Is it ethical (and does it make good business sense) to pay bloggers, especially mommy bloggers, to review your natural products?
During a recent conversation with the marketing teams at Little Duck Organics, Late July Organic, and HappyFamily, the topic of mommy bloggers inevitably arose and with that came the delicate subject of whether or not to pay bloggers for product reviews.
Some companies are strictly opposed to what they consider non-transparency and “buying” favor among influential online sites. One company I spoke with took pride in having never paid a single blogger, because they believe honest, positive reviews of a great product are possible without incentivizing writers. Citing ethics, many companies strive to maintain transparency and will welcome feedback from a variety of sources.
But one entrepreneur who has found considerable success in the natural products industry is open to the idea of paying bloggers. So far, it hasn’t been necessary for garnering positive online reviews, but Nicole Dawes at Late July Organic Snacks is not opposed to hiring someone in the future.
After all, Dawes is a mompreneur herself and recognizes that many moms earn a living through their widely-read blogs. And sometimes a mommy blogger’s endorsement, when honest, is much more powerful and influential than advertorials written by PR firms and your company’s marketing department.
Where do you stand on the issue?
Would your company ever pay a blogger to review your natural products online?
Is it ethical to refuse paying them, or is it ethical to pay them for their time and efforts after building up a devoted readership?