Top 7 Ways To Get Bloggers To Review Your Products Or Services
By Nikki Pilkington
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As a blogger with a good amount of followers (thank you all Ė I donít want that to sound smug!) I often get approached by people to review their products or services. I have no problems doing reviews, whether it be for books, products or services Ė but I want to share with you a few of the rules *I* think are important when pitching your products to bloggers in order to get reviews.
- Make sure itís relevant
This is obvious to a lot of people, but not so obvious to so many more! Think about it; Iím a Mum, I work in Internet Marketing and you could probably pick up from my various social media profiles that I love my Wii Fit, am trying to lose weight, live in France and love movies and jewellery (oh and handbags Ė Iím a woman after all!) Therefore Iím happy to review baby stuff, marketing books, products and services, stuff to do with losing weight or keeping fit and products or services to do with films, and have done across various blogs and review sites (some as me, some anonymously as requested).
In my business life I promote websites in various ways Ė so ebooks and services related to marketing and online marketing are always good, online courses and training that i can recommend even better. The PR company that approached me to review a football DVD could easily have found out I donít like sport. The person who approached me to review his series of ebooks on the Law of Attraction should have known it doesnít fit in with what I do (or what I believe, but each to his own on that score!). Iím not saying that you have to know the ins and outs of the bloggers youíre asking to review things, but it does help to do a little research. If your product isnít relevant, then even if the blogger DOES agree to review it, itís probably pretty pointless as the people reading their blog probably wonít be interested too.
- Ask nicely
This may seem obvious, but I get a lot of pitches telling me how good it would be for ME if I review this or that product. Letís be honest here, if a blogger reviews your product, THEY are doing YOU a favour. Yes, they get a free product or service, but at the end of the day, the blogger is the one sharing details of your company with his / her audience Ė which could be considerably large. A personal review from someone a person Ďfollowsí will often hold more sway than any PR piece. Ask nicely, and donít badger if the person doesnít get back to you within an hour
- Establish where your blogger is based
If your product is physical, this could be quite important. Iím based in France, a fact that I donít hide, and is easily found out by looking at my website and most of my social media profiles. Yet I get asked quite frequently to review something physical and when I mention I am in France, the PR company (itís usually a PR company, sorry!) suddenly realises that having to send this item to France is a bit of a hassle and perhaps theyíll not bother. So, be aware of costs if you have to ship something to someone (and bravo to HP who couriered a rather large printer to me via Arrow Light Haulage for me to review).
- Accept that a review can be good or bad
This is the one that seems the hardest to get across. See, youíre not Ďpayingí (as some people see it when giving a product or service for review) for a good review, youíre offering your product or service in the hope that youíll get a good review. In order to remain true to their followers, most bloggers will give an honest review of what you have sent to them Ė this doesnít always mean glowing praise.
Accept that a blogger will flag up the good and the bad of your product. Personally if a product is really bad then I will let the person know and ask them if they would rather I donít review it Ė other bloggers would print the bad review as that is their agreement with you Ė an honest review. If you want a 100% positive review, either have a 100% perfect product or service or send it to your mum to review
- Realise that full disclosure must be given
FTC guidelines for bloggers state that full disclosure should be given for gifts or items received for review. Most bloggers will abide by this and you should expect that they will say in their blog post that you gave them the product or service, for free, to review. Theyíre not going to pretend itís a service theyíve bought and are just sharing with their readers, or that this fab product was a gift from a friend Ė the majority of bloggers will either open or close their blog with the disclosure that they were given the item in return for a review. Donít insult them by asking them to hide this fact.
- Agree the rules
If you want a review of a specific length, or a specific part or function of your item to be talked about, agree this in advance with your bloggers. Itís not the start of a beautiful friendship if your blogger lovingly crafts a 1000 word review and all you wanted was 400 words, or reviews your service in general but you wanted them to focus on a specific part. Also, agree whether you get to approve the review before it goes live Ė although you wonít be able to change it, there may be some things that the blogger hasnít understood, and you could straighten them out. And of course if itís a bad review you could agree in advance that you get approval and can ditch it if itís negative.
- Send the product in good time (and, send the product!)
I get asked to review a fair amount of baby stuff for various sites, but as well as that, I obviously buy a fair amount of baby stuff for Baby O. In the case of actual items that I would have bought anyway, thereís nothing more annoying than being asked to review something, waiting for it to arrive, andÖ nothing. Iíve also been asked to review cameras, business card scanners (yeah, that was a while ago ), graphics tablets, gardening stuff, some fitflops, and jewellery, all of which I was happy to review on various blogs (not this one, obviously as this one is more business focused) but never turned up. Itís not the bloggerís job to chase you for the item Ė if you change your mind, or canít be bothered, be polite and let them know.
Incidentally this doesnít just go for physical products, Iíve also been offered ebooks, subscription services, marketing services and more Ďnon-physicalí products / services that havenít materialised. Iím not moaning, because if they donít get to me I donít have to review them, but it is something to be aware of.
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Article Submitted On: October 06, 2010