The Review Ballerina's Blogging (Fact and Fiction Revealed)
This morning, I awoke to find a rather...disheartening e-mail. I had contacted a company last night regarding doing a review of one of their products and that review would've been shared in multiple Facebook holiday groups. The e-mail accused us of being "junk mail" and just trying to get free stuff and I got rather frustrated. It was clear based on the e-mail I wasn't supposed to see this, I was supposed to just be ignored which happens 85% of the time we reach out to a company. But he hit "reply" instead of "Forward" so I got to see. I rescinded the invitation to work with the company based upon the fact that if he did later on decide we were worth working with on a review, I didn't want my readers to deal with that kind of customer service...or lack thereof. I then decided I should put some information out here so people know what kind of bloggers we truly are.
1. Are you truly a blogger, and do you provide honest reviews? Yes, I started out on Steph's Cheers & Jeers almost two years ago doing product reviews and then in August 2015 I branched out on my own. I have reviewed many products from large named companies such as Little Tikes, Ozeri, See Kai Run, and more. I also have done reviews of local attractions such as Medieval Times and the Perot Museum and even restaurants. All reviews are honest and though the majority are very positive, the companies are not expecting a positive review nor am I compensated financially for any review.
2. Do you make money doing this? I personally do not. I have not decided if I want to, actually. The opportunity is there in several ways for a blogger to make money, but I don't blog for the money so at this time, no I don't. My family (my Dad in particular) is extremely outgoing and friendly in public, and I was raised the same way. So for me doing reviews and reaching the public and new people is my "compensation".
3. Do you review every item you receive? We definitely do try! It may take some time from when an item is received to when the review goes up but yes, it is our intention to review every item! We have only had a couple of instances where it cannot be done and we will contact the company right away when we realize so and offer to return the item if we are sent paid postage. But we try before the item is received to make sure nothing would stand in our way. Currently, turn around time for a review is 7-14 business days.
4. Do you do this just for the free stuff? Absolutely not. At first yes, that was the biggest "highlight" going in, that I was able to get items for my family and in exchange provide honest reviews. But now after doing this for almost two years and establishing my own blog I've realized I just love blogging. I love having themed days of the week, seeing my readers winning giveaways and seeing the positive reaction the reviews have for companies. One of the best things to have come from this is getting to do small "blurbs" here and there of local events. If it was just about the free stuff, we wouldn't do "Recipe Wednesdays", "Motivational Mondays", and more!
5. You just give positive reviews to everyone who gives you something, don't you? I'm sure there are reviewers out there who do that, but we don't. My husband has gained a bit of a reputation for being a very honest vape reviewer, and I have had some experiences that companies wished I hadn't posted up. But the point of this is to be honest, and that is exactly what we do. We do put disclaimers such as "our experience may vary from others" and "Tastes are different from person to person", that way people know we aren't just bad mouthing a company.
6. Is there anything you won't review? We cannot at this time review products for pets such as dogs, cats, birds, fish, etc. We do not have any pets and will not be able to offer honest reviews based upon the pet's use. Other than that, we are open to reviewing any item, service, attraction (based within the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area).
7. Who all does the reviewing? Well, the reviewers currently consist of myself (Elizabeth), my husband Jon, and my daughter Olivia...actually I review Olivia's, she just helps me with the cute pictures and videos. Come on, she is only turning four this month! Once we have grown a bit more I am looking into adding another reviewer or two but I think I will be keeping it in the family.
8. What is something we can look forward to with your blog? My family is extremely Christmas-oriented. I love Christmas for many traditional reasons such as time with family, Christmas songs, and more. You will more than likely see this blog go completely Christmas based from end of October until January 1st with tons of recipes, stories, songs, recommendations, and more. We have already started "Santa's Seasonal Suggestions" which is a gift guide to companies we feel you should order from when buying for others, and you can find a link to the Secret Santa Registry as well.
9. How can we contact you for a review? That's easy! If you wish for me to review an item, you can e-mail me at email@example.com. If you would like my husband to review an item it is firstname.lastname@example.org! Please know, my husband is the chef of the house so cookware, recipes, and food items probably should go to him. On the other hand, cleaning supplies, housewares & decor, and children's items should come to me.
I hope this helps you understand The Review Ballerina more, and you're welcome to ask any questions you like! We have nothing to hide!
Elizabeth is a work at home Mother of a sweet and beautiful daughter. She is a wife of seven years and a blogger for some time now. When she isn't spending time with her "Livvybug" she is looking for new review opportunities and writing or singing along to classic rock and pop music!