Tips to writing a Good Online Product Review

7:48 PM

I know that personally, I can always use tips for improving what I am doing. So upon request, I am writing this in hopes of helping some of you to write a better review. I have used tips from others who write reviews as well,and what they consider to be a good tip or writing a review.

I know  that many of you also write reviews not just on Amazon but on other E-commerce sites, so I think this would be a great guide for any reviews overall like that. 

I am sure you may even find a mistake or two here, and if you do, feel free to point it out! 

To start with, one question that has come up quiet often the past couple of days. Many people are having reviews removed from Amazon for different reasons. Here have been the main reasons: Failure to disclose, more than one person using a Prime account in the same household and receiving the same items ( even if you have different prime accounts, if you have the same address on Amazon, you cannot receive the same products as the other person in your household or Amazon can and may remove them and they can even deactivate your entire Amazon account or remove your right to review items on Amazon ever again.  ) So, when you write a review, you should also save those reviews to a word doc on your computer . You do usually always receive an email from Amazon with your review link and if you save those emails, they also contain your entire written review in most cases, but I still save them on my computer as a back-up measure, because who really wants to write an awesome review a second time?

Although you may consider a review good if you say :" I love the product" or " It was great" , those are not really what anyone would consider as being an actual good review. Do you want to just write good reviews or do you want to write great reviews? Great reviews where you have sellers getting in touch with you so that you will review a product they have? The Difference between a good review and a great review is a  fine line, all Good and great reviews should be clear, precise, informative, truthful and interesting enough to hold the attention of whomever is reading it. 

You want to make sure you cover the basics of each product:
Who - This would be you or whomever you had testing out the product
What  - This would be what you did with the product or what happened when you used it or even What the product was exactly.

When : This could be a grey area in the review world because it does not always apply but if it was Daylight or dark, morning or night, etc may apply to different products. 
Where : Again a grey area when writing some reviews but you can use it as in Where did you use the product at.
Why - This will undoubtedly be the biggest part and probably one if not the most important part of your review. Why did you like it or dislike it. Be specific, be exact, give an example.

It is important you "own" your reviews. Be proud of them. Be as informative and precise as possible. Give examples, and regardless if you are giving a negative review or a positive review, Be Respectful. No one is going to want you writing a review of the products they have if you are being rude, very derogatory and disrespectful. 

Another good thing to remember and what should be a given in any review situation, There’s no place for name calling or bashing when writing a review no matter how much you hated the product. Just be honest and respectful and the rest will come easily to you.

One of the most important things that many keep forgetting: If you received any type of discount or free item, you must disclose that, regardless of where you are writing the review. I recently wrote one on Graco and I added the disclosure there, because since I received it free, I must disclose that I received it free or at a discount. 

I use different variations, depending on where I can find a good place to add it on my reviews. I have given you a few examples below and you are welcome to use any of them. You can save these to a Sticky Note on your computer or in a word document if you save your reviews to a word document.  

 I have always written discount no matter what price I paid ( free, really cheap, small discount, etc) and have never had any of those removed.

I received a discount on this in exchange for an honest and unbiased review and all opinions are based on my personal experience with the product ( I usually add what the name of the product is where I wrote product instead of just writing "product" )

I received this product free in exchange for an honest review  

I received this to test at a discount in exchange for my honest opinions of the product.

Feel free to make your own in your own words based on your own writing style as well. I have come across some really creative ones this week while working on this post.

A good rule to remember when writing a review is to keep the review  in between 75 words and 450 words. If it is less than 75 words, then you are really rushing it and not doing the product justice. The 75 words should really be before the disclosure. I know that is hard to do on some products, and on those, just make sure you use the 5 W's at-least before you give it up. If it is over 450 words, then you are rambling and no one is going to keep reading. You should be able to say anything you need to say in 450 words. If you feel you cannot keep it between 75 and 450 words , then you may want to consider adding a video to your review, but do not repeat yourself in both the written part and the video because that becomes redundant.  You will want your video to pick up where your written review left off or vise versa.  While we all love to get engrossed in a good story, your reviews should tell a Short story, not a book. There is no place for Novels in a written or video review on an E- commerce site. If you are writing a Blog post, then by all means, tell your story, otherwise keep it short and to the point.

If you are only planning to do a video review, you should also plan to at least write a few words as an intro to your video. Some people cannot play video on certain devices and will want to be able to have something to read so they can make an informed decision on the product.

Let's now start with the basics.

While it is important to make each review personal on your level, do not continue to gush about the product. No one wants to hear all about "you" during the review. You should possibly reference something particular that you used the product on, or an instance in the past when you could have used the product and the results then without it,versus now with it.

