Everyone has a opinion and we frequently read these opinions on various review sites, looking for information about a restaurant, adventure park or attraction we are considering. It might be to get extra information that the actual website doesn’t tell us, or to find out what the restaurant’s specialities are or what time is quieter for the attraction… We like to summarise and assess others opinions on products/ food/ books/ hotels/ holidays so we can evaluate the information ourselves and either go and enjoy the experience or learn from the review that its not what we would enjoy. I will show you how to write a review online and will give you a template that you can use to write your reviews.
What Are You Going To Say?
What message do you want to convey with your review? This might depend on what you are reviewing, whether its a book or movie or product. You will have different goals for each review and what you want your reader to take away from your review.
In a book review you may want to discuss the characters and how they build the story, or a movie and how the plot develops, but with affiliate marketing, it’s more likely that you are going to be reviewing products or services as part of your affiliate website so that is the angle I’m going to be taking in this article.
Who Is Your Audience?
Have a clear understanding of your audience, knowing who you are writing for is critical. You will have your niche audience, if you are running an affiliate website, so this makes it easier to choose the right tone for your review. This will influence your decisions about content, emphasis, organisation, style and tone. And clearly in the example below, you are writing for people with large gardens who want to cut their lawns!
What Do They Need/Want To Know?
Knowing your audience, you need to consider what they need to know about the product or service…
For example, if you have a website niche in landscape gardening, and review large equipment, the ride on lawnmower is a prime piece of equipment, and one that will take a fair amount of research for your reader as they wont want to make mistakes in purchasing the wrong one. You might be writing this because you are landscape gardener yourself or do it as a second job. So you decide to review your ride-on mower – great plan to review products you use as this shows authority and experience, building trust in your website, because you know what you are talking about!
But what do your audience need to know? Make this information quick and easy to find, so they can compare other products they are considering. This is another reason to have a template to use for your reviews, your audience will get used to how you write them and can see the information they need immediately. You can see with the image above, I would suggest engine horsepower, cutting width and fuel capacity as being important features to include in a quick look section.
I have included a template at the end of the article to use for your reviews. Its a starting point for you to use and you can change it to suit your website, but use it every time you write a review. Consistency in the review process is important, so as not to confuse your audience.
Decide the parameters of your review, the perspective/angle you are going to take. This will most likely depend on the tone of your website, the subject of your review and your style. At the start of the review, give your audience a concise summary of what you are going to share.
The introductory paragraph should catch the attention of the reader, so make it interesting, conversational and enticing so the reader continues to read your review. First impressions are important so set out at the start, discuss what you are going to tell them during the review.
Quick Look Data
Directly below the introduction, add in some ‘Quick Look‘ data and a photograph of the product. The quick look data will depend on the product you are reviewing, but for instance – KastKing Royale Legend BaitCasting Fishing Reel
Quick Look Data information you would include would be the salient points you want to highlight right now to keep your reader on your article –
Bait Catching Reel
Suitable for bass/trout fishing
Add the photo at the side, so they can look at the details and product at the same time. You can add more images later, showing close-ups of your product as you discuss the features.
Add a visual score using stars or something similar, it will stand out better and give an immediate indication to your reader whether they will continue to read on or not. Don’t be tempted to give more stars than its worth to try and encourage someone to buy… Having not so great reviews on your site is expected. If you only review stuff that is always good, it doesn’t build up confidence in your site.
This is a personal choice, whether to include a price or not. Amazon frown on showing the price, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t … only because it means I have to go through and check the price every week to keep it updated and fresh. Now this isn’t such a bad idea because you can check your links are still working, but when you have hundreds of reviews it will be onerous and time consuming to be doing it every week, more likely to be once a month. So you could put symbols to denote the price. – £££/£
Where To Purchase
Important to put where to send your reader for purchase. This is where you would have your personal affiliate link so you get paid when they follow it to the merchant to purchase. If you don’t now how to insert an affiliate link, follow my article about affiliate links and it will show you how to do it.
Describe your product in detail. You can use the information you have received from your affiliate merchant to assist you but write in your own words. Give details – dimensions, power, accessories, features, facilities – what you include will depend on what you are reviewing.
When commenting on a feature, give evidence for your opinion… for example …..This is what was said on an outdoor sportsman website…”Cabela’s King Kat II Spinning Reel – Stainless, Freshwater Fishing The corrosion-resistant reinforced graphite body is strong and durable to get you through many a season. Long-cast aluminum spool lets you fire baits out to where the giants live.”
This is an idea of how you would write a review using that information…. Clearly if this is a reel that you use, you can add in your personal experience of it at the same time.
‘KatKing Reel is made of stainless steel, used for fresh water fishing. With a reinforced graphite body, makes it corrosion-resistant so ideal for many fishing seasons. *** Close-up image of the reel body****
Long-cast aluminium spool allows for depth to reach those out of the way fish with your live bait. So no disappointing fishing sessions !’
Work your way through all the details of the product, adding in your opinion of the product. Write in complete sentences, and use descriptive words, the use of a thesaurus is a good idea, to make your review interesting and engaging. When using personal details. do not be vague or generalistic. Readers do not want wishy washy comments…
‘The reel is a good reel, with an anti twist…’ That’s not really going to inspire anyone… but… ‘The reel is a great middle of the range price for beginner/intermediate fishers, with an awesome anti twist feature to stop those really irritating twists we all suffer.’
See how that changes the whole aspect of the information? All totally correct but with so much more enthusiasm.
Be truthful, no point selling something that you don’t believe in yourself. Be fair to the manufacturer, point out both positive and negative issues. But at all times be creative and interesting.
If you can, if you have used the product yourself, or know someone who has and you can get first hand information from them, use it here. Adding in privileged information that the reader cannot get from the merchants website will add authority and authenticity to your review. It also allows the reader to decide if they are a similar person to you, and in so doing, decide that if you have one, they want one too.
Pros and Cons/ Comparison
If you wish to add in a pros and cons section, feel free. It makes it easier for your reader to compare and contrast similar products and if you have similar product reviews on your website already, you could add in a comparison table to see at a glance the similarities and differences. It will also highlight your other reviews too.
Tips To Remember When Writing a Review
Write up a conclusion to your review, using evidence to back up what you are saying. You may be repeating yourself here but don’t worry about that, you are bringing together the points you have made into a concise paragraphs for a quick reminder.
This is the point at which you have to get down off the fence and decide how you would swing as far as purchasing this product is concerned. Offer an honest opinion.. It might be that it is an awesome product for a certain situation, so mention that, whereas in another situation, it would not be so good. Be positive and not overly critical. By the very fact you have chosen to do a review you already must rate the product somewhat to get this far.
You can copy this and adapt it to your own needs.