I’ve been doing reviews on my other blog, Emily Reviews for over six years now. I’ve occasionally had friends, family members or acquaintances express how cool they think my blog is, and how they would love to “get free stuff”. Product reviewing is fun for me. It saves me money from having to purchase certain items for my home, or to use as gifts. However, most people don’t really realize how much work goes into running a blog! Writing the blog post is maybe 25% of where my time is spent. Promoting my blog takes up more of my time than anything else, and taking photos, editing photos, and editing the post is time consuming as well.
About a year and a half ago being an Amazon reviewer seemed to get really popular. Since then I have gotten several emails from strangers who are Amazon reviewers. They tell me they review on Amazon, and want to review a certain item that they saw me review on Emily Reviews, and are curious how to go about getting an Amazon review for that item. The answer is always “I have no idea.”
I do review on Amazon in my free time, but it’s separate from my blog. I don’t review products that I get from Amazon review sites on my blog, and I don’t review my blog review items on Amazon. I know that some Amazon reviewers start blogs so they can share a review on that blog. However, in most cases brands who are interested in Amazon reviews are not after the same benefits as the brands who reach out to me at Emily Reviews.
Why do sellers seek out Amazon reviews?
Brands usually seek out Amazon reviews because they want to make more sales on Amazon. They know that if their product has several reviews that are positive, and some that include photos (or even video) of their item in-use, that will help sway people into choosing their item vs their competitors item when comparing the two on Amazon. Having a lot of reviews on an item also can help that item show up higher in search results. Have you ever noticed that if you type in “T shirt” you will get results for shirts that have a lot of reviews, but if you jump to page 10 you’ll see several shirts with no reviews at all? That isn’t a coincidence! Brands know that if their item shows up closer to the top when searched, the odds of people purchasing their item is greater.
What are sellers looking for in an Amazon review?
Brands usually want amazon reviews that are thorough. They want the reviewer to comment on size, quality, functionality, etc. Many people who use Amazon and look at reviews have some sort of question about the product that they want answered. If they are looking at a toy, they might be wondering ‘Is my 5 year old too little for this?” so an Amazon reviewer that says “My 4.5 year old LOVES this and can use it all by himself” can really help sway the purchase of that person with a 5 year old. Sometimes the question that potential-buyers have is related to a detail about the physical item, so having personal photos of a variety of angles of the product can help too. Plus, personal photos show the item in “real life”, often next to other objects in the persons home which can help the individual better visualize the size of the item. Brands are also looking for reliable reviewers who are known to actually do the reviews instead of run off with the product. This is why many brands will choose amazon reviewers with a good amazon review score.
Why do brands seek out blog reviews?
Most brands who seek out blog reviews are looking to promote their product to new people. They want to put their brand and/or product in front of new eyeballs. This is the key to why many brands who are interested in blog reviews, are NOT interested in Amazon reviews. With Amazon reviews, they help sway people who are ALREADY aware of the product in question because they looked it up on Amazon. With blog reviews, they get to reach new people who did not know the product even existed. Many blogs have a specific theme such a fitness or fashion, so a brand who knows their target audience is interested in fitness would be more likely to seek out a blog that focuses on fitness as the readers there are highly likely to be interested in fitness. Some brands who are interested in blog reviews are also interested in getting links to their site. How well a brand shows up in search results is somewhat impacted by how many other sites link to their site. If you are new to product reviewing on a blog, be sure to look up FTC requirements and nofollow links! If you are sent a product for review, you must use a nofollow link when linking to the brand in that review post.
What are brands looking for in a blog review?
Brands who set up blog reviews are usually looking to introduce their product to more people. They usually choose blogs that have a large readership (meaning they get a lot of pageviews on their site regularly). If the brand has a product that would interested people with a certain hobby or interest (like fashion or fitness) they might seek out a blog that specializes in that topic. If I were trying to promote a workout DVD, it might be a better “bang for my buck” to get a review from a fitness blog that gets 20,000 pageviews a month instead of choosing a blog that gets 35,000 pageviews a month but that does not specialize in fitness as the percentage of the readership who is interested in workout DVDs would likely be much higher on the fitness blog.
Most brands who work with bloggers are still interested in that thorough review with lots of photos. They want you to share how you used the product, your thoughts on the quality, and several photos of the item. This way, if your readers have any questions about the product, how it works and it’s features your review will hopefully answer those questions.
Many brands who work with bloggers are also seeking influence. Influence is really hard to measure, and a bit tricky to even explain but I will try anyway. Some bloggers have readers who really view themselves as similar to the blogger. If I follow a blog and I feel as if that blogger is very much like me, and I like that person and enjoy the same things they do, I am more likely to purchase an item if they share how it changed their life and they love it. In that case the blogger has a high level of influence over me. Other bloggers might have a lot of readers and be well-liked, but if the readers don’t feel that they are similar to that blogger and relate to her personally, they might see her say “I love this product, it changed my life!” they might feel that the product would also be something they would love, so they are less likely to purchase and are less influenced by that blogger.
Why don’t brands who do blog reviews want to do Amazon reviews?
Most brands who do blog reviews have a marketing goal of wanting to reach new people. They want to influence a bloggers audience to want their product. Amazon reviewers don’t have a large readership or audience, so they can’t help the brand reach new people in that way.
Do you review on Amazon? What tips or advice do you have for trying to stand out to sellers?