How to Write a Fantastic Product Review

by Guest Contributor

As a consumer, I do most of my shopping online because it gives me the ability to search around for the best deal – and my kids have a one-store limit when it comes to shopping. Before making a purchase, the first thing I do is search around for online reviews so I can get a good feel for what I’m buying.

I rely on accurate and honest product reviews because if I have to make a return it’s probably going to sit on my desk for months until I get around to packing it up and sending it back. As a blogger who frequently writes product reviews, I try and remember the things that I look for as a consumer so that I can create a fantastic product review and be a resource for my readers.

Choose a Product You Are Excited About

Mom bloggers are a hot commodity right now and most bloggers don’t have to search for too long to find a company that is interested in providing them with a product to review. The idea of getting something for free gets many bloggers all giggly and excited, but the reality is, review product are not free – there’s work involved. Is it really worth taking time away from your family to review and write about a product that you aren’t excited about and that you probably wouldn’t buy under normal circumstances? I didn’t think so.

Choosing a product that you are excited about will make it easier to write your review, and your excitement will come through in your writing. Your readers will be much more engaged and will be more likely to stick with you long-term if they don’t feel like you are selling out just to get something for free.

Think About What You’d Tell Your Friends

Anyone can go onto the company’s website and read about the technical specs or basic features of a product. They came to you to get the real story. Before you start writing your review, think about how you would describe the product to one of your close friends. You wouldn’t read a press release to a close friend so don’t expect your readers to sit through something that sounds suspiciously like what the brand sent you.

Does the product really do what it says it does? Do your kids trash it the first time they get their hands on it? Is it so impossible to clean up that you hide it in the back of the closet after the first use so your kids never find it again? These are the things your friends really want to know. That’s the information your readers have come to you for.

Don’t Be Afraid To Be Yourself

There’s nothing wrong with showing a little personality. It’s your blog and you can make it what you want. Talk about what your family’s experience was like with the product. If there was something you didn’t like about the product don’t be afraid to share that either. No product is going to be a perfect fit for everyone. As a consumer, I don’t really trust reviews that don’t point out any faults. There’s always a fault. Let your reader know what it is and whether or not it’s a deal breaker.

Include Your Own Photos and Video

Most brands are more than willing to provide stock photos to use in a product review and while that’s fine for most products it’s not really giving your readers something that they can’t find on the company’s website. If you use your own photos and video, your review really has the chance to shine.

Not everyone is a photographer, and that’s okay. Your photos don’t have to be perfect. Most of us can grab the camera and take a quick photo that does the job. If there’s a feature that you want to show on a product that isn’t easily seen in the stock photo, don’t be afraid to pull out your camera and give your readers a chance to see it for themselves.

If you’re comfortable being on video (and even if you’re not), it’s a great chance to talk directly to your readers and really tell them what your honest opinion of the product is. You’ll probably feel a bit awkward the first few times you include video in your review but it gets easier . . . or so I’m told.

Rachel owns BusyMommyMedia.com and is the mother of 4 little boys, ages 7, 5, 3, and one who passed away shortly after birth. When she isn’t stepping on Legos and making sure the toilet seat stays down, Rachel works as a freelance writer and social media consultant, helping brands navigate the blogosphere and reach out to mom bloggers.



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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 @smart_spaces May 12, 2011 at 12:13 am

Thank you for writing this post. The timing is wonderful as I have an office full of products and books to review and offer on my blog. My takeaway from this post is to write about the items that I am excited about – so down to earth and important.

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2 Rachel May 12, 2011 at 2:54 am

I’m glad you enjoyed it! I made the mistake my first year of blogging of saying yes to nearly every product review that came my way. The result was, most of my product reviews weren’t very interesting and I nearly burned myself out. It took me a while, but I finally remembered that I don’t like clutter and I didn’t need brands sending me anything that was just going to sit around and take up space.

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3 Simon May 12, 2011 at 7:06 am

Hello!
I found this site when I was looking for advice on how to write an effective review for a product. I setup a site about a television I bought (amazing, just incredible!) but I wasn’t sure that the siet is effective, so I’ve been looking for info about writing reviews.

Minf to take a look at my site and tell me what you think? It’s http://samsungun55d8000.samsunglcdtvmodels.org/.

Thanks

Cheers
Simon

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4 Paige May 12, 2011 at 9:55 am

I have been trying to get into writing product reviews for art materials for little kids and big kids too. This article was really useful. Thanks.

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5 Bevin - Kippo Kids May 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Thanks for this post. As an online retailer it is great to get hear about the reviewers side of the story.

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6 Petula May 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Writing reviews is one of my absolute favorite things to do, and I think I follow the advice here pretty well. It’s great to be reminded of what to do and how to do it effectively.

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7 Linda May 13, 2011 at 10:51 am

I’m formatting my spring product reviews to start adding to my blog and I will keep all these great tips in mind as I write. I try to write like I talk ( which to some may be seem down right chatty)! Have a great day.

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8 Paige May 16, 2011 at 1:38 am

This was super helpful, thank you.

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