Challenge: Create a Review Post

This is the 3rd challenge in ProBlogger’s 7 Days to Getting Your Blogging Groove Back Challenge that we kicked off a couple of episodes ago.

To recap – every day for the next week I’m going to suggest a particular style of blog post for you to create. My challenge is to create and publish that content – to join our ProBlogger Challenge Group on Facebook and to share your post here and to check out the other posts others are submitting.

Today’s challenge could be a life changing moment for some of you. That’s a big statement I know but I say it because I am where I am as a full time blogger today because I once wrote a review post on one of my early blogs. I had no idea at the time how writing that post would change my life but it did.

In Today’s Challenge: Create a Review Post

Listen to this episode in the player above or here on iTunes.

Why a Review Post

  • They get read!
  • They have transactional value
  • They are great conversation starters
  • They build credibility

Today’s Challenge

  • Find something relevant to your niche/topic/audience to review.
  • Write your post – publish it
  • Head to the ProBlogger Challenge Group on Facebook and share the link with us on this thread
  • Check out some of the other reviews people have written. Comment, like, share

Further Resources on Creating a Review Post

Update: Here are the rest of the Challenges in the Blogging Groove Series

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view

Hey there, it’s Darren here from ProBlogger. Welcome to Episode 140 of the ProBlogger podcast and to the third channel in our Seven Days to Getting Your Blogging Groove Back Challenge.

Today, I want to issue you with a challenge to create a piece of content that is in some way a review. To recap, everyday for this next week I’m going to suggest a particular style of blog post for you to create. You choose the topic, I choose the style. My challenge is to create and publish that content within twenty-four hours if you can and then to share it over in the ProBlogger Challenge Group which I’ll link to on today’s show notes. Once you’ve shared it there, to check out some of the other posts that others who are participating in this challenge have also shared.

Today, my challenge to you is to create and publish a review post. Again, you can do this as a written post, a video, a podcast, anything that you choose to do. I’ll probably talk a little bit more about writing, but you translate that into the medium that you want to use.

Today’s challenge could be a life changing moment for some of you. I know that’s a big statement but I say it because where I am today as a full time blogger is because I once almost accidentally wrote a review post on one of my early blogs. I had no idea at the time that what I was doing was literally changing my life but it did.

It was 2004, I’ve been blogging for a couple of years on my first personal blog. But on this day, I impulsively decided to start a second blog. It was a photo blog in which I wanted to share photos from a trip I was taking to Morocco with Vanessa. I just bought this new digital camera, it was a whopping 1.2 megapixels which is nothing, not even a tiny comparison to what’s in our iPhones today. I spent a small fortune on it but I was excited by this amazing, newish technology that would enable me to upload photos onto my new photoblog whilst on the road in Morocco. I had this visions of all my friends and family looking at these amazing photos while I was on the road.

Before I left on the trip, I decided to post something on the blog because I didn’t have any photos yet to share and I decided to post a little first impression review of this new, little Canon Powershot Camera that I bought. The review was only three-hundred words long, it wasn’t really that detailed at all. I didn’t really expect much from it but I did want to have something up on the blog before I went off to Morocco.

I very quickly discovered that photo blogging was not for me. For a start, uploading photos to a blog from a Moroccan internet cafe was a painstaking process. Secondly, none of my family and friends visited the site. None of the photos got viewed at all. I remember returning home after an amazing time in Morocco, Turkey and Portugal and checked my blog’s stats and was amazed to see that not a single one of my photos had been looked at while I was away. But, I was amazed to see that that little short review of the camera that I had taken the photos with was getting several hundred visitors a day to that review. I was amazed to see it ranking number one on Google for that camera name.

I don’t know how Google ranked me so high for that particular review, but I remember the entrepreneurial lights going on in my mind as I began to wonder, “What would happen if I had a review of every digital camera?” There were hundreds of models already out back in 2004 and so I decided to write as many reviews as I could or at least to aggregate the reviews that other people were writing as well on their blogs. My photo blog was scrapped that day and I turned it into a review blog of digital cameras.

To cut our very long story short, that short review was the first of thousands of reviews over the next few years. That blog, my camera review blog, became my full time income over the next couple of years. It became the basis for a lot of what I did for several years. I also had a camera phone review blog for a while, a printer review blog, and a number of others as well.

