In Defence of Blogging

I recently read a blog post shared on the UK Fitness Bloggers FB group that made me really sad. It was an article basically slating Mummy Blogs, but the implications run far wider than just ‘Mummy blogs’.

It suggested a few things;

  1. No one is reading blogs because they’re boring
  2. All blogs are fake
  3. All bloggers can be bought for the right price
  4. Blogger reviews can’t be trusted
  5. Blogging is a waste of time and we should just quit

Now, while I did agree with some of the points in the post, some of them really irked me. For me, it was points two, three and four that upset me most.

I try my hardest to be completely honest on both my blog and social media – it’s the reason why I’ve been so open about my anxiety, the fact that my Dietetics course isn’t quite as great as I thought it would be, and share the ups and downs of our life.

Light and free yogurt launch

As far as being ‘bought’? Well this is unfortunately true for some. Many people think that blogging is an easy way of getting freebies and paid to fanny around on a laptop. And in most cases this is just not true. I blogged for three years before I made ANY money on this blog, it actually cost me money to run it. I paid for the hosting, the design, online courses, justified buying a new camera etc, and all the time I wasn’t making any income from it. I wrote my blog before work, during my lunch breaks, and late into the night. I pissed my boyfriend and family off by constantly hiding behind a computer screen and asking to have my pic taken, I was made fun of my friends for ‘blogging’.

It’s been a long road to grow this blog, and its fab that it’s paying off. I do now make some money (although not enough that means I don’t have to work alongside blogging and studying) but I value my authenticity, my readers and my own beliefs enough that I won’t say yes to just anything. I’ve said no to plenty of paid ‘partnerships’ (diet pills will always be a NO from me), and even returned the money when I wasn’t allowed to express my opinion openly.

I want to retain your trust, so that when I say a product/race/workout is good or bad, you’ll believe me. I never agree to post something until I’ve tried it, and even then, it will be honest. My opinion cannot be bought.

In fact one of my most read blog posts ever is my less than glowing report of the Adidas Pure Boost X running shoes.

Josi Denise claimed that ‘this sort of s**t doesn’t happen in traditional journalism’ however I’m afraid it does. Magazines are decreasing in circulation and profit, and rely on advertising to continue – there is definitely a preference for product placement of advertisers both in reviews, round-ups and ‘favourites’ pages.

Please don’t lose faith in your favourite bloggers. I know I’m not the only one who always tries to provide interesting and honest content, there are plenty of trustworthy bloggers that I read on a regular basis. Sadly there are also plenty that I’ve stopped reading – be discerning, it’s easy to see those that are doing for the money and those that aren’t.

My pet peeves are when I see a blogger promoting something that is so irrelevant to their blog niche, or something that I know they were paid to write about but they aren’t open about that (or they are really shady about disclosing it). I’m also not a fan of boring blog posts rabbiting on about the product or snapchat ‘show off’ parcel unwrapping – but I think that’s another story for another time.

Light and Free yogurt

I am quite opinionated when it comes to food choices and diets. In particular, I’m very disparaging about low fat products. Mostly because I think they don’t taste as good as the full fat product, and they usually replace the fat with sugar – arguably worse for your body and your waistline! (side note: I cannot wait to have my degree so that I can talk knowledgeably and scientifically about all the fad diets out there!)

When I was invited to try the new Light & Free 0% fat yogurts from Danone, my first response was ‘no thanks’. Even when they were offering me compensation for my attendance. Despite my reservations when it comes to low fat yogurt, I read further into the press release and discovered that there’s also 0% added sugar in the product. So I tried to reserve my judgements until I actually tasted the ‘Light and Free’ yogurts and scrutinised the ingredients list.

Light and Free event

The event was at Frame in Shoreditch, a studio that I love, taking a trampolining class which helped convince me that it was just the revision break that I needed. We were there to workout, see the launch of TV ad, oh and obviously try the new yogurts.

One of the kids that I look after told me after eating one of the yogurts ‘with 0% fat and 0% sugar, I thought it would be gross, but it’s actually really good.’ You and me both, kid.

Exclusive influencer launch of Danone Light & Free this morning at FRAME in Shoreditch

As a 17 year old boy, Fred was kind of annoyed about that (salami is his usual food of choice), but has since eaten all of my blueberry & cherry flavours (I snuck out of the event with my bag packed full of samples)! They are now the go-to revision snack for the kids on Tuesday & Thursdays when I look after the family. I’m rather protective of the raspberry & strawberry versions, and of my colourful felt tips (all four of us are in the middle of exams at the moment)!

I have to admit, I could taste a slight artificial aftertaste flavour, although I’ve now got used to that. I think I’m probably more sensitive to it as I usually only eat natural Greek yogurt – none of the kids could taste it.

