Saturday, January 10, 2015

Freebies: Tips on Becoming a Product Reviewer/ Blogger

Freebie Tips

Please Note:  This post may contain affiliate or referral links

Getting it "Free"

So, just in the past two days I've received a couple of messages asking how to get into what I do.  First let me say, one of the ONE things I remember from Economics was the saying, "There's no "Free Lunch".  And so while a lot of times I will pay ZERO dollars for a lot of the products I receive, please don't mistake that for it being "FREE", afterall there's another phrase that pops in my head, "Time is Money".  

If you look at the time spent working for most of the products that I receive I probably don't even make minimum wage!  There are a bunch of ladies who do this on top of their "Real Jobs" and I honestly applaud those ladies for their determination and dedication, because it's hard enough to keep up when this is the ONLY thing you basically do.


First let me clarify, I am in no way an EXPERT on freebies.  NOT AT ALL.  For the most part, I've been in the right places and been told by other's the right places to go and I don't even take advantage of all there is to do.

Many Paths...

You do NOT have to be a blogger to get freebies.  So, if you are truly wanting to break into the world of "Freebies", then you have to decide how much time you want to dedicate to "Freebies".  It IS time consuming, and no matter where you are getting your freebies, your pretty much going to have to "WORK" for it.

Before I get into a lot of the logistics:
You must disclose when you are posting about any freebies you receive!

You do NOT have to state: I got this FREE, but you do have to state that you received it for review.

NON Blogger Related Freebie Sites:

These are some of the sites that you can join where you don't have to have a blog to get freebies.  I'm not going to go into great detail about each site, most are pretty self explanatory.  A lot of these require a Facebook account and the amount of products that you receive can depend on how high your "Social Impact" score is (Social Impact: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).  

Building your "Social" numbers is one of the most important aspects of "Freebies".  If you think about it from the aspect of a company, you want to get your products seen by the most people possible and so the likelihood increases as the user's Social Numbers are larger.

The above sites are the "Least" invasive, although most will require that you share posts, etc. and have different requirements depending on the items and promotions you qualify for.  Smiley is probably one of the easiest sites to receive free products from!  A lot of it is random, I have been with Influenster for over six months and am only on my third campaign with them and I have over 4000 Social Impact!  A lot of factors are considered with sites such as these, including age, sex, social numbers, interests, etc.

Some of the Products I've received from the above sites:
Wet Ones, Tazo Chai Tea, Moda Vox Box (A mixed box with various products), snacks, baking soda, chapstick, Mary Kay ClearProof System, Brookside Chocolates, Zap! Cleaning supplies, and more....

Amazon Reviewer:

*A lot of Amazon Review opportunities require Amazon Prime Membership *

Click Here to Sign Up For a FREE TRIAL of:
 Amazon Prime (30 Days Free, $99/ yearly)
(A Prime Membership Gives you FREE 2 Day Shipping on Prime Products, Free Videos, Free Music and 1 Free Book a month)

If you have an Amazon account, you are elgible to become an Amazon Reviewer.  Amazon is a site where a lot of sales are contigent on customer's reading other consumer's reviews.  Products that have NO reviews tend to not sale well, and so a lot of companies will try to send out products in exchange for reviews to help build a customer base.

There are tons of Facebook groups and email subscriptions that deal with Amazon Reviews.  Some of these offers though aren't 100% Free and will sometimes have a cost associated with it, although most are very little money.  Products can range from free, to .20 to $5.00 and sometimes depending on the product maybe RARELY more.

If you are looking to become an Amazon Reviewer, it's good to have some reviews under your belt so that sellers can view your writing style, etc.  Most require that you have no less than 5 reviews under you belt.  If you don't have any Amazon Reviews, I would urge you to do so.  In order to write an Amazon Review, you must have purchased at least ONE item from Amazon (I'm assuming most everyone has purchased from Amazon before, even if it's just a book).

So, step one would be to create an account if you've not yet done so.  Then make a purchase (It could be a .99 Kindle book).  Then, search for items that you already own but maybe have just purchased through other sites and leave reviews for those products to get a little "Review History" built up.

