Top Tips For Writing Product Reviews

No matter what kind of blogger you are, you will at some point be offered items/services/products/days out to review.  Whilst it is a “perk” of the job, it is still work. Never underestimate the hours which will be spent unboxing, photographing, styling, using, writing, social media sharing that goes into just one product review. But whilst it’s nice to be sent lots of shiny new toys to play with, you need to consider does this product add value to my blog? Will my core audience be interested? Is it relevant to my niche? Do I actually need these things in my life?
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I try and keep my product reviews to a minimum for the following reasons.
  • Readers will soon switch off and not return if you are constantly posting product reviews.
  • You need to balance real content with product reviews.
  • It can be a nightmare trying to juggle all the product reviews and brands don’t want to wait months for a review.
  • It can take the fun out of blogging! I decided to curb my product reveiws last year, I no longer say yes to anything under my hourly rate value. I try to add product reviews into tangible content that the reader is there for.  I also ask myself do we or I actually NEED or WANT this and usually the answer is no!
  • Social media is a much better way to share the products than as quite frankly a 600-word blog post on bath bombs is of no value to anyone (in my opinion!)

Having said all the above (I sound like a right misery guts today!) if you are considering or already writing product reviews here are some top tips to follow.

7 Top Tips For Writing Product Reviews :

  1. Be Honest : If there is something you don’t like about the product you are reviewing, say so. There’s nothing worse than reading perfect reviews and let’s be honest nobody really gains from this exercise. Not you, the brand nor your readers.
  2. Set a Limit to Product Reviews : If you don’t want your blog to become overwhelmed with reviews, set a limit to how many you will say yes to. This depends on how often you post – if you blog 4-5 times a week then a couple of well-chosen reviews in that mix won’t overwhelm. I only post on here about once or twice a week so about 3 reviews a month is enough for me.” Joanne Mallon
  3. Be Critical But Constructive : If you are going to be critical about a product, say what is wrong but give examples of how it can be changed or improved. Good news, bad news sandwiches keep the product reviews real and provide valid/critical information on how the brand can improve, develop, move forward they may not even have thought of or know of this flaw.
  4. Add Lots Of Imagery : Don’t use stock images! It is pretty obvious you haven’t used or opened the product if you use stock images. I like to use images of the product in use, however, it’s handy to document the whole process from when the product arrives, packaging, how it is put together, product in use and months after so you can show longevity. This doesn’t have to be all on your blog these are the kind of images you should use on social media to redirect readers to your blog post. product review
  5. Use Your Own Words : Katie “I like to see reviews that give the product in the blogger’s own words rather than quoting or rehashing the press releases” from Signal Failure at Victoria
  6. Disclose : All product reviews should be made clear, state the product was sent/provided/gifted in return for an honest review. Ensure you have a disclosure policy on your website/blog this enables  PR companies/brands to easily contact you and know you are open to product reviews, it also makes it clear to your reader, core audience.
  7. Add Value :  Ensure your product reviews adds value to your blog and most importantly your audience. For example, I was invited to tour Bombay Sapphire Distillery I could have written a boring/bog standard review of the tour but does my core audience really care? Most definitely not. However, I used what I learnt during the tour about the brand to look at brand stories and using the history, the why and development of gin and Bombay Sapphire to provide the reader with actionable points to work towards and develop their own brand stories.  What Gin Can Teach Us About Branding

what bombay sapphire can teach us about branding

If you are interested in product reviews and not sure where to start check out sites like Bloggers Required, follow brands you like on social media and keep an eye on relevant hashtags #bloggersrequired #bloggerswanted where requests for product reviews will inevitably come up.

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  1. September 25, 2013 / 5:41 am

    I find if it’s not very good I use a praise sandwich – unless it’s truly awful! What is good, what is not so good and how it could be better. Some PRs don’t want you to publish if it really is rubbish do it’s a tough one!
    Kara recently posted..Ben & Holly Personalised Book ReviewMy Profile

    • September 29, 2013 / 5:47 pm

      hehe not heard of a praise sandwich since my teaching years! But very true 🙂

  2. Melksham Mum
    September 30, 2013 / 12:15 pm

    I have done only done a few reviews but these tips are useful, hopefully for future reference!
    Melksham Mum recently posted..Musing on a Monday {Grandparent tax}My Profile

  3. September 30, 2013 / 8:15 pm

    Good tips, will bear them in mind 🙂

  4. Aly
    October 1, 2013 / 8:34 am

    I can’t understand why some bloggers get nervous when posting a negative review? I’ve known some bloggers not to post at all if their review is negative.That’s the whole pint of reviewing, to give feed back.
    Aly recently posted..FrOctober 2014- A Year OnMy Profile

  5. October 1, 2013 / 11:35 am

    All good tips Joanne! I always like seeing products in action, and hearing about any specific things that stood out, good or bad. I think as well that’s it important to be professional about it – agree beforehand if you want to set a deadline for the post going live, stick to this, and maintain good communication throughout with whoever has sent you the product.
    Slummy single mummy recently posted..REVIEW: A day out at Cadbury WorldMy Profile

  6. October 1, 2013 / 10:47 pm

    Great advice, thanks Joanne – I’m often mildly disappointed when a blogger I like writes a review of a product I’m not particularly interested in, but I find the best bloggers manage to make a review personal and entertaining, weaving in a story that engages me despite the selling spin 🙂

  7. October 2, 2013 / 6:41 am

    Good advice. I have written reviews in the past which have been all positive because sometimes I just don’t have anything negative to say but then occasionally something will happen a few weeks / months after first testing the product so I always try to make sure I review it for long enough to find potential negatives now 🙂 x
    Jess @ Along Came Cherry recently posted..Ordinary Moments #3My Profile

  8. October 4, 2013 / 5:18 pm

    I’m also a fan of truthful reviews. I don’t see the point of a blatant advert disguised as a review. If a brand wants to advertise it’s best they pay the going rate for an ad so the blogger can disclose it as such. Some useful tips

  9. October 4, 2013 / 6:01 pm

    Never heard of a praise sandwich! Some great tips, thank you!

  10. September 17, 2018 / 12:25 pm

    Great article thank you Joanne.
    I am just about to do my first product review blog so these tips are very useful.

  11. April 24, 2019 / 2:54 pm

    When I write product reviews I am honest but constructive in my criticism. I think that’s important

  12. April 24, 2019 / 4:06 pm

    Some good tips here and I feel challenged to write a 600 word post on a bath bomb now and make it fun x

  13. August 13, 2020 / 1:19 am

    As a business, you need to intertwine customer feedback data and product development to create a successful business with a high brand recall factor.