How to Get Giveaways and Product Reviews for Your Blog

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

Want to read more of my “expert blogging advice“? :)  I’m a little more experienced with homeschooling and I’ve posted a lot of homeschool curriculum reviews.

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21 Responses to How to Get Giveaways and Product Reviews for Your Blog
  1. Melissa
    October 28, 2009 | 8:43 am

    Thanks for sharing these tips!

    [Reply]

  2. Dawn @ Olive Plants
    October 28, 2009 | 8:52 am

    Thanks Kimberly. I did not know about My Blog Spark. I’m going to look into it.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    My BlogSpark has been great to work with. I appreciate that they email me with offers and I have the choice to choose whether I’m interested or not. They have been the sponsors of the Crayola, the Elefun games and the Nature’s Valley outdoors gift set giveaways, among others.

    [Reply]

  3. Brandi
    October 28, 2009 | 9:13 am

    Thanks for the giveaway tips! I have recently started doing giveaways on my blog, and I love it!!! I actually have one for all natural products going on right now if you are interested. :)

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks, those look great!

    [Reply]

  4. Kaye
    October 28, 2009 | 11:17 am

    I recently joined My Blog Spark as well and have (in a short 3 weeks) already received 2 items to review. I asked them to include extras for me to giveaway and both have obliged willingly. It’s been great for traffic and I like being able to give away free stuff as much as I like getting it myself!

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    That’s terrific, my offers from them have not been so prolific as yours, but I’m very happy with what they have done for my readers!

    [Reply]

  5. lisa
    October 28, 2009 | 2:41 pm

    Interesting! Thank you.

    [Reply]

  6. CELLULITE ANALYST
    October 28, 2009 | 4:19 pm

    I’m going to check out myblogspark. Thanks for the tip!

    [Reply]

  7. Robin @HeartofWisdom
    October 28, 2009 | 8:04 pm

    I created a Workbox Directory and added you to it. http://bit.ly/30ySEC

    [Reply]

  8. Vickie
    October 29, 2009 | 8:12 am

    I always wondered how blogs gave away prizes thanks for the information.
    vickie

    [Reply]

  9. Rachel
    October 29, 2009 | 10:32 am

    I’ve also used Etsy forums in the past to find sponsors for giveaways.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Could you give me more info on Etsy forums? Do you post a request or are Esty sellers looking for bloggers to host giveaways? I’d love more info on this. Thanks Rachel.

    [Reply]

  10. TrenchMommy
    October 29, 2009 | 12:16 pm

    Kimberly,
    Great post! Thanks for the link and info! You are becoming quite a blog expert, ya know! ;-)

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Funny, Mandy! :) I know just enough to be dangerous.

    [Reply]

  11. Mama Mirage
    October 30, 2009 | 2:44 am

    I joined MyBlogSpark over a month ago and have not received any offers from them. Is this because my blog only gets 15-30 hits a day?

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    This is possible Jessica, but don’t give up. For the first few months all I got was a few surveys. I do know that they look at your traffic to help determine offers.

    [Reply]

  12. Dawn
    December 12, 2009 | 3:15 am

    Thank you for the ideas!

    [Reply]

  13. Christine
    February 16, 2010 | 12:27 pm

    Kimberly, thank you for this information! I have been wondering about it myself and just happened to run across the post here. Thank you:)

    [Reply]

  14. Jean Lynd
    September 19, 2011 | 9:21 pm

    Great info…just what I’ve been looking for. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  15. Nizam Khan
    September 13, 2012 | 8:22 am

    Awesome post! This is really helpful and Thanks Kimberly for a link to MyBlogSpark.

    [Reply]

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