It is that time of year. It has been for about 2 months. The internet, especially sites like Etsy, are fully of scam artists trying to do their Christmas shopping. My personal favorite is the So-Called Blogger. “Hey! I love your Russian tea kettle print dress! If you send me it in size 4, I will review it on my blog! I have a huge following and you are sure to get sales!” So, you get all excited and you rush to send this amazing fashion blogger your dress. Then, you check their blog and one of three things has happened…
-They posted a review with a bad selfie that says, “Totally love my new dress! Got it at yourshophere!” but the blog has 1 view…and that was you.
-They posted a blog with a bad selfie of them in the dress and didn’t even credit you!
-They post no blog about your item. At all.
So, now you are out a $70 dress and your face is red. But! You don’t want to think badly of them! Maybe the dress didn’t fit right! Maybe it got lost in the mail! Maybe they are working on a BIGGER AND BETTER review! Because who wants to admit that they got scammed?
Or, you may get the ‘honest’ so-called blogger. “Send me your Russian tea kettle print dress, and you will have a chance at being reviewed on my totally hot, up and coming, rapidly growing fashion blog! I will return the dress after the review!”
That one sounds better…sort of…except for all of the BRIGHT RED WAVING flags! Let’s break it down…
“you will have a chance” – that means, I am totally not going to review this
“up and coming, rapidly growing” – that means, I don’t have many followers yet, but I hope to one day, so I am up and coming!
“after the review” – that means, well, if I don’t review it, I don’t have to return it.
Are blogs a fantastic way to advertise? Absolutely. But, you have to know your blogs. An Instagram account with 200 followers isn’t going to help you. Not in the smallest bit. A blog (like mine) that has 400 followers, but no one ever likes or comments on the blog? Not going to help you, at all. A tumblr account, well, let’s not go into tumblr and what 90% of it is. A twitter account or facebook page with 150 followers? Not amazing, not going to help you.
Here are the ways (in my opinion, this is by far from law or amazing scientific fact) to recognize a legitimate advertising opportunity via a blogger (no matter the platform).
- At least 3,000 followers with at least a 60% active rate for any social media. (comments, likes, or shares)
- At least 1,000 followers with at least a 60% active rate for any blogging platform (meaning views, comments, or likes)
- An audience that is actually your target audience AND has the ability to make online purchases. (This is so important! While 12 year old girls may ADORE your dress, if it is an account with nothing but teenagers following and engaged on it…well, 12 year olds don’t make a whole lot of credit card purchases. If it is an account about fly fishing, the followers will probably not be overly interested in your dress. If it is an account about crochet, full of free patterns, the engaged followers will probably not be interested in purchasing your finished product. Find an account that works for you…if you sell dresses, find a fashion blog, If you sell crochet patterns, find a crochet blog! If you sell recipe books or spices, find a blog full of recipes and food!)
I believe that legitimate bloggers who are going to approach you about an item will immediately provide you with a link, stats (screen shots of their actual engagement) and information on their viewership.
I believe that most bloggers who would be worth an advertisement are not going around scanning shops to ask for free items. They either buy the item or they are too busy reading through offers from people who want to advertise to actually go hunt down items.
I was approached by a blogger once who had a fantastic offer. Unfortunately, I could not accept as the item they wanted was not in stock and would have taken a few weeks to make, and well, I don’t have that type of time or money right now. But, I love to share what the offer was, and my favorite response to the free item email from “bloggers.”
I would love more information about your blog, including engagement statistics and screenshots from your stat pages.
Unfortunately, I am not able to ship items at no cost at this time. However, if you purchase the item, I will send a special coupon code that will be valid for 45 days from purchase. You can give your readers that code, and for each item purchased in my shop using that code, I will refund 10% of your item price, up to 100%. This will be paid to you via PayPal the day after the coupon code expires.
Thank you so much for your interest in my work!
I have sent that email about 40 times…have not had one person accept…and, amazingly enough, when checking out their blogs, most of them did not have anything decent for viewership or engagement. Engagement is the really important part…because you can totally spend money to buy robot followers on almost all social media platforms.
Good luck! And don’t give away your work for nothing!