How to Write Blog Reviews

Updated on October 1, 2016
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Marissa is the writer of ThePracticalMommy and owner of Mommy Knows What's Best. She is a stay-at-home mom to four and was a teacher.

Product Reviews on Blogs

How to Write Reviews on a Blog
How to Write Reviews on a Blog | Source

Writing Reviews on Blogs

Many blogs, in order to bring in views and some money, publish reviews of their favorite products or services on the blogs. Reviews can be of anything from a favorite book to a favorite beauty cream or even a favorite website.

Most often these blogs are not compensated for their writing other than with a free product to try out. They are required to give honest opinions and to promote the brand and product in exchange for these free products.

This guide will provide information about how to write reviews, along with:

  • information about what to include in reviews,
  • what photos to use,
  • how to write disclosure notices,
  • and how to properly share your review posts using social media.

Reviews on Blogs

A screen shot of a review post from my own blog.
A screen shot of a review post from my own blog. | Source

Writing Blog Posts

Review Types
Product review
Service review
Website review
Review of the item by video or text
Sponsored
Paid, with free product
Not paid, with free product
Not paid
Review and giveaway
A few different types of reviews seen on blogs.

Writing Blog Reviews

Many people today search for reviews of products or services before they invest their money. While many reviews are found on major websites of the brand or company, the most helpful reviews are found on blogs created and maintained by ordinary people who have real-life experience with the product or service.

Writing a review can be a fairly easy task if you follow a simple format:

  • Short description of the product or service with mention of the brand or company
  • How the product or service can be used in daily life
  • How you have used the product or service and for how long
  • Likes and dislikes of the product or service
  • Where the product or service can be found and for how much

All of this should be said in about 200 or more words.

It helps to write the review from your own perspective, and not from what you have heard or read about the product or service. People who come across your review will want to know that you have actually used the product or service before writing the review and that the review isn't just a script sent to you by the company or brand.

It also is a good idea to use the product or service for more than just a few minutes before publishing your review. If the product or service has a potential flaw or perhaps even extra uses, you would find that out after a few days or even weeks of using the product or service. It also gives you enough time to contact the company or brand if an unforeseen flaw or problem occurs while you're using the product or service, which can give them the opportunity to help you troubleshoot the problem or to offer you a replacement product or service.

Tips for Writing a Review on a Blog

Can You Spot an Honest Review?

Can you spot an honest review based on the wording of the text?

See results

Writing Honest Reviews

Above all, when writing a review, you need to be honest. There are people looking to your blog for a real-life answer, not just something you made up to get some extra money. Also, there are people behind the product or service you are reviewing who have worked hard to develop the product or service who would like an honest and fair opinion instead of an unwarranted negative response to the product or service.

Does that mean you cannot mention things you dislike about the product or service or write a negative review? No! You certainly can mention what you don't like about it, but consider adding in how the product or service can be improved.

If you are working with a brand or company, consider contacting them about a product or service defect before publishing your review. There may be something that can be done to remedy the problem or a replacement product they can offer you for a second chance. After all, nothing is 100% perfect all of the time!

Photos on Blogs

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Photos on blogs should be clear, interesting, and pin worthy!If it's of a movable product, try to get a clear shot in action. This is a photo collage I used on my own personal blog that has pictures of an item I reviewed. The photos are original and show me using the item. (I used the app PhotoGrid to make the collage).
Photos on blogs should be clear, interesting, and pin worthy!
Photos on blogs should be clear, interesting, and pin worthy! | Source
If it's of a movable product, try to get a clear shot in action.
If it's of a movable product, try to get a clear shot in action. | Source
This is a photo collage I used on my own personal blog that has pictures of an item I reviewed. The photos are original and show me using the item. (I used the app PhotoGrid to make the collage).
This is a photo collage I used on my own personal blog that has pictures of an item I reviewed. The photos are original and show me using the item. (I used the app PhotoGrid to make the collage). | Source

Using Photos on Blogs

Along with the text portion of your review, you should include some high-quality photos of the product or service. The best photos to include for your reviews should be of your actual experience with the product, not just some random photos you found on the web.

While taking your photos using your camera or camera phone, make sure the photos are clear and interesting. You can jazz up the photos using photo editors or add them to a collage to make the photos 'Pin' worthy, meaning that your audience may be more likely to 'pin' the photos on Pinterest, which would then bring in more traffic to your blog review.

