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Write a Review – Rediscover Your Blogging Groove Day 3

Rediscover-Blogging-Groove--1Today’s task in the Rediscover Your Blogging Groove project is to write a review of some kind.

There are many successful blogs and websites that have built themselves on the back of writing reviews. They are able to do so because so many people use the web to research purchases and make decisions about products and services.

Review posts require some knowledge of the thing you’re reviewing and they can take a little time to write (because you need to think carefully about what you write as your readers may base decisions upon your opinion) but they can be a highly effective post to include on a blog from time to time as they express an opinion rather than just write what everyone else is writing in your niche.

Some of the benefits of reviews that I’ve seen include:

  • incoming links – some of my most linked to posts are reviews.
  • conversation – stating an opinion about something can be the starting point for wonderful conversations, debates and exchanges of ideas.
  • relationships – I’m amazed by how many of the reviews that I’ve written have been the thing that has actually put me into contact with the creators of the products or services that I review.
  • search engine traffic – I quite often see traffic from SE’s coming from terms like ‘xxxx review’. ‘Review’ is a hot word.
  • reviews can work well with affiliate programs - one of the best places to put an affiliate link inside a well written and balanced review of a product. Warning – don’t fall for the temptation of talking up bad products just to get an affiliate commission, all you’ll do is put readers offside. Give pros and cons of products that you’ve actually used and you’ll find readers respect that and will make more informed purchases.

More reading on how to write reviews – 10 Ways to Maximize the Value of a Product Review

Homework – Now it’s time to go write your review post. This might be easier for some of you than others as some of you have actual products or services that directly relate to your niche – however you don’t need to just review products.

Here are a few ideas for what to review:

  • Review a related website or blog to yours
  • Review a book about your topic
  • Review the last few months of your own writing on your blog (highlighting some of your best posts)
  • Review a movie, play, TV show, song, restaurant

Once you’ve written your review come back to this post and share the link to it so we can all be a little inspired by what you’ve written.

note: while your previously written review posts might be interesting – I’d prefer it if you only posted links to new posts in comments below – after all, this series is about helping you to improve your blog NOW rather than looking back – thanks for understanding.

PS: I wrote a review today of my own of the Canon EOS 5D DSLR

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. John Cow says:

    Nice project you started..wonder how it will effect bloggers in the long run :)

  2. “Review posts require some knowledge of the thing you’re reviewing and they can take a little time to write”..

    Definitely agree. Reviews need to be thought out carefully and really researched. No reason to do a review if its not going to be in-depth!

    Great article. I recently linked two of your articles in my top ten links for bloggers :).

    Thanks again.

  3. Fred Black says:

    Darren:
    If you consider a 3 day old post new, then here’s a link to a review I did of Joe Vitale’s new book Zero Limits:
    http://www.pqinternet.com/68.htm

    Otherwise, please delete this comment!

    Sincerely,
    Fred

  4. Bret says:

    I did today’s assignment, as I have for the previous ones, over at my co-authored blog (http://brothersinblog.com).

    I reviewed an almost install of Verizon Fios service

  5. Jeri says:

    I actually ended up with more of an opinion piece than a review – but it was a fun change of perspective!

    Nintendo Wii Pointless Peripheral Award

    Thanks for the great ideas!

  6. Steve says:

    I’ve never thought of this as a means of generating traffic, but once again you’ve suprised me.

    thanks for your valuable insight Darren,

    Cheers,

    Stephen Martile
    Personal Development with NLP
    http://www.stephenmartile.com

  7. chris.pund says:

    Reviews are always a great way to get some more people from the search engines, get post Darren!

  8. Darren, we’ve build the LouderVoice site specifically for bloggers who write reviews.

    Right now we index reviews from registered blogs if they are marked up using an open community format called hReview. We provide tools to enable bloggers to generate this (FF plugin, browser bookmarklet and WordPress plugin) but any review which obeys the simple standard will work.

    Once we index the reviews onto our site, they can be searched for, rated, related and grouped around topics of interest. We provide RSS feeds for any search term, tag or bookmark group.

    The key point is that we do not display the full reviews, we send you to the source blog to read them, thus building the reputation and readership of the better reviewers.

