There’s really no denying the power of online product reviews in 2019!
Research shows a staggering 93% of customers who admit that online reviews do impact their purchase decisions.
In a similar survey, – 92% of B2B customers become infinitely more likely to buy after reading a trusted, comprehensive review.
So if you’ve yet to start adding product reviews to your business’ official website, there’s no better time to do so than the present.
But first – what’s in a good product review?
Local business reviews on Yelp and product reviews on the App Store are awesome -but that’s not exactly the spotlight of this article.
What we’re discussing here is the ultimate, long-form version of a product review. You can even shelve this entire piece as a tip for writing blog posts -because that’s what they are!
A good review centers around the complete “must-know” essentials of the product in question. This includes pros and cons, where to get them, alternatives, and other necessary details that you think would help your audience make a more informed purchase decision.
Your professional opinion, of course, has to come from already having experienced the product -so make sure you only stick to writing about what you already know.
What are some real benefits of product reviews?
• Building your dominance – Start establishing your reputation and authority as an expert in your niche.
• Side income – Why just write for free? We mentioned getting paid to write product reviews a little earlier, but pay attention to Step#3 of this article when we teach you the best ways to do this.
• Web traffic – Drive more people to your blog or website organically when you fill it with trusted, high-value product reviews.
Traditionally, affiliate marketers and reviewers used to focus most of their efforts on a more aggressive form of getting the word out there.
This includes flashy, annoying banners and pop-up ads on their blog.
Intrusive, gaudy, and often just plain out unrelated to target audiences – bombarding your readers isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Why? Because ad-blockers are a thing! This can make a huge chunk of your target readers completely ignorant to the fact that you even have affiliate links in the first place.
Simply vomiting out affiliate links everywhere would even send a message of unprofessionalism to your readers. Now, it simply looks your main purpose is to sell, sell, sell products and make a quick buck – instead of genuinely wanting to help people find a solution.
What’s really cool about product reviews is that they’re the best of both worlds!
As a writer/blogger, the benefits of product reviews focus on strengthening your name + reputation in a niche -plus maybe earning a decent income in the process.
If you’re reading this on behalf of a brand, product reviews can be a super way of positively affecting your product’s image instead.
How? Besides the fact that 78% of consumers inherently trust the word of peer reviews over brands tooting their own horn -user-generated content (UGC) is a wonderful way of building social proof that can build stronger trust with your audience.
People trust people -it’s as simple as that!
If you’re representing a brand that wants to boost credibility and positive image through the roof, product reviews are definitely something you should be looking into this year.
However, this article focuses mostly on tips for writing product reviews, which would apply mostly to bloggers, freelance writers, marketers, etc.
Definitely give this a skim-through if you want to know what to look for in a solid product review.
Right after, we recommend using platforms like Fiverr or Upwork to go ahead and hunt for quality, experienced bloggers that can write up a storm for your product and boost sales through powerful, online word of mouth.
How to Write A Solid Product Review
1. Decide on the type of product review you want to publish.
Before going out on a whim, narrow down exactly the type and structure of your review.
This could take the form of:
• Listicle posts
Something like 7 Mobile Apps That Help You Track Expenses, etc. To make it a little less overwhelming for your readers being exposed to different types of products, give them a bulleted summary at the beginning to sum up each point. So list down specifications like price, best known for, and other key features describing the product.
• Single product reviews
Single-product reviews are an awesome way to write better blog content in order to get into the nitty-gritty of each product. However, if you consider doing this -make sure you’re so familiar with the product you might as well have invented it! Like this one, we did on using the Yoast SEO plugin.
• The “vs.” reviews
Let’s say you have the experience of using many web hosts in the past. Do a side by side comparison of something like “GoDaddy vs SiteGround Hosting: Which Is Better?” and give your final verdict at the end.
2. Start finding the right products to write about.
So you’re set on the perfect structure for your review! It’s now time to start choosing which products you want to start writing for.
A good tip on how to write better blog content and provide high-value product reviews for your website is to focus on the tools that you’re already using or have used in the past.
Let’s take for instance you’re running a podcast.
You could do a comparison review for the best types of editing software, write a detailed guide on how to use and the benefits of what type of mic works best for budding podcasters, and the list goes on! Here’s an idea of what that would look like.
Bonus points if you’ve already amassed a large fanbase of followers. This means more and more people are going to trust your word and authority.
If you’ve hit an unmoving brick wall with coming up for new ideas in your niche -don’t fret. A huge chunk of your readers are also going to be interested in things like:
✔ The web hosting platform your site is on (price comparison, features, who should use it, etc).
