I am NOT for sale and neither is this blog

I know that lately there has been a lot of talk among our equestrian blogging group about advertising, making money off of your blog, product exchanges, etc. In light of an email I was sent yesterday I felt like now was the perfect time to clarify something here for my readers.

I am not for sale

*Before anyone gets upset, I’m not saying that my particular stance on this issue is better than anyone else’s, or that people should see things my way. I totally understand those who don’t. I merely want it to be clear where I in particular stand on this issue, because I feel pretty strongly about it.*

I was contacted yesterday by Horze, with the following email:

“Dear Amanda,

 Horze Equestrian is a European horse company that is now based in the United States and also all around the world.  Our company sells a wide range of equine tack and riding apparel that are great quality products.  You can browse our website [removed link] to see what we offer to customers as an equine company.

We were wondering if we can add a link from your blog towards [removed link].  You can either make a pure text link or use one of these badges:

[removed link]

Once you have added the link to your site, please reach back to me again, and I will verify it and send you compensation coupon for adding our website link to your website.

 If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask!

Thank you! Have a great day!”

First – of course I am flattered to some degree when any company contacts me. But I have to say, and I feel like it’s important for everyone to know, I am not for sale and neither is this blog’s ad space. This was my email response:

“Thank you for your interest. I am very particular about which companies I choose to link on my blog and unfortunately I do not place advertisements for companies that I’m not 100% familiar with and 100% comfortable backing. I have no experience with Horze or it’s products so I cannot in good conscience place an advertisement for you on my blog. I try to maintain a very good reputation for reliability of opinion, so I’m sure you can understand my hesitation to recommend a brand that I am unfamiliar with. If at some point in the future I am able to use some Horze products and find them to be of excellent quality I would possibly re-consider, but at this time that is not the case.

Thank you again,

Amanda”

And their reply

“Hi Amanda,

 Your [sic] very welcome!  Thank you for your response and we understand what you are saying.  Please let us know if you have re-considered our offer.

I’m not trying to be bitchy or preachy or holier-than-thou here, but I want to have a reputation for only representing companies that I can stand behind 100%. My view is that if I choose to put something on my page then I am representing it, and I have to be able to stand behind it – ads included. If you’ll notice, there are only TWO companies linked on this blog’s sidebar, with a third coming soon. These are companies who I feel offer superior products, superior service, are appreciative of/understand just how much bloggers can impact their business, and have proven worthy of the ad space. I quite enjoy the partnerships with these businesses, mostly because I feel 100% confident recommending them to readers. First and foremost, I’m a fan: I was a customer before they ever made it onto my blog, and I remain a customer to this day. You will NEVER find ads from companies that do not meet that criteria on this blog. I will not blindly represent something that I know nothing about. There will never be ad space sold here. All of the reviews that you read are and always will be my uncensored opinion and all recommendations are and always will be without ulterior motive.

trust

I care a lot more about being trustworthy and having people feel like my opinions on products are unswayed by personal benefit or profit. I felt it was important to bring this up both for the sake of the readers and any companies who might consider contacting me in the future. If you really want to team up and I’m not already a customer, lets talk about product reviews or demos of some kind. Sell your company and your products to me, make me believe in them, make me want to recommend them to others… don’t try to buy my ad space with a coupon! But be forewarned: I’m picky and have high expectations. You have to EARN your way onto this blog, you can’t buy it.

13 thoughts on “I am NOT for sale and neither is this blog

  1. I am honestly flabbergasted that they didn’t offer you product to review but instead approached you in this way. Though honestly I wasn’t overly impressed with the items shared with me so I don’t think you’re missing out on anything.

    Sharing an unpopular opinion about free stuff might not get me more free stuff but at least I’m honest! I respect how you handled this and totally understand your feelings. 🙂

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  2. I have had a good relationship with Horze for quite some time. First as a customer, when I bought several orders with their original 50% off the entire site coupons and was quite happy with the products. After months as a customer, they approached me with several different blogging plans and it has been a pleasure working with them.

    For me, building partnerships with brands helps provide my readers things like free items for giveaways, prizes for contests, and reviews on products they might not otherwise have tried or heard of. I know that I personally have been a total convert from one of the Horze products they sent for review, and it’s something I would have never thought to purchase otherwise.

    I know you added the caveat that you don’t think your way is better, but it does come across that way a little bit. Everyone enjoys blogging differently and I appreciate that you are very selective with the companies that you promote on your blog. I guess I’m just saying don’t assume others aren’t necessarily selective, just because they may share a different opinion of a company than you do 🙂

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    1. I think maybe you didn’t quite latch onto what my main point was here. It’s not about Horze or the quality of their products. It’s not about what other people choose to do with advertisements on their blog. It’s not about how other people choose to construct relationships with companies or why. My issue really was more with how I was approached in this instance, and what it would mean for me personally (on a moral level for ME and for MY goals for THIS blog – which has nothing to do with other people and their goals for their blog) to do something like that. It’s as if they expected to bribe their way into ad placement and that really irked me a bit, honestly. Which I guess that probably works for them sometimes, but I feel like it’s important for everyone (readers and other businesses) to understand that’s not how it works on this particular blog. I want people to know that if they see me put a link to a business on my sidebar, they know exactly WHY and what went into that decision.

      It’s unfortunate that you read it as me coming across as thinking I’m “better”… that’s not the intent. I do think it’s better FOR ME, because of what my personal goals are for this blog. I want it to be very clear to people what my exact intentions are and how I personally do things here. A lot of that stuff is never really talked about openly in blogland, and I would rather make my position public knowledge than leave it to be guessed at or gossiped about. How other people choose to run their blogs is certainly their own business, and for their own personal goals their way may absolutely be better for them. Different strokes for different folks.

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  3. Interesting that they didn’t have you review a product first. Seems a little backwards to ask you to link to their site if you’ve never been a customer – do they expect you to say “hey readers, I’ve never tried any products of this company, but here’s a link and go check it out if you like.” Just a strange approach.

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