My family and I just took an awesome mini vacation… and it was FREE! Thank you, YourModernFamily.com for that! No, seriously, I used my blog to barter for a free vacation.
We have gone to the beach, stayed in free hotels, gone to Disney, Universal Studios, Dollywood, Six Flags, aquariums, museums, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, etc… all for free, using my blog as my bartering tool.
So I am writing this on here b/c a lot of you have been wondering how to do just that for some time now. I had been using my blog to barter for places to stay & then my friend Jamie told me about using it for tickets, too… yay… so now I do both (and often). Today I am sharing tips with you: How to get free trips, etc for blogging….
We were already planning a week long vacation to Hilton Head, South Carolina. I started calling months in advance to see if I could blog about bikes for free rentals. It worked. I was able to rent nine bikes for one week… for free. I also called a company, in Hilton Head, that offers canoe and kayaking tours and I offered to write about them, so they gave our family an 11 mile Kayaking tour.
Then, we wanted to extend our trip after Hilton Head and go to Atlanta. I called three hotels and offered to “blog about them” in return for a free stay… and two of them called me back and said that we could stay there for our visit. I took the offer of the company that was the kindest and that I felt I could give a really great review to, because the manager was so nice! We were offered a full weekend stay for free… (in a presidential suite!! That part surprised me). It was AMAZING, to say the least! I felt so pampered! We stayed for the weekend and we had a great time! I can’t wait to blog about it!
I was also able to get free Six Flags tickets, as well as tickets to the Georgia Aquarium (just by calling the managers) with an offer to blog about them after our visit.
ALL free and ALL for blogging about our trip.
To top it off, one of the companies asked my family and I to visit their NEW resort in Myrtle Beach this fall, on their dime! We said YES! We were then approached to stay at the mountains a month later.
So what did I do, exactly?
I made a list of what I wanted (places to stay, activities to do while there). I wrote them down with the phone number and name of the manager. I called each place (at a quiet time in the day) and asked to speak with the manager of PR.
I told the manager that my family and I were going to be in the area and we wanted to find somewhere to stay (or something to do) that I could share with my readers. I told them that I wanted to give my readers the specific details of where I was staying, or where to get the bikes, where to canoe, etc… so that they could use my post to plan their trip (all true).
I shared my blog numbers with them (my UMV, my PV, even my posting rate, so they could could see that they were getting a deal).
It is awesome that we can “barter” like this, as bloggers!! I have been able to barter for products and now that we can barter for vacations, the sky seems like the limit! We are planning a trip to the beach in the fall, the mountains in the fall and the beach again in the summer… and guess who is paying for it? #ThisBlogIsAHugeBlessing
So- for those that wonder how to do it.. my answer: Just call, speak to the manager and be honest. Tell them what you do, give them your page to look around. They all knew everything about me when they called me back, so they had already looked around my page.
In the end, I would say that 50% of them were open to the idea, and about 25% came back with “Yes”. 🙂
Be very honest with your stats & what you will be doing for them (ex: photos, links to their page)
Plan months in advance and if you get NO’s, call the night before to see what they can do (if they have had cancellations!)
Have a back-up plan!
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For more tips on pitching brands yourself check out ALL of our secrets for contacting brands on your own to get free products or payment check out our how to pitch brands draft letters and tips!