6 Basic Tips for Running a Successful Product Review Blog

Cupcake Stall at Box Hill Festival
So you’ve been thinking about starting a product review blog, or you’ve already started one, but you’ve run into a few snags and are looking for a few quick tips for improvement.

Not everyone is cut out for the product review blog. You’ve got to already love what you plan to review otherwise, you’ll lose steam quickly. You’ve got to live a blog-worthy life and use blog-worthy products or services and be willing to write about them.  You’d be surprised how many people rely on product reviews from blogs or consumer rankings sites.

So here goes a few tips to get you going:

Review Everything you Use

In October, I went to a bloggers’ luncheon and had a chance to meet the owner of TheShopTart – she has an awesome blog that focuses on local businesses and other great products in a wonderfully entertaining, non-sales-pitchy way. That’s because she’s not trying, she’s simply blogging about products and services she already uses.

So when she talks about where to shop, what to buy and where to eat, people in the area listen. At the luncheon, I heard her say that she once caused a store to sell out of an item, simply because she blogged about it.

Not long ago, I noticed that she’s snagged a segment in a local morning show! (I know, the blogger’s dream, right?)

Alternate tip:
If reviewing everything isn’t for you – try focusing on one category. It could be shoes, or even narrower, it could be ladies’ shoes, or just shoes by one or two famous designers. You could just focus on shoes that are sold by local shoe stores in your area.

Okay, I like shoes, so that’s where the example is coming from, but really, whatever it is that you love should be the focal point of your review blog. Whatever you’re most knowledgeable about or are willing to research fanatically should guide your topic choice.

Next tip:

Include Consumer rankings and feedback

Check out some consumer rankings sites to get comparisons that range from top webhosting sites to top dating sites – just about anything – I guess it’s all a matter of what you’re looking for.

Take Great Photos

Yes, the cliche is true, a picture is worth a thousand words – or at least it’ll save you a few hundred worth when it comes to writing descriptive blog posts.

Take vibrant pictures that are clear and crisp, use the maximum quality setting on your camera and don’t use anything less than a 10 megapixel high quality camera.

Shoot some videos

My husband was trying to decide on a new cell phone, so he hit YouTube and begin searching the videos to help him narrow down a few he was considering. He especially enjoyed the videos that took the time to show all angles of the product and those that explained all the features and compared them to other similar products. They thoroughly reviewed the products and gave their own, honest opinions about performance and quality.

Don’t worry if you’re camera shy, just keep the camera focused on the product.

How to Find Sponsors

Your sole reason for running a product review blog shouldn’t be to snag a bunch of high paying sponsors, but it is a great perk! In the beginning, you’ll have to go out of your way to contact sponsors – I suggest starting locally and then branching out.

When you do contact them, be honest about your stats. You don’t have to give them exact numbers, but give a range. And whatever you do, don’t promise any specific results. You can’t predict how readers will respond, a lot of them might be curious and may click, or they may not be interested at all. So don’t make any promises.

Once your blog is established, if you’re influential, the word will spread, and advertisers will come looking for you.

So here you have a few basic tips that will help you form the foundation of a great product review blog. Use them as a jumping board and then don’t be afraid to hack out new ways to make your blog stand out.

Any tips to add here?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments section.

About Linda Hewett

Linda is a writer, blogger and confidence coach.
Her blog is Positive Spin – Helping You Face Life Full On without Fear – And Feel Great About It!

In her blog, Linda looks for the ‘positive spin’ in our daily lives and encourages you to look for the ‘small stuff’ that’s easy to miss, or even dismiss.She believes that confidence comes in many disguises. All you have to do is…look.
You can follow her on Twitter @LindaMHewett

Comments

  1. Greeting Keisha, that is a great alternative for us to make money online and in some cases-also-use the products for free.

    For beginners is ideal because the emotions, desires,… that creates, help them connect easily with others with passion—to bring value or quality to the life of other’s quality of life—eliciting or motivating alike reactions—you have to show or post your reactions, not make that product.

