Whether you decide to create a blog especially to write reviews or incorporate reviews into your existing blog, it can be a fun way to test new products and help your readers make purchasing decisions. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Self-host your blog
If you want to take blogging seriously you have to self-host your blog. Sign up with a service provider with a domain name of your choice and set up a WordPress or similar blog. You will have so much more control over ownership of your content, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), advertising and sponsored/affiliate posts.
Blogging platforms like WordPress.com and blogspot.com for example, are great. However, having a blog with your chosen name and look will give your opinion so much more authority.
2. Finding products to review
The easiest way to start reviewing products is to write about something you own. For instance if your computing devices or mobile phones are relatively currently, write about them. Or ask friends or family if you can test one of their gadgets for an afternoon.
As your experience and confidence as a reviewer grows, you can start sending letters to companies requesting products to review. Or if you are fortunate, brands might find you.
I’ve received favourable requests for hair products and also formed a relationship with a national mobile company to review mobile phones all in the first two months after I started writing product reviews. But I’ve also reviewed items I bought.
If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.
3. Leave the jargon
Write as if you are telling a friend about the product you are reviewing. Write about the product’s features, but omit as much of the technical aspects out of your blog post. You can summarise a few technical points to give your readers an idea of what to expect from the product. Instead link to the manufacturers website for detailed specifications.
Most readers want to know what about your personal experience using the product. What you like and dislike about the product. Whether you recommend it.
4. Take photos!
One of the most important elements of any blog post is a great picture. For a review post even more so. Take lots of pictures and use only two or three in your article. Use the rest on social media to link back to your article.
5. Be truthful
If you really don’t like a product, then rather don’t publish the review. At least find a few positives and emphasise that in your review post. However you should always give your honest opinion – remember you are helping readers make a purchasing decision
You want your readers to trust you opinion, but you also don’t want to chase your brands away.
6. Interact with the brands you are interested
Once you’ve started writing reviews, follow and link your articles to brands via hashtags on social media and hyperlinks on our website. In that way you attract readers to your blog as well as get the attention of the social media account.
And send e-mails directly to the brand. Sometimes PR companies run brand social media accounts and might not pass on the review.
Above all, have fun and keep your readers in mind while testing and reviewing your products.
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