4 RULES TO WRITE A PRODUCT REVIEW THAT DOESN’T SUCK

 It’s bad enough sampling a product that sucks wind. You don’t want your review to be horrid, too.

In my blogging life, I’ve written over 100 product reviews, and still counting. Mine can be a bit bizarre, but eh, everyone has their methods. Some reviewers lead in with a story, others get straight to the point or add a video.

No matter your writing style, if you want to establish yourself as a trusted source for product information with reviews that rock, live by 4 rules.

RULE#1: TAKE DECENT PICTURES

Good lighting. A nice, clean background setting. Images that are NOT blurred.

Visual presentation of the product itself can be just as important as your review. Don’t post shoddy pictures – ever. If the image is questionable but can be salvaged with some enhancements, try a free online image editor, like Pixlr, to make your pictures pop. If you can’t get a good shot until later, just skip the review until you’re ready to capture a great photo.

RULE #2: DON’T BE A DRAG

…as in boring, bland, repetitive, or hard to follow. Unless, of course, your readers love that about you. It’s okay to lighten up and relax a little. While it’s very important to include key facts about the product, don’t forget to put YOU into the review. After all, your opinion is what makes it a “review” in the first place.

RULE #3: LEAVE OUT THE SUGARCOATING

This is a big-time no-no and it can ruin your credibility. Do NOT sugarcoat a terrible product and pass it off as fantastic just because you got it free from the company, and/or because you hope to attract more freebies in the future.

Here is a lesson in sugarcoating:

Although I receive many free products from companies, there is one product in particular that I purchased with my own money hot off the shelf. And it was a train wreck. I told my readers it sucked. I didn’t sugarcoat it.

What followed down the road, even after the review was several months old, was a mountain of reader comments (many who came in through a Google search of the product and landed on my page) that they, too, had purchased it and found it revolting. So why is it that every blog I read who opted to receive this product free from the company, complete with a Giveaway, posted a raving review? It sounds like some sugarcoating to me.

The company didn’t like my review, so they did something about it. They disguised themselves as a reader and posted positive comments. How do I know this? Because I check my stats and I know when big companies visit my blog.

“Hello, General Mills! I saw that fake comment you posted!” …Gah!

Be honest in your reviews. If you are sugarcoated, it will catch up to you. People will stop making purchases based on your recommendations. And they will stop visiting your blog. I don’t worry if companies don’t like my reviews. If they want a raving review, they need to make an excellent product. End of story.

RULE #4: CATER TO YOUR READERS

If your readers want more information beyond what you provided, do your best to get the answers they need and respond promptly. I have scoured company websites and even contacted companies directly (many times through Twitter – so follow them) to get the answer to a question. You won’t always have the answer, but if you can at least point your reader in the right direction, it is better than not responding at all.

If a reader disagrees with your review, barring any abusive comments, just take it on the chin. Don’t delete their comment or get into a heated back and forth discussion about who’s right. People who disagree can actually deliver extra value to your review by adding another perspective.

How would I sum up all of this advice? Don’t be a boring sugarcoat who takes terrible pictures and does not respond to readers. SCORE!

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