Friday, July 19, 2013

Stacie's Product Reviewing Tips (based on experience)

I started doing product reviews earlier this year. Not quite sure how I got started, but as I got more into blogging, I started noticing buttons on other people's blogs. Before I would Click on the button and I would sign up for a new affiliate or book review site. Now, I can click on a button and get a new product review site. I love Tomoson, Influenster, and Smiley 360. I love BlogDash and Bloggerdise. Those are my primary product review sites.  I Then, the facebook groups, I started getting into.
These are my tips for product (and book) reviews:

  1. Take a picture of the product as soon as you take it out of the box. Do a quick video. Do the unveiling of the box and product (if it's influenster). Usually, I open the box, take the products out of the box, and then toss the box. No offense against the box, but I don't want a room full of boxes and packing materials. Note the name of the company on the box. Sometimes, I have seen where the company would send the product without any marketing material. Only way I can identify the company was to look at the box. My iPad cases, which came recently did not have any material. I had no idea what it was. My package, which came yesterday, also had no marketing materials, but I knew what it was and where it came from. Taking a picture also shows evidence of everything, in the box, before consumption (such as food or sample creams, etc). Definitely, if it is food, my kids will eat it. 
  2. For books--paper or hardback--what I started doing is writing the name of the publishing company and the host company, along with the review due by date on the inside. I will forget. I also write it in my planner because I will forget. I had an incident recently where I assumed a book was a librarything member giveaway, but it was a bethany house book. trying to finish it now, so I can submit my review within the next week or so. 
  3. If you get a heavy box, like the one I got yesterday, take it to the room you are going to install it or display it in, and then unpack the box. no point in unpacking a heavy box in one room, and installing it another. 
  4. Sometimes a video takes multiple takes. Factor in youtube downtime, kids interrupting you, computer shutting down accidently. 
  5. When writing a post, make sure to get all the mandatory information in first. For example, when I started on Tomoson, my first review did not include the verification codes. I had to go back and insert those in and submit my review again. I can add my review in next, along with videos and pictures. Another example, I was in book review mode on Amazon. Trying to get the reviews from the blog into amazon, good reads, librarything, and shelfari. I was copying the review portion without copying the disclaimer portion. I had to go back and edit about 5 reviews to put in the disclaimer. 
  6. lighting. I don't have the best lighting coming from the webcam or the phone. I am looking into reviewing or buying a digital camera/camcorder. Sound: check your microphones before starting the review. Do a test video first to make sure the lighting and sound is ok. 
  7. Make sure to put the disclaimer into all your reviews. If you got it for free, say it. If it's a sponsored post, say it. Don't plagiarize. Cite your sources. If you are copying from the media kit per instructions, say it. If you got any compensation, whether money, clothing, tickets, books, say it. Acknowledge it. acknowledge the company. Do not displease the FTC. Not to mention, Google, Facebook, Wordpress, the company, and others. Be honest in your dealings. I am a business management major. One of the most important classes I have taken is ethics. Be ethical and honest. 

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Please leave a comment. Thank you. Stacie