Remaining Authentic as a Blogger
Honest. Positive. Authentic. These are three words which I aspire to be when I’m writing a blog post. It’s at the forefront of my mind and spilling out through my fingers onto the keyboard. Over time my readers have gotten to know me and I hope they feel like I’m talking directly to them when they read my words. Those who know me in the ‘real world’ will know that I’m a very positive person. I’m super enthusiastic, I’m a people pleaser, I say yes to everything and I like to see the world through my rose coloured glasses.
I’ve hosted a number of product reviews on my blog Teacher Types, and my number one rule is that I have to LOVE the product for it to make it onto my blog. If I’m going to spend the time photographing and setting up a play activity for my kids using the product, writing up the review, editing the photos, promoting the post via my social channels and then following up responding to comments and questions… I need to love the product and be proud to endorse it to my tribe. Why would I put in all of that time and effort if I didn’t love it and didn’t want to recommend it? (There’s also a bit of added pressure being a Teacher – I can imagine my readers thinking “Well if a teacher says it’s a good idea to help my kid, then it must be good!”). PRESSURE!
When I’m writing a product review, I want to give my readers more than what they would find on the brand’s website. I want to share a personal story or experience, photos of my children enjoying the product, an activity idea, 10 ways to use the product, or include the product in a ‘Top 10 Gift Ideas’ type of round up post.
Here’s a few examples:
It’s common practice amongst bloggers to always disclose if a product has been gifted, or if we have been sponsored (paid) by a particular brand to write the post. I find it’s best to include this early on in the piece, so that readers know straight away what the situation is. (The last thing you want is for your readers to be thinking “Are they just being paid to say this?”). It’s best to avoid the post feeling too commercial. The whole idea of a blog is that it’s personal and relatable. I always like to talk a bit about the mum behind the biz as well.
I also try to make sure that not every post I do is a product review. I want to share some of my own parenting stories, activity ideas, things to do in Adelaide in amongst writing about products and brands that I love. Some bloggers stick to a particular niche, while other branch out and write about a variety of topics woven throughout.
I didn’t attend the ProBlogger conference earlier this year (although I had a serious case of FOMO as many of the bloggers I follow were there) and the key comment that several of them were sharing from the event is this quote: “Your personality is your overarching theme” – words of wisdom from Emily Wapnick. This really resonated with me, and is kind of the whole point I’m trying to make.
There are more and more opportunity for bloggers to get their personality out there to their communities – beyond the written words on a website. Facebook live and Instagram stories allows readers to get to know that killer personality and when they go and check out your posts, chances are they’ll hear your voice as they read.
So some final thoughts…
Try and establish your authenticity as you continue to grow and get to know your community. Re-read your blog posts aloud to yourself before you hit publish and see how it sounds. Are you being genuine? Would you go and buy this product after reading it? Find a way to be honest in your product reviews and do the brand proud.
For Biz Mums
A like-minded blogger can be a really valuable member of your tribe! Some will do a product review for free (exchange of product) and some will charge a sponsorship fee depending on their size. It doesn’t hurt to ask and reach out! The MWH collaboration thread is a great place to start. Check out their socials, look at engagement, ask for a media kit and some examples of previous product reviews and do keep in mind all of the work that goes in to a product review post. Bloggers are hard working biz mums as well! We’re not all just in it for free stuff!
Sara Keli wrote this great post about working with bloggers if you’d like to learn more.
Lauren Hunt is a mother of two and an early years teacher from Adelaide. She loves her coffee, her kids, her job and her blog!
As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.
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