Tiff’s Formula on Writing an Amazon Product Review

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Hi everyone! People always come to me stumped about how to write about a product. So I thought I would give you a formula to work with that might help – kind of an outline of things you should look for or include.

You can switch this up in any order you like, but I’m going to give you my favorite order. And no, I don’t always write it them same way. And yes, feel free to grab the text I used here for the review and use it for your own toy site or whatever.

Commentary on What They’re Shopping For

The introduction commentary in the beginning should talk about their current search mission for a product that they need. It’s kind of like how a clerk walks up to you in a store and says, “Can I help you find something?”

And you reply, “Yes, I’m looking for some sort of RC car for my kids. I have a son and a daughter and I wanted to get one for both of them for Christmas.”

So what you do is take the product and write some commentary like that – such as:

“The best part of Christmas morning is seeing your kids sleepily walk into the room and spot a special toy they asked Santa for – and for many families, that often means an RC toy. They’re not just made for boys – girls get in on the action, too. And if we’re being really honest, they’re not just for kids, because we all know parents find it hard to give back the remote after “test driving” it on Christmas morning.”

It’s conversational. You can picture the scene I’ve set. And the person reading it probably relates to it, or can understand how others will. Their reason might be slightly different, but that’s okay.

Explain Your Review

After your introduction, explain how or why you’re going to review this product. People want to know where you’re coming from. So you might say something like this:

“I have always loved RC cars, but some of them are poorly made – and because some manufacturers charge a lot for this action toy, I want to make sure you’re buying something worthy of your investment. So we’re going to look at a hot RC car this year – the Maisto RC Rock Crawler, rated the #1 bestseller on Amazon today.”

Give the Specs

Specs are the specifications of the product. The facts and details they need to get a basic idea of what it is they’re buying. On Amazon, it’s a list of bulletpoints right under the product – and also sometimes more in the description area.

But when writing an article, you don’t just want to list the same bulletpoints. You want to take a spec and write about it. So here are the specs for this product:

maisto

  • Two motors and low gearing make for rugged off-road action
    Articulated front and rear suspension
    6AA for the vehicle (Not included) and 2 AAA (Not included) for the controller
    Tri-Channel Transmitter

And here’s how you’ll write about them. Expand with commentary.

“This particular RC car has a set of motors and low gear options so that when your kid wants to take it on ground that’s not a perfect street or sidewalk, it can perform without getting stuck. Part of helping the car stay in motion is the front and back suspension, which helps keep the tires firmly on the ground.

Because the car takes quite a few batteries, 6 double A for the car and two triple A for the controller, I recommend you invest in some rechargeable batteries. That way you’re not forking over an endless stream of money for one toy.

Now you’ll notice that this RC car has a transmitter with three channels. That’s because they specifically want you to be able to race or play with others. You can have three of these cars going at the same time.”

Talk About Consumer Likes and Dislikes

This is not where you cut and paste consumer reviews. Read. Educate yourself. Then write from scratch. Go through the reviews (I often go through dozens and dozens, skimming the pages) and pick out basic things.

So example, look at this review:

For this, I would simply jot down the following for my notes before I wrote:

  • Price +
  • Terrain +
  • Weather +
  • Noise –

Notice that I put the plus or minus sign afterwards for pro or con to jog my memory. So I would write from scratch. Like this:

“People who have bought this particular RC car aren’t looking for some form of perfection. They just want something cool to play with that does what it says, and this car fits the bill.

They love how affordable it was. Some of these cars cost over $100 – and this one is just under $30. That’s a great gift idea for families on every type of budget. Now once you’re a true collector, you might want to level up, but this makes playtime fun.

As promised, it appears that this car does indeed go over all sorts of terrain. Those who bought it and tested it say it does well off road – and we all know some companies like to say that, even when it’s not true.

One cool thing that I loved to hear is that this RC car did well in less than perfect weather conditions. Consumers say they drove it in the rain and through puddles and it didn’t miss a beat. That makes for some serious off-road fun when your kid can go mudding with their RC car!

Now there are always some drawbacks with products (even for those fancy toys that cost an arm and a leg). One thing people mentioned, but kind of shrugged off, was the sound of the motors. When you have a cheap RC car that is capable of being so mighty, it makes sense that you’ll hear the strain on the engine as it tears up the terrain. So I wouldn’t worry about this too much. Your kid won’t even notice it most likely.”

