Nicole Feliciano of Momtrends an interview:
Nicole has a very unique take on product reviews, and with a very successful blog and a name known around the blogoshphere synonymous with trendy and cool, we need to take a look at not accepting any currency in return for reviews.
I do no receive gift cards, cash payments or any other currency for reviews. I do expect to test/inspect all products that I write about so I get many, many free samples and sometimes my travel is taken care of for events (always welcome!).
I offer to ship samples back as long as I am given return postage. I do accept sponsor ads. Sponsors are clearly informed that I will not write scripted reviews AND I tell my readers that there is a sponsor relationship.
Tell me about your Blog–
The home of “more style, less stuff”, Momtrends launched in 2007 and provides the latest news on things trendy and cool for families. Momtrends is packed with practical information and shopping tips aimed to help busy, style-starved parents find the best gear for their family.What you will find on Momtrends: Tips for living well and making the most out of parenthood, profiles of inspiring Momtrenpreneurs, regular features on cooking and fashion trends and tons of great giveaways and reviews.What you won’t find on Momtrends: Paid reviews, negative reviews, snarky essays about motherhood (I love my job!), reviews of toys with batteries, any mentions of television.
What was your first blog?
My first blogging gig was as a staff writer for PamperedPuppy.com. The editor patiently educated me on blogging and about six months later I launched Momtrends. I’m also thrilled to start blogging for a new company called Totsy.com. Totsy is private sale website for trendy moms. I will be blogging (along with Audrey McClelland) about motherhood, fashion and shopping–should be a blast.
What is the biggest tip you would give to product reviewers?
You only have one reputation. As soon as you sell out and do a “pay for review” you’ve lost your credibility.
Are you contacted by advertisers or do you contact them or both?
I’m fortunate to have a great ad manager that sells space for me. I give her a list of the brands I’ve written about or intend to write about and she follows up and sends them a media kit. We are also contacted directly by advertisers. We have an advertising link on the home page.
What is your favorite product that you have reviewed?
I’ve reviewed about 500 items so this is a tough one. Uppa Baby is a recent favorite stroller–they’ve done very well in my tests. Stokke sent me a wooden high chair to review and I’m a complete disciple now. As far as small companies, there is a series of Ballet DVDs for preschoolers called Prima Princessa that has impressed me for cultural content that is a lot of fun to watch.
What do advertisers do that you wish they wouldn’t/ do that you like?
Advertisers that tailor an ad to my site do very well. A chic, trendy ad with pops of color will get attention. Small text (and too much text) get lost on the home page.
What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t/do that you like?
Bloggers that get the message across in short, concise prose are my favorites. Metropolitan Mama is a great example as is Project Nursery.
What advertiser would you like to work with given a chance?
Ideally since I talk about fashion and trends, I’d relish the chance to work with Anthropologie or Kate Spade. I’m a design buff too, so well-made gear would be a good fit (maybe Argington and Stokke) would be a wonderful fit for the site. I also think big players in the imaginative toy arena (Haba, Plan, etc) would be terrific.
Where do you see growth in the blogging field?
Vlogging–readers love to see videos. And don’t forget to tweet!
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
After putting in seven years as an executive at Polo Ralph Lauren, I took a year off to travel around the world. I saw 22 countries in a year! My boyfriend (now husband) proposed to me on the trip in Thailand and we were married in Bhutan.
What’s your favorite book?
The Great Gatsby, but when it comes to my girls my favorite titles are from Jon Muth, such as Zen Shorts.
What is on your iPod?
The music to Wicked (for the girls, but I love it too), lots of Euro-pop and a healthy dose of Coldplay and Alanis.
What are your contact details?
What events do you go to?
Any fashion-related events in NYC that appeal to moms. All the children’s trade shows in NYC (ENK, Bubble, Toy Fair, Gift Show). Mom blogger events that serve to educate me about a trend or product.
How do you prefer to communicate?
email…phone is impossible with two little kids.
Who would you recommend, and why?
Beth Feldman–the queen of connecting bloggers, moms and companies
Stephanie Schaeffeer, of Metropolitan Mama–has an amazing new e-book out about blogging.
What is one thing people can do for you?
Follow me on twitter to stay up to date on posts, events and contests–plus it is a great way to tell me what is going on in the mom community.