When you start blogging it’s easy to think “I’m on a budget. I can’t afford to buy products and do exciting things to blog about.” Don’t let that put you off.
A lot of experiences like going to the cinema, bowling, dry ski slopes etc. have off peak rates that can a third of the price cheaper than peak times. It’s also worth phoning up and seeing if they have any deals on group bookings and then convincing your mates they really want to try snowboarding.
Would it be possible to swap or borrow things from friends and family in return for something of yours? You could review or feature your mates new game/makeup/box set/shoes/cookware.
Get a membership card (not a store card) where you do your everyday shopping and sign up to beauty cards and brands newsletters that you love. Don’t touch your points and let them build up. At the end of the month or longer (depending on the card) you can treat yourself to a nice blog worthy item you wouldn’t normally justify buying – even if it is just a luxe shampoo or a quirky phone case.
Join blogger groups on Facebook that are for your town/region, are especially for PR opportunities or your blogs genre. This really is the easiest way to become part of a like minded blogging community and to get invited to events and learn about opportunities.
Sign up to Amazon Local and Wowcher to get deals in your area on experiences, food, pampering sessions and much more to blog about. You will have to be flexible on dates and times but it’s better than staying in watching re-runs on TV.
Beware of websites that say ‘free product testing for bloggers’ as most of the time it’s more like a lottery or you will be answering endless questions and inadvertently giving your details to numerous companies.
Style for Outfit Of The Day (OOTD) posts or blogger events: You should invest in key pieces that aren’t going to go out of fashion such as coats like trenches, parkas and blazers, good fitting jeans, simple boots (which can double as shoes worn under trousers). Anything unusual that’s in fashion – and therefore might laughably go out of fashion – don’t waste too much money on. Belts, scarves, hats and bold statement jewellery can refresh and transform an outfit. Layer and play about with how you wear your garments together.
If you love a brand it’s a good idea to talk to the manager of your local branch and explain that you are a blogger and ask if you can take away some samples to review or you could inquire if they have any in store blogger events planned and leave your details – you might give them the idea!
List posts are great for a quick read such as Top Five Cameras For Bloggers or 10 Reasons Why Winter Is Actually Awesome or What’s On My Wish List This Month.
If you are having a night out with the girls take advantage of beauty counter makeovers. Agree beforehand that you will buy X and X if they throw in Y and Y. Remember to blog about it all the next day.
Don’t by the cheapest camera. You will get quickly frustrated with it and wish you had saved up for a better one. It isn’t necessary for all bloggers to own a DSLR unless you intend on covering fashion shows or vast panoramic scenery etc. High-end point and shoots such as a Panasonic Lumix are surprisingly effective for most purposes.
Wait until a good online deal comes up on products you use often and bulk buy, adding in a new item you feel like reviewing, so you will make a bigger saving and the postage cost will be justifiable or even free.
Don’t buy glossy magazines unless they have a free gift you’d like to blog about. If you can’t live without a particular one then wait until the free gift/offer upon sign up is perfect for you. Just don’t moan when your mates who aren’t subscribed are getting great freebies every third month.
If you get to review something you love it’s worth asking the brand/PR if you can have a second one as a giveaway prize for your readers or a money off code. You will be surprised at how many think this is a great idea! [Always check postage costs before running a competition and specify in your post which country/countries the competition is open to] If the prize is a large item ask if it can get sent straight from the warehouse to the winner and not to your house first!
Don’t forget your life experiences and the knowledge you have gained. It might be useful to include in a blog post like this.
Take advantage of speciality subscription boxes which are perfect for getting into a new thing – be it artisan crafts, vegan food or cruelty-free beauty etc. as they will help you to discover lots of new products and brands. You won’t have to spend a fortune on lots of different websites and most sub boxes have some kind of loyalty scheme.
Don’t throw away any products which randomly get sent to you for review or that turn up in a subscription box that you know you’ll never use. Save them up a run a giveaway.
After a while write a post about all of the sample sized products you have acquired.
Research local PR companies and also find out who does your fave brands PR (look at the bottom of their website under ‘press’) then introduce yourself via email, either with a collaboration idea or ask to be put on their mailing list for future events.
Remember everything you blog about doesn’t have to be exclusive or innovative. Everyday experiences like a day out in the countryside, cooking/baking, a walk around a town with great architecture or a picnic/BBQ in the park are all blogable. Don’t forget to include small occasions in weekly/monthly round up posts. Your blog’s content should be about you, it’s your blog after all.
Hope I’ve given you some useful ideas. Happy blogging!