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Most people aren't so inclined as to tell you how they are doing things like this but I'll give you a couple of tips. Many people buy their own products to review to get started. Something I would recommend, is you ordering free samples whether they be from Wal-Mart or a pen company. Use those free samples as your review products. Once you've established a reputable review "portfolio", then you will be approached.
As far as giveaways, I recommend whatever prize you choose to give away, you use leaving a comment as the main entry, adding blogging about it, etc as addtional entries. If your blog is established, you may consider approaching companies and asking if they would like to sponsor your contest.
You will have to search around. It also depends on which niche you are in and what type of products you would like to review. For me.. I am in the parenting niche and am doing it this way
1. Writing my own reviews on items that I have read.
2. Posting some of my reviews on social sites like Hubpages/Squidoo
3. Getting to know publishers and doing books reivews for soon to be launched books to gain exposure to my website.
You can view my latest product reviews on my site. -From Dominique's Desk
I don't know how to do what you are thinking of, but, -- are you familiar with the BlogHer Ad network? If your blog has been established at least 90 days, you can apply to join them, and once you are a part of it and run their logo, they will select appropriate ads for your site. Then, in time -- I guess this is how it works -- given some popularity with your blog, companies could approach you and ask you to run reviews. At any rate, BlogHer gives very specific instructions about how to handle product reviews and freebies, so I guess it is fairly common that review requests can start coming your way after you are with them for a while. The "mommy blog" Because I Said So was my introduction to BlogHer.
Hi there! I started a blog like this with two other mommies (www.weefinds.com). We focus on smart finds for parents and kids...all for under $25. At first we were reviewing products we all used ourselves. Later we started contacting companies to see if they wanted to send us samples to review. Some even offer products for us to giveaway.
Wow--great advice and tips!! So glad I checked in here. I would love to get into doing reviews as well. I have had a couple of companies actually contact me for reviews, but that's been it. But I love the idea of doing your own review on products to get started! Weefinds.com---love that name. It seems it helps to be on a "team" of reviewers--hmm..maybe starting one would be a fun thing? Anyone interested?