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5 Ways to Get PR samples to Review

I have been asked quite a few times, how I do get PR samples to review on the blog. So I decided to write a post, and I hope it informs many new bloggers, who may have a desire to write product reviews, but have no clue on how to get started with getting PRs to notice their blogs and send samples.

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I received an offer to review a homemade hair oil in 2013. That was the first of many PR samples I received to review on the blog, and my blog was only few months old then. Since them, I have worked with quite a couple of PRs, and received various samples to review. Here are some ways you could get on the radar of the PRs:

 

Write Good Regular Content

This should go without saying, but unfortunately it still needs to be said. For you to get on the radar of the brands and their PRs, you need to have good content and your blog needs to be regularly updated. So if you content is fab but not regular, lets say you don’t post for weeks, surely no one may want to gift you a product. Same thing applies if you content is regular, say you post every day or every other day, but your posts are not good enough.

What is the definition of a good content I hear you ask? That is subjective, and it depends on your niche. So as long as your blog posts are well written, with nice pictures, and you are informing, entertaining or doing both, you should be fine.

Grow Your Following

Unfortunately no matter how good a blogger you are, or how fantastic your blog content is, it is not good enough for the PRs, if no one is reading your blog. It is all about the numbers most of the time, because they want maximum coverage for their clients. So work on increasing your following and think of ways you could get more people to read your blog.

Some ways to grow your following and increasing your views are:

Reading and commenting on other blogs.

Following relevant people on social media

Publishing great content

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Sharing and resharing your blog posts on social media during peak times.

 

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Work on your Photography

I am still improving my photography, and not where I want to be at yet but I am a lot better than when I started. PRs want you to photograph the products they send you, and they want amazing shots. So for you to get on their radar, you should have amazing photos  or try to. Taking with your iPhone may not be good enough, you may need a DSLR, photo editing software, tripod, photo props and so on, but you don’t need them all to have excellent photos, but having them all won’t hurt either.

Also, PRs aside, most times your readers want to see the pictures on you or through your eyes. So if you are going to showcase a wig, I want to see it on you, if you are going to showcase a lipstick, I want to see a swatch and see it on your lips as well.

 

Follow PRs

Following PRs on social media is a good way to get their eyes on your blog, but you have to make sure you have done all you can do to make your blog worth reading, before you chase them. So following PRs on Twitter and Instagram is a good idea. Saying a cheeky hello won’t hurt as well. How do you know who is a PR? It is usually in their bio, a quick search on Twitter would bring a few up, and you can take it from there.

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Review What You Have

So I saved the best tip of all for last. Start reviewing what you do have and those PRs in your niche will notice you.

 

You can read more blogging tips in my eBook – How to Cash In as a Blogger, available to download on Amazon for £3.44, and free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. If you do download, thank you, and remember to leave me a review because I need it. Also, if you are considering charging for product reviews, have a read to get ideas on what you could charge.

 

Thanks for reading and have a lovely week.

 

 

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6 PR Tips for Working with Bloggers

So last week, I wrote about blogging tips for working with PRs, which was very well received by bloggers. So for today, I decided to write about PR tips for working with bloggers, because lets face it, some of these PRs are completely clueless when it comes to working with bloggers. We need to hold their hands, and I hope they find this post useful.

 

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Provide ALL information in the First/Second Email

I hate it when I receive an email with for a blog request, and I have to keep asking for all the required information to be sent. It is off-putting guys. I like working with PRs that send full or part information out in the first email to see if I am interested, and send the rest of the information, if not already sent, in the second email. It just shows they have their head on their neck, and they know what they are doing. So information like – budget, type of link required, anchor texts if any, deadlines, and so on, I need to know in  the second email, so I know if I am going ahead or not.

I hate having to go back and forth many times, when such information should have been sent in full earlier. It is just a waste of my time and it puts me off working with such PRs in the future.

 

Do Not Hide the Fact That You Do Have a Budget

I hate it when PRs hide the fact that they do have a budget for a campaign, and try to see if they can get me to work for free. This has happened so many times now and I find it so annoying and dishonest. I know many bloggers fall for this trick because many are uncomfortable talking about money and I really don’t know why.

Well I am VERY comfortable talking about money so I don’t fall for this trick but it still gets to me. Many PRs will approach you with a request, and won’t mention anything about a budget until you do, and then they say yes they have £X budget for this, and I am like, why did you have to wait for me to ask you? Surely, you should have said that in your second email when I asked for all the necessary information to be sent. This puts me off working with such PRs as I find them dishonest, and looking for inexperienced bloggers to rip off.

 

Pay Us On Time

Pay bloggers when you say you would. If its 24 hours, pay in 24 hours. If its 20 working days, pay in 20 working days. There are so many media agencies and PRs that I have had the pleasure of working with and that do pay when they say they would. Digital agencies like Mediaworks, and Bronco, pay invoices within hours of receiving them, which I find fantastic. I enjoy working with these agencies because I don’t have to continuously chase up payments, but these type of agencies/PRs are few and far in between.

