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7 Reasons No One Reads Your Blog (Except Maybe Your Mom)

This guest post is by Beth Hayden of Blogging with Beth.

You wake up in a cold sweat.

You bolt upright and gasp for air.

You’ve just realized that your blog has only one true fan—and it’s your mother.

Your biggest fan

Image used with permission

Dear old mom reads all of your posts. She comments every week with supportive but embarrassing encouragement. She even calls to tell you what a great job you’re doing with your site and how much she loves your writing.

Your mom is great. She’s always there for you. But if she’s your only true fan, you’re in trouble.

Here are some reasons your mother might be your blog’s only reader.

1. Your blog doesn’t have enough tension

A woman recently came to me for help for her blog. The site detailed the life lessons she learned from her pet. I didn’t have any major complaints about her design. The writing was a little precious for me, but it wasn’t BAD. I couldn’t figure out exactly what feedback to give her on how to make her site more compelling.

Writing and creativity coach Cynthia Morris says blogs can really fall flat if they don’t have enough tension. Tension indicates there’s some central problem you’re trying to solve, some shared issue you want to work on together. Tension helps readers know they’re not in it alone—that they’re part of a team of superheroes working together to fight bad guys.

With my client’s pet psychology blog, there was no common problem holding the readers together, no psychic tension creating a line between the author and her readers. Tension creates interest. Without it, your readers won’t come back, because their curiosity won’t pull them back to your site.

Does your subject matter have enough tension? Is there enough to keep your readers coming back for more? Your mom won’t care about this, and your readers may not even be able to articulate it—but they will care. Find the tension, find your readers.

2. You’re not connected

Are you connecting with others in your field? Are you regularly reading other blogs in your niche, and commenting on their posts? Are you talking with your peers using social media tools, and making a real effort to truly connect?

Networking with other bloggers is one of the all-time best things you can do to make your blog better. Other bloggers can inspire and transform your writing and grow your audience through online and offline support. Once you start connecting, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without your online community.

Make sure you’re using your Twitter account for networking, instead of just wasting your time. (Hint: if you have to pause to consider the last time you brought in any business or made a critical business contact using Twitter, you may be wasting your time.)

Commit to making this a regular part of your blogging life, not an afterthought. Because it’s connections—both with other bloggers and with the influx of new readers you’ll get when you revamp your blog—that will assure that your mother is not the only one cheering you on from the stadium bleachers, not the only one waving a big #1 foam finger for your blogging team.

3. Your blog’s not getting enough exposure

Is your mom your only fan because she’s the only one who knows about your blog?

Your writing can be good enough to win a Pulitzer, but if you don’t have enough eyeballs seeing it, you still have to rely on Dear Old Mom for comment love. Are you truly doing everything you can to bring traffic to your site?

If you’re developing relationships with other bloggers (see #2), you can also start to approach your new friends for guest posting opportunities. Guest posting is one of the fastest ways to grow your audience and get new readers and customers. For advice on doing your research and approaching people for guest posting spots, make sure to check out Jon Morrow, the King of Guest Posting.

You can also use email marketing in conjunction with your blog, and both will benefit. Grow your list and you can grow your blog.

Make sure you’re truly doing everything you can to get more eyeballs to your posts. As your traffic grows, your fan base will, too.

4. You’re not engaging your readers

Your readers need to feel like you truly understand them and get their problems. If you’re writing about the care and feeding of guinea pigs, then make sure you know everything there is to know about guinea pig owners and their needs.

Stop talking about you. Start talking about them.

One way to start doing this is to write a post and ask your readers some questions. What’s your biggest problem with X? What are you struggling with right now? If you don’t have a ton of readers, then publicize the heck out of this post via social media, email and forums on your topic. Get as much feedback as you can.

Then make sure to use the feedback you get from that article to write more posts that answer their questions or address their frustrations. The more you can let your potential readers know you understand their needs and can truly give them answers to their biggest and most pressing questions, the more they will love you.

Inquire, get feedback, respond. A simple and powerful recipe for great content that will keep people coming back over and over again.

5. You’re not posting enough

Posting once a month is not going to get you lots and lots of readers. If you’re not happy with the amount of traffic you’re getting—if your comments section is filled with lines like “Go, honey! We love you!” then make a change in your posting schedule, and make it today.

If you’re hesitating to hit “Publish” because you’re waiting for your post to be perfect, you need to let go of the idea that that there IS such a thing as a perfect post.

Write a couple “good enough posts.” Get your thoughts down on paper, make sure your grammar and spelling are as good as they can possibly be, correct typos, then put your posts out there. Allow yourself to feel vulnerable and scared. It builds character and helps your blog.

Then let all those “good enough” new posts start to build a road right to your doorstep. It’s a simple fact—the more you publish, the more traffic you will get.

6. You’ve got a site design only a mother could love

One of the things that really turns people off a blog is ugly site design.

If your site is so filled with peek-a-boo social media widgets, flashy banners and Google Adsense ads that your readers can’t tell what your site is about, you need an overhaul. If you’re still using a template from four years ago, and it wasn’t that attractive when you originally put it up, you need an overhaul. If your readers can’t tell in under ten seconds what the topic of your blog is, you need an overhaul.

Build your design using lots of white space—it truly puts the spotlight on your content and allows your readers to absorb what you’re trying to say. Add a gorgeous, professional banner with your site name and a great tagline that tells them exactly what you’re about.

Then add a few classy, attractive graphic elements to the design. Remember that they say “less is more” for a reason.

Web professionals can really help you create an amazing design that represents who you are as a blogger, writer, and businessperson. Consider consulting a design professional who can help you bring your site’s design in line with your content and your business goals.

7. Your writing needs work

If your site is filled with run-on sentences and spelling errors, people will notice. And they will leave you alone with your mother in a sad desert of bloggy loneliness.

Clean up your writing by brushing up on your grammar basics—Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style is a great start.

If comma placement and spelling still confound you, find a great editor. An editor will not only help you with grammar and punctuation, but can truly help you make your writing better.

Editors also give you someone to mentally speak to on the page when you’re struck late at night and don’t know what to write. Editors are your best friends. And no—it doesn’t matter if your mother is the world’s greatest editor. You need someone else, someone not related to you, to help you clean up your writing.

Bring it home

Mom’s a fantastic fan. But you need more people supporting what you do and cheering you on—but put some effort behind these seven areas, and you can get them, one new fan at a time.

Pretty soon you’ll have a stadium full of fans, all waving #1 foam fingers with your name on them. And your mom will be standing there with them, yelling at the top of her lovable lungs.

