How To Review A Blog

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

 

Purpose

  1. What is the blog's niche?
  2. What is it set up to accomplish?
  3. How well does it seem to focus on this purpose?
  4. Does the blog fulfil it's expressed goal?

Layout / Usability

  1. Is the look and feel of the site pleasing?
  2. How is the flow?
  3. Does the site seem organized or does it seem crowded and chaotic?
  4. Are common elements like the archives, RSS icon, about page and contact link easy to find?

Content

  1. Does the content seem to be original?
  2. Is the author's tone pleasant?
  3. Are the posts constructed with easy readability in mind?
  4. Are the posts written with proper grammar and spelling?

Activity

  1. How often are posts added?
  2. Are there many comments?
  3. Are comments actively encouraged or even allowed?
  4. Does the author respond to comments?

Believability

  1. Does the blogger seem to be an authority on their chosen topic?
  2. Do they make claims that can't be proven?
  3. Do they make assertions without providing corroborating links?

 

Dos and Don'ts

 

                     Do                                Don't

 

                               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.

 

Summary

 

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.

 

 

If you've enjoyed your read, grab my feed!

128 comments:

Nick said...

These are good tips to keep in mind! One thing with keeping the blog's target audience in mind, you need to keep your own audience in mind as well and determine how appealing something may be to them vs. to you vs. to the blog's target audience.

Now that you know how to review a blog, let's trade reviews :)

Ad Tracker said...

Nick - Good point.

I'm game. I try to do my reviews on the weekend though. If that works for you, I'm in :)

Rudi said...

Great advice as usuall ;-)

--Rudi

Anujk said...

Thanks those our some nice tips... will keep in mind...

shaun said...

hey! i just wanted to follow up with you when you submitted my site to reddit. I got about 20 visitors over 2 days. Thanks alot. ggreat post by the way keep up the good work!!!!

Ad Tracker said...

@ Rudi - Thank you :)


@ Anujk - You're welcome, thank you! Come back and see us again.


@ Shaun - Well, that's not terrible. Sounds like the results I get.

Oh well, thanks for reporting back!

Anonymous said...

Very comprehensive and nicely written - you get my vote at bluejar :)

Karthik

Ad Tracker said...

Karthic - Thank you so much! It's going to be fun seeing who wins out f all of those great articles.

Madhur Kapoor said...

Awesome post , i will keep them in mind when i review a blog .

Ad Tracker said...

Madhur Kapoor - Thank you. I'm glad it was useful to you.

Thanks for the comment, stop in again.

MDB said...

Wow! It's great to have a guideline like that to refer to. Have never tried a blog review yet, but if I did, you could guarantee it would be all over the place. But not anymore!

Ad Tracker said...

MBD - Glad you found it useful!

You should deffinately do one. Whoever you review will be blown away. Just remember the #1 rule, be nice, and it will be fine :)

JoLynn Braley said...

Great points, especially about being honest and not losing your credibility in the review process. ;)

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Glad you won the contest at Bluejar, good to know one of my votes won!

Congratulations!

Ad Tracker said...

@ JoLynn - Thank you for your comment. I know I answered it before. I guess I messed up somehow and deleted it. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to leave your comment just sitting there.


@ Karthic - Did I win?! I've got to go check. Thanks for the heads-up and thanks for the vote!

CHESSNOID said...

Great post again Ad Tracker. Glad you were one of the winners. Congratulations! ;)

Ad Tracker said...

Chessnoid - Thanks! I still can't believe I won :)

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I liked the post, it is crystal clear and to the point.
I will say this is the punch line - "To Write your review for your readers not the blogger you are reviewing."

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Webgk.com - Thanks. I agree, you must think of your readers 1st.

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Thanks I appreciate it!

Katie said...

They are great tips, I always try to abide by something similar it is a good idea when doing a review that you try to be as objective as possible and although you may be doing a paid review you should maintain what your objectives are to do a sensible indepth review.

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