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Blogging for Beginners :: Part 3 - Reviews, Giveaways & Advertising

December 21, 2012

A lot of you beginning bloggers are wondering how to get products to review and how to write the reviews. There's a big difference between a review blog and a blog that occasionally reviews, I prefer the blog that occasionally reviews and I'll elaborate on that. 

The first and most important rule is to only review products that you like and that your readers would like. If you're a parenting blog, don't review something that has nothing to do, or wouldn't interest your readers. Don't review products just to get something for free. 

You may contact companies to ask them to send you a product, in exchange for an honest review, and possibly a giveaway. Keep in mind that companies are contacted by hundreds of bloggers, per day. What makes your blog stand out? Why would they want to send you one of their products? What can you offer them? What are your blog stats? 

Establish a blog presence and a community before you ask to review products. 

You may get companies that contact you out of the blue, it's important to have your contact information, easily accessible on your blog. Again, don't accept every review that comes your way - you can start to lose credibility and readability if you're constantly posting reviews. 

The best way to get the hang of reviews is to read reviews on your favorite blogs (or click my reviews tab) and see how other bloggers do it. Join the blogger communities I mentioned in the previous posts and they will post opportunities for you to take advantage of. 

Before you offer advertising on your blog, be patient and build your community. The best way to start is to start an ad swap with your favorite bloggers. That's where you put their button on your blog and they put your button on their blog, free of charge. Great way to build traffic for each other! 

Aside from swapping ads, you can also purchase ad spaces on some of your favorite blogs, just check out their advertising options. Read the bottom of this post for a special announcement, too! 

Potential advertisers and companies offering reviews are going to want to know your Google Analytics - monthly traffic, unique visitors, bounce rate, average time on page, subscribers and etc. . .  Google Analytics is free at google.com/analytics. Set this up when you set up your blog.

I'm not going to dig deep into advertising or reviews, because your focus should be creating compelling content right now. 

I've only covered the tip of the iceberg on a variety of topics during this series, but my best recommendation is to purchase the book (ebook version is available) of Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community. It covers everything   you want to know, plus a lot you might not have thought about. 






I hope this series has inspired you to get off on the right foot. This post was a little more vague, but I'm more than happy to help you with the details after you get deep into blogging. What questions do you still have? Please comment below or email me. 

Also, I didn't forget my promise to you. Every new blogger who has been following this series will receive a gift box from mark. to review and one to give away - here's your first opportunity for a review and giveaway! To claim your box and one month of free ad space, comment below and let me know your new blog address (or if you're still working on one) as well as your email address and one thing this series has helped you with. 

Happy blogging!

12 comments:

  1. I love this series! I've commented on a few of your posts before. I think this has been informative on many levels, but I didn't use to comment much especially on link ups before I started reading this series. I didn't realize that I wasn't really being active!

    Brandi dot Hunley at gmail dot com and you cn find me at
    Brooklynstateofmindblog.blogspot.com

    I just started my blog less than a month ago!

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    Replies
    1. Awesome! I'm going to be emailing you within the next week - I have family coming in tomorrow for a week, so things might get busy!

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    2. Thank you so much! I'm very excited. Enjoy your holidays!

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  2. I love this series! After reading this series I have been trying figure out how to implement the information on my blog. Also, I didn't realize that not commenting was not being active! This has helped me alot,

    angievantine dot yahoo dot com and you can find me at
    www.lifewiththevanns.blogpsot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I'm going to be emailing you within the next week - I have family coming in tomorrow for a week, so things might get busy!

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    2. Looking for to your email!

      Angie
      angievantine@yahoo.com

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  3. Just read the series, glad I found it. I've followed along your twitter since my mark days (remember me?) Looking forward to reading your blog as well

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  4. Great series, and great post! I'm not a new blogger, I've been blogging a few years actually, but have just recently started getting more into the occasional reviews...I've had so many people on my personal FB page asking me how to get the reviews and wanting to start blogs JUST for that reason- the free stuff...I will have to refer them to this post to show that there's really a lot more to it than that! (Not that I'm an expert either, but at least I'm trying to do everything right! First readers, then reviews!) :)

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  5. Like Randy I am not a new blogger but have read thru your series since the first because oftentimes people do not tell the truth about why they follow your blog what they like or don't etc. I learned a lot about the design part and totally agree about font and colors.
    I'd love to do a mark review :-)
    Megan @ thememoirsofmegan.com

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  6. Like Randy I am not a new blogger but have read thru your series since the first because oftentimes people do not tell the truth about why they follow your blog what they like or don't etc. I learned a lot about the design part and totally agree about font and colors.
    I'd love to do a mark review :-)
    Megan @ thememoirsofmegan.com

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  7. I love this!!! I can't wait to put this all to good use - and hope for more helpful hints :) You have a wealth of knowledge! (Can I use any more !! today?)

    ShesCheckingOut.com
    Meg at ShesCheckingOut dot com

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  8. Chelsea,
    I'm thrilled out of my mind because I started my own blog! Thank you for the great tips! I only have a few posts, but I plan to work on each week's posts on Sundays when I have the most free time.

    bluestar*
    www.bstar.me

    I found your blog by searching the web for a pen pal exchange & I am posting pics of mail I send & receive on my site. I got my first letter from her the other day & I think I found a gem :)

    Samantha

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