Beth Hayden helps business owners make more money by helping them create fabulous websites, blogs, and social media campaigns. Get her best tips for achieving blogging nirvana by downloading her free report, From Blah to Hurrah: 25 Ways to Make Your Blog Bigger, Better and More Profitable.

The Ultimate Guide to Professional Product Review Pitches

This post is by Chris Wise of Expressionables.

Product review blogs are one of the best ways for ecommerce sites to spread the word about their products and build backlinks to increase organic search traffic.

That being said, there are thousands of small-to-medium-sizes product review blogs on the Internet all vying for the opportunity to secure free products for reviews and giveaways. Large, recognizable blogs will almost never have to request products to review or give away, however 95% of product review blogs do not fit this description.

In order to keep a steady stream of products to review coming in, it is almost inevitable that smaller bloggers will have to pitch to vendors.

Being an ecommerce marketer myself, I receive on average three to five pitches a week from small blogs wishing to review and give away my products; 90% of these requests are turned down for many of the same reasons.

Hopefully upon reading this, those small product review blogs will come away with a better idea of how to compete with the big boys and score more luxurious and expensive products to review, more often.

Use your own domain

If you host your blog on a blogging platform subdomain, you can’t expect to review expensive products or offer lavish giveaways.

I can tell you now, having a blog at “yoursite.blogspot.com” doesn’t give the best first impression. While it isn’t a deal-breaker, it will definitely hurt your chances of scoring reviews for big-ticket items. I know it may be a difficult task if you already have a large, established site on a subdomain, but in the long run it will help you immensely to switch.

If you don’t mind reviewing small items like toothpaste and doorstoppers, then don’t worry about switching. But for everyone else, rectify this problem by simply purchasing and hosting your own domain; I promise, it will be worth it. Note: make sure you 301-redirect all of your pages to the new domain!

Personalize your email pitches

If you’re going to request a review, don’t send that request in the form of a templated, generic email. It’s understandable that you may not be able to find a specific contact name, however the email should still be personalized with factors that are within your control.

Each email pitch should be personalized with the following details:

  • Who are you requesting a review from (vendor’s name or specific contact name if possible)?
  • Which specific product you are requesting to review?
  • What made you specifically choose that product/vendor?
  • Why is your blog is a good place to showcase a product review?
  • When do you plan to feature the review?
  • How can it specifically help the vendor?

Here is a bad example:

“We love testing out products and blogging about our results, and we believe our readers would be interested in your products.”

Hmmm. Why do you believe your readers would be interested in my products?

Send current, correct stats

Showcasing your blog’s strong points is a great way to convince a vendor that your blog is a great place to review their product.

  • Subscriber stats (email list, blog followers, RSS subscribers, etc.)
  • Unique monthly visitors
  • Unique monthly pageviews
  • Pagerank
  • Moz trust, Moz rank, and domain authority (found using Open Site Explorer)
  • Twitter and Facebook followers/fans.

This stuff is all great. But guess what? If it is not accurate, it is really not great at all. It shows laziness and a little bit of incompetence.

These stats are not that hard to check. If you claim your site gets 50,000 unique visitors a month and I go on Compete or Quantcast and see that your data is unavailable, we have a problem. Pagerank is updated about twice a year, so there’s no excuse for not having accurate figures. And instead of using an exact number of Facebook and Twitter followers just use something like “2,000 plus”.

These may seem like small details, but they make a big difference in the eyes of a vendor.

Provide evidence

This is a no-brainer. Mention recognizable brand names that you have worked with in the past. By showcasing past successes to your prospective vendors—via testimonials, case studies, and so on—your conversion rates will undoubtedly increase. Though this is not something I would include in your email directly. It should be incorporated something like this:

“See how our other sponsors are raving about their experiences with us here.”
Or:
“Our product reviews have the ability to increase your traffic by this much.”

The idea is to provide a vague reference to the positive experience others have had, with a hyperlink to a page full of content that talks about it in more detail. This leads to more engagement and helps to increase your chance of securing a product review.

Be concise and typo-free

Keep your product review pitches short and sweet. While you want to be thorough in your request, you do not want to overwhelm the recipient to the point that your email gets deleted without even being read. Here are some pointers:

  • Use bulleted lists whenever possible.
  • Do not include unnecessary information (I don’t care to read an “about us” in a review request. Just link to your “about us” from within the email).
  • Don’t include unfavorable data (e.g. a Pagerank of 0).
  • Do a spell check before sending an email.
  • Let someone proof read it.
  • Ask yourself, “If I got this email, how would I respond to it?”

The ideal length of a product review request is between 150 and 350 words (depending on the products requested, size of the vendor, etc.), but definitely no more than 400 words in any case.

Do use PR services, but don’t spam

PR networks are a great way to reach hundreds of vendors at the same time with your product review pitches. Try services like:

I must warn you, though: do not spam these services. People who are subscribed to these services will see that your are spamming (the emails are mailed daily) and will undoubtedly be turned off by your desperate tactics. Do not make more than one request on the same day, and do not make requests daily (I would say no more than once a week).

Include your phone number and address

So many of the requests I receive are lacking these two vital tidbits or information, and it always raises a red flag for me.

If you are going to take the time to contact me and ask for free stuff (albeit for promotion in return), at least have the decency to include basic contact information so that I may discuss the proposal further with you if needed. For big-ticket items, many ecommerce vendors would like to speak with the reviewers over the phone, rather than simply communicating by email. It’s a simple addition to your pitch that can make a world of difference.

Follow up if your request goes unanswered

I can honestly say that I have received review requests from bloggers that I intended to follow through with, but simply forgot to answer due to other pressing issues that popped up throughout the day. Had the blogger simply sent a polite, brief follow up, it would have:

  • showed me that they were truly interested in my products
  • enabled them to actually do the review for my products
  • made me more likely to offer additional items for review.

So keep records of your requests, and make it a point to follow up on the emails that get no responses.

Don’t ask for extras in your initial pitch

Patience is a virtue. Even though you may be interested in exclusive coupon codes or help with promoting the review (links, PR, or social mentions) do not bring that up in your first email. Believe me: ask for too much and you will get nothing. Relationships need to be fostered first, then the additional requests will be better received.

The perfect pitch

Follow those guidelines and I can almost guarantee you will have an opportunity to review more expensive products, more often. The best part is, after a while, so many vendors will be coming to you for review pitches that you will have to turn them down.