Add Your Own Opinion

Yes, that’s why they’re ON your site. If all they wanted were specs, they’d read Amazon. They’re looking for you to chime in. So say your opinion. Like this:

“Normally, I’d be skeptical of an RC car under $50 that was worth the money. But this product has over 577 reviews – and it boasts a nice 4 star average. That’s impressive. I also like the way he car looks.

Have you ever seen those monster trucks with wheels the size of a house and what looks like a matchbox car on top? Well, that’s kind of how the ratio of size is here – it looks awesome with big tires.

From what I read, this looks like a step down from collector’s edition, but a step above a basic cheap RC car. So if you’re looking for something fun for your kids, this toy hits the spot – and fits most budgets nicely.”

That’s a 666-word article (Ack! Add a word, quick! LOL). And I didn’t have to do much work at all. Just basic, conversational writing. Read something, educate yourself about it, and talk about it. Simple. Don’t make it harder than it has to be.

Now if you want to take it one step further, you could do the following…

Optional: Give One Other Option and/or an Add On

This is something I often do on my review sites. You can compare it at the end to something else. This is different to a full on comparison article where every aspect of one product is pitted against another. This is just mentioning a quick comparison at the end, like this:

“By the way, Maisto also makes an RC car called the Rock Crawler Extreme – and it’s about $10 or so more than this one, but it has three motors instead of two – including one for steering. You may want to check that out. It’s also rated 4 stars, with a couple hundred reviews.”

Now for add-ons, you can easily look and see what Amazon suggests. For this toy, obviously, you’d want rechargeable batteries. So write this as well:

“To save yourself the hassle of having to run out Christmas morning to find the batteries you forgot, just order them online so you get them with the product. I recommend the AmazonBasics AA Hig Capacity Rechargeable Batteries. You get 8 in a pack and they come already charged for you!”

Now we have a 771-word article with such little effort. Give the formula a try and remember to relax, not be so stiff about your writing. Forget cramming every single detail in there. People want some shopping guidance. Help them get steered the right way and let Amazon do all the rest.

Hope this helped!

Tiff 😉






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27 Responses to Tiff’s Formula on Writing an Amazon Product Review

  1. This is a great little tutorial Tiffany. Sometimes it can be confusing to know what to include and exclude. Most important thing I would say is – keep it conversational and don’t forget to highlight your product links. Ta Tiff 🙂

  2. Colleen says:

    Hi Tiffany,
    New reader here — love this formula! Do you have a link to a typical review site where you use this kind of article so I could see it “in the wild”?

    I’ve shied away from writing review articles because I assumed I would have to purchase the products and actually use them, but this looks like you just do a roundup of what the product is about and the pros and cons that purchasers have mentioned. Do you have to state anywhere that you haven’t had hands on the product?

    Thanks!

    • Tiffany says:

      I don’t share any links except my top10toysforkids.com and that one is done a little differently. But you can just extract that review in italics and see it in action 🙂 You don’t have to state anything – I’m honest if I bought something. Like this article doesn’t say I bought it. Just kind of talks about what looks good, not good, etc.

  3. that’s awesome. I’m saving this to use as a template.

    Sometimes, being conversational is hard for me to do off the top of my head.

  4. Rowena says:

    Tiffany,

    You are such a great writer!!! This is a great post/tutorial.

  5. Lanita says:

    Tiff,

    Where your recipe or formula really helps me to create an introduction in the future is the simplistic way that EVERYONE can relate to, because they have “been there, done that”, when you say…

    “It’s kind of like how a clerk walks up to you in a store and says, “Can I help you find something?”

    And you reply, “Yes, I’m looking for some sort of RC car for my kids. I have a son and a daughter and I wanted to get one for both of them for Christmas.”

    Most suggest writing like you are talking to a friend. While that is all find and good, it never made the grade when I’m trying to figure out how to get started. Once I get the ball rolling, I’m fine, but this…this was IT. Finally, I have been given the key to that ever illusive beginning.

    No longer will I be at a loss for words when it comes to writing and introduction about any product or topic.

