Help! My Blog has been hijacked

…and I’ve only just noticed it and it’s all my fault!

Six months ago I was reading other blogs and wondering how come they had all these lovely reviews to do and I didn’t. I prayed hard and worked really hard at my writing. My stats started to rise and then slowly, slowly the reviews began to arrive.

I was so flattered to have been chosen as the ‘right-kind-of-blog’ for these brands and I really enjoyed talking about their products. I started to get even more product proposals, so many I started blogging and giving them away to friends and family as I couldn’t keep hold of it all. I was on a roll!

It wasn’t until about a fortnight ago as I was writing a list of all the stuff I had yet to write about, the products I had allocated space to that week and followed by a list of things I’d like to write about that I realised there wasn’t any space or time left in my day to allocate time to things I’d actually like to discuss.

I even had to miss out on Tara’s The Gallery a couple of times because I couldn’t fit it in my busy schedule. (!)

It was only when I spent a rare spare moment, out of curiosity and flicked back through my posts over the past couple of months that I realised 90% had been reviews or sponsored posts! Ouch!

Now I am very happy to review products and very happy to accept sponsored posts that I think may be of interest to the readers but 90%?? Oops! I imagine that’s what a shopping Trolley Dash must be like, grab everything and run.

Serious thinking took place and I decided to stop saying YES to everybody who landed in my inbox and I apologise if maybe one of these requests you may have sent me but I seriously cannot keep up with them all. I thought about why I had started writing a blog in the first place and I thought about where I’d like to go with this blog.

I came to the conclusion, which I hope you’ll agree with, that the odd sponsored post (to help pay the bills) and the odd product review if it was of interest to the readers would be fine but to focus more on what I’d actually like to write about.

John Crane Chief ReviewerJohn Crane have asked me to be their Chief Reviewer for 2012 which I’m immensely proud of so that will be a regular fortnightly feature focusing on toys and educational pieces. Watch out for news on Grandad who arrived and made himself very at home

John Crane Marlborough Dolls House

I’m keeping my Foodie Friday feature because I really enjoy it and I’d like to add other recipes too. I’ve found it’s a brilliant excuse for me to get in the kitchen and try new ideas – my latest is lamb shanks in my slow cooker

I’m keeping the competitions going as they give everyone a chance to join in and win something.

I have a few travel posts coming up over the next few months which I’m very excited about. Mari’s World has been chosen to write about Butlins and more recently Siblu holidays in France, mais oui!

I also am a Brit Mums Ambassador for Give As You Live which you’ll be hearing lots about too I’m in the process of choosing my charity so feel free to advise.

and I want to join in the 100 Word Challenge more often as it’s good practise for writing a book which I’ve mentioned many times

and for the rest?

Well I don’t know yet, let’s see what happens and where this new decision takes me, I’ll certainly make more room for what I hope are interesting posts so bear with me whilst I clear out the inbox and take a deep breath ;)

18 Comments

  1. March 10, 2012 / 7:18 AM

    I’m so relieved you’ve written this post – I fully understand why you are/were doing the sponsored posts but I (I guess like a lot of people) started reading your blog because of you, you’re ideas and all the things you have to say (we have never met but you really do seem like a top person) –  With my kids being older than your 2 little ones obviously the sponsored posts you were doing were for things which generally weren’t relevant to our life…..and I had even considered unsubscribing……..but I didn’t know how to without seeming mean and I didn’t/don’t want to miss out on the ‘you’ posts – and now I don’t have to – I can keep reading the ‘you’ posts  – yeaaaa!! Buon weekend!!!

    • Mari
      Author
      March 11, 2012 / 10:30 AM

      Thanks kathryn for writing that comment, I had noticed some people unsubscribing and hopefully when I clear out the inbox which should take another week. I can settle down and find my true way again.
      It’s all about balance really isn’t it? Something which I lost sight of for a moment back there but hopefully am back on track with soon 
      PS Thanks for sticking with me xx

  2. Debbie O'Connor
    March 10, 2012 / 7:30 AM

    Im at the same stage with my blog.  Last year I really enjoyed the sponsored posts coming in, and it may be my imagination but there seem to be more of them about – like everyone has suddenly discovered blog advertising. I must admit like you I was flattered and the money has certainly been useful

    It seems like the more posts you do, the more people ask you to do.  And before long, you are being asked to review products that have nothing to do whatsoever with the niche and vision of your blog

    For me, one solution has been that I have a separate section on my website called Articles and Features, and unless there is a very good reason for it to go in the blog I post most of my sponsored stuff there, keeping the blog more free for my opinions and the opinions of other mums in business.  But I have also had to turn a few people down.  I have had to restate my vision in my own mind and then stick to it.

