My Views Are Always My Own

Last weekend I received a message from someone who doesn’t usually comment here, and she expressed her disappointment in my blog and in me.  She said that she used to enjoy my blog because I shared my life in such a personal way, and that now it seems I talk about products I like too much.

And she also expressed her dislike of my “vague motivational/empowerment messages” and my desire to seek community participation.  Yikes.  I think she may have missed the last few weeks of posts including the vlog in which I was fighting back tears and working through my feelings of failure and my plan to change.

Her words stung, and I considered brushing them off as I often do when people say things that seem out of line which happens from time to time you share your life – your ups and downs – on the interwebs.  And while the tone of her message was pretty rude, I’m not convinced that it was her intention.

In her comment, she assumed that I had received “many sponsorship offers” since my brief notoriety regarding Southwest, but the truth is that I haven’t received a dime from anyone.  Obviously, she has a right to her opinion, and I’ll just have to respect it.  But this feels like a good time to say that I have never nor will I ever encourage anyone to purchase products that I don’t like.  I know bloggers who mention that in every post, but I already know that these people have integrity.  And I kind of assume that it’s common knowledge here.

This blog is and always has been about my life, my weight-loss and everything else I feel like talking about.  And I appreciate the opportunities that I have to share my voice and my opinions with my readers. I just want to be clear that my thoughts are my own, and they are authentic. It’s fun to blog for companies that I love  (which I now do elsewhere on a regular basis) and to offer those of you who support me everyday an opportunity to learn about products I use and enjoy AND to offer you the occasional opportunity to win one of your own!

You’ll notice that I don’t have banner ads (even though I could make a little $$ by adding them) because I’m extraordinarily picky about what I’d be willing to advertise and condone here.  If you ever do see banner ads on this blog, they’ll be there because I believe they’re in line with the message I’m sending – to embrace life and live a healthy and enjoyable one while working to figure it all out.

I appreciate the feelings and opinions of every person reading this blog, and I appreciate the respect that the person I mentioned may have tried to convey when she expressed her dislike of my blog and her disappointment in me.  But this blog will continue to evolve as I evolve, and all I can promise is that I’ll try to choose my words wisely and treat you all with the same level of respect that you’ve always shown me.

What do you think?  Do you wish I didn’t do giveaways?  If so, why?  Do you enjoy the giveaways I offer my blog from time to time?  I hope so because there are more coming in the immediate future!  Are there products that you wish I’d feature in future giveaways?  Let me know what you think, and know that I appreciate the respect and support I receive from most of you.  It has meant a lot to me, and it will continue to every step of the way…

 

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74 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarahbear
    July 28, 2011 at 12:24 am

    While I understand the frustration some people may have with finding a blog that seems to be a bit commercial, sometimes bloggers like to make a little extra money too. There’s nothing wrong with that. Especially when we pay for hosting and domains. It’s not cheap and affiliating with companies, doing give-aways and what not helps pay the bills. I should think that everyone would sympathize with you, even if you were bringing in lots of sponsorships since your Southwest ordeal, in the current economy.

    I think that as long as you’re not hocking crappy products, you’re honest about any you’re sent to review and you try to mix up the content so that it’s not a string of commercials with nothing personal or interesting, it should be fine. Also, it’s ultimately your blog that you pay for and write. You can do it however you like. If bringing in some revenue turns off a few readers, they’ll get over it or they’ll find the next blog to read. There are thousands to choose from, and while everyone wants loyal readers, you can’t please everyone all the time.

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  • Reply
    Lucy
    July 28, 2011 at 1:47 am

    Truth? I think banner ads are a more clear-cut, and less uncomfortable, sponsorship situation.

    There are a LOT of blogs that take free product and either find something nice to say about it or just not post negative reviews, and I find that disingenuous and, well, yucky–part of reviewing is being willing to review negative as well as positive. If all you’re willing to post is the good stuff, you’re doing free PR in exchange for product (which, let’s face it, is selling yourself cheap).

    I’ve stopped reading blog-for-product reviews.

    Just my thoughts. Since you asked.

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  • Reply
    9a
    July 28, 2011 at 2:50 am

    I have a somewhat unique perspective on this subject, since I spent 15 years in the music industry, and owned a nationally distributed indie rock record label in my past career life. Part of why I had to “get out” is because I based all of my self-worth on my band’s successes (Because remember .. though I can work like a dog and I have more sheer will than anyone else, I have no worth on my own!) The entire scene was killing me …

    Anyway, “Crabs in a Bucket” happens all the time in rock & roll:

    “I totally loved your band when you were “real” living in your van … now that other people like your band and you can pay your rent and you’ve has a couple of good breaks … I don’t like you anymore, and you’ve “sold out.”” (This type of comment generally come from people who have never spent 2 years living in a van, sleeping on floors and risking life and limb going from show to show across the US … and have no clue how expensive it is to make an “indie” rock record!)