Of course, if you are being paid or sponsored by a company or brand to write the review, you may be permitted to use a photo from that company or brand as part of your review. Be sure to cite the photos from the company or brand since they are not your own. Even in this case, you still use your own photos demonstrating that you have personal experience with the product or service.

If you absolutely need to use someone else’s photos for your review, make sure you are using them legally. Finding photos on Google Images or via any other search engine is not necessarily legal. Search for photos in places like Creative Commons, and cite the photos with the creator’s name and the license under which the photo is being used.

Disclosure Definition

A basic definition of a disclosure notice on a blog or website.
A basic definition of a disclosure notice on a blog or website. | Source

FTC and Disclosure Notices

The following article has an excellent explanation of the what the FTC requires from bloggers when they are promoting a product or service. I highly recommend you read it when it comes time for you to include your own disclosure notices!

Are You Disclosing? What You Need to Know about FTC Rules and Social Media

Disclosure Statement

A screenshot of a disclosure statement from a post on my blog.
A screenshot of a disclosure statement from a post on my blog. | Source

What are Disclosure Notices?

Disclosure notices are needed when writing honest reviews on a blog. A disclosure notice tells your audience how you received a product or service, if you had to pay for it or if you received it for free, if your post is sponsored, and which brand or company provided the product or service.

Disclosure notices are a part of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) requirements and regulations for blogs and websites that have connections with a company or brand. The connection can simply be that the company asked you to review the product or service or that you are being paid as a spokesperson to write the review of the product or service.

The FTC began these measures after receiving complaints from consumers who felt as if they were being misled about products or services being offered online by bloggers and websites. While it may seem unnecessary for a smaller blog to include disclosure notices, it is still vital to protect yourself by including disclosure notices on your blog so that your audience understands your connections and your basis for posting a certain review .

Many blogs choose to have a main disclosure notice on one of the pages of their blogs, plus they add a shorter disclosure at the bottom of their posts. There are several free sites you can visit to help build a custom disclosure notice.

If you paid for a product or service yourself, it isn't necessary to include a disclosure notice, but it wouldn't hurt, just to say that the company or brand was not sponsoring the post. You could also state within the blog post that you purchased the item yourself for your own personal use.

Sharing on Social Media

Example of sharing a review blog post on social media sites.
Example of sharing a review blog post on social media sites. | Source

Using Social Media to Promote Your Reviews

Once you have written and published your review post on your blog, you should consider promoting it using social media. Not only will your regular blog readers see your blog, but you will be sharing your post with a larger audience on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google +, or Pinterest.

Here's a word of caution when promoting your review post: Do NOT become a spammer! Posting your review post over and over on these sites can be considered spamming by some, who will then be turned off from your constant sharing and potentially stop following you on those sites.

Does that mean that you can't share your review more than once? No; it means that you should sparingly re-share your review post, perhaps with different wording each time which can draw in a larger audience. Re-sharing should happen at most once a week, in between other posts or thoughts you share on those sites.

Writing Reviews on Blogs

As a blogger, writing product or service reviews is a great way to keep your audience engaged with you, plus it helps to expand your audience as others searching for reviews on the web want to read what you have to say.

Remember as you write your reviews to be honest, to use eyecatching photos, to include a disclosure notice, and to share sparingly on social media sites.

Have fun writing reviews on your blog!

Questions & Answers

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      • startwithclick profile image

        Mansoor Bhanpurawala 

        2 years ago from Surat

        Great tips. I've been considering creating a blog. This is helpful.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

        Marissa 

        2 years ago from United States

        Amber, I have received quite a few things for which I couldn't post a positive review. In those cases, I have contacted the business owners and tried to either get a replacement or work something out. If we couldn't come up with a solution, I didn't write the review.

      • profile image

        Amber Ludwig 

        2 years ago

        Fabulous tips! Thanks for the disclosure reminder because thats so important!! Have you ever reviewed anything you did not like and decided to not post a review on it?

      • profile image

        Barrie 

        2 years ago

        Oh wow. I had no idea there was so much involved, but it makes sense. A company isn't going to give one a product if it isn't reviewed in detail and correctly!

      • profile image

        Jennifer Odom 

        3 years ago

        These are great tips for writing reviews! It drives me crazy when I read a review and the reviewer obviously hasn't used the product and is "winging it".

      • profile image

        Lara C. 