    Our long-term aim is to be the first port of call for anyone searching for quality blogger (and micro-blogger) reviews.

  9. Raoul says:

    Hi Darren,

    I write reviews regularly on my site, and as you say, they’re a great source of traffic, not to mention a wonderful way to get my readers’ thoughts on the subject. Here’s one I wrote last night, of Dan Heller’s new book, Digital Travel Photography.

  10. Roland says:

    Hi Darren,

    As it happens I completed a short review of a related site to my own just before reading your post. It can be found here: Useful Websites No. 1: The Maling Collectors Society.

    Regards,

    Roland

  11. harriett says:

    I haven’t thought of it generating traffic, either. I just like to write about what impacts my world – great posts, BTW.
    Here’s mine: http://hhartisticmusings.blogspot.com/2007/07/art-and-fear.html#links

  12. I haven’t written many reviews yet, but definitely plan to in the future. Great piece!

  13. Ramkarthik says:

    I missed to write a blog post for the first day. So I have written a list and review like post in the same. It is a small review about two new and hottest forums.
    2 New Forums You Have To Join If You Want To Improve Blogging

  14. Hi Darren,

    I’m not sure I quite qualify for this project because my entire TVs Worst Adverts blog is a review site.

    Here’s one of the post that I enjoyed writing the most though:

    http://tvs-worst-adverts.co.uk/dulco-ease/

    It’s about a super little advert for Dulco Ease.

    Cheers.

  15. eve says:

    another great one Darren! I am off to write a review now!

  16. Heraldo says:

    I found the review easier to write than the list (but it generated great feedback, so thanks for the idea). Here’s my review. If you’re ever in the far reaches of Northern California, take this wonderful tour.

  17. Writing a review just for practice/fun isn’t just good for bloggers, it’s also great exercise for online copywriters looking to get their groove back. If a writer’s unable to convince me she’s as objective and nuanced with her web copy as she is with a product review, why would I buy her company’s product or service? You must have a convincing opinion about your subject in order to write persuasively for your audience.

    Good stuff, Darren… definitely as valuable for the corporate or independent copywriter as it is for the bloggers.

  18. Frugal Momma says:

    A review
    Disney Crystal Palace review
    from my recent disney vacation

  19. Olga says:

    I’ve written a review of Ratatouille, explaining why it’s so successful and highly rated.

    Here it is:
    http://www.fashionablycute.net/cute-food/food-beat/ratatouille-review-with-photos-and-art/

  20. I’ve written a review about free SMS and contextual ads.
    Check it out and let me know your comments.

    Shorten your message and save money

  21. Ian McKenzie says:

    I haven’t written a review, but rather wrote a piece with some tips for writing a review.

  22. Melissa says:

    Well, mine was yesterday, does that count?
    ————————————————————————-

    Innovative Thinking Now Allows Everyone to Have a Customizable, Affordable & Professional Web Site
    http://seoaware.com/?p=96

  23. CatherineL says:

    Darren. These exercises are a brilliant idea for new bloggers. Several years ago, when I first started writing it was a constant struggle to come up with ideas, so I know how valuable a bit of guidance can be.

    I’d already posted on my Cath Lawson blog today, but I love a challenge, so I chose to review Google adsense at: http://cathlawson.com/blog/?p=122

  24. Dean says:

    Hi Darren

    Once again I found a great idea in this project to add a post to my blog Law Of Attraction For Beginners.

    I’ve been meaning to write this review for sometime and finally got around to Review Bob Doyle’s Wealth Beyond Reason program.

    I’m looking forward to another great project for tomorrow.

    Dean

  25. Deb says:
  26. Here’s another potential benefit: the chance to try and learn about new products (related to your niche) for free! When a company contacted me offering a free copy their software in exchange for an honest review, it was great blogging material AND it helped me learn more about products my readers might be interested in. I have even received free products from companies by contacting them myself and offering to review the product in exchange for a free sample. This is also a great way to do a bit of networking!

    I agree – it is very important to do your research, so you know what you’re talking about. AND make sure you are up front and honest or you might lose your readers trust!