✔ The best design themes for your website.
✔ Top platforms to get high-quality stock images, graphics, visuals, etc.
✔ Best video-editing software.
✔ Which grammar checker or content editing software to use. (Grammarly vs Ginger, anybody?)
✔ A list of plugins that you’ve been using all this while maintaining your website.
✔ Any form of social media analytics or planner tools that you use to maintain your pages!
You don’t need to waste time hunting high and low for these products -when you’re already sitting on a gold mine of content ideas.
3. Becoming an affiliate marketer helps.
So you want to start earning from product reviews. Being totally honest, why shouldn’t you? A lot of hard work goes into researching how to write better blog content, writing, and promoting your piece when it’s done.
Besides, you’re promoting the product anyway through your reviews -so why not use this as a form of passive income?
Que the awesome world of affiliate marketing!
An affiliate marketer is a blogger that takes home a commission from either a sale made or traffic gained from recommending another retailer on their website.
The ability to earn here isn’t set in stone.
Instead, how much you make as an affiliate marketer off your product reviews depends on the total sales/clicks/traffic or leads made from your blog after a given time.
If your cut is 10% of a $500 online course that 20 of your readers end up buying – you walk away with $1,000 in the bag at the end of it all; for doing quite literally close to nothing.
More and more online retailers from every niche are venturing deep into the world of affiliate marketing -so you’ll never have to worry about running dry of these types of programs.
As a matter of fact, research notes that 81% of digital brands are leveraging the power of affiliate marketing to sell their products!
At any given time, the majority of affiliate marketers promote 1-10 products on their official website.
The best part? Affiliate marketing is a wonderful idea for bloggers that don’t have their own products and services to promote by branding it as your own – but rather just capitalizing on the buzz of the retailers you choose to feature.
Once you’re ultimately sold on this practice, it’s time to find products that you can start promoting ASAP.
We mentioned reviewing existing tools in use back in Step#2. However, not all of them might have affiliate programs running -which is why you should start skimming through online directories to make your life much easier.
If you need a guideline that really shows the top to bottom of getting started with affiliate marketing, the best ways to promote your products to drive maximum engagement and sales – check this one out right here.
4. Thoroughly research the products up for review.
Conducting due research might seem like something any product reviewer would already have done ten times over before writing it, but you’d be surprised!
Bad product reviews still, unfortunately, exist a great deal all over the Internet. Misleading feature information, mismatched descriptions of a different product, or outdated prices are still things that can happen when a blogger is too focused on just promoting so many things in bulk; and doing so mindlessly.
One rule of thumb to stick to is to never review something you’ve not tried out for at least two weeks.
Those two weeks are paramount for you to try out all possible features, navigate through all it has to offer and then provide your professional opinion in a product review guide that gets it dead on.
Personally, we believe in actually purchasing the said product before you even start your review.
As time goes along, make little notes of what comes up using it. Any common errors, surprising benefits, or other details that you think would arise when your readers experience it for the first time as well.
Never, ever promote a product that you personally wouldn’t use!
Even if a retailer/brand reaches out to you with the promise of a great, big affiliate deal and handsome commissions – always perform due research before accepting any offers.
For whatever reason, if the product seems shady, lacks reviews, or just lugs around a bad reputation; run far away from it as possible.
You could scour the Internet and apply the best tips for writing good blog posts. But the moment you provide a totally misconstrued review and have your readers to waste money on a bad product; the trust your readers placed in you is at risk!
5. Narrow down on your target audience.
Now while you may already have established your target audience for your blog; note that those parameters apply for your overall niche.
Here’s what we mean.
HUSTLR brings you content focused on improving your side hustle game. This is done by also giving you career advice, financial tips, and exclusive insight into how we built our businesses from the ground up.
But naturally – it’s important for us to diversify and cater to other forms of content. We also delve into podcasting advice, blogging, social media management, and much more.
Of course, not all of our audiences that runs a blog necessarily runs a podcast. The same goes for our podcaster audience that doesn’t need money management tips. You get the idea!
Point being – your general audience doesn’t always have to be the center of attention when it comes to writing product reviews. Chances are, you’re going to have various types of audiences, with unique interests and their own set of digital habits that are stumbling onto your reviews.
Pro Tip: To make things easier on everyone (especially if you run a blog where other freelancers/writers create content for you), consider setting aside some time to create a customer profile. This allows you a clearer idea of the multiple personas you’re writing for according to interests, preferred marketing channels and other characteristics – so you can always refer back to a guide when you’re writing a product review.
