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Old 04-04-2013, 06:57 AM   #1
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Default Blogs and Design Teams

I just finished checking out a couple of "new to me" blogs of women who are on design teams for a particular company, and it brought up - again - an observation that I've made before in my blog perusing...

I can appreciate that everyone's time is limited, and if there are commitments to fulfill for the design team, there may be no time left for other creative pursuits, but I find it frustrating when the ONLY things on a particular blog are from one company. (This does not include the main blog for a company, of course - just for individual designers)


Even if I like a particular designer's style, if I don't like the style of the company whose DT they're on, I can't force myself to look at all of the blog posts. I know that restraints on what one can/cannot post in a personal blog have freed up a bit (for example, you can use or even mention other products, just not where to buy them), so I guess I just don't get it.


I'm such an eclectic crafter/stamper that I can't bring myself to be exclusive to ANY company (although I've tried being a demo for CTMH or SU! several times), so maybe that's why I don't understand...


Am I alone in my thoughts? Does anyone else feel this way?
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:24 AM   #2
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I don't think I've noticed any of the blogs I visit as being single-company exclusive. If it were a company whose products/style I did not care for, I'd probably agree that there's little reason to keep looking, no matter how cool the designer's style might be were she using other products. But the fact of product exclusivity itself is not a turn off to me.

What I do despise is constant sales pitches and ads on blogs. If you monetized your blog, I'm probably not coming back because I do not like seeing customized ads in between your blog posts. (Small badge on the side bar for whatever company you design for, or your affiliate network companies with referral links, fine. As long as they stay over there out of my way.)

And even more, I do not enjoy where there's a picture of a card, and then a list of supplies, and then "Isn't it GREAT? Do you WANT one of your very own? It's just $11.95 in my WEBSTORE! Click here! Or on the right! Or in the banner! Or on the tab! Even better, would you like to earn this product for FREE?!!?!?!?!? Contact me NOW to learn how you could EARN this great product and SO MUCH MORE!"

I know you're running a business but there is a fine line between normal product placement and overkill. All you really need is your demo icon somewhere on the blog. I can figure it out and if I am motivated to buy, I know who/how to contact.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:06 PM   #3
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What you both said. I'm with you all the way.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:32 PM   #4
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I hear what you guys are saying. I don't have a blog, but enjoy reading lots of them.

I've found as the years go by that I've dropped some, and added some.

That said, I do feel that a blog is a personal thing, and I believe people can express themselves on their blogs as they like. If I don't like, I just don't read them.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:47 AM   #5
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I agree with all the above comments.

My blog favourites list is a fluid thing, as my style and the bloggers style changes my favourites change.


I have a seperate folder for ' store blogs' - they techically may not be part of a 'store' but they advertise and push products for particular companies, so when I look at those I know that I am going to get lots of 'selling' and some days I am more tolerant then others to the hard sell. I only keep these blogs as I like the bloggers work and I want to see what they have been doing.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:19 PM   #6
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I know/read some bloggers that are slowing down on their blogs and only seem to manage posts from the company they design for and I agree, that gets tedious to read... BUT... for people like me who are on a number of different teams I don't mind reading their design team posts IF they are from varied companies!
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:36 PM   #7
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some of my favorite stampers post only to promote a product or products. I'm ok with that -- if I like what they make I am happy to see their blog pop up on my google reader.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:55 PM   #8
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This is interesting since I just opened up my own online shop and my store blog is only the products I design and its a "selling" blog. I probably won't have time for my "personal" blog much anymore but hopefully, my followers will still like what I'm putting up on the blogs.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:38 PM   #9
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Well, you know there's always one weirdo . . . that's me.

I have some bloggers I follow specifically because I like the company they design for and they help me stay current on their releases, and they also give me great inspiration. If I like the company, then I usually like the designers and their styles, too. I followed most of the My Favorite Things design team even before they asked me to join them. I still follow some Stampin' Up! demonstrators, and designers for PaperTrey Ink, Eat Cake Graphics . . . . It doesn't bother me if they're only promoting one company - Stampin' Up! demonstrators have done that for ages. If it's a good company, like Stampin' Up!, I'm happy to follow along.

As for monetized blogs - it's kind of funny. The craft industry outside of paper crafting doesn't seem to mind the ads because you see them everywhere. For some reason, in the paper craft industry we devalue ourselves and don't consider ourselves worthy of making money on our blogs unless we're a demonstrator for a company like Stampin' Up! or Creative Memories. Meanwhile, other bloggers are racking in the big bucks. Seriously big bucks. I've attended a blog conference where the speakers were supporting their entire household with their blog. Tip Junkie pulls in a 6 figure income. I don't think there's anything wrong with making money doing something you love, and I applaud their entrepreneur spirit. These bloggers put a lot of time and effort into their blogs and don't charge us to read them - so I can tolerate an ad or two. Hey, I might even help them out by clicking on their ads occasionally.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat_woman View Post
This is interesting since I just opened up my own online shop and my store blog is only the products I design and its a "selling" blog. I probably won't have time for my "personal" blog much anymore but hopefully, my followers will still like what I'm putting up on the blogs.
I'm totally fine with a company blog that is all about that company (Sweet n' Sassy Stamps has one, for example). I totally expect that the posts will be company-specific. I was just musing about the one-track mindset of some of the personal blogs...


