Friday, 28 January 2011

Bloggers & PR Samples

 Image from here
A few weeks ago I received a Formspring question which I wanted to address not because it annoyed me but simply because I wanted to clear a few things up and also hear you opinion. I am sure a lot of people will not agree with what I have to say but I still would love to have your input, I even accept anonymous comments so you don’t have to leave your name.

The question was ‘Do you think PR companies really look if people have PR at the top of their blog? It annoys other bloggers that don’t have them, it’s like people are looking for freebies’

Click here to see original question and answer

I  quite openly state numerous times on my blog that I do accept press samples,  I try to only accept products which will appeal to my readers and which I think will benefit my blog. I do not expect companies to send me products and am flattered every time a company does.

Do you think PR companies look for the ‘contact me’ section on your blog?
When I first started blogging I didn’t even mention PRs, I simply had a contact me section for my readers to be able to contact me, ask questions and request posts however PR companies started to contact me as well. My email isn’t there to advertise for samples but if a PR company is on my blog they might be looking for it.
In response to the line ‘It annoys other bloggers that don’t have them’ I would say that I to was once a blogger that had never received any free products, and if you are blogging in the hope to receive free products then you are doing it for the total wrong reason. Although I do receive some products which I don’t pay for I wouldn’t call them freebies. Although I don’t pay for them I do spend a lot of time and even money to make this blog as good as I can. It is very time consuming to take photos, crop them, resize them, upload them and then write a review including links, information and prices. I also spent quite a lot of money on my camera mainly so my readers could have clearer photos, if I didn’t blog I could have spent this money on beauty products. The reason I do spend all this time is because I love blogging and I love sharing my experiences & opinions with you not so I can receive PR samples!

I could stop accepting samples but this would mean far less posts and far less diversity in the products I show. I am a student living in London living of my student loan if I didn’t accept samples then I would probably only do a post every week and my blog would be far more boring. I could also talk about new collections and products which I haven’t tried but me trying them and sharing my experience can save you from buying products that may not work and bring your attention to new great products.

Does the fact that I received a product for free affect my review?
No not at all, I wouldn’t ever claim to like a product if it wasn’t the truth and I feel that my review go into depth about why I like or don’t like the product, why it worked for me and what type of person I would recommend it for. I will also say that sometimes I do chose not to review a product if I don’t have too much to say about it or if it didn’t do much for me. At the moment I have no sponsored posts on my blog but if I were to decide to do some it would only be about products I truly believe in.

Every time you open a magazine you are constantly marketed and sold beauty products which you may go out and buy however no one ever questions or even thinks too much about how truthful their reviews and recommendations are and in my opinion bloggers are more likely to give their true opinion.

I am going to leave it there for now but I might do another blog post relating to the same topic, please leave all comments and questions below. Remember you can leave anonymous comments if you don't want to leave your name. Feel free to leave a comment disagreeing with all or some of what I say but please share your opinion. 

Sabrina X

 photo homeeee_zps214aed0e.jpg


  1. Agree with everything you said here! I personally really enjoy your blog posts on new collections and products as it's great to read about something from an honest opinion rather than just an advert before I buy it :-D I even have a small list of products I want to try, partly because of your recommendations. Your blog is brilliant that way it is now :-) :-) And you shouldn't feel bad at all for receiving products because it's obvious you've out a lot of time and effort in to blogging x x

  2. This is a great post. I would also like to add that for certain beauty products, bloggers get them earlier so people who read blogs can review them and have opinions out there before the products go to market.

    I think it's amazing whenever I get "freebies", and people who get upset that other bloggers get freebies are potentially jealous because they started blogging in order to get freebies?!


    Lauren Loves...

  3. "I could stop accepting samples but this would mean far less posts and far less diversity in the products I show. I am a student living in London living of my student loan if I didn’t accept samples then I would probably only do a post every week and my blog would be far more boring."

    I disagree with this. When you started your blog, you had the means to post - and post you did right? I mean you already owned plenty of make up and skincare products to fuel your blog post ideas. I also don't doubt that you had exactly the same enthusiasm for make up and blogging THEN that you do NOW, otherwise you wouldn't have started a blog in the first place.

    When I started blogging the whole PR thing was relatively unheard of, there'd been just the one Barry M event and that was a pretty big deal. Now as we know, there are at least a couple taking place most weeks. I don't post any more frequently now than I did when I first started blogging - regardless of how many samples now fall on my doormat.

    The samples and invites we get are nice, but if they stopped tomorrow my blog would keep going - and I'm pretty sure yours would be too. I hope so anyway!

  4. @VexintheCity- I agree and disagree with your comment. I started blogging a couple of months before the Barry M event and at quite a young age too. I was just starting to buy new products and didn't post as many reviews. TBH I don't know how many cosmetics I would own now if I didn't blog because when I started blogging I didnt have a huge amount - but I was just 16!

    If samples stopped tomorrow I wouldn't stop blogging of course! However I think it would be hard for me to fund the amount of products I do review, I would still try my best but no way could I buy as many products.