There are definitely other do’s and dont’s out there—if you have any experiences, examples, or suggestions of your own. I would love to hear about them in the comments.

Chris wise is head of SEM for the Expressionables family—an online network of sites specializing in everything from personalized gift wrap and party invitations to B2B products and customer appreciation programs.

20 Ways to Make More Money from Your Blog

This guest post is by James Penn of AcceleratedNicheProfits.com.

A few weeks ago, on the ProBlogger Community Boards, I started a new forum topic titled, “Help Me Monetize 1,000 Visitors Per Day.”

My natural health blog had experienced some rapid traffic growth, and had grown from 80 visitors per day to over 1,000 visitors per day using these seven strategies.

Yet my income was pitiful.

Income

Image copyright Monkey Business - Fotolia.com

My only monetization strategy was linking to relevant Amazon products, and I was generating just over $100 per month. I worked out that if I carried on like this, simply promoting Amazon products, I’d need to be clocking 50,000 visitors per dayto make a comfortable, full-time income with this blog.

That wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, so I sought advice from fellow ProBlogger forum members, undertook my own research, and carried out my own experiments in a quest to discover alternative ways to increase the revenue I generated from my blog.

In this post, I share twenty strategies you can use to increase your blog income. Many I’m already using, many I plan to use, but some I don’t think would work on my particular blog, though they may work on yours!

1. Google Adsense

I’d always been against adding Google Adsense to my webpages for fear of it taking away from the user experience.

I needn’t have worried as I’ve been able to add one ad unit in a fairly prominent position and one in a more secluded area of the blog without disrupting my readers.

I’ve only had these ads up a few weeks but initial results suggest they will earn me more this month than I earned with my entire blog last month.

2. Sidebar linking

Your sidebar appears on every single one of your blog pages. You need to be making the most of it.
Something I’ve experimented with is adding a new link category with a title that’s something like, “My Top 5 Health Books.”

Then below that title I’ll link to my favourite health books on Amazon. It’s a good way to get more readers in the door at Amazon and earn more Amazon commissions.

3. Deep-linking Amazon products

Sidebar links can work well, but deep linking to specific products that are relevant to the content I’m sharing is the most effective strategy for driving Amazon sales.

For example, on my health blog, if I have a post about the benefits of avocado oil for skin and hair, then linking to the most effective avocado oil on Amazon will generate a number of clicks and sales.

4. Localize your Amazon links

One of the problems I was having with my blog is that I was only linking to Amazon.com. Only 55% of my traffic was from the US—meaning I was missing out on a huge portion of commissions from the rest of the world.

There are a few plug-ins that “localize” your Amazon affiliate links, so a reader from the UK is taken to Amazon.co.uk, for example. This is a good way to pick up extra commissions that you wouldn’t have received otherwise.

5. Sell your own products

A large chunk of Darren’s revenue is now generated from selling his own ebooks. In January and February of this year, ebook sales were his number one revenue generator.

Bloggers have a huge advantage when it comes to selling their own products since they’ve already gained trust from their readers and displayed their expertise. If your free blog content is good, then readers will assume your paid content is even better—and you won’t need to be a copywriting whiz to get sales.

I have two ebooks already written from a few years ago that I have simply let gather digital dust. A few tweaks and a new design and these ebooks will be promoted on my blog to my reader base.

6. Adding promotional boxes

On problogger.net, at the end of each individual post page, Darren has a promotional box that promotes the Genesis Framework.

ProBlogger promotional box for GenesisI know this box works because I ended up buying Genesis via this promotion.

After setting my blog up with Genesis, I had my programmer design a promotional box for me, promoting a hair care product that pays $40 commissions. I added this box to every single post in my “Hair Health” category, meaning the promotion is shown only to the most targeted prospects. I’ll now be making more of these boxes so that I can put them into other categories, promoting other specific products.

7. Find alternative affiliate programs

With my health blog I got a little too comfy with the Amazon Associates program. It was so easy to just find a product, get a link, and put it on the blog. It was easy to set up, and easy to keep track of, but I was only getting about 7% commission.

Now when I go to insert an Amazon affiliate link, I do a search first to see if I can find a better commission rate.

8. Pop-ups

This is another technique Darren’s using on prologger.net currently. At the top of the page is a very unobtrusive, 1cm thick pop over that simply serves to get people to click to his 31 Days To Build A Better Blog course.

This is something I plan to add to my blog when I have my eBooks up for sale, but it’s something you could do today to get people to click through to affiliate products.

9. Donate button

I’m not a big fan of this strategy, but some use it effectively. If you have a loyal following that you treat well and really help, many may be happy to send a few dollars your way for blog maintenance, or merely as a thank you.

Perhaps put a Donate button on your blog for a few days and see how it works? Have you ever tried this? Did it work?

10. Convert more visitors into subscribers

If you aren’t building an email list, then every single person who leaves your blog is gone, forever, unless they find you again via a search engine or link on another blog, which is unlikely.

But if you manage to collect their email addresses, you can stay in touch. You can send them back to your blog regularly and you can promote your own ebooks or affiliate products to them.

If you can get their email addresses, you can send them back to the blog every time you publish a new update. This achieves a number of goals:

  • It gives them another opportunity to click on one of your Adsense ads.
  • It gives them another opportunity to buy your ebook or an affiliate product.
  • It increases your number of pageviews, which increases your revenue from CPM banner advertising.
  • It gives them an opportunity to share your blog on Twitter, Facebook, or Stumbleupon, thereby increasing your traffic and revenue.

This ability to retain readers will help you generate more revenue from the same visitors, which can only be a good thing.

11. Promote products via email

Prior to my mission to make more money from my blog, I was simply sending updates to my subscribers directing them to new blog posts.

I realized that to increase my blog revenue, I needed to sell in my emails, too.

I sent a test promotion of a natural hair care product I’ve previously mentioned to an extremely targeted list of just 340 subscribers generated from the blog. I made four sales from one email resulting in $160 in commissions.

Before I monetized my email list, it would have taken me one and a half months to earn this kind of money from my blog.

12. Charge for email advertising

Many are happy to pay to get an ad, or an entire solo ad, in an email list. Consider offering email advertising packages to further increase the revenue generated from your email list. Create an Advertise With Us page on your blog and state your rates.

13. Reviews

Seven days ago I wrote my first product review on my health blog. I don’t want to share what product it was, but after pressing Publish, I was instantly ranking in the top 10 for a number of keywords such as “[product name] review” and “buy [product name].”

