Good morning! It’s Tuesday and you know what that means… Time for another Blog Talk Tuesdays post!
Past Blog Talk Tuesdays topics include:
Today’s topic addresses reaching out to companies, reviewing products, offering giveaways and beginning communication with brands you love.
- How do you get companies to send you free things to try, review or giveaway?
I would say that 99.9 percent of the time I receive a product to sample or giveaway on my blog, it’s because the company reached out to me. Companies – big and small – are beginning to understand the importance of social media and are becoming increasingly aware of the reach bloggers have.
More and more companies are contacting bloggers to sample their product because, when you think about it, it’s really cheap advertising. Millions of people read blogs and the only cost to the company is their product and shipping. That’s some seriously cheap advertising.
- How do you get companies to notice you and your blog?
To be honest, I really don’t try to get companies to notice my blog. I simply blog about my life, and products made by certain companies will pop up on my blog organically. Overtime I’ve realized that companies really do notice this and pay attention to what bloggers are saying. Also, companies didn’t just throw free things at me when I first started blogging. It took me a solid year or so of blogging before I was contacted by companies regularly.
If you want to receive free things to review, utilizing Twitter to connect with a company and express your interest is a great way to begin communication. Again, simply blogging about certain products you use or enjoy in your everyday life often times puts you on a company’s radar for new products they may debut in the future.
- Have you ever asked a company to send you a sample or sponsor a giveaway? How do you go about doing this?
About two months after I first started my blog, I emailed the people at Pumpkorn to ask if they were interested in sponsoring a giveaway on my blog. In my email, I explained that I was a huge fan of their product. I provided links to past PBF posts featuring Pumpkorn so they could see that I was a genuine fan. They were so kind and were more than happy to offer a giveaway. (You may see that giveaway here.)
I no longer reach out to companies, but am not opposed to doing so if there’s a product I think PBF readers would absolutely love. If I were to do this, I’d go about it in a similar way that I did when I reached out to a hotel before, which I address in the final question of this post.
- Do you accept free samples or offer giveaways from every company that contacts you?
No. Absolutely not. In fact, I’d say I accept maybe 10 percent of the samples or products I am offered. I do not accept products I wouldn’t personally be interested in purchasing on my own, ones I’ve tried and don’t like (um, SoyJoy bars – ick!) or ones that don’t align with my lifestyle or blog (like diet pills, for example).
- Do you post both good and bad reviews?
When I accept a product from a company, I make sure to communicate that posting a review will include my honest thoughts about the product – both good and bad. If I have absolutely no good things to say about a product, I typically email the company and ask them if they would prefer me to simply leave the review off my blog, rather than post only negative things. They’re usually very grateful for this opportunity.
- You said you were able to stay at a hotel in Atlanta for free because you “asked.” How did you do this?
I put together an email pitch. I emailed the hotel, explaining that two of my blog readers recommended their hotel to me for my upcoming trip to Atlanta. (I did this the week we would be traveling there, which I think helped since the hotel knew they were going to have rooms available anyway.)
In my email to the hotel, I said I would be happy to document my stay at the hotel on my blog (which I would do anyway!) in exchange for a complimentary room for the weekend. I also made sure to attach a media kit that I made using a fantastic tutorial I found on Katy Widrick’s blog, with more information about my blog and my blog’s statistics.
If I missed any questions related to company outreach or reviews, please feel free to ask them in the comments section. I included all the questions I received through the blog and PBF Facebook page on this topic, but I know I often think of questions after the fact and am happy to address any lingering questions you may have.