I have discovered from personal experience that those companies/PRs that say they will pay your invoice in 30 days for example, hardly ever pay in 30 days. I usually have to chase the payment up daily and stalk them on social media to get it paid. Unlike those that say they will pay immediately they receive the invoice. I usually never have to chase payments up with those companies as they pay on the same day most times.

I am currently waiting on a couple of invoices to be paid, fingers crossed I will get paid within the agreed timescales.

 

Editorial Control

I hate it when PRs ask me to send a draft of a post before it goes live, and I always let them that is not going to happen, and they are free to go to the next blogger. I do not allow anyone else have editorial control on my blog. If you need to read a similar blog post, I would happily send you a link from the blog archives but sending a draft before publishing a post doesn’t sit well with me at all.

It makes me fill uneasy to send a draft of anything I write to anybody. No family member or friend read a draft of my book until it was live on Amazon. The only person to read a draft was my proofreader and editor. That is how I like to operate because I trust my instincts and judgement too much to ask for a second opinion when it comes to my work, and having someone else approve my work gets me anxious. Many PRs respect that, and I hope many more start to understand that.

Mutually Beneficial Collaborations

PRs need to understand that for a collaboration to take place, and for both parties to be happy, it has to be mutually beneficial. There has to be something in it for you and me, not just you. So you want me to write about your client, you need to pay my rates, you want me to review your products, I will pick the products I am interested in if possible, and you may need to pay an admin charge if required. You want me to attend an event, it has to be an event that would change my life, event I would enjoy attending, for me to drop everything and come.

The point am making is there has to be something in it for me, there is something in it for you already, if not you won’t be contacting me.

 

Be Personal

I understand PRs and SEOs are very busy, so some of them send general emails to many bloggers at once. That is completely understandable but I like to read personal emails every now and again. It catches my attention when you address me by my first name, and you metioned something personal about me or Fashion and Style Police, that confirms you have read my blog and done your research. It shows you know what you are doing and I am so quick to respond to such emails.

 

So there you have it. My tips for PRs, working with bloggers. I hope you enjoyed reading it.

Please leave me a comment adding your tips. I will love to read about your experience working with PRs/SEOs.

Thanks for reading xoxo

 

 

 

 

5 Blogging Tips for Working with PRs

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Bloggers and PRs need each other to succeed. We bloggers need PRs and brands to notice our blog, and there are so many of us competing for the attention. PRs on the other hand, need to find the right bloggers to showcase their client’s products/services, and there are so many options, on both sides, so we kind of need each other really. However, I do find there is a bit of a love and hate relationship between most bloggers and PRs these days and I wonder why.

Could it be because some bloggers think too highly of themselves and behave unprofessional? Could it be because many PRs try to take advantage of bloggers, especially the new or less established ones, so many of us have our guard up as soon as a new PR comes in contact?

Who knows, but I feel a little friction in the blogging/PR relationship so I decided to share 5 tips for working with PRS that has worked for me and gotten me repeat business:

 

Be Polite

I know sometimes being polite maybe hard especially when you keep getting rude, unpersonalised emails from PRs asking for all sorts for little or no compensation. I try to remain as polite as possible when responding to my emails, and believe me I do receive all sorts of emails, with crazy requests, and no budget, but I bite my tongue and draft my email in the most polite tone possible, before pressing send. If I am unable to remain polite, I simply ignore the email, than send a rude response.

 

Respond to Emails in a Timely Manner

I aim to respond to my emails within 24 hours. I get emails from readers and PRs, so I check my emails regularly, because I like to be on top of my blog, guess I am addicted. I find it funny when some bloggers claim not to respond to emails in the evenings or at weekends, because I do. Call me weird, but I have had requests for sponsored posts in the evenings and weekends, time zones are different and some people prefer working round the clock, so it will be silly of me to ignore the possibility of receiving such emails. As long as I am awake and free, I will respond to an email even if it is 3am.

 

Ask for ALL the details for the Campaign

So get the post deadline date, the number of links required in the post and the type of link; are they do follow, or no follow, how many words or pictures required, any anchor texts, payment date agreed and so on. It is best to get all the required information so there is no room for assumption, and so you can decide if you will be going ahead with the campaign or not. It also makes you look professional when you ask these questions. It makes you look like you know what you are doing.

 

Stick to your End of the Deal

So if you say you are going to publish the post next week, make sure you do. If you say you are going to email once the post is live or once you get the samples, make sure you do. Your word is all you have when dealing with people online. Majority of the correspondence between bloggers and PRs, are done via email and Paypal, so ensure you fulfil every promise you make, when you say you would.

 

Don’t Name & Shame

No matter how badly a PR has treated you, try not to name and shame on Twitter or wherever. I know this is hard, I find it so hard myself but it is best not to. Naming and shaming won’t score you any points with new PRs and brands, and the internet world is very small. Many PRs move in the same circles, so it is best to heed to this advice.

 

These are my tried and tested blogging tips for working with PRs. Download my book here, to read more about how you can start making money from your blog.

 

Do you have any blogging tips to share? Sound off in the comment section.

Thanks for reading and have a great week.

 

 

 

 

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