This review, with no promotion, has generated $120 in commissions in the first seven days, and I expect it to continue like this for the foreseeable future.

14. Sponsored competitions

Something I see a lot of on popular health blogs are sponsored competitions. A company donates a few of their products to a blogger and the blogger runs a competition giving away these products.

These competitions are free to run, and can be immensely profitable. Firstly, they are capable of drawing huge traffic, and secondly you can promote the product using an affiliate link. Competition entrants who don’t win, or who don’t even enter, may end up buying the products via your affiliate link giving you a nice commission boost.

15. Sponsored posts

A few months ago I was approached by a plastic surgeon. They wanted to publish a post on my blog promoting their plastic surgery business. They offered $125 for a 500-word post which they would write.
I had to reject their offer because my blog focuses on natural alternatives, but it opened my mind up to the possibility—and profitability—of charging for sponsored posts.

I’ve yet to try it, but in the very near future I’ll be approaching natural health and beauty companies offering them an opportunity to publish a post promoting their business. I won’t be able to use this method too often or fear of annoying readers, but one or two sponsored posts a month is an extra $100-200 monthly. If you’re really cheeky, you may also be allowed to use your affiliate link to promote their products.

16. Bestseller lists

Darren gave me this idea with his post about creating a bestseller list. This involves creating a list of the most popular products your blog readers are buying as judged by your Amazon affiliate reports.

I immediately went away and created my bestseller list on a new page of my blog. This page is linked from my top navigation bar so it receives exposure on every single page of the blog.

17. “Gift ideas” posts

Prior to major holidays, such as Christmas, Mother’s and Father’s days, and so on, it’s a wise idea to create a “Top 10 Gifts For Health/Nature/Photography/Sports/ Enthusiasts” list. Simply create a gift ideas list for your blog’s market, and you’ll see an increase in affiliate commissions as you get traffic from keyphrases like “gift ideas for photographers.”

Another idea is to create Top 10 DVDs or Top 10 Books lists for your market. On my blog I have articles such as The Top 5 Natural Sunscreens, and The Top 5 Natural Shampoos. Pick a product in your market and write a list of the top five or ten brands.

18. Premium content

This is not something I’ve tried, but I know some bloggers have used it well. I’m not sure it would work too well in my market, but I’m sure there are many markets it would work in.

This idea simply involves creating a premium quality, longer-than-normal blog post. You publish the first part as a teaser and then require the reader to pay a small fee to read the rest of the post—perhaps $5 or so.

Like I mentioned earlier, if your readers love your free content, they’ll assume your paid content is even better.

19. Plug your high-value content

On my blog, I have certain content that I know generates more revenue than others. Therefore, to increase my revenue, it makes sense to push my readers towards this content.

Darren pushes his high-value content on the homepage by making certain posts “Featured.” You can also push people towards high-value content by interlinking within your posts, and linking to your high-value posts from the sidebar. You should also focus on building backlinks to your high-value content to push them up the search engines and attract more organic traffic to these posts.

20. Charge to review guest posts

This is a slightly out-of-left-field strategy I learned from Darya Pino of SummerTomato.com and it’s not actually a way to increase your own revenue, but instead to raise some money for charity.

Darya was disillusioned with the number and quality of guest posts she was receiving and so decided to require a $10 donation simply to review a guest post.

I’m getting between three and five guest post submissions per day. I reckon I could cut this number down significantly, increase the quality of guest posts, and raise some money for charity by charging to review guest post submissions.

What can you add?

Above I’ve presented 20 strategies you can use to make more money from your blog and your existing traffic.

What strategies are working best for you when it comes to monetizing your blog? Do you have any “out of the ordinary” strategies that are helping you to profit from your blog? Share them with us.

James Penn is a keen blogger and shares his internet marketing experiments, tips and secrets at AcceleratedNicheProfits.com. He is also a big fan of building niche email lists and has documented his top list building strategies in his step-by-step guide 100 Subscribers Per Day.

6 Tips for Dressing Up Your Product Reviews

This guest post is by Peter Lawlor of B2Web.

One of my favorite methods of monetizing my blogs is by promoting products as an affiliate.

As an affiliate, I have the opportunity to learn all I can about a product I promote, and share what I know, including likes and dislikes, with my readers.

I’m constantly experimenting with ways to pre-sell products, with a focus on quality content and dressing up reviews with eye-catching and informative techniques.

In the end we have two goals when promoting products as an affiliate:

  1. Attract targeted visitors to your pre-selling page.
  2. Persuade visitors to click your affiliate links.

Pre-selling is both an art and a science

The art of pre-selling lies in the unknown qualities of your posts that encourage people to click your affiliate links.

Dressing up

Image copyright gemenacom - Fotolia.com

It could be:

  • voice
  • sincerity
  • reputation
  • the way you present information on the product
  • your shared experience of the product
  • the design of your website and/or post layout
  • contextual aspects of your affiliate link placement.

The science of pre-selling entails:

  • attracting traffic, be it organic traffic from the search engines or paid traffic
  • the formatting of tried and proven pre-selling techniques (i.e. tables, charts, and quality of a review).

Taking all of these criteria into account, I use and test six methods for dressing up product reviews and other pre-selling pages when promoting products as an affiliate.

6 Tips for dressing up reviews and other pre-selling articles

1. Use images

I use a slightly unusual approach when procuring images for my pre-selling posts and pages. Many bloggers go to large image retailers and grab an eye-catching image for the post. I rarely do this.

Instead, I use screen capture software and capture many images from the vendor’s website. I also use any images provided by a vendor (usually physical product vendors have several images affiliates can use). For example, I may use an image of a vendor’s home page at the top-right of the post.

One type of image I like using in my posts is pricing images for products that offer various packages, and present these in a stylish pricing comparison table. I simply screenshot them and include an affiliate link to the vendor’s order page on my blog.

If you’re selling a digital product or web-based software, buy the product or sign up for a trial offer so you can take screenshots of the back end of the service. You can use these screenshots to show how easy it is to use a product, or turn a series of screenshots into a how-to tutorial.

2. Tables and charts

I love websites that use tables and charts to present a great deal of information in a succinct manner. For example, you can set out the product features and specifications, along with a brief write-up, in an attractive table or chart. I also like using tables and charts to compare products within a product-line or industry.

I use WordPress and both TinyMCE Advanced plugin and/or the WP-Table Reloaded plugin for creating tables and charts.

3. Demo videos

You can take the image screenshot method further by creating demo videos of the product you promote. For example, if you’re promoting web-based software, you can do a screen capture video of yourself using the service. Again this forms a great pre-selling demo that informs your readers about the product.

