Blog reviews are a very popular method of getting and exchanging publicity or even supplementing one's income. Unfortunately, many bloggers find the idea of reviewing other blogs intimidating because they don't know where to start or they are afraid they will do it wrong.
This guide will help you write a review by providing some basic guidelines and hints to get you started.
Before You Begin
Before you begin your actual review it is a good idea to explain why you are writing it (Is this a reciprocal review? Is this a contest entry?) and, if it is a paid review, that should always be declared up front.
Try to keep the reviewed blog's target audience in mind and remember that what you might not find appealing may be just the ticket to them. Always try to look at the site from their perspective.
Remember, your readers trust your opinion or they wouldn't be reading. Assume they have never seen the site you are reviewing. If you blow smoke just to make the reviewed happy, you will lose credibility on your own blog.
Questions To Ask
- What is the blog's niche?
- What is it set up to accomplish?
- How well does it seem to focus on this purpose?
- Does the blog fulfil it's expressed goal?
Layout / Usability
- Is the look and feel of the site pleasing?
- How is the flow?
- Does the site seem organized or does it seem crowded and chaotic?
- Are common elements like the archives, RSS icon, about page and contact link easy to find?
- Does the content seem to be original?
- Is the author's tone pleasant?
- Are the posts constructed with easy readability in mind?
- Are the posts written with proper grammar and spelling?
- How often are posts added?
- Are there many comments?
- Are comments actively encouraged or even allowed?
- Does the author respond to comments?
- Does the blogger seem to be an authority on their chosen topic?
- Do they make claims that can't be proven?
- Do they make assertions without providing corroborating links?
Dos and Don'ts
Be Nice Be Nit-Picky
Be Honest Be Judgmental
Give Your Opinion Be A Rubber Stamp
Offer Suggestions / Solutions Be Rude
Keep In Mind
Write your review for your readers not the blogger you are reviewing. You would not direct your readers to download software you thought was useless, don't write a rave review about a blog you think is mediocre.
You can and should provide your opinion but only be judgmental in the most extreme circumstances such as plagiarism or some other blatantly illegal activity. If you cite something negative, be sure to offer a solution or admit you don't have one.
This is only a guide. As you begin writing reviews you will find topics not discussed here as well as things here you don't need. Use these tips to get you started exploring the world of review writing.
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