5 Money Making Tips for Writing Reviews

by Brian on March 2, 2010

Maybe it's because I'm a guy

So we had our second baby girl (Kaylee) on Valentine’s Day. Now we have two little girls under the age of two and less than 2 years apart from each other. Two kids is a lot different than one… especially when they are both so young.

The first time around when our daughter Zoë was born I had no clue about the baby industry. I thought it was all about diapers, bottles and boobies… Boy was I wrong.

There is so much crap out there for babies it’s overwhelming. And of course it’s all marketed as “must have” items.

With Zoë we bought (and received) tons of crap we didn’t need and never used. We bought tons of stuff I had never heard of, but turned out to be cool and very useful.

I guess it’s the guy in me, because at the end of the day for me it still boils down to diapers, bottles and boobies… But for the rest of the world, it’s all about consumption, consumption and more consumption.

The thing that’s really interesting this time around is Chrystal has her Happy Mothering Blog and it’s taken off beyond belief. She has a lot of followers, her uniques are on a steady upwards trend… Her blog is ranked #2 in Technorati for Family Blogs.

She constantly has businesses contacting her that want her to advertise their baby and children’s products on her site. So many baby products it’s crazy. Some are great, some are ridiculous.

Some of the businesses are small, stay-at-home mom businesses, others are mid sized to large companies… She’s even had a movie studio contact her.

A lot of the people solicit her for an exchange of goods or service for a post… Some pay $ to advertise on her site.

If you are new to this blog, we live in Montevideo, Uruguay in South
America… We’re from San Diego, but have been down here since May 2009 getting a few new life experiences.

I’m going to share with you a few tips that are making us money and getting us free quality items.

  1. Don’t be afraid to say no.
    Chrystal’s blog generates 2-3 inquiries each day for people who want her to review stuff on her blog. She only accepts a few of them because she doesn’t do more than one sponsored review per week.

    Doing reviews are cool, but if your blog turns into one big promotional blog, it loses what originally made it successful.

    You should only agree to do a review on things you truly believe would be good for you, your site and your audience. If you start reviewing pointless stuff, you’ll only get offers to review more pointless stuff rather than things that will actually be of value to your readers.

    Being selective is a good thing.

  2. Don’t be afraid to give a bad review.
    If something sucks, let the world know. If it’s good, let the world know that too. Obviously turn down things you think will suck, but not everything is going to be worth a good review.

    Your job is to write an honest review and give your honest opinion. Sometimes that will offend the person you’re writing the review for.

    Just because you got something for free doesn’t mean you have to give it a good review. Your responsibility is to your readers, not the business who gave you the free product.

    Think of it this way… if you were to follow your site and bought an item from a good review and the item sucked, how pissed off would you be? Would you ever trust that site’s reviews again?

    If you don’t feel comfortable publishing a negative review, you can also consider letting the company know that you can’t honestly write a good review of the product or service, and decline to write anything about it at all.

  3. Don’t be intimidated.
    Regardless of the size of the business… It’s still a person who contacts you. And they want something from you. They need you more than you need them.

    Remember you have the upper hand at this point. Use it to your advantage.

  4. NEVER PAY FOR ANYTHING.
    We laugh at businesses who say “We’ll give you a free $10 widget so you can write a post on it, but you have to pay for shipping.”

    Shipping stuff down here isn’t cheap. But neither is the quality of Chrystal’s blog.

    We’ve even had people offer a discount on a purchase for advertising their product on her blog. Wow… “Morons, your bus is leaving…”

    This goes back to you having the upper hand. If people think they can take advantage of you or get something for less, they will. Don’t take offense to it, that’s human nature. Be aware and prepared.

  5. Counter Offer.
    If you don’t like their offer, but think their product or service is something you’d like to write about, offer terms of your own. The worst thing that could happen is they say “No.”

If you produce quality content to a targeted market, don’t be surprised when someone offers to give you a product for a review.

What’s your experience in reviewing things?

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