And although I don’t count cals, at only 61 calories per pot, I can enjoy a yogurt alongside my fave Proper Corn Sweet & Salty and a cup of tea. Revising makes me hungry/bored! The yogurts are currently half price for the launch – pop some in your basket on your next shopping trip, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Full disclosure, I was paid for attending the event but as I hope you have established from this post, my opinion cannot be bought. I will always be open and honest with you, my readers and won’t ever accept money for a review. Thank you so much for your support! X

10 Comments

  1. May 20, 2016 / 3:29 pm

    Whoa. I read that post that you linked to. Full on. Sadly a lot of it true for the masses and masses of mommy blogs. I had one myself for 7 years. I went to events, I saw the scene. I made some really good friends but the masses – oh the masses are very similar to what she describes in her post. I suspect it’s even worse (i.e. more commercial) in the States.

    As far as fitness blogs – I follow a few that I trust (like you) but ignore the massively popular ones. I just can’t trust them because they’re too glossy / too happy at ALL TIMES / too impersonal / too commercial.

    The good thing is that one can follow exactly the blogs one likes and one can run one’s own blog just the way one wants! 😀 I write just about once a week these days, just because real life is fun. I do still write though because sometimes I just want to.

    • charlotte
      May 20, 2016 / 3:34 pm

      Wow I didn’t realise there was such a difference between mummy blogs and other blogs! I guess I hardly read any- and the ones I do read are fitness mum blogs! I agree- I find the ones that are too impersonal/glossy/commercial are boring to read – I’d rather read a magazine! 🙂 xxx

  2. May 20, 2016 / 3:39 pm

    I read that blog post earlier today and it made me sad, too. I know there are bloggers out there who are in it for the money and freebies, but I won’t follow them. Like you said, they’re easy to spot. I like blogs like yours, where if you don’t love something, you say so.
    The blogging world is a bit crazy in places, but there are so many people out there just writing about what they love, or about their lives, and not sugar-coating their experiences. Those are the blogs I like to read.

  3. Elliot Kidner
    May 20, 2016 / 4:49 pm

    Keep up the good work, hatters gone hate and all that. F&@k them. I love reading your blog, the highest compliment I can pay it is 90% of stuff you review I’ll never use, can’t see myself in a sports bra or leggings any time soon!! But I still will read it because your honesty comes across about the products. (Although if you really like something I do put it on my ideas list for birthday and Christmas presents for my wife?)

    Mummy blogs rule, again something I thought I would never type!!

  4. May 20, 2016 / 7:08 pm

    Blogging has changed a lot since I started almost 8 years ago. Back then you blogged for yourself and people came round to cheer you on or see how you were doing. Nowadays it’s all about sponsorship. I don’t really “know” people anymore. At least some people seem to be all about the 20 brands they are pimping on social media. And those ones seem fake to me. Not everyone is fake though. And then there’s those of us who pretty much never made it to any ambassadorship (ok not true, I’m a Rock ‘n Blogger and Sweat Pink Ambassador) and keep blogging away even though no one comes round to cheer us on anymore. It’s all good, I read reviews and such with a grain of salt and the rest most of us can pretty much tell what’s genuine and what’s not.

  5. w. Purves
    May 20, 2016 / 8:14 pm

    So there! Well done you. G.

  6. May 20, 2016 / 10:36 pm

    No irony at all here in slagging off blogging on a blog… and a whole industry that the poster in question seems to have made a decent slug of cash out of in the past.

    Perhaps a bit of bitterness about a few less referrals / hits / PR offers these days for whatever reason?

    Anyway – crack on with what you do the people who read clearly appreciate it and you must get a lot out of writing the blog (otherwise you wouldn’t go to the effort to produce a consistently high quality site)

  7. May 22, 2016 / 11:26 am

    Well said Charlie. Just keep on doing what you’re doing. I’d rather read something interesting and personal than a glossier life-is-perfect-style post. In terms of blogging, yes I’ve written product reviews on make-up and beauty products that I genuinely use, likewise for food, sport stuff and classes. It’s all about being real and showing the good (and sometimes bad) side of being a health and fitness fanatic, being truthful when you’ve made mistakes and telling a story that people can relate to. I also love just seeing all the regulars on the circuit (which I’m really missing right now) who are as passionate as I am about health and fitness. Hope to see you soon pretty lady, keep smiling. x

  8. May 22, 2016 / 7:11 pm

    Well said. It’s a sad fact that too many are driven by paid content, but there are plenty of honest blogs out there. Personally, I stopped reading a number of blogs as there was just too much sponsored content that it no longer seemed to be about the writer. I’m also wary of writing sponsored content myself, and as such have done very little unless I really feel it’s a good “fit” for my blog and my readers.

  9. May 22, 2016 / 8:14 pm

    Ahh, that she wrote is harsh. But I guess she wanted to make it harsh to make a point. I think it can be really easy to get a little lost in blogging. I know I did. I got to a point where I was accepting samples of anything just to write a post about it. Now I turn down a lot and feel much better about it.

    Glad you liked the yoghurts in the end!

    Corinne x

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