If you’re promoting physical products, you can make videos of yourslef using it, assembling it, or pointing out its various features.

4. Quote boxes

Some bloggers like to include quotes taken from reviews and testimonials of the product they’re promoting. You can dress up re-published reviews with the Quote tool in the WordPress visual editor.

I use the Quote tool for parts of a post and reviews other than quotes. It’s an easy, fast, and stylish method to split up your posts for your readers.

5. Coupons and sales pages

A coupon and sales page is a no-brainer for any affiliate marketer. Many vendors, whether they sell physical products or digital products, routinely offer coupons, sales, and discount opportunities for affiliates to promote.

As a blogger and affiliate marketer, you have a great opportunity to earn commissions with these discounts. You can create a dedicated post setting out the discounts your readers can use.

Be sure to do some keyword research first to see what type of “sale”- or “discount”-oriented keywords consumers in your niche use to look for deals. Then, optimize your sales and discount page for the most used terms. Personally, I like displaying multiple coupons, sales, and discounts in a table.

6. Bullet points

Using bullet points isn’t new, or an earth-shattering technique. However, it merits mention because bullet points are effective in dressing up any type of web page, including pre-selling pages.

At the end of the day, it’s a great idea to try different techniques, both in your writing style and the visual presentation of you your product promotions as an affiliate.

How will you do it?

There certainly is not one way to promote products as an affiliate on a blog. The key is offering your readers variety and providing information in a useful format that helps them with their buying decision.

Although the above “dressing-up” techniques help you pre-sell, the most important element of your reviews and other pre-selling articles is the quality of your content.

What’s been your experience of pre-selling affiliate products? Share your tips and advice in the comments.

Peter Lawlor is a contributor to B2Web which is a site all about using WordPress which includes video tutorials, in-depth video-based reviews and theme recommendations such as the Genesis Theme by StudioPress.

What You Can Take From Your Blog’s Worst Day

The fateful day started with a morning that marked a month since the launch of my new blog. A blog that had ten posts and few visits per day.

On that morning I woke up and went on to sit in front of my laptop. This is my usual routine. I check all the updates, reply to comments (if there are any), and so on. Everybody knows how much there is to be done in the initial days of a blog’s life.

Phase 1: disaster!

On that day I started my laptop, clicked on the shortcut, and bang!

I was greeted by a white box on a big red screen, shouting “Warning!” in big, bold letters. A small description indicated that Google had detected counter-WordPress malware on my blog.

Distributing malware? I hadn’t even been distributing ebooks!

That was enough to start the morning. I closed the browser and called my office to inform them that they weren’t going to see me that day.

I took a deep breath and a morning tea with the newspaper. After that, I started googling the malware, and searching for a process to clean it from my site. I found a lot of information on Google, along with a few helpful threads on WordPress support forums. I collected all the information and went about the process of cleaning my blog, which took around seven hours of hard work.

I was able to clean my site and store it to its original state, though I admit a lack of activity on my blog at the time also helped in my case. This was the worst day of my blog in its short life. But it didn’t end there…

Phase 2: giving back

I was feeling pretty angry about what happened, and I had only a handful of posts on my new blog—there were plenty of others who had much more at stake, and were going through the same process.

Once my blog was clean, I dug into it further, to check the source of the attack, and what scripts had been run on my blog. I shared details on the WordPress support forum.

Inspired, I decided to help other people like me. I created a guide explaining the process for removing the malware on my blog. Then I went back to WordPress support forum to help people.

As it happened, that guide ended up ranking number three on Google for some crucial keywords, right after the WordPress support forum threads. It brought a lot of new people to my blog. That guide is still a good source of traffic for me, and varies between third and eighth rank on Google. I’ve also been able to create few other posts to which I drive traffic from that post.

So at the end of the day, because I refused to quit, and showed an urge to help others, I gained a lot from my blog’s worst day:

  1. A post that’s appearing on the first page of Google.
  2. A couple of post to which I am able to drive traffic more deeply into my blog.
  3. A handful of email subscriptions—a good thing for a starter blog!
  4. A few backlinks to my blog from other sources.

And on top of these benefits, I have this post on ProBlogger only because of that day.

So if you keep yourself calm and keep your eyes on opportunities, you can end up converting your worst day to a great day for your blog.

What have you got from your worst day as a blogger? Share with us through the comments.

Sanjeev currently owns two blogs and writes to make the Web world a better place, and help others to use it and get something out of it. You can check his blog Make Web World or get his RSS feed here.

What to Do When Your Product is Only a Suggestion

This guest post is by John Hoff of securemyblog.com.

When we’re new to making money online, many gurus tell us we should think about what we know, what we’re good at, and what we enjoy doing.

They tell us to think about it like this:

If money wasn’t a factor, what would you do?

They tell us to then take that thought and turn it into something we can create a business out of, but remember…

It’s not about making money.

No, it’s never about the money, is it? (Wink… nudge, nudge, wink.)

Solution or suggestion?

Image copyright Nikolai Sorokin - Fotolia.com

It’s about doing what you love and helping people better their lives because of the things you do. Do that and the money will follow.

The problem is, the money doesn’t always follow, does it?

Sure, you might get a nice burst of sales when you launch, but typically what happens after that launch-promoted surge of traffic disappears is a dip. A dip in sales and a dip in your attitude.

You don’t understand why people aren’t buying your product.

It’s good. Darn good. But sales trickle in slower than a race between a snail and a turtle.

Assuming you’re getting traffic to the site and very few people are buying, here’s the problem you might be having…

Your product is a suggestion, not a solution.

What your product may be lacking

Many of us bloggers look to make money online, and as you have probably figured out, blogs don’t make money: people do. If when you signed up for this Internet marketing gig your information came from a reputable guru, they probably told you that you needed to focus on these potential customer issues:

  • fears
  • pain
  • desires
  • wants
  • needs.

But sometimes when we’re all jazzed up about getting our own first product out there, we tend to forget things—or even worse, don’t listen.

It doesn’t matter what kind of product you have: ebook, membership site, advice, or coaching service, if your product fails to tap into any of these fundamental reasons that motivate people to “need to buy” your product, you’ve got a suggestion product.

If you’re one of those people who owns a product which is seen as a suggestion rather than a solution, the way I see it, you have two choices:

  1. Educate customers about the problems and convince them to buy.
  2. Set up a clever sales funnel.

Option three, of course, is to give up, but sometimes giving up isn’t what we want to do even when our logical brains tell us otherwise.

