Share your review writing tips

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Share your review writing tips

Crystal1 Crystal1
I thought it might be interesting to start a thread where advanced reviewers can share little tips and tricks they've picked up over the years when it comes to writing a great review, and where old and new reviewers alike can pick up a few new ideas!

One habit I've picked up is listing the questions I have about a product before it arrives. I often forget these as soon as the item is in my hands, so it's useful to be able to pull out my questions when I go to write the review to remember what I was curious about.

I've also learned to save my review to draft when it's finished, let it sit for a few hours, and *then* go back to read it over. This serves two purposes- First, I usually remember another point or two I want to add, even though I thought I'd already covered everything. Second, letting a little time pass so that what I wrote isn't as fresh in my mind makes reading it over for errors and clarity a lot more effective!

What have you learned? What would you like to learn how to do better?
03/01/2012
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js250 js250
Write your review and wait at least an hour or two before correcting it and publishing. This makes proofing it a lot easier. Have a notebook for questions, points to get across, etc. and read it when writing your review. Also, have the item right there with you so you can study it and go over some details that caught your attention.
03/01/2012
Kindred Kindred
I always hold the toy/product in my hand as I'm writing the review so that I can think of questions as I'm writing. I also make believe that the person I'm writing to has no toy experience and has never seen a picture of the item before.
03/01/2012
Jul!a Jul!a
Think about the questions that you would want answered if you were reading a review on that product, and make sure that you answer them. Try to walk us through the product verbally, starting with a bit about the packaging. Tell us what thoughts or feelings you had as you were experiencing everything for the first time, but maybe pretend you're telling a good friend about it over coffee.

The extended template is an awesome thing, but not always available and not always necessary for writing a great review. If you prefer the standard template, create your own template for things that you can follow that will help you be as thorough as you can be.
03/01/2012
PolyLove PolyLove
I thought about making a post like this, but I am glad I checked for one first! Would it be okay for advanced reviewers to share their tips on video reviews as well?

And thank you all for your tips!! -taking notes-
03/01/2012
Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
Get that coffee or tequila or whatever - this will probably be a long post - but it's full of the things I wish someone had told me when I was starting. Then again - I've had mentors who did help me a lot and pointed out some of these things.

First of all - find your voice and your style and realize that it is going to change not when you review a new type of product (for instance - reviewing lingerie after having done several dildo reviews) but also upon how you feel about a product. A three star review might not be as easy to write as a 5 star review. That's ok and that's normal.

Also - not all reviews are "rumble-worthy". I used to beat myself up when I would write a review and recognize that it wasn't as good as other reviews I'd done which had been in a review rumble. The fact is - while you always want to do your best - not every review will be "excellent". I wrote what I thought was an awesome review - asked someone I trusted to read it and then was shocked when they came back and said, "It's useful but you didn't tell what type of batteries were in the bullet and how you turned on the bullet in the dildo, etc.". Part of me went, "DUH...it's a bullet that comes with dildos...you know...push button...watch batteries..." Another part of me went "Oh wow..he's right. I never caught that".

When it comes to lingerie, I think it's really important to talk about how it fit compared to what the size chart says it should fit. I like knowing the length of the piece because I know what my torso length is and I can judge how far down the piece might come on me. I like knowing if the straps are comfortable - I wanna know how to wash it.

If it's a toy - I want to know about the batteries needed and the different functions. Because I hate going back and forth to the product page, I prefer to see measurements in a review but I won't knock it down to lower than useful if it doesn't have measurements unless it's missing a lot of other things. I hate hate hate reading, "This will fit everyone"...cause no - I can think of very few - if any toys - that will fit anyone. I read a bullet review today and it felt like porn as I was reading it and talking about how awesome it is and I have the same bullet and was like, "Wow..must be nice...it doesn't work well for me because of the type of plastic and the tip being angled and the noise is too distracting for both my honey and I". So when I read about how it will work for anyone - I sorta closed my window with a bit of disgust and walked away to keep from replying. I've had guys tell me "oh this should work for any woman...my girlfriend/fiancee' loves it.." and then find out its 1 5/8" ....um...no...that's not gonna fit anyone. So be careful about generalized statements like that.

For bath and body products - I wanna know how it smells and how it lathers up and if the smell fills the bathroom and how long the smell lasts on the skin and how your skin feels 12 hours later. Can I use this with another perfume that maybe I like to wear or will this interfere because it is so strong? If there are other products in the line, I like to know that so I can check them out and consider layering the scent. I don't care if you and your husband had sex in the tub or shower and it still cleaned fine..I wanna hear more about YOUR skin 8-12 hours later.

I like reading comparisons...this is like that or it isn't like this. We have one reviewer who does bath and body products and she lists all the ingredients and what they do. I admire her for that and I stay away from doing that because that seems to be her "niche" and she does it so well. So I made my own niche of owning several of the different lines of products and I can compare the different lines. Create your own "niche" if you work in a particular line of reviews.

I always try to go to a company's website and check it out to see if I can find some other tidbit of information to share in the review. I have been known to contact companies for more information about how to care for a product or for additional information on ingredients, etc.

Since I love to compare products, I broke down and ordered a Vixskin dildo since I'm going to be working on some dildo reviews. I felt like I needed a Vixskin to have something to compare these with - I already have O2 dildos.