Never be afraid to clearly specify who your product reviews are intended for.
Putting a little note at the start of your article this way doesn’t mean that you’re scaring off potential readers or buyers.
It’s a beneficial way of saving everybody’s time. Clear directions mean that your readers can leave at any time – without needing to read through the whole article to find out that this doesn’t really suit them.
Inadvertently, this is also great for building credibility and trust for your website.
You’re notifying your readers that “Hey, this doesn’t apply to you – but try this!” and it’s something that shows everyone you honestly care about getting them the best alternative for their needs.
6. Encourage empathy with your tone of writing.
If you want to know how to write better blog content – start with your tone of voice.
Do you adopt a straightforward, professional approach with your posts? Or maybe it’s more tongue in cheek sarcasm? Are you focused on using certain types of lingo to appeal to younger target audiences?
No matter what you do, one thing has to be the same throughout your product reviews – being empathetic.
It’s not uncommon to stumble upon product reviews that are more focused on hard-selling items rather than actually being helpful, especially if they’re affiliates!
You want to stand out from the noise and clutter of reviews out there, as much as possible.
This means focusing on whether or said the product can be beneficial to them. You may be tempted to rattle on with “impressive” statistics or case studies as described on the official seller page as it’s the simplest thing to do – but this isn’t the way to go.
If your target audiences wanted cold, boring statistics or just basic descriptions -they would have simply just headed over to the seller’s website, right?
Instead, they’re on your page!
Put yourself in the shoes of your readers. You expect a good, sellable product review to relate as much as it can to problems you’re having and at the end; a solution to solve them.
You can start with these few tips for writing good blog posts with more empathy!
• Use first-person POV. Instead of going with “this product does this…” start writing it as you would talk to a friend! Illustrate how “this product is great because I’ve always had a good experience with their _____,” and so on.
• Ask the right questions. Don’t ramble off without direction. Take a moment to pause and strike up (somewhat of, anyway) a conversation with your readers. Ask questions that you think would apply to their situation at that very moment, like “have you ever had this happen to you,” and “wouldn’t you love for this product to solve it,” etc.
• Involve your pain points! Relatability is strongly associated with improving the trust you need your readers to have in you. Involve some personal experience and scatter that throughout your product review.
Now, your readers understand that you might’ve been in a similar place much like the one they’re in now – and that you’ve got a solution you think would help.
You don’t have to tediously pour your heart out into every product review, though. Just peppering a short, to-the-point personal experience story like how we started this article does the trick well enough too!
You’re a real person, right? That’s cool -so are we! Always make it common practice to write your product reviews in a way that’s easy to tell you’re human.
Focus on providing solutions to a problem instead of just loud-mouthing “cool” things this product can do.
7. Structure your review clearly.
You’ve absorbed some very handy tips on how to write better blog content through reviews -now it’s time to apply them!
If you find yourself constantly drawing a blank with what to include in your piece; always start with a good structure to elaborate on.
Get on to Word document, blank sheet of paper and start breaking down things like:
• Overall features
Reel your readers in with a basic overview and main purpose of this product.
• Who is it for?
Remember customer profiling in Step#6? Dive into who this product would work the best for.
• Unique benefits
What is the most unique aspect of it? Even if you can’t seem to find one, focus on a specific angle or problem that this product solves especially well.
• The pros and cons
As much as you want to shed a positive light on whatever you’re promoting, you’d do well to remember that your readers are smart enough to put two and two together when reading a review. Too much hype is going to raise some eyebrows! Be as honest as possible -include both pros AND cons when you’re reviewing anything. There are always going to be a few downsides to each product, and it’s better that your readers hear (or read, in this case) it from you before they go ahead and spend their money on it.
• Additional descriptors
Naturally, you also want to list down clearly things like price, attach the retailer’s official website, and other details like compatibility with different platforms, etc. If you’re dealing with digital products. If you’re promoting this product through an affiliate, always remember to attach your unique affiliate link!
• Include alternatives if necessary
This isn’t an ultimate rule, of course. When you’re reviewing a product, there’s a chance when you stumble upon another that does the job better for a different target audience. Or even when you’re writing a listicle and come across the free product B that users can try out before shelling out cash for the paid, more feature-rich product A. It’s a really helpful tip that we’re sure your readers will be grateful for!
