Waaaayy back in January, I was bored and asked my readers for questions that I could make a blog post out of to answer.  Well, Erica asked the question about how I got started doing product reviews.  I am finally getting around to answering her and I am SO sorry for taking so long!  I was trying to think about what to write, how to say it and how to sound smart.  I gave up on that.

Once upon a time, my husband told me I needed to start trying to earn some money online.  He had “heard” of people making TONS of money reviewing products and generating ads.  He told me to research.  And I did.

Lucky for me, I came across a fabulous community of bloggers where I was able to read and learn and share.  At that time, Trisha had many articles on her blog (you can probably search back for them now) about the ins and outs of “mom blogging.”  It was all very exciting and I had so much fun trying to turn my regular ole’ family blog into something else.  Something more.

I signed up for a few blogger groups like My Blog Spark and Child’s Play PR.

While I waited for some dream company to contact me and offer me a gazillion dollars I did a few “reviews” of stuff I had around the house.  These posts were not that great.  But it gave me a little practice and let potential marketing agencies know that I was willing to talk about products.

Then one day, I got an email.  It was a little company, offering a little giveaway and off I went.  It really just grew from there.  About this time last year I was doing a ton of giveaways and reviews.  It was FUN, but also a LOT of work (yes, people…this is WORK).  It got overwhelming.  So I had to learn that it was okay to say “no” once in a while and now I am a lot more picky with what I agree to do.

If you make it known that you are willing to test products, the PR people will find you.

Review blogging has gotten extremely competitive lately so be sure to find a group of people that you can work together with to build your audience.  It’s best to make friends and not enemies!  Stay true to yourself and your beliefs, don’t sell out for a buck.  I still don’t make very much money and I work hard everyday to build my blog, make connections and meet friends.  That is what is important to me.

Heather wrote a post recently about making your blog the best it can be so that you can try to stand out amongst the masses.

Kathleen has a great guideline for writing a pitch letter for when you get brave enough to start contacting companies yourself.

If you are a blogger and have some of your own tips to share with newbies, feel free to leave them in the comments.  I would appreciate it!