There are many excellent reasons why you may want to write a product review or two here at VeggieBoards, but sometimes it can be difficult to get started, especially if you've never written a product review before.
Below are some tips that can help you write awesome product reviews that are helpful for other VeggieBoard members.
Know who VeggieBoard reviews are for: VeggieBoard reviews are not for companies - they're for your peers. You’re not writing a product review to help promote a product or the company who made it. You’re writing a product review for your friends and fellow vegans and vegetarians at VeggieBoards because you care about them and want them to have information about good and bad products.
Always be honest: Some people have trouble writing honest reviews because they know other people like the product and don't want an argument or because they're afraid they'll hurt someone's feelings. However, saying a product is great, when really it's not, is not very helpful. Your goal when writing a review is to help other VeggieBoard members choose great vegan and vegetarian products to buy and also to help them avoid really bad products.
Write like a friend: When writing a review, pretend you're answering a question about a product from a family member or friend. You want your review to sound genuine, helpful and as if you care about offering others the best information possible.
The more information the better: You can write a very short review, but it can help to include as much information about a product as possible. For example... Not very informative: "This soup is good!" More helpful and informative: "This soup is vegan and great because it's not very expensive and has a full serving of veggies plus a really yummy tomato-based broth. There are a ton of carrots in this soup, which works for me, because I love carrots. I do wish it had a bit more noodles, but overall, it tastes like homemade soup you'd make yourself." When reviewing a product it helps to offer more information about why you like or don't like it. Also, if you're up to it, including an image or link to the product's website is useful for people who want even more information.
What if you can't think of what to write?
If you're at a loss for words, but want to review a product, you can make a simple pros and cons list. This is quicker and easier than writing paragraphs and people like to scan lists. For example, if writing a review about shampoo using a pros and cons list, it might look something like this...
- Smells awesome - like vanilla and oranges.
- Comes in a big size so I don't have to go shopping so often.
- Lathers up nicely and can double as body soap in a pinch.
- The bottle is recyclable.
- Worked well.
- Way too expensive.
- Not certified organic.
Before you write a review - it helps to have criteria in place
Having some specific review criteria in place can help you make a decision about whether or not you want to recommend or not recommend a specific product. Below is some general review criteria I tend to use when looking at products, but you can adjust this list to suit your needs.
Some food criteria
- Is the product vegan or vegetarian?
- Is the company who made it vegan?
- Is it organic? GMO free? Free from icky chemicals?
- Does the product taste great, ok or bad?
- Is this a healthy food item or a fun snack food item?
- Would I serve this to my best friend? My child?
- Would I buy it again?
Other product criteria (for clothing, body care products, cleaners, and so on)
- Is the product safe?
- Would I let my son use it?
- Does the company who made it test on animals? Do they carry the Leaping Bunny symbol?
- Does the company disclose information about their products (ingredients, uses, etc.) on both the packaging and website?
Other stuff I think about when writing product reviews
- What sort of green policies does the company follow? Do they recycle, use renewable energy, have a paperless office, etc.
- Is the product over-packaged?
- If I have a product question and I contact the company do they actually get back to me? Are they nice? Helpful? Snotty?
- Is the product really affordable, average priced or way too expensive?
Examples of some good VeggieBoard reviews
- Short and sweet cereal review
- Body care lotion stick review
- Longer cookbook review
- Some quick reviews of vegan marshmallows
- Good sliced vegan cheese review
- An excellent (and very honest) organic chocolate cake review
- Vegan lotion bar review
Last but not least, if you want to write a review, but don't see your favorite product listed, you can easily add it manually.