When I did that survey last month about my blog, I noticed a few people commenting about how I only show PR samples and not items I actually buy myself. That got me thinking that many of you who aren’t bloggers might not necessarily know how the whole blogger sample thing works. So I figured I would tell you!
First off it takes a long time to even get on some PR lists for samples. In fact I am 7+ years into this journey and I’m still not given samples from many high-end brands. It’s not like you become a blogger then BAM, everyone starts sending items. You have to be around for awhile, establish yourself as a serious blogger, and then hopefully get in contact with people you want to work with.
Once you are on the PR lists you get sent emails with all the brands latest collections. Usually from there they let you know if there are samples available and you can ask for some. Or sometimes they tell you samples are already on the way. And occasionally they say no samples are available, just information and PR photos. Certain brands will send whole collections, some only a few pieces. More and more brands are cutting back on blogger samples now, which is why you might notice sometimes I don’t have as many pieces to show as in years past.
When brands ask which pieces I would like samples of, I usually choose the shades I would actually buy in person if I was in a store. Or I choose the ones I know people are the most interested in seeing (say a odd blue lipstick or something). So while I am not actually purchasing a lot of what you see on here (probably 75% of my blog features PR samples and 25% is items that I buy) I in fact am choosing items I would normally just buy. It just happens that I don’t have to pay for them, which I wouldn’t be able to anyway. Blogging isn’t exactly a money-making machine. 😉
Also there are many products that I receive as samples that I don’t ever feature for various reasons. I also get a lot of PR emails every day of products I could get samples of, but I pass on for one reason or another. I would say I actually only post about 20-25% of the items that are sent to me via email or in-person.
As I mentioned before, the blogger sample world is changing a lot. It used to be easier to get samples, and more of them, but now that there are so many bloggers, supplies are dwindling. Many companies used to send full collections, but now they only send a few pieces. Also the rise of Instagram has changed things as well. Some brands won’t even send to bloggers they have worked with for years because they don’t have enough Instagram followers. It always makes me scratch my head because blogging IS NOT the same as Instagram, but all some people can see is social media numbers, not actual blog reader numbers. I have a feeling this trend will keep happening until eventually Instagram will fall out of its mass popularity, like Twitter has in recent years. We shall see!
So now you know how the mysterious world of blogger samples works!