Last Friday, myself and 50 or so other bloggers gathered together for my third Bloggers Brunch run by the lovely Christie from Kids Business.
These mornings are a great way to catch up with other bloggers, to have a champers and a touch of pampering (thanks Ellie makeup) and to be introduced to some of the new products being launched by a variety of brands and organizations.
It started well enough, catching up with blogging buddies old and new. Then wouldn’t you know it, I was called up to model one of the latest looks from Mix Apparel, the new clothing brand by Coles.You know when you have this weird feeling they are going to pick you, so you pretend to be busy, play with your phone and look anywhere but at the lady up there with the microphone…and yet they still call you up? Anyway despite the apprehension of having about 50 or so other bloggers watching me strut my stuff on the catwalk (most clicking away photos to later appear in twitter streams and on facebook), it was sweetened a little by the offer of Mix to let those of us that modelled, keep our outfit. And I must say the clothes are really pretty good and best of all, reasonably priced. A little weird to be buying clothes whilst doing the groceries, but apparently all the rage in the U.S and U.K.
After the fashion parade I made my way to see some of the products that are hitting the stores and so headed to the folk at Logitech. I was interested in learning about speaker docks for the boys ipods and accessories for the ipad. Whilst my son does a lot of typing on the ipad I was pleased to discover some great keyboard attachments that also act as ipad covers. Well fast forward to the end of the brunch and who should win the fabulous ipod speakers but yours truly! I must admit I did feel a little like a prize hog as I took out the clothes and the speakers…oh and then was called up with 5 other bloggers whilst everyone sang happy birthday!
Anyway whilst we went home laden with bags of goodies, and I did discover some other great products, I think I will use this as an opportunity to have my first giveaway. So stay tuned!
And speaking of brands and blogs and products and sponsors, it is probably a good time to state my position on making money or receiving product for a blog.
Most bloggers work extremely hard on their blogs for very little monetary reward. I know that I blog because I love writing and I truly feel that I have something valuable to say and hopefully fulfil a need in my readers, be that to inform, to empathise, to support, encourage, give advice or purely to entertain. But if I am offered some form of sponsorship or product I will take it on only if it is in keeping with the aims of my blog, which is to help parents thrive in the world of modern parenting . This may mean it is a product I think will help make parents life easier, may help their daily grind, may entertain or educate their kids or may just add some fun to their day. In saying that however, I will not sing the praises of a company just because they have sent me a packet of biscuits, nor will I say I enjoyed a DVD if I did not. (note to DVD companies, I really don’t like a lot of kids movies so don’t send me any unless they are amazing and will keep me glued to the TV).
Thanks again to Christie and all the companies that did take the time to meet with bloggers. It is encouraging to know that brands are realising the potential of bloggers as an avenue to show off their products. They are realising that readers have a certain trust in the bloggers they read and are excited by the interaction and community spirit that these blogs are creating. But whilst this is all good and well, creating great content takes time and effort, and the time and effort of every parent is precious. If I am going to spend it writing on my blog, I will always have the final say about what I write.
Do you like reading blogs that offer product reviews? Do you like the opportunity to participate in giveaways and competitions on the blogs you read?