Saturday, August 23, 2014

blogging and product samples - what have I gotten myself into?

I started blogging a few years ago to serve as a creative outlet for my writing and to get a break from just focusing on work and family. Over the years, I have gotten better at connecting with companies directly or through middlemen, mostly social networking groups that collect interested companies and connect them to a number of bloggers for product reviews and word of mouth marketing.
I had never expected for blogging to become a full-time job and I still do not plan to give up my real job, which is IT consulting, because I love what I am doing.

But even I have to admit that blogging has become quite lucrative for me and with my blog getting more and more readers, offers for product reviews are becoming more frequent. Among my friends and colleagues I am already known as the crazy sample lady that brings odd collections of samples and coupons to share. Much appreciated by them, but still, they do wonder where on earth I pick all the stuff up.

My blog is a little bit unique in some respects. I cover a lot of different areas. If I find a product interesting, I will review it. If I find a topic in the news interesting, I will write a blogpost about it. I have spend significant time in recent weeks pushing my branded Facebook page (you can check it out at It is a collection of interesting news stories, some link backs to my blog, posts on special offers and I try to end each day with a peaceful picture of an animal napping or sleeping. I find that each day should end on a good note, no matter what the day has brought. And the news recently has not been all that great. We see Americans beheaded on video, yet again, and again it is a journalist - a member of a profession that enjoys much more freedom in the USA than in other countries and with the US Constitution holding freedom of speech in such high regard, I feel that killing members of that profession is attacking one of the core values of the USA.

So while putting a peaceful picture of an animal sleeping cannot make all the troubles go away, at least the end of the days shows that tomorrow is another day and hopefully a better one.

That being said, back to my blogging adventures and what I can only describe as a banner year for my blog. I get new product reviews almost every week now. In addition, I have now solid connections to a few companies that actually pay me to review and so I have started actually rejecting product review opportunities because I can now afford to be selective. That in itself is a nice feeling and an accomplishment.

So rather than [put a post on my blog that only contains writing, here is a picture with a collection of freebies that I received and some of which I am sharing with others.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - samples included for Nerf, Dial, Purina One and Healthy Choice! Missing HouseParty kit for Houdini TV show starting on Labor Day.

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