Free Licenses for Bloggers – a Reader Question

A “How to Promote Your Product Online” questions

Greg asks,

I’m the author of poker software called […]. I’ve read through your blog posts. I see you have a deal where you offer a free license to bloggers in exchange for a review. i really like that idea and am thinking of offering it myself. i was just curious how you handle the disclosure? Do you allow or want the bloggers to disclose to their readers that you offered them a free license in exchange? i would think that would taint the review, even if you obviously allow fully unbiased reviews.

A good question. My answer:

I tend to be very open to my customers about how I publicise my software. I’m quite happy for bloggers to disclose or not disclose, as they choose, that they got a free license. I’m also happy for them to write positive or negative reviews, short ones, or long ones, in a language I may not understand. With this promotion I’m seeking links in context, that help my Google ranking. I’d never do paid links to promote my software. That’s a big Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) no-no.

I _have_ learnt, however, to hold back the free license UNTIL the review is posted… Otherwise sometimes the review never materialises…