I do two things:
I do that second step because I love to hear the authentic, honest voices of bloggers.
I tire of sleazy ads and fast-talking salespeople. I want the real deal - the whole enchilada. Pros and Cons. Pictures. Etc.
If I read a genuine review, there's a good chance I'll shell out my hard earned cash for the product. If the product is being reviewed and endorsed by a blogger I already read and trust, that chance increases exponentially.
And THAT, my friends, is why product reviewing is "big business" these days - for bloggers and for brands. Companies will often send out samples of their products without batting an eyelash because - to them - it is small potatoes. On the flip side, bloggers receive the advantage of trying a new product, becoming an expert, and sharing their inside experience. In most cases, it's a win-win for both parties.
It's no surprise then that bloggers everywhere are channeling the power of their personal networks and their powerful presence online and becoming go-to sources for in-depth, personal reviews.
Perhaps YOU are a blogger that is watching all of the fun and fanfare from the sidelines - and you want to jump onboard?
I encourage you to check out my ebook - Bloggertunity: A Mom's Guide to Blogging. The book includes a whole chapter on how to break into product reviewing, including my "top secret strategy" for getting products to review. I also share tips for writing riveting reviews and I answer commonly-asked FAQs.
Like this one...
Q. I just started my blog. When can I start reviewing products? How many readers should I have before I approach companies?
A. That’s a great question…and a tricky one! I started querying companies pretty early on, but only after I had established some solid content and a significant following of readers. I don’t think there is a magic number per se, but it is probably safe to assume that smaller items will be easier to obtain than larger, higher-priced items at first.
When you are first starting out, your best bet is to join review networks*** and add your name to PR lists. That way, you will be sent relevant campaigns that are a good fit your demographic and your current audience.
***NOTE: My book includes a list of review networks that you can join or apply to.***
For the next 48 hours, you can get 30% off. Just use coupon code REVIEWER before Saturday, November 7, at 11:59 pm. Buy the book here.
AS AN ADDED BONUS, anyone who buys the book before that deadline will be entered to receive one of these three prizes (anyone who has already bought the book will be automatically entered into a drawing). Yes, there will be THREE winners!
Check out these mouth-watering prizes:
A Delicious Fruit Design Bouquet with Half Dipped Strawberries by Edible Arrangements (regular size; $75)
When you want to send a thoughtful gift that is healthy and makes the recipient happy, be sure to browse the beautiful bouquets at Edible Arrangements.
Made with fresh, premium fruit and delivered nationwide, the bouquets are sure to make a memorable and much-loved gift for anyone.
And don't forget the youngest of recipients! Edible Arrangements also offers arrangements for kids...sure to make any kid smile. And what parent ISN'T going to be happy about their child receiving a whole bunch of cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes?
A $35 Gift Certificate to Heidi's Heavenly Cookies
With flavors like Toffee Chocolate Chip, Rocky Road Eclipse, and Chocolate-Dipped Macaroon, these aren't your ordinary cookies! Homemade and baked with love + care, Heidi's is a homegrown Georgia-based business with appeal to the masses.
The delectable cookies arrive in gorgeously wrapped boxes. Ideal for business gifts, thank you gifts, and more.
Bestseller Collection Taste Pack by Crumbs Bake Shop ($24; 12-pack)
Featured on the Today Show, Crumb's cupcakes are anything but ordinary. The LA and NY based shops feature over 50 varieties of cupcakes including Oreo, Red Velvet, Cappuccino, Caramel Apple, Chocolate Pecan Pie, and - the one I would order if I went to the shop - Peanut Butter Cup.
Isn't that Taste Pack awesome, by the way? 12 mini cupcakes for $24. That is a totally fun gift idea for a team of teachers/nurses, a college student and roommates, or a mama with a big family.
Want to order something off the site right now? Enter discount code CRHS15 for 15% off your order (through Nov. 30).
One more thing: I hate leaving people out (I was always the girl in school who talked to the wallflower or introduced myself to the new kid) so I have a giveaway for everyone - even if you don't or can't buy the book.
Anyone who comments on this post before Saturday, November 7th, at 11:59 pm will be entered into a contest to receive a $5 gift card to Auntie Anne's Pretzels. I know it's a teensy prize, but won't it be fun to pull out that card from your wallet next time you're at the mall?
So, chime in. Say anything. If you want, you can answer this question...
YOUR TURN: When you are going to purchase a product, do you turn to blog reviews? Why or why not?
P.S. Don't forget that you have 48 hours to enter discount code REVIEWER to get 30% off my book.
*UPDATE* The winner of the Edible Arrangements bouquet is Cara A. The winner of the gift certificate to Heidi's Heavenly Cookies is Sondra N. The winner of the Best Seller Collection Taste Pack by Crumbs Bake Shop is Melanie J. The winner of the gift card to Auntie Anne's Pretzels is #5 Melissa.