have gotten some flak for my corporate whorism – but I do note that most of this criticism is from people without free dvd's. mwahaha suckers!!
Lori, your blog is never boring.


Deb October 25, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I think there is a genuine problem here, but it's not with you or any other blogger. It's with the marketers and PR people. I don't think I follow that many blogs, yet I saw the Cottees good things in small packages 3 times, the e-printer 3 or 4 times and I swear there were 5 reviews of the Tinkerbell movie. And now, no matter how lyrically those reviews were written and how much people loved it, there is no way in Hell I'm getting that movie because it was too annoying.
Blogging is not like a magazine ad, they may be able to get lots of bloggers for the price of a print campaign but if that's how they treat us it isn't going to work.


Fiona October 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Nice post :)

Personally I didnt do the Kmart one, because it was only for a $20 voucher, and maybe a voucher rather than guarenteed !

But each to his own!

And I like the idea of being proud to be able to earn things for your family :)


Wanderlust October 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Hey, you have people offering to PAY you to write. And you manage to make it entertaining. Go girl!!


Jacki October 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Go Lori! Your attitude towards the whole thing just screams common sense. I don't see what the problem is. I love reading all your posts (sponsored or otherwise) and I agree that if someone doesn't like what you're doing, then they can just nick off! Don't change a thing!


Kel October 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Good on ya hun – hell, if you can get something out of this that helps make ends meet then I say – do it! Let's be honest, anyone who says they wouldn't do it if they got paid is a big, fat liar.
And I don't find anything you do awful – I may not comment every time, but I read 'em all :)


Catherine F. October 25, 2010 at 11:57 am

Your blog – you get to choose what you do. We get to choose whether we read. How more simple could it be. Formspring, get some perspective!
You go Lori and do what's right for you!

But maybe in a really backhanded, clumsy sort of dopey way (and I've not read the comment in question directly), but just maybe Formspring is giving you a compliment ….. Formspring really likes what you write about your life and wants more! What Formspring doesn't realise is that it helps for you to have food on your table to be able to write! Just trying to find a positive in all this!


Kathryn October 25, 2010 at 11:43 am

I love your blog, sponsored or unsponsored. Go you and post whatever you want.


Michelle Twin Mum October 25, 2010 at 9:44 am

Good for you Lori. Go girl, well said. I also review and do sponsored posts and it works for me!

Mich x


Glen October 25, 2010 at 4:58 am

Don't worry about it at all and don't even bother explaining yourself. You are being paid for your writing – isn't that the dream? It is mine – all it means is that you are succeeding! I'd love to have a sponsor or even simply the occasional back hander – go to John's Newsagents, where the Curly Wurlys are great! To be honest I generally skim over the sponsor posts and leave you to it, because I either don't know what the product is, or can't win anything due to my unashamed lack of eligibility. This doesn't worry me though because I know I can come back anytime for a normal post. You do indeed do far more non sponsored posts than anything so relax, and moreover – well done on making some cash – you are living the dream mate!


Suzie G October 25, 2010 at 3:53 pm

It's your blog, do what you want with it. To whoever/whatever formspring is: get over it and read something else.


Draft Queen October 25, 2010 at 1:26 am

I love you and all of your posts. Most of your sponsored posts I can't even enter- but they are usually hilarious to read regardless so I do. There were blogs I used to read with great posts that literally turned into nothing but sponsored posts, which sucks because I don't usually read them. (Even from my own country where I'd qualify to win contests and such!)

And ignore the squiggly line thing under that "s"–I ignore it every time it wants me to capitalize the "i" in internet. Seriously? It's a thing not a person.


Eva Gallant October 25, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Hey, you do what works for you! Don't let anyone make you feel bad about it!


Tenille October 24, 2010 at 11:51 pm

What is it with people hell-bent on passing judgement at the moment?? Seriously, if all you've got to do with your time is make narky comments about somebody's blog post, then come around to my place, cause I've got a shitload of ironing for you to do. As long as you don't mind me gaffa-taping your mouth shut, because I don't care for your dribble.

You rock Lori. As do giveaway yielding sponsored posts. Keep it up.


mummabear1970 October 24, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Your blog. Your choice on how to run it & what to include. Like you said, we don't have to read sponsored posts if we don't want to. I usually do in case there is a giveaway attached – hey, if there's a prize up for grabs then I want a chance of winning it. Good on you for having the nous to earn a bit towards your family or to receive some freebies to review. If the companies didn't like it, they wouldn't do it! I love reading your blog – keep it up!


Melissa @Suger Coat It October 24, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Filled a comment box so decided to do a post of my own on the topic.

I think there is more than enough great content to keep me coming back to your blog. So if it puts some extra money in your family budget. Knock yourself out. And give them my email address would you, I'm trying to get to Italy here. :oP


Kimberly October 24, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I agree with you! If I could make cheedar for what I do then I'm all for it. We work really hard at our blogs!


