Disclaimer: Hi all, Khalid here. This was written by one of our content team members for the blog. As the team writes 100s of product reviews every month, I thought it would be great if it comes from one of them and not me. I will still have my thoughts in between here and there. Enjoy.
When shopping for a product or service, how often do you read its reviews to make a decision? Probably pretty often – it’s difficult to buy good products without an expert opinion.
And like you, the vast majority of people out there do not buy anything without reading reviews first.
With this in mind, product reviews can be a powerful traffic-driving tool in the arsenal of any online blogger or YouTube channel. However, it’s certainly not an easy thing to do, especially if you are a newbie blogger.
Hi, I'm Khalid...
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Well, if you are looking to employ product reviews to grow your website but don’t know how, read on to find out!
Why Are Product Reviews Important?
I am sure you know this already. People always want to get the best value for their money. But they mostly don’t know what to look for when shopping for a product, or they may have insufficient information for good judgment.
What do buyers do if they can’t choose? They look up product reviews for an expert, trustworthy opinion that will help them fill the gaps and make a final decision.
When searching for product reviews, people are usually ready to make a purchase. And by reading online reviews, they are looking for answers to the following questions:
- Is the product right for them? Will it be able to satisfy their needs?
- Is the product the best option on the market? Are there any alternatives that will be more suitable to your readers’ needs?
- How is the quality of the product? Does it have any major drawbacks that would make it a bad buy?
Consequently, your goal, as a review writer, is to provide your readers with unbiased answers to these questions and help them make a choice.
With all this in mind, your review should:
- Let people know what to expect from the product. You should talk about its features, advantages, disadvantages, and whatever else is relevant for that product category. This is to help people understand whether the product can indeed solve their problems.
- Draw parallels with competing products. This is to provide readers with alternatives, as well as contrast the reviewed product with its competitors.
- Be unbiased. You shouldn’t cover up any downsides in the product or exaggeratedly praise it to make it more appealing to your readers. Your readers expect to hear objective information about the quality of the product, and you should provide them with it.
In the long run, the goal of providing people with excellent reviews is to build trust. If your review seems biased or carries little useful information for your readers, then don’t even hope that they will stick around your YouTube channel or WordPress blog.
How To Write A Killer Product Review
Now, how exactly do you write an informative, unbiased review? And how do you make sure that your readers find what they want in your blog?
Well, below is a step-by-step guide on writing a great review that will meet the criteria outlined earlier.
1. Determine your goals
Product reviews mostly serve the following two purposes:
- To fill your website or YouTube channel with content.
- To promote the product and convince your readers to buy it.
Regardless of your goals, your product review should comply with our 3 points – it should be informative, it should draw parallels with competing products, and it should be unbiased.
However, what changes is what kind of products you should pick for your review.
If you are just looking to make more content for your blog, then you may pick any product regardless of its quality. Apart from quality products that have received universal acclaim, you could also review outright bad products – just for fun, or maybe because many of your readers want to know your opinion.
On the other hand, when your goal is to promote a product, then you surely do not want to review bad products.
If you keep your review unbiased, then people will not buy a bad product, which defeats the purpose of a promotional review. And if you sugar-coat the product and conceal its downsides, then you will lose the trust of your readers.
Of course, people may buy a promoted bad product, and you could even earn a good chunk of money from it. But don’t expect long-term growth for your blog – rest assured, if you deceive people, then they won’t stay silent and will let others know that you shouldn’t be trusted.
This sounds pretty obvious, but many product review how-tos don’t cover this simple yet crucial aspect of review writing. So when preparing to write your next product review, remember what you are writing it for.
2. Pick a product
If you have already picked your product, then skip to the next step.
No matter your goals, picking a product for review isn’t that difficult – there are plenty of options to choose from in pretty much any niche.
When choosing a product to review, make sure that it meets your expectations. More precisely, this ties back to the previous point – if you want to promote a product, then absolutely make sure that it is a good one.
To verify that a product is indeed suitable for review, you should read reviews of other bloggers. Apart from that, you should definitely read the reviews of buyers on Amazon or the product’s website.
