Why Bloggers Charge for Reviews and Giveaways

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I am a blogger.
I used to work for free.

I can't afford to do that anymore.

That probably sounds a little opportunistic or perhaps arrogant, but it makes good sense when you really think about what reviews and giveaways mean for a blogger and for the business they are promoting.

1. Bloggers work hard for their money. No, this isn't some 80's song, it's truth. Giveaways and reviews require a tremendous amount of time and effort . We must try out the product, take quality photos of the product in action around our home, write a pithy blog post on the product, set up giveaway rules and dates, promote the giveaway in social media outlets, close down the giveaway, run a random selector for the winner, email the winner and the company, and take care of any follow-up that may happen after the giveway is finished. This isn't a walk in the park. It is hard work and a couple of boxes of cereal in exchange for all of this isn't going to fly with a blogger who truly knows the extent of her time and effort.

2. Reviews and giveaways are prime ad real estate. I have sidebar ads at RaisingArrows.net; however, those ads are not what get the clicks. That is why with every sidebar ad a company takes out, I allow one giveaway or review post per 3 month period. You will find that one review or giveaway or even just a mention with a coupon code as enticement will pay for itself over and over again. A lot of companies do not realize how golden a blogger's word is.

3. TANSTAAFL. To borrow an acronym from Richard Maybury of Whatever Happened to Penny Candy,
There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

Not to say I won't promote a business for free simply because I love their products, they just shouldn't expect it. Companies would do well to realize blogging IS a business and just as you wouldn't dream of giving away your entire inventory for free, neither can you expect a blogger to hand out free reviews.

4. The gift that keeps on giving. Suppose I write a review post for a product. That company receives my top ad space (aka "a blog post"). Once that post is complete, I no longer benefit (unless the company has an affiliate program I have signed up for); however, the company has my stamp of approval and a post in my archives and a Google keyword or two that generate traffic long past my review post. The long-term investment a company makes in paying a blogger to host a giveaway or do a review is well worth the money.

5. Product is nice. Cash is better. Sometimes a blogger will work for product, especially if she really needs the product. However, unless a blogger approaches a company, it is unlikely she needs the product that company is selling. Assuming a blogger will spread the word about a product simply because the company gave her something for free is bad form.

I know this sounds hard-nosed for a woman who blogs at a Christian homeschooling blog, but the honest truth is my readers don't want me to be a walking advertisement. They want to read about homeschooling and large families and the like. The occasional review or giveaway I host at Raising Arrows is done with the same zest and zeal my readers have come to expect from my regular fare. Asking a company to pay for those reviews and giveaways is simply asking them to compensate me for the time and effort it takes to make their product look good without making my blog look obnoxious. It's a win-win situation.


Amy of RaisingArrows.net is the homeschooling mother of 6 living children and one precious little girl named Emily being held in the Lord’s arms. Her days are filled with giggly girls, rambunctious boys and sticky baby kisses. At night, she writes about it all.

Thank you, Amy, for taking time out of your busy day to pen this great information!

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