Want to learn how to write a product review to hook readers?
When it comes to freelance writing or adding content to your own website, the “how to write a product review” post can be an easy target.
No matter what industry you’re in or writing for, there are always products you can compare and evaluate, which will provide value to your readers.
Furthermore, with shoppers trying to read reviews before purchasing something, mastering the skill of how to write a product review for your client or for yourself can be an extremely easy way to not only build more traffic, but affiliate revenue as well.
However, over the years, product reviews have changed dramatically. What used to be a fairly easy process has now developed to include different writing layouts, designs, and more.
As you’ll see in this blog post, there are some great things that you can add or change to your reviews to:
- Provide more value to your readers
- Increase your conversion rate
- Really stick out in a somewhat crowded market
Ready to learn how to write a product review to hook readers?
Here are 7 tips to improve your reviews for a better outcome:
1. Translate specifications into benefits
One mistake I see many writers make when they try and tackle how to write a product review is that they list specifications of a product, but never translate that into benefits.
- Telling someone…that it has 2.4 Ghz of processing speed doesn’t mean anything.
- But to translate that into a tangible use…like saying it has enough speed to run Photoshop, video editing, and more without a hiccup…well, that now means something.
Think about it like this:
When you translate a specification, you need to know who your target market is and translate that for them.
Using the example above: Would the translation work for a grandmother who is looking for their next computer?
Probably not. It might be great for a market of YouTube influencers or online entrepreneurs. But not grandmothers.
Instead, you’d want to say something like:
“This has enough power to allow you to run Skype with your grandchildren, while checking your email with ease.”
TIP: Make sure you check your review for specifications and address them in a way that benefits the reader.
2. Add proof of use
The best way to improve the legitimacy of a review is showcasing, in some way, that you actually used the product. There are three ways to do this:
Take a picture of yourself using the product
For some this can be scary, but there is no better way to connect with your readers and build trust in your opinion on the product than a picture of you using it.
TIP: I personally like to do this with book reviews showing me on the couch reading the actual book.
Take a picture with some sort of proof in the background
For those of you who don’t want to be in the image, but still want to show proof of use, you can use some kind of branding in the image.
- The reviewers at Best Review wear Best Review t-shirts and even use their brand logo in the background of the images.
TIP: You don’t have to create items for your images, but you can use something that is distinctive to you in the image itself.
Screen capture an example that is truly yours
If you’re reviewing a software or a product where there is no tangible product to take a picture of you using it, then create an example that is truly yours.
A while ago, I reviewed an outlining software, and to prove that the screen captures were of my work, I used my team as characters, and I as the lead protagonist. This made it fun for my readers and provided proof that I really used it, instead of the same images most other reviews used in showcasing it.
TIP: This isn’t all encompassing, but ask yourself if there is a way you can prove to your readers you really did use it. It will build trust and induce a higher click-through-rate.
3. Design a pros and cons listing
One tactic that has really taken off is the use of a designed pros and cons list. Instead of hiding your likes and dislikes inside just the writing itself, authors are specifically calling out their pros and cons in a stylistic way.
Take the example below where the author uses the green thumbs up and red thumbs down to discuss the aspects of their favorite camping hatchet.
In most cases, the pros and cons design are set at the end of the article and used as a recap of the author’s thinking. This helps to collect one’s thoughts before coming to a conclusion of your decision, while also reminding the reader, in a concise way, what you covered.
TIP: Therefore, make sure you that use pros and cons in your review, and think about making it stick out in a stylistic manner for your reader to easily digest.
4. Using a grading system
One of my favorite review tactics is to break down elements of the product and give each one a grade.
This makes it so easy to compartmentalize in a lot of different ways, such as:
- What you like and don’t like
- The most important components of the item
- Ease of Use
- Performance, etc.
Another benefit to using a grading system is that your readers can also see the different components and also compare one review to another. They can see that one product got a B+, but another got a D- and absolutely know that one is better than the other.
When done right, a grading system can also be designed to really stick out and give the reader a feel for where the article is going.
In the following example on a review of Jungle Scout, this author broke down the elements into “Ease of Use”, “Stability”, and “Price” with “Overall coming last.
TIP: What makes this very useful to the author’s readers is that if they find another one of his reviews, they can compare the two and see what he thinks relatively of the two.
5. Use tables when appropriate
Tables can be an excellent way to showcase information like a list of products to compare, or showing different specifications. It can help you to call out certain information and even provide clarity.
When deciding to make a table for your review, it’s important to identify what should go into a table.
- Sometimes it should list the specification.
- Sometimes, it can be a recap of your thoughts.
- Either way, depending on the product, you need to think about what you should include and how this would best serve your readers.
However, one thing I would recommend is that you should definitely think about including a picture of the product when you can. As you can see in this example, the table is bare and not really engaging.
Instead you can see in the example below, the author has laid out a better representation of their favorite keyboards for writers in a much more stylistic manner (TIP: although I’d recommend they change the list to reflect what we discuss in #1 above).
6. Consider comparing products or lists
Sometimes the best way to showcase a product is to compare it to others in the industry. You can either write it as a comparison article, where you pit two products against each other, or you could write a list of the best products.
Below, you can see an example of where they listed their favorite cleaning oils and even gave each one a winning category from editor’s choice, to best premium oil, to best value.
TIP: However, when doing this, it is extremely important that you look to design the type of tables discussed in #5 above. This is the most opportune time to see specifications side-by-side as well as your own favorites in a certain area.
7. Always provide a clear final decision
One thing I see a lot of reviews do is that they don’t give a clear decision at the end of the review. And this creates some problems:
- This makes the review just a list of capabilities, some likes and dislikes, and that’s it.
- There is no clear judgment on the product or service.
- It’s as if the writer is too afraid to give one.
As you can guess, this sort of review provides no benefit to the user. A mass majority of readers have come to see if you, the person who’s used it, would or wouldn’t recommend it.
That’s why it’s important that you give a clear final decision in the end. Tell them if it is worth the money or if you will be continuing to use the product.
As you can see in this example, the following review concludes with a list of what the product does and even a thank you to the readers who suggested the product in the first place.
A few things to consider for this type of product review:
- If, however, you are not a fan of the product, then tell them that.
- More importantly, you can then follow that decision with a recommendation of a different product that you do like. Say something to the lines of “While I did not like (product A), I do love (product B).”
- So, instead of this being a dead-end, it becomes a path to answer. You can see an example of how to handle this at the bottom of this scribd review.
How to write a product review: Getting started
Whether you’re looking to build up your own site, or land more freelancing writing gigs, creating product reviews can be an extremely helpful type of article. They can generate organic traffic and increase affiliate revenue, which is one more way to move up, earn more, and make a living writing.
Questions about how to write a product review? Let’s discuss in the comments.
Dave Chesson is the creator of the e-book keyword research tool KDP Rocket (yes, Carol uses, recommends, and proudly affiliate sells it). He also shares in-depth book marketing guides on Kindlepreneur.com