Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to Advertise on Blogs

Did you read this news story that was published recently?  The woman asked for a free Christmas dinner for her family of 5 in exchange for her promotional services via Facebook, her website and Instagram.  For some reason this was reported as scandalous.  People started commenting that she was "tacky", "tasteless", "a joke" and more.  For me I really felt the scandalous part was the restaurant releasing her email.  Why didn't they just decline and move on?

I think part of the problem is that there is a phenomenon of average people starting blogs in order to get free stuff and it's somewhat nauseating.  I've had a few bloggers contact me over the years asking for a free doll in exchange for a blog post reviewing my product.  I don't think I have ever said yes.  I didn't say no because I have anything against anyone asking, or because advertising on blogs isn't successful.  I have had many successful experiences advertising on blogs.  In fact the reason I am writing about this topic is because I'm gearing up to start another advertising campaign at this moment.  I'm looking into different options on blogs and other sites. 

First and foremost, blogs are looking for content.  Less known blogs are looking for stories to fill their posting slots.  This means you shouldn't always need to pay something, or give away something, in order to get onto a blog.  On Tuesday Mr X Stitch featured me on their blog for their "Too Cute Tuesday" slot and I don't consider them an unknown blog at all.  Post your photos on Flickr, join groups and post your photos to the group, post on Pinterest and Facebook, all of these will get your work seen by bloggers looking for content.  You can also email blogs directly, but if you employ this strategy make sure that your content is a good fit for the blog.  Have a professional letter that lets the blogger know why your product or idea is a good story for their blog.  For more on how to pitch your product to a blog read this article.  

Of course it's much nicer when wonderful blogs like Mr X Stitch approach you first.  I wish more awesome blogs would approach me so I don't have to do all the searching and writing myself.  Above I told you I have never said yes when a blogger approached me for a free product.  Here is why I said no:  

1.  Amount of followers/visitors on the blog
You can usually see the amount of followers a blog has on their page.  In addition, the blogger approaching you should give you some statistical information such as their amount of monthly page views, unique visitors, etc.  For me this number has to be over 1,000 AT LEAST but preferably over 5,000.  I have 123 followers on my blog.  I'm pretty sure the only people who read my blog are my Mom and the lovely Carla.  I would never expect anyone to pay me money to advertise on my blog.

2.  Infrequent posts
I saw a review blog during my research yesterday that had 22 posts in 2103.  That's an entire year of 365 days and the blogger only posted 22 times.  If you only blog 22 times in a year no one is reading your blog and therefore won't read about my dolls either.

3.  Posts are only reviews or giveaways
If your blog is only a front for receiving free things I won't advertise with you or give you product.  The main reason is because most likely all your readers want is something free.  Those are not customers.  If there isn't interesting content on your blog, no one is reading it.

4.  Review photos
Once I received a solicitation from a blog asking for a free doll so she could review it and feature me.  When I went to have a look at her blog I was appalled by the review photos of the products in her posts.  One product was positioned on a dark dirty carpet with a dog walking by and visible dog hair on the carpet.  Another photo showed her baby laying on the same carpet wearing whatever product it was she was reviewing.  The photos were dirty and unappealing.  Never give your product to someone that will show it in a bad light.

The bottom line is to weigh the cost versus potential customers.  If you don't feel that the review will result in viable future customers then its really not worth the money.

Oh and hippity hop the bunnies are coming...


  1. Hi!!!!! My mom doesn't read mine!!!! She is tech challenged!!!! The bunnies are too sweet!!!!! So tiny!!!! Thumbleleena bunnies!!!!! Love them!!!

  2. I really do appreciate your comments and support Carla. Ha ha about your Mom...mine is internet crazy now but needs a lot of help figuring things out now and again. :)