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Blogging 101: How To Contact Companies for Product Reviews

If this is your first time here, please make sure to read our first post Review Blogging 101 Series – How to start a review blog.

OK, so you have a blog and you have people reading your blog. Now, you want to start reviewing products. How long it takes is really up to you. It could take just a couple of months to build the traffic and readership or it can take longer. I’m not going to tell you that you need X amount of traffic or subscribers before you can start working with companies because it really doesn’t work like that. And, to be honest—numbers aren’t everything. Bloggers with a small, but loyal following may be exactly what a company is looking for or a company may prefer to work with a blogger that has a lot of traffic. It really just depends. I wouldn’t really worry about that if I were you. I didn’t.

People ask me all of the time–“How do you get the products to review?” What I did was contact companies on my own. For months and months and months, I emailed every company for every product that you saw on my blog. It’s a lot of work. It wasn’t until sometime much later that companies started to contact me. So, today I want to talk about how to contact a company that you are interested in working with on a product review.

The first thing you will want to do is find the correct person to contact at the company. Most of the time, the company website will have a press or media page where you will usually find the name and contact information for their pr person. Very rarely, a company {usually the smaller ones} will not have that information and you can try to email their customer service department instead. The important thing is to make sure your email is going to the right place.

What you should say in the email:

  1. Introduce yourself and your blog .
  2. Let them know why you are writing {i.e. “I am interested in working with you on a review of X product”}.
  3. Tell them why and how their product or service would benefit your readers.
  4. Briefly explain how it will benefit X company to be seen on your blog {i.e. demographics, readership, monthly traffic, etc}.
  5. If your blog is still growing or you don’t have what you feel are “strong” numbers, then maybe offer the company free sidebar advertising for a month {or however long you would like}.
  6. {OPTIONAL} Ask the company to sponsor a giveaway. Explain how a giveaway can provide even further visibility to their company and products through the entries that you will provide for your readers. {i.e. readers will have to visit their website for the first entry, additional entries can include tweeting, blogging, and other social networking sites, building the company email list, etc.}

Now, keep in mind that all of the above should be said in two to three short, concise paragraphs. This is very important because people are busy and will not stick around to read a really long email. So, remember—short and sweet. Also, step 2 is very important! This is how you personalize your email to the company. Let them know what you love about their product or company. This is where your pitch can be made or broken. I also like to attach a media kit that gives the company my detailed traffic and readership statistics. To learn how to create a media kit, make sure to check out the previous Blogging 101 post.

Also, please remember–do not ever, under any circumstance contact a company for a product that you even have even an inkling that you wouldn’t be able to stand behind. I always contacted companies that I either already loved or that had a product that I could see myself or my readers using and loving. I’ll talk about all of this in further detail later on.

I also want to note–don’t take it personally if a company does not respond or they say no. Stay professional and try another company.

Finally, there are review groups that you can join as well. Join Latina Mom Bloggers! This is what we do! We bring Latina bloggers opportunities to work with brands that want to reach Latina moms in an authentic way. There are other blogger networks too so join as many as you want. Some are naturally more difficult to get in to than others, but they are great as they put bloggers directly in touch with companies and products.

Latina Mom Bloggers Sign Up Form

Tune in next week for more advice! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section and I will make sure to answer your questions during the week.