Writing a review is easy, right?
Well actually, yes, writing a review is easy. Anyone can do it and I’m sure you have written your fair share in the past – whether in a professional capacity or not.
However, it is an entirely different matter when it comes to writing a professional review that is enticing, engaging and a money generator.
Yet producing a product review that does all that takes a considerable amount of work – a level of work that can be overwhelming for the uninitiated. Thankfully you can use this as your guide to every step of the process, developing an effective and profitable review has been made that much more manageable.
Before you jump straight into writing up that review, let us look at some aspects you have to contemplate to produce the best content possible.
Find an appropriate product to review
First things first, you need to find a suitable product that you will review.
Now there’s a wealth of product types available to choose from, including physical products, eBooks, services and digital content.
Whatever you decide to review, I’d recommend taking into account the following points:
- Only pick a first-rate, well regarded product that has a track record of selling
- Make sure it's relevant to the niche market you're targeting
- Try and choose something that will be appreciated by your audience
- Selecting a product that is highly rated is self-explanatory in the fact that, naturally, your audience should like the product.
- But even if the product turns out bad, you're at least offering them value by telling then what you think they should avoid.
- You also have the chance to them offer then an alternative.
Now, while a popular product review will have plenty of competition on the likes of Google, it will at least have some notable impact with gaining clicks than an obscure product that has no search presence.
Although it can be easy to deviate from your niche market when you see a big-ticket item with affiliate potential, any product you review should be suitable for the subject matter your business is targeting. You want to specialize in one area of expertise where you can build up a dedicated following. Trying to cover anything and everything simply muddles your objective and alienates any established audience you may have.
Beyond picking something that is relevant, the product should also be one that will interest your audience. Whether it solves a problem, is the latest must-have gadget and so on, it has to at the very least have the potential to be popular with your readership. Whether you end up giving a positive or negative review of the product doesn't matter – it has to still be a product your audience will be interested in.
In the end, it needs to be read to make you money.
Do Your Research
Any product review that you write needs to be sufficiently researched.
After all, if you want to maximize the potential of your review, it needs to be packed with as much information as possible.
Because not only does a great review produce results in terms of gaining affiliate conversions and ad revenue, but it also makes it that much more sharable and also popular with a little thing called Google.
To undertake research that will provide you with the information that is needed to formulate a fully-fledged review, you will have to seek out a few sources – mainly those that detail the products specifications (typically on the actual product page) and also the opinion of others (customer reviews).
When it comes to customer reviews, they are a great way to identify the general opinion of the product and what is so good/bad about it. I would recommend gathering, say, 10-15 customer reviews to gauge the pros and cons of the product accurately.
Ultimately, basing a portion of your content on one opinion that isn’t supported by others could leave your review skewed and inaccurate.
Buy The Product
Following on from researching the product, purchasing the item in question is something you should seriously consider if you want to craft the most thorough – and authentic – review possible.
These days, it is entirely possible to do a review based on information that you find solely on the Internet and you can be somewhat of a curator of other people's reviews, and this is often the preference of many marketers. But you can’t fully rely on second-hand information for a review that you are writing. Viewers are on your website wanting your opinion, not the thoughts of others.
If you want to pass on an honest opinion to your audience (which should be your aim), testing out the product yourself is a necessity.
Even if you don't buy the product, be sure to contact the creator of the product to ask for them to send you one for a review. For example, in the tech industry, many companies will send out a review copy if you review videos on YouTube and have a decent sized following. Most of the time you have to send it back though.
Remember, when contacting a company to ask for a review copy, always list the value you can bring to them. Let them know who you are, your website and social media channels and the past results you've gotten from reviewing other products. It makes it much easier for them to consider sending you a review copy.
Also, a lot of smaller brands and companies don't have the exposure of the larger companies and so they're more likely to send you a review copy because they need the publicity – so if you're struggling to find products to review, you may want to check out smaller entities.
Remember, the Review Acts as a Pre-sell
A review is not a sales page.
This is something that you always need to have in the back of your mind as you are writing up your review. So many times we see people making this mistake. They treat their “review” as just another sales page for the product. You should be reviewing the product – whatever website you are associated with (i.e. linking to as an affiliate) takes care of the hard sell.
So what do I mean by pre-sell?
Well the overall goal, especially if you are acting as an affiliate, is to get your reader in the right frame of mind to purchase the product after reading your review. They are already interested in the item already – hence why they are searching about it – so you are simply nudging them that bit closer to the ‘buy now’ button. Now your job is to help the reader make their decision.
Bringing up negative aspects of the product, however minor, is actually recommended. Displaying an impartial angle to your review instead of exaggerating its worth makes it all the more ‘real’ for the reader and it's important to be authentic, not just try and get the sale at all costs.. And if you do that, you are much more likely to gain their trust as a respectable source of information and people will be back for me because they appreciate your input.
Structuring Your Product Review
Sticking to a planned structure is important when it comes to writing a product review. It ensures that you will include everything that needs covering, while maintaining that the flow of the article doesn’t become fractured and difficult to follow for the reader.
Plus, if the overall goal of your review is to link to an affiliate product, you will also want to know where the best places are to include those links in the body of the content – and no, it’s not just at the end!Now before I start, please note that even if you follow this structure to a tee, it is not a guarantee that your review will be a success.
