How can I get free sex toys to review?
Should I agree to let a company approve my review before publication on my site?
A company is asking me to edit my review so it’s more positive about the product. Should I change my review?
I love the company who sent me this product, but I hate the product itself! Help?
It’s great to put my review in as many places as possible, right?
Should I put my product review on a company’s website if it was actually sent to me by a different company?
Should I be charging anything for product reviewing?
I want to earn a bit of cash from reviewing adult products. How do I go about this?
What’s the best way to use affiliate links in adult product reviews?
When and where should I use follow or nofollow links in product reviews?
Do I really need my own blog to be an adult product reviewer?
How do I cope when I have too many products to review?
How can I put a guest review on CaraSutra.co.uk?
When can I review your new bondage kit?
This is a question I still get asked many times a week, even after years in the industry. If you are serious about providing feedback about adult products, be it sex toys, erotic books, lingerie, fetish gear or lubes, then be serious about it. If you’ve used a vibrator or dildo and have some opinions about it, stick your review on the shop’s website, on the product page, and/or write it in full on your blog.
Sex toy reviewing is about providing feedback on sex toys. It’s not about how you can grow your collection of sex toys for nothing.
If you’re passionate about giving feedback on sex toys and related products and ideally, combine with articulate writing skills, the chances are that companies will in time notice you as a reviewer and offer you a product to review.
It makes me cringe when I see people, not even always newbies but sometimes bloggers who should know and act better, demand sex toys and products from companies. It’s rude, uncouth and unbecoming. Please stop.
If you really feel like you’re giving product reviewing your all and you’re still not being noticed, after linking to companies from your site and connecting on social media, then I would advise emailing companies, politely. Say who you are and what you do. How long you’ve been reviewing. Talk about your passion for giving feedback on adult products and how you feel your opinions could be of help and interest to others. Should they have any products they would like you to review, that they should feel free to contact you at the details shown. Thank the company for their time and consideration.
This should be common sense, really.
In my opinion, no. It’s your website or blog, your content. A company has agreed to send you a product to review because they want a review for that product, and have entrusted this to you.
Therefore, the company either trusts you to write a review for that product and sends you it, or they would rather not send you the product to get a review. The choice is theirs. Once you have a product to review, you are free to review that product with your honest opinions at your own website or blog.
Should your review veer from personal opinion and feedback into slanderous territory either about the company or the product, that is then a case of the company taking action against you for slander and defamation.
Too many bloggers think they are immune to any and all legal action, which is not the case at all. No matter your standing on the internet, if you publish anything on the web which is slander or defamation, you could find yourself on the receiving end of legal action from the company involved.
Always ensure your product reviews stay within the confines of product feedback and personal opinion and make this clear to your readers. You should also put a disclaimer that you received the product from the company free of charge in exchange for an honest and fair review, or something along those lines, so your audience and any authorities know the nature and reasons behind the review. In some countries this is required by law.
This is also why I don’t charge fees in return for product reviewing, which I will go into more detail about on a later question.
If someone asked you to change your opinion about something, would you? Just because they asked?
Your opinion is your opinion – and your experience with a product was your personal experience. As long as your review is a solid write up of both your experience and opinions of the product, then a company is not entitled to ask you to change your review to sound more positive, just to help assist their sales.
If a company would like you to write lovely, positive, promotional marketing material for them, this is a copywriting service and not a product review, and I would advise you to charge them for this as such.
So no, please don’t go back and change any of your reviews due to pressure from sales-chasing companies who don’t know the drill about product reviews. Stick to your guns!
I’ve been in this quandary several times myself in my years of product reviewing. The company is SO lovely, my contact is almost like a friend to me, I’ve loved everything else they’ve sent, how can I possibly put such a negative review about a product live?
Well, no matter your relationship with a company or manufacturer (depending on who has sent the product to you), if your experience with a product was less than satisfactory you should be honest about it. Feel free to add a paragraph in about the great service the company gives its customers, how lovely your contact is. But make sure you’re completely honest about the product and any negative points you’ve found.
Your readers are also potential buyers of that product; would you rather lie, have them buy a shoddy product and be completely disappointed? Not only is that a shame for the buyer, it also completely voids your other honest reviews as well as casting aspersions about your qualifications as an adult product reviewer.
Can your opinion be thoroughly trusted on every single occasion, throughout every single review? Make sure you remain honest and consistent for best blogging and reviewing practice. Keep your integrity no matter how difficult it can feel at times.
Marketing and self-promotion are wonderful things. However, there are also such things as search engine algorithms and a little thing we call Google.
Google does not like duplicate content. It’s seen as spam. If a large portion of text on one webpage matches the large portion of text on another page, this is duplicate content. Google thinks you’re spamming on the internet, and will put black marks (in terms of ranking) against your site.
Be very careful about duplicate content. Nowadays, I write my full review on my own blog, then I place a summary version on the company’s product page if they require a review on their site as well. It takes longer but from a ranking perspective, it’s worth it.
It’s also worth remembering this fact before copy and pasting someone’s entire article over to your site, even if you’re doing it to try and ‘help promote’ them to your readers. Some bloggers write an article for an external company, and think they can use this content on their own site as well. This is also viewed as duplicate content, I’m afraid.
