Product Reviews: How To Get Started

Product reviews are a natural fit with ‘mommy bloggers‘. With women connecting more and more online, it makes sense to get advice on which stroller to buy, which curriculum to choose, which detergent best gets out crayons, etc.. from your online friends. Through my company, I do a ton of product reviews and I am constantly being asked by moms just starting to blog how they ‘get into’ product reviews.

This post is aimed at the new mom blogger looking to get their feet wet with product reviews. I have a few companies that you should get signed up with. The sign up process is free and depending on your blog audience, these may work out well for you. I personally work with the first two often and have met both their owners (and wonderful employees) in person. I can highly vouch for their companies and feel comfortable sending my closest friends over to them.

Mom It Forward- Register and participate on the forum to be contacted about blogger outreach opportunities including blog tours, twitter parties, conference sponsorships and more.

Mom Central- In the right hand sidebar there is a link to sign up for their mom testing panel. They are very organized and will send you emails with campaigns that may fit your readership come up. You respond to the email by filling in their questionaire. They will contact you to let you know if you are chosen. I really like that Mom Central usually sends a giftcard to compensate you for the time it takes to post your review and test the product.They have some wonderful campaigns, including Feld Family Activators which I proudly participate in.

Team Mom Media-Wonderful women to work with. I really like that when I get a product to review from them, I get a press kit in the package. After you start doing a lot of reviews, that will be a big plus. While Team Mom usually does not compensate you for the posting time, I really like the campaigns that they offer and the products tend to be things that fit well with my family. Team Mom spends time getting to know their bloggers personally so they can keep you in mind when that perfect fit comes up.

MyBlogSpark-I have just signed on to do my second review through them but several of my online mom buds swear by them.

As you get more into product reviews, you will develop relationships that lead to higher paying opportunities and ‘mom teams’. I have always enjoyed the opportunity to do reviews and I hope the companies above can get you started on this path.

One last suggestion! Have a company you adore and are a natural brand advocate for? Contact their pr directly.I have a list of people I adore and will post that later this week but twitter is an excellent way to begin a relationship with brands. Remember, there are real people behind those accounts so just saying hi and showing your interest goes a long way in building a relationship before you ‘pitch’ them.

Take a look at the list of PR people that I recommend getting to know!

Picture Perfect Day

My boys may be coming down with some very terrible illness. Either that, or I have to go buy a lottery ticket. My day was SPOOKY!

Carter had therapy which he loves.

Connor and I went to the gym where I actually RAN (yes, ran, people) on the treadmill.

Boys listened intently as I read a short story by Langston Hughes and then intelligently discussed Harlem Renaissiance.

Boys played nicely together.

But the kicker here???? They each asked for and DEVOURED 3 helpings of cauliflower mash potatoes which I can only kindly describe as white barf. Don’t let Bob & Jillian (Biggest Loser) lie to you. They DO NOT taste just like mashed potatoes.

So, should I call the CDC and report this strange illness? or go buy a lottery ticket?

If I Knew Then…

What I know now? Would I do it all over again? You bet. But this advice may have helped!

Today is our 16 year wedding anniversary. I realized exactly how long that was when I had to scan the photos in. We were married pre-digital age. I have been thinking alot about that cute couple in the pictures below today and I thought I would write them a letter on their anniversary.

wedding9

October 9, 1993

Dear Bob and Barb,

Congratulations on your wedding! You are both so young and full of hope today. You are both all of 21 years old and I know you think you have it all figured out. You don’t, you don’t have a clue! But, WOW, you look great! Hold on to those images. You will never look better in your life, trust me, I know. See, I am you 16 years later and I would kill for that body Barb thought was so fat back then!

Things are tense today. I heard you had a fight the day before the wedding. Wedding stress. Don’t worry. You will have a lot of fights over the next 16 years. You really won’t remember many of them. But some you will. Some will cross the line to the unforgettable but it will be OK because, honestly, really you do love one another.

You are moving into your first apartment together. A cute little one bedroom on Northern and 19th Ave. Enjoy it! Some day you will live in a 5,000 sq foot house that you can’t keep clean. You will miss that little place.

Your first house is right around the corner. Boy is it a fixer up er but you are lucky to get it at your age! No air conditioning for the first 3 years except the wall unit in the bedroom. Don’t worry, you will find a lot to do in that little room. In fact, soon a little one will be on the way to join you. Seriously though, rethink the decorating. You get beyond tacky in that house.

It wont be long before you finish school, get real jobs and become parents. You will know you have ‘grown up’ the day Barb decides to quit her teaching job and be a stay at home mom. I don’t know what you were thinking when you thought you could live on Bobs salary then. But, somehow you will make it and his career will begin to take off. Being poor with a baby is enough motivation for him!

Soon after you will build your second home and try for baby number 2. It won’t be easy but eventually he will arrive and change you to the very core of your being. Nothing in the world could prepare you for the day he arrives. Over the next 11 years you will be tested and blessed equally more than you will ever imagine possible. You will fight, you will scream, you will blame each other and you will love and support each other more than a couple should have to. Again, you will be OK. You have each other to lean on.

One day, Bob who has been plugging along in his career will get laid off. You don’t know it now but it will be the best thing that ever happens to you as a couple. You will move to Las Vegas. I know you went there for your 21st birthday and Bachelor parties and thought you were so cool.  Well, hang on, you are about to spend 7 years of your life growing up there. And, boy, will you! For the first time in your life you will learn to stand on your own. The family safety nets will be gone and you will be really scared. Then, one day, you will realize you two can do this and not only will you do it, you will blossom both as individuals and a couple.

And then your world will shake again and an opportunity for Bobs career will come up that you can’t turn down and you two desert babies will live in snow country! Just like in Las Vegas, the safety net will be ripped away but you will survive and probably thrive. I don’t know yet. This is all of the story I know so far.

16 years later you will have two beautiful boys, one a TEENAGER! He will remind you so much of yourselves. He is just two years younger now then when you both met on the stairs at church. Both of your boys will amaze you and exceed your wildest hopes. Barb, I know today you think you will only ever one love man this way. You are wrong. 16 years later you will love two more as well.

So, here is to you both!  Enjoy your wedding day and the wild ride yet to come!

Love,
Barb-16 years later

wedding1wedding13wedding6