This is part 4 of a 5 part series sharing information regarding writing reviews.
Find previous posts in this series here…
Sex toy reviews are typically published by bloggers who are seen as lifestyle or sex bloggers. The product is given free to the writer who in return tests out the item and publishes an honest review. However, carrying out reviews of any kind can be fun – but – it is work too, and you can get paid. This information was not clear at the beginning of my journey and I was of the opinion the only trade off was the toy for the article.
In the beginning
When I first started blogging about life and sex I was eager to write a sex toy review as it seemed it would be another feather in my blogging cap. But I must say the reviews I read on other sites, in the main, did not really ignite or excite me in any way. They all seemed so formal and very much the same.
What I am not saying is all professional reviews are boring. One of the reasons I asked Liz Black and His Lordship to write on this topic was because although their reviews would be seen as using a formal format, which many sex toy companies want, both these writers have also added the personal touch. Read Liz’s posts on the topic to see how she does that. Or indeed read one of her reviews. I found this one amusing and touching.
Find your own angle
What I am saying is I knew immediately that formal sex toy reviews would not work on my blog. I also knew that some of my most viewed posts involve my real life date night sex with my man. So right from the start I decided to review in an informal – reader is a fly on the wall – manner, where my man and I get down and dirty with the product I am testing.
From the start I had fun with the toys, and got quite a lot of views. Zumio actually tweeted saying they had never had a sexier review than mine. But did I want to do more? Well, even though I had only done a couple I decided I would knock it on the head in favour of trying to write for a bit of cash. However, something happens when you review for Satisfyer. They send you a bucket load of toys … all of them free. Fortunately I knew one or two bloggers who wanted to get started on reviews so I sent them a few of these products and hosted their guest posts about how they got on with the toys. Then they received their own parcel from Satisfyer 😉
Next leg of journey
After the guest reviews had been published I still didn’t realise some reviewers got paid and basically decided I wasn’t particularly interested in featuring any more on my site. But of course when you are not fussed about something it arrives on your doorstep. Having hosted sponsored posts on my blog (which I wouldn’t do if I didn’t need the money) I was well aware that companies have a marketing budget – as His Lordship mentions, and can choose how to use it. But as I have made clear above I was also aware that when doing a sex toy review it is commonly known the toy comes free so you are expected to review for free in return.
Then I learned of a blogger who did charge for reviews if the toy was worth less than $100. And, as with with anything, you have to decide “what is this worth to me”?
Changing and Charging for Sex Toy Reviews
The change came when a company asked me to do a review. I wasn’t keen. I had some paid story writing elsewhere to complete, so declined their offer to send me any item I wanted – even a Doxy! But they persisted, asking me what my fee would be. Ah money, music to my ears! So I made up a figure that I felt was fair – and I am fair. And they agreed. From then on I have always told the company from the beginning that I charge. Even if the product costs more than £100. Although, I will say the fee may differ depending on how much I need that work or the money or even like the look of the toy. You have to decide what it is worth to you.
The reason companies are prepared to pay me and other reviewers such as His Lordship and Liz, is because we have good profiles and review experience. It is these things they are paying for.
Getting to the money
With that in mind, at first you should do a few free reviews. Get some of those sexy toys you have always wanted. You don’t have to wait for the company to approach you. If you are in the UK I am happy to send you a toy to get you started. I have a drawer full! Then you can pitch to a toy company armed with a published review in your portfolio.
It is wise to think about what angle you can offer where reviewing is concerned. I am sure that another reason I get approached quite a bit, even though I really have not written many, is because my take on reviewing is an individual one.
Whereas I don’t think I will ever review more than two or three times a year – I prefer doing other writing projects – I do quite enjoy the process of testing out the toy, but it definitely is work – so I enjoy the money more!
Have a go. Why not? 😉
Header image copyright belongs to Purple’s gem – who write a mean review themselves.