    You are totally right – This is your blog, your journey and your outlet … and it’s easy for anyone to be critic from the sidelines … I think it’s completely OK to only review products/ideas/cool things that you believe in. (As long as your honest … then I think it’s awesome and OK.)

    Even if you did decide to go to the other side of things and Perez Hilton, blogger as actual job, side of the spectrum … or XOJane … why is that a “bad” thing. For another hypothetical example, Subway decides that they want to sponsor you and give you a Shay/Jared-type dream deal or wants you to be an official spokesperson. You feel the “deal” is a good fit, you already eat Subway and it’s part of you helthy tool kit … and you go for it.

    Because you are a “regular” person and not say Jennifer Hudson, are you supposed to turn down a good opportunity for your general future and get actually get “paid” to support something you believe in based on the opinions of people who haven’t paid their dues or “really” put themselves out there. Not many people often say, “Screw you Jennifer Hudson, you did a Weight Watchers spot … and yeah you look great now, but you sold out, and totally hate you now!”

    How I see what is going on with your blog, and being a total newbie really makes me happy for the future of again, women who are dealing with the issues we are dealing with and trying to make inside and out changes, that will make us happier and healthier … and take back our “authentic” self, whatever that shape/size is supposed to be. (I often think of my sister who is 5’9 trying to fight her body past a couple of years ago 163 … no matter what she did her body did not want to go past that. She tried to starve it off … and now after all that work, she is pushing 300 again.) Instead of loving her body at 163 and looking toward the accomplishment of losing 112 lbs the healthy way, she punished herself back up and then some …

    The fact that reputable companies that have really great products want to market to this unique demographic of increasingly “sane women” that thinks the “quick fix” money machine weight loss industry is BS … makes me happy, because that means that they see us, the readers of your blog as being valid and worthwhile! (Think the absolute opposite type of thing of say, Old Navy: “We are happy to take your hard-earned money for our clothing …. online only … just not in our stores, thanks!)

    So far you have had the cereal thing, the fashion blog … and seriously the cereal is really good. (I use to eat the bran/flax kind every morning for a few years.) The coffee maker giveaway you have going is just plain drool-worthy … and I definitely wish I had a Keurig brewer! So it’s not like suddenly you are promo-ing something like, “Quick Trim!”

    Anyway, part of doing this public blog thing, being accessible and allowing people to put their two cents in, is risking the result that as you grow readers are going to sometimes not grow with you. Unfortunately … sometimes these are people who were once great friends, loyal readers, etc. There is a total loss factor to this, like a death sometimes, and it hurts to have people question your intentions – especially when you’ve completely put it all out there with no candy coating.

    (I have a lot of friends who blog, and they all run into some really cutting comments, often disguised as “good advice.”) Some of the worst I’ve heard, again are the comments that readers make to healthy “average” sized women. One of my good friends is an entertainment blogger. She is really pretty and looks like Diablo Cody. She’s around 5’8 and 160 lbs. She is not a weight loss blogger, yet she’s had readers for some freakish reason email her and basically call her a “fat cow.” Seriously, WTF? All you can say is some people are really unhappy and cruel and take some pleasure in being (often anonymous) Harry Potter type soul-suckers.

    Again, without the SWA publicity, I probably would not have found you – most of the “weight loss” or “weight acceptance” blogs turned me off as they seemed to promote a lot of extremes or hardcore restrictions. I have not read any blogs or “forums” in a long long time.

    I keep saying it … but you have a cool thing going here. Your life is really kicking in and unfortunately you are going to have to deal with some blow-back and this will probably be the biggest challenge you face in the next few months with your health goals. People pleasing is toxic, don’t do it. You may lose a few people, but you’re going to end up picking up many more newbies like moi, who support you and want to hear what you have to say and want you succeed and be happy!

    OK, I swear I will stop making comments now on your blog …

    So yeah … Congrats! You lost one wordy overly-opinionated “just concerned” reader that has to throw in her two cents about everything you do and replaced her with a new one. (Moi!)

    Hope you can deal with that. =)

    Stay strong!