Option 1: The time suck—suggestion education

Hey I’m all for educating, after all, teaching sells, right? In fact pretty much everything I do online involves either teaching something or learning something.

But strictly speaking about product creation for a moment, I never lose sight of the fact that a product that provides a solution to something will require less teaching and educating than one which only provides suggestions.

This means it’s easier to sell.

As an example, my first information product is a WordPress security ebook.

When I created the product, I thought to myself, “John, there’s a real need out there for people to secure their blogs against hackers, and when you show them how bad a hacking problem WordPress has, people will be fearful and want to buy this product.”

Notice how I mentioned three of those big issues we need to tap into? But here’s the problem: they weren’t problems my target customers felt or understood (yet).

And that’s the difference between educating to create a sale (a suggestion) verses educating to close the sale (a solution).

The problem with educating to create a sale for a product which is a suggestion is that it typically takes a lot of time and effort, and unless you’re a top-notch content marketer, your sales will likely be sporadic.

Also, assuming this is the only strategy you use to entice people to buy your product, it is likely that many of your prospective buyers will never find you.

Why?

That’s simple: because they aren’t looking for what you’re offering them; they’re looking for something else. They are looking for a solution to a problem they have today, and your suggestion product couldn’t possibly be targeting every problem your target customers are having.

Option 2: Setting up a clever sales funnel

Okay, so you’ve got yourself a darn fine product and you know people will benefit from it. The problem is that even though you’re trying to educate them as to why your product will be good for them, sales just aren’t coming in the way you thought they would.

If this is the case, the most important thing you can do is take a really close look at where your buyers are coming from, and where they could be coming from.

You probably have a decent idea of what kind of person would buy your product. Now take that person and spend some time really digging into their true wants, needs, problems, desires, and so on.

If your product teaches people how to take control of their money and budget better (your suggestion product explains how to do it), then one of the needs your prospects might have is to make their next month’s mortgage payment.

Now imagine if you could create the website and a product which solved that problem for them.

Perhaps you partnered with a Payday Loan company or an investor, and offered a loan program which solved that problem for them in twenty-four hours.

After buying that frontend product and capturing their email addresses, you can then begin marketing to them about your how-to budgeting product.

Another problem your prospective customers might have is divorce over money. Assuming a person does not want to get divorced over money, they need to find a way to fix the problem they’re having.

So you create a site and new info product or service on how to solve divorce problems related to money issues. And there’s your second funnel.

What we’re doing here is creating secondary products which give people immediate solutions to their problems, then funneling them into your suggestion product.

The key point to remember is that when you’re setting up your funnels, you need to position yourself as the person with the answers they need. In other words, you need to be the authority in their eyes for the fill-in-the-blank niche.

Your best bet, of course, is to do both option one and option two as I’ve explained them here. But if you ask me, one option deserves the majority of your time (option 2).

John Hoff is a content marketer… but you don’t care about that. What you might care about is what he can do for your WordPress security. He can also help you with that blog SEO thing (free download, no email required).

How a Blog Can Help Grow Your Offline Business

This guest post was written by Gordon McLachlan of 8 Gram Gorilla.

I’ve been both an avid blogger and a huge advocate for blogging for many years now. But until recently I’ve never had any personal “success” to be able to back up my claims that blogging isn’t just an excellent pastime, it’s also a tremendously useful business resource.

Sure, it’s easy to point people to the likes of ProBlogger as a testament to the power of blogging when answering the question “why have a blog?” but I’ve always struggled to relate any major achievements of my own as further proof to my assertions.

Until now.

How my blog helped my offline business grow

It all began three years ago when I first started blogging in earnest and opened the doors to an online gaming blog (think World of Warcraft et al), the subject matter being a hobby of mine that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed for many years.

I guess, if I’m being truly honest, I did have a little thought/hope/dream in the back of my mind that one day I might “make it” as a blogger and become so popular and make so much money through advertising that I could relocate to the Bahamas and live out the rest of my life sipping Mai Tais whilst blogging from a laptop on the beach. Of course, that never happened.

I wasn’t particularly cut up about that, though, because I was primarily blogging for the simple reason that I enjoyed it so much. Plus, within a year or two, I’d managed to establish myself as one of the more popular blogs in my niche with a loyal readership and tens of thousands of visits a month.

I was content and never thought my blog would help me in any other way.

Then something magical happened.

Five months ago, I took the biggest risk of my life and left my job with a company I’d been with for over six years. I started up my own business, a web agency, with two other very talented individuals. The web has always been my passion and not only did my new colleagues and I want to make a living running our own design and development company, we also knew that we wanted to engage with the Internet through all available means.

Taking a punt, I wrote up a post on my gaming blog advertising my new company site and new company blog, 8 Gram Gorilla, hoping that we might be able to pass through some link juice and garner a little bit of interest from my gaming readership.

The response was overwhelming.

Securing international business

Within a few days of my blog post, we’d received emails from readers about job opportunities, some national, here in the UK, and some international. These people had looked at our company blog, our company website, and our portfolio of work, and decided that we, as a business, were worth investigating.

Long story short, through contact stemming directly from my gaming blog, we were able to secure international work that, as a result, has helped us survive and thrive—no mean feat given how tough it is for new businesses to establish themselves in the current economic climate.

I think it’s important to stress here that we didn’t have people just phoning us up and offering us guaranteed jobs or easy money—we still had to pitch for the work and go through the usual hoops of tendering and proving ourselves to be the right people for the job. In fact, not every lead even converted into a project. But that’s not the point.

The point is, just like any form of networking and relationship building, it’s about getting in front of people who might actually have a need for your service, and who respect and trust you enough to give you a shot at going up for it.

At the end of the day, we only won the work we got because we were the right people for the job. What my blog did give us, though, were some amazing leads and the ability to pitch for work that we would never have known about otherwise. And that’s been truly invaluable.

Better than any networking event

I’ve attended a lot of local networking events and I can tell you that most of them are a waste of time. Aside from the fact that they’re usually filled with people all trying to sell their own wares and services to each other and not actually buy anything, they don’t tend to offer enough time to really get to know anyone properly. And that’s why blogs are so beautiful.

Over the two and a bit years my blog had been running, I’d written several hundred posts on, mainly, my views of gaming, but also about my personal experiences at home, details about my wife and family, and other bits about my life, like my reading interests and holiday activities.

