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Step 4: Write the review

Lesson 10

IMPORTANT!

This course has been retired and is now available for free. HOWEVER, be aware that it is outdated and therefore some of the information may no longer be valid or may be even be detrimental to your online success. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!


The review is what is going to make the sale for you. This is so important and yet most people neglect this bit when they promote Amazon products. Hey, we did the same thing in the past. When we were thinking of the money first and our readers second, our reviews were lacking detail and really didn’t provide enough good quality information.

Even today, a lot of our blogs are still filled with lack luster reviews that provide no value whatsoever. But we’re slowly reworking them because we see the true potential in making them better for our readers.

Just remember that people want to be told what to buy. Most don’t want to have to do the research themselves and just want someone to help them with making a decision. This is where you come in.

How do you write the review?

Writing reviews can be a struggle for some but we’ve come up with a formula that makes the whole process super easy. With this formula you will have a beautiful review written in no time at all. And the more you do them, the easier they will get.

And don’t spend days trying to get the review to be absolutely perfect ….ours never are to start with. The longer you try and tweak it the longer it will take to get that page up on the net and making money.

We just make sure we have done the best we can and then post it to one of our blogs and start getting traffic to it. While we are working on getting traffic to the page we keep reworking the review until it is as perfect as it can be. So don’t sweat it to start with if you think it’s not quite as good as you hoped.

Our method for writing reviews

We have been writing product reviews for a number of years now and in the early days they did make sales but as we said previously it really wasn’t all that spectacular. Then one day we decided to write up a review using a different format than we were used to. We had noticed that the typical landing page style format was quite successful with internet marketers for promoting ebooks and membership sites.

If you’ve never seen a landing page before, they are quite long and use lots of sub- headings and short paragraphs and dot-points. Of course, we knew we had to change it slightly to suit physical products and not hype it up as much but essentially we thought we would give this a shot and see how it went.

Well the results were amazing and to this day we continue to use this approach. We have refined it somewhat to suit Amazon products but essentially the landing page style seems to work.

So let’s begin….

A step-by-step to writing reviews

We’re going to use an example here to illustrate just how we write up reviews. I am going to go with our Panasonic cordless drill. Bear in mind that at this point I know nothing about cordless drills and I mean nothing. It doesn’t matter because I will know enough about it by the time I finish writing the review.

If you choose a product that you know something about then the process will obviously be a whole lot easier but what I want to do here is illustrate that you don’t need to know anything about the product to write a good review.

1: Gather Together Everything You Can About the Product

The first step is finding out everything you can about the product. Now I can just hear you all groaning at this point thinking that this is already too much work. But just remember that you only need a handful of reviews to potentially make a good income online.

You should only have to spend about a day writing a really good review and once it’s done it’s done. After that, you only really need to tweak it. So at most a day of work can result in thousands of dollars in recurring income.

So the first thing I do is go to the product page on Amazon and take the first bit of content I see which in this case are the Technical Details:

I then take this info and convert it into content for the review. So I start with the first dot point from the Technical Details information above which is:

‘15.6 Ni-MH volt drill 1?2 inch cordless drill/driver kit with keyless chuck’.

Hmm, I have no idea what any of that means. I’ve used a drill a couple of times in the past but that’s about it, so I need to do a bit of research first. I go to my browser window and do a Google search and type in “what to look for in a cordless drill”. This gives me quite a few different sites for research.

I also get a bit more specific and type in searches such as “what is an NiMH cordless drill” and “cordless drill volts”.

And finally, I quickly scan the manufacturer’s site to see what they have to say.

Now after reading a couple of websites and getting a bit of background info on what the volts and NiMH actually mean I realize that they are quite important when it comes to a cordless drill. As I read the information on those sites I’ve been taking notes and come up with the following:

15.6 volt NiMH cordless drill

  • The number of volts is one of the most important components of a cordless drill.
  • The greater the volts the faster the motor spins and therefore the more powerful the drill.
  • The downside with having too many volts is that the battery will be heavier and therefore the drill will be heavier.
  • Most consider the Ni-MH battery to be one of the best for cordless drill use.
  • Compared to NiCad batteries, NiMH batteries last longer.
  • NiMH batteries are also lighter than NiCad batteries.
  • NiMH batteries have a quick recharging time.
  • The Panasonic website mentions that for this cordless drill the battery charges in as little as 55 minutes and also features a 5 minute emergency charge.

But I still don’t know what the next part means – ‘1?2-inch cordless drill/drive with keyless chuck’. So I do another couple of searches in Google with “what is a 1/2inch cordless drill” and “what is a keyless chuck” and come up with the following information:

1?2 inch cordless drill with keyless chuck

  • The keyless chuck means you that can hand tighten the bits so you don’t need extra tools to do it.
  • Most cordless drills have a 3/8 inch chuck whereas the Panasonic has a 1?2 inch chuck. This means that larger drill bits can be used giving you greater flexibility.

