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how to: ask for a product review

one of my many tasks in my new gig as a virtual assistant has been to help handmade artists decide on blogs to offer products to for a review. i have offered a couple of products to bloggers to review on their blogs, but i've never asked to do one.

it appears that lots of folks (mainly product review bloggers) just send out mass messages to people asking for a product. i'm here today to give you a little insider knowledge that will probably help you get your foot in the door with business owners.

wow to request a product for review at neatheringourfest.com

1. do a little research!

i have seen many messages that just state: hi! i love your product and think my readers would love it to. i'd like to review it, blah blah blah. this immediately tells me that you don't even really know what the product you are requesting is.

take an extra five minutes to look at the store front and read a little about the product before you go all willy-nilly with the mass messages. addressing a product by its name will do wonders for you. showing that you know even just a tiny bit about it will go further to guarantee that the business owner believes you really like the product and that you just don't want free stuff.

2. give lots of information!

i've filtered through lots of emails that don't include a link to the blog or youtube channel. how on earth am i supposed to know where to find you and check out your pretty little spot on the internet if you don't tell me. people (generally speaking) aren't psychic and if they have to take the extra step of hunting you down or asking where your blog is then you most likely aren't going to get the chance to review anything.

keep this as a little checklist to mark off and make sure you don't miss anything:

*email address
*blog/youtube url

yep. that is really all they need.

3. have a somewhat professional email address!

it's quite alright by me if you want to be mizzghettobootythang@mail.com with your friends, but if you want to be taken seriously when asking for a review, consider setting up a more professional email address just for reviews. email addresses are free all over the place so there is really no excuse to not do this.

4. consider your blog design!

now i'm not saying you need to drop hundreds or thousands on a beautiful blog design. however, if your blog is full of blinking ads, horrible fonts, terrible colors, sparkly tinkerbells (for real), is hard to navigate or has a terrible layout, a business owner is not going to want the product they have worked so hard to perfect to get lost within all the buzz on your page. keep it simple. less is more. you get my drift?

5. have a disclosure page!

it is so, so, so important (in my opinion) for me to know 100% that readers understand your disclosure policy. your review should be thorough but more importantly it should be honest. if for any reason they think your opinion has been affected by compensation then a business owner isn't going to want to work with you. they send their products out for honest reviews so they can either keep doing what they are doing or make the necessary changes to make it better.

having a disclosure policy protects the blogger and the business owner. have one and make it clear and easy to find from the home page.

6. actually use the product!

the best way to give a thorough review is to use the products. seems simple right? but i've seen lots of review where the product is taken out of the box, shown to the reader in the package, maybe opened and smelled and then that is it.

come on now. how am i supposed to know if that lotion will make my skin baby soft, if that juice will turn my tongue orange, or if the earrings are poor quality.

when you ask for the review, let them know it will be a couple of weeks so that you have time to try out the products and make sure of their quality and likeability before you post about it.


what are some other tips you have for asking? have you had an extremely good or bad experience? i'd love to hear about it! :)


  1. This post is spot on!

    As a {former} handmade biz owner I can personally vouch for some of these. When I was contacted with what seemed like a mass emailing where the person didn't mentions me or my goods in specific, I never even acknowledged the email. If they couldn't take the time to let me know that they were interested in MY product to review, not just A product, then I certainly wasn't going to spend my time making and sending them my goods.

    Thanks for the informative article, because now I am on the other side of the situation, where I will be contacting companies for products to review on my blog. SUPER helpful.

    Happy friday, lovely!!

  2. Great tips. I do most of these except the disclosure page. I usually write at the bottom I was sent this product but it is my honest opinion. Is that good or should I have an actual disclosure page? Thanks for the tips.

  3. These are great tips! Thank you!
    Sometimes I feel so forward asking to do a review. Obviously I like the product and would like to share it with my readers but I feel bad asking for free stuff. LOL.
    I've started to offer free ad space with the review in exchange for a giveaway. I think that's totally fair. A win-win situation.
    But even still, if I contact 10 stores, maybe 1 or 2 will positively respond. How can I increase these stats?

  4. These tips are fantastic! It absolutely drives me insane when I get random emails asking for me to send products for their review and they clearly aren't paying attention OR they LIE to me.
    Two examples:
    1. I received an email. It started out with: "If you would be kind enough to send us samples, I would write about it." and was told she was a "big time blogger" and I go to her blog and she has 30 followers............uh, did you really think I wasn't going to come to your blog? (and she had a terrible design, which just proved her lack of being a big time blogger like she mentioned!)
    2. I get an email that says "I found your shop through a link up." It was MY link up and she didn't even catch it? She was kind enough to mention one of my products in the actual post which was great but still. PAY ATTENTION people!

    As you have probably seen, I started the A-List a few months ago - which is a resource for shops that choose to be submit their items, have them review, be promoted like crazy, etc. I make the A-List known by tweets, my blog and social media outlets - but I don't typically ask for it. Since my service offers more than just one review for their product, I probably could ask and get a decent return but ultimately, it's a promotional resource for the shops that want it - and I'm SUPER picky when adding someone to the A-List. It's hard but at the same time, I want to only promote shops with good products and integrity. If they don't have it, I'm not interested.

  5. So I think I might have peed in my pants laughing at this (okay, so not really but....) it is SO true! You really got me with mizzghettobootythang@mail.com LOL

    This rings true even with people that approach me for giveaways who I have never heard of and don't take the time to even know/talk about what I am selling. How do they know they want to give it away if they just visited my shop for 5 seconds or my blog to get my email address FOR THE GIVEAWAY?


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