Pro Tip: Arranging your product review in a way that’s immediately readable can be frustrating. We recommend that you start by just writing your review all at once; without stopping every few seconds to edit the structure. Once you’re done with the whole piece, start proofreading it with Grammarly or Hemingway to see how you can improve – but don’t waste precious time changing your review when you’re in the zone!
8. Social proof is important!
It’s common knowledge by now that most people tend to lean towards something that is already popular.
What better way of doing this rather than offering social proof?
Providing your readers with user-generated content (UGC) is one of the best tips for writing a blog post that draws in attention and builds credibility!
Social proof is an awesome way of doing this. Start with including these few important details:
• Social shares metrics
If you’ve already managed to amass a decent number of social media engagement from your review (shares, likes, retweets, etc) make sure you include the shared counts on your page. Now, your readers can tell that this review is a-buzzing, and would feel more comfortable sharing it on their own page.
Here’s what to look for in a social media plugin. Along with some new, functional ones you can install for your WordPress site today!
If you can, encourage more people to share and comment on your product review at the end.
Simply asking questions like “What’s your experience been with any of these products above?” or “We’re surely adding this product to cart -what do you think?” is a great way of encouraging discussion in the comments.
• Reviews from industry experts.
You can really spice up your product review with words of advice from those already recognized in a niche. Take for example you’re writing a piece on an SEO WordPress plugin. Include a quote or two from Neil Patel if he’s covered the same product! It really gives your piece the extra “oomph!” if you can vouch that it’s been certified and widely used by professionals.
• If you don’t find any – try quotes from other users.
Don’t worry about not being able to find recommendations from the pros. There are bountiful good, in-depth reviews from other users you can take from sites like eBay and Amazon!
9. Start using visual content for each review.
As our attention span gets collectively shorter, fewer readers are willing to pay attention to thousands of words on a page rolled out in boring, long paragraphs.
Now you could tackle this with writing shorter paragraphs that span from one to a maximum of 3 sentences each! This makes it easier to get your point across without dragging it out.
Another tip on how to write better blog content is to include visual aids alongside your product review.
People will always gravitate towards graphics – especially to take a break from a long product review. In general, it also just makes your piece more understandable and engaging!
Some forms of visual content you can start including would be:
• Infographics and stock pictures.
Tools like Venngage and Piktochart are excellent places to start finding infographic templates. Fill them up with the statistics and info applying to your product review! After all, it’s much more attention-grabbing to see them displayed in bright, colourful graphics rather than words.
Such an underrated way of building more reader trust! Including screenshots from your own personal experience (especially if you’re dealing with digital software) provides evidence to your readers that you are indeed using the product in question. It’s also a great method of educating your readers on what to do if they encounter similar experiences, errors while using it.
Without a doubt in mind – video marketing remains to be one of the best approaches out there to get the word across. Did you know customers are about 120.5% more likely to make a purchase decision after watching a video?
For product review pieces anyway, you want your videos to be short yet informative, direct to the point, and with a strong CTA. Understandably, videos can take a generous amount of time to produce and edit. But at the end of the day, it’s totally worth it when you consider how amazing it will perform when increasing conversions!
Pro Tip: Animated videos are the best option to go for when explaining a product review. Viddyoze is an incredible full-fledged video editing software, totally cloud-based and used by big-name brands such as Tesla and Verizon for their video marketing purposes!
If you’re keen on really picking up this useful skill, increasing your website’s memorability through compelling, converting content -we’ve compiled a conclusive guide to video marketing all for you.
10. Include the “summary section”.
You’re exhaustively going into the details of each product review, covering all the bases you can think of. So it’s no surprise that your blog post is going to be a little long.
Why don’t you make your readers lives’ a little easier?
Consider including a “summary section” or box at the very top of each review you give!
A well-crafted summary section works in the way to recap the entire product review. You want to make it as easy to understand as possible, packed with just the right amount of concise details that would reiterate the best reasons for a purchase decision.
As always – WordPress comes with its own plugins optimized to give you sleek, clear summary boxes that you can use to fill up with your own product review details.
You can take a look at some of their best plugin options right here.
But what’s in an ideal summary section? Let’s start with these 5 essentials for now:
• Overall description.
Maintain this at 1-2 lines of the product’s basic roles.
• Target audience.
Remember how we talked about its importance in Step#5? Just one sentence that describes habits, different usage preferences would do the trick, like “best suited for expert level, full-stack digital marketers, etc.”
• Ratings based on category.
