Today’s task in the 31 Days to Build a Better blog is another writing challenge – I’d like you to write a ‘review post’.
I know that many bloggers already write ‘reviews’ on their blogs but you can never have enough practice on this type of post.
The web is increasingly being used by people to research purchases and help them make decisions.
I’ve not got any stats on this but looking at the types of words and phrases that people type into Google to find my blogs there’s some strong anecdotal evidence that people are actively using the web to seek advice – reviews on your blog position yourself well to meet this need that people have.
The other great thing about review posts is that they show you have opinions on your topic – this makes an impression upon readers and increases the likelihood that they’ll see you as an authority or resource on the topic that you’re writing about.
Reviews Not Relevant for Your Blog?
You might be thinking to yourself right now that your blog isn’t suited to ‘review’ posts. You don’t write about products and can’t think of any books that might relate to your topic?
Fear not – all you need to do is think a little creatively to still be able to do today’s challenge. Here are a few ideas:
- Review a book
- Review a movie or TV show relevant to your audience
- Review another website in your niche
- Review a restaurant if you’re a food blogger
- Review an article from a magazine or website
- Review a hotel, tourist destination or airline if you’re a travel blogger
- Review an outfit that a celebrity is wearing if you’re a fashion blogger
- Review a speech given by a politician if you’re a political blogger
- Review a gadget if you’re a tech blogger
- Review a tool or piece of equipment relevant to your niche
- Review an exhibition or gallery if you’re an Art Blogger
- Review a toy if you’re a Mom or Dad Blogger
- Review an instrument if you’re a music blogger
Really the list could go on an on – there’s so much scope with this type of post.
Tips on Writing Effective Reviews on your Blog
- Give an opinion – people read reviews to help them make a decision. As a result they want opinions – so don’t be afraid to give them. If something that you review is not very good – don’t be afraid to say so. This builds credibility with your audience and shows that you’re willing to give real advice.
- Give a Rating – Tied to the ‘opinion’ point above – I find that when you give some kind of concrete rating in a review that readers generally respond well.
- Be balanced – giving an opinion doesn’t mean you can’t be balanced. Reviews that give both positives and negatives are more rounded and helpful to readers.
- Think about keywords – as you’re writing your review think about the words and phrases that people will be searching for in search engines to find this information. It’ll vary from topic to topic but I find words like ‘price’, ‘problems’, ‘review’ etc are often search for. Also make sure you use the name of the thing you’re reviewing at least a few times (especially in the title). Don’t let your review become dominated by keywords (write for people as your primary audience rather than search engines) but do use your common sense to also optimize your post well for SEO.
- Make Comparisons – one thing I find readers respond to well is when you compare a product with another in its class. If you’ve already written a review on the thing you’re comparing to make sure you link between them.
- Don’t be Afraid to use an Affiliate Link – if there’s an affiliate program associated with what you’re reviewing don’t be afraid to use it. Different bloggers will have different stances on this one but in terms of pure conversion rates on affiliate links – a well written and balanced review can be very good at driving sales.
- Say who it’s good for – ‘is this right for me?’ is a question that many of your readers will be asking. As a result – share who you think a product, service etc is right for. Tied to this – if appropriate talk about how you’d use a product – what reasons would someone need or use it. Also any tips to help those who do buy the product to use it can really lift a review. The more you can tie your review to the real life of your readers the better.
- Be Personal – I find that it is often the more personal reviews that tell the story of using something that seem to connect with readers the best when we publish reviews on my photography site. Making a connection with your readers by sharing your story and even showing real life pictures/video (as opposed to or in addition to official product pictures) can really make a difference.
- Visuals Count – on that note, anything that can help your readers visualize the product you’re reviewing will help. Use pictures, videos, screen captures, diagrams etc wherever you can to add depth to your review post.
- Give Details on How to Get the Item – if your review is about something that people can buy or get for themselves give as much relevant information on how they can get it and how much it’ll cost.
If you have any further tips on writing reviews I’d love to hear them below.
Once you’ve written your review post for today please share a link to it below and tell us how you found the exercise. You can also feel free to share in the forum post dedicated to this task.
This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.
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