Monday, April 12, 2010

How to Write a Review

I've written many reviews in the past two years and in the process, I've received many free products. If you're interested in receiving free products but intimidated by writing reviews, here are a few pointers to get you started:

1. Evaluate the product. Use it. Have your kids stomp on it. Read the book. Check the references. And so on.

2. Write the review for the reader, not for yourself. You already know what you think about it. Write it for the consumer who does not have the product in her hands at the moment.

3. Answer four essential questions: 1) What does the product promise? 2) How well does it meet those expectations? 3) Is it a good value for the money? 4) For whom (age, gender, life situation, etc.) will the product work?

4. Reviews are usually not comparative; evaluate the product on its own merits.

5. Include the product's full name, where it can be purchased, and how much it costs.

6. Don't provide irrelevant details. Stick to the basics. Don't sugarcoat a review because you like the vendor if you truly don't like the product. But, don't be nasty, either.

7. Be brief and to the point, but be sure to include all of the necessary details.

8. Here's how to organize your review for proper flow:
A. Introduction. State the problem to be solved and how the product can solve it. Write a one-sentence summary of your personal likes and dislikes.
B. Describe what the product does, how it works, and what it promises.
C. Describe in detail what you liked and did not like. Try to put the positives before the negatives.
D. Summarize your opinion with a strong conclusion by answering the four questions above and by stating whether you would spend your own money to buy it for yourself.

That's it! You're ready to start receiving free products and writing reviews about them! In a future post, I'll detail how to write book reviews, which are a bit different although many of the same elements should be included.

Q4U: What product(s) would YOU most like to review? What products would you like to see me review on this blog?