Chances are, if you have a Facebook, one or more of your friends have mentioned Influenster: an online community that gives you the chance to receive complimentary samples each month from brands like Dove, Vera Wang, Ulta and even major makeup brands like NYX.

But there’s got to be catch right? I mean a company won’t just send you free samples for the Sam Hell of it, right?

Right.

But in this case, that right, is not a bad thing.

Influenster can be used by anyone for the most part, as long as you adhere to their terms and conditions, but for bloggers it is a great platform to improve your, well, influencing. And all without having to spend a dime on the products themselves! Now are they all full-sized items? No, most of them are travel-sized items, but that still allows you to indirectly work with and be noticed by those brands and connect with a community of  over 3 million people.

Bloggers are influencers, even if you run a blog about underwater basket-weaving, you are influencing someone, some way, some how, with your writing and actions. No granted Influencer does not carry anything that may assist you in your underwater basket-weaving , but if your blog is for fashion, food, beauty or health, or a mix of it all, you’re in luck.

In this blog post I’ll be introducing you to Influenster a little more, how it works, and my experience so far with my first box: the Rosy Vox Box (which will be a separate, shorter post coming after this!)!

Getting Started

Signing up is the first step, so make sure your information is correct, like your address! Make sure your profile picture reflects your personality, as well as your cover image, you want to stand out in the community and intrigue others!

Your First Box

Every month, you will have the chance to take a survey to see if you would be a good fit to recieve the incoming box. Not everyone receives every box, Influenster wants to make sure the their boxes reach people who will make the most influence out of them. Like for myself, the next box  coming up is a skin care box, and I’m the type of girl who usually just washes my face and wears minimal make up, so I wouldn’t really be able to attest to that box in an wholesome way. I took the survey anyways, but was not approved.

Influenster is not for the Lazy

With every box, comes badges, they up your Impact Score and make you more and more eligible for bigger and better perks and more boxes. Badges are your way of becoming a VIP influencer essentially, which could mean free gifts and bigger boxes for you! I have seen a lot of people on my personal Facebook who post about the items they got, but lack in making their shared content engaging, either their photo is half-arsed or they just slap in the hashtags with a four-word caption.

Again, I repeat, Influenster is not for the lazy. Fail to get your badges, and you won’t get boxes.

Badges are earned by showcasing your gifted product, writing reviews on Influenster and other sites, and generating content using specific hashtags on social media. Which, if done right, takes more than 15 minutes! See my tips and tricks below for taking great images and getting the most out of it all!

The Influenster App

This is something more recent the company has done, but now, badges require some sort of app-involved action to unlock, whether it be downloading the app and uploading a screenshot of proof, or posting to the app about something. From the app you can browse products on the go, write and read reviews and upload images, as well as catching up on the latest news in the Influenster world from makeup launches to upcoming boxes!

Review, Share + Repeat!

You don’t need to recieve an item in your box to write a review about it. Reviews are another way to up your Impact Score, but your also helping others in the community who may be looking to buy said reviewed item, and if you write enough, you could become a go-to for members, which in turn drives traffic to you (because your social media profiles are linked to your account) and so on a so forth!

Also, when sharing, always make sure you include the brand-specific hashtags, tag Influenster, and make sure you note that the product is gifted/complimentary!

My Tips + Tricks

Connect your social media platforms: The more platforms you have connected, the higher your initial Impact Score, if you use Blogger or WordPress, you can also connect these!

Make sure your profile and interest are completely filled out: The more complete your profile, the more catered your boxes and opportunities are!

Check in your box as soon as it comes in: This can be done either from your laptop/desktop or from the app (you’ll just scan in the little bar-code thingy). Every box has a campaign deadline, which means you’ll need to complete as many badges as you can, within that period! I make sure to jot mine down on my trusty calendar so I don’t forget and . I made the mistake of waiting until I had only a week left in the box campaign to do everything…so try to aim and do at least two items a day!!

Style your photos accordingly: The best types of photos for your products mainly consist of flat lays or on-person photos. Of course if your item is something like a sanitizer or candle, showcase it in a flat lay of some sort, if you received a snack or some thing like a deodorant, maybe snap a pic of you eating it or stage a workout photo (because I know you have plenty of ath-leisurewear wear in your closet that totally outnumbers that actual amount of time you go to the gym…). The more creatively directed your photos are, the higher chance of it being featured by Influenster or the brand itself!

You can use your reviews to drive traffic to your blog: For some badges, you can unlock them by actually creating a blog post, but not all of them. But, creating a blog post for every box you get makes you even more of an influence because you can create a shorter review either on the Influenster or company website, but link back to your full review on your blog. And who knows, if the company likes your review and representation of their product enough, they may just contact you for bigger opportunities!

Check your coupons and deals weekly to up your game: Influenster has a whole page for deals and coupons, which means you can save on products you would buy everyday or might treat yourself with. So they give you gifted items that could get you noticed by companies, and then provide coupons to their influencers to double that potential exposure!

Have you tried Influenster already, or do you think you will after reading this? Let me know below and let’s chat! You can check out my personal profile here.

Author Note: This blog post was not sponsored bu Influenster in any way, other than the gifted product that came in my Rosy Vox Box, it is simply my unofficial guide to help other bloggers and individuals get the hang of it all!