So I decided to write this follow-up post, not to brag about winning the contest, but rather to help you with some tips if you are doing reviews on your blog or if you are thinking about starting to do this at some point in the future.
Here are the 5 top points that I think helped me win the contest:
1. Taking the challenge
I found out about the contest relatively late, and I almost said:
Neh, I really don’t have time for this…
How is this fitting into my blog?
There must be tons of other bloggers out there who will participate!
Other than giving blogging advice to practically everybody who’s listening to me :), I never wrote a “formal” blog review.
But I kept the thought in my mind until I got a few ideas to start writing.
2. Following the rules
The contest had a few simple rules, like mentioning that the post was written for a contest, putting up some links in the review post, and having a minimum number of words. It was important to follow those rules to be considered as a contest entry.
3. Choosing what to review
I would have not entered to review just anything out there. Making sure that you know enough about the topic you are reviewing is key, because you want to give valuable feedback, and not to rant about something you are not familiar with. For me, reviewing a website/blog comes easy, because I basically share blogging tips with anybody who wants to listen to me :)
4. Being honest
When you write a review, it’s really easy to get caught up into being critical and writing only about the so-called bad things. However, if you want your review to really make a difference, you need to focus on the good things also. You want to write both about the bad and the good. And the ugly:) With that in mind, I structured my review as a list post, clearly showing 10 things to improve and 10 things to keep.
5. Keeping it simple
I like to write posts that are short and to the point, and most (if not all) of my blog posts are like that. The way I decided to structure the information as lists was really easy to follow and read. I also edited and revised a couple times to make sure the post was free of typos and other mistakes.
Are you writing product or blog reviews in your blog? I’d love to hear what tips you have for these types of posts! Leave me a comment, will you?
Oh, and please bookmark dukeo.com, this site is a gem of awesome information for bloggers! In addition, Ste is planning more interesting contests in the future ;)