Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to Get Products for Free Part 6

In Chapter 6 I continue in my role as "senior journalist" and find calling yourself a journalist is just as effective a way of getting products for free as actually being one. With three freebies in one go you'll see the first stages of how to get freebies starting to form.



Looking for part 1? Find it here

Chapter 6: Possessed Toys
Now things were getting interesting, I had my foot in the door of a world of
glamour, late night parties and free stuff. Well okay the best party I’d been
invited to was a toy fair and as for free stuff I was a quarter of the way
through my quest with only 5% of my quota.

Still that didn’t matter as a lowly slob gained the first 5%, and the
remainder was going to be achieved by Freebie-Man: senior journalist. It’d be
a piece of cake. Speaking of which whilst browsing through the streets of
Birmingham I came upon a free sample of a new health food bar, never one to
pass up a free sample I grabbed it and preceded to write up about it on the
website.

As with Hob Nobs I’ve got to admit I had severe difficulties thinking
of something funny or interesting to say about it. The review came out
terribly, not only did I describe an Almond and Apricot bar as “a strange mix
of Almonds and Apricots”. I also proceeded to put some poor line along the
lines of “It’s good for you don’t you know”. Not really the work of a
professional journalist.

Toys on the other hand I was having a blast with, after a bit of internet
scouting I hunted down the PR number for Bandai and proceeded to flaunt
my new journalist credentials and the amazing thing was they worked. You
see the bizarre thing is all you need to be a journalist is a website and a few
readers. You don’t have to be a best selling writer or even published in a
newspaper.

Bandai were kind enough to send two products; Unazukin (a bizarre
Japanese possessed toy) and a Tamgotchi (another bizarre Japanese possessed toy). At least they were about to until they saw a moment of clarity and asked
for the number of visitors on Mikeessex.co.uk.

Now contrary to popular belief not every website is read by millions
of people. I once read a study, which said 50 million English-speaking people read blogs, and there are exactly 50 million blogs out there. Which would
mean my website should have around 1 visitor… me.

After checking the website stats I was pleasantly surprised. Somehow
I’d managed to get 200 visitors a day just by writing some gibberish about a
soft drink, some toys and some biscuits. This was unique visitors as well
meaning that it wasn’t just a mixture of me, my mum and dad and my
girlfriend Marie. Now how on Earth had this happened? I’d just planned on
writing some nonsense on the Internet so I could get some free stuff, I’d never
actually intended for people to read it. Heck I’d already made Ross spend
£1000 on a card game and made people drink 245 cans of an energy drink,
who else’s life was I going to ruin next by revealing such addictive products?

Focusing on my own greed, and superhero duty, I put it to the back of
my mind and sent Bandai the statistical information. Whilst 200 visitors
seemed like a lot to me no doubt they were expecting more like 20,000 a day.
Still I waited and waited for their reply and for a week nothing happened.

Then (as was quickly becoming the case) a mystery package came through
my door. It contained the Tamagotchi and Unazukin as promised and an
enclosed note which made no reference to the visitor figures whatsoever.
Figuring that I should play with the products now and ask questions later I
added two new reviews to the site, listed below:

Read the Tamagotchi v3 Review
Read the Unazukin Review
Read the Eat Natural Bar Review

If the Unazukin toy sounds a little scary you should also know that I found
someone who bases his whole life on the nods of the toy. His website details
how he used Unazukin to decide what clothes to wear, what drinks to make
and a whole host of other life changing details. Go to
www.thetoydecides.com to see what happens when a man puts his life in the
hands of a toy.

My contact at Bandai loved the review and all talk of visitor numbers
pretty much dried up all together but it got me thinking, maybe I should try to
attract more people to the website? It couldn’t hurt my quest…

8 Down 92 To Go

Read Chapter 7 of How to Get Products for Free

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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!).