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Indecent Disclosure: ROACH BAIT

When I started blogging 10 years ago I had no idea it would turn into a thing. I knew about 3 bloggers in the WORLD and I merely started ‘THIS IS MY LIFE’ as a way to keep memories.

In 2009 I was given my first products for review. I was contacted by Matchstick Marketing and tested out a Zune (that old MP3 thinger) and also a vibrating mascara from Maybelline. I popped into the washroom at my office to record this video of me testing the mascara. I told the world I was sent a product for review and they gave me some to share with friends.(See original 2009 post here.)

I was digging through an old hard drive when I found a note I’d made about ‘roach bait’, no not an insect killer, the marketing ‘bait & switch’ used in undisclosed celebrity endorsements.  I’ve not heard about it since but it distinctly reminds me of what’s happened with blogging.
Roach Bait n. A marketing message delivered by an actor posing as a regular person with the intention of having that message passed along to many other people.
2001 (earliest)
Then, there’s the ‘roach bait’ technique. Under this scenario, the paid huckster doesn’t necessarily buy a drink for others. He’s often found sitting in a prime spot at a bar or club, very visibly drinking Brand X. He talks up the brand big-time in the hope the good word will spread.
—Theresa Howard, “Freebies take on brash new form,” USA Today, May 15, 2001

Sound familiar?

Bloggers and people with some achieved sphere of influence are constantly called upon by brands and agencies to eat, drink,  wear, and visit places with hopes the’ll share that experience online.

The thing is, as a reader, observer, we never really know if the person is being paid or really believes in the product? Don’t just do it for the money! A blog that’s just out there to  make money is loses the root of what a blog is, sharing, a web log.


You could not pay me to write about something I don’t like. No kids, no animals is a rule I’ve lived by. There’s the odd photo of Sean’s daughter but I don’t review kids or animal stuff. I would like to get a dog one day so maybe this will change.

Bad product or experience? I email the agency/brand. I don’t have time to write scathing or negative reviews, plus I DON’T WANT TO. I turn down WAY more things than I ever write about. I tell you when I’m given something, ie. Saje Wellness post earlier today, but I buy lots of things too.

It’s a pleasure to work with great clients and be able to make a living from blogging but’s also hard work. Writing a post takes time to research, photography, writing, editing, publishing, posting, promoting. These are what brands pay for – THE WORK.

Photo from 2009 by Kelly Kruschel


Be yourself, that’s why people like you. It’s important to build a good reputation and trust with your readers, fans, followers, friends. One bad move can ruin your reputation and throw all your hard work out the window. As a seasoned blogger, I feel it’s important to create, write about non-product or sponsored things. Give people a glimpse into what really makes you, YOU, not matter how crazy you might be.

If you’re ever looking for some info on writing your own disclosure policy, check out this post from the IBF (International Fashion Bloggers). They’ve got a TON of great resources!

That’s all for today. I’m off to a lunch date w/ one of my girls and then an art party w/ my love tonight. Weekend starts NOW!