    Samples do not fuel my enthusiasm at all and I love to blog! However my blog also doesn't pay for me to get to uni every morning and live my day to day life and can't spend all my money on makeup (even though I wouldnt mind!)

  5. I think I partly agree with you and party agree with Yinka (Vexinthecity). I already had a lot of knowledge about make-up and beauty products before this whole PR thing started. So I would not say I would have less to post if it was not for PR samples. But I agree with you that it surely helps maintain reader interest regarding the diverse range of products that we can now showcase to them and give our opinion on.

    Blog's are such a refreshing change compared to boring mags which according to me, write what most people already know!

    Great post! :)


  6. This is a great post, i love reading more debate fueling blogs from time to time. However saying that, i'm really relaxed over the whole "freebies" thing, if i'm honest, i don't get them sent to me and i can still blog, i don't have the money at the moment to buy new things due to being unemployed but i still try to blog about what i already own ( i admit my inspiration ran dry recently, but that's due to feeling down hearted about job hunting, not that i don't have enough to already blog about). I have been sent one or two samples but it's not a regular thing, and i'm fine with that. I think the only thing that really annoys me about samples is they're sent to far too many bloggers, and i suddenly have like 6 or 7 posts on my dashboard from different bloggers all writing about the same thing, and all saying the same thing. That's really my only pet hate with them, but i don't think it's the bloggers fault, and wouldn't hate on them over it, because it's not their fault the PR company decide to send out 100 of the same thing. Sorry about this rambly comment, and if it doesn't make any sense please feel free to delete it haha!

    Hannah xx

  7. You know what? I commented as if you were in a similar financial situation to me when I started blogging, so your statement does make more sense now. At 16 you'd have been limited to what you could afford in comparison to me aged 28 and working F/T when I started my blog.

    And yes, I agree wholeheartedly with your last paragraph - my blog and love of make up and skincare does NOT fund my monthly Oystercard, put food in my mouth, etc either! If it did, I'd be ballin'! LOL

    I may not always comment, but I've read your blog consistently since I discovered it, so you're doing something right in my book :-)

  8. What that person said was so stupid. To me it hints that they are just jealous that some bloggers get sent quite a lot. Personally I get sent things to review most weeks but it doesn't mean that I don't buy make up to review. If companies like to send samples out to bloggers in exchange for a review that is honest, what's the problem? It also means that we get to try brands that otherwise we wouldn't have known about and neither would the readers. Blogging every day isn't easy so the fact that bloggers get to go to events & get sent products is just a nice bonus that keeps us going in a way.

  9. I agree with you on all of this. I trust other bloggers much more than magazines, and I look to blogs for opinions on products. I don't think it matters if someone was sent something for free as long as they mention it and a big issue is that they must still be honest and not be biased just because they got it for free.


  10. I completely agree with this post.

  11. I think it's great when people post truthful, honest reviews like this.
    I completely sympathise with you, i'm still in high school and I know how expensive and difficult it can be to post everyday, particularly when you're struggling for money.
    At the end of the day, I, and i'm sure you to, love blogging and wouldn't give it up for anything! and if it means PR companies send you things then embrace it!

  12. ah totally agree with you x

  13. I think you are absolutely right !
    It doesn't matter if you get your products for free or not.. What counts is that you have a great blog with interesting posts..
    I don't get free samples or anything but I still enjoy blogging & that's what I like about your blog to ! It's clear to me that you are so motivated and I love all your reviews !

    Keep up the good work !


  14. wouldnt worry about a thing, i love your blog just way it is, your doing a fab job :) luv louise xoxo

  15. bellissimo blog,mi piace cosi tanto che ti ho seguito!
    Se ti va passa da me,mi farebbe piacere!

  16. Absolute word for word perfection! I couldnt have said it better myself.
    No true beauty blogger does it hoping for free samples,I didnt even know that we could get them until a company sent me some in the post.
    Luckily they were fab products and i happily reviewed them,but as you said it takes alot of time! I took 200 photos to get 4 perfect ones to show how appreciative i was to the company who sent me these (expensive) products.
    Anyway ramble over haha!
    Im a follower now cant wait to read more of your blog please check mine out
    Love Nat xxx

  17. Hey mate! I quite agree with your opinion. Thanks for posting this.

  18. Hi there! I quite agree with your opinion.

  19. Totally agree with you; I can't believe that other bloggers would be jealous of someone who has been sent products to test. There is enough room for every blogger out there and like you say, if they are only blogging to receive samples then clearly they are in it for the wrong reasons. Blogging for me is a hobbie and something I enjoy doing when I have some spare time on my hands. I am in shock really that you have even had to write this post! Loving all the support you have received from fellow bloggers and I certainly love your blog - keep it up :) x

  20. As long as everyone's honest about it, I don't see the problem. You've displayed that you are more than willing to discuss the matter and you've said that it doesn't effect your views on the products you review.

    Everything is fine and dandy. :-)

  21. I agree with you, you can always tell if someone genuinely enjoys blogging or just does it as a chore!
    Lots of love from New Zealand,

  22. Totally agree with this blog. I didnt start blogging to gain free beauty products. I started because I love to write and I love makeup! Simple! Thanks for all the great advice as well!