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.

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