I am asked quite often, where do I find all these great products that I review on JadeLouise Designs. How does a review blogger get started to find review opportunities? Do you have to have a blog to get review opportunities? Well, I've been working on this article for a very long time now, gathering up information just for you to help you know exactly how to get started with review opportunities! And even better, not all of them require you to own, run, or write on a blog! Even average every day people who simply want to try something new and give feedback have places they can get free products to review! How exciting is that? The sources for review opportunities will vary based on the niche of your blog, the topics you write about, if you are willing to do video reviews or solely written reviews and much more. Yet there are still a few key ways to find review opportunities no matter your genre. Let's go over the many places and ways that you can find great review opportunities.
Find Review Opportunities from Review Websites:
Believe it or not there are a vast number of websites that exist solely for the purpose of bloggers to announce that they are looking for products to review, and for companies to announce that they are looking to work with bloggers. These websites are very helpful as they bring the company and bloggers together where normally one wouldn't even know the other existed. And usually they are full of great review opportunities just waiting for you to grab.
In order to find these, the best place to start looking is in blogging communities. Use your internet searching abilities and find a great blogging community and forum that is built up with fellow bloggers wanting to help support each other. Build a relationship with these fellow bloggers and then you can ask where some of these websites might be.to find review opportunities might be.
Where to find review opportunities that don't require a blog.
There are a few sites out there, that don't even require that you own a blog to participate. Even an average person with no blog or blogging experience can receive free products to try out, review and give feedback.
- ExpoTV -here you apply to review different products as they come available. If selected you are sent the products to review, you then create a video review and upload it to their site. You only need a camera and a willingness to voice your opinion on the product. You can also earn points for every review video you post which earns you great prizes in addition to your free products to review.
- House Party- here you apply to host a party in your home. The companies send you products to try, samples for your guests, and you share it with your friends in your home. These are really quite fun, as you share new products with your friends, there is no obligation to buy anything, and usually you even have goodies and coupons to give your friends afterwards.
- bzzagent (blog not required, but you will get more opportunities if you have one)- I get quite a few good campaigns from this site.
- Smiley360 (very similar to bzzagent)
- Influenster I don't know much about this site yet as I just discovered it, but it looks like it has a lot of great potential.
Where to find review products that require you to have a blog.
But obviously there is a much larger list of websites that have review opportunities for those that own and write for blogs. Businesses are starting to realize the powerful influence a blogger has when they write product reviews, and therefore are more open to hosting review opportunities for bloggers.
- Business2Blogger- this site used to have a lot of great reviews, but as of lately it is mostly book reviews. But every now and then they offer other items.
- Bloggerdise- a big hodgepodge of review opportunities, businesses advertising, bloggers advertising and more.
- Tomoson- a great site to start with. The usual starting requirements are lower, and many companies are open to working with new bloggers. This is where I got my first review opportunities.
- SheSpeaks (A blogging network. Be sure to be active, and watch for when they have try-ology programs and apply. Be sure that you have them in your email list, so you can see when new products come available to try. They usually have really great items, but not very often.)
- Moms meet
- Mom Select
- Question Moms
- Mom Central
- She Heard
- Simply Sassy Media
- Social Moms
- Bloggerlinkup -this site is one where you sign up to receive a newsletter in your email. Each email will be filled with people looking for writers on specific topics, writers offering articles on topics, giveaways listed on sites and also companies offering products for review. You merely skim through the email to see if there is something of interest to you. While it may not be your typical way to finding review products, I've had much success finding great products, the latest being the new Google Nexus Tablet I was able to review. Found this opportunity from Bloggerlinkup. Definitely worth getting the emails 2-3 times a week.
There are many more amazing sites out there where bloggers can find some great review opportunities, you just have to keep your eyes open to them and network with your fellow bloggers to learn about the great ones.
Are you a review blogger and know of any sites that I am missing from my list?
Let me know so I can add them in!
Find Review Opportunities from Blog Networks:
Blog networks differ from blogging communities. Where a community is all about bloggers bonding and supporting each other, a blog network adds additional features. Some blog networks still incorporate a part of a blogging community, but they also feature the ability to connect brands and companies with the bloggers themselves in a blog outreach campaign. This is where a company contacts the network and says, “I want this many blogs to review this product and write articles in this manner.” The network then does the leg work for the company letting the blog members of the network “apply” for the job. Then the network and company work together to select which of the blogs they want to work with. Sometimes depending on the network you can receive additional cash compensation for this work, and other times it is solely the product that you will receive.