Here is an example of what not to do "

" I loved this , it was really great, I mean I really loved it. My husband and I went out to dinner last night after I used this teeth whitener and I had the crab cakes with a red wine and he had the steak with a baked potato and a beer and I was so surprised that the red wine I had didn't stain my teeth. Then I had chocolate cake for dessert but my husband really likes flan so he had the flan instead,so I really could not see if this worked on him or not. I tried to talk him in to having red wine also but he really wanted the beer instead. I really did love this though and our dinner was great. I wish I would have had this last week when we went out on a day cruise with some friends and the lunch served was shredded Pork BBQ with coleslaw and baked beans , the beans were a little spicy and the coleslaw was bland . They did have really good sweet tea and coffee though and I drank to much coffee and I think it probably was what caused my teeth to stain. If I would have been using this product for a few weeks I bet my teeth would not have stained when we went out on that cruise last week. We did go with some friends though and we had a really good time even if the food was not that great. Oh I did get this at a discount to review also, but I wish I would have gotten it sooner but I really, really LOVE this! "

I actually could have highlighted the entire review as "What NOT to do" ., but I really wanted to point out the main parts that were uncalled for.

Granted, this review is  within a good word count and it does say that she loves the product , but it gives way more details about what she had for dinner, and who she went with  than it does about the actual product.  It is okay to make it yours, such as saying the reasons why you liked it.

The review below is an actual review by someone who was ask to write a "No Fluff" Review. Basically, the company wanted a well written review that was not gushing with  " Oh I so loved this" or " This is so,so ,so nice" , but to stick to the basics of why they liked the product.

"There are many great aspects of this chair that I love. The fabric is very strong, yet comfortable and is easy to clean. My children had already had something on it after one day and I was able to clean it right off. Also, the stitching on the fabric itself is very well done, no strings or pulls and all the stitching is perfect,which is excellent. The overall quality of fabric seems to be simple, yet very well made and higher quality than some others I have had. The casters/legs on the chair are very study and well made also. They are easy to put on and are not cheaply made, you can easily tell that they are heavy and heavy duty. The chair did arrive in one large box and it was easy to put together, I think it took me less than 20 minutes to actually open the box and assemble the chair.

The frame of the chair seems very sturdy . The chair itself , while it may look small in the picture, can hold a fairly large person, and seems to be able to hold weight well and without problems. Anyone can actually sit in this chair and sit comfortable with room to spare, in my personal opinion.

The cushion comes out for easy to clean options under it. I frequently vacuum under all of my chair and couch cushions so I was happy that this was a chair I can easily remove the cushion from. The cushion itself slides back in with ease yet does not slide around when you are sitting in it.

Overall, this chair is great and deserves 5 stars. I did receive this at a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review and all opinions are based on my personal experience with the product.
One last thing that I want to mention is how lightweight this chair is. Even being lightweight, it is still super sturdy, so do not let the weight of the actual chair fool you because it is everything it claims to be and in my personal opinion, even better than it claims to be. I love having this for my siting room and can't wait to get another one like it as well as the matching couch. The chair is super comfortable also."

Here is yet another  "No Fluff" Review

" These curtains are great. I like how well made they are. No problems with the stitching coming loose or any loose threads on the curtains at all. They seem to hold together very well. The material seems to be higher quality than I have previously bought with black out curtains. When I first was offered a chance to receive these at a discount in exchange for an honest and unbiased review, I was worried they would not be of good quality,however, I had no need to worry because they surpassed my expectations. The length was perfect and exactly as described. Though my windows are old and drafty, these have worked perfect for keeping the cold air out in the Winter and hot air out in summer. Not only do they totally black out my room, they are insulated well enough that they have helped keep my house warm and now cool. The insulation on these seems well done, I had no problems hanging them and they are easy to wipe down to remove dust. I did wash them about three weeks ago and when I got them out of the wash I hung them to dry then steamed them and they look as good as new, which I was super impressed with. Overall, a great product and I would personally buy again"

Both of the above reviews went over different aspects of the product and gave precise details. No where was it gushing or over the top. It was very clear and cover the :who, What, When,Where and why as much as they possibly could  based on the specific products.

Below you will see a few other review, which in my opinion, are well written and do the product justice by showcasing it with pictures. A video is nice to add to a review as well, but pictures can sometimes, if not more often, give the reader a more accurate and better idea of what they product actually looks like.  ( All of these were taken from reviewers who said I could use reviews they posted) 

Obviously, no review will ever be perfect, just as this guide will never be perfect, but hopefully, it will help some of you as well. 

I have marked out the product name simply because I don't want sellers getting mad because so many people are pitching them on Amazon all at once.  You can click on each one for a larger image if you cannot read them as is.

If you will notice, each of the reviews above have the required disclosure in them. I personally add mine  in the middle or try to so that it just looks natural. I do know that some places require you to add it to the bottom of each review. For me, I prefer that it is just worked in to the review, but you can add it where it works best for you.

We all have room for improvement, and I am sure I have left things off this post, so you may want to check back tomorrow for any updates to the post as well.

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