How to Write Simple Product Reviews
Reader Fotis left a great comment on the Reddit marketing post. At the end, he asked a pretty good question.
When I started writing product reviews on Fiverr way back in the day, most of the time it was straightforward. You write an introductory paragraph. Then you write a few features and benefits and sum up who wants it and what they want it for.
Sometimes though, I would get a request that would stump me. It’d be a really simple product. It’s easy to create a product review for say, a book that’ll give you a seven figure career. But how do you write a product review that’s 500-1000 words long about a shoelace?
A lot of other people have had the same problem. A few people have told me that they also get stuck at the 100 word mark when they’ve said everything they can think of about a simple product.
There are a few methods that I can think of which will help you write pretty compelling reviews for even the simplest products. This’ll be good for those of you who create niche sites and those of you who work on freelance websites where this sort of work is run-of-the-mill.
If You Want To Write Product Reviews For Simple Products, Then Start With This Framework
Firstly, there’s no such thing as a boring product. We’ll come back to this in a minute.
Secondly, remember that you’ve still got to do your basic writing process. You need a headline, lead-in, features and benefits, and call to action. You can’t skip any of those.
Thirdly, remember that to some extent the product isn’t relevant. I mean, obviously we’re going to write a review for our product. We’re going to have to talk about the pros and cons, (If we’re being objective and not just selling.) We’re going to have to talk about what the product is and probably how to use it.
However; when you sell any product, remember you’re selling a solution to a problem. You’re also devoting time to describing the problem and how it feels to be relieved of that problem.
A simple paperclip is one boring, cheap product. But for a guy like me who has various notes and crazy schemes everywhere, a paperclip can be a lifesaver. A packet of different coloured paperclips… I can get excited about that.
The above is an example of what I talked about yesterday; you might be in bland-land with no ideas, but it’ll take only a single idea to turn a boring product and zero word count into a starting board by which you dive into several different avenues.
With the background stuff done, let’s talk about some of the structures you can use.
Story Time – The Disguised Simple Product Review
Any product solves a problem. Any sales letter presents a narrative. Put the two together, and you’ve got something to work with.
The paperclip example above is a good example. Nobody is going to get excited about paperclips… or so you’d think.
But imagine how frustrating it is to have to wade through hundreds of pages of A4 paper trying to find the exact sheet you need because you’ve decided to come back to a project you started six months ago and then got bored with.
Now, after those six months, you’ve got a mountain of other paper related to different projects, and because you’re inefficient when it comes to filing and ambitious when it comes to new projects, you’ve got no idea where the particular piece of paper which explained everything so efficiently is, and you know it’s going to take hours to find it but more hours to write it all out from scratch again.
At that point, you’ll want to buy a packet of paperclips, some ring binders and never repeat the same mistake again.
If you can take a reader on a journey through those emotions and embed how the product would have saved you from them, then you’re most of the way there.
The Connoisseur of Simple Product Reviews
Let’s assume you’re not into storytelling and the above doesn’t apply. Maybe you’re selling something even more basic than a paperclip.
Every product has a history.
If your product is something mass-manufactured from China, then it’s come a long way. If it’s some bit of plastic, say, a silicone ice cube holder, then that’s strange in and of itself. You might need a cold glass of water, but someone somewhere has designed a plastic printing machine that creates it. Someone then packages it up and it goes on the cargo ship and comes all the way across the world. For just $0.19 you get to have ice cold refreshments for the rest of your life.
On the flip side, if your item is handmade, say a wooden spoon, then there’s a reason for that. In the mass-production era I just described, why would anyone sit and make a spoon by hand? There’s got to be a reason, right?
Even the simplest products have evolved over time. The way they’re created, the way they’re supplied, the amount they cost… all of those things are talking points which you could build a sales letter around.
My uncle told me that there’s more technology in a mobile phone than there was on Apollo 11. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s a fascinating way to sell a cheap phone. Similarly, back in medieval times books used to be created lovingly over decades by dedicated monks… and now you can read as many as you want on Kindle Unlimited for £7.99 a month. A chef’s knife today is nothing like a chef’s knife twenty years ago.
All of these sorts of things add up to pretty interesting sales letters if you let them take you to weird places. Throw in some picture comparisons and remember to include all the other elements you need to include, and you could easily write a thousand words on the simplest of products in this way.
The hardest thing about sitting to write a simple product review is overcoming the feeling that there’s nothing to write about. When you write a simple product review, there’s a temptation to put, “Well… it does this, and it does that… and that’s it.” It’s the same temptation that people new to copywriting always fall for: You’re thinking logically instead of thinking emotionally.
Remember, you’re always solving a need. Outside of shelter, food and water, human needs are always complex emotional things.
The above couple of exercises will help you to write simple product reviews by making you think about products in outside-of-the-box ways. If you give them a try, you’ll find that you have plenty of things to talk about.
You’ll also find you’re pretty unique amongst your competitors, because most simple product reviews are just rehashes of the same old stuff that everyone else writes. If you don’t believe me, check out phone reviews and other tech reviews. You can go to a hundred different tech news websites and read exactly the same review written in one hundred different ways. That’s the tech industry as well, where products are actually exciting.
Nobody realistically thinks outside the box or researches stuff for simple product reviews. That’s why if you do the slightest little bit, you’ll write material that stands out amongst all the reviews that are basically the product descriptions rewritten in sentences.
Anyway, I hope this has given you a few ideas!