Already you can see we are gathering quite a bit of information and we are still only on the first dot point of the Technical Details list from the Amazon website!

Notice also, that each dot point doesn’t just talk about the features. Instead I have taken each feature and written the benefit of that feature.

For instance, if I were only talking about the features I might say:

“The Panasonic Cordless drill has an NiMH battery”.

However, if I were to talk about the benefits I might say:

“The Panasonic cordless drill has an NiMH battery which is lighter than NiCad batteries and has a quick recharging time.”

Your readers will want to see how the products you promote are going to benefit them. They don’t just want to see a list of features.

So, once I have created my first list of dot points I go back to the Amazon Technical Details information to the next bit of information which talks about dual speed ranges, 390 pounds of torque and so on and do exactly the same thing. This results in even more dot points to add to my already growing list.

Once I have done that I move on to the next piece of content in Amazon which is the Product Description (see image below) and pretty much do the same thing.

I just take each sentence in the Product Description and see if I can create a list of dot points about it.

Sometimes the information in the Product Description may be the same as the information in the Technical Details list. If that is the case, just keep reading the Product Description to see if you can find anything new that you haven’t already written up your own dot points for.

I can quickly see that there is probably nothing major that I can write about here although I can talk about the Average Customer Review which is rated at 4.5 out of 5 so I add that to my list of dot points as well. It might look something like this:

Amazon Rating

  • Consumers in Amazon have given this product a 4.5 star rating.

Now I head on over to the manufacturer’s website and do exactly the same thing. The Panasonic site has a wealth of information I can use. I just work my way through each sentence of information to see if I can find anything new that I haven’t already written dot points for.

By the time I am finished I will have a big list of dot points on all aspects of the drill

2. Converting Your Dot Points into a Product Review

Although we have a lot of information at this point we don’t want a review that is totally made up of dot points so we want to form those dot points into sentences and paragraphs.

So what I do is grab each of the dot points I created and form them into coherent sentences.

Take a look below to see how I converted each dot point into sentences and paragraphs. I also create a heading for each list of dot points.

Here is my list:

15.6 volt NiMH cordless drill

  • The number of volts is one of the most important components of a cordless drill.
  • The greater the volts the faster the motor spins and therefore the more powerful the drill.
  • The downside with having too many volts is that the battery will be heavier and therefore the drill will be heavier.
  • Most consider the Ni-MH battery to be one of the best for cordless drill use.
  • Compared to NiCad batteries, NiMH batteries last longer.
  • NiMH batteries are also lighter than NiCad batteries.
  • NiMH batteries have a quick recharging time.
  • The Panasonic website mentions that for this cordless drill the battery charges in as little as 55 minutes and also features a 5 minute emergency charge.

And this is how it turned out:

How Many Volts?

One of the most important components of a cordless drill is the number of volts. The greater the volts the faster the motor spins and therefore the more powerful the drill. It does have a downside however in that generally the more volts you have the heavier the battery and therefore the heavier the drill will be. So you need to keep this in mind when choosing a drill. Think about whether you will be using it for long periods. If so, you don’t want anything too heavy – you will really be feeling it by the end of the day.

This Panasonic Cordless drill is 15.6 volts making it quite powerful but still lightweight at 4.8lbs so that it won’t put undue pressure on your wrist.

It’s all about the battery…

This drill uses a Ni-MH battery which is considered one of the best for cordless drill use. Compared to NiCad batteries which are commonly used in cordless drills, NiMH batteries last longer and are lighter. They also have a quick recharging time so you can get back to your job much quicker. According to the Panasonic website, the battery charges in as little as “55 minutes…and features a 5 minute emergency charge that charges the pack to 15% of its capacity”

If you compare the dot point list with the final result, you’ll notice that there really isn’t too much difference between them. I’ve added a few extra words here and there but basically it’s fairly similar.

This is why you should always use this dot point method if you have trouble writing reviews. It makes the process a lot easier when you chunk it down like this to start.

Let’s take the next lot of dot points and do the same thing. This is the list of dot points:

1?2 inch cordless drill with keyless chuck

  • The keyless chuck means you that can hand tighten the bits so you don’t need extra tools to do it.
  • Most cordless drills have a 3/8 inch chuck whereas the Panasonic has a 1?2 inch chuck. This means that larger drill bits can be used giving you greater flexibility.

And this is what I came up with:

Size Does Matter!

The Panasonic EY6432 Cordless Drill has a 1?2 inch chuck. You will generally find that most cordless drills have a 3/8 inch chuck.What this means is that you can use drill bits that are up to 1?2 inch in diameter giving you greater flexibility.

