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Mar 5, 2013

Blogging and Products

5 miles on the schedule today.  Started off a little slow but sped things up in the middle.  Felt good after the run.  Always a good sign.  Of course, I rarely feel bad at the end of a run.


If you happen to have a blog, then I'm sure you occasionally get requests from PR firms that represent companies that want you to either review their product and/or blog about their product or event.  As the blog has grown ever so slightly, I have received more requests than I have in the past.  I presume that is because of the exposure of the blog.  Now, of course, I'm no Huffington Post(ha far from it), but I do try to provide informative reading in regards to the running/fitness/health industry.  In fact, I still consider myself a newbie in the blogging world.  I do it for the love of the sport.  Given that, I do have a couple particular things that I consider before presenting any product to my readers and they are quite simple and really are common sense.

First, I never review any product on the blog unless I've actually used the product.  While receiving new products to test and review is an awesome perk of the blog, I've had numerous requests to promote products without the company allowing me to test them.  It's not something I would ever do. Why? fact, how can anyone do a review or promote a product that they have never tried?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for hand outs ok maybe I am, and I have done some reviews where I send the product back to the company(which I'm ok with) after my review.  It's just not possible to discuss a product you've never used.

Second, it would be nice when companies send out requests to do a review and/or discuss an event that they actually read at least some of the blog so they know what I talk about.  Sorry, but I'm not interested in talking about most things unrelated to the running/fitness/triathlon/nutrition/blogging industry.  Also, just because I live in Detroit does not mean I want to talk about an event in Detroit unless that event fits in with the blog.  I think it would be great for people who send requests for events or products know I'm a guy too.  No, I'm not interested or even allowed to run in your "ladies only" event.  No, I don't think I'll be running in a bra anytime soon and therefore, I decline the request to review.  Unless, of course, I grow some man boobs and usually you need to be out of shape to do that.  Hah!

PR Companies, please don't get me wrong - there are lots of great PR companies out there who do an incredible job for their clients.  I have worked with many of them.

Makes sense, right?

By the way, the same goes for bloggers.  Don't ask PR companies for product reviews until you built up a base of readers.  There are ways to track this through google stats and other companies and I'm still learning this myself.  Having a good way to track things is important.  Company's that want reviews want to know that there is some value there so you need to show that to them.  It's business - it's not personal.  My suggestion is that if you want to do reviews of products, start with something you've purchased.  It's a great service for your readers so they are more informed before they buy.  Here's a great article related to that subject.  Click HERE.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!


  1. I hear ya! I get some pretty crazy requests to promote things that i have never tried and would never consider trying. I do like getting free things though.

  2. I agree 100% with you. I don't get many requests like that because our SA market is small and SA blog readers are not many. But I get requests from companies in other countries about products we don't have here and I don't know at all. That can get a bit too much for me sometimes.

  3. You always review with integrity Jeff. As you read in my last (mostly) tongue in cheek recent post, I have become incredibly bitter and depressed and traumatized for not getting showered with running products to review, so went ahead and reviewed some of my favorites anyways. My minimal number of followers and readership I am sure is a barrier.

  4. I hear you on getting product review requests for products that just don't fit my blog - after a while it gets kind of comical :)

  5. So I'm guessing you turned down the request to review adult diapers...yep me too. I don't run THAT far. :-)

  6. No one offers me diddly squat. Guess I'm too small time for them. :) That and / or I may not have an email address Posted...

    If I ever do get requests, I hope to approach it the same way as you do.

  7. I have a policy that I've stuck to, even if it kills me to turn down really cool stuff. And I agree that publicists could do a better job of filtering requests. I learned the hard way not to accept any "blogging awards" from Web sites for just that reason.