What Kind of Influence do Bloggers Have?

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Bloggers are changing the way people make their buying decisions.

Do you agree with that statement?  I have noticed a shift in the way I make my purchasing decisions.

For instance, I watch some commercials on TV and I am intrigued by the products.  (I really want the new Samsung washer and dryer set with the “Noise Reduction Technology”!) But, if I am going to buy something, the first thing I do is look for blogs and product reviews that talk about the item I want to buy.

And  yes, most are “mommy blogs”.

While most of us who are moms and blog don’t really like that term, it’s one that’s widely understood.   Part of that understanding comes from our connection with each other.  We may have never of met, or will never meet in person, but we inherently want to  help each other.  From one mom to another, here’s some advice.  I listen to that advice carefully because someone like me is using a product or service I need and I want to know what they think about it. I used to rely heavily on Consumer Reports before making big purchases.  Not so much anymore.  While I still take a look at the recommendations, I read reviews to ultimately make my decision.

Why is that?  Do bloggers really have that much more authority than Consumer Reports?

Well maybe not technically, but personally they do.  See, when I am going to buy something, I want an honest look at the product.  I want to know from someone who purchased it, why they like it, or don’t.  What has their experience been with the product and customer service?  Would they buy it again?

I know quite a few bloggers have received free product in exchange for their honest review.  I still read those too because in most cases, the bloggers have established their credibility and they are not going to give an item a good review just because they got it for free.  Most bloggers want to help others make good buying decisions.  They know that their followers trust them and their opinion, so they work hard at keeping their credibility.

Some companies have really embraced the value of bloggers’ opinions and have reached out to them to help spread the word about their products.  I have seen some great partnerships with bloggers and brands from large companies like Frigidare and Hoover, to new or small companies that are just starting out.  Reviews and giveaways are a great way to get the word out about a product and generate some interest.  I’ve even posted a few of my giveaway “scores” on this blog.  I’ve even posted some product reviews to try and help someone else.

I know I am not the only one who has noticed a change in the way consumers make their purchasing decisions.  The Importance of Connecting Brands with Bloggers is a whitepaper written by Susan Payton, Managing Partner of Egg Marketing. The whitepaper details the influence of bloggers with case studies and success stories.  It is a quick and interesting read.

What do you think?  Do you read reviews?  Has it changed the way you make your buying decisions?

I’d love to hear what you think!  Please post your comments below.  If you have your own blog and want to post your own experience please come back and leave a comment with the link to your post so we can read it.  You can share this whitepaper with others on your blog, Facebook, MySpace, etc. with the following link:  http://eggmarketingpr.com/whitepapers.htm .

I can’t wait to hear what you think!

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  • http://www.thepreciouswillow.blogspot.com/ Phersmay

    I agree with you whole heartedly. A review from “mommy’s” (in my opinion) is more trust worthy. As a parent we always look to fellow parents for advice on almost everything we do and purchase. I love the fact that big and small companies are just ‘giving’ appliances and toys to mom bloggers to do reviews. Its a fantastic idea and I think it works for us.
    .-= Phersmay´s last blog ..New Earrings =-.

  • http://www.thepreciouswillow.blogspot.com Phersmay

    I agree with you whole heartedly. A review from “mommy’s” (in my opinion) is more trust worthy. As a parent we always look to fellow parents for advice on almost everything we do and purchase. I love the fact that big and small companies are just ‘giving’ appliances and toys to mom bloggers to do reviews. Its a fantastic idea and I think it works for us.
    .-= Phersmay´s last blog ..New Earrings =-.

  • http://untrainedhousewife.com/ @AngEngland

    I personally feel that a review from someone who was given the product is MORE honest and upfront than someone who has invested their own money in a product. I know when I’ve spent money on something, I am more likely to “defend” it, even if there are things I’m not a hundred percent satisfied with.

    On the other hand, if I’m just trying out something I’ve been given I have no emotional attachment in that product. I can say – I liked this but this is something you need to be aware of….

    Angela <
    .-= @AngEngland´s last blog ..Healthy Holiday Recipes: How to Cook Meatloaf — Mashed Potatoes and Melted Cheese in the Center of the Meal =-.

  • http://untrainedhousewife.com @AngEngland

    I personally feel that a review from someone who was given the product is MORE honest and upfront than someone who has invested their own money in a product. I know when I’ve spent money on something, I am more likely to “defend” it, even if there are things I’m not a hundred percent satisfied with.

