REVIEWS: Should they be personal or professional?

10 replies
OK so I know I may get someone blurting out "both!" but what I'm looking for here is what's worked best for you when driving traffic (primarily by SEO and articles) to review pages.

I see some reviews take the personal approach in telling a story of how the writer of the site used to have a problem then used a certain product and then recommends it to the visitor.

On the flip side, there are sites that use the rating stars, have a pros / cons section, use bullet points to list benefits and what you get, etc.

What have YOU found to be the most effective in converting visitors into buyers?
#personal #professional #reviews
  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    I was going to come in and say both

    I have often heard to keep it professional - I've had people tell me 'no-one wants to hear your story they only want to hear about the product'.

    However, my most recent review site is converting quite well and I wrote it 'personally'. Well actually I did a bit of both, the first half of the review is my personal thoughts - what I liked about the product. The second half of the review explains what you get with the product. So it's a bit of both but if I had to say it was one or the other I would say personal. And it is my best converting review yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    A lot of it depends on your target market and the product you're promoting.

    For example, a product on quitting smoking that's intended for the population at large would probably do really well with a story of your personal struggle to quit. Whereas a product for financial services would lend itself to being professional (though you could add a bit of your personal story).

    That being said, you can be personal, but keep it within the realm of professionalism, and vice-versa.

    All the best,

    "Ich bin en fuego!"
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  • Profile picture of the author Lee Wilson
    If I can't say both then I'd say it depends on the product. Some things like cameras etc can be reviewed by fact, i.e., this feature works, that one don't, that one's missing or is clumsy, auto focus is... etc. These kind of products should be reviewed professionally.

    Other products like books and films etc have to be mostly personal opinion whether you like it or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author Branlan17
    OK I'm mostly thinking in the realm of Clickbank reviews. Thanks for the input guys : )
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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    One man's version of professionalism is another man's version of trailer trash.

    Just be yourself when you make a product review or anything else for that matter. Some people will love you, some will hate you. Who needs the latter.

    Founder of JVZoo. All around good guy :)

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    • Profile picture of the author AmyDavis
      In my opinion if you are doing a personal review, then you really should have used the product or experienced it in some way. Otherwise a personal review is deceiving and is probably not within FTC guidelines.

      Sites like do professional reviews and use words like "Experts say", "People who have used it say". Personally, I think this is a much better way of doing reviews if one hasn't used the product.
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      • Profile picture of the author padre
        In another thread Paula recommends longer reviews, 1,000 words or more, to get better conversions.

        Sort of like the pre-sell version of a long-copy sales letter.

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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    I really only pay attention to reviews from the big sites like PC Mag, etc. All these little affiliate reviews ... I don't read them. I want professional, objective reviews on physical products that I am considering buying.

    That being said, if I were in the market for the product, I prefer a natural tone of voice and personal experience with the product over some canned copy.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Brandon, an authentic personal story can work very well. The key word there is authentic. The problem with formulaic reviews is that most of them all sound the same. 'I had a problem, I tried everything, I found Product X, Now life is wonderful, buy Product X through this link.'

      Most such stories lack the details that lend believability to a real story.

      Unless you actually have such a story, and it truly involves Product X, I'd stick to the 'professional' style. You can keep the 'voice' more personal, but don't lie. Sooner or later, karma will bite you in the ass.
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  • Profile picture of the author Branlan17
    Thanks, so far this is what I've done. On sites I haven't actually tried the product of I have made a professional and fairly standard looking review that lists features, benefits, and some testimonials from actual customers.

    For things I do engage in in real life, like for my Betta fish website, I tale a more personal approach. Thanks for the input everyone!
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