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!