Reviews, Giveaways and More…

Shopping Bag Photo by Retail Packaging

I’ve had several reviews, giveaways and such on my blog lately. Is this the focus of my blog? Absolutely not! A sponsor asked me the other day how readers know that they can trust my reviews. That answer is what prompted this post.

Let me share with you what works for me in relation to reviews, giveaways and more.

As a Blog Reader:

  • I read blogs long before I became a writer of one.

  • I like giveaways but not ones that require you to subscribe or a million other requirements. I like them simple and if the content of the blog is good, I may subscribe but I don’t subscribe to enter giveaways. I try to make the  giveaways I host easy to enter.

  • I have found many great online stores and websites through blog promotion.

  • I have found out about some really great products because of reading a blog that the item was reviewed in.

  • I (generally) trust a review on a mommy blog much more than any commercial on TV and it influences me much more.

  • When I am looking to make a purchase, I look to some blogs that I read and trust for suggestions. A big one for me was cloth diapers. Depending on what you go with, it’s a sizeable investment. I wanted to know what worked for others before making my own purchase.

  • I do not trust reviews of products from sites whose sole purpose is promoting products. You can tell when a site reviews every single thing that comes their way.

As a Blog Writer:

  • I only review products that are relevant to my life and what I perceive to be relevant to my readers. I have declined offers.

  • I only accept products which I am interested in and are something that I would quite possibly buy anyway.

  • I review products that I have bought myself – they aren’t always free.

  • I always have a “suitable test period” (about a month). I want to give as accurate an idea of how things work as I can. I want my readers to know that I am not simply promoting this to get a free product but that I am really putting it to the test.

  • I do an honest review of them. If I have suggestions for the product, I would (and have) included them in my review.

  • Though I generally receive a product to review and usually keep said product, I am not in any other way compensated for the reviews. I am not saying it is wrong for bloggers to be compensated, simply that I am not.

  • I am not just looking for free stuff. I love trying new things but don’t want to accumulate more ‘stuff’.  I am trying to de-clutter my life. If I don’t believe it to be useful or worthwhile, you won’t see it here.

  • I do try to include a giveaway with the reviews.

  • In my current series, Set for a Sizzling Summer, I am including many featured products and giveaways. I am not writing the series for the products but rather the products and giveaways are to enhance the series and make it fun for readers who are following it and hopefully help them find new products that would work for them or a retailer that they may not otherwise have found.

Do you do product reviews and host giveaways? What are your thoughts? As a reader, how do you feel about reviews and giveaways? Can you have too many? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

One comment

  1. Hi Jenn! I'd love to do reviews but I'm not sure how to go about it. I would definately go by the same guidelines you set. If I don't need it, I wouldn't review it.
    I like reading reviews on blogs about Canadian companies I would otherwise not know about. It's handy to know what's out there!

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