7 Things I look for in Bloggers wanting products for review

2016

Gonna say it. I feel proper dirty for using a title like that, but its the best description of this post.

As many of you know I do the PR for 3 beauty & style brands. Hair and Beauty posts do not really have a place on this blog (yet), but my experience in PR and social media does. I often see bloggers asking or trying to get brands attention so they can get products for reviews and such. From my perspective, there are a number of things I would suggest on the subject.

What I look for in a blogger asking for products review are :

– A prior review of our products. Do one off your own back as an ice breaker and I am much more likely to send you products later for review.

– A responsive following. The amount of followers varies, but if I see a blog with no comments or interaction, why would a brand send you a free product? What is in it for the brand?

– Regular postings. I ignore requests for free product if the last blog post was 2 years ago.

– Links to sites & social medias. I do not have the time to look for bloggers off an email address. If you contact a brand, include a link to your blog, and your social medias if they are relevant.

– Manners. I never expect anyone to kiss my bum, but if someone is rude online to me, or to others, I do not want a brands PR associated with them.

– Reliability. Life happens. But if I send someone a product, never see a review or hear from them again, I will never deal with them again. If there is a problem, let me know.

– Honesty. This is brand and blogger dependent. A lot of brands want advertorials. I personally despise advertorials. If a products crap, its crap. Give a good polite explanation why, and I can use that as constructive feedback.

I know that dealing with PR people is hard. They are often unresponsive and difficult. But when I get into work on a Monday morning and see 100+ emails asking for free stuff from bloggers, I am going to ignore the majority of them and bookmark the best.

58 thoughts on “7 Things I look for in Bloggers wanting products for review

  1. Simon Wilson

    All good points, though I assume my avatar, revealing that I am bald an ugly, may be a problem when dealing with hair and beauty products. πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Haha, to be honest fella I am a middle aged bloke with a moustache and permanent stumble. Not a good example of the brands I work for πŸ™‚

      I hope to find other brands to work for, anything from food to tea to motorbikes to dog foods. I would be applying my same principles regardless of what type of brand I was representing πŸ™‚

      Reply
      1. Catherine

        Hey. I’m a middle aged WOMAN with a mustache. Thank God for lip waxing! Menopause took hair from my once, mop-thick head and replaced in on my chin, upper lip and nose. I guess that is why my tweezer is so important to me!

        Reply
        1. sable Post author

          Haha awwww! Women can have impressive Moustaches! Better than being a man and being unable to grow a mo or beard πŸ™‚

          Reply
  2. Alison wagner

    Very nice to get the inside scoop on what the PR’s are looking for, although I feel like some of this is just common sense. Every one is looking for a free hand out. I say pay a discounted price, that way you are supporting the brand/owners/small business or business’s just starting up. Just my thoughts, but what do I know lol.

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Like they say Allison, common sense is not that common, and like you say, everyone is looking for a free hand out.

      Most brands do not actually have an issue with odd free samples. For all the back and forth, unless an item is worth hundreds of pounds, a discount just complicates things for manufacturers. If a bloggers worth the time it’s easier just to send a sample.

      I would however say, asking to pay a discounted price would show a manufacturer that you are not emailing for a free handout, and would get my attention if it was in the first 3 lines of a product request mail. πŸ™‚

      Reply
    1. sable Post author

      I quite enjoy it to be honest. Not from a PR background, but when i got landed with the job last year and discovered I was good at it πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. Catherine

    It’s funny but this post comes at a great time for me. I write about beauty from time to time. And I like to write about beauty for the over 50+ crowd (and fashion too–but not all the time). Every product I write about has been purchased by me because they are products that I love and use OR they are products I’ve tried and absolutely will repurchase. That being said, I have been adding links to the products so those who read my words can see descriptions of said products. But–I’m afraid to reach out to brands because I would feel like some sort of opportunist beggar woman. Thank you for a great and informative post! I’m so glad that I found you! Well done you for such great information!

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Be ballsy Catherine. Our best bloggers originally just made contact by sending us links to their blog posts. Even if you don’t get free products, they may represent or facebook you. Not a brand I work for, but check out Sleek Makeups Twitter feed. 114,000 followers and half their tweets are links to blog posts from folks like you. That’s a phenomenal opportunity for traffic from your blog if they retweet you. I think I saw your blog earlier today. When you make posts do you send tweets to brands or post on brands facebook pages linking to your posts?