Image courtesy of [renjith krishnan] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
There are again a vast number of blog networks on the market. All of which are different from each other. Some have a monthly or yearly fees to be a member and others are free. To start finding blog networks ask your fellow blogging friends if they know of any great ones you can apply to join.
- Social Fabric (Collective Bias for businesses)
- Mom Spark Media
- Mom Blogger Society
- Mom Central
There are many more to choose from, but that's just a small list. You can also find links to those sites in my sidebar under communities.
Image courtesy of [Vlado] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Find Review Opportunities by Browsing other Blogs:
As horrible as it sounds, a great resource for finding products to review is by browsing other blogs that feature product reviews. You aren't stealing from the blog, nor are you being a copy cat, so long as you don't try to review every single item that blog reviews. But you are merely looking for ideas of companies that are willing to work with bloggers.
You will want to find successful blogs in the same niche that your blog resides in. Meaning if you are a cooking blog you don’t want to be browsing for review products from a fashion blog. If you are solely a gadget blog you aren’t going to want to be looking for review opportunities from a cloth diapering blog. Find blogs that write on similar topics and browse through their past review articles.
Image courtesy of [arztsamui] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The best way to start if you are a new to hosting review products on your site, is by going back to the very first review products successful review bloggers have posted. You will find companies that are willing to work with smaller blogs, or newer blogs. You aren't going to be accepted to work with Lego right out of the starting gate. You have to build your reputation first, so starting small is the best option. Find those companies that worked with your favorite review blogs back when they were small. You will have much more success and will be well on your way to building up your own reputation.
Most often if a company worked with a blog in the past on a review, then chances are they are willing to work with more bloggers in the future. Find products that are of interest to you. Visit and bookmark their website.
Find review Opportunities by Cold Contacting:
Cold contacting is also called Pitching or writing a Pitch or ask letter. No matter how a blogger words it, the idea is the same. You are writing an email to a company that you don’t have a current relationship with, and asking if they would be willing to work with your blog on a review and possible giveaway; thus a cold contact. Don't worry, I've also written an article to help you know how to write an ask letter.
I often use Cold contacting when I know of a product that many of my readers could benefit from learning about. Or if there is a product my family is in need of, I search for companies that create said product; and then I pitch to them. There is a blogging myth that all successful bloggers don't need to "pitch" for products because their email boxes are overflowing with offers from companies. But that is not true. Even successful bloggers who get a lot of emails each day, still pitch to companies for review opportunities when it is a product they would like in their own home, fits a current blogging theme they are writing about, or know their readers could really benefit from the review. Many great companies wait for the blogger to approach them for a review opportunity instead of contacting the blogger.
When pitching to a company, whenever possible, you will want a media or PR contact email address. Some companies display these on their websites. Usually you have to search for them as they are different from the regular “contact us” forms or general customer service emails. Sometimes the Media or PR email address is located in the same section as the general contact us form is located, and other times it is located under a “media’ menu option.
Find Review opportunities when Company’s Contact You:
This is every bloggers dream, the day when companies start noticing you and they are the ones that initiate the contact and ask you if you would be willing to review their product on your website. If you write worthwhile content, quality reviews, and have great reader interaction this will happen eventually. This is why it is very important that you feature your own contact information where it is easily found for companies to contact you.
You will want to ensure that you have a category, menu option that lets companies know that you are open to reviews, such as a PR Friendly page. Basically it is a page that states briefly what your blog is about, and what media services you offer on your site such as reviewed products, hosting giveaways and if you feature paid advertising in the form of sponsored posts or ad spaces on your side bar. This lets companies know that you are open to working with them on reviews.
Image courtesy of [nokhoog_buchachon] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I have found hosting reviews on JadeLouise Designs has been a very rewarding experience for both myself and my brilliant readers. It allows me to try new products, share our experiences with others, and helps others know if the products are really worth the money to purchase them. But even still, I have to turn review opportunities away due to time restraints, or they just don't fit with my blog's niche. It's a fun process, and I hope you will come to really enjoy including reviews in your endeavors too.
Just be sure to not get too discouraged if you aren't a sensational hit over night. It takes time to build your relationships, your reputation and your traffic that gets your site noticed by companies. Many companies have different requirements of what they are looking for in a blog before they allow you review opportunities. Just be patient and keep working until you you reach those requirements. My biggest word of advice is to network with fellow bloggers. Form real friendships and learn from each other. This in turn will open many doors for you as you all share what you have learned, and share different websites where you can find review opportunities.