Free Stuff for Your Blog
You need stuff to give away and you can’t afford to bankroll it on your own. So, where do you get the goods? Here’s a list of ways you can get free stuff for your blog. (Even if you don’t want to give stuff away, you can still get cool free stuff for you and your family!)
Tomoson.com is a website that acts as the intermediary between the bloggers and individuals and organizations trying to sell their product. You can scroll through the list of products and apply for the ones you are interested in. Hit the “ask a question” button and ask if you can get an additional one to give away.
2. Sample and “Freebie” Sites
Sites like MyFreeProductSamples.com offer products samples (clearly) over a wide variety of categories, so you can pick which ones work best for your site. Also, check out directories like Totally Free Stuff where you can find hundreds of things people are looking to give away. Blogger Link Up also has a section for others to list products for giveaways and reviews.
3. Book Publishers
Book publishers have really cracked down on the amount of galleys that they send out. However, many small publishers are still happy to offer up some freebies for you to read and giveaway. The small, independent publishers are the best to hit up, as are the independently published authors (because they need help getting the word out). Always, I mean ALWAYS, ask for autographed copies to up the ante for the giveaway. Pay attention on Twitter, Facebook and even in your local newspaper for authors. Also, search online for “book publishers [category like young adult]” to come up with a list that you can email.
4. PR Companies
Be careful what you wish for because once you are on a PR company’s radar then you will be contacted constantly. However, PR companies are looking for great blogs and bloggers to pimp their products. Contact any of the following and let them know that you’re open to doing PR on your blog:
(There are many others, this is just a list to get you started.)
Also, put a PR Friendly link on your blog and then explain on that page why your blog would be great for PR. Remember, you need to have a site and content that back up your requests. PR companies will ask you why they should place their products with you, so you better be ready to answer.
5. Go local.
Local independent businesses struggle and any free marketing they can get is a bonus. Approach some of your favorite, independently-owned stores and businesses and ask if you can sponsor a giveaway for them. Assure them that you’ll review the product and include their contact information.
6. Contact Tourist Attractions.
Tourist attraction companies LOVE bloggers. Contact the marketing department of your local zoo, amusement park, children’s museum (whatever) and tell them that you would love to visit them and write a blog post on how others should visit. When they offer to comp your visit, ask if you can give away a visit to one of your readers to bring new people to the area. Also, shoot an introductory email to the official tourism site for your state (and city). Local companies contact them for marketing and if they remember you, you’ll be first on the list for some great state opportunities.
7. Contact Manufacturers.
If you love a product or are interested in trying it out, then just … ask. Really. But, here’s the trick, don’t just find their website and use the generic contact form. You will NEVER get answered that way. Your best bet is to find the marketing or PR director for that company and send them a personalized email. However, finding those contact people isn’t always easy (for obvious reasons). Search online for “[company or manufacturer] PR marketing.” Or, search press releases from the company the same way, “[company or manufacturer] press release” because they list the contact person in the release. If you’re going to be doing this a lot, you can join sites like Selectory, The List, or others to give you access to business contacts and emails for companies.
Remember, don’t get too caught up in doing free giveaways because running giveaways for free all the time won’t turn your blog into a business.
Do you have a favorite go-to to get free products? Share your experiences in the comments!