I have been considering blogging about this for a while now, but I have really struggled to get the right tone for the post. But I finally had a brainwave and thought writing a few posts about bonuses you can get from being a successful blogger and how to get these bonuses would be a good way to approach it.
Most bloggers, no matter what topic they blog about, will include the occasional product review. Some of these will be products they bought themselves and loved/hated and wanted to share their thoughts. Others will be products the company gave to the blogger to review. Most bloggers don’t make any money from their blog, so getting free products from companies they like to review is a way of making/saving money.
I’m now in the extremely lucky position to get regular products from companies to review. But I don’t take it for granted that these products will keep coming, I work hard to make sure all the companies I work with are happy with my work. I make sure as soon as they arrive I post photos on social media, tagging the company and thanking them. I also aim to put the product through its paces and get the review online within 2 weeks. Once the review is live I make sure I share it on all my social media and once again tag the company.
In a meeting with a company recently, they asked me how I keep my reviews honest when I am being given a product to review. This was a really interesting question as obviously companies don’t want you to slate their product, especially not if they have given it to you for free. However, if you’re giving products glowing reviews and then your reader buys them and it’s terrible, you are going to lose readers and possibly get some bad reviews yourself!
So far I have not reviewed a product I haven’t liked. So it’s hard to say what I would do in this situation, especially if it had been given to me to review. Although saying that, there have been things I’ve reviewed where I wasn’t happy with/didn’t like a small part or thought something could be improved and talked about this issue in my review. A really good example of this is when I reviewed the Horse Dialog app. There were a few features which weren’t working too well and I mentioned them in my review. Once the review went live these points were passed onto the developers to address so it was a win, win situation.
How do you get free products to review?
There’s no guarantee way to get free products but there are things you can do to help make you more appealing to companies:
- Be active on social media, share your blog posts and interact with the industry. Companies want to know that their products will be seen if they send them to you.
- Write your own reviews. If you really like a product you bought, review it. Then if possible tag the company when you share it on social media or send it to them directly. If the company likes the review and how you write they might send you a different product to review.
- Be honest and detailed in your reviews, share interesting facts/findings about the product. There is no point just repeating what the product description says on the company website. It’s not interesting.
- Join blogging networks such as Haynet. They regularly offer up products to review either on your own blog or on their website.
- Follow companies you like on social media. Some companies will post looking for bloggers or product testers. Be on the lookout for these and apply.
Would I review anything which came my way?
No. There are lots of products out there which although they might be horsey, simply aren’t me and in some of these cases I would really struggle to give them a fair review. An example of this could be the clip on horseshoes. I don’t like them. I don’t like the idea behind them and I don’t think I could give them an honest review based on my negative opinion on them already.
Do you keep everything you review?
Not everything. I got to review a lovely hat silk with a big furry bobble. It was gorgeous and really good quality. But it wasn’t exactly my thing. A friend’s daughter’s birthday was coming up and I gave it to her as an early present and I still see photos of her wearing it. But that’s the only thing I’ve not kept for myself. I do see some bloggers giving products they have reviewed away as a prize afterwards if they simply don’t need it and this is certainly something I would consider in the future.