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What Goes Into a Blog Review and What It Can Do for Your Business

by Regan

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What Goes Into a Blog Review and What It Can Do for Your BusinessMany brands know what a good blog review can do for their business. They have the money to take the chance and in the end reap the rewards. A new start-up or a work-at-home mom may not really know how it can benefit them in the long run. They may see it as giving away a free product that they may not necessarily be able to afford, but let me assure you that the product you send for review is not free. 

Yes, there are some bad apples out there who decide to start-up a blog to try to get some free stuff. Let me assure you that they are the minority. If a blogger approaches you for a review opportunity, look over the blog in question. If they seem to work with a lot of brands then they can be trusted to follow through. Look over their past reviews and if you like what you see, take the chance. A good blog review is worth its weight in gold. 

The product you send for review is payment for the blogger’s time. You don’t want to give your work away for free but neither do we. A good blog review isn’t the same as writing up a quick, “I like this product” on Amazon. Here is what goes into a blog review and why it can help propel your business or product.

Photography

Most bloggers will take their own photos of your product so your new potential customer can see it from all angles. They can get a better idea of size, quality, and features through a blog review than they can on a product website where they can usually only see the item from one angle. Depending on the type of item, this may involve taking a lot of photos. If it is a product that is for children, double the amount of photos unless said child is especially cooperative.

Editing Photos

As many people know, photography doesn’t end when you snap the picture. First, we need to go through all of the photos we took to decide which ones we want to use. Then we may find that the lighting, white balance, etc. may be off and needs to be adjusted, size needs to be adjusted, they may need to be cropped. This takes time.

Writing 

Writing about the product also takes time. When I write a review I kind of do a “brain dump”. I write blindly and worry about cleaning it up later.

Editing Copy

For me this is more time-consuming that writing my initial review. I edit over the course of a day or two on average. I tend to be wordy so I remove sentences and paragraphs, move wording around and make lots of changes from my original draft. This could end up being several hours of work to write just one review for one product.

Social Media Promotion

Once the blog review is finished and published the blogger will then share the review across social media. This gives you exposure and people who trust what said blogger has to say will then be interested in your product and may decide to purchase it. 

Giveaways

Giveaways also shouldn’t be thought of as giving away your product for free. Giveaways give you more opportunity for even more social media exposure. Since there are very often daily Tweet options in a giveaway that means that not only will the blogger be spreading the word about you, so will her fans. Then when the lucky person who wins your giveaway gets to try your amazing product, they may buy more or even better, tell all their friends how awesome you are. 

Search Engine Results

Depending on your blogger’s Google page rank, keywords used and other factors the blog review may be higher in search engine results than your page. The Internet is forever so this means that you could get noticed long after the review has been published and promoted when you may not have been otherwise. 

So if you are considering the option of having a blogger review your product, please remember that you aren’t giving them anything for free. In fact, in many cases the retail value of the product being reviewed may equal about minimum wage (or less) for the blogger when you consider the time that they have invested in publishing a quality review for you.

 

 Image courtesy of smarnad at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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17 comments

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17 comments

Shannon Stubbs November 7, 2013 - 6:24 pm

Great post! Some people really don’t understand how much time and effort goes into a blog review. I just was telling my friend today how much time I spend on average on my blog each month, and the $$ that I actually get out of it.

I actually just had somebody tell me yesterday, I am going to start a blog this summer, I will have some free time so whenever somebody contacts me to review something I will have time….ummm, still going to have that free time. I can’t tell you how much time I put into writing quality reviews and posts before somebody actually contacted me about doing one.

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Regan November 8, 2013 - 8:17 am

I used to get pitched here and there but I am just finally starting to get pitched more often and for better items in the past few months after doing this for about 2½ years. I love the perception that people have about blogging. For me, I still consider it a hobby because I don’t make enough to support myself with it but I hope to one day be able to consider this my job.

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Carolyn November 7, 2013 - 6:29 pm

Don’t forget the time it takes to actually test the product, as well! The amount of time spent varies from one blogger to another, but we take copious notes on how the product performs in different scenarios (and each scenario is replicated multiple times, and often across multiple children!) That’s a lot of data collection and tracking!

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Regan November 7, 2013 - 7:12 pm

Good call, Carolyn! I test products for a minimum of two weeks on average.

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Suzi Satterfield November 7, 2013 - 7:33 pm

Oh, I so agree with this. Just last night, a WAHM asked me about how common it was to give a blogger the product since that’s what they kept pitching her for. She didn’t want to “give her work away for free.”

I gave her a tactful response explaining that it’s not just a freebie. It’s compensation for work AND we pay taxes on those “free” items.

It took all I had to not just tell her point blank that we don’t work for free, either.

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Regan November 8, 2013 - 8:14 am

I’ve had very similar responses, Suzi. I also love the people who email me and ask me to share their articles for free. Yeah, let me get right on that. But that’s another post for another day 🙂

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AlannaB November 8, 2013 - 7:21 am

Great post!

Many of us have other jobs too (in addition to being moms), so most of my reviews are completed between the hours of 12am-3am. For a $15 diaper, the pay is under minimum wage. On average, I am reimbursed about $2 per hour for a cloth diaper after taking photos, sorting through all of them to select the best ones, and editing…not to mention that I am working with a sometimes fussy and uncooperative baby/toddler which makes the process extremely time consuming and difficult.

I am not meaning to complain…but many times when I think about responses like that, I should have videotaped the process from start to finish to show all of the effort that went into that review…

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Regan November 8, 2013 - 8:12 am

It’s true, the “pay” for a diaper review is pretty crappy. Thankfully cloth diaper posts are so popular so at least they pay off with pageviews. I think people think we do this for fun and while it is fun, I can’t take that amount of time away from my kids for nothing at all.

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Shanna November 8, 2013 - 7:51 am

Thanks for writing this. Blogging it all encompassing and people don’t truly understand how much goes into it.

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Alix November 8, 2013 - 8:07 am

Great post. A lot of effort goes into reviewing an item!

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Krystal November 8, 2013 - 8:58 am

VERY helpful post. Good photos are CRUCIAl. It’s almost a requirement to have an SLR if you want your blog taken seriously. I’m saving my pennies over here for one! 😉

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Regan November 8, 2013 - 9:29 am

I agree. I won a REALLY nice professional quality DSLR about a year and a half ago. Talk about hitting the jackpot! It was one of the best things to happen to my blog.

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Lauren November 8, 2013 - 9:24 am

You did an excellent job explaining how much work goes into reviewing. I find that the longer I’ve been doing it, the more time they take, as I spend more time editing photos, testing the product, promoting via social media, etc.

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Regan November 8, 2013 - 9:28 am

I’ve found the same thing, Lauren. When I first started I kind of slapped them together and even now I’m still working on new ways to write reviews. I just started a new format in my past 5 reviews or so. It’s a never-ending process, really.

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Anne Sweden November 8, 2013 - 10:18 am

Thanks for vindicating all those hard-working bloggers out there, Regan! I’m hoping and praying that a better camera will be in my blog’s future because quality photos represent both blogger and client so well. In fact, I would say that at least 50% of my work (sometimes more) is the photography! And every once a while it really pays off, like when I’ve had sponsors request permission to publish my photos for publicity on their web sites.

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Regan November 8, 2013 - 10:35 am

I would agree that more time goes into the photography for me as well. I just got finished attempting to photograph some trainers on a very uncooperative toddler. He’s more interested in hiding from the camera or running around. Continuous shoot is my best friend sometimes 🙂

I have also been asked to publish my photos a couple of times and it makes the time I take on them worth it when that happens.

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