  27. I’ve written several book reviews on my blog…I’m checking in with today’s project late in the day, so I might do this one with tomorrow’s project.

    I do agree that reviews are great posts and I like writing them, but they’ve been easier for me because so far I’ve only written reviews for books or other items that I highly recommend.

  28. Here are my reviews:

    http://onejobtwosalaries.com/category/reviews/

    I’ve got a lot of new visitors by publishing these posts.

  29. Tom Hanna says:

    Wow, I guess we were thinking alike. I’ve been trying to get “back in the groove” and had written a review of my new smartphone a few hours before I read this post. But unfortunately, I wrote that review first, so after reading your post…I had to write another. I setup a blog specifically for non-book reviews, btw, mostly because nowhere else that I was writing seemed appropriate for ranting, raving, criticizing and complimenting all the products and services I use and wanted to comment on. Anyway, the new post I wrote for this project was a combined review of several products I’ve tried to help heal my poor doggy’s flea problem.

    http://tomsreviews.com/2007/flea-control-products/

  30. Raffi says:

    I’ve written a very short review of a sister website of our Christian Summer Camp. I will update it with more depth.

    Here it is: http://emmanuel-chanitz.blogspot.com/2007/07/kchagorg-gets-new-look.html

  31. vijay says:

    Yes I got the right inspiration and i wrote a review of a free service.. ya a wordpress plugin All in one SEO pack for blog SEO!

    You can find the installation settings guide of this plugin
    http://www.etechbuzz.com/wordpress-plugin-all-in-one-seo-pack/
    If you are not using then I suggest to give it a try.

    Thanks Darren!

  32. Shivaranjan says:

    Darren,

    I wrote a review about Samsung LCD monitor two days back (16th July). Can it be considered?

    The link: http://www.shivaranjan.com/2007/07/16/review-samsung-syncmaster-940bw-19-widescreen-lcd-monitor/

    Thanks..

  33. Nice timing on this task! I was all cued up to write a review of the Gloves in a Bottle sample that came in last week…

    Reviews are great fun to write, but I suspect that mine ramble off on tangents a good deal more than is the recommended style!

  34. DaveP says:

    I write reviews all the time for both Pop Buzz UK and Brit Music Scene, and find them a good source of traffic in the main.

    I wrote a nice review of the new Mark Ronson/Lily Allen song for you!

  35. Here’s my post for this challenge:

    http://www.thefitshack.com/2007/07/19/watch-super-size-me-and-get-motivated/

    I wrote this today instead of yesterday when you posted the challenge because I read your post later in the day. Now I need to head on over to today’s challenge and see what that one is about. :)

    Thanks Darren, this is fun….I’ve also been checking out the other participants posts. BTW, I am really looking forward to your next Group Writing Project. I loved the involvement with that project… it was intense, reading so many new blogs, but it was just great. :)

  36. I was kind of stuck on this one until a review just fell from my email into my lap(top)
    http://summerwithgrandmotherwren.blogspot.com/2007/07/handy-back-to-school-item.html

  37. I reviewed a segment on the Today Show that was relevant to my blog:

    Can Money Make You Happy?

    http://millionairemommynextdoor.blogspot.com/2007/07/can-money-make-you-happy.html

    Also, I try to include a short list of relevant and recommended book titles to each post which are linked to my affiliate program.

  38. Scot says:

    I’m pacing myself as I make my way through this series.
    I found my review of Auckland Theatre Company’s The Crucible a lot trickier than writing a conventional post – took me quite a while to decide how I was going to approach it.

    The hard part was avoiding a typical review format and maintaining my voice, and as an offshot of that focusing on the aspects of the production that my blog is concerned with as opposed to everything else I thought about it.

  39. Another great aspect about writing reviews is you never run out of ideas to post about. There’s always something new to review! Reviews prevent writer’s block.

    What I do is create a template for each kind of review I do. This way, when another similar product comes along, I can reuse the same template.

    Want to see how successful I’ve been? Try my blog:
    The Necro Files – reviews of horror films and heavy metal albums.
    I now get more than a thousand hits!! YAY!

  40. Spok says:

    Reviews are always a great way to get some more people from the search engines, get post Darren!