The keyless chuck means you can hand tighten the bits. You won’t need to be searching for tools to do the job. This makes it quick and easy to change the drill bits.

Now we just need to continue on with this process until all of our dot points are converted into sentences and paragraphs.

3: The Introduction

Take your time with writing the introduction. It needs to draw the person in so that they continue to read your entire review. You don’t want to make it boring and by boring I mean you don’t want to start if off like so many reviews I’ve seen with the words

“Today I am going to review the Panasonic Cordless Drill…” or “The Panasonic Cordless Drill is a great product and I am going to show you why”.

Those sorts of introductions are not terrible but they just don’t grab the attention of your reader.

We find that the best way to write an introduction for a review is to make it personal, almost like you are talking to a friend. So for my Panasonic Review I might write something like the following:

I have a friend who is in the market for a drill. Sounds simple right?…just send them down to the local hardware store and buy one. Well, it’s not that easy. There are so many to choose from and if you don’t know what you are doing you could end up buying something that really doesn’t do the job. So I decided to take it upon myself to do the research for him to find the best cordless drill on the market today and eventually came up with the Panasonic 15-6 Volt 1/2- Inch Cordless Drill (EY6432GQKW).

I’ll think you’ll agree that it sounds a bit better than “Today I am going to review the Panasonic Cordless Drill…”

Now I’m not advocating that you make things up….apart from the fact that it’s really not good karma, you want to create a level of trust with your readers. That was just an example to show how you can weave a story into it to make it a little more interesting.

If you can’t think of a story that relates to you then you can write something like the following:

I love writing reviews and decided it was time to check out the range of cordless drills. I’ve used cordless drills in the past but have never really researched them. I just assumed that a drill was a drill and that I just needed to buy one that suited my budget. How wrong was I? There is more to cordless drills than meets the eye so I took some time to really get into the detail to find out the best cordless drill on the market today. My extensive research finally led me to the Panasonic 15-6 Volt 1/2-Inch Cordless Drill (EY6432GQKW).

See Attachment 7 for more detailed information on weaving a story into your product reviews.

One other important thing to remember when writing your introduction is to add a couple of relevant keywords if you can. This is where the keyword list you came up with in Step 2 comes in handy. Notice in my intro I have included the keywords “cordless drills”, “best cordless drill” and “Panasonic 15-6 Volt 1/2-Inch Cordless Drill (EY6432GQKW)”.

Don’t overdo it with your keywords as your review will start to sound a little odd. You are better off writing naturally rather than trying to stuff keywords in where they don’t really fit.

4: The Conclusion

The conclusion is one of the simplest parts of your review. Simple, because you won’t need to write a conclusion at all. All we want to do at this point is send the reader off to Amazon so create a couple of headings with the following titles:

  • “Where Can I Buy the Panasonic 15.6 Volt NiMH Cordless Drill?”
  • “Where Can I Read More Reviews for the Panasonic 15.6 Volt NiMH Cordless
    Drill?”

Under each of the headings write a little info and create a link to Amazon. So for instance for my Panasonic Cordless Drill it might look like this:

Where Can I Buy the Panasonic 15.6 Volt NiMH Cordless Drill?

You can buy this Panasonic Cordless Drill on Amazon. At the moment they include free shipping and from what I can tell when comparing prices with other online merchants, Amazon do currently have the best deal especially with the free shipping option. Click here to view on Amazon.

Where Can I Read More Reviews for the Panasonic 15.6 Volt NiMH Cordless Drill?

The best place for reviews from people who actually use the product is Amazon. Click here to read more.
Try not to use the same wording for every review you write. Try to change it around a little and use your own words rather than mine.

5: The Title

The title is the last thing you need to do but it is extremely important. You need to ensure that you get some good keywords in your title plus make it interesting enough that people will click on your link in the search engines. This can sometimes be difficult especially if the title of the product is quite long. We are limited to 70 characters and that includes spaces (as that is all that the Google search engine will display) so you want to ensure you make the most of it.

If we go back to our cordless drill example the actual product name is: Panasonic EY6432GQKW 15.6-Volt NiMH 1/2-Inch Cordless Drill/Driver Kit. That on its own is 70 characters and really isn’t terribly interesting as a title plus we really want to get the word ‘review’ in the title.

So what we need to do is go back to our keyword list and take a look at the most promising keywords and use those in the title.

