Inside My Mind / Lifestyle

Thinking out loud #26: Learning to Say No

Before I start this post, I just wanted to say that this is my personal opinion and you may or may not agree with it. And that’s okay.

learning to say no

Recently I’ve been chatting with some blogger friends and one subject lead to another and we started talking about sponsorship, ambassadorships, and reviews in our little fitness niche. The market now is saturated with these opportunities, you can be an ambassador for socks, bracelets, everything and anything under the sun is fair game now. Companies are also sending out items for review! But where do we draw the line?

Do you take everything and anything for a chance of “exposure” or a discount? What about reviews? Do you think a free product is worth the time and effort you put into reviewing it?


So it seems that companies and runs have been pumping these programs out. Some you have to apply to and some are offered to anyone and everyone under the guise of affiliate sales or free promotions. In the past, I have been offered ambassadorships and honestly, half of them just see my numbers and want to use me as a mouthpiece. I get no benefits other than a minor discount but every time there’s a sale or new product, I’d be expected to announce it on all my social media channels. While I see how to some, this may be worth it, I find that people who take every and any ambassadorship thrown their way to be untrustworthy. Do you really like the product? Do you get a cut of the sales? Isn’t there a conflict of interest somehow if you take pretty much everything? Can I trust that this is the best sock ever if you’re an ambassador but suddenly you’re wearing different ones after I know the other company has been sending out their socks for free?

Product Review

If I’m reviewing a product on my blog – it something that I already own or I would personally spend my own money on (a reason why most my reviews are positive) or if it isn’t, give you a review based on the facts, good or bad. As a blogger, I field quite a few emails regarding product review – sometimes I take it but most of the time, I turn things down or send them contact info of a more fitting person to review their product. However, more than 80% of the time, it’s a shitty deal. I’ve had a company offer to give me a “discount” in exchange for a product review and I’d have to promote them. All for a little discount. Of course I said no as I had no desire to test their product out in the first place so the discount means nothing to me.

However, sometimes I’ll see another blogger taking an opp that I consider to be an unfair deal and I’ve turned down and I think “really?” A few weeks after I turned down this “deal,” I saw another blogger who’s opinion I had trusted review it (without a full FTC disclosure too!). Maybe it was a coincidence and this blogger wanted to try the product but after a glowing review, I saw no mention of this product again (2 months and counting!) and it’s no longer showing up on her Instagram. Sketchy huh? After that incident, I no longer trust reviews that she blogs about. I feel as you lose your credibility when you say yes to everything that comes your way.

I understand that when starting out, you feel as any and every free product you review is your way of paying your dues or to gain exposure but your credibility should not be put on the line that way. I just see so many bloggers who are starting out and are great bloggers but I just cannot trust their product reviews and that’s too bad.

Anyways, I feel as if this post as gone on long enough! TL;DR: your credibility is important, don’t throw it away in exchange for free product or to be just another mouth piece. And if you do review stuff, don’t lie to your readers: use the FTC and be transparent. I just really needed to get this off my chest.

So tell me, what are your opinions on this matter?

Think out Loud Thursdays are hosted by lovely Running with Spoons!


<3 Carmy

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16 thoughts on “Thinking out loud #26: Learning to Say No

  1. I 100% agree. There will always be posts that we write that someone will question and say that we are “selling out” or something, but as long as I use a product and it if its into my life, I will write about it. But I am not going to represent a company that doesn’t represent me.

  2. I’ve stopped reading those random reviews unless it’s something I’m interested in learning more about and the blogger has a track record for honesty. I also don’t like sponsored posts disguised as a regular post, even when they disclose. If it’s a review, just say it’s a review!

  3. I agree completely Carmy. When I first started blogging I pretty much said yes to everything because I was so excited people actually knew I existed and wanted to send me product. Now, I turn down a lot of things.
    I’m an ambassador only for companies that I love and already use their products.
    I want people to trust my advice and my recommendations, so it’s definitely important to consider that when deciding yes or no on a product opportunity.

  4. Learning to say, ‘No’ is such a matter of maturity, and I’m not really good at it yet, but I think God is working on me and showing me what’s really important and what’s not.

  5. I totally agree with you on this Carmy! The people who have ambassadorships or endorsements for every single race or product make me wonder. It’s almost like their Twitter or Instagram accounts have a “for sale” sign on them.

  6. I agree with so much of this. Recently I deleted my account on several influencer networks. One, because I wasn’t getting worthy opportunities and two, because my blog isn’t my business. I’ve enjoyed repping companies I care about but it doesn’t pay my bills so I have become very selective over the years. I see so many people nowadays creating a blog just for the purpose of getting the stuff and their content isn’t worthy. It’s disappointing but it’s also a new reality as blogging has changed over the years. Marketers aren’t interested in us, they are interested in what we can do for them. That’s just advertising.

    • SO many influencer networks have this unspoken rule where you can’t say anything bad about a product and that’s just not a game I’m willing to play!

  7. Totally agree, girl! There are SO many companies out there that just want to take advantage of bloggers and get some advertising in there for free. There’s nothing wrong with supporting a brand that you love, but working for protein bars or dinky headphones? Ehhhh. Not cool. The relationship we have with our readers is like any other relationship — it needs trust!

    • Right? Some companies are always on the prowl for someone willing to do something for free (small AND big companies – a large yogurt brand comes to mind!) and it just sucks because bloggers really need to stand up for themselves. There’s so much work put into a post – especially blogs like yours where recipe creation takes forever!

  8. I am always leery of the reviews. I have done a few myself, and I always want it to be known why I’m reviewing something. The reviews I have done have all been unsolicited by the manufacturer. I hate reading a review only to find out later on or most of the way into it that the “glowing review” was about an item that someone received for free and with the intention to promote.

    • Thank you for reading Julia! There’s definitely an allure to all the sponsorships but in my opinion, there’s no point in having them if you’re no longer trusted by readers.

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  11. Great post! I only take on ambassdorships with companies I truly love and if it’s a product I am behind. But, there is such a thing as too many, and I’m watching that for myself as well. If you find you aren’t excited about a product, you honestly probably shouldn’t be a mouthpiece for them.

    Reviews are great, but yes, you shouldn’t accept everything. I have turned down a number of offers if I’m just not into what they have. If it’s just not for me, I thank them and move on. It’s all a matter of choosing what’s right for you and being true to yourself.

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