It's important to remember when you are doing reviews to think of the person who may read your review and will likely make their purchasing decision based on your review.  So, you want to be as thorough and UNBIASED as possible.  It's important to state some facts as well as your opinions.  Giving important things you noticed about the product when you tested it, what worked and what didn't.  

Be Honest:  

Honesty is key.  When you enter into an agreement to provide reviews, some companies mistake this for "Getting a 5 Star Review", that's not how it works.  Some sellers will even go so far as to ask you for a 5 Star Review, if this ever happens, you should NICELY respond that "You cannot gurantee" a five star review.  That you will provide your honest and unbiased opinions.  

Trust me it's better to keep your integrity intact than to get some crap product.  In some cases the product may be a 5 star product, but for a seller to ask for 5 stars that shows that they may be lacking integrity and that's not the type of company I want to work with.  

Getting a BAD Product... 

A lot of times when you agree to review products, you are dealing with the sellers directly.  Most of the time they expect you to come to them if you have a problem with their products.  A rule of thumb is if you are going to rate something below a 3 star, that you contact them and explain why you cannot give them more than three stars and a lot of times they will ask that you not leave a review.  

There are ways to give a bad review and rate it 3 or 4 stars, but it's all personal preference and it's always a sticky subject.  I have luckily not received products that I felt were less than 2 stars (well, there was one).  However, if you are reviewing skincare or supplements, you can state your experience but note that all people react differently to different products and your experiences might not reflect someone else's and that you can only speak for YOURSELF and your experience and that just because you didn't notice great results doesn't mean that the product doesn't work.  Because that's the truth, when your dealing with body chemistry and skin we are not all created equal.  Some things may work beautifully for some and not so great for others.  That doesn't mean that a product doesn't work just because one person had a bad experience.

Review Quality:

If you were a consumer and were reading through reviews which review do you feel helps you in making an educational decision whether to purchase or not:

Example 1: Amazing speaker :) but not enough base. It is pretty loud and worth buying

Example 2
I have been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to review quite a few speakers in the past couple of months. While each have been great in their own ways, they all have their pros and cons.

Of the many speakers I have reviewed, I have to say that this speaker is TOP of the pack. It is a high quality item! You can tell without even turning this speaker on, that it was made with the best of materials and a lot of care went into the design of this product!!

The Exterior of this is a rubber / silicone type exterior, which makes it while not completely "Waterproof", keeps it safe from light water that might get on it. Example, like if you have it in the restroom and a little water gets on it, or light rain, etc. You definitely don't want to submerge it in water, but it's nice that it has this silicone cover! It also makes it scratch resistant, so your speaker will stay nice and pretty!!

SOUND: So, all of the other things are great.... But, what about the sound?? IT IS THE BEST! I promise you, this speaker has the best sound of any of the other speakers I've tested! It is so loud and crisp! I mean, my kids now get upset at me and come in my room to tell me to turn my music down. I was shocked by the huge sound that came out of this thing!

OK... Now to the one minor thing that I wish I could change. While, it definitely isn't a HUGE item for myself, the one thing I wish I could change would be to have individual buttons for volume control. As it is, you use the same buttons for Volume as you do for FF and Rewind. Which, it wouldn't be a NO SELL item for me, but it's just one of those small things that I wish I could change.

The buttons are easily accesible though, on the top of the speaker. However, to be able to charge and play, you'll need to lay it on it's side (it has a side for setting it down on it's side).

Overall: This is definitely the BEST speaker I've tried, I don't normally say words like best, but it's true in this case. I am obsessed with this. It was goiing to be my husband's until I got it, then it became HANDS OFF...

* I received this product for review purposes, however, my thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and my own!

When your doing reviews, the purpose isn't just to throw something up there to count as having done a review.  If you want to become an Amazon Reviewer, it's best to try to leave a detailed review of your experience.  Now there are some products that I've received that it's just hard to expand on. 

