This is Matthew Savoy’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
Have you ever been shopping for a specific product online and read through all the reviews? There’s usually a lot that give a simple “I like this product” or “I wish I never bought this.” These reviews do little, if nothing, to help the reader out. So what is it that makes a good product review? Don’t just throw in a few pros and cons along with an “I like this product.” If you’re truly enthused and want others to enjoy the same product, or want to inform everyone of how bad a product it is, follow these simple steps to writing a great review:
- Catch the attention of the reader. Yes, you do need to say whether or not the product is any good, but you want to start off with something that will catch the reader’s attention. That doesn’t mean to slam on the caps lock and start yelling at the reader about how terrible the product is (unless of course you want to catch the company’s attention, then go right ahead and yell; but nothing hurts a product more than a lack of buyers, so think of the readers). The readers of the review are your friends (no, I don’t necessarily mean this literally). If you think of them first, they may take your word to heart. In fact, they might make a purchasing decision based solely on your opinion. To companies, your readers are potential buyers; so if you’re going to write a bad review, get your message out to the consumer.
- Break your review up into sections. If you follow these steps, you might turn out an informative review; but there are a lot of people with short attention spans. Start of with a brief opinion and description of the product. Then move into a pros section, a cons section, a section for other thoughts and then finally a conclusion. Your review will probably be one among many, and putting everything important in your conclusion might get the reader to click yes under the “Was this review helpful to you?” question that usually shows up on the end of your review. If you are posting this review to your own personal site, then this might not be as important – but who doesn’t like the look of a good, organized layout? Don’t forget to make sure it makes logical sense, and that everything is easy to understand. This could almost be it’s own separate point, but seriously, it goes along with planning. If you plan well, it will flow properly and make sense.
- State something unknown about the product in the description. In you’re description of the product, make sure to put something in there the reader may not already know about the product. Preferably something not in the product’s listed description, or the quality of some of the product’s features. If you think something doesn’t work as good as it should, but isn’t quite a con, the description would be the best place to put it. Like the packaging? That might also be something to include in the product description, because it isn’t really a pro of the product itself (to some I suppose it is). Either way, consumers like to know the details; so if it’s not a feature in the product’s listed description, be sure to include it in your own.
Remember, a review doesn’t have to be too long, but don’t make it too short either. If it’s too short, then the reader should probably just read the product description, but if it’s too long, then nobody’s going to read it. Just follow the three steps: write for the reader, plan and organize your review, and include some original content. If you stick to these steps, not only will you have more friends enjoying the same product you have, but you’ll have a very useful review regardless of whether or not you actually liked the product. So go out there, and inform others.