Do you leave reviews?

Some people are fastidious about leaving reviews for people and products while others brush it off as a superfluous social construct and “I just don’t have time for that.”

We’re all busy, but think about the reviews you’ve read on a product or book. Did it help you in making a decision? Chances are, at least once, you’ve allowed a review to influence your decision making process. On the whole, reviews have become necessary in a world built on competition.

So, how do you give a review without allowing it to take up too much of your time?

Personally, I prefer reviews that are to the point anyway. Too much detail and I either stop reading the review or become uninterested in the product. Not ideal. Here are the steps I use:

  • Rate the product honestly

I know this sounds “duh”, but often reviews are not honest to one extreme or another. I find that I’m much more interested in products and books that have a variety of ratings. Straight 5 star ratings are just as suspicious to me as a one or two star rated product. Why? Because nothing is perfect. So unless you really think it’s worth five, be honest.

  • Don’t spend a lot of time summarizing

You’re not writing a book report, so keep the summarizing to a minimum. Summaries take the mystery out of the story for the readers and for products, there are already descriptions with each product! Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you must summarize, keep it short and sweet—a couple of sentences should be sufficient.

  • Identify your purpose—are you writing the review to rave? To point out a flaw? To offer criticism?

Once you know why you are writing your review, jump right in. People appreciate it when you get to the point quickly in a review.

  • Unless you actually are trying to point out that it’s the “best” or the “worst” ever. Avoid extremes in your language

Explain why you liked (or hated) the book or product, but also give examples and reasoning. I suggest trying to avoid spoilers, but using evidence proves that you weren’t just a friend or someone hired to write a review. In this way, the review takes on more meaning for the audience.

  • Avoid criticizing the author/creator. Stick to reviewing the product.

No need to mud-sling. People do have feelings. Reviewing the product is important and valuable, but stick to the product or book.

What process do you use to review? Do you have other suggestions?

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