Some of you may know that yesterday was the Adelaide Beauty Conference and I had a ball. I was so impressed by everything I felt compelled to jump on here immediately and post about how happy I am to be part of Adelaide's Blogging Community.
There are so many favourites I have for what happened yesterday (and I will do a proper recap post sharing pics and what happened in the next few days) that I feel like I have "stuff" inside me ready to burst. One of the reasons I got into blogging in the first place was because I have interest in learning more about products and ingredients so I was in my nerdy-heaven yesterday when we had a couple of different companies talking to us about their products and their philosophies.
But what I call the highlight was the blogging panel about monetising blogs featuring some bloggers who had monetised and some who had not. This is a topic I have felt uncomfortable about ever since starting to blog. There is so much finger pointing at people who receive PR samples etc... stating that they cannot be independent. Honestly I don't believe that receiving compensation makes you a sell-out but here is where it gets interesting for me.
After the last conference I did receive a number of samples from PR (which I am very grateful for), the problem was that I FELT COMPELLED to review them in a timely manner and where possible feature them on my blog. I was never asked to do this -but I didn't want to be a PR black hole so I put the pressure on myself. Ultimately because I am not willing to spend the time it takes to post everyday I found that I was no longer posting about stuff I discovered but rather stuff I received - which took the fun out of it for me.
Blogging for me is a release from my stressful and very serious full-time job and because I am the type of person who doesn't like to get something for nothing, PR samples are a bit of a double-edged sword for me. Let me guess - are you thinking did you take a goodie bag yesterday (hypocrite implied) - and the answer would be yes I did. And here's why I did.... It was stated several times that if you did not want to take a bag you did not have to, bags were provided to all bloggers rather than to me specifically and remember why I got into this in the first place - to learn about new things and products.
The products provided to us had a focus on Australian companies and natural products - which is right up my alley. There are several products included in the bags which I have been very interested to try and because I do not have an unlimited budget I may not have been able to try them for some time. I was never made to feel that my taking a bag I have to review them on here but I suspect I will (Sukin provided some items and you know how much I love them for starters).
So where to from here for my little blog - there are enough products provided yesterday to keep me busy for months so I'm not really 'open for business' but what I am is more educated about the monetising issue more generally. I know I will never monetise my blog because of my reason for starting this blog and what blogging means to me in terms of my whole life. But I am not and have not been looking down my nose at bloggers that do either.
The key to blogging for me is hearing your voice and what you have to say about things. If I start to just hear PR lines instead of what you have to say then the reason for me to read your blog has gone. It's the same reason why I don't read magazines. But that is just my personal opinion.
Anyway... I guess I just wanted to share and would be really interested in hearing your thoughts on this topic too. I am genuinely appreciative to the ABC organisers and the panel bloggers for sharing their thoughts on this issue.