    XOXO,
    Nina

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      Thank you Nina….you made a lot of good points, and I’m glad you’re here…

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  • Reply
    Joan
    July 28, 2011 at 5:23 am

    I’m a lurker on your blog and have rarely posted a comment but feel compelled to comment now. I enjoy your blog and read every post. This is YOUR blog to be used to help you on your journey. If those of us who read it get inspiration, ideas, entertainment or encouragement from it then that’s just gravy (low fat of course). So far as product reviews, I like them. Who knows, I might discover a great new food that I enjoy that might help me with my journey. I prefer the personal review as opposed to banner ads. The ads are annoying while your reviews let me know what a real person thinks of the product so I would pay more attention to that than an annoying ad. Keep on keeping on girl!!! To those who don’t like your blog, I have a suggestion. STOP READING KENLIE’S BLOG AND WRITE ONE OF YOUR OWN THAT IS JUST LIKE YOU WANT A BLOG TO BE.!!!!!!!!!!! This particular blog is for her NOT you.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks for commenting Joan, and thank you for standing up for me. I don’t think the person was being totally hateful, but you’re right..It’s up to the reader to read or not to read or to enjoy the giveaway or not take part…

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  • Reply
    Jennifer
    July 28, 2011 at 5:31 am

    Kenz,
    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for a year now and believe that you are honest and have integrity. Don’t let this person into your head. Keep up the great work. I thank you and Sean Anderson for inspiring me to an 89 pound loss since last July. Keep up the good work.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      Wow Jennifer! Great job! You keep up the good work too…!

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  • Reply
    Jessica S
    July 28, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Some people have never learned to keep their mouth shut .. don’t say anything if you cannot be nice about it.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      Ha..that’s what my momma taught me. And that’s why I only do reviews of items I like. I can’t count how many I’ve turned down..I think that’s why it’s so frustrating..

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  • Reply
    Tanya
    July 28, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I’m with Joan on this – if they don’t like what they’re reading, it’s a free world – move on and start your own blog! I’ve done product reviews on my blog since almost the start – never received a dime in return. I find a product, try it, post my review and on we go…I doubt the companies even know I reviewed their product and frankly, I don’t care. I do my blog for ME and, in doing that, hope to inspire/help others and I think sharing product finds is hugely important. Even at my WW meeting our leader has a box where you can bring in the packaging from new products you’ve found that you want to share your thoughts on with the group (not endorsed by WW and no $ exchanges hands, believe me). Your blog is yours – your opinions are yours. Period. I much prefer the personal reviews than the banner ads – personally, I ignore banner ads as I find they are annoying and rarely relevant 🙂 Keep on keeping on girl! And, to echo Jessica’s sentiments – if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      You know, that’s a great point…I’ve always talked about products I like..the makeup I buy, the ridiculous purses and shoes, clothing, etc. The only difference now is that I offer freebies to the people who take time to read it here…

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      • Reply
        Tanya
        July 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm

        And freebies are wonderful!! One point I forgot to make in my last comment was that I have been approached by companies wanting me to promote their products and I have turned them down – only reason being that I had never tried their product and I will not endorse something I have not tried… one would think that if they were serious about working with me and my blog they would have sent me their product to try, but nope… so we did not partner 🙂

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  • Reply
    Heather
    July 28, 2011 at 8:43 am

    As someone who has read your blog for months and months, I did not like the Attune chocolate bar video review (it rubbed me the wrong way and that could just be my perception) but I also did not agree with your review of Extreme Makeover, Weight Loss Edition.
    But I have my big girl panties on and realize we all have our own motivations and views.
    I can handle it and if one day I can’t..
    I will move on!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      That’s really all we can do, right? I read a lot of blogs, and sometimes I’ll skip one…or decide I don’t care to read it anymore…it happens..

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  • Reply
    Chubby McGee
    July 28, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I love you.

    I love your blog.

    I love how you absolutely empower and inspire me with almost every, single post you write, too.

    I love that, if you find something neat and/or helpful to us weight losin’ gals in Cyberspace, you share it with us in a non-forceful manner.

    And I love how mature you are for handling all that comes your way.

    *hugs*

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks Chubs….love you back! <3

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  • Reply
    Tiffany
    July 28, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I actually had the exact same thought yesterday as the person who wrote the message.

    You certainly can go in any direction you’d like with your blog, but over the past few weeks the tone has changed. It seems less personal, more about these products. I personally loved living vicariously through you and your adventures and we haven’t gotten as many personal details about you lately. Like, are you in Cali yet?

    Just my two cents.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      No Tiffany…not in Cali yet…more details on that when there are more to share….

      I appreciate you being here, but please don’t feel the need to join the giveaways if you’re not a fan of them…

      My blog has changed a lot, and I have too…I’m sure it will keep evolving..at least I hope so…

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  • Reply
    Fatboy Kris
    July 28, 2011 at 10:01 am

    First, you can do whatever you want with your blog.

    I’m in the business of digital marketing, I know all about the behind the scenes of product give-a-ways. If you are not getting paid to promote items, you are being taken advantage of. Even still, it’s your choice. Do what you like.

