How To Start A Review Blog In 2021
After being a follower of review blogs for a few months, I thought it was time to start my own.
This article will help me organize and keep track of what I want to include in my blog as well as help others that are interested in starting their own.
I'll be using this format:
1) Introduction - Introduce reviewing and what it is used for
2) Purpose - Why do you want to start a review blog? Are you looking for advice on how to start one? What do you hope it will accomplish?
Reviewing can serve multiple purposes, but the main four are gaining popularity/followers/readership, helping authors promote their work, providing feedback on writing, and sharing your insight with other readers.
3) Costs - What are the costs of starting a blog? This can include time, money, and energy.
4) How to - How will you start your own review blog?
This should include what you should have/know before even starting up your blog, how to set it up, etc.
5) Summary - A summary of the major points that have been covered in this article
*Note: I'll be adding more sections as the post goes along. This is still a work in progress!
Next, you need to decide what kind of review style you want to go with. This is completely up to your own discretion. Do you want shorter, less detail oriented reviews or longer more detailed ones?
Another thing that needs decided is what books are being reviewed. Do you want to stick with YA only or do you want to branch out into other genres? Do you want separate blogs for different genres? Or will one blog cover all genres?
How to start a review blog:
Step One: Decide on what you want your blog's niche or focus to be
If you're going to review products, you'll need steady access to said products and will probably have greater ease of use if you collaborate with a company that produces these goods and has the marketing budget and the marketing know-how that would allow it to offer free product in exchange for reviews.
You can't review books unless someone is willing to provide them for free (due to their finite availability), but the great thing about books is they make ideal gifts, which means publishers are usually happy to get book reviews written about their titles (especially if they cost $25+ apiece).
The same goes for other things like movies, music, events, etc.
Step Two: Build a social media presence for your blog
The more followers you have on sites like Twitter and Facebook, the better chance you have of being discovered by companies that are willing to send free products in exchange for honest reviews written about them.
There are several ways to do this: join groups on Facebook devoted to promoting blogs; network with other bloggers so they'll promote your own posts when you write good content (do not do this unless you are legit friends with these people or will get along famously if/when you meet).
tweet good content from within your blog's feed letting people know it's there; create Pinterest boards dedicated to things related to your site's niche and pin stuff there.
create an Instagram account and post photos related to your site's niche there, etc.
Step Three: Once you have enough social media presence under your belt.
Start tweeting companies with links to your blog saying that you review their products/services/branding/etc.
You can send these people direct messages on Twitter or post on their Facebook wall about wanting to write reviews for them if you know they are in the target market of whatever service you're promoting.
When you get free stuff in exchange for reviews, write good content over a period of time (don't just quickly churn out reviews once a week--that won't gain any traction) then tell other bloggers about it so they can also write reviews on their sites.
This will make your relationships with other bloggers stronger, which will enable you to develop more of a social media presence for your blog.
You can do this on the off chance that the companies whose products you receive throw you a bone and give you more free stuff to write about, but don't expect this from all companies--most of them just want good content that drives traffic back to their sites.
Step Four: Once people start noticing your blog, consider running affiliate programs
Through it so that if your visitors click on links within your site and buy things through them, you get a cut of those profits.
This is a great way to make money as long as people trust what's being advertised on your site. Don't go overboard with advertisements/pop-ups/etc. that could deter visitors from coming back to your site.
Step Five: Grow your social media following and search engine rankings
over time via the things you did in Step Three and Four, and repeat as necessary until you've achieved whatever goals you initially set for yourself when starting a blog.
- Decide what your blog's niche is going to be
- Build a social media presence for your blog
- Promote other bloggers' content so they promote yours in return
- Tweet companies about wanting to review their products/services/brands/etc.
- Write good content that grows search engine rankings over time
- Run affiliate programs through your site periodically if people tend to trust what's being advertised on your site
- Grow your social media following over time via the methods mentioned in Steps Three through Five.
all of which will help your search engine rankings--which means when people Google stuff related to anything within your blog's niche (which should be pretty specific), you'll appear higher in the search results.
Then again, if you're reigning in on the target market of whatever it is that you blog about, then people will definitely Google what you write about and they'll find you.