I get a lot of questions about how to be a product tester, how to become a product reviewer and how to host giveaways, and while there is no specific way to become a product reviewer or how to be a product tester there are steps that you can make to help speed up the process.
Prepare Your Blog
- Know Your Stats – Make sure you have Google Analytics and Statcounter attached to your blog, as you will get more offers the more views and visitors you have.
- Write a couple of reviews of things you love, which you can refer back to when contacting companies.
- Host a couple of giveaways on your own (Amazon gift certificates are the most popular) to get more followers, readers, fans and subscribers.
- Participate in blog hops, twitter hops, and facebook hops to increase your readership. (See my blog hop linky collection at the top navigation bar)
- Make sure your blog posts are neat, clean and free of grammatical and spelling errors.
- Use labels to organize your blog. Labels such as: Giveaway, Giveaway Winners and Product Reviews are important.
- Have a PR Friendly About Page, where companies can learn more about you, your review guidelines and contact information.
- Use Rafflecopter for your giveaways
There are many product review programs and sites that will help connect you to companies, below are a few of my favorites. Some of the programs you will have to apply to, while others you just sign up for without any acceptance process. Make sure to have your profile, blog information and contact information is up to date.
The Brand Buzz Network (Follow The Pitches From PR group)
Contact Companies Directly:
One of the questions that I am asked often, when it comes to how to be a product tester, how to become a product reviewer and how to host giveaways, is how to contact companies directly.
1) Know Your Blog Statistics:
When you first start out blogging and reviewing your stats will not be impressive, so do not include these in your company review requests, instead focus on why you would like to review the product. However, once your blog statistics increase make sure to include them, as the companies want exposure to their products and the more viewers you have the more exposure they will get. Google Analytics is the preferred method, as it is known to most companies. Statcounter is great for your personal knowledge, because the statistics are immediate and provide more detailed information.
Be honest about your statistics, and realize that some companies may want screen shots of your google analytics statistics.
2) Write A Product Review Request Template Letter:
Write a product review request template letter that you can start out with, whenever you want to send out a request. Tailor the request template letter to the individual company, and make sure that your statistics are updated. When writing to companies, make sure to proofread your letter before it is sent off, check for grammar, spelling errors etc., as you want to give the best impression of you.
The company representatives that will read your review requests are busy people, so keep your requests neat, brief, polite and include the most important details.
In the request template letter include:
- Why you want to review the product.
- Why your blog would be a great fit with the product and company.
- Why a review/giveaway would help the company.
- Your monthly visitors, monthly unique visitors, email subscribers, readers and followers.
- A brief description of your readers: Moms, parents, dads, teenagers, age groups etc.
- A link to your recent reviews and giveaways, or to your favorite reviews.
3) How To Find Company Contact Information
Contacting a company is easy, simply go to the company page and find their contact form. Some companies have specific blog request forms, others have media contacts etc. In some cases contacting a PR company may also be helpful. A great way to start is by looking through your favorite giveaway linky, and contacting a few of the sponsoring companies.
The bigger the company the less likely they are to team up with individual bloggers. These opportunities will come through review programs such as Team Mom, Mom Central and Mom Select.
4) Write, write, write…
In the beginning you may send out 20 emails, and you may only get one positive response in return. Don’t despair! Take that one positive response, and see it as an amazing opportunity. The more reviews you get on your blog, the more opportunities you will get. The better statistics your blog gets, the more review and giveaway opportunities you will get. Have patience and the product review opportunities may start coming to you as well, but if you are proactive you will get more success.
Don’t forget to consider whether your email is appropriate for official use. If your email account is something like kiss33 or similar, you may want to create a new email account for the purpose of contacting companies.
How To Write Product Reviews
1) Be Honest!
Both the company and your readers want an honest review, otherwise it beats the purpose of a review. If there is a big problem with the product, contact the company before you write the review. Perhaps the product was defective to begin with, and the company may want to send you another product. Otherwise list pros and cons of the product, highlight your favorite aspects of the product etc.
2) Provide links back to the product website:
The readers need to know where they can find more information about the product, and a link back to the company website helps the company as well.
3) Use appropriate keywords:
Using keywords can help potential customers find your review, but it can also help you get more views via the search engines.
4) Use Product Name In Title:
Before you write the actual title use the “specific product name” and the word “review” in your title. Hit the publish button, and after your post has published, go back in and edit the title to the title you really want to give the review. This will help potential customers find your review, and it will also give your review more traffic from the search engines, whenever anyone searches on the product name.
5) Make Your Review Easy To Read:
Use photos, bullet points and perhaps videos to make the review easier to read.
5) Use FTC disclosure:
The FTC has provided strict FTC disclosure guidelines for bloggers to disclose, when they receive a product free of charge in order to do a review.
At the end of your review write something similar to:
Disclaimer: A sample of XX product was provided to me by XX. Any opinions expressed in this review are my own, and opinions are based solely on my experience with the XX product and brand.
Use a disclosure policy generator to create an overall disclosure policy for your blog.
When you first start wondering how to be a product tester, how to become a product reviewer and how to host giveaways, you might think it is the easiest job in the world.
It is definitely a great job, but it does not have any immediate pay, and it is extremely time consuming. Writing a good product review may easily take several hours, and taking photos, videos etc. takes time as well. Then add the giveaway aspect, and the work adds up.
To become a successful product reviewer and giveaway host it is essential that you are organized, because once you have more than one review/giveaway up you will have self-imposed deadlines etc., you will have to answer to company representatives and your readers.
1) Organize your inbox. Have a folder for review/giveaway requests and contact with companies, and have a separate folder for winners information. I have found that my Gmail account has the best organizational abilities.
2) Consider having a blogging calendar with your deadlines.
3) Make sure you have a review, a giveaway, and a giveaway winners tab on your navigation bar. This makes it easier for readers and companies to find what they are looking for.
4) Have a list of your giveaways listed on your sidebar, where it is easy for everyone to see.
6) Once your review is up, send a link to the company.
Combining a review with a giveaway is a great way to get more exposure to a product review. This post is focused on how to be a product tester and how to become a product reviewer, so I have only written vaguely about hosting giveaways, but I will write about this in a separate post.
Check out more Blogging tips in the Blogging Tips series.
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If you have any questions about how to become a product tester or how to become a product reviewer, please feel free to leave a comment.