The following guidelines will help you to success and a trusted online presence as a reviewer.
Reviewing free product supplied specifically for the purpose of review can be a tricky process.
To be respected and trusted as a reviewer, it is important to be honest in the reviews written – about both the positive and negative. It won’t take long for you to be found out if you constantly provide positive reviews regardless of your honest opinion.
For one thing, it just doesn’t sound natural. There’s no such thing as the PERFECT product, and therefore, there should rarely be a 100% positive review.
The reviews I have written have been the result of:
- Trial of a product offered by a company in return for a paid blog post.
- Free product supplied specifically for review.
- Uncompensated reviews for products I already use or have used.
I never promise a positive review.
Instead, when I am compensated for a post or provided free product, I stipulate that my review will be 100% honest, or I will refuse the review request or assignment.
It is important to consider the source of the product for review.
Is it from a reputable company? Are they making unreasonable demands as to review content and tone?
It is also important to consider what is expected to be done with the product provided for review:
- Some companies request that the product be returned upon completion or refusal of the review. This is more likely true of large ticket items. Be sure the return is at their expense – not yours.
- Companies are more likely to agree to the reviewer keeping smaller ticket items.
- Occasionally, companies will request that the product be offered on the blog as a free give-away or prize.
Following one’s own conscience, as well as the real and implied rules of the marketplace will lead to a trusted presence as a blog writer and product reviewer. I value my trusted online presence for all of my blogs and intend to continue accepting review assignments provided I am free to be objective and honest.