Review writing as a very particular style of writing, it uses narrative writing, research, and opinion all in one go. It can also be tricky when you start out to think about enough things to talk about, and there's always that question of ‘who is going to want to read this?’ The answer is to choose the right products or places to review. You will always find that there are like-minded people out there, and people who want to know your honest opinion.
Choosing the Product
When choosing what to review, don’t just pick anything off a shelf. Is it aimed at you? If so then you can give an honest review. There’s no point reviewing a diaper genie if you aren’t a parent. Pick something relevant and go with it. When you have a bigger readership, you will probably have companies start to contact you asking you to review a product and send it to you. Even though everyone loves free stuff, and it might be a paid job, if it goes against your blog’s theme, it’s not going to work. And stay relevant; don’t review a product from four years ago - test the new contour pen or latest GoPro. You can also stay seasonal - on the approach to Halloween start reviewing decorations, makeup or costumes.
When you have the product, it’s time to do some research. Read other reviews on the product and see which angle hasn’t been covered yet. Look into the manufacturing techniques, the distribution, and sales rates of the product. Is the company an up-and-coming brand? Is the company a household name? Has it been advertised anywhere notable like Good Housekeeping or Sports Pro? You may use all of your research and you might not, but having done it and having the information will make your review seem a lot more informed and trustworthy. You might also find out something undesirable about the company that you think is worth a mention.
Now you can start using the product. Record your notes as you go, if you can’t pause to write things down then record yourself and talk as you go so that you don’t miss anything. You can use the video in your review if you want to. When using the product think about the five senses - what does it feel like, look like, smell like, taste like (if it’s supposed to be in your mouth), and does it make a sound. This might seem silly, but before buying a product, people only get what they see in a picture or packaging. Say you’ve reviewing a curling wand - is it rough or smooth; does it feel like the hair will snag in it? Does it look as good and easy to use as the professional photos and ads make it look? Does it have that awful burning plastic smell the first time you use it? Does it make any sounds when it’s hot enough? Obviously, don’t put the curling wand in your mouth. But you get the idea.
Take photos throughout the whole process; when you get it, when you’ve pulled it out of the packaging, while you’re assembling it and using it and so on. You might not use most of them, but you’ll want the options. You can learn how to take professional photos at home on site like www.improvephotography.com. And don’t just snap one pic for each stage, you want them to look a bit professional, so take a few at each stage and edit the lighting on your computer if you need to. As it’s an honest review, try not to edit the actual product.
You can write your review on a blog, and you can find sites like www.bestproductspro.com where you can join a team of reviewers, or look into publishing in a paper or magazine.
When you actually write up the review, you’ll want to write it as a narrative, not as a list of events. ‘Narrative’ mean to write it as a flowing series of events, that create a story, rather than just listing ‘this happened, and then I did this, and I thought this.’ A narrative is a lot more engaging for your readers, it gives a more of a conversational tone and allows them to see your thought processes behind your opinions. You’re not writing to convince them to think the same way you do but to give them another way of looking at something. You aren’t the authority on the subject, so make sure you are clear that these are your opinions.