Want to get a lot of free stuff in return for a review on your blog, but don’t want to pigeon hole yourself into becoming a review blogger? If so, check out my tips on how to write reviews on your blog without becoming a review blogger.
Why I didn’t want to be a review blogger
When I first starting blogging 7 years ago, I did it as a hobby. I remember telling one of my friends that I’d be happy with my blogging career if I ever got a free bottle of wine. Fast forward a few years later and now I get paid to blog. It’s a dream come true. But before I started getting paid, I was just as happy with a freebie here and there for a review (especially toy reviews around Christmas). Truth be told, I’m still happy with freebies for review. I love sharing my experience with new products.
While I love freebies, I never wanted to become a “review blogger”. For those of you that don’t know what a review blogger is, they are exactly what they sound like. They literally only review things on their blogs. And their reviews are hard core.
Why didn’t I want to be a review blogger? There are several reasons, the first being that you can’t be paid for reviews. It is against FTC regulations to pay for a review. A review is exactly that, a review. You can’t be paid for your opinion. A paid post is no longer based on your opinion.
You can, however, be paid for sponsored content. This is how I make the bulk of my money. I was afraid that if I did too many reviews than I wouldn’t be a good candidate for sponsored content. Side note: I only accept sponsored posts for product I actually love- I’ll never be fake and tell you I love something when I don’t.
Another reason I didn’t want to be a review blogger is because it really is hard core. If you write a review on a review blog it should be a dedicated post, with the name of the reviewed product in the title. I didn’t want to write dedicated posts on items. Instead, I like to share recipes and crafts that include products I like, which is exactly what I do with sponsored content.
So, if I like sponsored content so much, why do I still review products? Because I love freebies, and I love helping companies that can’t (yet) afford to pay me. Why not start a good working relationship with them now? Maybe one day they will have the budget to pay me!
How to review items without becoming a review blogger
- Brand yourself as an influencer
- Lump reviews into a weekly “week in review post”
- Promise reviews on social media as well
- Stay consistent
ONE: Brand yourself as an influencer
Once you do this you can not only review products for free, but you can get paid to promote products. Learn more about becoming an influencer here. The linked post will also tell you how to sign up for companies that will send you products in exchange for reviews.
TWO: Lump reviews into a weekly “week in review post”
Instead of writing dedicated posts for reviews, I tell companies that want to offer me freebies, that I will include them in a “week in review” post. Many bloggers do this. A lot of them call it “Friday Favorites”.
This is the best way for me to give a little shout out and share with my readers without having to go to the trouble of reviewing it hard core. Here is an example. I don’t do them weekly, I only do them when I have a lot to review. It’s also a great way to include affiliate links like I did in this post and make a little extra money.
Every so often I will review something in a dedicated post. It has to be something that I would have wanted to blog about anyway. Here is an example of one I did for Betsy’s Best nut butters.
THREE: Review products on social media too
I also schedule a few tweets and Facebook posts to promote the product on the same day that my blog post is published.
Often times my social media posts do a lot better than my actual blog post. It’s always good to keep track of your social media metrics and share them with the company who owns the product you reviewed. This might make them more inclined to think of you when they have a paid campaign!
FOUR: Stay consistent
It’s tempting to go back and forth between dedicated review posts and lumped week in review posts. Make sure to use your time wisely. Don’t spend forever on a dedicated post when you aren’t getting paid for it. Stay consistent with your reviews so the companies know what to expect from you. The moment you do a dedicated review, everyone will be contacting you to do one for them too! It’s okay to do that if you really want to be a review blogger…
There is nothing wrong with review bloggers! God love them, we need honest people who are willing to spend their time sharing their honest reviews. I really enjoy reading reviews on review blogs, but I don’t want to be one. I hope these tips help you figure out how to review products on your blog without becoming a review blogger.