How to write a product review to help people decide if they want it.

I have a bit of time so I’ll post an observation. I’ve been reading reviews for various apps and items in various places. And the most helpful and informative reviews look at both the positives of an item and the negatives. The open discussion of what you like about something and what you do not like add to your credibility. What makes reviews even more helpful is when a person makes suggestions on possible ways to improve the product. They help both the people considering the purchase of something and the creator improve their product.

I’ve been doing this a while (reviewing on places like Amazon, B&H Photo, MacUpdate, Apple’s iTMS and AppStore, etc.) and this is the most helpful format I’ve noticed and followed myself in whole or in part. If you have any questions why it is structured this way or why certain topics are suggested please post a comment. Thanks. Now the suggested review format:

One or two sentence summary of your overall opinion, and whether you recommend the product or not.

Pros:

*Bullet points….

Cons:

*Bullet points….

Explanation of pros paragraphs

Explanation of Cons paragraphs

Suggestions for improvement/what you would change.

Reason for your suggestions/your use of the product.

(If it is a product used with other products) Your environment (other physical items you use with the product you are reviewing), and complementary set up. For instance, in the case of computer Software or Hardware: your OS, your Machine Make and Model, other programs that interface or are complementary etc.

If you have experience with other similar products it is also helpful to compare those. You can either do it in a separate paragraph or intermixed with the pros and cons explanation or suggestions paragraphs.

Update: After I wrote this, I received a pair of Agloves to evaluate. Luckily, I was familiar with the FTC rules on mentioning if you have any ties to the company whose product you are reviewing. In short the FTC’s rules state: if you receive the product free or are paid or otherwise compensated to write the review, then you are compelled to mention that within the review. Just a quick blurb such as “I got these free to review,” “This is a paid review,” or “By posting this, I am getting a free copy.” and you should be fine.

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2 thoughts on “How to write a product review to help people decide if they want it.

  1. Pingback: “Fraud in them thar ratin’s” or Combating Fake User Reviews « The Chronicles of NoiVad

  2. Pingback: “Fraud in them thar ratin’s” or Combating Fake Reviews « The Chronicles of NoiVad

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