A better way to promote someone’s work or to market your own work from elsewhere is what I call a ‘signpost update’. If you love someone’s article, put a couple of sentences of it in a blog post, surrounded with what it is, where people can find the original post, why you like the writer and where else you can find them on the web.
To promote your own articles elsewhere, do similar, but a couple of lines from your article on a ‘signpost’ blogpost, surrounded with who the article was for, why you think your readers should click through to read it, and any other information as relevant.
Strictly speaking it’s the product you’re reviewing, not the specific company, but industry etiquette dictates that you should really only place a product review on your own site and the product page of the company who sent you the product free of charge, at most.
If you really want to place a summary of the review on another company’s website too, i would check with your sending company first to make sure they don’t mind. Keep in mind the duplicate content issues we just discussed, too.
No. Money changing hands changes the process of reviewing from an honest feedback review, into a service. A service which is paid for is biased by the fact you’ve been employed to do that job.
I’m not saying it’s a bribe for a positive review, but it’s certainly close. if a company pays you to review a product, they may feel as if they have more control over the content of your review and that it should in no way reflect any negative qualities of the product.
Of course, this goes against the whole principle of product reviews, which is to bring your readers an unbiased opinion of and feedback from using the product. Money = bias.
There are many other services you can charge adult companies for, which we will go into detail about a bit later on. You can also earn some pocket money from your reviews, which leads us nicely to…
Once you’re self-hosted, you can join company affiliate schemes and use your personal tracked links to bring in some pocket money from referred sales. This is like a 21st century version of being a sex toys party planner; instead of taking a cut of any sales on your party night, you get a cut of sales from people buying products through clicking the links in your reviews.
Some companies have ‘inhouse’ affiliate schemes, whereby you get your special links through a sign-in area on their site (like UberKinky). Others, such as Lovehoney, Bondara and SimplyPleasure are members of an external affiliate management company.
The best one of these, in my experience, in Paid on Results which gives you a toolbar button, for easy conversion of any product page on companies you’re an affiliate of, to your own affiliate link. Bondara is on AffiliateFuture which is not quite as quick and simple to use but still a solid affiliate management tool.
Percentage on sales can vary between 10-20% of referred sales, and there is usually a minimum threshold before payout (commonly £25).
Don’t overly spam your reviews (or any other blog posts) with affiliate links. Yeah, we’d all like to make a bit more money but sometimes less is more especially when it comes to keeping your reviews both readable and professional looking.
I tend to put a link to the product page at the start of the review, then a buy link at the end, with at most a couple of links to related categories or products I’ve spoken about within the body of the review.
If the affiliate links are through an affiliate management company such as Paid on Results or Affiliate Future, there’s no reason why these links need any ‘Google Juice’. I use the edit/replace function on notepad to insert the nofollow piece of code after these links.
If you want to give the company a spot of ‘Google Juice’ feel free to leave any straight links or inhouse affiliate scheme links (as these still have the company url as the stem of the link) as ‘follow’, which is default.
No, you don’t. Having your own blog does give you the space to write more, to insert your photos as you wish, to link out as you like and to use affiliate links to earn some pocket money – but it’s not an actual necessity for a reviewer.
There are many reviewers who are valued by sex toy companies for the reviews they place on the product pages of the sex toy websites themselves, as well as being prolific members of those companies’ forums and communities.
It might seem a way off when you’re new to blogging and are yet to receive a free product in exchange for review, but there will come a time when it seems like you have a mountain of sex toys, books, lingerie and fetish gear to review and you’re under pressure to get the reviews out as soon as possible.
In reality, most companies only check intermittently for their reviews and aren’t impatiently hovering over the ‘email naughty reviewer now’ button at their desks, tutting about how lax you are and how they’ll never send you anything again, you ungrateful thing.
Work your way through the pile. I usually work through the products I have in the order I received them and even have a dedicated box for toys that need reviews. Make sure you still dedicate the same time and attention to your reviews even at times of demand and pressure. You need to use the product properly and as many times as needed to give an honest and properly reflective review.
If life gets in the way and you find you simply cannot complete a review in your usual or given timeframe, tell the company involved. Most companies I deal with are very understanding and a simple email to let them know you’ve just moved, or you’ve found out you’re pregnant, or you’re ill, or whatever the case is, is met with a friendly response and a compassionate attitude.
Keep that line of communication open and you will find that companies would rather wait for a proper review rather than a rushed or dishonest one.
How can I put a guest review on CaraSutra.co.uk?
You can submit your review through my guest review form here. I manually approve all reviews before publication, in case of any horrid web-bots and the like. My aim is to present them in the manner you’ve written and I do not proof, edit or otherwise change your words.
Basically I’m making sure you’re not some spam bot giving me a load of content filled with links to dodgy handbag or shoe sites.
You will also need to email me any photographs separately, as I don’t have a photo uploader on the submit a review form as yet.
Also please, please make sure that your content is not a duplicate of a post already on your, or some other site. I do not allow duplicate content at CaraSutra.co.uk so if you’d like to submit a review you’ve already written, please give a summary version which is not identical to an existing post at your blog.
– Cara Sutra