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I'm just starting out doing some reviews and would love to be able to offer give-aways to my readers. (I just think they're so fun).
Here's my question, when you want to do give-aways, is it best to go after the companies you like, or let them come to you via PR people?
How did you begin doing give-aways on your blog?

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Thanks, Molly. You know there's a special place in my heart just for you, right? ;) (yikes. I hope i don't sound creepy) lol
Bring on the crafted giveaways. I'd enter every contest. :)

Molly McMahan said:
Look at you girl, jumpin in with both feet!

I haven't done a give away, but considered it. I have a ton of things that I have crafted that would be good items for that, but to many other things in my world right now to mess with it.

Good luck!
I just started doing give-aways on my review page and I just contacted the companies myself. They are usually very nice to you even if they turn you down. (Start with small companies) Check on other review blogs for the products that they have done reviews/give-aways and contact those companies too- obviously, they are willing to do contests and you may have a better chance. My first month of doing reviews, I held a big give-away and I contacted about 50 companies and received about 20 products for reviews and like 15 products for my big give-away!
I've posted my first giveaway to celebrate reaching over 1000s hits. I'm not sure if I've followed the correct protocol, but I thought I would give it a shot. I bought the prize, an autographed copy of Hal Higdon's Marathon.

If I had given it more thought, I would have contacted a PR department of a company to throw me a bone for a giveaway. There's been a lot of great advice posted here so far. Thanks for the tips, ladies!
I have only done 2 so far, but I have 4 more lined up... It started slowly, but it's picking up now... I've let them come to me... It's pretty neat
I asked my first giveaway. I feel for the BNL kids CD so I followed the links on their site and contacted their sales, I asked about a giveaway, stated I loved the CD. A week later I did a follow-up letter. I gave more info on my blog, what social sites I used and how I planned to run the contest. That day they e-mailed back with a "YES!" I have been rejected, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
Now I do get offers, and I pick the products I can use in my everyday life- or I enjoy using!
I was frustrated because PR people weren't contacting me. I complained about it on Twitter and was contacted by three PR people within the hour with offers. They suggested I put something on the front page of my site, saying I was open to hearing PR pitches and interested in giveaways. So that might be the reason some people are not being contacted by PR people.

I recently discovered a product I loved. I contacted the company and introduced myself and said I'd make a video showing their product being used. They loved it and agreed to send ten of my readers samples of their products. So I highly suggest contacting companies on your own and putting something on your front page saying you are open to pitches and giveaways.

-Mutha Mae
Great responses! My sister is wanting to do give aways on her blog but wasn't sure how to go about it. Although give aways don't really have a place on my blog I think they are fun to participate in.

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