    All that being said, displaying a commercial brand on your blog (regardless of size, method or intent) will affect your readership …some, myself included, find it cheapens the overall message.

    Again, do what you like.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      My readership has grown a lot in the last few months, but it’s been pretty steady…and my readers are loyal and awesome…..I can’t please everyone, but like you said, I have to do what I think is best…thanks.

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  • Reply
    Kathy McCoy
    July 28, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I love your blog and agree that it’s yours to do with as you will. It’s a story of your journey, your experiences, with which many of us can so readily identify. There are some people who try to build themselves up by tearing others down and that happens in cyberspace as well as other areas of life. I’m so sorry that was so hurtful to you when you have put so much effort into a wonderful blog that is so helpful to others. There is a saying among authors (I write books among other things) that good reviews never make you feel as good as bad reviews made you feel bad and it’s so true — if you let that happen. I hope you realize from all these comments that most people find your blog wonderfully helpful!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks Kathy!

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  • Reply
    Megan
    July 28, 2011 at 11:01 am

    WOW. Uh…just wow. That person who emailed you needs to schedule a consult with a psychiatrist for narcissistic personality disorder. Of course I like motivational messages, empowerment, product reviews and giveaways. And you know what I like even more? That you are blogging about what you want to blog about, and when you want to do it, IN YOUR SPACE that I can choose to access or not access as I please. Keep doing what you’re doing and try to ignore the bs of others who can’t see beyond the ends of their own noses.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks Megan…

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  • Reply
    Kathrin
    July 28, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Because I read a blog, I don’t have to agree 100% all the time and I also don’t have to continue reading or expect the blogger to change what they are doing to “please” me. I agree with Tanya: “It’s a free world!”

    If I see something is a review or a giveaway for something, I am not interested it, I just skip it and come back for the next post. Sometimes, companies flood bloggers with certain products and for weeks at a time, you see blog posts with just this one topic. Or at least it feels that way. If the content of the blog otherwise interest me, I will come back.

    It’s your blog, you make the descisions. It’s impossible to please everyone and for some people it’s impossible to voice their opinion without getting offensive.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      I know you’re right..thanks Kathrin..

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  • Reply
    DefineDiana
    July 28, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I have only been reading for a few months now, and I have to say that I really enjoy your blog. I don’t think you post product reviews too much.

    I do however, don’t enjoy blogs that seem to be lifestyle blogs but then every other post seems to be a review or a give away. That isn’t what I am reading the blog for. If I want to read that kind of blog, I will read a review style blog (which I do read one or two). I think sometimes, the blogger may be trying to do too much with sponsorships instead on really focusing on themselves and writing about what made people read them in the first place.

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  • Reply
    Tabitha
    July 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Truth – I love your blog. I think its great that you do give a ways, while I don’t usually participate in them, I still think its nice when people do them. If someone doesn’t like your blog they don’t have to read it.

    I also think that most people that have a blog would host a give a way if they were offered the chance to do it.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      Thanks for the love Tabitha! =)

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  • Reply
    Dawn
    July 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I think you should do what *you* want on *your* blog. Personally, I think that a good mix of personal stuff and reviews is just fine. The great thing about the blog world is that your media can go in the direction that you want it to go, and doesn’t have to stay static.

    You are a motivation and and inspiration – keep it up!

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  • Reply
    Kris
    July 28, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I’ve only been blogging since January – but even in that short period, my own blog and message has changed and developed a lot!

    Your blog will change and grow as you (and your audience!) does. Are you going to lose some readers? Probably. Will you gain others? For sure.

    I don’t *know* you, not really – but the person who comes through in your blog posts seems very genuine and real. And I like her. 🙂 So I’ll keep reading.

    Remember, you will never please everyone, but if the most important person (you) is happy, you’re doing all right.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      Thank you for your kind words……<3

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  • Reply
    Gail @ Shrinking Sisters
    July 28, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with running an occasional review or giveaway on your blog that fits with your mission. Where it gets ugly (and pretty useless, really) is when blogs devolve into nothing but reviews and giveaways and you start to imagine the blogger sitting in the driveway with a front-loader, waiting for the UPS guy.

    The diet industry is a multi-bazillion dollar business and there are tons of products out there — most of them crap. Pointing out the good stuff from time to time can be a good thing.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      LOL I promise that I never sit outside waiting for the UPS truck…lol

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  • Reply
    sorryaboutyourweight
    July 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    While you have seemed to be part of several giveaways in the last month, I don’t think it’s been overwhelming. About a third of your entries on the front page mention or endorse a specific item, and about a fifth of the second page do so. Sometimes these entries have other things unrelated to the item, such as the entry where you talked about an issue and then announced a winner.

