The Black Out.

I've kept quiet about this PR "Black Out" as I do not do reviews on my blog or on SITS- we give stuff away from mom-prenuers, but do not review the item or receive any product for ourselves in return. The money we do make is off ads and put directly back into SITS- (like buying bounce houses).

But then I saw Scary Mommy's take on it {which I loved} and my comment to her was turning into it's own post- so here you have it.

I don't care about black outs and I am not interested in slamming other bloggers. I don't read blogs I don't enjoy. Why give someone the page views?

I would love to see brands and PR firms really look at the blogs they are advertising/supporting. Page views can be VERY misleading depending on how a blog is set up. The content, the loyalty and the readership should be the focus- the MATCH of brand to blog.

Working with Pepperidge Farm and Mr Youth on the Fishful Thinking initiative has been a wonderful experience- they offered real training, real compensation and chose their 10 faculty members based on more than page views- an interview was involved- questions about your online and offline reach- I wasn't chosen for the campaign because SITS has lots of page views (in fact, they contacted me through my personal blog and didn't even know I was the "Tiffany" of SITS)- I was chosen because I am a summer camp director who also blogs.

The truth is very few bloggers will ever make any real income from ads on their blogs. If you enjoy free stuff, go for it. If not, don't. But do take the time to know your audience- the connections we've created through blogging are not because of reviews- they are because of the glimpses we offer into each others lives.

If you are feeling burned out from blogging, turn off your computer.

The free bottle of BBQ Sauce will be there to review when you get back.

And if it's not- you'll survive.

I promise.


Heather said…
Can you hear my standing ovation? I couldn't agree more.
Anonymous said…
After I had been blogging for a few months, there was that whole thing that went down with Goggle. Well, right before that happened, I had noticed more and more people placing ads on their blogs. I had decided that, that wasn't for me. I will probably never have one paid ad on my blog ever. For what? Like you said, the people who send the stuff don't pay attention to who you are and what you are about.
I did just get an email for a product that I did think was cool. And it's something that totally makes sense in my life. So I'm gonna give it a try because I am truely interested in it since it relates to laundry. Other then that, I kind of blow people off. Like the whole other 2 people who have contacted me.
Anyway, that's my little speel, schpeel. scpeel? you know what I mean.
Unknown said…
Amen, sister! I also feel like there's so much more to a blog's value than page views and page rank. I do reviews and I have ads, but I don't blog BECAUSE of that. I enjoy a good deal, but I enjoy the relationships more.
Lula! said…
I love you and so want to make out with you right now.

Brilliantly said, Tiff! You are my hero.
I don't know what a black-out is. In reference to blogging, that is. I will look it up and inform myself.

p.s. I grabbed your button!
KatBouska said…
Well said!

And it's true. It comes down to choices and from what it sounds like people tend to get themselves in over their heads.

There's just no need for that...and I don't think PR companies ever intended for that to happen. If anything this will be a wake up call for some of them to take into consideration all of those things you listed, content, loyalty, and readership.

Kori said…
Been missing you. Very well said.
Just Lisa said…
What??? Free BBQ Sauce??? Nobody told me I had a chance to get FREE BBQ sauce! Well, let me change my page and content right now!
sassy stephanie said…
Man we are so on the same page. I've been re-evaluating my blog time. It is taking too much time away from my time with my hubby and kiddos.

I have been slimming down my reading list to those I either really enjoy reading but may never 'talk with' (big wigs like Pioneer Woman) or peeps I feel I have a 'connection' with. Those peeps are generally bloggers I have visited and had visits from for the past year. People that care that you are reading them to know them, rather than just hitting their page to spike their numbers.

Amen sister.
Scary Mommy said…
Some people need to get a life. Some people are so very annoying. And others, like yourself, just plain rock. I couldn't agree more.
Ms. Wanda said…
I really enjoy stories that I read which is why I started blogging in the first place:) I have yet to get anything for free and I still don't get the whole adsense thing:(
Your site is extremely informative:)
Pseudo said…
"the connections we've created through blogging are not because of reviews- they are because of the glimpses we offer into each others lives." Well put.
Ash said…
I got a blast e-mail from Taco Bell on becoming a part of their "help teens" movement.

