Before you jump onto the review bandwagon, here are a few things to consider:
- Does it fit your blog? If you post mostly crafts or recipes, more than likely it will not be a good fit for your blog. There are some products out there that might fit your blog, but they are hard to find and even harder to attain unless you buy the product yourself and spend your money for the giveaway.
- Are you ready for the amount of work it takes? If you live a super-busy life that doesn't leave much time for even blogging, it might not be for you. Reviewing the product during your day-to-day life doesn't take up much time, but writing the review and coming up with the giveaway can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour for each review and giveaway. It is a lot of hard work to make sure that you highlight the company, what you thought of the product, and take quality pictures for the review.
- Will the products interest your readers? If your blog is in a small category (like just crafts), make sure that if you do decide to review products, you find products that will fit your target audience. Crafters may not be interested in video games or electronics when it comes to crafting.
- Are you in it just for the free products? If you want to review products just to get free stuff (and have no interest in making sure your readers will benefit from your review), then I wouldn't consider it. Building a blog means building a brand. If you don't care about your readers and just want the free stuff, then don't review products.
Okay, so you've decided you want to review products. What's the next step?
|Spreadsheet for 2013|
- Find out which products would fit your target audience. For mommy bloggers, children and baby items are super popular. Since there are tons of products out there that might fit your blog, take some time and search for products you are genuinely interested in try.
- Send an e-mail to the company you are interested in. Sending that first e-mail to review a product can be super scary. But using and personalizing templates (like the Template Example Pitch Letters found on Still Blonde After All These Years) can help you out at first until you can more comfortable with creating your own e-mails.
- Keep a record of what you receive, the ARV, and when it was posted. Keeping a spreadsheet document with the company's name, the product you received, the price of each unit, and when you posted the review will help you stay on top of what products you've reviewed, which ones still need reviewing, etc. Make sure to update your total amount each time you add a product.
Reviewing new products can be fun, but it is also a lot of hard work! We'll cover more of reviewing products and holding giveaways in our Blogging 202 series coming in March!
Next on Blogging 101: Advice from other bloggers.