What You Need to Know About How to Write Informative Reviews

Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

Make money online writing reviews

Can you make money online just by writing reviews? Yes, you can! Can you make a lot of money writing reviews online? Well, that depends on a lot of things. Mainly, it depends on the site you write for and how good your review is.

One of the sites I’ve written reviews for is Viewpoints.com. I like this site because everyone has the opportunity to get an Amazon gift card. All you have to do is write a certain number of quality reviews each month. One February, I wrote 10 reviews and got a $10 gift card.

How do you write quality reviews? Read on to find out!

Be thorough

Just because you are familiar with the product or service you’re writing about (hopefully you are, if you’re reviewing something), it doesn’t mean everyone else will be. Tell your reader everything you can. What did you like best? What did you dislike the most?

Be sure to give details.

People like to read more than just, “This water bottle is great!” Why is great? Does it hold more than other water bottles? Keep water cooler longer than other bottles? What sets it apart?

Think about these things before writing your review, and be sure to include this information so others will know why they should/should not buy this product or use this service.

Be consistent with your title

Your review title is the first thing your readers will see. If they don’t like your title, they’re not going to read your review, and that’s the whole point of writing the review, right?

How do you come up a good title? Mention what you’re reviewing in it. If you don’t do that, people looking for reviews for a certain product won’t know to look at yours.

Your title should set the tone for your review.

No matter how creative you think you are being, don’t come up with a cutesy, funny title for a morose review about pet treats that killed your dog. Your reader will be completely put off, and you may look a little heartless.

Be personal

How many times have you absolutely loved (or hated) something, and you couldn’t quit talking about it to your friends? Capture that excitement (or complete and utter disgust), and transfer it to your review’s readers.

Write your review just as if you were talking to your best friend. And, if your reviews are good enough to gain you a following, you might be writing to some of your best friends.

Don’t talk at your readers; talk to them.

Let them know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you’re a person just like they are. Yes, you want to sound somewhat authoritative, but you don’t want to lose your humanness. That will lose you readers!

Be professional

While you want to sound human, you also want to sound professional. Was the service you received in that newly opened local restaurant the worst service you’ve ever received anywhere? Say that, but say why it was the worst. Don’t just rant and rave about how you’re never going to set foot in that building again. What made the service so bad?

Be specific.

And don’t leave out the good aspects of a service or product, even if you absolutely hated it. Give the whole picture.

Be careful with your words

By this, I mean make sure every word you put into your review needs to be there. Get rid of any words you don’t need. Excess words or sentences just distract a reader, and this is the last thing you want if you’re going to be a professional writer.

Make every word count.

Be mindful of how the review looks

You need to be especially careful of this if you’re writing for the web. Make sure you use lots of white space. Break up your thoughts into small paragraphs. Let the reader get a feel for what you’re trying to say without having to read very carefully.

Most Internet readers do not really read; they scan.

If your 900-word review is written in one long chunk of text, don’t expect many people to read it. Within seconds, they will be clicking the back button to get to the next, easier-to-read review.

Be honest

People are looking at your review because they are looking for information about a product or service they’re interested in. You, as the reviewer, have that information.

Be willing to share what you know with your readers — everything you know.

Don’t hold anything back. You may be surprised at how many readers can tell when someone is not telling the whole truth (or any truth at all) in their writing.

Be factual

On a related note, if you need to do some research about a product to make your review the best it can be, do the research. Don’t just make something up. Most facts about products can easily be found online somewhere, and if your reader finds an error in something you’ve written that could have been avoided by doing a little advance research, you will lose credibility as a reviewer and a writer.

You must maintain your credibility if you want to maintain a readership.

Be an editor

Go back and glance through your review after you’ve written it. Have you left key words out? Do you see a lot of misspellings, typos, or grammatical errors?

Fix your mistakes before your review is published.

Taking just a few minutes to do this before your review goes live will save you hours of headaches later. This will also help you gain credibility as a serious reviewer and writer.

Be a reader

Finally, when your prose is as polished as it can be, go back and read it again. This time, though, read it as one of your readers would. Do you find the review helpful, informative, and interesting? If so, great! You’ve created a stunning review that will help thousands of people make an informed decision about a service or product they’re interested in.

If you find your review is lacking in some key areas, do what you can to fix the problems now.

Make your review the best it can be right from the start.

Now start writing

So, have you thought of a product or service yet that you’re just dying to write about? Start thinking about what you want to say and put it down on paper (or on the computer screen).

Then sign up for some paid review sites, and see what happens.

Not Sure Where to Start?

Here are some of my favorite places to share my opinion online and make money, in addition to Viewpoints.

Swagbucks**

**Links with this symbol beside them are affiliate links. I make a small commission if you visit them and purchase something and/or sign up with them.

At Swagbucks, you earn — you guessed it — Swagbucks (SB) for completing a number of different tasks, including writing reviews. You can even earn SB for watching videos, playing games, searching the Internet, and shopping. This site pays you to do pretty much everything you’re already doing online anyway, and it’s completely free to join.

You can trade your SB in for gift cards of various kinds, and you can even trade them in for Paypal cash once you get up to a certain level (2500 SB for $25). To date, I’ve earned almost $250 from this site (I’ve cashed in most of my SB for Amazon gift cards I’ve used to either buy Christmas presents or ebooks), and — most importantly — I’ve had FUN earning!

ReviewStream**

ReviewStream lets you get paid (via Paypal, once you meet the minimum payment threshold — about $100) for writing reviews about virtually anything. Plus, you earn extra when people up-vote your reviews.

I haven’t yet reached the payment threshold for this site, but I love how easy it is to get your review accepted and published (assuming you can string a few sentences together with minimal grammar and spelling errors). And this site has been going strong since 2005, so I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon (which is more than I can say for some paid review sites).

UserTesting**

UserTesting is a different kind of site. They pay you (usually about $10 per review) to review actual websites for their clients. You’re usually reporting (verbally, as you go through the site) on things such as appearance, ease of navigating the site, and the things you found most/least helpful. You have to download their own special software (so they can record your screen and your voice). They also have a mobile app that works in the same way.

I’ve made $33 with them so far. Each review takes about 20 minutes to complete, and now that school’s out and the kids are home, I don’t have a lot of uninterrupted quiet time to complete the assignments. But the assignments are usually interesting and fun, and I like the idea of being able to help other people improve their sites by giving them my feedback.

Your own site

Of course, you can write reviews on your own website and use affiliate links to point people to products you recommend.

Two of the affiliate programs I use routinely to point people to products and services I love are Amazon** (that’s the big one) and Skimlinks** (an affiliate network for bloggers to find all sorts of different products to promote from different companies).

You may not make a fortune writing reviews, but you can definitely make some money.

And you’ll be helping other people with your knowledge and experience in the process!

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Mishael Witty

Mishael Witty

Committed to making something beautiful out of the broken pieces. www.mishaelaustinwitty.com