Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Trade Industry Q+A

What is Blagman.co.uk?
Are there any product limitations?
What can you offer me?
How many people will see my product?
Is this really free?
Why are products ‘non-returnable’?
Can I buy advertising on your site?
Where have you been featured in the media?
Sounds good, so what do we need to do and who can we contact?

What is Blagman.co.uk?
Blagman.co.uk was started in August 2006 by Mike Essex, who set on a quest to see if he could get 100 products for free simply by asking nicely. This quest was born from the term ‘blagging’ which is when people attempt to get something for nothing. Since that initial quest the site has transformed in to a forum for unique new products and still sticks to its initial premise of only reviewing products which are given to Mike for free. The flip side of this is that all a company has to do to get featured is to donate a product, put their feet up and wait for an honest review.

“Solar Powered wheelchair? Paprika flavour beer? Really, it's true - Blagman will review absolutely anything. Brutally honest but always a great guinea pig, Blagman is an exceptionally random and charming website.”
Charlotte Clark, Account Manager, Way To Blue

Are there any product limitations?
Charlotte is right, to a degree, Mike will review absolutely anything with three exceptions:

A) Nothing that would seen sexually offensive
B) Nothing that may cause harm to Mike’s personal health, by this we mean medication and not sky diving which would be awesome!
C) Anything illegal

Aside from that you’re free to go nuts! Like anyone Mike loves surprises…

"Blagman is the ideal way for JML to promote many of our products, however varied. We produce so many new lines that it's the perfect way to raise their profile. Mike's posts are always witty and make for a really entertaining and crisp read!"

Jonathan O'Connor, PR Executive for JML

What can you offer me?
Even if you only supply people in the trade industry Blagman can still bring benefits you never thought possible. Take Design Six, for example, a trade only jeweller, we were so impressed with their range of jewellery that we not only gave them a glowing review but actively encouraged our readers to go out and ask stores to order their products. For any trade customers reading our site we also offer a link to your website or a preferred retailer for people to purchase your goods.

“Having sent Blagman.co.uk a couple of our best selling products, I was surprised at how quickly the information went live. The product reviews were written with real attention to detail, and sound fantastic!”

Anna Hales - Sales Manager – Design Six Jewellery

How many people will see my product?
At the lowest period we receive 500 unique visitors a day. As each item is exposed on the main page for two weeks and our readers on average return once a week that means a bare minimum of 3500 potential customers in the first week alone. That’s not to mention the 2000 visitors a day we’ve had in peak periods, which occur whenever we slip our name in to the national media. Add to that google searches, and a constant place in our archive and the possibilities really are endless.

“All our clients love us to use Blagman, and enjoy reading his quirky take on their products. It's a cost effective way of gaining extra coverage when you need it!”

Helen Davis, Senior Account Manager, Evolution PR Ltd

Is this really free?
Yep, the only cost to yourself is the cost of whichever product you send over. Aside from that the site is run as a totally free service. Mike runs the site purely to try out new, interesting products and any money made from banner ads goes directly towards the sites hosting costs.

Why are products ‘non-returnable’?
To make sure Mike isn’t bombarded with products he only features those which have in essence been donated. This is done primarily to keep with the site’s original theme of ‘blagging’ but also to save on postage and to ensure Mike can road test every product in full without having to worry that it may be ripped away from him.

"Blagman.co.uk - does exactly what it says on the tin! Let's face it, we send out hundreds of "product placement samples" (freebies) to "key opinion formers" (blaggers). At least Blagman has the decency to properly review your products, write a witty bit of copy, and not just cut and paste some prosaic text from your press release - genius!"

Matt Watson, Communications Manager - Filofax

Can I buy advertising on your site?
Yes please! All of our advertising is handled by Google in much the same way as done with Google Ad Words. You simply type in a header, some text and a destination, select how much you wish to spend per click/ impression and voila, instant advertising! You can even set daily budgets to ensure you only spend what you want to spend and can quit at any time if you change your mind. It takes about 2 minutes to set up and to check it out click here

Where have you been featured in the media?
BBC News - Watch the vid!
Kerrang Radio Interview (twice!) – Ugly Phil Breakfast Show
BBC Radio WM – Danny Kelly Show
Times Newspaper (Times 2) - Online Link
WebUser Magazine - List of magazine content]
Express and Star Magazine - Read the article
Metro.co.uk - List of Blogs
Tinpot Radio Stations - Read the article and hear the Podcast

Sounds good, so what do we need to do?
For more information drop Mike an email on mike@blagman.co.uk with the product/s you’d like him to feature, send over a product and wait for easy media exposure…

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My Policy

Every product on this site has been received for free, and given to me by the product manufacturer or their associated PR organisation in return for a review.

I have no other personal or business association with these companies, and all reviews are written truthfully and based on my own experience. If I hate a product I will say so (and have done on many occasions!).