Getting Started with Product Review Blogging
Product Review Blogging-Having Fun and Testing New Swag!
As evinced by the extreme couponing movement it's pretty safe to say that many, many people like to get stuff for free, or at least very cheap. Many people also like to blather on, in print, about their hobbies, lives and advice, which is why the internet is such a rich and varied place and which is why places like Hubpages exist in the first place! Combining these two loves was bound to happen sooner or later, and companies caught on pretty quickly that bloggers have a definite influence over their readers. We often feel like we get to know blog authors intimately as they share their lives, and we start to trust their judgment and opinion. So when a blogger talks up a new product, many people go check it out, and in the case of very popular bloggers whichever product they featured may be wiped out in a matter of hours or websites or servers may crash because of traffic. If you like to write and network then product reviewing may be a fun and exciting area for you to branch out into!
Generally, companies will work with you by sending you a product to review, for free, and then asking you to review the product honestly on your blog. Sometimes they will even offer to host a giveaway for your readers, which is essential for getting and retaining a multitude of readers in the first place. But product reviewing is a clogged and difficult road to navigate, and getting your first reviews may not be easy. Here are some places you can start looking in order to incorporate product reviewing into your blog.
- Business 2 Blogger. Find a Blogger. Product Reviews.
Business 2 Blogger matches businesses with bloggers who share mutual interests and passions. This is how to find a blogger.
Business to Blogger
Business to Blogger connects businesses looking for promotion on blogs to the bloggers themselves via an email newsletter that comes anywhere from 1 to 2 times a week. Each email contains opportunities which bloggers may apply for during an open window of 18 hours after the email is sent out. Bloggers fill out a form in order to apply where they list blog stats and comment on how they would promote the review/giveaway. B2B sends out emails early to bloggers who post B2B's button on their website. I've had a little success with B2B and find their format clean and very easy to work with.
Social Spark is a platform where advertisers offer sponsored posts for which you are paid cash, though Social Spark recently announced that they would be offering product reviewing, though I believe this is for bigger blogs. Nonetheless, even my blog with its fairly small traffic has gotten several sponsored posts from Social Spark. I love the platform because it's easy to use and you can accept or decline offers and manage posts all from the Social Spark site. Even when you write your post Social Spark provides you with all the necessary links and images in an easy platform within the site so you won't miss a thing. The payout threshold is 3,000 points (1 point= 1 cent) without a penalty. So far I've found Social Spark to be a hassle free way of getting sponsored posts to help keep your blog running, and some of them are actually fun! You can sign up here.
- Pitch It to Me
Pitch It to Me is a place for bloggers & companies to connect! It is also a great place to get started reviewing products and ask questions!
Pitch It To Me
This ning group is one of the best forum based product review places I've come across, I was so excited when I could finally join! They do have requirements before you sign up, such as having your blog up and running for six months and making regular posts. However, it is worth the wait. The ladies in the forum are wonderfully helpful and have compiled lists of blogger friendly companies and other groups and agencies where bloggers can sign up for product reviews. PR agents also pitch bloggers directly on the forums. I frequent this group the most!
Crowdtap isn't just for bloggers, but it's so much fun I had to share it. As you progress and take quick surveys and participate in discussions you earn points and achieve new levels on the Crowdtap site. Each new level brings new opportunities, some of which include product sampling and in-home parties. I just submitted my first application for a clothing review, but haven't heard back as of yet. The site is very user friendly and fun, and in addition to product reviews you can also earn cold hard cash. The best part? 5% of the cash you earn goes to a charity of your choice! (I choose the ASPCA). You can join here.
- Mom Bloggers Club: Connect With Over 14,000 Mom Bloggers
14,000+ Mom Bloggers Strong. Join Us!
Mom Bloggers Club
Mom Bloggers Club distributes product review opportunities via email, which can be nice because instead of having to constantly check the site for new opportunities you can simply keep an eye on your email. The Club itself is also a great resource for mom bloggers, featuring everything from places to list your giveaways to a blog shape up program for those bloggers who want to take their blog to the next level. It's not a opp machine, but it's a great place to grow as a blogger.
Until your blog following grows to fairly substantial numbers you will be the one doing most of the pitching; it is unlikely that many companies will contact you asking you to review their product...yet. That's ok, in the meantime you can look for PR contacts on your favorite companies webpages to see if they'd be willing to work with you on a product review or giveaway. Always be polite and never push the issue if the answer is "No". PR reps will want to know your blogs stats, such as how many email subscribers you have or how many Twitter followers, your Google page rank or monthly hits. Know this information and organize it into some sort of table you can send with each pitch, this will save you time.
- The Brand Buzz Network
Community where we share, learn, and buzz about brands...
- One2One Network: Connecting Brands with Women and Moms
- Clever Girls Collective - Home
- Find Products To Review & Giveaway
Bloggers apply for any promotions you like for FREE
As with many things in life, product reviewing is something that requires time and work. It's a competitive field and you will be rejected more than your are accepted by companies, especially at first. That's ok, it's not meant personally. Just focus on networking and making friends, writing solid, non-review content, and working really hard for those nice folks who do agree to sponsor product reviews or giveaways on your blog.
To the right I have included more links to product review sites which can help you find companies to work with, though I use these less often than the above sites.