    Personally I don’t have a problem with the giveaways (except that I don’t normally win hehehe). You seem to giveaways for items that you truly enjoy; I think this may come off as being disingenuous to people who don’t immediately recognize what’s going on. I assume that the reason you have rave reviews (and no negative ones from what I’ve seen) about products is because you seek out the product on your own and then give a review. If you don’t like a product, I figure you simply don’t bring it up. Others might think that you only give rave reviews because you’ve been compensated to do so.

    If you’re concerned, you might want to sign the Blog with Integrity pledge and/or add the badge to your site.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      Yep..you’re right……when I don’t like it, I don’t talk about it…and there are many offers that I decline..totally..

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  • Reply
    Momma Hunt
    July 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    All I have to say is this is your blog….your opinions, your journey. We read it because we enjoy it. If there comes a day when a person doesn’t like it, there is a great feature in our news feeds…delete. As a teacher I always encourage my students to express themselves and figure out what they like and dislike and as long as you are respectful of others we can all like different things, that is what makes people great, we are all different. Keep up the good work, I love it over here!

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  • Reply
    Alexa
    July 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    You know I’m mixed on this issue. Since my background is journalism, receiving free things is a sticky issue. On the one hand, entertainment writers receive free consideration ALL THE TIME. I used to attend 3-4 free film screenings a week. I received free CDs to review (and doled them out to my writing staff). When I worked for a major newspaper, the food writer would share with me some of the free products he received. I went on a press junket once, where I was flown, all expenses paid, to Los Angeles.

    The thing is, journalists working for major market papers (or the college paper, in my case) have their job title to “hide” behind, and the rule of thumb is COMPLETE HONESTY. Some outlets are shadier than others (pay attention to the positive quotes you see on shitty movies — usually it’s not reputable news sources giving those blurbs), but there’s a code that basically says “you may give me free review copies, but doesn’t mean I have to be positive.” I wrote negative reviews of both of the movies from the press junket, because I genuinely didn’t like them. Some papers have policy that they can’t accept gifts over a certain value. Others pay for their employees to go on press junkets. Other outlets, especially in entertainment & lifestyle sections and magazines, have a “positive review only” policy — they simply won’t review a product (even if it was provided for free) if they didn’t like it.

    But with bloggers, it’s different. You’re not a professional journalist, and generally, we bloggers are tickled to get free stuff. The line between professionalism is far more blurred — you feel so flattered that someone wants to work with you, so maybe you sugar coat or ignore the more negative aspects of the product. Or maybe you unabashedly love everything you endorse. The problem is, many readers are suspicious of ANY promotion. It’s an understandable reaction.

    Personally, I only mind when I see one product being pushed on three or four different blogs that I read. When you can “see the marketing,” it’s a lot less fun. Then again, I’m in marketing, so I see the marketing all the time 🙂 I don’t think you’ve gone overboard… but the ratio of sponsored reviews & giveaways to other things is obviously different than it was when you didn’t do any reviews/giveaways. It will take some getting used to by your readers, especially those who have a particular distaste for marketing.

    Chin up, and just maintain a balance!

    (and, for the record, I love giveaways!)

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      Dude…nerd, you know I’m not a journalist..lol I’m a blogger…thanks for your perspective and for liking the giveaways..ha

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    • Reply
      9a
      July 28, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      Starting in college radio back in the 90’s and working in music up until summer 2009 … The “over the top” promos have dried up a lot!

      I remember when some record label sent us a custom “radiohead” radio and turntable at the station … and 100% paid for old music directors to go to CMJ or gasp … Gavin. RIP. When I left, digital had hit the industry so hard, that people got stingy with sending even one full-art copy to the majority of radio stations. (In comparison to entire 30-packs.)

      I am sure “Extreme S.W.A.G.” still exist somewhere … on higher-end media-level … though I don’t think any publication without a ton of backing could survive without the aid promo copies/product …

      (What always made me sick were the media outlets that had a “understood” policy of trading a review for a paid ad!) Sadly, some of these places are zines that played off as legit to their readers.

      The blog world has changed so much in the last decade or so …

      Especially in indie music where everyone has to have a heart attack about Pitchfork (Oddly referencing a “commercial” website I refuse to read anymore – because it’s not my job to have to care anymore, HA.) reviewing something in order to “make” your record/survive. (I think that sort of power-abuse is creepy.)

      Yes, no matter what you do, it’s best to be honest about it.

      There is a whole spectrum of places one can be on the commercial scale even in “fit-blogging”, say “Diets in Review” (blatantly commercial and on my radar again, via TBL) vs. Kenlie’s blog (One person’s journey, experiences and thoughts).

