One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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Do you post negative reviews on your blog?

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I’ve been writing product reviews on Roni’s Weigh for some time now. At first they started as "Food Finds". I’d simply post about products I found, used and loved. These posts weren’t paid for and the brands behind the products had no idea I was writing them. I was just sharing my thoughts as a consumer.

As the blogging industry matured and my blog became more popular I started receiving products to review. I categorized these posts as "Product Reviews" as I wanted my readers to know the product was something I tried specifically for the purpose of reviewing

One of the major differences between a "find" and a "review" was that finds were always skewed positive. The point of those posts were to share things I liked and found useful. Why would I bother posting about a product I didn’t like? That’s just not my style.

With reviews, however, I find myself in a predicament. If a company sends me a sample of their product and I end up not liking it, well, what do I do? There’s no way I’ll write a positive review for something I don’t like. So that’s off the table but do I bother to write one at all? Do I even want to publicize a product I don’t like?

When a company reaches out I like to let them know that I reserve the right to not post a review at all based on my reaction to the product. I also make it clear that I will only post HONEST reviews and the review I write may in fact be negative if I feel it’s warranted.

I’ve written about product reviews before but I didn’t solicit thoughts on posting negative reviews. I have not been a fan of the last few products I received and I’m wondering if I’m doing my audience a disservice by not warning them. However, as I stated, I don’t like to publicize products I don’t like. I’m also not normally Negative Nilly. It’s just not my brand.

What’s a blogger to do?

Do you post negative reviews on your blog?



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 14 comments so far.

    Sam @ Mom At The Barre

    June 14, 2011

    I have been wondering this very thing. I was recently asked to review a product and being relatively new to the blogosphere I am not sure what the approach is.

    I would think that companies would expect me to give my honest opinion. But I have never read any negative product reviews on a blog and I felt that it was for the reason you mention-that one just does not want to publicize something one did not enjoy.

    I am curious about what other more experienced bloggers have to say on this matter.

    Carrie

    June 14, 2011

    if it’s a product i purchased myself i’d post it.

    if a company sent me the product for review i contact them and let them know that my review is negative before posting it and let them decide if they want it posted or not.

    Karen@WaistingTime

    June 14, 2011

    How timely! I have only been offered products to review twice. Just recently it was something that I was willing to try but told the marketer that I would NOT dedicate a whole post to the item, only a mention. Just today he checked in to follow up. Anyhoo, the product was adequate and I am struggling with what to say. I intend to be honest. Glad that it is at least not something negative. But I think I would be as tactfully honest as I could; I owe that to my readers.

    Jaimie

    June 14, 2011

    I’m not a terribly good blogger, so I say this from the blog reader perspective. I would love if more people posted negative reviews when they are feeling them. If people only post positive reviews, then reviews are pointless because you never know when people aren’t happy with something. As a consumer of blogs, I would love if there was more honest approaches to reviews (meaning people post when they receive something and say their response without regard to what the company is going to think EVERY SINGLE TIME). The problem of course is that if one blogger starts doing it companies will just stop sending them products and send them instead to the positive post people only. Ideally all bloggers would agree to post their review, good, bad or otherwise, and then companies would have to accept that their products are going to be honestly reviewed and if they aren’t prepared for that they perhaps should rethink their product.

    Michael Badger

    June 14, 2011

    Use your power for good. If you feel the product poses a danger, is a scam or something, I think it is okay to warn readers. For the most part, it is a best practice to write up an honest review, and let the company know what you think. Who knows? Your suggestions may change the product or prompt them to change it into something you love. After providing the negative review to the company, offer them a chance to resolve the issues.

    Then offer 3 options:
    1. A redo review after they take your review in advisement.
    2. Post the review as written. (bad publicity is better than no publicity at all…to some)
    3. Not post the review at all.

    I say no, spread love not crappy products!! Or do what Mike says above!!

    Emmie

    June 14, 2011

    If the company provided the product gratis, I would probably disclose with them the content of your potential review (the negative points). I would give them the option to not have the post go up, or to have them be able to make constructive comments on the post when it goes up.

    Coco

    June 15, 2011

    I’ve written positively and negatively about products I’ve found and tried on my own. I’ve only gotten 2 product samples to review and I’ve liked both products, so this has not been an issue. As a blog consumer, I hope to read honest reviews, the good and the not-so-good. If a blogger is 100% positive about 100% of the products reviewed, I think they lose credibility and I will stop reading them (or those posts). Most often your opinion is a matter of personal taste, so others very may well like what you don’t, and you could point that out too.

    Virginia

    June 15, 2011

    I receive books to review and am always honest about what I think. Those are the only actual products I receive.

    Once in a while I review things that come in to me as PR pitches. I’ve written some completely negative reviews in response to PR pitches, and some that are more tempered. Here’s an example of a ‘tempered’ review: The Future Will be Captioned On Your iPhone – Maybe

    Amy @ Sims 3 Gamer

    June 16, 2011

    When I first started blogging, I posted whatever review the product deserved. If I hated it then I didn’t hold back in my review and vice versa.

    Once I started getting more requests to review products, I started only reviewing items I really liked. It kept me from doing lots of extra work and kept the PR folks from having to explain a very negative review.

    There’s a fine line and each blogger has to find that sweet spot.

    Patty

    June 16, 2011

    I don’t post negative reviews but I am more likely to post something on my blogs facebook wall as a ” heads up” to my readers, who mostly follow me there as well.

    it’s a tough call.

    Mary Nell

    June 18, 2011

    Roni,
    What I love about you is your honesty and I value your opinion. When you say you love something, I’m more willing to try it out. Of course, once I try it, I have my own opinion (i.e. I hate chocolate vitatops; maybe I would like the other flavors, but I haven’t tried them because the fiber taste was too strong for me). So, if you posted a negative review, I would take it seriously. The ultimate question is do you want that responsibility? :)

    Anda T

    June 22, 2011

    Oooh! This is a good post (and comments)! I recently found myself in this predicament, while not being sent the product necessarily for review, but more as a consolation prize. So, here’s my two cents:

    The product I was sent, I actually had some experience with on the development/marketing of similar products in my career. While my review wasn’t stellar, especially for my size, I offered the company some suggestions on how to improve their product. I don’t think they were over the moon on the not-rave review, but they did take the time to tell me they heard what I had to say and passed that info along to the development team. I do think it was more constructive than just outright bashing the company’s product. (Which, to be honest, I was sorely tempted to do. There were some serious WTF moments while using it.)

    If there’s nothing constructive or helpful to suggest, then I’d let the company know what you thought, why and see how they’d like to address it.

    Tami@nutmegnotebook

    June 23, 2011

    Thanks for bringing this issue to for the forefront. I have wondered about this. It is a quandary.

    Luckily,I have liked the items that I have been sent for free and asked to review.

    Some products have been pricey like POM juice and I stated that it was pricey in my post but also delicious and something I would buy occasionally not frequently.

    I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t like the product.