Writing Reviews for Products
If you look around your home from where you are now, the chances are that you could count quite a high number of consumer products. If you start walking around, you’ll spot yet more. You might be wondering where this article is going, so here’s the really interesting bit - you can make money, whilst working from home, writing about these products. There aren’t too many people who can afford to say no to the chance to earn a little bit of extra cash at the moment and this is a great opportunity to start doing so with less effort than you might imagine.
We live in a time where people expect to be able to gain a huge amount of information about something - anything! - at the click of a laptop key or a the touch of a smartphone. Customers are increasingly savvy about comparing the price and performance of products and services, as well as the levels of customer service they receive. People are also more attuned to the sources of such information and are clued up enough to realise when they are reading advertorials and puffed-up public relations pieces.
What consumers really want is to hear from ‘real life’ people who have used the product or service and are being open and honest about its strengths and weaknesses. If you are posting your reviews on a trusted website, you will become part of a recognised community of reviewers whose opinion is trusted and actively sought out by hundreds of thousands of online shoppers. On top of all this, you’ll get paid for doing it.
How to Get Started
The first thing you’ll need to do is register with a reputable consumer review site. Two of the most well-used ones in the UK are:
There are other websites available if you search, but please make sure that you are happy with their background and how they are run. If you are in any doubt, visit an independent discussion forum such as those at MSE and you’re sure to find the answers to any questions you may have and if you don’t, you can always ask start a thread of your own.
In short, never hand over any money simply to sign up or register with online review writing websites. All legitimate companies will allow you to sign up for free and will also not ask you to reveal confidential information, either financial or personal.
How to Write the Best Reviews
Once you have joined up with your reviews websites, you will need to actually start writing. You can choose which products, services, and even locations, you would like to write about, but it is worth bearing in mind the audience for whom you are writing. Visitors to the site will be searching for reviews on specific things and many of these are likely to be well-known, popular items. Obviously if you have a particular interest in a niche item then it’s worth sharing your expertise for other like-minded people, but you should also review some more mainstream items as well.
The sites work by allowing visitors to rate your reviews and the higher your rating, the more trusted you will be as a reviewer and the more you will earn. If you are submitting dozens of reviews each day about everything you’ve ever used, readers will become suspicious and will not rate your articles highly. You should opt for quality over quantity every time, but always with the aim of making your review as appealing to as many people as possible.
You will be rewarded for writing longer reviews, so give yourself time to write in detail about some products. People are more likely to respond positively to a detailed explanation about a product and it will be far more useful to them than a quick, “It was great. I loved it.”
Don’t be afraid to write about a product or company’s flaws, but do make sure that you are always balanced and fair. Unless something is downright awful and you’d rather throw it away than use it again, steer away from a vitriolic monologue about how much you hate it and look for at least one redeeming feature.
Your reviews will be shared more widely if you are able to communicate clearly and effectively in written English. If you’re not confident with spelling, or if you know that a sentence simply doesn’t sound right, use computer software and / or friends to have a look over it for you. Once you get into the swing of things you will probably find that your writing skills improve anyway - a positive side effect of these projects and a transferable skill that you can use in other employment.
You will need to be able to type accurately and it will also help if you can do so at a reasonable speed. It’s totally up to you how long you take over each review and how often you post them, but clearly you will be looking to maximise your earning potential and this will be tricky if it takes you a great length of time to get each review written.
Similarly it will be useful for you to have a basic level of technological skill, so that you are able to perform key tasks such as:
- Taking digital photos and videos
- Uploading these files onto your computer and then again onto the reviews websites
- Using internet search engines
- Hyperlinking text, so that readers can click and follow links to purchase an item that you’ve reviewed.
If you’re feeling unsure about how you’d cope with any of the above, it’s very easy to ask a friend or family member to show you, or even to watch an online tutorial.
How Payment Will be Made
It’s worth mentioning here that you are not going to be earning a fortune by writing online reviews. At Dooyoo, for example, you are awarded points for every review you write (longer reviews earn more than shorter ones) and for how well your review is received by other readers. It’s worth spending some time rating the reviews of your fellow writers as often they will rate you back as a courtesy, ensuring mutual benefit.
Once you have accumulated a certain amount of points you can either trade them in for an Amazon voucher or have the money transferred straight across to your bank account. If you’re ever feeling particularly generous, you can also donate some of your earnings to charity.
Most reviews websites will require that you don’t post your review anywhere else (online or otherwise), but the exception to this rule is with DooYoo and Ciao. You can copy and paste a review from Dooyoo into Ciao as they operate in different global territories, meaning that you can get double the value from one review.
As previously mentioned, even if you wrote a hundred reviews a day you’d be unlikely to make a living from writing online reviews (and you’d actually be likely to harm your reputation among reviewers and visitors, so it would have the opposite effect from the one you desired) but if you post well-written, considered reviews that others’ find useful, you will definitely be able to supplement your other sources of income nicely.