    Now, I can visualize all the times I’ve walked into a store, asking questions, talking about the needs I have and better yet…Now, I’ll be mentally walking into the store and playing out the scene in my head and on my keyboard.

    This realization, along with the specs above also clued me into visualizing the product in action and being able to express it in such a way that anyone would understand, regardless of whether I personally own the product that I am “reviewing”.

    Combine all this together and this is PRICELESS. Thanks, Tiff.

    • Tiffany says:

      Well I’m so glad it clicked Lanita! I guess it IS different imagining a discussion with a stranger than a friend.

      • Lanita says:

        Ok…something just occurred to me. You have a niche that you are writing reviews for. After the first review is written, I’m going to struggle with coming up with a NEW introductory portion for my additional product reviews covering the same product type.

        Take your example of RC cars. After my first scenario, I’m back to ground zero trying to come up with a new “tale” to capture the readers attention.

        I go blank on creating the story/tale/BS or “gift of gab” factor or whatever label you wish to give it that would need to be created in order to write more reviews on the topic.

        This, I find of greater hindrance than coming up with a first product review for a topic.

        Suggestions for deviation? Or is that an optimum time to switch to a different type of review altogether, that you are not faced with coming up with another story line, so to speak. Ex: Pros and Cons, Lists, Comparisons, etc.

        As you know, most products in a nice/category have the same benefits, features/specs, etc. so you obviously wouldn’t want ot bore the reader with the same information in every review. Even if you were speaking to a friend that would become monotonous.

        Your thoughts?

        • Tiffany says:

          Well a couple of things to know. First of all, every page on your site is its own standalone page. While you don’t want to replicate them all, just use a bunch of different intros.

          So it’s not all about Christmas morning, right? It’s this:

          – When you were a kid, did you LOVE toys that could go anywhere and do anything? That’s what an RC car does when it’s able to go off roading.

          – There are very few toys that have a perfect indoor-outdoor quality, but an RC car is one of them – when it’s made like the Miasto…

          – Nothing makes kids happier than competing with their toys, and an RC car with triple control options allows your kids to race – without all the danger.

          – RC cars can cost an arm and a leg. So when you find one that’s top quality AND under $30, it’s a sign that you need to checkit out a little more closely.

          – Do you have a kid in your life who has a birthday coming up, and you’re lost on what to get them? RC cars are great for ages 5-15 and both boys and girls like them.

          Read the consumer reviews to listen to their stories. They’ll often tell you WHY they bought it. For themselves, for their kid. So look at this review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R14DCDBBARTJB4/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B003ML36HI&nodeID=165793011&store=toys-and-games – right away she says he wants to drive over obstacles. so go with that. Say, “Do you have a kid who likes to destroy things, but you don’t want all of the mess that comes with that quality of fun? An RC car just might do the trick…”

          That same review talks about snow, so how about this slant? “In the colder months, if you live in a snow-filled area, you might have trouble finding ways to get your kid to play outside. They get bored of sleds after awhile, and building snowmen loses its thrill after awhile. Did you know there’s an RC car that works in the snow? …”

          I also found the snow tip in my keyword search, by the way. If I type in “RC car for” in my Power Suggest Pro, I get “best rc car for beginners” – there’s a slant! I get RC car for dogs to chase – there’s a slant. Do an intro like, “Are you the kind of pet owner who loves to use laser lights for your cats to chase, or RC cars for your dogs to chase? If so, you may not want an expensive RC car, but this one will give you hours of fun…”

          Tiff 😉

          • Lanita says:

            Yeah, it this…

            “While you don’t want to replicate them all, just use a bunch of different intros.”

            …that has always given me the most grief as I mentioned my prior responses. Especially when you have chosen a product niche that has say 20+ products of the subniche.

            You want to all be original with little to no duplicate content.

            That is not to say that I don’t eventually come up with an intro, because I do. But not having the ability to quickly come up with the intro, so I can proceed forward within a reasonable amount of time my review eats all the precious time I could be working on my next review.

            So, Tiff, your last wonderful example allowed me to extract a “TOP 10 Intro Solutions” Checklist from this vital information from your last response. Becuase I never want to lose sight of it, I’m am writing on a note card and putting my lock box, so I don’t lose it.

            Of course, I’ll leave my working example on my computer desk as a desk reference.

