How Do Bloggers Get Free Products to Review?
As a product review blogger, I am asked all of the time, “Where did you get that? How do bloggers get free products?”
My answer? We bat our eye lashes and smile sweetly at any company with valuable products, and free stuff just falls into our laps.
Want to know a secret?
I’ll tell you a secret: it isn’t free.
Ah, man! Bummer, right?
It may seem like we get free stuff to you since we don’t use money from our bank accounts to buy these products, but nothing we receive is free.
I will tell you where I get free products ( I promise), but first, let me break it down the process for you:
- A company approaches me with a product, or I approach them about a product. There is emailing or networking involved, which, if you’re talking about multiple companies, can be a few hours a day. Sometimes, to get a free product, I need to join a network of influencers and do a campaign with them in order to review a product. There are often applications involved.
- Once I receive a product, I need to use it in my everyday life. As I’m using it, I document what I think and how it works or doesn’t work. I take photos, and, if warranted, I take a video.
- After using the product for at least two weeks, I need to write a review on the blog, including information about the company and my own honest opinion. That can take anywhere from 1-2 hours.
- I add media to the blog, including photos and video. Before they are added, I need to edit them, adding text and cropping them to fit. That can take up to an hour.
- Once the blog post is finished, it’s thoroughly edited. If I am happy with it, I publish it.
- The published post is sent to the sponsor via email, or, if I worked with a network, I fill out a form.
- The post is then shared via social media, often several times a week at first, and then every other month or so.
This process doesn’t take into account any giveaways for products, which can add another hour or so to the whole process.
In essence, we have to work for these ‘free’ products. The companies come to use to act as advertisers for their products. If you are a serious review blogger, it becomes almost a full time job with all of the work that’s involved!
Does it seem like I get these things for ‘free’ now? Want to know another tid bit? We bloggers have to pay taxes on everything we receive. Why? It’s our income. We work for these products in some way or another.
How to Get Free Products
Okay, as promised, here’s the good stuff. There are a few places where bloggers can get products to review. Some of them don’t require a blog, but most of them do. The ones that don’t require blogs do often require social media presence.
*Note: This list is not conclusive. There are many, many sites out there. These are just the ones I am familiar with and have worked with myself. If you know of more, please leave a comment below!
Websites where you can join to review products for free (no blog needed):
- Influenster – Join for free and earn Vox Boxes full of free products to test and review. One of the latest items I received from them is my Keurig 2.0.
- BzzAgent – Join for free. Fill out surveys and be invited to campaigns. Share your experiences.
- Swaggable – Join for free. Receive free samples and review right on their site.
- House Party – Join for free. Sign up to host parties in your house to test and review products.
- SheSpeaks – Join for free. Connect with brands and businesses.
These sites are just a handful of sites that offer reviews, and they often require you to have a blog. To join, you need to fill out a form (or several), including information such as your blog URL, social media stats, analytics, etc.
- MomCentral (Influence Central)
- Mom It Forward
- US Family Guide
- Massive Sway (SITS Girls)
- Modern Mom Insider
Other ways bloggers receive free products include:
- Emailing a company directly and establishing a professional relationship
- Receiving an email from a company or brand
- Becoming an ambassador for a company (for example, I was a Nutrisystem Nation Blogger ,a Nuby Mom Blogger and a Fitfluential Ambassador. I’m currently part of the Hershey Sweet Blogger Program.)
If you’re a blogger, please note: many companies and brands are looking for numbers. They want to see that you have a decently sized audience who comes back often to read what you say. They want to see how social you are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. They want to see engagement with your audience.
Don’t be discouraged if you are declined from promotions. Keep on working! It has taken many of us at least a year or more to start seeing results! You may get a lot of rejected requests before you get a response (if you get a response at all!).
How to Write a Review
A online review is directed at your audience who looks to you to see if a product is worth buying or not. Bottom line: your review needs to be honest. Here are my tips for how to write a review on a blog. These tips can be used on social media as well!
Leave a Comment Below!
If you are a blogger, did I leave anything out? If you are not a blogger, what did you learn? Will you try any of these sites?
Have fun finding free products!
Tiffany Schmidt says
Marissa, you should probably add, just bc you may ask for items to review or giveaway, doesn’t mean you get a yes, or even an answer at all. 😉 It’s not just a aka and easily receive career!
That’s true, Tiffany! I kind of have that in there, but I’ll make it a bit clearer when I’m at the computer later! 🙂
Jo-Ann Brightman says
This is a comprehensive review of how bloggers are able to get products for “free”.. I can see how it does involve a lot of work, but I am sure it usually seems worth the effort.
Most of the time, yes, it is worth the effort. Sometimes, though, we receive a product that does not meet our standards. I have had a few like that, and after testing them, emailed the companies telling them I cannot in good faith share the product with my readers. Some accept what I have to say as constructive criticism, some don’t even respond.
Rachel Alba says
Whew!! I got tired just reading about all that. I guess nothing is really free. God bless you if you can do it. You deserve anything you can get free with all that work.
Audrey@That Recipe says
Thanks for the tips! I am still on the fence whether I want to pursue this avenue or not. Seems like a lot of work and I am not sure I want the rewards.
You’re welcome! It can be a lot of work. I highly suggest doing your research! 🙂
Thanks for sharing! I hadn’t heard of some of these places to sign up for!