Blogger + Brand = Product Reviews. Right?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but a lot of peeps who start a blog have the intention of hopefully, maybe, doing product reviews somewhere down the line. I know I did. And I’ll be the first to admit that getting free stuff is f***ing awesome. And having brands put their products and trust in your hands is f***ing awesome. But unfortunately, with so many bajillions of bloggers all hoping and working for the same thing, products don’t always come to us at the rate we want them to. 

Product Reviews

I always find that brand work ebs and flows. I’ll have a month where I work with a variety of different brands then the next month I won’t have a single product review scheduled for my blog. Unless you’re like, Zoella, it’s not likely that you’ll have a steady stream of brand work and products being sent to you by companies that are fighting over your exposure. Specifically for bloggers of my size, who are all competing (in the loveliest way possible) against each other for publicity and the chance to move up in the blogging higherarcy and be contacted more regularly by brands wanting our services.

However, I’m not one to shy away from putting myself out there for opportunities. And rarely do I sit back and wait for things to happen. I like being proactive and making things go a bit faster for myself than what they would have done had I sat back, relaxed and had a cuppa tea whilst I waited. So today, I wanted to talk about and possibly recommend ways for bloggers like me to “put themselves out there” in the brand market a little more. I personally do all of these things that I’m about to mention so I wouldn’t recommend to you some weird af method that’s going to get you nowhere. I’m also not saying that doing these things will work for you so ya know, bare that in mind before you shout at me. They have worked for me and they may work for you, too.

Search for blogger opportunities groups

There’s some fabulous groups floating around on Facebook designed for bloggers and brands. I can’t recommend any specifically as you have to make sure you join the appropriate groups (e.g, if you’re a US blogger, don’t try to join a ‘UK bloggers’ group, duh) so just go and have a search about.

Review your own products 

If I was a brand, I wouldn’t send my products to a blogger for free who hadn’t previously showcased their product reviews on their blog, with no indication of what they can do. So reviewing products that you’ve bought yourself is super helpful because brands can see what type of posts they can expect from you!

#bloggerswanted hash tag

Yes, there is often a load of complete and utter rubbish on this hash tag but occasionally you will find a hidden gem of an opportunity. Have a search of the hash tag but be committed and don’t be put off by the thousands of “GET ENTRIES FOR YOUR GIVEAWAYS” links.

Be active on Twitter

Follow brands, see what they’re up to. Engage with brands. Bought one of their products and loved it? Let them know. This way other brands can see you are active and social and like to promote products you love. Just don’t be THAT person who tweets MAC every day for a week saying, “I would love to try out this lipstick!” in the hope they will fall to your feet and send it to you. They won’t. Soz.

* personal story about Twitter engagement: I tweeted a while back asking my followers for recommendations for healthier crisp alternatives and the brand Pop Chips replied to it and said they would send me a couple of vouchers to grab some free packets with, which was super nice of them. So remember brands are everywhere, watching you…

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. The worst they can say is no.

I cannot stress this enough and I can’t begin to tell you how annoying it is when bloggers moan about not getting opportunities but they’re afraid to contact people and seek out the opportunities themselves. It’s every man for himself out there in the cray cray blogging world. Email brands: be polite and professional. There’s no harm in asking and if they say no this time, that’s not to say another opportunity might come up later which is more suited to you.

Don’t be put off by bad experiences

Brand has said no? So what. Don’t go on a Twitter rant about it. Following on from the previous point, there could have been a whole bunch of factors as to why that certain opportunity wasn’t right for you, so don’t sweat it. I also read a really interesting post once (and can’t remember for the life of me who it was by which is really annoying because it was awesome) from a girl who was both a blogger and a PR person and she shared what the blogger / brand relationship is like from the brands point of view and stated how brands will look for at follow numbers and stats and that’s just the way of the game. If you’re a new blogger, don’t be disheartened by that. Work hard and grow your blog authentically.

Do you like working with brands? Or have any other tips which you would like to add? What’s the best brand you’ve ever worked with? Let me know and let’s discuss! 

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19 thoughts on “Blogger + Brand = Product Reviews. Right?

  1. Hi Jenny,

    Loved this post. I have been blogging for a very, very, very long time (since 1998, actually) and I never knew up until the last year or so that blogging has become its own industry. It sort of… takes the fun away from it imo. My blog is predominently a book blog, however, I do blog about other things too. I have had stuff sent to me from other people– other bloggers, some companies and such without even trying to ask for it (fortunate for me) but also I have sourced things for myself, not for ‘free stuff’ but because I actually wanted to review (such as a book and was very happy to receive a really generous package from the body shop at some stage). There are bloggers that I have noticed who flaunt every free thing as such and sometimes I feel like their reviews are flimsy and fake and all about the business of getting, as you put it, ‘free stuff’…. while that’s nice, I truly couldnt be bothered blogging and spending so much time on twitter etc just to get it… I’d much rather just buy it! lol

    Really good blog, I truly loved it. (Now I’m starting to sound like one of those spam comments lol; interesting content, you ‘peaked’ my interest’)
    xxx

    • Wow you have been blogging for a VERY long time! I am super impressed – hats off to you for keeping it up for so long! I understand that some people just aren’t interested in this side of blogging – the “brands” and “marketing” side of things and that’s absolutely okay – we’re all in this for a variety of different reasons. For some it definitely would take the fun out of it. For me, it’s been the opposite fortunately! But yes I agree with what you say about some bloggers who seem to just be in it for the free stuff – if a brand is good enough to send you something at least give them a well thought out and genuine review. I hope all of my product reviews come across as such.

    • Thank you I’m glad you found it helpful! I think you can probably adapt a lot of these points to publishers as well (being as you’re a book blogger too!) don’t be scared to contact publishers in regards to books either! (: xx

  2. Great post Jenny! Helpful even to those of us who don’t necessarily want to be reviewers. I’ve only just started to actually see my blog as a “Brand” of sorts, and it’s only a few months ago I started connecting it to my twitter and the like… It’s definitely hard work, but work that (hopefully) pays off.

    • I don’t always think it’s about JUST reviewing – it’s a lot about discovered: new brands, new products, trying things out and broadening your horizons for new things so I personally believe it’s much broader than that. It is hard work – I agree! Keeping all social media platforms up to date is tiring. The hard work does pay off though, I can promise that πŸ™‚ xx

      • Haha, sorry it was a very rushed comment! (Had management learing over my shoulder!) I know you’re not just boiling it down to that 

        It’s definitely worth all the effort though. I’ve already noticed my blog growing, however slowly, and I know if I upped my content and social media output it could grow more; your post definitely helps reinforce that too! These kind of productive posts help kick my brain into gear. Thanks Jenny πŸ™‚

  3. Loved this. I started putting myself out there and approaching brands I was interested in working with last year and I’ve had some amazing opportunities because of this! Busy B is the best brand I’ve worked with so far – purely because they are a stationery company I’ve been in love with since before I was a blogger and getting to work with them on a product review with just a dream come true. x

  4. Really interesting article, especially seeing it from the ‘other’ perspective, since I am a ‘brand’ trying to get bloggers to review my greeting cards. I’ve also learnt that the worst someone can say is no. Although when someone totally ignores my messages, I find that hard. I do know people are busy – I guess i’m learning to have a tougher skin with these things! It is nice when these blogger-brand relationships come about organically though, like when there’s a genuine mutual admiration and respect for eachother’s work! X

  5. Jenny,
    Enjoyed reading the post, some helpful advice.
    For a newbie, how important is it to add a statement on their blog that clarifies they are not being paid to review any of the products on the blog? Do you know of any good sites/pages/blogs that discuss that in more detail?

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