Katrina who blogs at A Mother’s Heart wondered, “(H)ow do get to offer things to your readers and how to you get places to send you things to try out?”
This is a great question and one that I wondered about for a while.
THIS IS IMPORTANT: Companies want you to talk about their products or offer their giveaway on your blog. You are providing a valuable service when you blog about their product. Blogs are a means of direct, word-of-mouth advertising on a large scale and are a good investment for advertising dollars. Your time blogging time is valuable and your blog space is valuable. Be selective. Choose only things that you want to talk about or that your readers may be interested in and don’t hesitate to turn down an offer if it doesn’t bring sufficient value to the table.
So how do you get product reviews and giveaways? I’m not an expert on this and it isn’t something that I have focused on for Raising Olives, so, I’m just going to share what my limited experience has been.
- Many individuals/companies contact me directly with offers. If your wish your blog to be open to this type of thing it’s important to communicate that. First, be sure to have a way for people to contact you, other than leaving a commen. Second, post a disclosure policy stating what you are willing to consider in that area and be sure that it is easy to find.
- I’m part of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew, a group of about 100 bloggers who use and review homeschool products. In less than 3 months, I’ve been given more than 30 products to review, including 4 math programs, 3 spelling programs and 2 complete writing programs. You do not have the option to opt out of products that you are not interested in. Edited to add: After looking back at my time on the Crew ( I stepped down in February) I do not recommend that you choose this route for several reasons. First, you have no control over the items that they send you. I found that many of the programs were below average, yet, I was still required to use these sub-par resources in my homeschool with my children for 4-6 weeks and then take my time to write a review of them. Second, they sent more products than we could comfortably and reasonably use (We were given 5 different math programs in January, which meant I had to learn to work with and teach 5 different math programs at the same time and our children had to either drop their normal math program or do double the math work for that month.) We also had an average of 12 review products that we were using at any given time. That means 12 additional subjects/activities to add to our homeschool each and every day. Third, more than 60% of the products were eProducts or short term subscriptions which have no resale value and an even larger percentage were items that our family would never use outside of our obligation to try them. This means that for all of the time and energy we spent in using and then writing about these products there was no lasting benefit to our family. Fourth, your readers would rather read about products that you use or are interested in rather than something that you are reviewing simply because you are obligated to review it. Fifth, if you are a blogger and a homeschooler, you can contact any homeschool company directly about doing a review of their product on your blog. In my experience, everyone I’ve contacted has not only been interested in having me do a review, but also in sponsoring a giveaway. I am a member of several other review groups and ALL of them give me the opportunity to review the products or services that I am interested in and opt out of those that are not a good fit for me or the blog.
- I recently joined My BlogSpark and have gotten some fun giveaways from them. To join you simple submit your blog information. My BlogSpark sends me emails periodically to see if I’m interested in a specific offer and I have the option to participate or not. If you are interested in hosting reviews/giveaways on your blog, I highly recommend registering wit MyBlogSpark. It’s an easy stress-free way to offer giveaways to your readers.
I haven’t pursued anything further in the way of giveaways/reviews. I do know that there are a lot of other options, but these are the only ones that I personally know about.
What works for you when it comes to getting product reviews and giveaways for your blog?