How to Write Product Reviews That Don’t Suck

The vast majority of product “reviews” really suck.

You know it, and I know it. Above all, the people who create the reviews know it.

Most product reviews are published for one reason:

To make money.

That’s it. The people who publish these “reviews” don’t want to help anyone make smarter purchases, despite their claims. They don’t want to make the internet a better place.

They’re just publishing garbage content to make a buck. The sad part is, it works really well, so more people keep doing it.

For Example…

There’s this one website that actually calls itself Honest Brands Reviews. The people who run it don’t even try the products they “review”, and some of their reviews are even paid for.

They even have a whole page dedicated to selling brands their services, which they call “building trust online” but really involves buying banner ads and sponsored content.

And yet, still, they’re ranking #1 in Google for “xyz review” across multiple categories.

I don’t know how these people sleep at night, although I’m sure it’s on high thread count sheets 🤑

I’m not saying I’m a saint. I used to publish crap product reviews too (here’s one of them). I’ve even published a few sponsored reviews before deciding I was better than that (I love sponsored content, by the way, but paid reviews don’t make any sense…I mean, would you trust one?).

These days, I publish top-of-the-line, premium quality product reviews like this one, or like this one.

I feel better and make way more money now. Funny how that works, huh?

Is Money Everything?

Too many people start “affiliate sites” to make money with no intention of actually creating any value in the world. Sometimes it works (they make money), mostly it doesn’t.

Either way, I want to ask these people:

At the end of your life, when you’re laying on your deathbed, how will you feel about the work you did during your time here?

Are you proud of the things you created? All of those crappy articles you put onto the internet to make a few bucks? You okay with that legacy?

My bet is that most people want to do something more with their life, and that many “affiliate marketers” will regret all the time they spent created more internet garbage instead of adding real value to the world.

Write Incredible Product Reviews

In an effort to help you add real value (which, by the way, results in real revenue), I want to go over some tips I’ve learned over the years about creating great product reviews.

Using these tips, I create reviews that are helpful, easy to digest and sometimes even entertaining.

Let’s get into it…

Tip #1: Try the Damn Product

Right now in 2021, Google can’t tell the difference between a “hands on” review and a generic, phoned in review.

In other words, many product reviews that get the most traffic aren’t actually reviews because the writer didn’t actually try the product they’re reviewing.

So my #1 most important tip for anyone who’s publishing product reviews is to try the actual product and form some original thoughts about it.

Ground breaking, right?!

Buy the product and keep it, or return it, or ask for a free sample from the brand in exchange for the review (you have to disclose this in your review, but this doesn’t mean it’s “sponsored content”).

If a brand reaches out about an affiliate program, I always ask about review samples. Worst that could happen is they say “no”.

Or just start by reviewing stuff you’ve already used.

Or hire writers who can review things they have hands on experience with. You can even send the product samples directly to them.

Yes, it’s more work. Yes, it results in WAY better content. Yes, you will eventually be rewarded for this diligence (at the very least, you’ll be proud of what you’ve created at the end of the day).

Tip #2: Take Some Pics

If a product review article doesn’t include any original media, I know that it’s not a real review.

Google will figure this out, eventually, and they’ll wipe out a small (but vile) portion of the internet when they do.

If you don’t have a fancy camera, just use your phone. For product review article, decent quality photos are WAY better than no photos at all.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer. You can use your phone. Just take some pictures of whatever you’re reviewing (more pics = better).

If you’re reviewing something digital, like a videogame or piece of software, take screenshots. Annotate them. Make some graphics in Canva.

This alone will put you in the top 10% of product review content on the internet, and your readers will appreciate it.

People can tell how much time and effort went into a piece of content, and they’re delighted when they stumble across a review that actually contains original media.

Take some pics!

Tip #3: Keep It Casual

So many product reviews are written like instructions manuals. I get the desire to sound professional, but a great product review doesn’t need to be formal and it doesn’t need to include every line of a product’s spec sheet either.

Have fun. Be yourself. Let your personality shine through your writing. If you hire writers, tell them to keep it casual.

Try to imagine what a reader is feeling before she makes a purchase. Why are they considering buying this product in the first place? How did you feel when you opened the product and used it for the first time?

Was it expensive? Were you worried about spending that much? Did you have any buyer’s remorse? Do you still enjoy using the product? Would you buy something different now, or buy the same thing again?

Write from the heart, and don’t be afraid to make use puns, make jokes and have fun with your reader. Don’t take it too seriously.

Tip #4: Be Thorough

You don’t always have to choose between writing for people and search engines. Some tactics are great for both humans and robots.

For example, if you’re reviewing a product, you want to answer all of the questions someone might have about that product.

How do you know what questions people have? It’s simple: Google tells you!

Type if “xyz product review” into Google, and check out the “People Also Ask” and “Related Searches” sections.

Both of these sections should give you plenty of FAQs to address in your product review.

If you have a lot of FAQs, you can include a whole section for these at the bottom of your review. Or, just use these questions (or related searches) as ideas for section headers while writing your article.

Dazzle Your Readers

Most people will visit your website. Of the small fraction who do, most of them will never come back.

Think about how many web pages you’ve visited today. Can you remember any of them?

When was the last time you were downright delighted by a piece of content?

We all know what it feels like to finally find that article or video that contains the exact thing you were looking for, whether it’s a product review or just the solution to some problem you’re having.

It feels great. It makes you want to leave a comment to thank the writer or to *smash* that thumbs up button.

Strive to elicit this response in your readers. Dazzle them. Make them want to bookmark your website and come back often.

Most “blogs” publish crap content because the owners put almost no effort into it. If you can put just a little bit of real effort into your content (and keep doing it for a few years), you will succeed.

The best part is, you’ll be making the internet a better place at the same time.