Stylish Mummy October 24, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Totally agree with you Lori! If we can get something for what we do, then great! Pfft to the high horse people who say we are cashing out, they need to get over themselves. The formsrping person is a f**kwit!!


life in a pink fibro October 24, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Ah Lori, ignore those anonymous commenters. Do your thing, girl.


Farmers Wifey October 24, 2010 at 9:30 pm

You know you are one of my favourite people so you do what is right for you! I haven't really done any reviews or giveaways as yet…might think about it!


nadinewrites108 October 24, 2010 at 9:11 pm

This is YOUR space to be and do and say whatever you want. That's why we love it. Any other approach would be censorship of one of the last frontiers of free expression. So, go the sponsored post and, for anyone who is offended, just do what you did when you were a kid and the wicked witch was too scary to watch – just close your eyes.


Lucy October 24, 2010 at 8:52 pm

I love you and want to pash you.

If I am ever asked my thoughts on sposored posts etc I shall say "What Lori said".



Megan October 24, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I second that. Or twentieth it or however many comments you have here :)


Glowless October 24, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Amen, sista.
P.S, Right click, add to dictionary – we will not be Americanizzzzzed!


Jade October 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm

There must be something in the water lately, as this is now the third post I've read by a blogger about sponsored posts.

You know what? I like sponsored posts! I usually can't participate as I'm in the wrong country or the product isn't something I'd be interested in – but I always like to read the comments that go along with it. Usually it can be quite enjoyable reading stories or seeing pictures for the give-away.

I totally agree, if you don't like it, then don't read it. It takes two seconds to scroll further down the page or hit the close button.

You keep doing your thing, Lori.



Mrs Woog October 24, 2010 at 8:03 pm

OK – am just coming off the back of hosting Mr Woog's B'day Octoberfest afternoon – so I will wait till tomorrow to reveal my comments as am too furious to do so right now. Oh and FUCK OFF FORMSPRING COMMENTER. ps what is a formspring commentator?


Joni Llanora October 24, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Such powerful ramblings Lori. I appreciate your opinion especially 'coz I'm a newbie in this field. But I am with you that there should be more respect and tolerance in the blogosphere. You can do whatever on your space coz it is YOUR blog after all. I love any posts, sponsored or not that keeps me updated on what's out there which I may need or want. So keep it coming girl!


x0xJ October 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Love this. I don't get why people get their knickers in a knot over the smallest things. I really don't.


Very Bored in Catalunya October 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm

For me it's all about balance, get that right and you're laughing. As you quite rightly say no-one has to read the Sponsored Posts and if they're clearly marked then they can just skip them in their reader. However, it's your blog and if you want to write them, then it's your prerogative to do so.

I have unsubscribed to a couple of British blogs because for me, they didn't have the balance right. They'd started to post 1 normal post to 3/4 reviews/sponsored posts, it was tedious wading through so many adverts, even their 'normal' posts were talking about what they did and who they saw at some mummy blogging event. Dull, dull, dull.


Amy xxoo October 24, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Good on you Lori – i love your blog, and i even love your sponsored posts, especially they give me a chance to win things!
The Purple House sounds a lot like my house – i have my first day back at work after maternity leave tomorrow and the only reason i'm going back 3 days a week is because if i dont, we WONT make ends meet at my house. Like you, $20 or a free dvd or a free book is a big deal….so you do what you have to for your family woman, and you do it with your head held high!


Ebonie’s Mummy October 24, 2010 at 6:50 pm

LOVE your blog and I have never thought you posted to much sponsored stuff. I mean expecially if the reader has the option to win something, right?

How could you complain, its not like your doing in daily.
I also think its awesome that you provided the family day out to the zoo, if you can stay at home with your babies and make a little extra cash or prizes on the side then great!
Keep on keeping on girl ; )


Brenda October 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm

All I can is say is wow you get 40 emails a day? Dude, you're like a freaking CEO or sumthin. Hehe.

Seriously though, some people need to take the freaking BIG stick out of their own arse! So there.


ClaireyH October 24, 2010 at 5:40 pm

I said my piece about this at amb, people need to lighten up about this, if I am happy to try and win twenty bucks, then let me be. Hey, maybe I might even get to buy myself a new tshirt for once if I win a twenty, if not, I still enjoyed writing the piece. I love the comps on blogs. Hopefully people don't read them, more chance for me to win!


Veronica October 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm

I do sponsored post too, because money is tight. Being broken and not able to work is all well and good, but at the end of the day, not having any money is HARD.


nellbe October 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Love ya work! FWIW I love the sponsored posts, it usually means a giveaway to the reader and I have been lucky enough to win a couple in my time. I don't think you need to apologise at all. Happy days!


Good Golly Miss Holly! October 24, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Oh man, I am SO with MMBB on this one! Don't less one asshole get you down … You rock baby!


MMBB October 24, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Go you!

New slogan,

"RRSAHM – Bitches hate me coz they aint me!"


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