      Reply
  4. Catherine

    Thanks. No. I don’t send tweets to brands or post on their FB page linking to posts. Is that proper blog etiquette? Jesus H. Christ. See how well the nuns trained me to be so meek? I seriously need to grow a pair! I think I will start to tweet!

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Haha, don’t worry, a lot of people are to polite to introduce themselves, that’s a British’ism that is! πŸ™‚

      I don’t know or care about etiquette when I’m doing PR. I do know that unless someone tells me they exist on the internet, the odds are I will never find them. I am just an average person with a PC trying to find things to talk about for the brands I represent. I am sure there are a lot of PR people in my position.

      I was reading one of your posts earlier. You are a good writer, fun, have loadsa comments and provide stacks of images. I am sure there are a lot of brands that would love to see your posts about them.

      Reply
      1. tmisseghers

        Well done both of you! I’m Canadian so the British’ism rubbed off on me too, eh? Catherine remember that you have something of VALUE. That being followers and even creepers. People who represent the ideal client for certain brands. If your blog can reach those people, if you can share news about great products for your audience, then everyone wins. No lack of etiquette. Blog on!

        Reply
    2. sable Post author

      Haha, don’t worry, a lot of people are to polite to introduce themselves, that’s a British’ism that is! πŸ™‚

      I don’t know or care about etiquette when I’m doing PR. I do know that unless someone tells me they exist on the internet, the odds are I will never find them. I am just an average person with a PC trying to find things to talk about for the brands I represent.

      I was reading one of your posts earlier. You are a good writer, fun, have loadsa comments and provide stacks of images. I am sure there are a lot of brands that would love to see your posts about them.

      Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Dawww, good to meet you too Catherine. Followed your blog earlier so I hope to see more of your posts πŸ™‚

      Reply
  5. Catherine

    Same here. I’m stalk–Um. I mean I’m FOLLOWING you too! Looking forward to more informative and great reads. And pics of Sable!

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Haha, there’s only a handful of pics of me πŸ™‚ I am at my most photogenic when wearing a motorcycle helmet πŸ™‚

      Reply
  6. Lucy Dorling

    Brilliant points in this post, treat brands and PR’S with respect and they will treat you with respect. Relationships are a two way thing, be honest, polite and communicate and you will do well xx

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Thank you. Yes, PR’s and Brands are just people too. Just got to treat them as such. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  7. Jill Glose

    Interesting to know. I never really see “free” products here in the US without some financial catch. Although I do get free training treats from a dog food company which is nice. I’m a non-mustache middle aged women with 5 dogs who throws her hair up in a clip and runs out the door. Honestly my 20 year old daughter can do all sorts of nice things with her hair. I utilize her for a fish tail in the summer. If you come up with a hair product for dogs that elimates shedding in its entirety, let me know. I wear mostly dog hair!

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Haha! Long term golden retriever and Jack Russell owner here. Most of the hair on me belongs to my dogs too πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. Leigh at Fashion Du Jour | LDN

    Clear, concise, usable and HONEST! This is exactly the kind of thing that bloggers need to hear/read. It seems more and more that bloggers are getting associated with being freebie hunters, rather than creating content that comes from a place of genuine interest in the products they feature/use. We love to feature up and coming brands or those we personally use off our our bat. We want to be as genuine as possible to ourselves, our blog ethos and our readers. Therefore we usually feature a lot of non sponsored/non freebie content and relationships tend to grow from there organically as people respect our honest, constructive opinions. Your post tends to let us know we are on the right path – so PHEW!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Leigh from Fashion Du Jour LDN HQ
    http://www.fashiondujour.co.uk

    Reply
  9. Kelly

    I should have known there was a PR person behind the writing! I like you inserting a bit of your personal side into your blog — and of course the content is fantastic as well! How PR has changed, and not, in the last 20 years πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      PR has not changed. Just the tools πŸ™‚

      A bunch of people who don’t know what to do or how to do it occasionally striking lucky πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. Mliae

    I did not know you were a PR agent, as I am very new to your blog. I will be following though because this was great advice! Thanks so much πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Thank you for the follow πŸ™‚