 What I normally do is take a look at the list and look for the most common keywords. In this case they are:

  • Panasonic
  • Cordless
  • Drill
  • Drills
  • Best
  • EY6432GQKW
  • Power
  • Tools
  • Review

Now it would be nice to get all of those keywords into a readable title but that isn’t always possible but I would just do my best. Here are some potential titles using those keywords:

  • Best Panasonic Cordless Drill Review
  • Best Cordless Drill: Panasonic EY6432GQKW Cordless Drill Review
  • Best Cordless Drill Review: Panasonic EY6432GQKW Cordless Drill
  • Cordless Drill Reviews: Panasonic EY6432GQKW Cordless Drill

You could even include titles like:

  • My Favorite Cordless Drill: Panasonic EY6432GQKW Cordless Drill
  • My Review of the Panasonic EY6432GQKW Cordless Drill
  • My Personal Review of the Panasonic EY6432GQKW Cordless Drill
  • I Love the Panasonic EY6432GQKW Cordless Drill. Read Why!
  • I Love the Panasonic EY6432GQKW Cordless Drill. Read My Review

People like to read real reviews by real people so when they see a title like this in the Google search they are more likely to click it.

And although our keyword list didn’t include the words “15.6 volt” or “NiMH” which were in the original product title, you could still include these if you have room. Just make sure the title makes sense.

For example:

  • Best Panasonic 15.6 Volt NiMH Cordless Drill Review
  • Cordless Drill Reviews: Panasonic 15.6 Volt NiMH Cordless Drill

6: Other things to add to your review

We usually add each of the following to each review.

  • Whats Included – we like to include a section in each review detailing what is actually included. You will pretty much always find this information on the Amazon site. So for our cordless drill it would look like this:

What’s Included

      • Cordless drill
      • 2 NiMH batteries
      • 1 hour charger
      • Hard plastic carrying case
  • Consumer reviews – oftentimes we will include consumer reviews found on the internet. Generally these will come from Amazon itself. Sometimes we might put complete reviews in and other times we will just add short sentences like the following for instance:

What Others Are Saying

This drill has received rave reviews from most consumers on the net with an average of 4.5 out of 5 from most reviewers on Amazon and the Panasonic website itself.

Here are some of the comments to date:

      • “Terrific combination of power, weight, size, & ergnomics…”
      • “Awesome”
      • “Best overall drill”
      • “Great cordless drill/screwdriver for home projects”
      • “You can’t go wrong with a Panasonic screw gun”
      • “Panasonic cordlesses have become contagious in the building trades”
      • “This drill gets 6 stars”
  • How Much? – We’re often asked if we should include the price in our reviews. We don’t normally do this as prices can fluctuate from day to day. If we are going to include the price it will be more of a generic phrase like: “You shouldn’t really pay any more than $200 for this Panasonic Cordless Drill” OR “These types of cordless drills generally range in price from $150 to $300.”

Do you need to own the product before writing a review?

The best product reviews are those that are written by people who have actually used the product. However, you DON’T need to own it in order to write a good review.

What we normally do is pick a product in Amazon, write a review and get traffic to that page. Then once we start seeing a large number of sales for that product we immediately go and purchase it ourselves. We are then able to add to the review with our own experiences, personal photos and even video. This improves the conversion rate even more so.

What if you don’t want to write the review yourself?

If after reading the information above you find that you just aren’t able to write the review yourself then you might like to outsource the job using Elance or other similar company. There are thousands of writers willing to do the work for you.

If you prefer this option then go to Attachment 3 in this document as we have included an outsourcing document that you can submit to Elance.

How long should your product review be?

We’ve found that the best converting reviews are around 1000 words or longer. Don’t stress if you can’t make 1000 words – just do your best. You can always add to it later as you find more info. You are better getting something up rather than nothing at all.

The good, the bad, the ugly – how do you write about the negatives

Most products have their negatives and you shouldn’t ignore them but at the same time you shouldn’t go into too much detail either. The whole point of using our criteria in Step 1 is that you choose a product that doesn’t have too many negatives to begin with. If you do this then you really won’t have to focus too much on any negatives.

The way to determine if a product has any issues or problems is to read through the customer reviews on Amazon but you have to do it the right way. Don’t write about every negative you see. If you have 50 customer reviews and only 1 person out of that 50 says something bad about that product then you don’t include that negative. That is just one persons opinion. If on the other hand, 30 of those fifty people talk about that negative then you know that it is an issue for a lot of people and should be discussed in your review.

Even so you can sometimes turn negatives into positives. For instance, one of the complaints for the Panasonic drill was that it is difficult to center small bits in the chuck. Another reviewer answered it by saying it’s “a result of the chuck being open too far – simply close up the chuck more before inserting the bit”.

Nice one, this reviewer basically turned a negative into a positive so if I was going to write that up on my review it might sound something like this:

One complaint concerning this drill was that it is difficult to center small bits in the chuck. This can be rectified by simply closing up the chuck a little more before inserting the drill bit.

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