You've been blogging for a while now and you're starting to gain some fans and followers, that's awesome! There's nothing I love more than helping newer bloggers. So how do you review products on your blog? I'm assuming if you've landed here you are either already starting to get pitched for product reviews OR you're interested in learning more about reviewing products on your blog. Well, as a veteran product reviewer I am certainly happy to point you in the right direction.
When I first penned this post I was only 27 and I had been blogging for less than a year. It was new and there weren't nearly as many people blogging at the time. Today I find myself updating this post because a lot has changed over the past five years and some of the tips I provided five years ago are no longer relevant. So today I am going to share some tips that will really help you get ahead if you'd like to venture into the world of review blogging.
To be clear, there are two very different types of reviews you can do on your blog. There are simple product reviews and product reviews where you get paid to tell your story. Every brand and company offers something different. Don't be offended if you get an email asking you to review a product for free. Even if it's a $4 can of peanuts. PR firms have a job to do, and while you may not be interested in blogging for peanuts, they are simply doing their job by reaching out to you. You can always respond with your rates and see what happens (but we will talk about this in a separate post).
As I mentioned early on, your goal is to build a community of people who are interested in the products you would like to review. If you love all things surfing, then, by all means, start a surfing blog, find your surfing fans online, and pitch those surfing companies! After years of blogging, I have learned that the best thing you can have online is a voice. A voice is something that resonates with like-minded people. You move people, make them feel, make them act. That's what you need to have. Are there other ways to grow a blog? Sure! You can run giveaways, you can follow for following, there are many ways to build traffic, but try to stay true to who you are; because in the end that will last!
So let's get to it!
Pitching: This is an all-time favorite of mine. I just love the rush of a good pitch. When you pitch a brand try to stay away from a "form-filled" email. You are pitching the brand because you love them, need them, or think you will love their product. If you really want to review their product, services, or accommodations you should take the time to draft an email that will sell them on why you would make an amazing ambassador for their brand. You can read my post: The Perfect Blog Pitch here.
Note: When I send a pitch, I don't immediately share my stats. I consider stats to be on "need to know" , if they don't ask, they don't need to know!
If they do ask for stats, make sure you have: Google Analytics
Blog Networks: Besides pitching for products you would like to review, you can also join blogging networks. These are companies that work with brands and bloggers to create campaigns. These campaigns can be very basic, where you can write whatever you want; or they can be very specific (recipe tutorials, crafts, giveaways).
These are some of my favorite blogging networks. Some of these networks provide 40% of my blogging income! Every network is different and has different requirements. Some work with larger blogs and some love new bloggers. Some pay via PayPal and some with Amazon gift cards. Always read the information they provide and understand what you are agreeing to before you take on a review or shop.
Mediavine Ad Network - This is where you make the BIG bucks!
- Social Fabric (Collective Bias) - This is my favorite company to work for. They pay well, take care of their bloggers, and have some awesome opportunities for growth within the company.
- Izea - I never thought I'd be saying this, but sometimes it's worth it to pay! I pay $5 a month and I get tons of opportunities. I actually just took a break from writing this when I went over to grab my link, and sent out a $15 tweet. It clearly pays for itself.
- Sverve - I worked with them a lot last year. They do some really fun campaigns, but it can be a lot of work if you don't understand what you're doing! Read carefully!
- Tap Influence (Blog Frog) - I have worked with them since they had the Blog Frog community and the campaigns are always fun and they pay well!
- Global Influence (Resourceful Mommy) - I think I love them because they have been around forever! The campaigns don't pay a lot, but they are simple, so they are totally worth your time.
- Find Your Influence - I have never actually done a campaign with them, but they did send me to Blogging Concentrated which was AMAZING!- Best Buy Blogger Network
- Linquia - I used to love them, but it's so hard to get clicks now that I decline most things they send.
- Massive Sway -
- One2One -
- CleverGirls -
- Influence Central (Mom Central) -
- The Motherhood - They used to do a lot more, but they have slowed down over the past two years. I still work with them from time to time though. - Mom Spark Media
- Weave - Work with men & women.
- Blog Meets Brand
- Mom Fuse Pop Alerts
- The Brand Connection
- Mom Select
-Collectively I've done one campaign with them. It was a click campaign but it did well and they are a pleasure to work with.
- Cooperatize - I've declined the few opportunities they sent because they just weren't a good fit. Oh and if I remember correctly they paid per click, which I hate!
- MomItForward - They are great because they let you know up front how many views you need to have to be considered!
Niche Blogging Networks:
Health & Fitness:
- FitFluential - I have worked with them on the same campaign for almost a year now. They started using the TapInfluence platform, but you still have to sign up under them. They pay very quickly.
- Girls Gone Sporty
- UsFamilyGuide - Even if you never get to review anything you can still add your blog to the blogroll!
After you start doing reviews on your blog, it won't be long before you start getting contacted via email or your social media sites, so always do your best work!
Know of any other ways to review products on your blog? I would love to hear them! Leave a comment below.