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  • Reply
    mousearoo
    July 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    It’s your blog. You choose to write what you want and when you want.
    And a reader has a right to read or not.
    But they don’t have a right to comment on your motivation for writing. That’s an individual and personal thing.

    I think you’re pretty fantastic, open and honest.
    Don’t change for anyone.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm

      Thanks….I appreciate that, and I’m changing….but changing just for me. 🙂

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  • Reply
    Tammy
    July 28, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I have to say that I’m glad you don’t have banner ads! I don’t like them and never click on them. How you run your blog is completely up to you. If you are having a giveaway on something that I’m not interested, then I don’t enter (i.e., coffeemaker since I don’t drink it). I tried the Uncle Sam cereal because you liked it and I’ve seen in my grocery store for years. However, I thought it was just OK, so I haven’t mentioned it on my blog. Has the overall tone of your blog changed? Of course, but so have you. I think it is just a natural cycle. Don’t let the trolls get to you!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm

      I do the same thing Tammy…I don’t post about products that I don’t like, but I rave about things I love. Thanks for the comment, and thank you for being my friend!

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  • Reply
    Jan
    July 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Clearly this person who emailed you didn’t have a Mom that taught her/him this value: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” 🙂 While I love that people feel they can be honest, some things should just be kept to yourself. Some things are just rude. I’m so sorry this person emailed you that. To be honest, I love hearing about the new products and things you’re trying. It helps me branch out of my comfort zone and check into them too. I’m always up for finding out a new protein bar and what not. 🙂 Heck, I loved the video where you measured out the almonds. What an eye opener. Even though I know it’s not suppose to be many, I think many times we get lax about things and need to be grounded and reminded to check up on the serving sizes (we think we know about the right amount, but I’m sure over time, we’ve added to it a bit and would be shocked if we went back to measuring). 🙂 Thanks for being real. Thanks for sharing your opinions. And thanks for speaking up for yourself even when you don’t have to (because someone decided to not follow the golden rule of keeping things to themselves when they’re not nice to say). 🙂 Keep doin’ what you’re doing girl. You’re doing great and I’m always going to come back here to read what you’ve got to say. 🙂

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      LOL Thank you Jan! =0)

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  • Reply
    Kim
    July 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I am normally more of a lurker as well, but thought I would post a comment here. I think that how you run your blog is your business – whether you choose to do giveaways, or talk about specific products, or place banners, or just talk about yourself. I find your blog very inspirational and motivating, and I follow it for a reason. If I don’t connect with a particular post, then I stop reading and come back another day.
    I started blogging to help myself – to focus my energies and have a place to honestly and openly discuss my weight loss efforts, for better or worse. It feels like you did the same…. this is a one of the tools that helps you on your journey, and I feel like it’s your right to create it in the form that works best for you. If YOU feel like there’s any merit to her claims, then that is one thing. But if this blog is a real reflection of you, then don’t let it get you down!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      It’s definitely a reflection of me, and I’m proud of it..thanks for reminding me of that!

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  • Reply
    TooBIG
    July 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I think what you have to realize Kenlie is even though we get tons of free stuff in our mailboxes to put up on our sites means our message is being heard. But I also look at it this way. Don’t feel obligated to giveaway everything and don’t feel that just because they sent it to you that you have to write about it. They send their stuff to a lot of people. It’s a numbers game the more they send it to the better chance they get their product reviewed. To them it costs way less than a big time expensive ad.

    I’ve been coming to your blog a lot lately and a lot right before fitbloggin and it has changed as has mine.

    just be prepared for these types of emails, as we gain more exposure and comes more success come more opportunity.

    I know exactly how this person feels, when they feel the site has become more commercial then ourselves they lose the intimate feeling they once had or shared with us.

    it’s a tough situation as I would never want to lose a reader that truly cares about me.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:28 pm

      You’re right Jess…I get a lot of offers that I never talk about…I tend to talk only about what I like. 🙂

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  • Reply
    NewMe
    July 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I admit to having felt a bit uncomfortable with what seemed to be a new, more “commercial” turn to your blog. Thank you for your clarifications. I might not always agree with you, but you seem to me to be a deeply honest, good-hearted person. Be well!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      I wonder if it feels more “commercial” because of the giveaways or because I’m so comfortably video blogging now…that’s an interesting way to look at it…I have to think on it.

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  • Reply
    Eric K
    July 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Sounds to me like a matter of jealosy of you becoming a more public figure.

    As far as your blog goes it’s yours, and it’s free. No one is forced to read it, if a person feels like you are disengenious they do not have to continue to read your blog.

    As far as I can tell this is your blog and not the USA Today. You don’t have to be down the middle. If a product excites you then you should share that excitement, that is why you choose to have this blog.

    As with most things in life you probably have way more people here reading your blog that you will never hear from because complainers are what I like to call the “loud minority.”

