The world of review writing is a tricky one. On one side you have the companies looking to spread word of their products and services and to, ideally, make a good name for themselves. But on the other you have the writers, who are eager enough to be easily persuaded into writing about subjects they’re not necessarily qualified to give educated opinions on. A combination of these elements ultimately leads to a lot of misinformation or unfair content being shared.
At clovio, our goal is not to be able to write about any subject out there. We put a lot of importance on narrowing down our range of topics and publishing only what we feel will provide true added value and expertise to the general public. Sticking to our areas of expertise also means knowing when to say ‘no’.
The Birth of a Specialist
Becoming an expert on certain subject matter doesn’t happen overnight – it requires a major time investment and, above all, being genuinely interested in the subject. Gaining legitimacy as an ‘expert’ requires actually using the product – or others like it – for yourself on a day-to-day basis and being fully aware of what comparable products on the market consist of. Without any background knowledge on the industry that the product or service you’re testing belongs to, you have no basis for critiquing, praising, and recommending (or not) said product. The only way to gain this deep level of knowledge is through research.
Additionally, when it comes to actually testing and reviewing something, doing so for a product or service that is of no interest to you whatsoever is both unpleasant for you and a waste of time for your readers. Without the same intrigued and curious mindset that someone reading the article would have, it’s easy to overlook important elements and decision-making factors that readers are there to find out about.
Another way to ensure high-quality information is by tapping into your network as much as possible; a much more educated opinion can be formed when using collaborative knowledge. This means requesting knowledge and insight from team members, reaching out to current users of the product and of its competitors’ products, as well as directly getting in touch with the product or service provider. When using providers as a source, be sure to ask objective questions about what the product does or doesn’t offer as opposed to subjective ones that risk being answered with the company’s own interests in mind.
Beyond Basic Reviews
What sets a good review apart from a great one is how deep into the research the writer is willing to go. This implies going beyond a straightforward rundown of the product, instead getting a full grasp of the problems that a typical person searching for the product may be facing.
One good way to do this is by studying user analytics such as keyword or related keyword search inquiries made by your audience. This can provide insight into the frequent issues that they may come across, which aspects of the product are most important to them, and demographical information that may be useful to your writing style and focus. Irrefutable data analytics are often a huge eye-opener and can help keep us on the right track.
With the solid information gained from your research in mind, it’s easy to put together more than just a simple review and offer the reader further value. This might be alternative and supplemental solutions or first-hand explanations of how the product may or may not fit into their lives, specific to the characteristics you’ve uncovered about them.
Now, we’re not saying these are strict guidelines, but these strategies help keep us on top of our game to ensure our writers are experts in their fields of expertise. This way we never spread ourselves too thin and stick only to what we know… the rest just happens naturally.