Have you ever heard that bloggers get tons of free stuff? Every so often I’m asked how bloggers get free stuff, and how you can do it too. After answering messages and questions, I thought it would be easier to type it all into an article. Want to know how to get “free” things like a blogger? Here’s how! I’m sure you’ve heard…Bloggers get tons of free stuff, right? I hear that all the time. Not just from readers, or someone looking from the outside, but also from bloggers. One Frequent hashtag I see is #gotitfree and I occasionally see bloggers bragging about all their free stuff. So, you saw this and want to know how to get all the free stuff too? I’ll tell you all the secrets here, or a shortened version of all the stuff you need to know:
I’m extremely thankful that I can provide items for my children through this website, and really enjoy creating blog posts and taking photographs. It helps me stay home with my babies, maintain the crunchy lifestyle we enjoy and try and share new and really exciting products. I’ve formed some great relationships with companies, other bloggers and love taking photographs. For me, blogging isn’t about items. Sure, it’s nice to get a new cloth diaper for my baby, but I also enjoy the process. I love taking photos, testing items out with my family and sharing it with you! Every so often I’m asked about the product, and how to get review items like a blogger. Here’s how:
In order to starting getting all this free stuff bloggers get, first you need a blog. You can choose to use blogger or many website owners use wordpress. While blogger is a free startup, you will have to design your own layout, pick colors, choose font, page headings and basically design your entire website. There are variations in wordpress, however many bloggers choose paid options including website setup, hosting fees and of course purchasing a domain name. After you’re spent a few hundred dollars on your website (hopefully less), or designed you own and possibly purchased a .com or a .org, whatever floats your boat. It’s time to get some content going!
No company wants to send a “free” product to a blogger without examples of work or a reputation. It costs them time and money, and no one wants to chase a blogger down to get work published. Like many bloggers, I started out making product reviews of items I already had that my family really enjoyed. I wanted to share these items with others and spread the love. To do this, you will need a computer and a good camera. While some cell phones take decent photos, it’s ideal to have a regular camera and to get the best pixel quality. I have a Canon and purchased the package, but there are many less expensive models. I later added a tripod, some filters and a lighting setup to take indoor photos when it’s dim outside. This should only be a few more hundred dollars, maybe 2-3 depending on the equipment you purchased. Then…get snapping!
Once you’ve taken photos, it’s time to edit them and develop content. Photos can be edited either in a free program like Picasa or purchased software, you can start to add them to the article you’ve written. Make sure to watermark these photos in hope of reducing photo and content theft online. Also, I do recommend reading up on SEO (search engine optimization) and getting the keywords right in the beginning sentences to help people find you on google search. If you plan on linking readers into places to buy the items you’re reviewing and would like to earn funds from these sites: You will need to apply for and get accepted to affiliate programs. One of my favorite affiliate programs is Amazon! Once you’ve become an affiliate, you can start deep-linking reader into the products you’re reviewing, just remember to mark these “No follow” for google!
Having a company offer you free stuff. If a company contacts you and offers you product in exchange for work, you can e-mail back your press kit or media links with specifics on the visitors I mentioned earlier (I know a great guy who does Press kits starting at $45) or if you want to work with a company you will need to develop a pitch letter. What’s a pitch letter? It’s basically asking for a product in exchange for work on your website and social accounts. These social accounts, including facebook, pinterest, instagram, twitter, stumble upon, snapchat, vine, linkedin, periscope, youtube etc. are important to help drive traffic (visitors) to your website and to pitch a company. A company is much more eager to work with someone with 10,000 facebook fans as compared to 500. How do you grow these numbers? Giveaways are a great way to help traffic and grow social media follows, as well as creating quality content.
Beware of companies that e-mail demanding work (without free products) or manipulating you into writing articles for them without any form of compensation. I recommend having a separate e-mail address, your public e-mail, for filtering such requests and spam. Try not to waste too much time e-mailing these companies back, many bloggers just ignore the e-mails but some of the requests can be deceiving. Bloggers frequently get requests to promote kickstarter campaigns, to place links on their website from businesses and request to use published content on other websites without compensation. In addition, many of these companies are shocked if you turn down their offer to do work without compensation, and as a result many bloggers have taken to not responding to these e-mails at all.