Welcome to Week 1 on my series of resources for bloggers. Every week we will discuss a resource to get freebies, collect PR samples to review, networking with other bloggers, connecting with brands, and even earning a bit of cash on the side from sites that I know from personal experience are not scams. I will never recommend a site, app, or resource that I have not personally used and trust.
Week 1: Crowdtap
100% free to sign up.
Crowdtap is currently US only.
Crowdtap has an iPhone app that is DIFFERENT from the website, but the same company. Your accounts on the app and the site will be separate and have different missions, sample opportunities, etc. Android/Google Play Store is coming soon.
Crowdtap is mobile optimized.
Crowdtap.com is a resource I only found this year, but I’m very eager to recommend it for a few key reasons:
- You can get samples of items to try even if you are a brand new blogger.
- You can get samples of items to try even if you only use your social media.
- Your possibility of getting products is not based on your social following.
- I’ve earned $40.00 in Amazon Gift Cards this year,
- AND I’ve received 3 sample packages so far… with 3 more on the way to me right now.
What you need:
- An email address to sign up with. (this has never spammed me)
- As little or as much free time as you have to complete online activities.
- An account on Twitter (and/or Facebook) to share to. (OPTIONAL if not applying for samples)
- I’ve only been involved in one mission on Crowdtap that involved Instagram.
- An Amazon account (prime or not, doesn’t matter) to redeem Amazon Gift Cards.
This Resource Involves:
- OPTIONAL: Completing one off polls for points. (2 pts)
- OPTIONAL: Completing questionairres for brands & categories. (20 pts)
- OPTIONAL: Applying for samples by filling out a small questionairre.
- IF APPROVED: Receiving them in the mail & checking them in.
- Completing the brand activities. (shown & agreed to during application)
- Filling out your sample report. (basically an experience survey)
- OPTIONAL: Tweeting out media campaign elements. (20 pts)
- OPTIONAL: Participating in discussions for points. (varies)
- OPTIONAL: Answering questions in paragraph form. (20 pts)
- OPTIONAL: Uploading photos of specified content or theme. (20 pts)
- Many of these photo tasks also enter them into contests where you can win further cash than just the points. (will always be noted)
- May require you to click to share them to social media. (will be noted)
What It Offers:
- Amazon Gift Cards.
- Samples & Full Sized Products from brands using Crowdtap.
- Usually also contains 1 or more coupons for future discount.
- Potential to win prize money from photo contests & other potential contests.
Why Is This Available?
Brands are able to network with their consumers for market research through polls and what appeals to us, as well as to spread their marketing campaign with user generated content. The cost of a few Amazon gift cards and free products gets the products and brands into peoples homes, and when you receive something discounted or free, most people feel obligated to do a shout out, or at least tell a friend about a new discovery.
How To Get Amazon Gift Cards:
This depends on the effort that you put into Crowdtap. It’s all about the points. Your points help you level up, and at each level, you earn a $5.00 Amazon Giftcard. These are redeemable in the form of online codes. You will get your first 2 gift cards after increments of 500 points to level up, and every level after that has 1000 points before your next $5.00 card.
When you sign up for Crowdtap, you will link a Twitter or Facebook account, and you need to understand right now: This Will Post To Your Twitter/Facebook, and it CAN appear spammy if you tend to do this as a binge, and it might make you lose a few followers if you do it this way.
BUT: You will approve every single tweet before it’s posted and you CAN choose not to do them. You just won’t earn the points from those activities. You are also the one to write the majority of each and every media message. Typically in the media sharing, it starts with a prompt like “I can’t wait to” and you fill in the rest, and then at the end of your tweet it will add the necessary hashtags & media. You can also skip sharing & still earn points.
Because I tend to use Crowdtap in a binge, doing a bunch of activities for a half hour period in the day, I use a separate Twitter account that is connected to my Crowdtap. BUT, since I consider that cheating, personally – I also post about the brands that I interact with and receive items from – on my main social media, and will be posting about them on the blog here as well.
When you join, and throughout your experience, you’ll also be able to add specific brands, and categories. You can choose to add everything to get the maximum points, or just pick and choose what things are really relevant to you.
Let’s walk through a media mission I completed:
You can read about the mission in the sidebar on the right. Once you open the content mission (in a media mission) you will need to open the media (a web page, blog article, etc) in a new tab (it does this automatically) and view it, then come back to this tab and complete the prompt.
This is basically the same as re-tweeting, except you can’t edit or remove the first words of the prompt.