All this information helped cement a relationship of trust and friendship with my readers. They felt like they knew me enough, and perhaps more importantly, liked me enough, to give me a chance when I started my own business.

Funnily enough, this intimate connection has also made the business relationship with any readers easier and more relaxed than any other because, after all, it’s hard to maintain a stern, impersonal corporate facade when someone’s seen your embarrassing holiday photos. I can be completely natural with them because I know that they’ve already read hundreds of hours of my thoughts, moans, and opinions, leaving me nowhere to hide—even if I wanted to.

And all of this is why a blog, any blog, can help benefit your offline business. It allows you to make connections with thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people from all across the world whilst constantly establishing a relationship of trust, authority, and kinship.

It doesn’t even matter what your blog is about, because your readers will ultimately share your passion for the same subject and, importantly, over the course of time, they’ll come to relate with you more and more.

The moral of the story

You don’t need a blog that makes money itself by selling products or generating huge ad revenue to reap the real, tangible life-changing benefits of having one.

Just writing about what you love, regardless of what it is, is enough. People respect passion and admire talent, and sometimes, just using a blog as a vehicle to establish trust and connect with others is enough.

Indeed, one of the best things a blog can do for you is introduce you to thousands of people who share your interests and hobbies and, just like networking in the “real world,” maybe one day one of those people will need the services your offline business has to offer.

After all, you never know who might be reading.

This post was written by Gordon McLachlan, one of the founders of Primate, a digital agency driven by an overwhelming passion for the web industry. In addition to having a slightly unsettling love for monkeys he also co-authors their rather witty blog, 8 Gram Gorilla.

Why Your Brand Is Everything

This guest post is by Matthew Kepnes of Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

Let’s begin with some word association:

  • Disney World
  • Nike
  • Apple
  • McDonald’s
  • BP
  • Goldman Sachs.

What did you think about when I mentioned these brands? What words came to mind? Thoughts? Feelings? Images?

Web brand

Image copyright Andy Dean - Fotolia.com

Whatever it is that came to your mind is the brand image you associate with that company. When I think of those companies, I think of (respectively):

  • family fun
  • serious athletes
  • youthful and innovative
  • cheap
  • careless
  • heartless.

These words may be simple but they represent a whole array of feelings and emotions that the company names express to me. And it is those thoughts and emotions that shape my interactions with them, just as it is your thoughts and feelings that shape your interactions with them and how you relate to them.  It is those feelings that either turn is into loyal customers or loyal “people who always shop elsewhere.”

You are an idea

What are you? What about me? What do we represent?

This is not some existential question about life. These are questions about what your website or company is about and how people identify with it.  Whether we know it or like it, our websites create an image in people’s minds, and we need to be conscious of that image because if we aren’t, our expectations and goals for our business won’t match the real perception of our business.

When we think about “brands” we think of marketing, business techniques, and icky sales terms. We think of slick ad men and women who are putting together ad campaigns to pull the wool over our eyes.

But this article isn’t an article on how to manipulate your brand image, it’s about how to understand and use it. The idea of a brand is a powerful tool that can help you engage your readers, foster trust, and create credibility. If you want to be successful, you need to understand your brand.

Think about Apple. What is Apple’s brand?  When I think of Apple, I think trendy, cutting edge, and youthful. When Apple is about to launch a new product, I know right away that it will make me drool with excitement over how technologically advanced, functional, and stylish it will be.  It’s why people pre-order a new iPhone without even looking at it.  It’s why people will wait in line for days to get a phone they can get the following week without waiting. They just think, “It’s Apple, so it must be good” and line up to buy the product.

Once the product comes out, it continues to follow Apple’s pre-existing brand image of style, trendiness, and technological awesomeness and thus reinforces the idea of what Apple is in the minds of people. (This isn’t duplicitous. The products are great in their own right. They help people, which only further strengthen the brand and creates a self-feeding cycle.)

Think about what you convey when you build your website. What do you want people to think about you?  On my site, Nomadic Matt, I like to convey the image of thoughtful, yet fun and inexpensive travel. To me, my site shows anyone can go out, have fun, break out of their cubicle, and still not spend a lot of money. When I asked my readers what words/images they associate with my site, they told me:

I want people to think about a trusted source for fun budget travel.  As a consequence, everything I do revolves around conveying and strengthening that brand image. I don’t write about luxury trips, I don’t promote books that don’t enhance the travel experience, I don’t write about blogging, and I don’t talk about hotels.

I get a lot of emails on joining digital nomad affiliates, but that’s not my audience and it’s not my brand. I’m not a digital nomad, I’m simply a nomad. I don’t write about making money, I don’t do sponsored posts, and I don’t talk about the mundane events of my life.  All of that takes away from my brand image.  I stick to a consistent message.

Strengthen your brand

Look at the words people associate with my site. They are the exact words I want them to be.  I want to create a site that conveys those exact words, and by focusing my content, I can focus my brand to create the type of site that conveys it.

All that stuff I don’t do has only helped my site. I may not appeal to everyone but I’ve found that the more I am to fewer people, the more connections I make with them. In other words, I’d rather have a strong following of 1,000 people than a weak following of 10,000.

When creating and marketing your site, it is important to stay focused. Staying focused on what you want your site and brand to be about will help increase your traffic much faster.

Don’t be everything to everyone. Instead, be that one thing or expert that everyone turns to for information. Because when people get asked, “Can you recommend a budget travel expert?” I want them to recommend me. And by religiously focusing on what my site is about and never deviating from it, the more I become that budget expert in the minds of people. And that’s what I want. I want to be that budget travel guy, not anything else.

The mistake that many bloggers make is trying to be everything to everyone. They create content that is all over place. There’s nothing wrong with that if you just want to keep a personal, opinion site. However, if you want to run a website that supports yourself, you need to find a topic and stick to it. You need to ask yourself what you want to be, and focus on creating content and a brand around that.

My name is Matt Kepnes and I’m the budget travel guy.  Who are you?

Matthew Kepnes has been traveling around the world for the past four years. He runs the award winning budget travel site, Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site and has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian UK, AOL’s Wallet Pop, and Yahoo! Finance. He currently writes for AOL Travel and The Huffington Post For more information, you can visit his Facebook page or sign up for his RSS feed.

How to Land the Best Products to Review

This post is by Simon Worrall of CM Copywriters.

Each year, companies spend hundreds of millions on branded T-shirts, mugs, stickers, and pens. Go to enough conferences and you’ll amass terabytes of memory sticks and a wardrobe of T-shirts, hoodies, and caps.

