It’s standard fare that when you’re shopping for tech products online, you will read the reviews to get better insight into what you’re buying.
After buying the whatever-it-is, you may want to write a review of your own via the online shop (such as NewEgg) so others can gain from your knowledge.
Here’s a few tips you can follow to write better tech product reviews.
1. No jokes (and especially no “LOL”)
Every time I see a review with a “LOL” in it, I want to reach through my computer screen and punch the reviewer in the face, because he deserves it.
If under the ‘Pros’ section he writes, “It’s cheap LOL”, that’s absolutely worthless information. Obviously the person perusing the product already knows the price because that’s the first thing he saw before reading the reviews.
If under the ‘Cons’ section he writes, “It doesn’t do my laundry LOL”, that’s equally worthless. And even if the con was written about a washing machine, the “LOL” is totally unnecessary.
A product review is the wrong place to tell a joke. Why? Because you’re talking about a product people will pay actual real money for, and that’s no joking matter. Stick to the product and avoid the jokes; readers of your review will genuinely appreciate that.
2. No storytelling
Example: “I’ve been a computer user for 9,000 years, and was browsing the products when I came cross X product. At first I didn’t know what to think when–”
Stop right there. You’re storytelling. Don’t do that. You’ve already lost the audience at that point because nobody wants to hear you waffling on when all people care about is the product.
If you want to tell a story, start a blog and write it there where you can waffle on to your heart’s content (tip: Make the title of your blog articles the name of the product and it will get traffic and comments).
Now you might be thinking, “Wouldn’t people be interested in my opinion of the product?” Not really. All people care about in a product review is if it worked or didn’t work. If you want to expatiate about how well the product worked or didn’t work, that’s fine too, but avoid telling your life story.
Also, don’t do the infamous giving-your-résumé shtick either, such as “I’ve been an IT Professional for 20 years and [blah blah blah blabbity bloo whatever...]“. First of all, nobody cares, and second, you can’t prove it in the space of a product review. As far as anyone is concerned, you’re making it all up, so don’t bother.
3. No “used to trust/mistrust this company” b.s.
Example: “I bought X brand years ago, it broke and I swore I’d never buy X brand again, but decided to give X brand another try, and–”
Stop.. you’re storytelling again. Nobody cares if you bought X brand 5 years ago and decided to give them another go. People only care about the product they’re looking at right now and not what they used to make in years past.
Again, start a blog if you want to tell a story.
4. If you had to return the product because of defects, that *is* good information to include if you’re descriptive about it
Readers of reviews are very interested to know if the product they’re thinking about buying has potential defects, but you have to be specific about it.
Let’s say for sake of example the product was a DVD burner.
Wrong way: “Didn’t work. Had to return it and get another.”
Right way: “Would not burn discs no matter what brand of disc I used on my Windows 7 PC. Returned it and got another, and the 2nd one burns discs like it’s supposed to.”
The right-way example gives all the information a reader of your review would want to know. You bought the DVD burner, tried it, and it didn’t work no matter what disc you used. You returned it, got another one and the second drive worked as expected. This indicates that the first defective one you received was probably just a fluke and that not all of the drives of that particular model are bad.
5. If you bought a bundle of the same item where some worked and some didn’t, that’s good information to include
Many people do buy online in bulk to save money (such as on shipping). If for example you bought a bundle of hard drives where some worked and some didn’t, you should include that information in your review.
Example: You buy five hard drives in a bundle. Four of them worked, one was DOA and wouldn’t spin up at all. State this in your review as that is helpful information.
6. A one-word “DOA” listed in the ‘cons’ section is totally acceptable if absolutely nothing worked when you received the product
If the product you bought was dead-on-arrival, writing “DOA” as a con is fine because that explains exactly why you gave the product a bad rating.
Using the DVD burner example, if you plugged the thing in and it absolutely would not work or even open the tray door when powered, that’s a DOA.
7. It is OK to repeat what another reviewer said if you encountered the same good or bad results with the product
Some people feel compelled to be unique with a product review, but that’s not necessary. More often than not people will encounter the same results with the same product, whether positive or negative. If your results are more or less a near copy of what someone else said, that’s fine.
No, I’m not saying to copy another review word for word because that’s just dumb. You can however say something to the effect of “My results with this product were the same as several other reviewers here, [insert your review here]“, and that works.
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