Saturday, May 31, 2014

How to Get Free Products to Review on Your Blog

Blogging can be a hobby. It can be a way to vent anonymously. It can be a part-time or full-time job to earn money. But did you know that blogging can also be a way to earn free products to review?

There are literally thousands of bloggers who receive different products to review on their blogs absolutely free of charge. Companies are always looking for different ways to reach out to potential customers, and bloggers are a big part of their public relations strategy. And if you like helping others make informed decisions about the newest products on the market, then you can benefit.

So, how do bloggers find products to review on their blog? Well, there are numerous ways, and they're all actually quite simple.

Review products you already own, or buy products to review.

When companies seek out bloggers to review their products, they typically look for a well-established blog that already has excellent, thought-provoking reviews. In order to become "that blog," you'll need to start reviewing products, stat. The best way to do this is to pick out a few products that you already own, and write honest, well thought-out reviews. Video reviews are even better. Alternatively, if you really want your blog to stand out, buy the newest products on the market and review them before the other bloggers get to it. Once you have at least five to ten reviews on your blog, you'll have something to link to when you finally start personally approaching companies (more on that later).

Connect your blog with brands.

There are many programs and websites out there that help connect bloggers with big brands and companies looking for influential bloggers to help spread the word about a product or service. Sites like Influenster, SocialCallOut, and TapInfluence allow you to share your blog's stats, and then browse through various sponsorship opportunities. You then apply for the position, and wait to see whether or not you're accepted. Oh, and not only do you have the chance to get products for review, but many companies are also seeking paid Twitter parties, social media callouts, sponsored posts, and much more.

Pitch the company on your own.

Once your blog is established enough (usually an average of over 1500 UMV), you can go ahead and start pitching companies personally. Find the company's contact information on their website, and if possible, find their "public relations" or "PR" contact. If you cannot find it, you may reach out to them generally. It's always nice to refer to individuals by name, but if a name is not listed, it's fine to use "To Whom it may concern," or "Dear Sir or Madam."

My dear friend Dawn over at Kupana Wahines Corner gave me some excellent advice about pitching companies, and even shared with me her personal strategy. She has reviewed numerous products by approaching companies on her own, and has been incredibly successful.

To view her product review pitch, check out the example below, and don't forget to show her some love on Facebook!

Product Review Pitch Example

Dear (Insert Name or Alternate Greeting),

My name is (Your Name), and I am the owner and author of (Blog's Name With Link). (Blog's Name) is a blog for (Describe Your Demographic) who are looking for (Describe What Readers Come to Your Blog For) that help them (Explain How Your Blog Helps Your Demographic).

While searching for products that interested me, I came across (Insert Company's Name), and I would love the opportunity to provide you with a product review. (Blog's Name) has a current UMV of (Insert Unique Monthly Views Per Google Analytics). My social media reach between (List All Social Networks You're Active On) combined is (Insert Current Social Media Reach).

I would love to partner with you, and in exchange for allowing me to review (and possibly give away) a product of yours, I will offer you a long, well-thought out, honest review, along with PR in the form of (Insert What You Will Offer--Video Review? Facebook Status?) for the duration of the event.

If you are interested in working with me, please contact me at (Insert PR Contact Info) to discuss the next steps.

Thank you for your time, and I hope to be working with you soon.

Of course, there are many different ways to word your pitch, but the example above is a basic outline of the information you want to include.

What to Expect in Response

Sometimes, you won't receive a response back at all from the company. Other times, you'll receive a "Sorry, but no thanks," answer, but a lot of the time, you'll receive an enthusiastic response from a PR representative who is eager to work with you. Sometimes, you'll receive requests for your media kit (so make sure you have one--you may view my media kit to get an idea of what to include).
Before pitching, however, it's very important to have a routine that you follow when doing product reviews. For example, you'll complete the review within two weeks of receiving the item (unless stated otherwise, or more time is needed). Be sure to follow all of these guidelines that you set for yourself, and make them known up front to avoid any confusion.

Bottom Line

When trying to get free products to review on your blog, don't get greedy. The products that you choose to review should be relevant not only to your blog's niche, but to your readers as well. For example, if you run a fashion and beauty blog, but are reviewing automotive parts, you could easily lose readers as a result.
Always be honest with yourself, loyal to your loyal readers, and do what's best for your blog. 

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

1 comment:

  1. Hi Emily, thanks for the interesting post! Although I'll probably limit the number of reviews I do this is really great information for peeps wanting to dip a toe into the reviewing game.


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