Five Golden Rules of Reviews
Writing reviews is a hugely popular activity among bloggers, and why not? Writing about new products and services is lots of fun, and can mean your family benefits from some extra treats from time to time.
Reviews are also a great way to build your blog’s site traffic – as visitors looking for information on products will often find your blog via search engines.
But there are downsides. Your regular readers may get turned off if there are too many reviews on your site (most of them want to read about you, after all) and when life gets busy it’s a lot harder to take a break from blogging if you have obligations to brands and PR agencies to write reviews.
To make the most of writing reviews on your blog, here are some tips based on my experience:
– Only review products you’re genuinely enthused about. Nothing is harder than trying to find the energy to write about a tin of beans. Especially if you don’t eat beans.
– Always be honest about products. Smart PR agencies know that not everyone likes every product. It’s okay not to like something. But always be constructive – tell me if you don’t like something, but suggest who it might be suitable for, or what you did like.
– Balance reviews with other content. Unless you’re writing a blog about products, I would suggest publishing one review a week is about right.
– Be clear with readers about how you’re being paid or compensated. You don’t have to label posts in the title (unless you want to), but somewhere in your review you should state whether you received a payment, or a free product sample to review.
– Use your own photos where you can. Take photos near a large window or door for the best light, but your own photos almost always give a better idea of what something looks like than a publicity photo – and it reassures readers that, yes, you did actually try this before writing about it!
A Mummy Too – McCain jacket potatoes with vegetarian bolognese sauce
McCain have just released a new product – microwave jacket potatoes. The inside was fluffy, smooth and light, the skin was well browned and tasty – even with that slight hint, somehow of oven-chip flavour – but not crispy. Here’s the recipe I made with them.
Vegetarian Kids Blog – Goody Good Stuff Vegetarian Sweets Review
As mentioned before on this blog, when my children became vegetarian they also decided to stop eating anything that included animal products, the most notable being gummy sweets containing gelatine. These were a particular favourite and giving them up was one of the things that convinced me they really were serious about their decision.
One of the brands of gelatine free gummy sweets that we came across a while back was Goody Good Stuff. They’re not only vegetarian, but also gluten and dairy free, and don’t contain any artificial colours. They’ve become our family’s firm favourite.
Me and My Shadow – What will uDraw?
Some time ago I wrote about the uDraw tablet for Wii.
Since then, I’m very pleased to say we’ve now joined the 21st century, and thanks to my brother, we have a Wii – hooray. Not only that, but the lovely people at the world of uDraw, sent us a tablet to play with. The tablet comes complete with uDraw studio instant artist, which is full of great features.
It took Ruby a little while to get the hang of, but being more computer literate that her Mummy, she soon sussed it and was quickly scribbling away.
Rob Dragur – Rob Dragur in the case of the Curious Crossover
Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr? Steven Moffat and Mark Gattis or Guy “Cockney” Ritchie? For people who love a damn good rollock of drama, intrigue, mystery, a limpy sidekick and of course an ararchistic, introvert, sauvant imbued with a keen sense of everything around him, deduction, chemistry, ability to play the violin and an almost aspergers like approach to the world, then they are spoilt for choice at the moment
Pinkoddy’s Blog – 15 kids and Counting Part 2
This week we saw the Lewis family from Bournemouth with their 12 daughters (Carly 28, Tracy, Samantha, Lyndsay, Danielle, Chantelle, Charlotte, Georgia, Candice, Shannon, Shaznay and Porsha, 8) – they have one son, Charles (the latter of which is quickly dismissed from the start). They are expecting their 8th grandchild. The impression is the mother (Tracy) pushes them into beauty pageants, which the father (Pete) works hard to pay for. Without being rude they would be better off using the money to treat their teeth and skin. The mother seems to substitute the word daughters/babies with the word winners.
Seasider in the City – Fried, but quick and healthy
Trying to eat healthily can be time consuming, all that preparation and cooking from scratch. I love cooking but on the evenings where Daddy is off to do a night shift and needs to eat before he goes it can feel like you get home from work and don’t get out of the kitchen all evening! These are the days when being healthy becomes a bit of a struggle.
A Lime Less Ordinary – A Review: Channel 4’s ‘How To Be A Good Mother’
Last week Channel 4 aired a programme titled ‘How to be a good Mother’ which is another one of those shows where they send an apparently well known Somebody to go and speak to the Average Joe about what it is they do and why it works for them. Or something to that extend. We watched this one ‘on Demand’ and since I had not seen any negative tweets and Facebook updates about it, I had a little bit of hope although I didn’t expect much from it, …
WAHM-BAM! – Zumba Fitness DVD Exercise Kit
This is by far the most fun exercise DVD I’ve ever tried. Every other one, I’ve done two or three times and then given up. With this one, when I finish a workout, I’m already looking forward to doing another one the next day. The music is great, the steps are fun and, while the presenters can sometimes come across a little irritating, they’re actually very motivational and positive.
Tales of The March Hare – The Iron Lady
When you can’t do all the normal things that you used to do like, going to pubs, smoking the odd growler, occasionally chowing down on a dirty Noodle Express from the top of the road, it doesn’t leave one many options to occupy ones time. So thank goodness again for the new cinema. I love films, having studied Film at Brunel University (*cough*), but even I have never been to the cinema 3 times in 3 weeks before. Until now.
House With No Name – The glorious David Hockney exhibition
My serial moving habit is something I’ve written about before. We’ve moved house (take a deep breath here) an embarrassing 12 times in the last 25 years and I’ve got a sneaking feeling that we might do it again.
But one of the places we lived when my children were small was Yorkshire, in a sweet redbrick cottage with horses that popped their heads over next door’s fence and views over the fields. They were happy days – days that came flooding back last week when I pitched up at the glorious David Hockney exhibition at London’s Royal Academy.
www.mummyratesit.co.uk – Review/Win: The Land of Sometimes CD
All children wish for things and why shouldn’t they? Just this morning my daughter was screwing up her face concentrating really hard on turning her feet into a mermaid’s tail. Sadly the tail failed to materialise but for Elise and Alfie in The Land of Sometimes wishes really do come true. Read my review of this magical CD and enter the competition to win a copy.