Friday, August 3, 2018

Getting Real About Craft Product Reviews

Sewing & craft blogging has changed a lot in the nearly 10 years I've done Sew Can Do.  A lot of it for the better.  Yet, there are some things I really and truly miss about the "old days" when blogs were less slick, polished and perfect.  When regular people didn't have perfectly staged photos and projects that make Martha Stewart look like she's slacking.  When reviews were really reviews.

These days, whenever something new hits the craft market or you're wanting to find out how a product actually fares when you use it, it's a challenge to really find out without sifting through a lot of hype or shiny marketing spin.  Sponsored posts and advertorial "reviews" are everywhere.  And I get it, sometimes I've done them myself.  If someone offers you a complimentary product and you're eager to try it, saying "this is terrible don't buy it" once you actually use it isn't ideal.  But realistically, is someone who's on a design team for a brand (and gets all the latest products for free) going to tell you that the new item is just mediocre....or that it's really a piece of crap?  Not really.

I've noticed that when it comes to crafty gear, there's a formula where a brand will round up a number of bloggers and at the same time they've all got "reviews" that are nearly identical.  There's stock wording and showcasing of a few specific things.  They're practically interchangeable.  It doesn't make it easy to find out what something is really like and a lot of time is wasted skimming through lots of posts to find one that's the real deal.   

Some of my most popular posts have been when I've shared my real life experience with something I've bought and been candid about, like last year when I got myself a Cricut Easy Press.

and when I shared my nightmare experience buying glitter vinyl:

There are also a lot of products out there that don't get the star treatment on blogs because they're inexpensive or have been around for a while.  Since they're not the latest & greatest or aren't well known, they don't get talked about much.  As well as the times when I've discovered, by trying a new product, that you can make your own DIY version - that works even better - like when I tried Mod Melts:

So last week I put feelers out on the Sew Can Do Facebook page about a new feature here I'm going to call The Real Deal Review.  My plan is to try out a product I've purchased and share what it's really like to use.  What's great about it, what's not, does it really do what it says and, most importantly, is it worth buying?

The response there was really enthusiastic and I got some great feedback on some things fellow crafters want to hear more about.  So I'm going to do it!  

Here's where you come in.  

- What kinds of items would you want to read about most?  

- Is there specific gear or crafty/sewing tools you want to see reviewed?

- Are you looking for product comparisons?

- Are there things you can't find and want?  

I've got a few items in mind already, but I'd love to hear what other crafters are most curious about or really want to know, so share your thoughts in the comments below.  I'm really excited to  make this happen and bring real reviews back to the blogosphere.  After all, being authentic and a real life person sharing, is supposed to be the whole point of a blog! 


1 comment:

  1. Cheryl: Rulers! There are sooo many that overlap or just do the same thing...and the die cutters...😊


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