The following post is from Melissa Batai
Many people start a blog with the expectation of making at least a decent side income if not, eventually, a full-time income. However, the sad truth is that for most people, making an impressive amount of money on your blog never happens.
Rather than shutting down the blog, as may be your first thought, consider making money on your blog another way—as a way to support your hobbies for free–assuming you like blogging and have the time to spend on it. You may not be making cash on your blog, but you’re still earning products and doing something that you enjoy.
Ways You May Support Your Hobbies
There are plenty of ways you can score free products with your blog:
As a book blogger. There are many publishing companies out there that will send you free books in exchange for your honest review on your blog. Some companies that you might want to consider reviewing for include:
Bethany House Blogger Review Program
Tyndale Blog Network
Blogging for Books
Of course, that is just a small list. There are many other publishing companies who offer free books for reviews.
As a food blogger. If food is your passion, you just need to blog regularly and grow your following. (Pinterest is great for this!) Once you do this, you may have PR teams contact you for reviews. I blog in part about gluten free and healthy living. I’ve had the opportunity to review many gluten free products as well as grass-fed bone broth and grass-fed beef.
As a parent. If you blog about kids, there are a variety of avenues open to you. If your child has a particular interest such as Legos or MineCraft, you may be able to review related products for free. If your child loves games, you may be able to review some of those. I write about my kids and homeschooling, and I’ve been able to review homeschool products and educational games and toys for free.
How to Proactively Get Reviews
Chances are, if you blog regularly and have grown your audience, you’ll have PR reps for various companies contact you. However, if that’s not happening as fast as you would like, there are other steps you can take.
Develop a PR friendly page. In an obvious location on your blog, develop a page that is friendly to PR firms. Give your terms for reviews as well as what items you prefer to review. Make sure that the PR team can find your e-mail as well as your social media pages. Develop a media kit that you can send to PR firms when they request it.
Approach companies yourself. Some of my favorite reviews happen because I reach out to a company through e-mail and ask them if they’d be open to doing a review. While the companies don’t always agree, about 50% of the time, they do agree, which makes the time and effort spent reaching out to them worthwhile.
Make Reviewing Worth Your Time and Effort
While you may be excited when you’re offered your first review, only choose to review products that you’re truly interested in. If you choose to review something just because it was offered to you but you have no real interest in the product, you’re just wasting your time and the manufacturers.
Do you review products on your blog? Are you able to cut your personal experiences by doing so?