    On the other hand, if I’m just trying out something I’ve been given I have no emotional attachment in that product. I can say – I liked this but this is something you need to be aware of….

    Angela <
    .-= @AngEngland´s last blog ..Healthy Holiday Recipes: How to Cook Meatloaf — Mashed Potatoes and Melted Cheese in the Center of the Meal =-.

  • http://ecofriendlyandfrugal.blogspot.com/ Eco-Friendly and Frugal

    I completely agree with you! I browse blogs to enter giveaways all year and I always come back to products I found while doing this for the holiday season. Soap Nuts, for example. I was so sold on them last year that I bought them for my family who really love them! I would never have heard or even considered trying that product if it weren’t for the many blogs singing their praises.

    I also get turned on to small stores (like Etsy shops) through blogs. Etsy is such a huge place and it’s hard to sort through, but reading about a store on a blog and seeing that the shop is making an effort to reach out means a lot to me. So when it comes time to find something, I am more inclined to search for a blogger’s review over the Etsy search.

    And companies should take note. This is a new wave of advertising opportunities that are MUCH more affordable than commercial and radio ads! Although I do hesitate to trust reviews on blogs that exist solely to do reviews and giveaways! I think it’s fine to do a few here and there, but if I don’t see any personal content to read, too, I tend to not come back as much.

    Personally, I like to advertise companies that mean a lot to me. I have one Giveaway on my blog right now and I contacted her to do a review/giveaway because it was a product I already used and REALLY love! I don’t think I would agree to review a company that I don’t believe in and that doesn’t go along with my blog theme (Eco-Friendly and Frugal, of course!).

  • http://ecofriendlyandfrugal.blogspot.com Eco-Friendly and Frugal

    I completely agree with you! I browse blogs to enter giveaways all year and I always come back to products I found while doing this for the holiday season. Soap Nuts, for example. I was so sold on them last year that I bought them for my family who really love them! I would never have heard or even considered trying that product if it weren’t for the many blogs singing their praises.

    I also get turned on to small stores (like Etsy shops) through blogs. Etsy is such a huge place and it’s hard to sort through, but reading about a store on a blog and seeing that the shop is making an effort to reach out means a lot to me. So when it comes time to find something, I am more inclined to search for a blogger’s review over the Etsy search.

    And companies should take note. This is a new wave of advertising opportunities that are MUCH more affordable than commercial and radio ads! Although I do hesitate to trust reviews on blogs that exist solely to do reviews and giveaways! I think it’s fine to do a few here and there, but if I don’t see any personal content to read, too, I tend to not come back as much.

    Personally, I like to advertise companies that mean a lot to me. I have one Giveaway on my blog right now and I contacted her to do a review/giveaway because it was a product I already used and REALLY love! I don’t think I would agree to review a company that I don’t believe in and that doesn’t go along with my blog theme (Eco-Friendly and Frugal, of course!).

  • http://organicmotherhoodwithcoolwhip.com/ Naomi de la Torre

    This is a fascinating post. I am very new to the blogosphere and am just figuring out all the give-aways, reviews, etc. I am definitely influenced though by the thoughts of mommy bloggers that I have come to trust by reading their posts. I think the world is changing so much every day due to new technologies. When I think back to the fact that I only first got email in 1999, I can’t believe so much has changed even personally for me in just 10 short years. Wow! Thanks for the great post. I’ll be back again soon.

  • http://organicmotherhoodwithcoolwhip.com Naomi de la Torre

    This is a fascinating post. I am very new to the blogosphere and am just figuring out all the give-aways, reviews, etc. I am definitely influenced though by the thoughts of mommy bloggers that I have come to trust by reading their posts. I think the world is changing so much every day due to new technologies. When I think back to the fact that I only first got email in 1999, I can’t believe so much has changed even personally for me in just 10 short years. Wow! Thanks for the great post. I’ll be back again soon.

  • http://ascendingbutterfly.blogspot.com/ Tracy

    When consumer reports started charging an arm and a leg for what amounts to opinions, mom’s got inventive, necessity is the mother of invention you know. I too look to blogger reviews in addition to consumer reviews on applicance sites to get an idea of which models to lean towards when making a buying decision. Although I personally don’t think all female bloggers should be labelled ‘mommy blogs’ not all of us are parents just because we are female it doesn’t make our blog a ‘mommy blog’.

