I’ve talked recently about selling advertising on your blog, and I thought it was time to talk about the other perks you can enjoy as a result of the audience and community you have built up.
I did write about bartering in some detail before and since then, we’ve really extended it. Do you have people who would benefit from advertising on your blog, but perhaps don’t have the budget? Why not do a barter deal with them? We have a series of deals in place which include wine, beauty treatments for my wife (though how anyone can improve her beauty is beyond me), restaurant meals, sports equipment rental and even car hire.
Products to review
Many manufacturers will lend you (and sometimes give you) products to review on your blog. It’s quite simple to contact their PR departments, make sure you get all the information they send out, write about it and get on their radar. I know some bloggers who get a constant stream of product delivered to them. I’m fairly low key in this regard, but I’ve had a lot of diving equipment to review for my diving blog, we get a constant stream of material for our travel blog and I even managed to borrow a Lexus car for a road test review.
It’s relatively easy to get books to review, particularly other blogger’s books, so start reviewing books on your blog regularly and make sure people know it’s something you do. Email publishers who specialize in your niche and let them know all about your blog’s readership, and they’ll often send you books to review prior to their publication. This is something I’ve only recently started doing, but I already have a backlog of books to read – sadly only a small proportion are actually relevant, but I’ll enjoy the others anyway!
Free entry to places
If you’re going to write about a park or an attraction, a quick email will almost always get you free entry. We haven’t paid to do anything since we started our travel blog – we’ve always selected places we want to share with the readers, and the owners have been only too happy to allow us in free to get some free publicity.
A word of caution
Don’t go crazy with this and don’t approach it cynically, or you’ll get a reputation as a freeloader. And remember, at the end of the day a free massage won’t put food on your table or pay your bills, so every potential client you take out of the game in this way is a lost paying client!
Having said that, if you can genuinely offer people value, retain your integrity by being honest in your reviews, and get some free stuff for yourself, then go for it!
You need to have a disclosure policy, ideally one which follows the recent FTC guidelines on the subject.
So come on, there must be hundreds more ideas – tell us about them in comments
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