            They are as follows:

            1. Consider location/environment-where product is or can be used, how it affect usage and how it will affect buying habits.

            2. Childhood – what we all have to pull from that will be uniquely our own. But will not always be useful to us depending on the niche.

            3. Knowing your audience- example…with kids, we know how they love to compete. Adults to for that matter. So that’s easy to relate to or convey to our readers. Only adults who don’t have or have never been around children might struggle with a kid’s niche or toy niche for kids.

            4. Think of other scenarios/factors that influence decisions- those in our lives…kids, family, friends, animals, living environments, etc.

            5.Special occasions -holidays, birthdays, weddings/anniversaries, etc.

            6. Look to audience feedback- i.e. reviews on Amazon, forums, etc.

            7. How does the cost factor influence the buying decisions and under what conditions?

            8. What can you do with the product? What will it do or perform that leaves you amazed and it “keeps on trucking?”

            9. Always look for ways to solve a problem.

            10. Lastly, or perhaps this should be my first “go-to” when stuck for ideas for that unique intro, use Power Suggest Pro!

            I can’t thank you enough.

          • Tiffany says:

            Wonderful and helpful list Lanita!

  6. Chin chin says:

    So glad to have read this post. Thank you so much for this helpful tutorial. I hope I can do better at writing product reviews.

  7. Edie Dykeman says:

    When I first started writing reviews it was difficult for me to write the negative side of a product. I thought it would turn people off and they wouldn’t click the link to the product. I was surprised to find out they will buy, usually, whether the information is pro or con.

  8. Hi Miss Tiffany,

    You’ve just offered up the best online writing advice anyone will ever get:

    “…Just basic, conversational writing. Read something, educate yourself about it, and talk about it. Simple. Don’t make it harder than it has to be…”

    Real fine ‘how-to’ example. Thank you.
    Edward

  9. Carol Amato says:

    Hey, Tiff –

    Excellent help in this area, so thank you!

    I tend to be one of the people that complicate the simple. 😉

    Have a great weekend.

    – Carol

  10. Lanita says:

    Correction to last response…Should have read:

    But not having the ability to quickly come up with the intro, so I can proceed forward within a reasonable amount of time, eats up all the precious time I could be working on my next review.

    ~~~~~~

    Of course, that Top 10 checklist I just wrote is in addition to the ones I extracted from your original post and previous responses as well. Now I have quite a few places to quickly scan for a unique intro. that I can create in the least amount of time.

    You also mentioned this and it made me question whether I am doing something right. You said…

    “First of all, every page on your site is its own standalone page.”

    This for me goes back to site structure/hierarchy.
    So, naturally your pages would be categories something like the example below:

    Stand Mixer Reviews (home page)
    Detailed Reviews
    Compare Stand Mixers
    Under $100
    $100-200
    $200-300
    $300-400
    And of course, the privacy, TOS, Affiliate pages, etc. are set up on pages as well.

    I have often heard people say that they use pages rather than posts for reviews, etc. on their website. My question is under what situation would someone want to have a website made up of pages rather than posts?

    Would that be for “thin sites” or extremely micro-niched sites that would not have a lot of content?

    • Tiffany says:

      I don’t overthink it like that Lanita. I only do every step if I’m following a specific course. Otherwise, when I start one off the cuff, I basically install WP and some plugins I like and start posting. I don’t do categories at all. 🙂

  11. Mary Davis says:

    Great tips, Tiff. On some of my reviews that tied into each other, I also add a paragraph similar to Amazon’s “People who bought this also purchased that.”

    Here is a blurb from my ‘Frozen’ PLR pack:

    And combined with other playsets, such as the ‘Frozen’ Castle & Ice Palace playset, or the ‘Frozen’ Royals Sisters doll set, young girls will be able to re-create the movie with many creative props, and can play along while watching their favorite movie, ‘Frozen’.

    This gives marketers the option to cross promote a variety of products that tie in together, and insert other relevant affiliate links into the review.

    Thanks again for the tips, and keep those fingers flying!

  12. Edward says:

    Great post here Tiffany!

    As I was reading this post what popped in my head was a challenge you could do as you are really good at writing reviews how about like a 14 day “How To write Amazon Reviews that convert challenge”? I think it would sell real well.

    All The Best
    Your Fan
    Edward Haberthur

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