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How to Find Review Opportunities with and without a blog.

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.

How to Find Review Opportunities with and without a blog.

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.

How to Find Review Opportunities with and without a blog.

Another option is to use your internet search and simply search “How to find free products to review” or “How to find review opportunities” or similarly worded search options. This will get you started and you should find a few blogs or websites giving tips on where to find products to review. Once you have a few places to begin gathering review products from, then you can slowly branch out from there.
To help get you started, I’ve compile a list of great places to start looking for review opportunities. Some are great for beginners, others are good for more experienced reviewers, and others don’t even require you to own a blog!

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.

  • IZEA : I actually earn quite a bit each year through IZEA. The more commonly known platform is called Social spark, but they are moving to the new platform of solely IZEA. So you want to get set up with them. You can earn money for sponsored posts, posting tweets and there is even rumor of posting youtube videos and being paid for it.
  • 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.

How to Find Review Opportunities with and without a blog.

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.

Some blogging networks have requirements before you can be accepted such as blogging for a certain length of time, having a certain rank with Google Page rank, or that your content fit a specific spectrum. You will want to search for ones that fit the niche of your blog.
Another way to find possible blog networks to join is by visiting other well established blogs that feature a lot of great reviews. When you find these blogs, look to the sidebar or footer of the blog. You will often see little buttons listing different websites. Most of the time some of these are their blog networks as they require a button to be displayed on the blogger’s website. As you practice it will be easier for you to recognize the blog network’s badges; but to begin with it may take you some trial and error as you click on multiple buttons to see what types of website they direct you to. That is alright. You can’t learn without trying.
Some of my favorite networks I currently work with are:
  • Social Fabric (Collective Bias for businesses)- one of my absolute favorites.
  • Mom Central
  • The SITS Girls
  • Clever Girls Collective
  • Mom it Forward
  • Pollinate
  • Glam ad network

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.

How to Find Review Opportunities with and without a blog.

 

Image courtesy of [Vlado] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Another way to find blogging networks is simply by paying attention to what other bloggers are writing. Often times, when blogs write a review for a product they received from a blogging network, that blogging network will also be listed within that blog’s disclaimer. If that is the case, then you can simply look up that network and see if it is a fit for your blog.
Once you start finding blog networks, you can apply and then start to build relationships with fellow bloggers within that network. They can also be a valuable source for helping you find more resources for new product reviews.
Just be sure that you don’t apply yourself too thin and join too many networks all at once. Start slow and build as you become comfortable with each one. Keep good records so you don’t forget what networks you found to be most valuable. There may come a time when you have to narrow the list of who you work with because you have too many resources. Knowing which blog networks were the most beneficial to your blog will greatly assist you in knowing which ones to keep and which ones to do away with.

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.

How to Find Review Opportunities with and without a blog.

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.

Here comes the hard part. Now you will have to search through the company’s website looking for their contact information. If possible the best option would be to find a Media or PR contact email. If you can’t find such, then using the normal contact method would be your next best option. Once you have a contact email then you can pitch to the company about hosting a review on your site. How do you pitch to a company? Read on about Cold Contacting.

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.

How to Find Review Opportunities with and without a blog.

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.

If after you have exhausted all your searching abilities on the website and simply cannot find a media contact; then use the generic contact information. When you do this you will want your first sentence of your “pitch letter” to say you are looking for a Media or PR contact. This way, if customer service receives your email, they will know immediately which department to forward your information to.

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.

How to Find Review Opportunities with and without a blog.

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.

Once you get that long awaited and glorified email, don’t blindly accept without first considering if it really is right for your blog. You have drawn that company’s attention for a reason. Your blog is now getting noticed. If the offer from the company does not fit within your blog’s niche, as painful as it will be, you need to decline the offer. You never want to stray away from what is brining you success. The more popular you are as a blogger, the more offers you will receive in your email. It may be the first email from a company you receive but it won’t be the last.
If the product the company is offering you is within your niche than by all means, if you have the time to give the article the quality it deserves than go ahead and accept the review opportunity. Work out the details with the company as to when the product will be sent, their expectations for the review, and what links they require in the article.
How to Find Review Opportunities with and without a blog.

Image courtesy of [nokhoog_buchachon] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As you continue to grow, you will find you receive more and more emails from companies requesting you work for them. Remember to always stay true to your blog niche, and never sell yourself short. If you like the product but simply don’t have time at the present, tell them such. Let them know you would love to work with them but you are booked and would love to have them contact you again in the future. Or you can say, “I would love to work with you, but I am schedule through (date) and would not be able to review your product until (estimated date when you could possibly accept the job). If you would still like to proceed, I’d love to work with you.”
Sometimes you will find you just can’t use all the offers that come to your email box. In which case you will want to kindly decline letting the company know that although you appreciate their interest you simply don’t think their product is a good fit with your blog, or you don’t have time to review their product.
It is alright to turn jobs down if they don’t interest you. That may sound crazy as you are just beginning and would love any kind of review opportunity, but you need to know it is alright to turn jobs down and you shouldn’t accept jobs unless you are truly interested in the product and it would be a good fit with your blog’s niche.

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.

How to Find Review Opportunities with and without a blog.
How do you seek products for review on your blog? Share your tips with us below.
Do you have any questions on how to find review opportunities? 

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How to Blog: How to Write Product Reviews

Wednesday 22nd of June 2016

[…] How to Find Review Opportunities with and without a blog. […]

Liz

Friday 11th of October 2013

Thanks for sharing all these. I want to do reviews as well so I'm checking the sites.

Stefanie

Sunday 24th of February 2013

LOVE this article! Writing pitch letters and wanting companies to contact you can all get very overwhelming. I love your post because it helps me keep perspective! Thanks!

Nate Kutsko

Sunday 27th of January 2013

This is also great information from the perspective of a new business trying to connect with bloggers! I'm searching for opportunities to supply my original wooden cutting board products for blogger reviews and giveaways. Thanks for giving me plenty of websites to research.

Michelle Bowman

Monday 7th of January 2013

Thanks for these tips! I recently joined www.thenursemommy.com as a contributing blogger and am starting the process. I bookmarked this link so I can refer back to this in the future! Thanks again!

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