A big part of what we do here at Chronic Illness Bloggers is review products. But, that doesn’t mean that that’s all that you do on your blog. Many bloggers spend years without ever reviewing a product or service or may never do so, and that’s fine. However, if you choose to do product reviews here are some best practices to help ensure that your review is not just good but GREAT!
Disclose: Law requires that you tell your readers whenever anyone has provided you any sort of compensation for your blog post (whether it’s product or actual money). You have to make this clear at the beginning of your post (before your reader has a chance to click through to the sponsor or even get very far in your post).
Identify: Make sure your readers know what you are reviewing. Have you ever read a review of a product and then at the end of it wondered what product they were actually reviewing? Are they reviewing all widgets in general? Or a specific widget? It happens. So, make sure that when you write a review your readers aren’t left wondering what the product was. Make it clear at the first product mention (don’t just say widget or “this widget” say “Brand X widget”. And, don’t just identify it one time. Do it a few times so that your reader doesn’t forget and have to go back to the top to figure it out. At minimum you should identify the sponsor at the beginning and the end of the post.
Link: When you mention the product, it’s a good idea to link that mention to their website. Just as with mentioning the product it’s a good idea to at least link to the product at the beginning and the end of the review. Make sure to set links to open in a new window so that you don’t lose your reader when they click over to find out more about the product and/or order it. Also, make sure to set your links to nofollow. (Use the tag rel=nofollow in the link code – you will have to manually edit your link code or install a plugin to handle this.)
Inform: Tell the reader about the product. Make sure to include a list of product features, what it’s made out of, what it’s expected to do. Tell the reader why you are qualified to review the product (what about you/ your background fits with what this product offers?)
Compare: Tell your readers how this product compares to similar products (or is supposed to compare). How does it differ? How is it the same? Have you tried similar products? If so, how does this product compare? What problem did you hope this product would solve for you?
Question: Share the questions you had going into the review process. What was your biggest worry going into testing this product? Did you question whether it would work? Did you question whether it would fit? Did you feel it might not fit your needs?
Experience: Tell the readers about your experience with the product. Did it live up to your expectations? Fall short? What happened?
Tell: Tell the readers what you liked/ what you didn’t like about the product/ service. Make sure your review is balanced. If there were positives and negatives, don’t omit the positives. Remember that was is a negative you to you may not be to someone else (this is why it’s so important to make it clear who you are and how you used the product) so that readers can compare themselves and their potential use to you.
Share: If you know of other reviews for the product, don’t hesitate to link to those. Allow your readers to share multiple experiences of the product and see how different people have used it.
Close: Always close your product review with a reminder of what the product was and where it can be purchased. Share any relevant (or required) links to the product, where it can be purchased, and how your readers can learn more.
ProBlogger: How to Write a Must Read Product Review
Niche Hacks: How to Write The Perfect Affiliate Product Review
Wiki How: How to Write a Product Review
What do you look for when reading product reviews? Do you have other suggestions on what makes a great product review? Share them in the comments below.