How to get started with reviews and giveaways
So, you want to start reviewing and hosting giveaways, huh? You are not alone!
Almost everywhere you go in the blogosphere you will encounter reviews and giveaways. But, how exactly could you start doing so too?
Lets start by (assuming you already have a blog) opening a Twitter account. If you already do, kudos! If you don’t, I’ll give you 5 minutes to go create your own account. Ready, set, GO!
Alright! Welcome back!
Twitter is the main social-networking site. It helps you get in touch with your readers and other bloggers. It gives you and your blog exposure, and maybe one day a company will start following you and they might contact you for a review and/or giveaway! I have gotten the opportunity to review new products thanks to Twitter!
Join as many PR websites as you can find. Be patience, at the beginning you might not get any opportunities, but they will start rolling in after a while.
- Team Mom: http://www.childsplaypr.com/team_mom/
- One 2 One Network: http://www.one2onenetwork.com/
- Chick Advisor: http://www.chickadvisor.com/home.html
- Boon: http://www.booninc.com/inside_BloggerProgram.php
- Mom Select: http://momselect.com/
- SheBlogs: http://www.sheblogs.org/
Becoming part of communities in your niche is also a great way to attract traffic to your site. But don’t just join and expect to be seen, be active! Let people know you are out there!
- Bloggy Moms: http://www.bloggymoms.com/
- Mom Blogger Club: http://www.mombloggersclub.com/
- Twittermoms: http://www.twittermoms.com/
- Mommy Approved: http://mommyapproved.ning.com/
So, what if a company contacts you?
Make sure you let the company know all your terms and standards. Not because they contacted you you must say yes. Set high standards. And make sure to let them know, in case of a giveaway, that they are responsible of sending the winner their prize.
Once you agreed on the terms and are waiting for your product to review, do some research on the company, get familiar with them. Also, keep in contact with the company’s representative. Let them know when you get the package and let them be the first to know that the review/giveaway is up.
You are hosting your first review/giveaway. Now what?
You must decide how people are going to enter your give away. It really depends on what you want to do. Usually there are mandatory entries and extra entries. And don’t forget to ask for their email address. You really don’t want to go through the hassle of trying to find them! Thankfully WordPress won’t let you comment unless you add your name and address!
As a mandatory entry they can follow you through Google Friend Connect or Twitter (which in my opinion is more important than GFC). You could also ask for them to visit the company’s website and choose a product they like. You name it.
Getting people to enter your giveaways
Once your post is up on your blog, spread the word! Look around the blogosphere for ‘Giveaway Linkys’. They are lists of giveaways that will let other know about what you have to offer in your blog. I have a few favorite sites where they have a lot of linky lists:
- From PDX with Love: http://frompdxwithlove.com/linky-love/
- Post your giveaway linkys: http://www.postyourgiveawaylinkys.com
- Ladybug Mama of 2: http://www.ladybugmamaof2.com
- Prizey: http://www.prizey.net/
You should also use twitter. Make sure to use hash tags like #win, #giveaway, #contest, etc. That way people out of your network could find your giveaway.
If you really cannot wait!
Don’t be afraid to ask! Do your research and choose which companies you would love to work with! This is how I’ve got so many opportunities! There are a lot of companies out there that are interested on finding bloggers like you
When sending a pitch you want to keep the email simple and professional. Explain why you are contacting them and why you are interested in their products. You are basically selling your services. Tell them that you are looking forward to hearing from them. Worst case scenario they’ll say no or never even email you back!
Trust me, you won’t regret contacting them first.