This page describes my process for working with makers, brands, retailers and distributors on product reviews. This page was last updated 24th July 2020.
Why should you work with me?
A review on UK Fountain Pens is a great opportunity to raise awareness of your product (or the products you carry) with a large worldwide audience of fountain pen and stationery enthusiasts.
On average, this blog gets 50,000–60,000 views each month, and my reviews are widely seen on Google News, search engine results pages and snippets.
My posts are also widely referenced in community newsletters and discussions across social networks.
I specialise in introducing new products to the community, whether they’re new releases from established brands, new brands and makers, or just products the community hasn’t noticed yet.
In many cases mine is the first full review of a product online (for example, the Leonardo Momento Zero or the GLP Author notebook).
In some cases, mine is the only full review you’ll find of a product online, even when the product is mature and widely available.
Any reviewer can post some words and pictures. But I get repeat visits and high rankings because I produce quality work.
I have a strong reputation for ethics, thoroughness and fairness, which means a review from me gives your product credibility. As long as it earns a positive review, of course, and that’s down to the quality of your product!
I primarily cover midrange to premium fountain pens, from £100 to £1,000 in value, but I also review related products such as ink, notebooks, cases and accessories. If you’re not sure if your product is a fit for my readership, try me and I’ll give you an honest answer.
The one thing I don’t do is cover ‘news’. So unless it’s of great personal interest to me, do not expect me to post a blog about your product based only on a press release or briefing pack. I need physical access to the product in order to do my job.
How does the process work?
- Get in touch via email@example.com to say hi. We can discuss your product’s fit for the blog and ultimately arrange delivery.
- I’ll confirm receipt of the products, ask any initial questions I may have, and let you know roughly when I expect to have a review written. I will of course respect any embargos or other timing considerations from your side.
- I’ll draft the review, considering the right format: straight review, group review, shootout, etc. If you have an idea, please feel free to suggest it at this stage.
- If needed, I can share the post with you before publication, for your information. Note: this is not an invitation to give feedback on my conclusions. However, I’ll always be happy to make factual corrections, at this stage or after publication, including updating reviews with notice of pricing and specification changes that you make later. I am also happy, within reason, to re-review updated products.
- I’ll post the review and also share it, where appropriate, on my Instagram and in one or more Facebook groups.
- After publication you are very welcome to amplify the post on your Instagram Stories, as well as link to and quote from the review at your will on your site, blog and social media channels, as long as you give attribution.
- During the review process I will treat the products as if they’re mine to keep, and use them as a consumer normally would, in order to give a fair and thorough account of how they work in real life. If you would like the products back, please arrange a courier collection from my address within 14 days of review publication and notify me so I can ensure the products are boxed and ready.
- In the weeks and months following the review, I generally include products I like in multiple Instagram posts, blog recaps, roundups, comparisons and long-term reviews, such as my popular UKFP awards, buyer’s guides, and State of the Collection posts. Note that this is only possible if the product stays with me.
- I understand that you want to drive sales of your products. If you have a discount code or offer for my readers, want to run a giveaway, or have another idea for generating demand in conjunction with my review, I’m happy to work with you on anything that preserves my editorial integrity.
- I am always happy to give companies I have worked with my perspective and feedback by email or phone on prototypes, unreleased products, new product ideas, pricing and other topics, free of charge. I respect NDAs and confidentiality.
- If you’re satisfied with the first experience working together, I’m always keen to deepen my coverage of a brand’s portfolio. I will generally prioritise coverage of future products from brands I already have a relationship with in my review queue.
What about other ways to work together?
I love giving readers an insight into the industry. So if you’d like to collaborate on interviews, factory tours, behind-the-scenes and so on, let’s talk.
I’m also happy to feature your name, graphic and a link to your store or stockists on my site as a general sponsor.
My editorial integrity is really important to me, so I will not write sponsored posts or any other ‘pay to play’ content.