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OOTD // Blogging Chat: Brand Samples

Poncho: c/o JD Williams Leggings: c/o OASAP Necklace: c/o OASAP Boots: c/o Lovelyshoes This is the second piece of knitwear I was sent by JD…

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jumper4

Poncho: c/o JD Williams
Leggings: c/o OASAP
Necklace: c/o OASAP
Boots: c/o Lovelyshoes

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This is the second piece of knitwear I was sent by JD Williams, you can see the first item I got and more about the brand in this post.

Let’s have a chat.

So, upon writing this post, I listed where all the items in this outfit were from and then felt a pang of embarrassment because they’re all brand samples.

Oh no, I thought. I’m becoming one of those bloggers.

I see it a lot on Twitter, where bloggers make comments that if an outfit is all samples, or a blogger posts sponsored posts and reviews regularly, they go off the blogger. Sometimes they even… dun dun DUUUNNN, unfollow. This is because the blogger is, apparently, no longer genuine.

And that bothers me.

I didn’t put these leggings and these boots with this top because I was asked to show them as much as possible. I did it because I like how they look together. I’ve already shown the leggings in another post, so I was under no obligation to post them in a different outfit – I just wanted to.

I sometimes look at my blog schedule and there’s been times when 5 or so posts have been working with brands in one week and I’ve had an internal battle with myself whether I should posts them. But then, when I’ve e-mailed a brand and told them I’ll have a post up by next weekend, or within 7 days, I don’t want to break that agreement and risk seeming unprofessional.

Even though blogging is not my profession and I’m not often given time scales by brands – I like to be reliable as I understand PRs will have clients that want results and targets to meet.

Truth is, I enjoy writing reviews and creating posts about things I receive. This is because I love blogging. And I see items I get as new content for my blog, not a new free item for my wardrobe.

Without getting samples, I’d probably not have as many things to write about. I find they spark ideas, keep me motivated and allow me to explore new brands help promote them. Some of my favourite posts have been reviews or sponsored posts that have inspired me to write about something I probably would never have thought of, or something I’ve been meaning to write about but just could never find the write way to present the post. Then a product that sparks a memory of childhood, or a post that allows me to fit my passion for exercise comes up and it just fits. And I love it.

I don’t see why I should be ashamed by that. As long as I keep my integrity by:

  • Never trying to influence someone to buy something I don’t like.
  • Not agreeing to work with a topic that is outside my genuine interests and likes.
  • Feeling blogging is a chore.
  • Keeping my posts interesting and fresh.

The chance to work with brands can be very inconsistent, there are weeks when I might have nothing to review, but other weeks where I have enough to full up my whole schedule!

I’m not going to be ashamed or frightened to post that I’ve been gifted a product. As long as I am honest towards my feelings towards it and I know I’ve worked hard on creating the post, then I’m not going to amend my schedule incase some people think all I post is reviews.

And you shouldn’t too.

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.

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29 comments

  1. Woo you go girl! To be honest, I think bloggers who say that just haven’t been in the position. I have stopped enjoying blogs which post totally irrelevant sponsored posts which don’t reflect their interests, but like you said if it’s something you’d choose and enjoy yourself, who cares?

    India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

  2. I’ve been struggling with the same thing lately. I only just started working with brands and very quickly found a lot of brand posts in my schedule and I worried a LOT about seeming fake or ‘in it for the samples’ and those other things people say but I agree with you, I wouldn’t post if I didn’t like them and I wouldn’t be able to post as much either because going out and buying products, making recipes, paying for dinner is all expensive! I think as long as you keep writing it in your own voice then your readers will respect that 🙂 x

  3. Ah Corinne you really shouldn’t worry people know you are genuine. I wouldn’t normally go for orange but this looks really lovely on and especially with the leggings. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Lucy x

  4. Merry Christmas Corinne – I love that colour on you (and I agree about the samples/money issue.)

    Lizzie’s Daily Blog

  5. I understand your fears because I have unfollowed a couple bloggers because they started doing that. One I particularly have in mind was a Seventeen Style Council member. After she started with Seventeen, all of her posts were sponsored or had all gifted clothes. Nothing was hers anymore. She also didn’t seem genuine anymore, nor did she she address the issue like you have. Since you have addressed this now, I am certainly not going to put you two into the same category. I’m glad you’re up front and honest with your readers.

    Theatricality by Mariah

  6. Thank you for this. I’m not a very popular blogger yet, and I haven’t got any samples. But I completely agree with you on this one ♥
    Amy xx

    Perfect Imperfections

  7. I enjoy reading PR reviews and doing them as I agree with you, it sparks better posts and views on my blog. Cute outfit Corinne. Rachel xo

  8. As long as products fit in with the general concept of a blog, sponsored posts don’t really bother me. Sometimes I don’t bother reading posts which are clearly sponsored, or are reviews of products/subscribtion boxes that I’ve already seen on other blogs, but that doesn’t make me want to actually unfollow the blog! I totally understand why people include sponsored content on their blogs x

  9. first of all: lovely outfit!
    secondly: i agree, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with working with brands or getting samples or doing sponsored posts. if you didn’t want to work with them, then you can always say no i think! people who complain are probably those who just love to have a whinge! aslong as you’re honest and have a disclaimer, then there should be no issue. my blog has enabled me to live since around march, so i’m grateful for sponsored content etc!

    from helen at thelovecatsinc.com

  10. I’m so, SO pleased you posted this!
    I could not agree more – as long as a sample is honestly to your taste, you post genuine reviews about it, and include a disclaimer, then everything is fine & dandy! Bugs me so much how people moan about this!

    That aside, your outfit is fab! A great way to brighten up gloomy Wintery days! 🙂

    x

  11. I had quite similar thoughts about my own blog the other day, so thank you for sharing this. And hello hot stuff in that OOTD!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

  12. Okay first off, I love everything about this outfit! It’s so cute on you! It looks more autumn-ish but then again that might be the reason why I like it so much.

    As for the whole sponsored posts, I agree with what you are saying. I haven’t started those types of posts yet. I’d like to one day, just to add something new to my blog. 🙂

    Meg(z)han.

  13. I am in total love with the colour of the jumper. It doesnt matter whether things are samples or not to me. If I like the outfit and enjoy the post, that is all I care about. You work hard on your blog, and so therefore you deserve to get some little perks to the job xx

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