Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blogging and to get started.

***This post will contain some referral links and I will get paid for you clicking on any company link I provide****

I have a facebook page Vicki Lauretta that I use for promoting my paid advertisements, and my Amazon Reviews and just chit chatting. I have had several of my facebook friends ask me how I make money on my blog and how to get into reviewing products. I decided to post a blog page dedicated to what I have done and to help other people get started. I have to say though, I have only been blogging and reviewing since February and I have had  help getting to where I am so I feel obligated to pay it forward to anyone that wants to read and is interested.

First and foremost, I would be remiss if I didn't thank Tre Harrington and her blog NonPerfectParenting. I would not be where I am at this point if it were not for her. She put me on the right track and showed me some valuable opportunites to monetize my blog. I mean the reviews and the free or almost free items are great and will go a long way at Christmas, but I am unemployed and this hopefully will be the way I can bring in an income. I urge you to follow Tre's blog at Nonperfectparenting and like her facebook page Nonperfect Parenting facebook.

Ok so here is how I got started. On my facebook feed, I noticed many of my friends doing something called Crowdtap and earning Amazon giftcards and seeing many of them getting these awesome free products for reviewing and I wanted a piece of the action. I was already doing Points2Shop and Swagbucks and I was earning some money. I mean those two sites paid for my Christmas presents last year in cash and Amazon credit but I wanted more. So I found one of their links to a place called Tomoson where I found if I linked up my social media sites ( facebook, twitter, linkedin, instagram etc.) I could apply for products and review them for sellers. At this time, I did not have Amazon Prime so I only received one acceptance after applying for about 30 things. I asked my reviewer friends what was wrong and found out I absolutely need Amazon Prime.

Amazon Prime is critical if you want to review products. Yes, its a big expense if you do not have extra cash but if you don't have it you might as well stop now. Either sellers will not choose you, or you will end up paying for shipping on every item you are chosen to review. I didn't not have the cash to get Prime but I asked my daughter to let me use her credit card to buy Prime and let me pay her back over time. Make sure you follow Amazon's TOS about sharing Prime or you can lose your account.

Once I had Prime, the acceptances increased but at first be prepared to review a lot of diet supplements, vitamin c serums, and face creams. After posting a few of my reviews on facebook ( a Tomoson requirement) I was contacted by Tre about joining a blogging facebook group. That group helped me to increase my contacts on google plus, twitter, facebook etc because we were all helping each other become noticed. That is another important thing, getting to know others and making contacts. I mean look, if people hadn't contacted me about how I earn money, I wouldn't be posting this for others to read. The more you are connected socially and the more views your blog gets, the lower your Alexa score gets, and the more popular you become, the better the opportunites. More opportunites equal bigger payments for what you blog and more connections to other opportunities from other bloggers.

I am going to add a link here to another blog post about your Amazon Profile and how rankings work. As a product reviewer your Amazon ranking is extremely important. The lower the ranking number, the more sellers you attract to you for reviews and the more selective you can be on what you review. Amazon Rankings and their Importance

Tre introduced me to Share A Sale which is an affiliate network. When you join Share A Sale you become an affiliate for the brands that they broker. The companies join the Share A Sale site and then you apply to join each company as an affiliate. When you are an affiliate you promote those companies. There are many ways you can promote for an affiliate and its all what you wish to put into it. They have advertising banners with your affiliate number embedded in them that you can put on your blog. When one of your readers clicks on that banner and purchases from that merchant, you get a comission. Another way, and this is the one that I use the most, is paid post opportunities. Your seller sends you an email with an offer of payment for posting a specific thing. Usually its a sale or a holiday type promotion that they are starting and they want you to get the word out. The best part is they GIVE you the sample to post in your blog so it is easy to do. Just a simple copy and paste into your blog as a post and then a form to fill out for the merchant to verify that you did as they requested. Most often the payments are small, usually $5 or $10 dollars but for minimum work you have just made some money and if you have 4 or 5 merchants in a month ask you to do this it can add up. If you join Share A Sale and you want some good affiliate links, hit me up on facebook and I can give you some links.

Some other sites that you can use are actually here on my blog on the sides. You can click on any of the widgets and it will take you to the sites so you can sign up. US Family Guide is one of those widgets. It has many opportunites for going to events and then blogging and tweeting about them. I can't use them much because I am in such a rural area but I did get one opp where I blogged about a summer camp recently and I expect to be paid next month. Some of my friends who live in large cities or near large cities get many many opportunities to go to plays, movies, and other events so it might be a good place to look into. Massive Sway /Sit girls is another that has some big pay opportunities. I haven't been able to do anything for them as of yet but I see some of the payments in the several hundreds of dollars. would be the website if you want to join up or just check them out. 

Another review site I use is Amazon Review Trader. I have gotten flatware, cutting boards, essential oils, a nice bath set, and a few other things from that site to review. Some are expensive so be warned of that but you don't have to do everything on a site. I usually go for the free or $1.00 options that are there. All they want on that site are reviews on so its fairly easy to do and build up your reviews.

When you write your review, BE HONEST! Nothing damages the reviewing world more than people that rate everything 5 stars and glowing. I am not saying don't give something 5 stars if you feel it deserves it, but make sure it is really how you feel. I have many items on my amazon profile rated 5 stars and 4 stars because that is how I feel about the item. I also have a few 3 2 and 1 star reviews but for me to give them that low of a ranking, they have to be really bad or the seller will not cooperate with me. 

If you have an issue with an item, always try and work it out with the seller first. If you got the item from a review group then it is your responsibility to contact the group you received it from before contacting the seller. The group leader will go to the seller on your behalf and get the situation taken care of but every group I am in stresses that they do not want you to go directly to the seller. Now when your Amazon ranking drops below 10,000 you may be pitched to directly by sellers. Those sellers you can go to directly if you have an issue. Most sellers will bend over backwards to help you because they want and need those 4 and 5 star ratings.

Write your review thoughtfully. Don't make it sound like an advertisement because Amazon may pull it. Act as if you are speaking to a good friend about it. Tell what you like, and what isn't so great. If possible talk about how it smells, how it works, how it feels and how it relates to you. If you have negative things to say, be respectful and polite about it. Never slam a seller because it will get you down voted and possibly have your reviews taken down. Make your review more than one or two sentences but don't make it a novel. A well written review is more than " I really liked this. It worked good".

So thats it really. That is how I get all that stuff in the mail to review and how I get money. I am hoping in time to make somewhere around $1300 a month like some of my friends do but for now I am just happy that I am making in the $100's per month. I mean I've only done it for 2 months and so far I have $166 in Share A Sale, $50 in Influenster, all those items I have reviewed probably in the $300 range, a $50 Amazon credit coming from US Family Guide, and then my Crowdtap which is about $40 a month, and P2S and Swagbucks. I would say that is somewhere around $300 a month in credit, cash and merchandise so far.

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