A Sponsored Lady (not a sponsored post!)

As with most things that get on my goat, I stew quietly. I talk with friends, but I rarely say anything here until I'm sure of what I want to say.

I've sat here for the last year watching bloggers who are mothers ('Mummy Bloggers') get dragged through the mud for accepting sponsored posts, giveaways, blogs with adverts displayed and payment for reviews. I lost contact with friends who had an unreasonable vendetta toward said Mummy Bloggers and took offence to my tweets publicising my blog and contests.

Today I'm here to tell you about why I love a giveaway or a sponsored post. My reasons for a running a giveaway are pretty simple. I don't ask for payment for giveaways at the moment as I don't feel that my circulation warrants it. But if you want to send me free stuff to try, review honestly and run a competition on? Sure thing. Does it mean I don't fork out an extra $20 one week on nappies? Awesome. Do I get a pair of shoes to try out and review? Fantastic, I needed a new pair anyway. And if it means that someone else doesn't have to fork out for a month's worth of nappies/pair of shoes/copy of a book/iPhone app, I'm all over it.

Since I've been blogging more regularly I read more blogs. And here's what I've found myself using regularly due to reviews I've read, or products I've won and purchased again.

Mid-Woolworths. 

Sarah at Dear Baby G did a Nad's Hair Removal Gel review a few months back, and when I found myself fuzzy eyebrowed due to no mirror in my makeshift bathroom I remembered this. A trip to Woolworths, and voila! No more fuzzy eyebrows. The facial wand is freakin' awesome. Doesn't. Even. Hurt. And at $14, is a heck of a lot cheaper than paying $12-$20 for someone professional to burn my eyebrows for me. I've used it 4 times so far and I'm not even halfway through the tube. Love love love.

Stacey over at Veggie Mama published a review and ran a competition in 2011 for Garnier BB Cream. With a relatively newborn Millie who didn't sleep a lot I entered this competition and I was delighted to win! This stuff is amazing, and retails for around $13. I love it so much, I use it every single day. Every. Single. Day. I've got ridiculously sensitive skin and the BB cream is seriously awesome. When I first started using it I was functioning on 4 hours sleep/night and an acquaintance saw me at work and genuinely commented on how nice and refreshed I looked.

Winner.

Then Zoey at Good Googs ran the same competition and I left a comment encouraging all to enter because it was such an amazing product. And lo and behold, despite my trying to un-enter myself, I won that one too. Fast forward 12 months and I'm only just finishing up the second tube now.

Laney at Crash Test Mummy is sponsored by Eco Store Australia, and got me thinking about their products. I've done a bit of research since and I've found that their products are septic safe, which after our Septic Fun Times of Winter 2012, I'm trying to care for our septic system a little more. I also have their handwash in the kitchen, and it's better than most for my insanely sensitive skin. I'm also slowly replacing products around the house with Eco Store products as they run out.

Nikki at Styling You had a post about beauty sampler mailout boxes earlier this year, and when I was trying to decide which sampler box to go with, her post was one I referred to. I am now a card carrying member of BellaBox, and I take to my bed with my newest box every month, pawing the contents and drifting off to sleep smelling of $100 face cream that I cannot afford to buy, but love to try.

Then there was the Coles ComfyBots nappies. These were great, and the only thing standing between me and using these with Millie is the 31km distance I live from Coles. I don't have or make time to do a separate trip to Coles for one item specifically, and any such trip would negate the cost difference. But these nappies are ace, and definitely on my list for the future.

My precccccious. (get it? ha!)

Then there's the Kambrook Pressure Express Pressure Cooker I won from entering a competition on Ros from Sew Delicious's blog. I wouldn't have purchased one of these for myself, but I am singing it's praises at every opportunity. This thing is awesome! I am a convert to the art of Pressure Cooking.

Blog readers aren't stupid. I believe that the average reader knows when they're being 'sold' to inadvertently. I do, and I've got a severe case of Baby Brain. People will switch off. I've also never understood the indignant uproar against a sponsored post. And have you looked on my sidebar? There's an advert there. Offensive, innit? So far it's made me approximately $6.

In another life I was an independent musician. I certainly didn't play for free. And I certainly asked people to buy my albums. A musician friend was dressed by a local surf shop and at every gig he spruiked the surf shop. I wasn't indignant. I was impressed! Being paid for your writing skills isn't that different to this scenario at all. It's just a new industry, and I guess haters will be haters.

What have you tried based on a blog review? Have you ever felt blatantly sold to? Tell me all...

Linking up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for I Blog on Tuesdays.