Now, the presentation makes a couple of big assumptions. First, you need to have a critical amount of subscribers on your blog because her tips focus on having a third party write the content, and the inclusion of those costs in your price. But let's be real. The blogs that have that critical mass are few and far in between. For the smaller, amateur bloggers that are looking to make some money with their websites, can't justify charging for all this extraneous costs. Plus, case in point, usually it's public relations that will reach out to bloggers, and they have a very limited budget. She mentions that when approached, you should consider jumping over to the media buyer. Which is nice... if you have the time, resources or even the stamina to talk to media buyers. They can be a pretty agressive bunch.
A good idea that came through in the questions was using the initial contact at low or no cost to actually getting samples of the products and trying them, whilst maintaining full disclosure of that you did get this free stuff, and that you've been asked to review it. In addition to that, you should provide an HONEST review. If you love it, great, if you hate it, disclose it - although politely - as you don't want to burn the bridge.
Some ideas on varying the types of sponsorships you can get for your blog:
- Advertizing through banners and ad words
- sponsored posts
- twitter parties
- contests and sweepstakes