I have a 3 and a 6 year old - both vegetarians.

Not that I wouldn't want to help teens, but um, interesting.

(miss you)
Jen said…
Well said. I feel the same way. I don't do ads and I never will. I don't click on them and i don't like looking at them. Its not for me. I blog not for money but for my enjoyment and to entertain others.

Oh and I am nosy. So its a perfect fit. ;)
amen...and i refuse to review if i don't believe in a product. why would you? i really enjoyed the fishful thinking stuff. anyway, well said. :)
S Club Mama said… I missed something or am just blond. What do you mean about PR Black Out?


☼Hope you're having a sunshine ☼ filled Sunday!☼
JosiahsMommy said…
If you are feeling burned out from blogging, turn off your computer.

That is exactly my problem with the black out. Well stated.
cassie said…
Very well said! This is why I love working with you. You keep it real :)

Did I see free taco bell in the comments? They obviously missed their biggest fan in that blast email! lol
Marrdy said…
Very well said!
Susie said…
Ver sound advice:-)
I've wanted to blog about this, too. Only, I don't want anyone clicking her site even once by drawing their attention to it. Totally L.A.M.E.

AMEN to your words!
I blog for other reasons than money. I tried ads for about 2 days when I first started blogging and it just felt wrong and wasn't what I was about.

I'm a "connections" girl, making connections on an emotional level, that is. I am paid with comments, stories, laughs, friendships, camaraderie, understanding, and advice on my blog. It's been more than enough for me :)
Juliet Grossman said…
This is totally topical for me now so THANK YOU. You have a funny way of hitting on things that a lot of people are thinking about and actually stating them in words....saying them out loud. Good characteristic in a blogger!

I don't blog for the money because if I did, I'd have given that up as futile a long time ago lol. It's a hobby and an outlet. I just wrote one of those "Not Me!" posts about a bad shopping experience and I feel SO much better now - just unbelievably better. I know if I didn't have this outlet I'd be stewing.

I recently started another site (not a blog but an online newspaper/magazine) and am dealing now with the issue of "swag." People do want to give you freebies to get you to attend events or try their wares. I decided to handle it on a case by case basis but always disclose if I do end up accepting something like free tix. I'm not making money at this new venture and honestly free tix to attend an event that would cost me $35 or $50 could be the difference between getting me there to write about it or not.

Sorry this is getting long.....Anna at wrote about how much bloggers can get paid on the Personal Finance section of her blog here (it was a few mos ago.) It was pretty interesting. She did an analysis of how much various paid bloggers might be making.
Sarahviz said…
Yep. You and I have talked about this before. It's not all about the page views.
Amy Lynn said…
It can get overwhelming at times, that is for sure. Being a website designer, I tried my hand at blogging to find out it's a whole different ball game.

I'm heading over to read ScaryMommys post right now about this black out, because it's the first I've heard about it.

Thanks for the info.
John Deere Mom said…
Greedy Grace's comment cracked me up! :) Glad to see a post from you, BTW. :)
Anonymous said…
I dont look or read ads because of the ads and if they happen to have them on there, I barely notice. I read blogs because Im interested in people's lives. I write my own because I enjoy writing about my own life and because I will have it to print out and look back on. No ads for me. Not interested.
3 Bay B Chicks said…
When did you develop the power to read my mind? :)

This post is fantastic, Tiffany, and I couldn't agree with your thoughts more. Honestly, PR and social media naturally seem to go hand in hand. The trick is making the right "love connection". Brands should not associate with bloggers simply because they may have x number of page views.

If the content is utterly horrible, uninventive, and downright offensive, what is the point? I have a hard time believing that companies want to be aligned with bloggers like these long term.