        3 years ago

        Thank you for all of the advice about this! My mom and I are starting a blog venture together and this is a lot of good practical knowledge about reviews, especially keeping it brief and being sure to include proper disclosures.

      • MichalWrotter profile image

        Michal 

        3 years ago from Czech Republic

        Very interesting and well explainned article about blog. Those tips will surely help me in a future with my own blog. Thank you so much for sharing.

        Michal

      • profile image

        Marnie G 

        3 years ago

        Great tips. I've been considering creating a blog. This is helpful.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

        Marissa 

        4 years ago from United States

        VVanNess, have fun reviewing books! I know quite a few bloggers who do that and have fun with it. Thanks for reading!

      • VVanNess profile image

        Victoria Van Ness 

        4 years ago from Fountain, CO

        Wonderful article! In my efforts to find more topics to write about I have considered reviewing all of the books that I read.

        I just happen to be an avid reader along with being an avid writer. I thought this might be just the key and then I saw your blog. Thank you for the wonderful tips and tricks. I never would have known about many of these things without you.

        It sounds like this is my sign to jump into the book review arena! Voted up, useful and interesting!

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

        Marissa 

        5 years ago from United States

        Jerri Davis, thanks for stopping by!

      • profile image

        Jerri Davis 

        5 years ago

        Wonderful Writing a Blog Post. Thank you. Jerri Davis

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

        Marissa 

        5 years ago from United States

        torrilynn, glad you like the article. Thanks for reading!

      • torrilynn profile image

        torrilynn 

        5 years ago

        really great blog about helping others to write reviews for blogs.verywell put together. thanks.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

        Marissa 

        5 years ago from United States

        Glimmer Twin Fan, thanks for reading and commenting! Glad you found it useful. :)

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Really useful hub for folks looking to do this.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

        Marissa 

        5 years ago from United States

        MissJamieD, I'm glad you found this helpful. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • MissJamieD profile image

        MissJamieD 

        5 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

        This is super helpful, thank you so much:) Great job!!

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

        Marissa 

        5 years ago from United States

        hitohitaroh, glad you think it's awesome! Thanks for reading!

      • hitohitaroh profile image

        hitohitaroh 

        5 years ago

        awesome

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

        Marissa 

        5 years ago from United States

        randomcreative, you're right: just like it takes a lot to write a stellar hub, it take a lot to write a stellar review on a blog, especially one that catches the attention of your audience and those they choose to share the review with. I'm sure you have plenty of experience writing them on your own blog! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

      • randomcreative profile image

        Rose Clearfield 

        5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        Great overview of this topic! Writing a review on a blog seems like an easy task, but there are so many components that go into a stellar review. You did a great job covering them in detail.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

        Marissa 

        5 years ago from United States

        ktrapp, you're welcome!

      • ktrapp profile image

        Kristin Trapp 

        5 years ago from Illinois

        You answered my question perfectly. Thanks for the extra information.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

        Marissa 

        5 years ago from United States

        kidscrafts, glad you think it's awesome! Thanks for reading! :)

      • kidscrafts profile image

        kidscrafts 

        5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

        Wouaw! Excellent tips! Thank you so much for this awesome hub!

        Voted up and awesome!

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

        Marissa 

        5 years ago from United States

        hitohitaroh, thanks! I will keep on writing as well as I can.

      • hitohitaroh profile image

        hitohitaroh 

        5 years ago

        awesome ,keep writing good

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

        Marissa 

        5 years ago from United States

        torrilynn, glad it was easy to read! Thanks for commenting!

        ktrapp, great question! You can contact the company or have the companies contact you. Smaller blogs, like mine, generally need to reach out to companies via email. etc. until the blog has a large enough following. For instance, when the company Nuby made a request online for blogs to submit applications to become one of their bloggers for product reviews, I submitted an application and waited for them to accept me into their Mommy Bloggers program. I also have found review opportunities from networking with other bloggers. Once a blog is well-known or has great stats (Alexa ranking, blog followers, etc.), then usually companies are the first to contact the blog directly for review requests.

        Just like here on HP, it all takes time, effort, and determination. :) Hope that answers your question. Thanks for reading!

      • ktrapp profile image

        Kristin Trapp 

        5 years ago from Illinois

        This is a topic I've been wondering about and you covered everything very thoroughly. One question though, how do you go about getting sponsored products to review? Do you contact the company to see if they are interested?

      • torrilynn profile image

        torrilynn 

        5 years ago

        very detailed hub and easy to read. thanks

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