Being offered products, travel, tickets and other freebies is a definite perk of being a blogger. However, adding reviews to your blog content needs to be as thoughtfully done as the rest of your content to make sure its a success for you and the brand you are working with.
Last week, we talked to bloggers to get a feel for some of the Do’s and Don’ts of writing blog posts.
- Keep your reviews on topic and tone with the rest of your blog. Your readers come to you because you are already writing on a set of topics. Reviewing a product outside of that sphere can jar with your readers and potentially drive them away.
- Don’t use pre-written copy. Make sure the review is in your tone and aesthetic.
- Be choosy. Don’t say yes to everything and focus on the opportunities that really excite you. Saying no to some things adds credibility to the reviews you do take on.
- Be real. Nothing is 100% good – offer pros and cons of your experience. People are more likely to trust you if you give a balanced opinion.
- Review things you’ve bought yourself. Its hard to trust recommendations when everything has been given for free. Reviewing products you’ve bought yourself is not only a great way to add credibility to your reviews but also builds up a portfolio of reviews for potential brand collaborations.
- Make the roles and responsibilities clear from the outset between yourself and the brand. This doesn’t need to be a contract, but an email outlining expectations (how many social mentions, how many links, payment terms, etc) are all important when working with a brand to ensure everyone knows what they are getting out of the collaboration.
- Don’t only write reviews. Its easy to fall into a habit of using reviews to boost your content, but make sure there is a good balance of other original content as well. That’s what got the brands interested in you in the first place!
- Make it clear up front that the post is sponsored or review content. Not only is this crucial for readers to feel they can trust your content, but the ASA states that you must notify readers that your content is sponsored or you were given a product for review. This applies to vloggers as well.
- Add your photos. They lend credibility to the review and give it a more personal touch. Try to avoid over-use of stock images.
- Be creative. We all read lots of blogs and often the same things are being reviewed by a number of bloggers at the same time. Tell a more personal story with your review and you are sure to stand out!