When I started blogging it was just going to be about everyday life, but my life is boring so that lasted all of a day. Then I had a friend tell me about reviews and giveaways and I knew that is what I wanted to do. I love finding, testing, and sharing products I love with people I know so it was a match made in heaven!
I think I have been pretty “successful” in gaining reviews, considering I have only been doing it since October of last year. I have worked with companies such as Step2, Acura, Fisher Price, Little Tikes, and Roku to name a few. The one thing I always get asked is “How do you get those reviews?” My answer… LUCK?! I’ve had several PR people tell me they can tell I am determined and I would agree with that. If there is something I want to review I don’t give up until I get it or I am told “No”.
So here is my advice and some tips, but keep in mind that just because they work for me doesn’t guarantee that they will work for you.
1. Always remain professional. Blogging is like a job!
2. Have a good pitch letter. A pitch letter gets you in the door. Think of it as a resume for your website. A pitch is what the PR person is going to read. If it sucks, chances are they won’t want to work with you. I am sure you can google some and find them. I was given a pitch letter by another blogger, but I tweaked it to make it my own and it works for me. I introduce myself, explain my blog, explain my readers, explain what I want from the company, and thank them.
3. How do I get the companies I work with? I email them! It’s very simple, honestly. Browse around the companies website and send them an email. I use the contact forms on their website. Make sure to check the “Press” page of a website, some websites actually list the PR person’s email address. If you can get this it’s great! Then you don’t have to email customer service and have them “forward” your email.
4. Connect with other bloggers. Make friends, some even will exchange a contact with you. I don’t recommend asking for a contact unless you are on good terms with the blogger you are asking. I have asked other bloggers for help before. Some do it openly and some don’t.
5. Don’t over pitch. Trust me! I get in a mood where I pitch like crazy and think “most of these places won’t even respond” and then they do. Then you are stuck with a back log of items to review and if you take too long to write a review places get annoyed. I try to have a review done within 4 weeks of receiving the item.
6. Make a review your own. Put your personality into the review and combine in your own pictures. Think of what you would want to see in a review and add it.
7. Keep your website simple, clean, and easy to read. I can’t tell you how many readers and PR reps have told me how simple my site it. There aren’t too many ads, the fonts are easy to read, and it’s overall easy on the eyes. Make your website something you would want to see. Who wants to go to a site COVERED in ads? I know I don’t. Yes, ads make you money but they clutter up and slow down a site. Nobody wants that…
8. Build a professional relationship with your PR rep. Once they have seen your work and they like it, then they will want to work with you again. Always remain professional.
9. Proof read!! Always proof read your review a few times and use spell check. We all make mistakes, but you want to make sure you correct them before you publish a review. Nobody wants to read a review with misspelled works or grammar errors.
10. If at first you don’t succeed, try again! There are companies I have had to email several times before I was given a review and companies I am still trying to get reviews from. Companies get bombarded with bloggers wanting items to review. Here are some responses I have/haven’t gotten:
A. They aren’t interested.
B. They are full on reviews, try again later.
C. They just ignore your email altogether.
D. They send you the item.
If they tell you no, then thank them and count it as a loss. If they say they are full, then try them again in a few months. If they ignore you, try sending another pitch a month or two later.
Review items you would like and you know your audience would like. Put your heart into it, PR reps can tell when you do, but most of all make it fun!
Is there anything I left out? Leave me a comment below and I’ll answer your questions!