Oct 13, 2016
If you’re a blogger, your audience may be more valuable than you realize. When a company is attempting to gain exposure for a new product — especially one that costs more than a few dollars to produce — it’s rarely cost-effective to send a sample to anyone who asks. Instead, companies often choose to send samples to select bloggers whose followers are likely to share and talk about the content they read. Freebies for bloggers are everywhere and you don’t need a passionate audience of thousands to get them — you simply have to show that sending a freebie for exposure to your blog’s readers would be worth the expense.
Types of Freebies
As a blogger, the types of freebies that might be available to you largely depend on the topic of your blog, the engagement of your audience and the value of the items you usually write about. If you blog about cars, for example, be prepared that it could be a very long time — if ever — before companies begin to approach you about trying new products. At tne other extreme are digital products such as games and e-books; since digital products cost nothing to produce, they are more freely given away as freebies for bloggers. Except in the case of very costly items, you generally don’t need an enormous audience to receive freebies for review; you simply need an audience that a company would want to reach.
Know Your Audience
Before you begin to ask for freebies to feature on your blog, you need to understand your audience and how they engage with your content. An analytics product such as Google Analytics can tell you how many unique visitors you receive each month, how they find your blog and what content they usually read. If you communicate with your readers on social media, pay attention to the statistics showing how often your content is shared. A post from an influential blogger has the ability to create a ripple that touches many people, and that’s exactly what you want to illustrate when asking for freebies for your blog. Lastly, if your blog earns income through affiliate marketing, you may be most interested in getting freebies from companies with affiliate programs. In this case, it’s wise to pull reports from your affiliate networks showing the number of clicks and conversions generated by your previous reviews. If you have a strong track record as an affiliate marketer, a company could quickly recoup the expense of sending a freebie for your blog.
How to Ask for Freebies
It’s okay to be brief when asking for freebies for your blog. Companies are often deluged with requests for free samples and the person who reads your email will most likely come to a decision in thirty seconds or less. Be polite and to the point, explaining why your readers would be interested in the product and why you believe that sending a freebie for your blog would be in the company’s best interest. Attach a screenshot or PDF report showing the amount of traffic your blog receives. If you’re reviewed products in the past, provide the links to a few of your most successful reviews. Remember that every company has different policies regarding freebies for bloggers and you shouldn’t fear rejection. If you have an established blog with steady traffic, it won’t be long before you start to receive your first freebies to review.
Serving Your Audience
If you live in the United States, you shoud be aware that the Federal Trade Commission has issued guidelines suggesting that bloggers should disclose any compensation they receive for content they publish. This means that when you receive a freebie for your blog — regardless of whether or not the blog earns affiliate income — you should clearly disclose that fact to your readers. Clear disclosure builds trust and keeps your blog’s visitors coming back. If your reviews are honest and detailed, you’ll find that full disclosure will not hurt your affiliate income.