Bloggers and Brands: The Stuff Exchange

Yes, there is a video of about 65% of all my BlogHer sway in this post. But first . . .

The same person who asked me about last year's BlogHer events called me to get my take on the story of a demanding blogger.

I wasn't there, didn't read the posts that day [too busy getting the youngest off to a performance].

The caller wanted to know about a blogger who demanded free Crocs after the supply ran out. [Yes, those are mine in the picture. I hiked to the top of the Smart Home at the Museum of Science and Industry to take that picture.] So I decided to share . . .

A blogger giveaway story

After touring Fox News, we got to the first party early. I walked to the Hyatt with a friend and talked for a while before the suite opened. As soon as the line started forming, we stepped up. When we checked in, we were told we could grab a pair of Crocs flip flops.

Disclosure: No one in my family - except for my sister-in-law - owns or wears Crocs. The guys wear running or skate shoes. The girls wear sandals or flip flops in the summer.

After searching the 5s, 7s and 9s, I found my size: 10. Really, I wasn't sure if I wanted them, but soon I would change my mind.

After walking around Chicago in new sandals that looked good, but felt awful, I perched on a sofa for almost the entire time I was in the Suite. I got up three times to get: food, pineapple juice and hair styling.

Before I left, I slid off my sandals and tried on the Crocs. And, I cuffed my black linen pants so they wouldn't drag. I wore my Crocs throughout the Social Media Club Chicago meeting. How comfy and springy! Now I wear them around town as well as to museums. That's my Crocs story.

What is my take on taking the Blogging with Integrity pledge my friend wanted to know?

He also asked: Are you on the take? when I told him about the hundreds of dollars of free swag I picked up. 

I told him . . .

Having sat in on a casual conversation with mommy bloggers at BloghHer last year, I know how passionate they are about integrity and blogger relations. So, here's . . .

My Blog's Financial History

My very first blog post here mentioned a product I got a commission on. While I didn't come out and say, "you buy, I get paid" I did talk about the value in buying the product from me. No one bought that one, but I did make $100 on an affiliate sale once.

Even though I'm on wordpress.org and I can do whatever I want, I'm careful to note affiliate links and disclose relationships. 

I'll be honest: I want to offer services, products and information on this site.

My goal is to become a trusted resource for value in information and pricing. I have too many friends who've spent over $50,000 in information products and haven't made one dollar yet.

And, I want to promote my clients on my blog. They trust me, I guide them, we all learn together. Sound good?

I. am. not. [actively] looking. for. free. stuff.

In fact, I don't know what to do when I get it. Several times at BlogHer, I asked about thank you etiquette. Everyone seemed to have their own way of thanking sponsors publicly - or not. Some admitted they're too lazy to write about all the stuff that comes to their door. Except when I'm at conferences or events, I don't get any free stuff. And, that's completely okay with me. When I brought up the idea of consolidating all the of the sponsor URLs in a blog post, some bloggers said they thought the sponsors would rather have twitter exposure. But, do I really want to clog up my twitter stream with thank you tweets? How much is a mention on twitter worth?

My family wants to know why I got all the stuff I did during blogger week. What makes companies want to give bloggers their products? What is the expectation?

Swag is nothing new.

When I left the corporate world, my last employer was known for handing out high end, high quality giveaways. We had a closet full of calculators, desk accessories, golf gear, logo wear, etc. Even at the company officer level, people liked getting freebies and they always asked for them. Why? We trained them. Could that be what's happening in the Blogosphere now?

In the video, I talk about thank you notes so here's a collective shout out . . .

Thanks to . . .
4 Keys Media
Hotel Sofitel Water Tower
Assets by Sara Blakely
Carolina Pad
Lifeway
Skinstinct.com
Cosmetique
EverybodySafe.com
Rosen Motors
Vehicle Vibes
Brightspot Brands
GoFit
AG Denim
Thomas West Salon
e.l.f. Cosmetics
Brugo
One2One Network
Collective Bias
Mom it Forward
and of course to The Wienermobile for the best ride ever!

Now, it's your turn to tell us what you think . . .

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