I also like pictures in reviews if you can share them. Sometimes pictures say more than thousand words. Let me share a picture I'm putting in a dildo review that should be published fairly soon. It will be going in the materials section where I talk about how flexible the dildo is.



In the review, I'm talking about how I'm not sure how good this dildo would be for anal play or using in a suction cup due to its flexibility. Does the picture help you see my point?

Here's another picture I'm using in the design section...

Does that give you a good idea of the veins on this?

How about this when I'm talking about how the head seems different than others I've had because it has "bumps" on it where I thought a ridge might be...



I know not everyone can do pictures....


Finally, one thing I was told years ago as a homeschool book/curriculum reviewer was to stop saying, "I think that" or "It might be" and stuff like that. That dilutes the review and makes my point less powerful. For instance, "I think that this dildo will not work well for suction cups because it is so flexible" has less "strength" or "conviction" to it than when I say, "This dildo will not work well for suction cups because it is so flexible". I try to go through my reviews and take out anytime I say "I think that". It's one of my weaknesses.

I hope this helps!
03/01/2012
- Kira - - Kira -
I also always have the item in hand when writing. I feel like my descriptions are more accurate this way. It also means I don't forget some small thing about the look or feel because it's right in front of me.

I try to answer any question that anyone may have about the toy, even questions I may not have had.

I use pictures but try to describe everything as if the person can't see the product page photo or the pictures in my review. In general, I pretend the product page doesn't exist at all so all possible information is included on the page.

Seconding using a format when using the Standard template.

Experience info is key. Sharing how something worked for me is the fun part of the review. Without experience info, you're just writing a more detailed product description.
03/01/2012
- Kira - - Kira -
Quote:
Originally posted by Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
Get that coffee or tequila or whatever - this will probably be a long post - but it's full of the things I wish someone had told me when I was starting. Then again - I've had mentors who did help me a lot and pointed out some of these ...
Completely agree with not saying "will work for everyone." I think that's a mistake a lot of people make in the beginning. I also get irritated when I see that on a toy that was a total bust for me. I especially get irritated with the "will hit everyone's G spot!" claims when I have a hard time with 99% of G spot toys. No, no it won't.

On that same note, refrain from "good for beginners" claims on toys that are weak, poorly made, or generally suck. I did this in the beginning and wish I could edit it out of a few reviews. Beginners don't deserve weak or sucky toys any more than someone who has been using toys for 20 years does. Just because someone is starting out doesn't mean they are super sensitive to power.
03/01/2012
Cookie Monster Mike Cookie Monster Mike
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
I always hold the toy/product in my hand as I'm writing the review so that I can think of questions as I'm writing. I also make believe that the person I'm writing to has no toy experience and has never seen a picture of the item before.
I also do this! Even for bath products.

But for me every review is different. I sort of have a system but every really varies from product to product.

I don't really like dumbing my reviews down to the point where it is geared towards someone who has zero knowledge in sex toys/bath products. Reviews shouldn't be that way really, because there is tons of information to find on Eden and the forums, also the internet in general. In the end a review is reviewing the product, again this varies on a product to product basis.

I try to cover the basics with people new into the world of sex toys, this is important so they don't make a bad buying decision in getting something that will definitely not work out for them. I'm not going to review a jumbo size expert anal toy and not include a warning to beginners.

But as most people are saying, I often ask myself what kind of questions would I want to know about the product. Then I do as much research as I can into the product, it's ingredients or what it is made of. I look up history on that type of product online, and also look for various ways to use it.

I am learning still with reviews, I have been going into a lot of detail with most of mine as of late but I am trying to limit that down. It's hard when I feel that most of the information is relevant and helpful. I guess the trick is to look at the product in an "out of the box" style, imagine it was the first toy you were looking at. What are you going to want to know about it.

Honestly, I do not have a template, I do not keep a list of anything to remind me for the next review. I do EVERYTHING from scratch each time. I take my time to make sure my reviews are as accurate as I can get them. I'm not perfect and sometimes I get it wrong but that's okay.

Lately I have noticed a few reviews that seem to stray from the purpose of a review in general. We are here to review the product, not give out a life story and other non-related things to the review and product. But I am not saying you shouldn't make it somewhat personal. I find I need to get a happy medium, include some personal use and comments, but not go on a rampage and focus on comparing it to 10 other products and put more detail into those than the actual product I am reviewing. Okay that's my mini rant/thought or whatever.

In the end we all have our unique style that works for us. I enjoy writing reviews and I enjoy taking my time on them. Depending on how easily a review will flow out of me, it takes a good 4+ hours total time to complete it. That includes taking photos, editing, uploading and linking. Does not include testing the product. I honestly find some reviews I have read recently just seem so rushed and not really involved. It's goes somewhat like this, here's the product, this is what it does, i liked it....the end. There is just a lot of missing relevant information.

So in conclusion, I take my time to research the product I am reviewing, I prefer using extended template because everything is pretty much already broken up in sections for me. I find looking at at least 3 sites on the particular product really helps, usually company website with hopefully more detailed product info, and 2 websites generalizing the product or the material/ingredients it is made of. Comparing with other products really helps me fill in gaps on information to include beneficial pros and/or cons. Wow okay so I just realized I wrote a mini novel. Sorry to bore everyone ha!
03/01/2012
SassySam SassySam
all good advice, thank you.
12/09/2012
Total posts: 10
Unique posters: 9