As someone personally sick of the nonsense on the #prrequest hashtag, I thought i’d stick my own two pence-worth in. That is the point of a blog, right?

If you are wondering how to be sent products from brands for review, you are beginning by asking yourself the wrong question. The question you need to be asking, and actioning, is how do I build a strong blog? You need to start thinking of your blog as a business- how does it look?, what is your niche?

Only once your blog itself has a firm identity and is like a brand in its own right, will PRs start approaching you. That, along with the necessary and obvious elements of having a readership and a strong social media presence/interaction level. There are hundreds of bloggers tapping away at their keyboard with their thoughts on various products they have bought, or on their fashion opinions, but they have no authority on those topics and their writing is poor. Authority comes from being a long-standing trusted source of information by readers, and from experience and education.

If you are a new blogger, you will need to work hard before brands and PRs will send you products to review. Products are not in infinite supply. PRs and brands have a limited number/budget set aside for samples, and they need to ensure that these go to people who a) will write and photograph them professionally; b) who have both authority, and readers who will act on their opinion and c) whose blog and readership fits the brand. This is a business, and you need to start thinking of it as such- it may be ‘free stuff’ to you; but to a brand it is an investment. Work on building your blog and social media channels (all written in correct English and not text speak or without punctuation) and brands will notice you.

You can, of course, help them notice you by writing well about their brand off your own back, and sending them the links ‘just for their information’; but whether they act on it by adding you to their press release lists etc is down to the professionalism of your blog and its accompanying social media presence.

Some blogs to follow to help improve your own blog are Independent Fashion Bloggers and Quick Sprout.

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By Laura Pearson-Smith

Photo Credit: Mexicanwave via photopin cc