Amy said…
This was a great post. I do not know much about the PR stuff. I do not do it. But I see other who do and it is fun to watch what they do next. I really just enjoy blogging and having fun and meeting new people for sure.
Anonymous said…
Amen sista ;-)

Jamie :)
I don't know why but I never seem to get burned out from blogging. But then again I haven't been blogging even a year yet. I just get super busy and can't blog.
Anonymous said…
I'm all about blog content. It's my choice to read a blog, and it's my choice about what I put in my blog, if it fits my mission and my purpose. I'll come back to a blog if the content is worth reading, not because someone's peddling a product!

Great prompt for discussion!
Decor To Adore said…
I am crawling out from under a rock so please forgive me for not knowing there was a PR blackout.:)

When I began my blog a little over a year ago it was a solution to documenting my life (which includes family, career, friends) since I have no time to scrapbook. I write my blog for myself. Period. Fast forward a year and my blog readership is beyond anything I ever dreamed of. But the bottom line is that I still just write for one person. Me. That is why you'll find no ads on my blog. But I have no problem with blogs that do have ads because I assume that they are writing for themselves and if that is what they want on their blogs then great because it is their blog.

Thank you so very much for featuring me today and make sure you enter the SITS GIVEAWAY.
Swirl Girl said…
uh- I think I missed something completely. For a change.
Live.Love.Eat said…
I had to go check out SCary Mommy's post on the PR Blackout because I wasn't sure what you were talking about. Now that I do, may I say Amen SITSta.

Now that things have settled I am going to make a comeback to being a good Saucy little girl and visiting each day. Sorry I had been MIA for a few months.
Love that take! I want my blog and my bloggy reads to add to my life - not take away from it. :)
Cheryl Lage said…
Ha! PR Blackout? Didn't know there was one...and too lazy to go read about it. I'd rather catch up on all your posts, 'cuz woman, you get me---and clearly, a LOT of us!

I've got no issue with people putting up ads. I've got no issue with people boycotting ads. I do take issue with people making blogging feel "clique-y" or like it's something I should feel is my "job," or when it's used as a way to judge others' choices.

Blog and let blog! ;)
(Love you so Tiffany, and am I ever glad FT wasn't based on page views or I'd---me of the wee page views--- never have gotten to meet you!)
Carrie said…
The glimpses we offer into each others lives.

So well put!
I don't have a huge following, but I have "met" some amazing people reading the blogs. If someone wants to review, or giveaway items, go for it. It's not why I visit, and if it bothers you then move along.
I guess I don't get the part about boycotting for a week because you are burned out. If you are burned out, take a break. I don't think we need a movement to do that.
You said though, didn't you? Much better than me! :)
Mariah said…
well said, just turn the computer off! Sheesh
I'm all about shutting off my computer and plugging into my family : )
Gabrielle said…
AMEN!!! Fantastic post, thank you!
Jennifer said…
Wow! I couldn't agree more! I AM blown away at how some people can have everything paid for with things like a new baby and whatnot... (hey, if I could get a free crib from my blog cool) but that's not the point of MY blog. The point is to write my thoughts, my passions, my questions! And THAT'S what got me "where I am" or whatever in blogging, not reviewing some shampoo. Personally, that's not my style, HOWEVER I have reviewed things like bellybars, or prenatal stuff but that's down right my life... and I write it like that, not like an ad.

I dunno... I personally like it better that way! Well said lady!
Megan R. said…
Yeah, I don't get the purpose of the "black out". If you don't want to do reviews, then don't do them. Who cares?

Personally, I LIKE doing reviews. It's afforded me the opportunity to try stuff (mainly cloth diapers) that I would never have been able to purchase otherwise. It's been great for our family, but I sure never expect to support us doing it.

I agree... if you are burned out, then stop blogging. Your true readers will be there when you get back.
Elizabeth said…
Great post and true.
Unknown said…
I don't even know what a black out is. Sometimes, a lot of times, I think I am the worst blogger in America : ) and when I do, well, I step away from the computer, grab my camera and grab my kid and head out the door : ) There is SO much more to life than blogging!
Leah said…
I'm with you. Blogging for me is for fun, connections, and my love of writing. You've capture my sentiments exactly in your post. Thanks.

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