E-Commerce: Should you pay bloggers to review your products? - by Doreen Martel - Helium
There has been recent legislation regarding product and service testimonials that bloggers are posting for review of your products. In the past, bloggers were free to post about any product or service that they felt warranted attention. Today, the FTC requires a blogger to disclose if they were given the product free or if they are paid for a testimonial about a product. So you might be asking yourself
why you should pay bloggers to review your products. Here is why:
Most bloggers are not blogging for fun, they are blogging to earn extra money or to make a living. You have three options which are:
1. You can send a blogger a sample of your product and ask for a review. Although the blogger is required to disclose they received your product at no cost, you will most likely find more bloggers willing to write a review;
2. You can offer an hourly wage for the blog post (or a one time fee). If you do this you will most likely have more control over the content, but it still must contain the disclaimer that it was a paid testimonial;
3. You can send the product and also pay for the time. For most bloggers, this is the option that they are most likely to ask for.
- If a blogger is inclined to write a product review or a review of services, they may refuse to be swayed by the person who is selling the product or service. This option is a "you take what you get:" proposition and you might not be too happy with the end result.
- Paying means you have more control over the content. Unless you happen to accidentally stumble over a blogger who has used your product (or service) and has really liked it, you may not get a testimonial or review that you really want.
- Most bloggers (not all) are professionals. If a blogger is a paid reviewer, chances are they receive the product (or service) at no charge, they write the review and are paid for it, and they are likely making revenue for their site as well.
- It is an insult to a freelance writer who happens to blog to request that they buy your product and then write a review. Many bloggers who are approached to do reviews of products or services will flat out turn you down for this reason.
Bloggers are often paid for their work. If you are approaching someone about writing a product review, you should discuss their expectations. Failure to do this could lead to misunderstandings. I am a firm beleive that you should pay bloggers to review your products.