To skip it, click Skip, instead of Submit.
To share it, make sure the account you want to share to is highlighted (brighter/bolder) and click Submit.
(there was a typo in one once, I couldn’t bear to share that – you cannot edit the prompt part of the message, but you can make the rest your own words and make it flow with the rest of your content normally)
Now let’s walk through a photo mission I completed:
Be sure to follow all of the instructions on this page in both the Photo Mission description, and the prompt itself.
This is what I chose to do for the o.b. tampons media mission.
This is how my post will look when posted, and it’s selected to post to Twitter. The hashtags were automatically added to make sure that the media content they’re paying for is included in their campaign.
After you submit, your photos will go up for vote to be approved by other people that submitted to the same activity. You will not get the points until it’s approved (a few positive votes).
This is the moderating page that you (and the people reviewing your photo) will see. I blurred out the photo as it contained faces and I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to share it, despite the fact that by submitting your photo you are giving the brand legal rights to use the photo in their media and advertising.
I voted yes for this photo, though it was borderline in the description and didn’t actually say why it was convenient.
This is an example of a photo I voted no to. It doesn’t explain why o.b. tampons are convenient, it doesn’t actually mention o.b. at all, and it doesn’t show essentials at all. Someone also uploaded a picture of shampoo and just captioned it ‘shampoo’ for this mission. Um. No. That’s why I like the quality control by members for members.
Now let’s look at a poll mission:
You can sort all of your available missions; this is my selection of polls – sorted oldest first. All missions do expire even if you don’t complete them, so your window to get the points is limited (and usually unknown).
Polls are the simplest option. You don’t write anything. You just select one or multiple options and submit.
NOTE: Brands sometimes mess up this process and say to select all that apply, but you can only select one based on the option they selected during set-up of that question. In this case, just pick your best answer.
How To Sample Products:
You can see sample options by looking for the little package icon in the bottom left corner, or you can use the button on your dashboard to look at all available sample missions. NOTE: If you have already applied for the samples, they will not show up in your dashboard under the count icons for each mission type.
I don’t have any samples left that I can apply for right now, but it’s a really basic questionnaire. This is the page will look like for a sample that you have applied for, before it’s accepted.
You’ll get an email notification and a notification on the site if your application is approved, or when a mission you’ve applied for is full (aka: you didn’t get it).
This is what the page looks like when your application to sample a product has been approved, and the sample has shipped.
I actually just got this coupon in the mail today for one free full sized Silk Nutchello, so I clicked My Samples Arrived! and checked in my samples so I can show you guys what becomes available next.
This is sort of a bad example, because one of the missions is telling you that they’ll send you more missions about it later. But you’ll be able to see the close date for your report, and all other activities need to be done by the report date too or you might not get all of your points! If you fail to complete the report, you may not get any future samples from them either, so set a calendar reminder on your phone if you need to, and plan to do it in advance.
Sometimes you might be required to leave a review on the company’s website too. I’ve yet to be Required to blog about something, but it’s a possibility of what you could expect and you should be aware before you agree. Make sure you read through your commitments before clicking the ‘i understand’ option when applying to sample products.
These missions help the brand spread the word about new products, and give them a bit of user generated marketing material – which is proven to perform better than official advertising when it’s both quality, and organic.
(organic in advertising terms basically means it feels naturally occurring)
Finally, this is what the first page of the sample report looks like for this particular sample. These can vary from a small paragraph asking you for your reactions, to questionnaires, or a combination of them. Some ask for photos, but usually that’s the other missions.
Quick Note About Contest Photo Missions:
The only real info I have for you on this is that you can tell what photo missions are also contests that you can win prizes for by the little trophy icon in the upper right of a preview box. I have not won a contest through them and do not know the odds, primarily because I’ve rarely entered into the photo missions.
Summary: What I’ve Gotten:
$40.00 in Amazon Gift Card Credit
1 full sized Hawaiian Tropic Weightless SPF.
6 packettes of 2 fast acting film coated Advil & 6 coupons for $3.00 off
3 boxes of o.b. Pro Comfort Regular Tampons + 3 Travel Cases
(I can’t find my unboxing photo for this, but I have one somewhere!)
Plus the Silk Nutchello full sized freebie that I can redeem using my coupon, a Silk dairy free yogurt (approved, coming to me soon), and L’Oreal hair oil (coming to me soon).
What do you think about Crowdtap? Have you tried it? Will you be signing up?
*I receive NO compensation, sponsorship, or benefit from Crowdtap for linking it*