I've been reading a lot in the past few days about what blogging means to different people, what should and shouldn't be said, whether you should allow ads or not and if you do, whether this makes you a good or bad blogger. I've also been reading about things I know nothing about such as 'linkys', which make me realise once again that I have so much to learn about the whole thing.
For some people, sponsored posts signal the end of grass roots blogging; ads detract from the experience and reviews, well, from what I can make out they are frowned upon too.
But I fall into the camp of opinion that says an individual's blog is an individual's self expression. If somebody wants to include ads, sponsored posts or paid for reviews in their blog then that's up to them. As so many comments on the subject point out, nobody is forced to read a blog, if you don't like a blog then don't visit it.
For me, blogging is a way of writing creatively. I can comment on my life or things around me that otherwise I wouldn't get to do. It allows me to explore subjects I don't write about in my day job and it means I can follow my interests - for example, I love writing about beauty, skincare, hair and general fluffy stuff. I do get to write about that stuff in my work life, but not as much as I'd like.
When it comes to product reviews, I say what I think of any product I'm reviewing. I'm not paid by PRs to post, I do so because I love products, and beauty, and skincare (see above). If anything, blogging generates PR leads for me, keeps me in the loop about new services, products and launches valuable for possible freelance work that otherwise I might miss. In the same way, services or products or events I come across in my day-to-day work can prove useful for my blog. It's all one big cicle, with overlapping areas feeding into each other.
I love to write, even about nothing in particular, which is why I love to blog.