    Keep doing what you are doing.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks Eric! You’re right…and I appreciate it.

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  • Reply
    KCLAnderson (Karen)
    July 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I echo what most of the other commenters have said. I have never gotten a phony of fake “feel” from you or your blog, or that you’ve sold out or whatever you want to call it. We all change over time…we all like to try different things once in a while. Sometimes we change our minds…sometimes we experiment. We gain new readers and lose old ones…it’s just the way it is. Stay true to yourself (which I know you already do) and you’ll be just fine 🙂

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks Karen…I have changed so much, and I hope I keep changing! =0)

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  • Reply
    Lynn M
    July 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    When I read blogs, I feel like that person was kind enough to invite me in to share their thoughts and feelings. I respect the blog writer for just putting themselves out there, because you are exposing yourself to people/posts like the one you wrote about. Kenlee, you are a very genuine person and only you know what feels right on your blog. Stay true to yourself and don’t let rude comments cause you to question what you are doing here. Bottom line; your blog, your rules, period! Oh, and keep the give a ways coming!!! In this economy free stuff is a blessing!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      I agree, and I honestly think that many of my readers (as they’ve commented and emailed today) appreciate the opportunity to win free, awesome stuff.

      What’s interesting is that some of the same people complaining about my giveaways are still entering them..

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  • Reply
    Lynn M
    July 28, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I just read this on another blog and thought it was timely!

    This site may be a public space, but it is also an extension of me and of my home. The Internet can feel like a good place to anonymously air one’s discontents, but meanness is no more welcome here than it would be if we were sitting together on the couch in the living room. I ask that you post only words that you would feel perfectly comfortable saying aloud to me in person, and I reserve the right to delete any comment that is hurtful or nasty.

    That pretty much sums it up!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      That’s a great way to look at it…people often forget that there are people behind blogs and internet stories…

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  • Reply
    9a
    July 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    It seems like from reading comments, the main “big deal/negative reaction” is the “Atune Foods” summer swap and the Atune protein bar video?

    I sort of think this is silly … because you stated from the get-go that it was going to be a new project that you were going to be doing for a few weeks. (So if people didn’t like it, they were forewarned those posts were coming!) Also, the banner you have is so tiny too – you barely notice it if you don’t want to. So that would be super easy to skip. (You also stated that with your fashion partnership/guest blogger-ship.) Also if someone offered to personally style me to be on the Today Show and I ended up looking like a super star in their cute dress … I think I would shout there name from the hilltops too. (That is awesome.)

    I think you’ve been super clear on it all and given tons of disclosure/warnings.

    The “Protein Bar” video: To me watching someone’s video on a blog is an investment. I think a lot more about pushing play on a video on any website (Perez Hilton or All The Weigh) rather than say skimming through a post. (Example: I keep wanting to watch the Slimmons video, but I haven’t had time lately!)

    If someone did not like the idea of the “summer breakfast swap!” then why the heck would they ever ever press play on *that* video?

    I did watch the Atune video.

    You have stated a lot recently – that one of your big breakthroughs was being “OK” with vloging and watching yourself on video/talking on tape. (So any awkwardness in that (First Ever!) product review video in particular struck me as basically, you trying to feel out doing something that is historically out of your comfort zone and being a little nervous.)

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot … since it seems that with the post it’s good to get high fives but you also wanted some feedback about the new feel.

    Have you considered expanding your blog – maybe have a dedicated tab/section/page/sub-blog to feature products you love and giveaways? (If you did that I would definitely go check it out and I think it would actually be really popular and maybe add some definition and boundaries, etc.)

    There are many things I wish people would let me know about in advance, that I waste a lot of money on.

    For instance I have wicked Plantar Fasciitis and since becoming “active” again it is completely killing me … since last August I’ve spend $1000.00 + on sneakers and even more on medical procedures and physical therapy. (Foot Smart and Zappos made my UPS guy hate my guts.) If someone had told me about “Brooks’ Addiction Walkers,” “Brooks’ Ariel Running Shoes,” and “High Arch” Birkenstocks, I would have saved a freakin’ ton of cash and pain! I think I am down to 5% heel pain vs 100%! (Win!)

    I also just a got a catalog from some place called “Simply Be” that had super cute plus clothing – I’d love to know if they suck or not *BEFORE* I get in another relationship like my obviously bitter one with Old Navy +. (Major quality decline over the past 2 years! The basic Old Navy T’s I was counting on that they had last summer were absolutely unwearable this summer – cheap, wonky and see-through.) I am still wearing my pill-ie old ones to work. I just want a decent T-shirt, and I still haven’t found it this season!

    (Clothing is one area where I would be happy to read someone bitch/give a negative review.)