Promotional products are also a way of making money. In 2008, Europe’s soccer elite scored around $800 million from merchandizing. And now online brands such as GitHub and Mozilla sell merchandize online. Most promotional products, though, are given away free.

20th Century Fox have done this in a clever and quirky way. They sent A.V. Club a faux-fox-tail tie to promote Fantastic Mr. Fox. “As promotional gimmicks go, it’s oddly appropriate, if a little sick,” said the entertainment publisher in a post discussing promotional products they’d received.

But not everyone’s use of promotional products is quite so fantastic. Do you really think promotional pens are churning out a strong return on investment? Spend $100 in giving away pens and sell $1,000 in products! The answer is a clear no: the recession hit the merchandizing industry like a punch in the face.

Not all promotional products quiver when they’re asked to justify the cost of being free; there’s one product that fries memory sticks, bursts pens, and shrinks hoodies. And, best of all, companies already have thousands stocked in their warehouse. It’s time they stopped buying branded umbrellas and started giving away their products for free.

Today companies must be more surgical with their marketing spend, and that’s where you can help. There’s never been a better time to get companies to give you their products so you can write a review. Provided you write honestly, and never promote brands blindly, you can become an important source of product information in your industry. This will bring new readers to your blog, and strengthen your credibility with advertisers.

Make your case

When online retailers give away their products, they want to measure results and get a tangible return. Your job is to convince them that you can deliver this.

The first point to make is that if you blog about a product, your followers will buy it. Best of all, you can deliver continuous sales results. There will be a surge when you first post the review, and then a stream as more readers find it in your archives. Be careful though. Don’t commit to writing positive reviews before you have tried the product. There’s no better way of poisoning your blog than endorsing poor products.

You will bring traffic to companies’ sites. Of course, linking to their site will help them get traffic from Google, but it’s more than that:

  • You can link to buried product pages—retailers find getting this type of link notoriously difficult.
  • You can rank for search phrases that are typically out of reach for retailers.

Next, you can help them with their conversion rates. If someone goes to a retailer’s site after reading your independent product review, they’re more likely to buy the product. This is especially the case if your blog is well established and has a good reputation; if they trust you, they trust the company.

Finally, companies worry about defending their brands. Their worst nightmare is some crazy customer ranking for their name. Good product reviews from established blogs help them to avoid this; you’re part of their insurance policy!

Companies like influencers

If a retailer sells a physical product, they don’t make money by giving it away for free. They make money from the way that people react to the product. The problem is that most consumers don’t react. They read and follow; they don’t blog or tweet.

As a blogger, you’re an influencer; that makes you one of the chosen few. If you can make a company understand that your blog is one that matters, one that people listen to, they are much more likely to give you products to review.

It’s even better if your followers are influencers themselves. If you are in this position, you don’t need to have a hundred thousand readers to create enormous value. For instance, every political pundit in Washington reads ABC News’ The Note, despite its comparatively low readership. By influencing The Note, you can influence The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

If you have this type of audience, make sure that the retailer knows this. Otherwise, they will just look at your site statistics, and undervalue your influence.

Here’s another idea if your audience is influential: be bold, ask the company for several copies of the product, and run a contest. Giving away free products to your followers is a great way of rewarding their loyalty and encouraging them to stick around, and the business will be happy to get people thinking about their product.

Understand the retailer’s business case

Here’s a secret: the price of a product doesn’t reveal much about the cost of making it. Price is the value that people place on the product; cost is the raw materials and labor that go into the product in the first place.

When you approach a retailer, you need to think about product cost, not the price. Have you ever seen a software sales letter that ends with $300 in free bonuses? There’s a reason why you’re getting them free: there’s no cost to making each new product. There’s a one-time cost and barely any costs thereafter.

Do some basic arithmetic before approaching a prospect. Can you drive enough sales to make it worthwhile for them? How much will it cost them to give you one of their products, and will they get enough money back? Unless you can show them you can do this, you’re going to walk away empty-handed.

Getting a $10 bunch of flowers from a florist is easy. But unless you’re filming the latest James Bond movie, Aston Martin won’t be sending you a car anytime soon.

Metrics

Your site metrics aren’t everything, especially if your blog is highly influential. But, retailers will want to see your metrics. Here are some of the key metrics they will use to evaluate your reach.

  • PageRank: This is often derided as an SEO metric, but it does give some idea of the volume and quality of your inbound links. Companies will often look at this as a quick first check before spending more time looking at your blog.
  • Twitter and Facebook: companies will look at your Twitter and Facebook audience to judge your reach. If you don’t have a big audience, show them that people are sharing your content. You should also show that you have a bigger audience than your competitors.
  • Comments per post: this gives insight into the size of your readership and how strongly they respond to your blog. Companies are cautious when using this metric; it is the easiest of all to manipulate and varies depending on the subject of your blog.
  • Monthly visits: companies tend to focus more on monthly unique visitors, rather than total page views. This is because page views are easier to manipulate.

All of these statistics have some value, but they all have flaws as well. Therefore, rather than relying on one, companies generally consider them as a whole.

How to contact companies

Get in touch with companies directly. Find the right marketing contact on their corporate website and send them an email. If you can’t find this, give them a call and ask for the best person to speak with. This will usually be a public relations or marketing employee.

Here’s an example of the type of email you can send:

Re: Business Proposal

Hello Name Surname,

Good morning. I saw your recent press announcement about the new range that you’re launching next month, and I was particularly interested in your 1960s-inspired hard-sided luggage. Your timing seems perfect—’60s fashion is everywhere at the moment, and my readers love it!

I have written a fashion blog for several years now, and it has grown to about 30,000 followers. I had a huge amount of comments recently on several posts I made on ’60s fashion, and also on another post about traveling in style. Putting these together, it seems to me that my readers would be very interested in your new range.

Would you be interested in providing me with your product so that I can review it and share feedback with my readers? I was also thinking of running a prize contest after the review; a lot of my readers are in the fashion industry themselves and this would be a great opportunity to spread the word!

I would be very happy to give you more information about my blog and the type of readership I have. You can also read my blog at Blog Address.

I’m excited about this idea, and hope that you are too. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Kind regards,

My Name

T: 123-456-7890
E: [email protected]
W: myblog.com

Product reviews and contests are a great way to increase your followers, and keep them coming back. Getting companies to give you their products takes a little homework, but you can do it—and you’ll get some great products for free!

Simon Worrall is a copywriter at CM Copywriters. The UK-based agency provides tone of voice and web copy services to a global roster of clients.