It is a blogger’s prerogative whether or not they charge for reviewing a product. Many bloggers will waive a review fee if the product is high dollar or something they really want. But rarely is an unsolicited review something a blogger will tackle for free. In fact, I would encourage businesses to never ASSUME a blogger will work for product.
It is imperative businesses change their view of paying for blogger reviews. Doing so will result in a much better working relationship and often a much better, more far-reaching review.
Time and Energy
Bloggers who do great reviews put a lot of time and energy into writing their posts. They use the product, take photos, and write a post full of great SEO for the company they are working for. Total time for writing a review post can be anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours or more depending on how intensive the use of the product is and how extensive the post is. Bloggers deserve to be compensated based solely on the work involved in writing a review!
Search engines are the bread and butter of today’s companies. I wrote a review post years ago that still gets search engine hits today! As a result the company whose product I reviewed receives hits from my site and purchases as a direct result of my review. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the gift that keeps on giving!
Blogs Versus Traditional Print Ads
Companies typically have no problem paying for print ads because they somehow seem more legitimate, but as I mentioned above, the internet is so important to business today that print ads are no longer as useful as blog ads and reviews.
Top Ad Space
Reviews are top ad space in the blogging world. Your product gets a post all its own and is put in front the blogger’s entire audience. This is worth more than any sidebar ad or magazine ad out there!
When a company works with a blogger, they are tapping into the blogger’s loyal readership. These readers trust the word of the blogger and are much more likely to purchase a product promoted by their favorite blogger than a product they see in passing in some other venue. However, a company should never assume that their willingness to compensate for a review automatically guarantees the blogger will do the review. The best bloggers typically have a high standard of blogging integrity and will not put a product in front of their readers that they do not believe in.
I hope this article has clarified for both bloggers and businesses why paying for reviews is not a poor investment of advertising dollars. Companies need to rethink where their advertising dollars are going and bloggers need to not shy away from charging for their hard work and ability to reach the online consumer.
Join us for Twitter Tuesday this week (3pm ET on July 31, 2012) where we will be discussing writing and promoting reviews and digging deeper into the topic of compensation.