      I do a lot of things, PR is one of those things. πŸ™‚ check out my ‘for hire’ page. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  11. Swarn Krita

    Really nice article. As someone who is trying to start up a business of hand made soaps, I get a few requests as well. It is difficult for me to decide which ones I go for as I have limited budget. On the other hand I realise the need to engage with good review bloggers to help get some references and better still, some sales in the register. I too am learning the ropes of how to handle this balance and find the bloggers who have a genuine fan following. I realised this when I saw one blogger’s instagram followers zoom from 2000 to 8000 within weeks. Closer scrutiny found that most of the followers were not the people who were my target audience. Please share some ideas for benefit of small/from home businesses who are starting out

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Hi Swarn. Choosing which bloggers to go for gets easier as you get quicker at getting an idea about them their audience.

      Worth noting, if someones audience flies up too quickly, they are often unfortunately bought followings. I have had a few people tell me they have 10,000 twitter followers to see its on a 12 week or less old account and most of the followers have generic ‘bot’ profiles and tweets.

      Always worth asking your favorite bloggers if they know of any other good bloggers too. Have found some real gems like that. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. Accidental Spacegirl

    Thanks for the follow! I’ve just switched to a new domain and am having to rebuild my follower base – but wow, I’m meeting some interesting new people! Looking forward to reading more from you!

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Hi Space girl! I’m pretty sure you can export/import follower Base along with content between domains. WordPress admin, menu on the left side, tools, impkrt/export.

      My cock up was I deleted my old site before I hade sure I had exported everything. Doh! Currently rebuilding a following myself 😊

      I was reading your Terry Pratchett post earlier I think. I was a Sci fi and fantasy fan in the 90s. Trying to rediscover a lot of what I have missed. Doctor Who has been the only Sci fi hit I have had since Babylon 5s 4th series heh.

      Reply
  13. Erin

    This was really helpful insight, and quite honestly you’d think it would be common sense. I mean, I’d love to grow my blog and start doing product reviews for people because I just love doing it. But I would never have the audacity to say I’d review a product to get free stuff and then totally blow it off. That’s just wrong.

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Kinda common sense, but in some bloggers defense, they get told by other bloggers who seem more successful that they can get free stuff easily. Its just rarely explained how you know?

      Reply
  14. Mliae

    Hi πŸ™‚ As you are someone who knows what companies are looking for in reviews, would you be willing to take a glimpse of mine and give me an honest critique? (I won’t leave my URL unless you ask as its kind of spammy when people do that)
    Thank you πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Hello Milae

      What brands and PRs want vary wildly between companies and individuals.

      Browsing some of your reviews, short, informative and readable. I would like to see a better photo of the product but that’s about it, and I don’t take particularly good product photos when I am reviewing things myself.

      Some brands want a higher word count. Like 500+ words. I myself, as you may have noticed, am a short post blogger with quick punchy posts.

      For yourself, it looks like you buy your products. Do you have affiliate links in your posts or just links to the shop website? Maybe consider Amazon affiliate links, it’s not much, but enough of them built up over time may help pay your hosting and domain name at least.

      Thanks for being conscious about not spamming.

      Your blog, http://Www.lifexperimentblog.com is a good little read.

      Thanks

      Reply
      1. Mliae

        Oh, WOW! THANK YOU!!
        Yes, most of my products are self-purchased. I figure, I’m using them anyway I might as well let people know what I think. If its a product I love, I link to the company. No need to punish them for not noticing 1 blog out of 170 million. I do belong to 2 review sites, but most are focused on the American market & I am based in Europe, so… I do get quite a few e-books though πŸ˜‰
        I will absolutely be looking into your suggestion of amazon affiliates. That would be great!
        As for the photos, nice to know I have company πŸ˜‰ I don’t know what my problem is… Photographically challenged πŸ˜€
        I do like the shorter posts, as its easier for people to read through and get on with their day. But from now on, I will keep in mind that some might prefer 500+.
        Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH! πŸ™‚

        Reply
  15. Mliae

    Hehe…I didn’t know it was possible to spam a commenter with your own blog. LOL Thanks for the post! I was trying to work it out today already. Checking out that post now πŸ˜‰

    Reply

Leave a Reply