Yep you read that right I am a Blagger and a Blogger and do you know what? I am really, really good at blagging. Honestly I am not lying how else do you think I managed to get 196 prizes in my tombola, do you think they just fell into my lap.
Unfortunately I am not one of the bloggers that gets inundated with emails offering them sweets, toothpaste, toilet cleaner and some sort of weird cruel looking impliment for goodness knows what. I worked hard, I researched companies, I found the right email addresses to send queries to and I found out which PR companies worked for which toy manufacturers. Yes it was hard, yes it took a lot of time and damn I wish I knew a service like RS existed. That certainly might have made my life a bit easier.
Do you know why companies responded so much in my favour?
Well I was downright cheeky, yep thats me, say it like it is. In fact I am going to share with you what I wrote to the 300 odd email addresses I contacted. On the 21st September I wrote this email
My name is Laura Seaton I am a workaholic mum to two beautiful but very cheeky young girls. I am also a blogger. I am one of those bloggers who is happy to be called a mummy blogger.
I started blogging and tweeting on 1st August so have actually only been doing this for 52 days. I believe I am doing fairly well I have had over 4000 page views and am being followed by over 325 people on twitter.
So why am I writing this email? To be honest I am begging, running a blog is all well and good but being a mum and all that goes with it will only keep people entertained so long. I want to excite people, to make them anticipate reading my next installment and I love christmas.
Yes it is that time of year and I know there are a lot of people out there struggling to make ends meet, let alone be able to afford presents for their children. So I had an idea I want to do an online tombola. I am looking for companies to donate prizes of all shapes, sizes and costs to go into the tombola. I will allow people to enter only once and allocate them a number based on the order they enter. Everyone will go into a randomiser and in the order that they come out they will receive a prize to go under their christmas tree. I am hoping to run the competition in Late October/early November. I would like to get at least 20 prizes but obviously the more the better as more people will join in and it will have a bigger impact.
So what would you get in return, apart from being tweeted about as you offer me a prize. I will display your logo on my blog. If you wished me to review a product as well then I would be happy to do that (with links etc). I will be doing a lot of hype and advertising over this tombola once I have had a few companies agree to donate. It will obviously feature on the blog a lot (each new donation will get a blog post), as well as a mention at least once a day on twitter in the lead up to the comp and then a lot whilst it is open.
Please get in touch as soon as possible if you think that you will be able to help, the sooner you get in touch the more publicity you will have.
I look forward to hearing from you and working with you in the future.
And you know what? I had a great response but by 11th October I was feeling greedy and realised I could make this tombola so much bigger so I sent this to all the people who had not responded at all.
Its me again, I am just writing to you again regarding my online christmas tombola. Do you remember receiving the first email?
Since Wednesday 21st September, when I first had the idea of spreading christmas joy by giving people an extra chrismas present, I have had over 115 prizes donated. Basically I am just giving you a gentle nudge to see if you want to get in on the action. The tombola will open on 22nd October, it will be open to entry for two weeks. I will not be accepting anymore prize entries after the 21st October which gives you 10 days to respond to me.
Here is the link to all the companies who have currently donated (you will be in great company)
Although a lot of the products are baby related there are also four other categories Toddlers, 3 to 5 yrs, 5 yrs plus and Mummy treats. I would love to find something for the dads too.
I am not offended if you say no, in fact if thats what you want to say thats fine. I will just remove you from my list and we will each go about out separate business. However if you want to say yes just give me a shout with what you want to donate, whether its a product or voucher and I will get it up on the site and talked about on twitter as soon as I can. Every day I send a tweet thanking all the companies for donating, these then get RT’s by the companies and by other readers. If you are on twitter use #TMOTXmasTombola and have a look.
I hope to hear from you soon.
So you see I am really good at blagging, I had some great responses from companies and PR’s alike one even said if I needed work doing writing or social media stuff to give her a call. Sometimes being yourself is great and yes we did get sent some stuff to review, in fact I haven’t even reviewed it all yet as I try to space it out a bit (I hate blogs that are all reviews clogging up my google reader) I even sent some of the products I had been sent to other bloggers to review. In fact I have three posts in my review blog that were written by other bloggers. So although I am a very good Blagger I do not do it for my benefit but why should I stop. Companies and PR’s alike want people to review their products they like people talking about them on twitter or facebook or even just with their mummy friends at the school gates.
So far I have been directly contacted by 4 companies to do reviews that were not related to my tombola, one has yet to arrive, one is very well loved, one was a great day out and well the fourth one will never feature on my blog by mutual agreement with the company involved. Its not because it was a bad product just one that did not fit well with my children and has since been donated to charity.
You know though it had me thinking about the reviews I have written, yes they all seem fairly positive (well apart from Doggie Doo but that is a completely different story and features in my blog and not in the review section because I actually paid for that pile of ****) but then I wouldnt accept something to review if I did not think I could be positive about it.
I just flicked through all my reviews and actually there is not a single item that I explicitly went to that company and said give me this product for me to review, there is a few where i said give me a prize and if you would like I can do a review but then I only asked for prizes I would have been happy to receive myself.
So as the debate wages on over Bloggers and Blaggers and I will just sit here thinking “what is so bad with being a newbie blogger who blags stuff?” if you have the gift of the gab, as my family call it, why not use it, and if people give you stuff well thats up to them. You know if you are reading this you more than likely entered my tombola, did you win? I blagged that prize for you so enjoy it.