    • Mari
      Author
      March 11, 2012 / 10:33 AM

      That’s a really good idea but the time factor comes into question for me, there is only so much time I can sit at the computer and when I noticed I wasn’t playing with the girls or taking them to the park because I was still catching up on reviews, I knew something had to change.
      I have thoroughly enjoyed this moment of reviewing and will still continue to do some but a lot less than I had accepted.
      A bit of a learning curve for me :)

  3. March 10, 2012 / 8:57 AM

    I think there must be a lot of bloggers feeling the same at the moment …. and an influx of review items as my to do list is getting a bit long.  I don’t say yes to everything any more, keeps me sane and less stressed x

    • Mari
      Author
      March 11, 2012 / 10:34 AM

      Yes, I imagine there are lots of us who are starting to notice this new trend, it’s worth keeping an eye on and not selling yourself out completely ;)

  4. Michelle Twin Mum
    March 10, 2012 / 10:07 AM

    lol, we all get to that point.  It is so flattering at first when all these great pitches arrive.  Now I say no to 90% of what arrives in my in-box.  I try to make sure I have at least 3-4 personal posts to any one review or sponsored post.

    Of course if you do want to keep doing lots of reviews the other option is a separate review blog.

    Mich x 

    • Mari
      Author
      March 11, 2012 / 10:34 AM

      Another blog? gosh I barely have time for this one, great advice though and lovely to see you over here as always xx

      • Michelle Twin Mum
        March 12, 2012 / 9:48 AM

        Lol, my review blog only gets published on about 4- 6 times a month but I do find it useful to have it there.

        Mich x

  5. MsXpat
    March 10, 2012 / 2:59 PM

    Wow your cup runneth over! I wish I was in your shoes. It just shows the good work you are doing :0)

    • Mari
      Author
      March 11, 2012 / 10:35 AM

      You will be in my shoes trust me, I saw your DM’s on Twitter but was out over the weekend but I’ll be in touch tomorrow xx

  6. Ness Gorton
    March 10, 2012 / 8:02 PM

    It’s nice for you to have such a wide choice & to be able to turn things down. I’m hoping i’ll be able to start “turning” down stuff! :-)

  7. March 11, 2012 / 11:34 AM

    Well done you!  It’s all your fault you know for writing so well! :)

  8. Peggy Melmoth
    March 11, 2012 / 1:58 PM

    Great to see you doing so well Mari! I’ve come to a similar point. When we met at Cybermummy last year I wanted to make money from blogging and so now I write business blogs for several boating businesses. That left me little time to write about the real life of a narrowboat wife, so I put the ‘sponsored’ posts on there instead: themed articles about narrowboating that linked to businesses. I’d forgotten that the reason I started a blog was to write a memoir: the book remains unfinished! I’m going to reorganise my work/life/blog balance this month!

    Peggy
    xx

  9. Actually Mummy
    March 12, 2012 / 10:42 AM

    Ooooh we got Siblu too! Keep me posted on where you go, if we happen to clash we can make a date whilst we’re there! I know what you mean, you want it, but when it comes there is just too much stuff. I wish they would spread it around a little, then everyone would benefit

  10. November 17, 2012 / 3:49 PM

    Wow, let this be a lesson to us all! I have just started to get a few review opportunities and I can already see them getting out of hand. It’s flattering and therefore tempting, I guess. However, I do need to remember that there are a few blogs that I’ve stopped reading because they were 90% reviews!

    • Mari
      Author
      November 17, 2012 / 9:43 PM

      It’s a circle I keep falling back in to, it’s like standing at the bus stop and no buses arrive followed by ten one after the other. I keep having to remind myself to stop, keep it at the back of your mind ;)

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