There was a time when word of mouth, the spreading of information from one person to the other using the miracle of speech, was one of the main influences on how we made our choices regarding the products we buy and use. Today, the phrase “word of mouth” has changed to include all the various forms of online communication that don’t have anything to do with our mouths. These reviews are what we turn to when we want to figure out what kind of TV we want to buy or which app we should download. Reviews create and affect opinions; that makes them an invaluable tool for marketers. There is a great demand for them, so they present a great opportunity for writers to earn some money by writing them. But writing them is not always easy, so a couple of tips might be just the thing you need to get started creating useful reviews.
Establish Yourself as a Credible Reviewer
The success of your review depends on your ability to present yourself as a credible reviewer. There are two ways of establishing credibility, and you should always aim to include both of them in your reviews. First, you should mention in a sentence or two how and why you’re a person whose review will bring something valuable to the reader. You don’t have to be a programmer to review apps, but if you’re an app enthusiast who’s been tinkering with apps ever since the smartphone was invented, you should mention it because it will give you credibility. Second, you need to provide all the relevant information about the object of your review. That includes all of its strengths and all of its shortcomings. People expect a review to be accurate and balanced. So make sure to mention all the good stuff, as well as all the bad stuff.
Write for Readers’ Minds and Help Them Imagine
A review should never have a clickbait title because reviews don’t work like most online content. Yes, there is a lot of competition, but getting a leg up on it doesn’t include appealing to readers’ emotions in the way that clickbait or shocking content does. That’s not what your readers are looking for. They want good, honest, factual writing that will help them make a decision, and that’s what you should give them. It might help to present the information in a context readers can relate to. Let’s say you’re reviewing a smartphone that operates really well in freezing weather. You should include that information in your review, but you might also mention a situation where that feature would be useful, e.g., when your car is stuck in snow and you need to call someone to help you dig it out. Do the same when you talk about the product’s shortcomings.
Speak the Language of the Audience
It really pays off to be able to write how your audience speaks. Sometimes, the products or services you’re reviewing won’t have a very well-defined consumer group. Other times, you’ll review things that are marketed to teenagers, for example. You need to be able to communicate with them in a way they will find meaningful. It’s the same if you’re writing a review of a product aimed at a business audience, or any other group that has its own way of using language.
Be Original and Write Well
You probably won’t be the only person reviewing a single product or a service. You should make sure your review stands out, but it’s more important to make sure you don’t unintentionally borrow from someone else’s review, which might happen if you research the object of your review online before you sit down to write. Use a plagiarism checker, like Grammarly’s, to make sure your words are your own and no one else’s. And remember that no matter how charming, funny, factual, balanced, and accurate your review is, spelling and grammar mistakes will absolutely ruin it, along with your credibility. Either work with an editor or proofreader, or be prepared to do a lot of checking on your own. Or let us help.