How to Become a Sought-After Online Reviewer

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You’ve seen the websites, the blogs and the columns in regional and national print publications—all offering reviews on products—and you’ve thought, “It sure would be fun to get free stuff in exchange for a few written words.” But without a platform—a place to show off your reviews—becoming a reviewer was out of the question. In the past it might have been, but thanks to blogging technology, anyone can become a sought after online reviewer.

Things You'll Need

  • Products to review
  • Computer
  • Blog or web presence
  • Post office box or mailing address
  • Business license
  • Business account should you opt to include advertising on your blog or sell merchandise
  • Affiliate accounts
  • Determine what you want to review. Decide if you want to review a wide range of items that meet a specific niche, theme or target audience or if you want to stick to reviewing specific items. Knowing what you want to review will help when it comes time to design a web presence.

  • Decide on a target audience. Whether your goal is to obtain a column with an online publication or develop a website (or blog) of your own, you need to know who your target audience is. A target audience is a group of individuals with something in common, like moms, gamers, technology geeks, home business owners, people who meet certain income guidelines or people within a specific age group. Knowing your target audience is key to finding and obtaining contracts with companies willing to give you something free in exchange for a little coverage.

  • Develop a schedule. Most reviews must be written and online within a specified time frame—usually two weeks. Knowing what your schedule is can help you determine how many products you can review, write up and post online in a given week.

  • Find a voice. Every reviewer has his own style and that should shine through with each review. Your voice is your personality in text. If you’re more interested in knowing the flaws, you may want to spotlight the negatives in your review. If, however, you feel there’s enough negativity in the world, you may want to concentrate on positive reviews.

  • Design a web presence. In today’s marketplace, blogs are hot. Choosing a blog as your platform is a great way to build a name for yourself as a reviewer. The key, however, is to host your blog off a network, using your own domain name.

  • Write a few reviews. To show good faith and to show potential companies and public relations departments that you mean business, you must have something to show them. Start by reviewing products you already own, then purchase a couple of recently released products you’ve wanted or needed and blog about them.

  • Write a “get reviewed” page. This is where you tell people what you want to review, who your target audience is, how many viewers you have, how you market your blog and when you’ll have your reviews online. It’s also the place you remind potential reviewees that providing a product for review doesn’t guarantee a good review and that all products become your property.

  • Join affiliate programs (see Resources below). Some companies, such as Warner Brothers Online, require their reviewers to include links to purchase points. Joining an affiliate program is a great way to promote the product you’ve just reviewed and earn a little money in the process.

  • Market your blog. Once you have between 10 and 20 reviews on your blog, visit other blogs and leave comments. Visit forums related to your blog’s topic of choice and share your knowledge. Write up a few reviews that you choose not to showcase on your blog and distribute them to free content groups. When you have 30 to 50 reviews on your blog, begin marketing it to the public via paid advertisements and press releases.

  • Join a few public relations programs (see Resources below). These are companies that work with a team of bloggers to promote products. When you’re approved into their programs, they’ll email you announcements showcasing specific products. You can then choose which products you want to review. Some companies put you on automatic shipment of specific products based upon the profile you fill out.

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