How To Get Your Cool T-Shirts Reviewed by a T-Shirt Blog

Of course, there are never any guarantees. But speaking from my own experience (as both a t-shirt blogger and a t-shirt entrepeneur), here are some things to keep in mind when you get in touch with a t-shirt blog about your own awesome t-shirt designs:

1) Most of us don’t get paid for this.

We do it for fun! We can’t review everything, and we can’t like everything. There are a lot of t-shirt blogs out there, and each blogger has different tastes. We Bonanziers happen to prefer images over text, and we don’t really go for the whole streetwear thing. But that’s just us! So how should you know which bloggers to contact? Read their blog! See what they like. Getting a feeling for what a blogger likes and their style of communication will help you immensely.

Another side of not getting paid for t-shirt blogging is that it competes for our free time, so emails can sometimes slip through the cracks. If you don’t receive a reply, don’t take it personally! You might as well try emailing again with a friendly, personal reminder. (Sjors at Shirtlog definitely wants to hear from you.)

2) We want information.

Just saying Hey, check out these cool new tees! doesn’t pique my interest as much as some interesting factoids about you, your company, your vision, whatever. It’s not that I want to publish what you tell me word for word, it’s that if I like your work, I’ll probably want to know more about you! On the other hand, some blogs will publish a brief blurb that you send them, so figuring that out before you contact a t-shirt blog is a good idea. (Both iloveyourtshirt and shirt2 often publish short company-provided blurbs.)

3) Imitation is boring.

This has two implications: I see a lot of t-shirts, and if what you’re doing doesn’t set itself apart in some way, I’m less inclined to give it a second thought. I also read a lot of t-shirt blogs (last I checked, I’m up to 50 feeds), and we like to be original and unique, too! So when you contact us, if you offer us something special (like some extra information that you didn’t give to other people, and advance notice of something ahead of everybody else, a unique coupon code, etc.) we’re more likely to shower you with praise. (Adam talks about the problem of duplicate content on t-shirt blogs over at HipHipUK.)

4) Free t-shirts aren’t golden rings.

That is, offers of free gear don’t guarantee you a review (with me, at least). I only enjoy writing about things I like, and I only enjoy wearing t-shirts that I like, so if you want to send some free swag over this way, that’s great! But if I like what you’re doing, I’l blog about it anyway. Which isn’t to say that freebies aren’t nice, but my favorites are tokens of appreciation for something Ive written about in the past. Just make sure you’re not pouring all your profits into free things for others! (Andy’s policy at Hide Your Arms* is to review any samples sent to him.)

5) We aren’t robots.

We have feelings! When I get an email for a t-shirt review request, I like to see my name and something indicating that you’ve read my blog. If I feel like I’m just some free advertising for your company, I don’t feel very happy. So build a relationship with t-shirt bloggers. Leave comments on their posts with your own opinion, or a question, or something interesting and/or insightful. If you enter a website in the URL field when you leave a comment here, chances are I’ll check it out and maybe even blog about it before you contact me. (Last I checked, Rangga at Tshirt Island wasn’t a robot.)

Well, that’s about it from me… I know other t-shirt bloggers have guides with advice on getting your t-shirts reviewed (like Tcritic’s), so you should look for one of those before contacting them. About and Contact sections often have relevant info as well that can also help you start a conversation; because a genuine conversation is infinitely better than a press release and an attached picture.

Originally posted by Joe at Fantastic Bonanza. This is copied from his original post on his blog

I also wanted to add that after you’ve become friends with these bloggers reward them for their hard work. Something as simple as a pair of glasses or and handwritten thankyou note will go along way.

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  • guppy22

    Seems interesting, the question is, however, will getting reviewed by popular t-shirt blogs be worth it? Now I realize many of these readers are t-shirt collectors, but still, you are spending quite a bunch of money giving free tees to target a very small crowd at a time..

    Good post btw, helps a lot. :)

  • jonkruse

    Lots of times you don’t have to give them a shirt. You just let them know about sales and they post about them. If they are giving you a lot of traffic by all means give them free stuff, but I don’t think going right off the bat and giving every blog a free shirt is worth it. Many blogger might not even want a free shirt but still like you and your company and will post about them.

  • chris alavi

    Why don’t you guys like streetware check out my site see how you like it

  • Bestia Story

    I like the the post but I also have the question of “is it worth it” I run a clothing line called BestiaStory and have been for 2 years. I have been reviewed by some blogs (like hide your arms) but I have not received almost any sales because of it. I even include coupons for the blogs viewers. I don’t know if I am not contacting the right blogs or what?

  • amazingdreamer

    This was great insight. Im greatful for the info.

  • LKQ

    I’m in the beginning stages of my T-shirt line LegendaryKings&Queens(LKQ) in Atlanta and had been interested in meeting bloggers and the “how to” of it and this really helped

  • indie-brands

    Nice post and lovely blog

  • Cypher SevenThree

    This info literally blew my mind. Awesome insight!!!

  • Cherry Twiss

    Wow. This helps too. I have wondering about this also: Considering building awareness of your brand without hurting cash flow. I like the way you put it.

  • Jinnah Ali

    This article is just mind blowing.
    Thank you Jon

  • Brandee

    Thoughtful comments! Building a relationship with tshirt fans or bloggers is just like any other, just takes time and genuine intent/interest in their work!

  • Brodrick Mungo

    Very helpful insight. Thank you

  • Crystal Johnson

    This is very good information and I’m looking into this myself.
    Thank you for the insight.

  • Adam Taylor

    Thanks for the great info, Jon. Enjoying reading your blogs. Also saving them for future reference/recap

  • David Martinez

    That’s awesome content! Well my name is David, CEO at David&Erick clothing. I love your style! We would like to follow you on Instagram! We are a clothing brand with a multiuse casual wear for men and women. Please check us out @shopdaviderick :)