If I were Liz Taylor in Butterfield 8 I'd write that in lipstick on the hall mirror.
The blogosphere was abuzz yesterday with a New York Times article that cast a shadow of doubt across all of bloggerdom by insinuating that we're all paid shills. Pah! To wit:
Colleen Padilla, a 33-year-old mother of two who lives in suburban Philadelphia, has reviewed nearly 1,500 products, including baby clothes, microwave dinners and the Nintendo Wii, on her popular Web site Classymommy.com. Her site attracts 60,000 unique visitors every month, and Ms. Padilla attracts something else: free items from companies eager to promote their products to her readers....Ms. Padilla typically acknowledges in each review which products were sent to her by companies and which items she bought herself. Other items on her site include her own videos for brands like Healthy Choice, which she labels as sponsored posts. But unlike postings in most journalism outlets or independent review sites, most companies can be assured that there will not be a negative review: if she does not like a product, she simply does not post anything about it.
OK, just to get this out in the open, no one has ever paid me a dime to write a post. Now, I do sell ads but the only way someone can get onto my right column is to sell something I'd ordinarily buy and recommend. I turn down more inquiries than I accept. Further, I won't get involved in sponsored links that work their way into my editorial content.
Do I get press releases and write an occasional post based on a press release? You bet. If it's a legitimate product that fits my niche and is something I'd recommend to a client or use myself, I'd write about it in a heartbeat. Do I get anything for that? No.
I get the occasional sample (like the one I'm getting next week from Fabric on Demand) or book to review, but I don't do any of that for money. The same holds true of the give aways I've run. The lucky winner gets the prize, not me. At most, I'm after the exposure and a back link. That and the odd free-lance gig.
My goal here is write interesting and informative posts and to give people interested in renovating their homes legitimate advice. I do that every day and I always call them like I see them.
So Classy Mommy (ugh) might get a Wii and a year's supply of microwave dinners (that must be where she got the "classy" part) and more power to her. But it ain't me babe. No, no, no it ain't me babe.