When you start blogging, you might accept anything that comes your way without thinking too much about what you’ll need to do in return. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of working with an awesome brand when you first start blogging (hey, it’s still exciting even if you’ve been blogging for a few years!)
As you do more and more reviews in exchange for payment (either monetarily or in exchange for a product to review), you’ll start to think more about what you will and will not do. To make things a little easier than explaining this to every single person who contacts you about a potential collaboration, you might want to consider creating a review policy so you can send it out in every email (another excuse to use a canned response email!)
Having a policy posted prominently on your blog means that the expectations between yourself and the person sending you products is set before any sort of transaction takes place, and in the worst case scenario, you can refer back to it when someone is getting pushy about when a post will go up on your blog.
But who says you need to wait and have experiences to write a review policy? Here’s a few things that you might want to consider putting in your policy…
Follow/No Follow links
We’ve talked previously about what a nofollow link is (if you need a refresher, here’s the link to the post) – you might choose to only offer reviews with nofollow links in. This might put off some potential collaborators, but it’s your choice whether you want to use this type of link. It’s worth noting that Google’s guidelines state that if a product is provided to you free for a review, or you get paid to insert a link, that those links are marked as nofollow. If you do decide to go with nofollow links in reviews, here are two links to Google’s guidelines that you may find useful when explaining why to blogger outreach people – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en is about nofollow and https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en is about paid for links and nofollow
What You Will Review
And of course, what you will never ever ever review. Some people may feel uncomfortable promoting gambling, smoking, drinking, weight loss products, etc – whatever you’re not happy with talking about, state it up front here. You don’t need to explain why you will not talk about these things on your blog – just make it clear what you’re not happy promoting.
Speed Of Post
How quick can you get that post up? That’s obviously a question that can only be specifically answered at the time, but you can give a fair estimate in this section. Perhaps you want to give some products a good trial (such as skincare) – you could define what might take a bit longer to go up on your blog than the usual review.
Will It Be Posted?
If you receive a product, do you guarantee that a blog post will go up about it? What if you dislike the product – will you still post, warts and all? (Although you should always discuss any issues with a product with the person who sent it to you – hopefully it’s just a one off, and the way that a brand reacts to those issues is always a good thing to talk about!)
So how will you disclose when a product is sent to you to review? (Because, of course, you’re disclosing that, right? Need a reminder why? Check out this post about the ASA’s blogger disclosure guidelines and how to write a disclosure statement)
Do you have a review policy? We’d love to see it if you do – seeing other peoples versions can be so helpful when you’re writing one yourself!