    Being where I am at right now … finding out about great things I do not know about yet, is not making my life worse! Maybe it would be neat to have that sort of content in a dedicated space? Again, I would personally dig it!

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  • Reply
    dad
    July 28, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    i am not on a weight loss journey, but i do follow my daughters blog and read most of the comments. the sense of community and the common goals many followers share, is the draw. and the excitement about new products and/or giveaways just adds to the excitement in this blogging community.

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    • Reply
      Jen, a priorfatgirl
      July 29, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      Dear Kenlie’s dad — thank you for supporting her and being a part of her blog.

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  • Reply
    Steelers6
    July 28, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Hey, Kenz, can you believe I just read through ALL the comments? Wow, go me, right? Some real thoughtful input here, you know?

    So here is a thought. What about if a company contacts you with something and it would rate a negative review after you tried it. Would you consider maybe just one time putting up a less than stellar review? I sure don’t mind that you haven’t, I understand it, but maybe it would make all the glowing reviews seem more valid for some. ? If that makes sense. Whatever you think, it was just a thought! I know you are a busy girl, don’t need to be bothering with things that don’t interest you.

    And yeah, I did have a complaint about the Attune review. And that is — they don’t sell ’em around me! Haha. But I still appreciate the review, bc now when I am somewhere where they are sold, I will snag one fer sure. 🙂

    Chuckle bc some of the folks complaining about the givaways are entering the contests. Haha.

    I have appreciated the product mentions at various blogs I read. That goes for whether blogger is compensated for said mention, or just chatting, as you have done many times in the past simply bc you are excited about something. Seriously. You have explored cool cosmetics, shown us cute shoes, clothes etc. A lot of us readers enjoy that little WL or life diversion. And I think I first heard about Popchips on a blog a few years ago! Yay for popchips.

    Thanks for continuing to blog, dearie.
    Chrissy

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  • Reply
    Cathy
    July 28, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    I’m pretty sure it’s time to give away a car. 🙂 Heart you!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 28, 2011 at 10:59 pm

      LOL Cathy! I would love to! Maybe someday. 😉

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  • Reply
    Ally
    July 29, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I guess it takes all kinds of people to make the world go around. It sounds like she is jealous of you and your writing, your successes, and the attention you are receiving.

    I guess it drives me crazy when people criticize how others are doing life on their own personal blog. On the other hand you are putting it out there for others to read and comment on.

    To criticize someone (without factual information) for “allegedly” making money doing something they are good at is completely ridiculous. We all do this all of the time!!!!!

    I would say you’re welcome to your opinion but if you don’t like what you see here..there is a little red X in the upper right corner of your screen. Use it. It will fix your problem….and then forget about this person.

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  • Reply
    Jodi
    July 29, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I don’t know who wrote you that but I feel a sudden urge to slap them…..

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 29, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      LOL Jodi….I don’t know either because they left a noreply email..I’m going to broach the topic once more then move on from it…no slapping anyone..;)

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  • Reply
    Jennifer
    July 29, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Maybe the disappointed reader is trying to find all the support she herself needs by reading your blog instead of creating her own support system from many different sources in her own life. I say that because it seems like she wants your content to clearly be only what she likes instead of stopping to think a blog is about what the writer wants to write about, so why should she care that much unless she places too much importance in one place? Perhaps she should use the mouse to scroll thru stuff she doesn’t want to read or click on another blog?

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      July 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      I hope that she’s finding the support she needs here and elsewhere, but you are right…there are so so so many places to find support and understanding in this blogosphere…=)

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  • Reply
    Deb_dee
    July 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Hi! Long time lurker, first time commentor. First of all, I love love LOVE your blog. You are such an inspiration and have such a wonderful writing style. While I have noticed more giveaways and reviews recently, it hasn’t been that bad. I think all popular bloggers go through this phase when they start getting products to review and/or giveaway. At first they go crazy with the giveaways, but then it evenually calms down or they find a way to better incorporate it into their vision of their blog (only one or two a week, only on one day, clearly labeling the post as a giveaway or review, etc). I think the key is balance, and I know you’ll figure out the best way to add these things to your blog. I do like to read the product reviews, but the giveaways just aren’t for me because I don’t feel comfortable Fan/Like/Following on FB or Twitter products or companies that I haven’t tried yet. I do get why companies would like people to do that, but it’s like endorsing something before I get a chance to try it. Since I would only have one chance to win if I don’t do the other things, why bother? LOL. But again, none of this is enough for me to stop reading your blog. As long as you continue to blog about your life, I’ll be there.

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  • Reply
    christina
    August 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I know this is a late response but I love when people do reviews on products its nice to learn about new things and whether people like them or not

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