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How To Write Excellent Content For Shared Reviews

Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Careers & Work Expertise:
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Are you an author who would like to maximize your impact on readers at Shared Reviews? Are you hoping to make some extra income, or establish yourself as an expert in some niche? Here are a few tips for success.

Why do I think that I am qualified to write this article? I’ve been one of the top-ranked writers almost every month since SR went live. You may think that you can’t become one of the best writers for any number of reasons, but with diligence you certainly can. You may not catch up in terms of total amount paid to you, because those who joined very early in Beta were paid $2 for every review. That initial scenario is not coming back, and we- myself included- will probably never catch a few people in total money earned. (Rankings are no longer based on earnings).

Shared Reviews (SR) began in 2007 as a venue for people who wanted to share their experiences using products. In January 2010 they added the option of writing articles on a wide array of topics in which you can share your expertise.

In October 2010, Shared Reviews changed the method by which authors are credited with cash. The new system pays authors based on readership. Those who earn the level of Rater can also earn from the content which they rate. One-time rewards can also be had for reaching upper levels and completing challenges. See the Knowledge Center for complete information.

But, all success stories at Shared Reviews depend upon good content.

Essential Elements of an Excellent Review:

A review must be a minimum of 200 words, but unless the product really is very simple you should write at least 300 words, or even more. Almost all products have more than one feature that should be discussed.

The first key element is an explanation of the product features. No matter how simple or complex the product is, there is factual information about it that should be given. Its size, materials, ingredients, etc. are all important. Don't just blindly copy information off the packaging, although some of that may be appropriate. Try to give details that people can't discover just by reading the advertising.

Shared Reviews is about... sharing. Reviews here are expected to include your own personal interactions with a product. In fact, if you just write down the product specifications, it is likely that the review will be given a lower rating and sent back to you for revision. Tell people what you liked and what you didn’t like about the product. Tell how it works, if it lasted well, and if it lived up to what was promised.

Be sure that you review a product and not a brand. If you like a certain kind of children’s clothing, talk about a particular item that you bought. Then you can add some comments about your approval of the brand in general. If you really want to talk in general terms, you should write an article about the overall brand, store, or service.

Be sure that you choose the correct category. Reviews in the wrong categories will be pulled and sent back for revision. Choose the category that reflects the product’s intended use! For example, you might use a dish towel as a rag for your ATV, but it is still a dish towel, and currently should go in Kitchen and Bath Accessories. As of December 2010, we are still waiting for a promised complete category revision, but it is coming. After that happens, there may be expanded choices for specific placement. For example, right now, lip balm might be a beauty product or a health product because it has no category of its own. So the administrators allow for some “sloppiness” on placement of items like this. We suspect that in the future most items will have a specific sub-category where they are supposed to go.

You must use standard English. Some reviewers do not speak English as a first language, and they are at a disadvantage in this area. However, readers can tell the difference between someone who is struggling with English and those who just don’t write well. At the very least spell check your review. Learn the difference between commonly confused words like lose and loose. Raters are often willing to help authors improve their language skills.

Proofread your articles while still in draft, before hitting publish. There is a spelling-and-grammar-checking tool. You could also write your content in a word processor, using it's language tools, and then paste here as text.

Do not copy text from anywhere else! If your review is tagged as having copied content you will be banned from Shared Reviews. Each review must be unique to SR. In other words, don't plagiarize. You cannot even copy your own text from other locations.

Essential Elements of an Excellent Article

Even though there could be a few more categories, there is probably somewhere you can fit almost any kind of article that doesn't violate the SR Terms and Conditions. Write an organized piece on a specific topic. Articles must be at least 300 words, but 500-800 words is a good average. Choose a title that fits the content. Make sure that what you've written really delivers what the title promises. Articles that are dated, or are strictly opinion pieces have less value than factual articles.

Important Elements of All Excellent Content:

The title- a conundrum- Since January 2010, the title is the text in the URL. This will help search engines find reviews easier. However, it sure doesn’t encourage writers to use catchy titles. And the length is limited to 50 characters, including spaces. So a good title might have the product name and something about it, all in those 50 characters, and do it in an interesting manner. One recent one of mine that I think is good is “Baking Soda vs 20-Year-Old Grease.” One of mine that is not so good is “I Think I’m Having a Wardrobe Megafunction!” That is really catchy, but a search engine doesn’t know that it is about a glove/mitten system for winter sports or what brand it is or anything. It will catch SR readers, but that’s all. You will need to choose which way you want to balance your titles. Including appropriate popular keyword phrases, such as "cheap suntan lotion, " is a good tactic.

Use paragraphs to organize your points. This also makes content easier to read.

Use keywords or phrases. This might be the product name or an important element of your article. But don't overdo it. About one instance of a keyword for each 100-150 words is good. More than that may be flagged as spam by search engines.

The first words are very important. Whenever the review is shown in a list, the first 75-80 words will be your first chance to pull a reader in, after the title, and entice them to click on your review. If you begin with some rambling, off-topic lead-in to the actual review you may not prompt that click that is needed for a reader (think cash).

Include a picture if at all possible. The best pictures are ones you take yourself. In fact, be careful about using images from other sources. If it is shown that your picture was used without permission the review/ article could be pulled. Pictures always get people’s attention better than words. Show the product clearly, or show it being used. If you can take video, so much the better. About 3 minutes or less is a good length for SR videos.

Add tags. At the end of the form for entering your content is a blank for tags. These are search terms that will help others find your review. Separate them with commas, and choose words that include the brand, the kind of item and possible alternate descriptions, including popular keywords and phrases. If possible, use terms that also appear in your review.

Write that Excellent Content!

You can’t earn anything if you don’t get started! We all use products every day and we love them, hate them, or just feel indifferent about them. We feel passionate about all sorts of issues, and have knowledge that we want to pass on to others. Use Shared Reviews to tell people about your experiences!