But utilizing a structure like this, one that has been tried-and-tested in the past and is a proven money-spinner, will give you a better chance of prevailing, especially with physical products to a cold audience. Over time, you'll come to know what your audience appreciate in a review and you can tailor your reviews directly to them.So with that said, let’s begin.
Without trying to worry you too much, the headline is the most important part of your review.
It is the first thing that would-be readers see when they make a search query and come across your article, so a headline is the bait that entices them into making a click onto your website.
However, if you are not the most creative when it comes to producing an eye-catching title, you don’t need to worry – review article headlines tend to follow the same pattern.
First of all, the following should be the base for every review headline you write:
‘[Product Name] Review’
Now while the above example is a good starting point, it doesn’t stand out. If you are reviewing a product that is popular, you’re going to be up against many competitors that are going with a title that is identical to this.
To differentiate, you need to include an extension to the title.
This is the part where you have to be a little creative. The extension has to be the hook, that extra bit of enticement that will tip the potential customer over the edge and decide your review is the one they want to read.
‘[Product Name] Review: Is This Product Worth It?’
‘[Product Name] Review: Why You Need This in Your Life’
‘The Next Big Thing? [Product Name] Review’
When it comes to writing the introduction, clarity is vital.
The opening paragraph/s are used as a brief summary as to what the product is about. It should be written in a way that includes the key details about the item, while it also tempts the reader into reading on.
Yet with only one or two paragraphs to work with – an introduction shouldn’t be much longer than that – packing in enough information while staying clear and concise can be tricky. But remember: you don’t need to include everything – just enough that will grab the attention from the get-go and guarantee the reader will continue on with the review.
Oh, and although it’s a given, an image should accompany the introduction. A bit of visual representation can really help to illustrate that opening better than anything else.
The attention of your readers can wane at any given moment, and that is especially true if they are faced with an unfiltered wall of text.
Consequently, you should be looking towards forms of content that can break up the monotony of paragraphs of plain text.
Pictures, videos, bullet point lists, bolded text etc. are all part of the magic formula to retaining that attention, yet subheadings are arguably even more important.
Whether it’s the ‘specs and features’, ‘positives/negatives’, ‘conclusion’ and so on portion of the review, your audience will always be looking towards specific sections. So if they do indeed become disinterested, they will soon reconnect if they hit a section that excites them. Remember, people that are reading reviews are often in “research/scanning” mode.
Ideally, you should aim to break up the text with a subheading after every 3-5 paragraphs.
The Body of The Content
The body of the content is where you will focus on the bulk of your review.
Fleshing out a review to the greatest extent possible is important when it comes to positioning your review above the competition.
With that said, sections that you should consider covering include:
Product features: The features of the product you are reviewing should be described immediately after your introduction.
Pros and cons: This portion of the review expands on the brief look of the product features and describes what is good/bad about those features. This is an integral part of any review.
Product specifications: The specifications section of a review should, in an ideal world, be a bullet point summary of the product’s technical details.
Visual support: Including a video and/or picture slideshow can help take your review to the next level in terms of depth and value. And there’s nothing quite like visual content when it comes to engaging with your audience.
Second opinion: Using an opinion from a secondary source can be a fantastic way to validate all of the previous points you touched upon.
This section of your review is the last time where you can really sell your audience on the idea of buying the highlighted product.
Understandably, the conclusion should often end on a positive note – whether you liked the product or not. By that, I mean, even if you didn't like the product, leave readers with where they can go to get a product that you did prefer instead. In summary, the conclusion should some of the following:
- Round up the key points covered in the review
- Share your final thoughts
- Give it your seal of approval
- Include an overall score
A rating system (5-star, out of 10 etc.) is something you shouldn’t overlook. In fact, the overall score of the product is the main thing many consumers look out for. It isn’t uncommon for people to scroll down the entire page, ignoring all the other content, to simply look at the almighty rating that you have handed out.
Also, a best price that shows which business is currently selling the product the cheapest can be included. Obviously if you are using affiliates, the ‘best price’ should link to the establishment you are endorsing.
If you are promoting affiliate links, you need to know where to position them for the best impact.
Firstly, you should place a link to the product right after the introduction. Although this might seem like a premature time to include a link, it can be effective. A simple ‘Get more information about [the product] and buy now from [link destination]’ can achieve clicks right after your opening to the review.
Then you should include another link towards the middle of the review, with similar wording to the previous one. Do keep in mind that you shouldn’t make these links obtrusive – although they have to stand out, these links within the body of content shouldn’t break the flow of the review.
Feel free to add more links throughout the article on the odd occasion that you mention the product.
You may be surprised to hear that a lot of people click images, so be sure to make those links clickable with your affiliate link to the product.
The last affiliate link you use should be a call-to-action that appears after the conclusion. The wording here can be much more persuasive. Or additionally/alternatively, you could even use a picture for it to be distinctive and stick out from the rest of the content.
Be sure to use some of these ideas next time you write a review. Writing a review can be daunting when you first get started writing them so hopefully, these tips give you some ideas of where to start and how to structure your review.