My story is not unique. Over the years, I’ve come across many bloggers whose sole type of blog post is the review. These blogs generally choose an overall niche, a particular field, and then simply write as many different reviews of products and services that relate to that particular niche as they can. We’ve all seen them, there’s movie review blogs, restaurant review blogs, gadget review blogs, book review blogs, vacuum cleaner review blogs, TV show review blogs, candy bar review blogs, car review blogs, the list goes on and on and on and the topics are both broad as well as narrow. I’ve just come across some very narrow focused review blogs as well.

I suspect some of you doing this challenge have blogs that are fully focused upon reviews. This challenge is going to be easy for you because you’re just used to doing it every single day. Most of you listening to this don’t have a review blog, you might occasionally review something or maybe you never have at all. This may be a little bit more of a challenge for some of you. Whether you post a review on your blog everyday or whether this is completely new to you, I really want to challenge you to do it. Reviews are great for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, they get read. One of the most common things people do before making a purchase these days is obviously go online to search what other people think of it. Writing a review of a product or a service or a movie or a book or something else positions you to be on the end of that search.

Secondly, there’s transactional value around reviews. When people land on your site researching a purpose, they have an intent to buy something. They’re in a buying mood. There’s opportunity if you want to monetize that traffic. People reading your reviews are in that mood where they want to actually buy something. This is a great thing for those of us who do want to monetize. You may turn that into income through an affiliate link for the product that you’re reviewing. It may be that you can even monetize it through selling advertising on your blog, or you may actually find after you write more and more reviews that you start getting approaches from people who want to have their product review. You could do that just to get the free product or you could do that to get a paid sponsored review opportunity from them.

The third reason reviews are great is I think that they are great conversation starters. One of the things I’ve noticed when I do write reviews—I don’t tend to do too many these days but we occasionally sprinkle them into my blog—is that they do trigger people to share their experience of products as well. Sometimes, that ends up in a bit of a debate where people disagree but most times the conversation is really a fruitful one as people will share their experiences of a product. That makes your blog more useful for everyone.

The last reason I think reviews are great is that they build credibility. When you write a good review, a well balanced review, a review that showcases what you know, people begin to take notice of you in your industry. This can open up all kinds of opportunities for you.

I remember the first time that I wrote a book review of a book that I really loved and of an author that I really admired. About a week after I published that review, I got an email from that author, it opened up relationship with that particular person. They later became a guest blogger on my blog and a bit of a collaborator as well. That’s someone to this day that I continue to email back and forth with. You never know where things might end up when you do reviews.

That’s my challenge today is to write a review. You could write a review on anything, it doesn’t have to be a product, it doesn’t have to be a service. It could be something that you use regularly or something that you’ve just started using. It could be a first impression review, it could be on a movie, it could be on a book, an ebook, a course. It might be on a conference or an event that you’ve been to, a concert. It might be a review of another blog, it might be a review of a restaurant, a song, a TV show, some clothes you own, a gadget, an app, a software that you have, a computer, the list goes on and on. Choose something that’s going to be interesting to your particular audience, something that I guess touches on the topic of your blog.

I do have some further reading for you today. I know some of you have not had any experience in writing reviews so I’ve got a couple of posts on the show notes today which guides to writing product reviews. They will relate also to some of the other types of reviews that you might want to do today.

The challenge today is to write and publish a review post. You can do it as a written post, a video, a podcast, anything you like. Then, head over to the ProBlogger Challenge Group on Facebook and share the link to the post that you have published, the new post that you’ve published that’s a review post. And then, check out some of the other reviews that people will be submitting as a result of this particular episode and this particular challenge.

If you get a moment, share some of those reviews that relate to your audience. Encourage those who are participating in the challenge. We all get so much more out of this week of challenges if we share and encourage and support one another.

Also, pay real attention in the Facebook group to anyone else who might be in your niche. You never know what collaborations might come out of getting to know someone else in your niche. You might end up doing guest posts for one another or even creating a product with one another, all kinds of opportunities I know will come out of this Facebook group.

Thanks for listening today, I can’t wait to read your reviews. I’ll check out as many as I can and share a few over on my social accounts as well to spread a little love. I’ll talk to you tomorrow in Episode 141, the fourth challenge in the ProBlogger Seven Days to Get Your Blogging Groove Back Challenge. Thanks for listening!

How did you go with today’s episode?

I would love to hear about how product reviews affect your blog, and how the challenge is going for you.

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