    What I’d like to also see discussed amongst my fellow female bloggers are the disparity of being offered what I call ‘tech a tunities’, I’m the former President of the NYC Chapter of The Association of Internet Professionals, I’m tech obsessed, and I’m the one who puts together all my tech toys, and I have to fight harder to get technology companies to take me seriously than the male bloggers do. I’d like to see this change.

    Very interesting post and I too am looking forward to reading everyone’s thoughts and opinions on this subject.
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..Eenamaria Handbag Review and Giveaway! =-.

  • http://ascendingbutterfly.blogspot.com Tracy

    When consumer reports started charging an arm and a leg for what amounts to opinions, mom’s got inventive, necessity is the mother of invention you know. I too look to blogger reviews in addition to consumer reviews on applicance sites to get an idea of which models to lean towards when making a buying decision. Although I personally don’t think all female bloggers should be labelled ‘mommy blogs’ not all of us are parents just because we are female it doesn’t make our blog a ‘mommy blog’.

    What I’d like to also see discussed amongst my fellow female bloggers are the disparity of being offered what I call ‘tech a tunities’, I’m the former President of the NYC Chapter of The Association of Internet Professionals, I’m tech obsessed, and I’m the one who puts together all my tech toys, and I have to fight harder to get technology companies to take me seriously than the male bloggers do. I’d like to see this change.

    Very interesting post and I too am looking forward to reading everyone’s thoughts and opinions on this subject.
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..Eenamaria Handbag Review and Giveaway! =-.

  • http://ratherbechangingdiapers.blogspot.com/ Heather McD

    I agree! A lot of items I want or buy for my sons I read about on mommy blogs! I trust other moms opinions and want to hear someone’s words on using it with their own children.

    I found you from MBC and am now following you.
    Heather
    Check me out if you have a chance http://ratherbechangingdiapers.blogspot.com/
    .-= Heather McD´s last blog ..My son’s Christmas =-.

  • http://ratherbechangingdiapers.blogspot.com/ Heather McD

    I agree! A lot of items I want or buy for my sons I read about on mommy blogs! I trust other moms opinions and want to hear someone’s words on using it with their own children.

    I found you from MBC and am now following you.
    Heather
    Check me out if you have a chance http://ratherbechangingdiapers.blogspot.com/
    .-= Heather McD´s last blog ..My son’s Christmas =-.

  • Shelley

    Hi there! Visiting from MBC! You have a great blog here! I’m a new follower…I’d love for you to come visit and follow me :)

    Great post…I definitely tend to go with what info I find in the blogs, over what I see on tv commercials, magazine, etc. I certainly trust other “mom’s” opinions over the “companies” opinions.

    ~Shelley

  • Shelley

    Hi there! Visiting from MBC! You have a great blog here! I’m a new follower…I’d love for you to come visit and follow me :)

    Great post…I definitely tend to go with what info I find in the blogs, over what I see on tv commercials, magazine, etc. I certainly trust other “mom’s” opinions over the “companies” opinions.

    ~Shelley

  • http://momtriedit.net/ Kim Young

    I actually bought both of my daughter’s presents based on feedback from blogs I read and trust. One product was featured as great gifts for toddlers on multiple sites that don’t do giveaways or reviews. It was just there opinion based on their non0review based experience and reader input. The other item was featured on a lot of blog reviews, but the feedback from the writers/reviewers was glowing and the product far exceeded their expectations.
    I feel as if some of the blogs I read are my “friends”. I trust a lot of these women. I take their recommendations just as seriously as a friend I meet for a playdate.
    Love the blog. Found you on MBC and follow.

  • http://momtriedit.net Kim Young

    I actually bought both of my daughter’s presents based on feedback from blogs I read and trust. One product was featured as great gifts for toddlers on multiple sites that don’t do giveaways or reviews. It was just there opinion based on their non0review based experience and reader input. The other item was featured on a lot of blog reviews, but the feedback from the writers/reviewers was glowing and the product far exceeded their expectations.
    I feel as if some of the blogs I read are my “friends”. I trust a lot of these women. I take their recommendations just as seriously as a friend I meet for a playdate.
    Love the blog. Found you on MBC and follow.

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