5 Tips to Writing a Successful Blog Review
About once a quarter or so, we do a blog campaign for our various kids belts or adult belts. There are a couple of reasons for this; one is to increase brand awareness and the other is to help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Plus, it is nice to hear what people have to say about our products. We have done about 6 blog campaigns so far and one thing I have noticed is that blog reviews range from one end of the spectrum to the other. There are great reviewers out there that take the time to really use the product and go into detail what they think about it and then there are others who write two lines and then copy and paste text from our website and that’s it.
As a manufacturer, I thought I would share with you what I like to see in a blog review of my product (I’m pretty sure other manufacturers feel similar).
- First and foremost, mention the brand name and the specific product you are reviewing. I know that sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised. It doesn’t have to be in the first sentence, but early on in the post would be good.
- Include at least one (preferably more) picture of the product. Ideally, we would love to see you (or whoever the product is for) actually using the product instead of using our stock photos. Your readers know you and trust you and when they see you using it, it puts more value to your post.
- Be honest about the product and tell your readers what you think. We want to hear what you thought of the product. Is it user friendly? Are there enough choices? Would you recommend it? Does it do what it’s supposed to do? The more detail you give, the better, and a “how to use” would be fantastic!
- If we have provided you with keywords to link back to our site, please use them. SEO is very important to us and our website. That is one of the main reasons we do blog campaigns. One link back will do, but 2 or more is great, too.
- Tell your readers where they can purchase the products (use the coupon codes we provide you with, readers love savings!) with a link to the website. Take the guess work out of it for them and make it as easy as possible for them to find the product.
I know those seem really simple, but it seems like there are some bloggers (not all mind you, I’m not making a sweeping accusation here) out there that do it just for the free product and do the bare minimum for the review. As a business owner, I do go back and read every review that is written for Dapper Snappers. It’s important to me to get the feed back as well as have our brand be represented as professional as possible.
Bloggers and businesses have a symbiotic relationship. We need each other. The blogger wants more followers so they can get big time advertisers (or a few other ways to make money blogging but still follower dependent for best results) to supplement their income. The business needs an affordable way to get their products in front of their target audience and get better SEO.
To achieve success on both parts, the business sends the blogger free product and (usually) allows the blogger to run a contest for more free product. The business absorbs the cost of at least 2 products and the separate shipping for each. If they are like us, they may also offer a coupon code, which sucks up even more of the profits. The blogger gets free product and more followers in exchange for writing the review post.
There is still a lot of debate about who’s using whom and some have even gone as far as to ask Are Corporations Killing Mom Bloggers? But that is a post for next Tuesday: Business when we will be discussing tips on how to vet bloggers for successful product campaigns.
There is no doubt that our success is mostly due to great reviews from mom bloggers (a good product helps too). We wouldn’t be where we are without them. That being said, we get exploited by at least 1/3 of bloggers we employ. This doesn’t even include the bloggers that received free product but never bothered to write the review. That’s not going to keep us from continuing blogger relations. It just makes us more picky.
That’s just my two cents from the perspective of the business owner.