If you are company looking to promote your products online with bloggers, you might think the best way to do this is to give them free product in return for a free review. While this is sometimes a good way to do business, you may not be realizing the best return on investment (ROI) when you do this.
You get what you pay for.
1. The reviews might be half-hearted. A blogger who is paid for her work (and yes, blogging is work) is more likely to want to do a bang-up job of promoting you and your product. If you are simply paying in product (and especially if you solicited the review rather than the blogger looking to do a review for you), then you might find the review to be lacking in anything other than backlinks.
2. Reviews are not the most popular posts on blogs. A plain old review of your product on a blog will not necessarily net you the name recognition and sales you are hoping for. If the post isn’t getting read, you won’t see much ROI. However, if you are willing to work with a blogger who might charge, but who is creative in her writing and weaves your product into her post in a way that engages her readers (and not just some search engine algorithm), you will find your product will become a household name much quicker.
3. Change how you see working with bloggers. Bloggers are producers and consumers in the online world. They know how to navigate social media and they are constantly working toward building a better blog. So, stop seeing bloggers as part of your free promotions department and begin seeing them as part of your advertising department. You would never dream of expecting your ad to go in a magazine for free, so don’t expect your ad to go in a blog post for free.
4. Larger blogs with a bigger reach typically charge. If you shy away from paying for reviews and advertising on blogs, you will miss their reach. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $300 a month for ad space and/or a review or sponsored post on a blog that has a large audience.
It’s difficult to change your way of thinking when it comes to paying bloggers, but when you are a homeschool company without the benefit of brick and mortar stores, you must use your advertising dollars wisely. It’s time you rethink the benefit of bloggers!
Are you a company that has utilized paid advertising on blogs? We would love to hear about your experience! In fact, you might consider writing a guest post!