Get acquainted with as many opinions as you can. This will let you know of any issues that you should know about. Furthermore, this will allow you to toss away poor options and focus on good ones.
3. Research the product
Next, you should do in-depth research on the product to:
- Reassert that the product is a good pick for a review.
- Understand who the product is aimed at.
- Pinpoint important features and technology employed by the product.
- Identify the product’s advantages and disadvantages.
- Identify competing products.
And perhaps most importantly, research will make you an expert in the product and its niche.
Aside from the core product itself, you may also want to research the brand – people often get committed to brands that have a good reputation. This can be especially useful if you are sponsored by a specific brand – by advertising the brand as a whole, you will increase your income potential.
If you are new to the product’s niche, then you should also research its industry. This will let you know what you should be paying attention to when using the product.
4. Obtain the product
Then, you should obtain the desired product to test for the review. You may buy it, rent it, or even contact the seller to ask for a free review sample. Brands realize how important public exposure is for their products, so chances are that they will be willing to provide you with a sample.
How to convince retailers or manufacturers to provide you with a product is a whole another topic, so we won’t be covering that here.
You may, of course, write a product review without actually using the product, but it will not be as reliable as a review based on first-hand experience. Your readers will trust your opinion more if you’ve used the product for some time. Apart from that, without using the product, you may miss a few critical points that you can’t identify from online reviews or product descriptions.
If you will be comparing the main product with a few others, then get the latter as well, if possible.
5. Use the product
Once you’ve got the product, you should give it a go for some time. How much time you should spend on testing the product depends on the product.
Some products, like cosmetics, require a few weeks of use before you can get a good impression. Apart from that, some products may have controversial features, and you might have to ponder for a while before you make a verdict.
When it comes to product testing itself, there are many aspects that you may pay attention to. However, you shouldn’t try to cover every little detail – instead, you should mainly focus on what is relevant for that product and its target audience. As for minor details, you may check them as well if they are worth a mention.
For a better perspective, suppose that you are reviewing an anti-acne body wash. Throughout use, you may want to pay attention to the following things:
- Whether the body wash can indeed deal with acne.
- How effective the body wash is at cleaning the skin.
- How easy the body wash is on the skin. Does it cause itching, redness, dryness? If not, is it a good choice for people with sensitive skin?
- What is the body wash made of? Is it free of chemicals? Anything else to know about?
- How has the body wash worked for others?
- How much does the body wash cost? Is the body wash cost-effective for long-term use?
When looking for a body wash, people will most likely care about points like these. As for other things like scent, you may not need to focus on them too much. If people are looking to get rid of acne, then chances are that scent doesn’t matter to them that much.
However, if the scent of the body wash has been horrible or, on the contrary, exceptionally pleasant, then you may briefly mention it in the review.
Another example of a minor detail to mention would be oiliness. If the body wash leaves a thick oily residue behind, then it certainly should be touched upon.
If you are also comparing the product with alternative options, then you should pay attention to the same key points, as well as minor details that you think are important for that product category.
It’s your responsibility to identify what matters in the product and what doesn’t. If you’ve done proper product research and have become an expert in the niche, then you should know what to pay attention to.
6. Write the review
Once you’ve got good impressions of the product, you may start with the writing. Given that you’ve done in-depth research of the niche and exhaustively tested the product along with its competition, you should have an easy time writing the product review.
Product reviews consist of several sections. Below, we’ll provide you with a blueprint that is very commonly used in review writing. You may stick to it, or you may create your own formula if you have ideas.
So here’s what you should incorporate in your product review.
Not everybody reads blog post introductions – some people jump right into the body of the review. But this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the intro – first impressions are important.
When deciding whether a review is worth their time, a lot of people will pay attention to your introduction. If they find what they are expecting, then good for you – you will have acquired a potentially long-term member of your community.
Otherwise, people will bounce right back to Google search results. Worse, they will probably be attracted by your competitors.
With all that in mind, your review intro should do two things:
- Declare the problem that the review is aimed at solving. If we stick to our anti-acne body wash example, the first sentence may be:
Treating acne is exceptionally difficult as it is, but what makes it even more challenging is that there are only a handful of anti-acne body washes on the market.