Any blog can just rate a product 5/5 stars off the bat -but sometimes, that may not be enough. Instead, get a little more specific and rate your product based on aspects like “Speed”, or “Effectiveness” or “Features”.
• The pros and cons.
Keep it short and sweet!
• Price and CTA.
Your CTA could also include limited time only promotions the retailer has, or affiliate discounts if readers enter your code upon checkout.
• Professional vs User Rating.
If you’re ready to put in a little more research, we personally love comparing these two. Naturally, you can get professional ratings from a single industry expert’s site or review sites; and user ratings from the average number of stars on Amazon, etc.
11. Strengthen with SEO efforts.
We really can’t teach you how to write better blog content without emphasizing the importance of SEO!
SEO plays even more so of an important role when it comes to writing a product review.
Enriching your product review with proper keywords and meta tags, etc are key to bumping your website up high in terms of search engines.
Quick tip? Use tools like LongTailPro to find accurate, low competition keywords that would significantly boost your chances of ranking for them when a query is entered.
Also, if you don’t already have the Yoast SEO plugin -the time for that was yesterday! Yoast lets you run quick checks on whether or not your posts (and overall webpages) are performing with the right keywords – all along giving you suggestions on how to better optimise it through frequency of usage, etc.
Besides focusing on ranking for keywords – practice on writing better headlines.
CoSchedule has a free headline analyser that rates your headline based on elements like the ability to generate shares, the value of SEO and other suggestions that would potentially increase clickthrough.
As much as you want to focus on SEO efforts, make sure that this practice doesn’t bring more harm than good.
Never spam your keywords! Google’s quick to zero in on these things; and you’d most likely get penalized for this in terms of rankings.
Here are a few other ways your SEO habits might actually be inhibiting the growth of your website.
Other Tips to Writing a Better Product Review
• Include multiple CTAs throughout.
Using just one CTA amidst a really long product review can stop you from a lot of potential conversions! Try incorporating one in your summary section box, one in the middle of your review, and the last one at the very bottom.
You also want to make your CTA as attractive as possible. This can easily be done by using a different contrasting colour and bold typefaces – anything that sets it aside from your regular text.
Last word of advice; stay away from hard-selling phrases. Stuff like “buy now” or “get yours today” is way too cliché, and may sound forceful. Instead, provide your readers with why they should buy it now with stuff like “redeem your $5 voucher here” or “click here to learn more!”.
• Research on the reasons why users don’t want to buy this product.
Why should you do this? If you’ve got a list down of all the negatives and possible wrong perceptions of a product – you can work to negate them in your review!
A common downside of products can be things like an expensive price tag. Bouncing off this; you can use a short paragraph in your product review that justifies its great features, amazing support, etc.
Some ways you can source for product complaints are through online discussion forums like Quora! The YouTube comment section of a product review video can also be pretty insightful sometimes. You can also compare and contrast offers with their competitors, if you’re looking for ways to one-up them in your review.
• Have some FAQs listed.
Another tip for writing better blog posts is to always include a few FAQs at the bottom of your review. Common questions would be:
• What are the different payment/plan packages for this product?
• Is this good value for money?
• What are the money-back options like?
• Are there any common issues with the product?
• Does this product comply with (insert regulations/laws here)?
A really good way to brainstorm these questions (besides checking the retailer’s webpage, of course) is to put yourself in the shoes of your interested readers. List down everything that comes to mind – because they’re probably wondering the same things too.
You can also use free online tools like AnswerThePublic. Simply just enter the name of said product, and in a couple of seconds, it would have scoured the net for all highly-asked questions by users that you can answer in your product review!
Look at you! With all these tips on how to write better blog content through product reviews -there’s no doubt in mind you can totally drive more clicks and conversions this way.
Always remember that with any product review, your readers look up to you as their go-to person.
Because of this, the last thing you want to do is get caught pants down in a situation where you’re fabricating facts.
Or worse, not fact-checking your article when it’s done.
Give it the double (or triple!) check when all is written.
This goes for accurate statistics, proper links, impeccable grammar, and structure (Hemingway works wonders for this!), frequency of SEO keywords, etc.
Keep in mind that your product reviews may likely contribute to a purchase decision. Money is involved and your readers count on you – so make sure your word is always credible and meticulous!
Jesslyn has been a senior content strategist and writer for personal finance and side hustles for the past 4 years. She believes in the power of an idea and breaking the rules whenever necessary. Above all, balance is everything. When she’s not writing up a mad scramble, she leans towards wine bars and yoga studios on the weekends.