    In the hot topic of the social media explosion—a part of what a blog(ger) is and do—people connect with others to buzz about what they are doing, dislikes (in that case, bad words of mouths), and likes (a meaning that can have the image of this post of yours)—with emphasis and enthusiasm—so, why not take your timely advise and help us while keep helping other.

    • Kiesha Easley says:

      Hi Mark,
      Yeah, if you’re successful at building your following, pretty soon companies will be beating down your doors to get you to review their products.

      • Sorry Kiesha, I’m getting blind after watching so many blogs.

        But in despite of that I follow your spirited blog, although don’t used to post usually.

  2. Techcrite says:

    like you said, its always better to review products that we actually have used.but what most bloggers do is to review some products by getting information from the web. so the review is not just complete. and its also good to include testimonials too.

  3. Very thorough post, the summary that I gained is: cover all of your bases. Be thorough.

  4. These are very useful tips indeed Kiesha and unless someone has a “review blog”, I agree with you that we should only review something within a “specific” area the we feel comfortable about. The more we are comfortable about a product, the better. The juices flow way faster :)

    • Kiesha Easley says:

      Hi DiTesco,
      I agree, while there are a few influential bloggers who can pull off reviewing everything they use, most would do better if they focus on less.

  5. When reviewing products and services, it is ok to be critical and maybe even add some controversy to your reviews. If you only write raving positive reviews, readers may not take you seriously in the long run.

    • Kiesha Easley says:

      Hi Andreas,
      I agree, but negative reviews should be done with care – something I don’t think enough bloggers are doing.

  6. All tip are productive but ” blog review ” is the might and main.

  7. Thanks Kiesha for the above tips.

    I am really thinking of creating a review blog anytime soon. I am just finding the right time and perfect mood to do it!

  8. Hey Keisha,

    I don’t have a product review blog myself, but I think that the best way to make a successful one is to recommend products naturally just like you would to your friends, having only raving reviews that praise the product and speaks of it as it would bring world peace, it’s something that will tip off the readers that your are only for the money and don’t care about what they want.

    This brings us to an other issue, be more personal and try to convince the customer that the product is really what he needs and tell him about the benefits that will bring to him (even if those benefits seem obvious).

    One more little thing you can do is to make a bad review about a product you used and didn’t liked and in the same post recommend an other product that does the same thing but works better. I think this kind of reviews would have higher conversion.

  9. hey Keisha
    when u make reviews you need to do a specific one niche that you belong i think too

  10. Kesha, these are some very handy tips for running out a product review blog. I have been thinking and I am going to start blogging and I have stored all tips from this blog, as blogging can be my next destination.

  11. Taking photos can really enhance your product review blog. There are just sometimes when people are lazy and would rather look at a picture than reading an entire article. Actually, it’s just not laziness, it’s also the lack of time people have these days. I’m not saying just leave photographs, but include them to break things up a little bit.

  12. Kelly- Product reviewer says:

    Hi! Keisha,

    I really enjoyed reading your “6 Basic Tips For Running A Successful Product Review Blog”. Right now, I don’t have a good camera to take pics of the products I’m reviewing, so do you have any suggestions?

    Again, thanks for sharing!

  13. i just started a review blog, it’s not as easy as i anticipated at all. if you review everything, how do i have a specific target market?

  14. Great tip! I have them bookmark for I might be needing those in the near future. For now got to look for more information to be able to be a very effective blogger. Soon, I’ll start doing SEO but I guess what I have for now is not enough.

  15. I have thought about reviews and have written some for others on some content sites. As far as writing reviews on my own blog I have not considered it. I may after reading your blog. I simply have to find a way to describe how I feel about a product and not always write what everyone expects to hear. Thanks for sharing.

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    6 Basic Tips for Running a Successful Product Review Blog…

    So you’ve been thinking about starting a product review blog, or you’ve already started one, but you’ve run into a few snags and are looking for a few quick tips for improvement. Not everyone……

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