Monday , 20 February 2017

Why Bloggers Charge for Reviews and Giveaways

Square Greeting Card - Mr Rabbit - 5.9 x 5.9 " or 150x150 mm

Square Greeting Card - Mr Rabbit - 5.9 x 5.9 " or 150x150 mm

I am a blogger.
I used to work for free.
I can’t afford to do that anymore.
That probably sounds a little opportunistic or perhaps arrogant, but it makes good sense when you really think about what reviews and giveaways mean for a blogger and for the business they are promoting.
1. Bloggers work hard for their money. No, this isn’t some 80′s song, it’s truth. Giveaways and reviews require a tremendous amount of time and effort . We must try out the product, take quality photos of the product in action around our home, write a pithy blog post on the product, set up giveaway rules and dates, promote the giveaway in social media outlets, close down the giveaway, run a random selector for the winner, email the winner and the company, and take care of any follow-up that may happen after the giveway is finished. This isn’t a walk in the park. It is hard work and a couple of boxes of cereal in exchange for all of this isn’t going to fly with a blogger who truly knows the extent of her time and effort.
2. Reviews and giveaways are prime ad real estate. I have sidebar ads at RaisingArrows.net; however, those ads are not what get the clicks. That is why with every sidebar ad a company takes out, I allow one giveaway or review post per 3 month period. You will find that one review or giveaway or even just a mention with a coupon code as enticement will pay for itself over and over again. A lot of companies do not realize how golden a blogger’s word is.
3. TANSTAAFL. To borrow an acronym from Richard Maybury of Whatever Happened to Penny Candy,
There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.
Not to say I won’t promote a business for free simply because I love their products, they just shouldn’t expect it. Companies would do well to realize blogging IS a business and just as you wouldn’t dream of giving away your entire inventory for free, neither can you expect a blogger to hand out free reviews.
4. The gift that keeps on giving. Suppose I write a review post for a product. That company receives my top ad space (aka “a blog post”). Once that post is complete, I no longer benefit (unless the company has an affiliate program I have signed up for); however, the company has my stamp of approval and a post in my archives and a Google keyword or two that generate traffic long past my review post. The long-term investment a company makes in paying a blogger to host a giveaway or do a review is well worth the money.
5. Product is nice. Cash is better. Sometimes a blogger will work for product, especially if she really needs the product. However, unless a blogger approaches a company, it is unlikely she needs the product that company is selling. Assuming a blogger will spread the word about a product simply because the company gave her something for free is bad form.
I know this sounds hard-nosed for a woman who blogs at a Christian homeschooling blog, but the honest truth is my readers don’t want me to be a walking advertisement. They want to read about homeschooling and large families and the like. The occasional review or giveaway I host at Raising Arrows is done with the same zest and zeal my readers have come to expect from my regular fare. Asking a company to pay for those reviews and giveaways is simply asking them to compensate me for the time and effort it takes to make their product look good without making my blog look obnoxious. It’s a win-win situation.
*****

Amy of RaisingArrows.net is the homeschooling mother of 6 living children and one precious little girl named Emily being held in the Lord’s arms. Her days are filled with giggly girls, rambunctious boys and sticky baby kisses. At night, she writes about it all.

Thank you, Amy, for taking time out of your busy day to pen this great information!

 

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16 comments

  1. Amy, you are 100% right! I have reviewed books that I have purchased, just to give insight to my blog readers, but I notice that those reviews are read over and over again. And it really benefits the author of those books, more than myself. I am rethinking the things that I now blog about, before doing more ‘free’ reviews.

    Thanks for your insight!

  2. Amen, Sista!

    Such truth in these words, Amy. I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for stating it so well.

    -Lauren

  3. Well said, Amy! We’re 100% behind you. :)

  4. I agree with you and how you stated it in this article.

    I’ve been approached by bloggers who want a product to review plus a fee for the review. They give me these huge stat numbers but once I go to their site, I can tell immediately the numbers are grossly inflated. That’s where I have the issue. If it’s a high traffic blog, I have no problem paying for a review and write up. A small blog, not so much.

  5. Absolutely!
    As a blogger, you are allowing a company exposure to your loyal readership.

  6. I’m slowly working my way to making money from my blogging. Thanks for these insights. Very useful. I’ll be coming back to this article again.

  7. Great info and helps me understand things from the bloggers perspective. But what about the rest of us-the non-blogger-the person the product comes from! I get requests from bloggers frequently, asking me to donate my pottery for a variety of reasons. Giveaways, testing, featuring etc. You name it I’ve heard it. I can honestly say out of the many many requests I’ve had, I have only had success with a handful. My biggest complaint is when a blogger promises to feature my pottery…. They ask for photos which I provide, they ask for my information-details about my life etc-which I provide. They ask about the process of creating theproduct-which I provide. Sometime free advertising is offered which I never see. I ship my product off-at my expense. After all MY hardwork, I never hear from the blogger again! My pottery has not been featured, all my extra work taking great photos, writing descriptions etc is all a waste of time and I have just shipped at my expense my hard work out into space-at my expense, never to heard from again.
    I no longer give away my work! If you want to blog about it-you have to pay for it!
    There are 2 sides to this blogger issue…..

  8. I have to agree with Kim-bloggers can make money selling ad space.Paying for a review only works,in my experience,on the really major blogs and as a seller you have to be sure this is your target market.
    I could go broke with all the product people want from me for review purposes.I am trying to make a living as well.How about if bloggers pay the wholesale price or even shipping?I have never gotten sales from these things but they have gotten free stuff and content.
    I choose VERY carefully now!

  9. i don’t know anything about this subject. and don’t even know where to begin finding a blogger that will review my product…

  10. After such great responses, how could I not do a follow up to this? I love comments!

  11. I have never thought about bloggers charging for reviews. You make good points. I am not a big company and do not make a lot of sales so I can’t afford to pay very much for reviews but, I would be willing to pay for the work that you do. On the other hand I do not send my watches, free, to bloggers very often at all.

  12. This certainly answered my question. I want to write game reviews and product reviews, however, I can no longer do it for free. I thought maybe its unethical as a game journalist to charge for reviews, but a journalist needs to eat just like the next person.

  13. Hi Amy! I was just searching the web for this info. I’m a fairly new blogger. I run a Mom’s Blog about Natural Living, Gardening and family life. I’ve been getting a huge number of product review requests lately. Of course, many of the products are things I’ve never heard of and most of them are intriguing.

    I get so much free stuff, but I’m not really earning money with my blog. This certainly gives me direction for future planning when it comes to reviews and giveaways! Thanks so much for this great post. I love your blog!

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