I don't always express myself exactly the way my train of thought is going (or derailing, more often), so my original post probably sounded crankier than intended, too


I suppose a better way to have stated my thought would have been more along the lines of, "Do you prefer to read blogs that cover a variety of products from a variety of sources, or do you lean more towards blogs that use products from a specific company?"
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StickUps View Post
Well, you know there's always one weirdo . . . that's me.

I have some bloggers I follow specifically because I like the company they design for and they help me stay current on their releases, and they also give me great inspiration. If I like the company, then I usually like the designers and their styles, too. I followed most of the My Favorite Things design team even before they asked me to join them. I still follow some Stampin' Up! demonstrators, and designers for PaperTrey Ink, Eat Cake Graphics . . . . It doesn't bother me if they're only promoting one company - Stampin' Up! demonstrators have done that for ages. If it's a good company, like Stampin' Up!, I'm happy to follow along.

As for monetized blogs - it's kind of funny. The craft industry outside of paper crafting doesn't seem to mind the ads because you see them everywhere. For some reason, in the paper craft industry we devalue ourselves and don't consider ourselves worthy of making money on our blogs unless we're a demonstrator for a company like Stampin' Up! or Creative Memories. Meanwhile, other bloggers are racking in the big bucks. Seriously big bucks. I've attended a blog conference where the speakers were supporting their entire household with their blog. Tip Junkie pulls in a 6 figure income. I don't think there's anything wrong with making money doing something you love, and I applaud their entrepreneur spirit. These bloggers put a lot of time and effort into their blogs and don't charge us to read them - so I can tolerate an ad or two. Hey, I might even help them out by clicking on their ads occasionally.
I agree that there shouldn't be a problem with monetizing a blog. I think that the problem comes in with where ads are placed. Are they in the middle of what you're trying to read? Are they off to the side or across the top? Do the ads relate to the content of the blog posts? These are the things that are probably the considerations as far as whether a blog is fun to visit or a PITA (Pain In The A**). Any HARD, HARD selling - in real life or in an email or over the phone or in a blog post - is a turnoff for most, I would think...


I actually follow a couple of monetized blogs and have clicked through several of the ads because they were relevant to the content, and interesting enough to make me want to find out more. Ditto on blogs that reference other blogs - I click through quite often. SmilynStef (who does the inspiration challenges here on SCS) has a feature every Thursday on her blog called "Link Love", where she posts cool things that she's found around the Internet that week (recipes, home dec, crafting, cool art) and I've found LOTS of fun things through that! It's probably my favorite blog post of any blog I follow!


I guess what I'm saying is that my original post was way narrower in its view than intended, and some of the replies have spooled me into other thoughts, as well...
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:17 PM   #12
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I like too many stamps to be loyal to only one. Call me fickle but can't help myself. My blog features what I love and that is everything.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:51 PM   #13
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What I don't care for are the blogs where they have gotten on a design team and then they start using tons of stuff from that particular company on one card or layout. You almost need a forklift to pick it up off a table.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:55 PM   #14
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Maybe I'm one of the rare ones here too, but when I start following a blog it's most likely because of a specific company that I find of interest and because of their style. Most of my cards on my blog are design team cards for a company too, but the company has several artists, so it doesn't feel like just one company to me.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzgurl View Post
I just finished checking out a couple of "new to me" blogs of women who are on design teams for a particular company, and it brought up - again - an observation that I've made before in my blog perusing...

I can appreciate that everyone's time is limited, and if there are commitments to fulfill for the design team, there may be no time left for other creative pursuits, but I find it frustrating when the ONLY things on a particular blog are from one company. (This does not include the main blog for a company, of course - just for individual designers)


Even if I like a particular designer's style, if I don't like the style of the company whose DT they're on, I can't force myself to look at all of the blog posts. I know that restraints on what one can/cannot post in a personal blog have freed up a bit (for example, you can use or even mention other products, just not where to buy them), so I guess I just don't get it.


I'm such an eclectic crafter/stamper that I can't bring myself to be exclusive to ANY company (although I've tried being a demo for CTMH or SU! several times), so maybe that's why I don't understand...


Am I alone in my thoughts? Does anyone else feel this way?
I agree with you. I've taken a few blogs off my list because of this. For example, I like MFT products but there were several blogs on my list that had MFT only and they were always hawking the stuff. I got tired of it so I quit following them.
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