When you get a lot of reviews under your belt and your "Reviewer Rank" rises, you will begin to receive requests from companies for reviews.  So, that's why it's important to always try to leave your best work on your reviews.  You never know when a company is stalking Amazon Reviews looking for someone to review their products.

Amazon Review Sites:

A few notes on Amazon Reviews:

It is totally OK within Amazon to offer products in exchange for a review.  But, there are a couple of things that you should know when doing reviews:

  1. You MUST state that you received the product for review!!! (This is an FTC law, not just Amazon)
  2. You cannot be compensated other than a free product for a review
There are some sellers out there who are trying to pay for reviews.  ON top of them paying for reviews, the reviewers don't ever even get a product so these are literally FAKE reviews.  How can you review something you've never seen nor touched??  Beware of these sellers, people have been losing their Amazon accounts for leaving "$2 reviews" or Fake Reviews for which they were compensated to leave a review for products they never received.

Becoming a Blogger:

If you want to delve further into the world of "Freebies", blogging is also a great platform.  It requires a ton more work than traditional "Product Reviewers", but it can be a really fun experience!

I'm not going to go into great detail about becoming a blogger, because I feel this post is getting pretty long-winded and I'm not sure if it's something that hasn't been covered before by a multitude of other folks.  However, if you would like me to do a more "in depth" post, I will.

The number one thing when your blogging is to be "YOURSELF".  There are probably MILLIONS of blogs and bloggers, so you want to be yourself and have a unique voice.  You also want to always be honest and forthcoming with your audience.  I will say, if you are wanting to be a blogger, there are three main platforms that I would recommend looking into to get your "Blog" setup:
  • WordPress
  • Blogger (What I use)
  • Weebly
Each have their pros and cons.  One of the cons to WordPress is that if you use their "Free" site, you aren't elgible to become an affiliate and therefore cannot try to make an income from advertising or affiliate links.  So, that's a HUGE consideration to think about when you sign up for an account.  Blogger gives you a lot more freedom, but the User Interface may not be as pretty as a WordPress blog (you don't have to know much at all to have a pretty site on WordPress).  To make a prettier Blogger site, you are going to need to research templates and install a blogger template to really get a pretty site on Blogger.

Blogging Sites:

There are probably a ton of Blogging Sites, but these are the two I use most.  A lot of blogging requires pitching to companies yourself.  But, if your just starting out, then you are going to want to probably start out with these companies.

So, I really hope that I've provided some pertient information and didn't just confuse you even more than when you began reading.  This is a lot of ground to cover and probably should have been broken into different posts.  However, I wanted to give you the basics of "Product Reviewers" and how to get started.  I do not claim to know everything there is to know about the business of Product Reviews.  

I've been blessed to have been able to find something I love and am pretty decent at.  It helped me to be able to provide a better Christmas than I would have had I not been doing these reviews.  While I still need to figure out the key to making my blog "Make Money", I've had a great time being able to try new products and discover new brands.

Just Ask

If you have questions that I didn't cover or would like me to do a post to explain certain things in more detail, please comment below and let me know what information you'd like me to delve into deeper.

If at first you can't find it GOOGLE it.  Google has been my best friend for all things.  You can almost always find any answer by simply typing in that Google Search bar!!


  1. Great guide girl. Really helpful, beautifully put togther, and easy to read and follow. :D

  2. Aw Thanks!! Yes, I know. It's definitely a continuous learning curve. I really lucked up in getting in a Facebook Group where I discovered a lot of these things, including Tomoson. I hadn't been blogging long (maybe two months) before I discovered these things. I had 100 Amazon Reviews before I realized that companies looked for people to try their products!

    It's definitely more work than what those who don't do it think! I know a lot of folks just think we get all this free stuff.. BAHAHAHAHA :)

  3. Jess, this is phenomenal!!! I love how you made it very clear that while not paying out of pocket costs, it is certainly a lot of work and not "free" because your time is valuable!!! This is super helpful to newbie bloggers or those looking to get started!

  4. Appreciated your thoroughness. Just wanted to know if you are in the UK or the US? As I live in the UK and would probably not be able to get most things shipped here from US companies.