This paragraph will lead people to expect that you will talk about a body wash that can treat acne.
- Outline the promise that the product makes to potential buyers. For example:
The XXX body wash is aimed at helping you get rid of acne in just 2 weeks. In fact, its formulation is claimed to be so gentle that even those with extremely sensitive skin will be able to reap its benefits without any side effects.
This paragraph lets readers know that the product may be able to resolve the problem declared in the very first sentence. Aside from that, it also caters to the needs of people who have extra-sensitive skin.
After reading such an introduction, your readers will be able to determine whether your review will have solutions to their problems. And if the product’s promise matches their expectations, they will stick around.
You don’t have to write just two sentences in the introduction. Write as much text as necessary to set up the scene for your post. The above was just an example for some perspective.
Then comes the body of the product review. Here, you need to talk about relevant features of the product and share your experiences to let people know who the product is targeted at. These are the same features that you should have paid attention to during testing.
In the case of an anti-acne body wash, those would be:
- Effectiveness of the body wash against acne. Did the body wash work? How much time did it take for it to show results? Was the body wash easy to use?
- Effectiveness at cleaning skin. Can the body wash eliminate body odor? How much wash did you have to use to achieve good results?
- The interaction of the body wash with the skin. Was the body wash aggressive? Did it leave any redness or itching? Was it drying your skin? Any other side effects?
- Ingredients. Is the body wash all-natural? Does it have any ingredients that can cause side effects in some types of skin?
- Cost-effectiveness. How much does the body wash cost? What’s its cost per ounce of wash? Is it pocket-friendly in the long run?
If applicable, you should also add images and videos of the product. This will let readers know that you indeed have first-hand experience with it, increasing your trustworthiness.
In the review body, you can talk about both the good and bad sides of the product. Ultimately, your goal is to explain how you arrived at your judgments about the product.
Keep the review simple and talk only about things that matter – there is no need to weight down the review with unnecessary details.
Besides, remember that you need to be unbiased. Talk both about the product’s positives and negatives without hiding anything. If there are major issues with the product, make sure to mention them.
Pros & cons
In this section, you summarize the advantages and disadvantages that you’ve talked about in the feature section. If your review has a pros & cons section, then readers will not have to go through the review body again – if they need the pros & cons, they will be right before them in a convenient form.
Here, bring a short overview of the alternatives to your main product. You don’t need to write lengthy reviews as you did with the main product – just write about what makes the competition better or worse than the main product. Also pinpoint who the alternative products would be a good choice for.
As mentioned above, alternatives provide buyers with a point of reference, as well as contrast the main product with others. Mini-reviews of alternative products will either assert that the reader has chosen the right product, or it will guide them to an even better product.
Finally, the verdict.
Know that the conclusion to your product review is there for a reason – it is a summary of what you’ve talked about in previous sections. Besides, you may talk about a few points that you haven’t mentioned earlier.
In the conclusion to your product review, write about your overall impressions and pinpoint the target audience of your product. Who do you think the product will work the best for? Who it will not work for? What should people expect from the product, and what should they be wary of?
And if your review is promoting a product, then end the post with a nice call to action, but don’t be too pushy.
Is writing product reviews difficult? No, not at all if you are an expert in your niche and have done proper research. Research and testing probably are the most difficult stages of writing a product review, so be sure to put a good amount of effort into them.
Hi all, I am adding a section in this article just to give you some fun ideas. Here’re a few things that you can do to improve your conversion from the product reviews:
- Try to use ‘I’ and ‘We’ in the reviews instead of writing from a 3rd person’s point of view
- Don’t be too corporate. Have fun. Be silly
- Test your CTR. I have found that when you do in text hyperlinks instead of hyperlinking on a separate row / in a button, it works better. Every industry is different though.
- Be honest. Don’t say everything is great when you are reviewing.
Hopefully, our guidelines have given you a good idea of how you should approach review writing. You don’t have to follow our tips word-by-word – rather, view them as a point of reference. Be imaginative, don’t be afraid to try new things, and, most importantly, know what you are writing about!